Findmypast and BillionGraves Announce Partnership

The following announcement was written by Findmypast and BillionGraves :

Findmypast and BillionGraves announce partnership to make rich historical content accessible to everyone for free

Industry leaders are working together to make more than 12 million grave markers available to everyone, making it easier for families to discover their unique story for free.

Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 February 2015. Findmpast and BillionGraves announced today that they will partner to add more than 12 million grave marker indexes to family history websites mocavo.com and findmypast.com. With the shared goal of making family history more accessible to everyone, this unique content will be available on all three websites for free.

New records: 12 Million Grave Marker Indexes Available for Free

The partnership will offer all Findmypast and Mocavo subscribers free access to more than 12 million headstone records including GPS tagged headstone indexes and images that will link back to BillionGraves.com.

BillionGraves preserves precious records found in cemeteries throughout the world, using modern technology to capture images of headstones with their GPS locations so users from across the world can access those records anywhere.

Findmypast is making it easier for everybody to discover their family history. The BillionGraves mission complements that goal, and along with Findmypast’s commitment to offer more free data and innovative search tools, the BillionGraves partnership will make it easier for everybody to explore their family’s story and bring their past to life.

The two organizations will also work together to provide other initiatives that will help make family history and preservation efforts more accessible to the entire community.

Findmypast Executive Vice President Ben Bennett said, “This new partnership will help our customers to make new connections in their research. It marks another step in Findmypast’s journey to make more data accessible for more people who want to connect with their family.”

Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves said, “We are delighted to work with Findmypast to make the BillionGraves collection accessible to their growing user base world-wide. At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images of the world’s cemeteries-but it’s not something we can do alone. Collaborating with Findmypast in this and other initiatives in the future will provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come”.

4 Comments

It really worries me that Findmypast is taking on so much in so short a time when its infrastructure doesn’t seem to be able to cope with what it has already and it is already difficult to find databases which you know are on there but which have been filed under subject headings which don’t make sense to me.

I only use it when I have to because I don’t like it and hate the fact that it has no browse function for the UK parish registers which it is uploading. Given that some of the transcriptions are inaccurate it is not wise to rely on its search engine to bring up results (as can indeed be said of those on Ancestry). However Ancestry does at least give you the option of viewing the digital copy of the parish register frame by frame. It is a slow process though even with superfast broadband and where possible I go and view the microfilm in the appropriate record office as it is quicker in the long run than having to cross-check the search results on familysearch with those on ancestry or findmypast and then view the register as well just to make sure.

Great that Billiongraves is being funded by Findmypast but like Ancestry and Findagrave I am not quite sure of the ethics of new and naive researchers being made to buy a subscription to access something which is free to use anyway. Yes I know they probably weren’t aware of it but to use something which is freely accessible anyway as one of the potential selling points for a subscription seems a bit off.

Is a one stop shop where we can potentially find all the results really what we want? – when in actual fact it takes so long to check through all the possible search results (relevant doesn’t have the same meaning to a computer as it does to you or I) that we have lost the will to live before we get half way through not to mention having had to re- search several times as each time we changed the filter it lost the original search terms.

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    —> I am not quite sure of the ethics of new and naive researchers being made to buy a subscription to access something which is free to use anyway.

    The above announcement states that “The partnership will offer all Findmypast and Mocavo subscribers FREE access…” There is no need to buy a subscription to FindMyPast.

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Correction “encouraged to buy a subscription”

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Originally when findmypast (brightsolid) came into this market using the UK 1911 census as a cash cow, I was very scathing of them. However, I think they have listened to criticism and have certainly changed their attitude, especially since entering the USA market. I have found that they have listened to criticism and responded “meaningfully” and even changed their model/ methods; and as much as I like Ancestry is far more than can be said for that monolith. However I agree, their site is still not good to navigate, I assumed that was why they bought out Mocavo which was has a good reputation there, I must try it and see if that is integrated with FMP yet. Although it might mean 2 subscriptions (or flip flop etc), I think the competition is a very good thing.

From my experience:
Complain/ make suggestions to Ancestry = expect little.
Complain/ make suggestions to findmypast = at least an explanation.

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