Wind of Change - Kindo becomes static

16 Dec 2008 At 12:31

myheritage_smartmatchingIt’s the last month of the year… time to look back on this year and time to embrace the new one. For the Kindo team it was a very exciting one and we are busy working in the arms of the MyHeritage family.
We hope that all of you had a closer look at MyHeritage by now and embraced some of the nice features there, like the quite helpful photo organisation based on face recognition or the wide range of genealogy tools.

Now the time has come to focus on the future: Kindo has become read-only, which means that you can’t do any changes to your family tree on anymore. But no worries, all the changes that you have done on Kindo in the last couple of months will be there on your MyHeritage account as well. Our development team has exported your trees and reimported them to your new home on

So please help us guiding you and your family over to the new site with it’s many new features, different design but its familiar faces… those of your relatives. Enjoy your MyHeritage family site, the birthday reminders via SMS, the Smart Matching to find new relatives and obviously your family tree, who looks very similar to what you were used to on Kindo.

Let us know if you have any questions, feedback, suggestions for improvement or other wishes. We will still have an open ear.

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Kindo Finds a New Home

22 Sep 2008 At 19:50

You can read the announcement here (pdf), or get the complete FAQ here, but I wanted to give you some more background on why Kindo and MyHeritage have teamed up.

The first time we met Gilad, the founder and CEO of Myheritage, was in early 2007 – a few weeks before we released the first public version of Kindo. Gareth and me were invited to have lunch with him in Soho in central London, and went there with the objective of learning everything we could about the “enemy”. This proved to be pretty naive, since Gilad is much too nice to be called an “enemy”.

But there we were: A Swede, a South African and an Israeli, all with very different professional background and life stories, talking about the future of families online from very different perspectives. I didn’t expect this, but we found that we had much in common. We shared the same ideas and vision for what we wanted to achieve with our businesses, even though our approach was far from similar.

Kindo had set out to build a site that would help you interact with the family that is around you here and now. We were trying to come up with tools to help you share information and communicate with the people that matter most to you right now. MyHeritage on the other hand had developed amazing technologies to help you find out everything about your family’s history, and had spent years perfecting these technologies. Ultimately though, what interested us both was the opportunity to help families discover more about who they are and their past, and use the web to bring them closer together.

As Gareth and I travelled back on the tube, we talked about how nice it would be to be able to offer our own users the same tools as MyHeritage already had. What really got us excited was their SmartMatching Technology, which matches people in your family tree with 250 Million other names, and suggests who you might be related too. We liked that. We were also jealous of Gilad, since he got to develop features for 25 million registered users - slightly bigger than our own user base…

During this summer, we’ve been thinking long and hard about the future of Kindo, and what the best option would be for taking Kindo to the next level. The more time we spent with Gilad as well as the rest of the team in Israel (not to mention the very loud rooster that runs around in their campus), the more convinced we all became - we’ll be better off together.

So we join the MyHeritage family because we share the same vision and values (as families should), and because we think that we can build an amazing product together – bringing real benefits to families around the world. This is what we’re planning to do over the next years.

As you see from the smiles in the picture below, this is a happy day for us here in the Putney Offices.

Nils and the Kindo family

Genealogy Days in Malmö, Sweden

11 Sep 2008 At 14:23

Today, we have the devoted genealogist Anna-Karin from Sweden as a guest-writer on the Kindo blog. She has a genealogy blog in English, where she posts news about genealogy and here’s her report from the Genealogy Days in Sweden!

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This years Swedish Genealogy Days the yearly conference of the Swedish Federation of Genealogical Societies was held in the city of Malmö in the province of Skåne in southern Sweden. Over 100 exibitors crowded in the convention center at Europaporten in Malmö. Everything from genealogical societies, archives to companies offering original sources online.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Kindo - some problems with the trees

8 Sep 2008 At 13:05

As some of you may have experienced, some of your family trees are not loading properly at the moment. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to be up and running shortly!

In the meanwhile, you can still work on your profiles and upload the photos from the weekend’s family reunion.

Update: Now everything is fixed! It was the database acting a bit weird but Stephen has done a great job to fix it. (Let’s buy him a lunch now!) Thanks everyone for the patience!

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Genealogy for Beginners: Land Records

29 Aug 2008 At 13:47

Elizabeth Powell Crowe genealogy series on KindoEveryone hits a brick wall in genealogy, where the birth and death records just aren’t easy to find. In that case, try some different records. One good source you may try:  historic land records. Deeds often contain information on who sold what to whom; who inherited what from whom; or how some land was divided among a family.  Historic tax records on land also sometimes have interesting information, such as co-ownership.

One example from Flickr

Most archives have land records, and many have an online way to search the index and then order a copy of the record you want for a small fee. Just as an example, you could use these sites in Great Britain.

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It's gonna be a long winter...

26 Aug 2008 At 17:06

It’s only August and the weekend offered us some nice sunshine and t-shirt weather. Still, the sun is starting to set earlier and is a reminder about the season that will soon be upon us.

Just as the squirrels and different kinds of birds collect nuts and seeds, someone in the Kindo office seems to be doing some really solid forward planning.

Judging from this picture - it’s going to be a looong winter. :)

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Genealogy for Beginners: Using search engines

22 Aug 2008 At 13:56

Elizabeth Powell Crowe genealogy series on KindoAs I point out in my book, Genealogy Online 8th Edition, you can do a lot of good research using search engines and Boolean operators (AND, NOT, OR, and parentheses.) Recently, Yahoo! has stopped supporting the operators NOT and AND, although the plus or minus sign in front of a term still work.

The NOT is very important to genealogists searching for surnames that are also common words: BROWN, FOX, BANKS, & WEEKS are just some examples.  To find genealogy pages for these surnames in Yahoo now, be sure to put a minus-sign directly in front of a term that you want excluded from search result (meaning that Yahoo! will exclude pages that has that term in their text) and a plus sign in front of terms you must have. So to get hits for pages with genealogy and Banks surname, instead of


you would formulate it as


The OR operator still works, and the AND is assumed if you use no operators, but nesting with parentheses doesn’t as in


Advanced Google still accepts the most popular Boolean terms, and Exalead even supports the NEAR operator, which really helps with common surnames, but Live Search is now the only major search engine with full Boolean support.

For more details on how to do the Boolean Boogie for genealogy, read Genealogy Online 8th Edition.

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Genealogy for Beginners: Cousins

15 Aug 2008 At 14:43

Elizabeth Powell Crowe genealogy series on Kindo

Most beginners to genealogy are fuzzy about cousinship. For example, while many understand first cousins are people with common grandparents, many folks confuse first cousin once removed and second cousin.

Then, there are families like mine: My mother’s siblings were born from 1911 to 1932. That means her youngest brother “Mike” went to school with the oldest sister’s oldest child, his niece “Karen”. As it turned out, Uncle “Mike” and niece “Karen” married two people who were siblings, “Michelle”  and “Kevin”, making their children both first cousins and first cousins once removed.

Confused yet? Okay. The number of cousinship is how many generations back the connection is, and the removed part shows the connection is more generations back for one person than another. “Mike” and “Michelle” ’s kids have common grandparents with “Kevin” and “Karen’s”, ergo, first cousins. But on the other side, “Mike” and “Michelle’s” kids have an aunt who is grandmother to “Karen’s” and “Kevin’s” children, ergo, first cousins removed by one generation.

“Mike” and “Michelle’s” grandkids are second cousins to my mother’s grandkids, i. e. my children. “Mike” and “Michelle’s” children are my first cousins. “Kevin” and “Karen’s” children are my first cousins once removed, because “Karen” and I are first cousins.

Another way to look at it: Determine the latest common ancestor, and then the number of “G”s you share.  That is the number of cousins you are. Any difference in “G”s is the number “Removed”. So, people who have the same great-grand-parents (2G) are second cousins (2C). If the great-grand-parents (2G) of one person are the great-great-grand-parents (3G) of another person, then those two people are second cousins, once removed (2C1R). They share 2Gs with a difference of 1G (3-2=1).

Here are some links to charts that might make it easier to see:

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Feel ready to start using your DNA for tracing your genealogy!

15 Aug 2008 At 13:21

Residents of Iredell County learned a new way to trace their origins last Saturday during the Genealogical Society’s daylong event, “Genealogies of Yadkin Valley.”

“Using DNA is one of the newest and latest tools of tracing your genealogy, and it’s remarkable,” said Wells, who represented Family Tree DNA.”You can see if they migrated, you can find out more about your great-aunt and maybe she acted strangely, but that was because she had a baby die at childbirth … you just never know what secrets the past will reveal,” Wells said.

We all know that because of paper trails for genealogical lines usually stopping in the late 1700s or early 1800s, because of spelling changes and fires in courthouses or libraries… it is hard to find relatives. But DNA helps discover previously unknown kinships, identify errors in paper form and as a result makes research easier.

How does it work? After obtaining samples and finding a reliable testing company, it takes between almost a month and a half to get the results, it means a string of numbers that you’ll have to read and compare. Some group of administrator also exist to help you analyze results.

However, it’s worth shedding light on some shortcomings:

-First it does not replace paper documentation since it does not name common ancestors, it is more a tool to prove lineage. Several companies, like Family Tree DNA, can assist you to confirm your family tree or allow you to determine whether two people are related if you give them DNA of someone.

- It’s less reffective for females to use DNA than for males because thanks to Y-DNA, we can determine paternal and maternal lines, whereas for females it is just maternal.

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Genealogy for Beginners: Take a Genealogy Course!

8 Aug 2008 At 19:06

Elizabeth Powell Crowe genealogy series on Kindo

It’s back to school time, and maybe you’re thinking you need to know more about genealogy techniques and methods. One way to learn about genealogy is to take an online  course. Here are a few suggestions to get you started: Introduction to Genealogy from National Genealogical Society (U.S.) Most genealogists take this course first. It is very American-centric, but the techniques can be applied to any country’s vital statistics. There are more advance courses for specific regions and resources (e.g. wills). Introduction to Genealogy is an online course for those who have done little, if any, research on their families. It is open to anyone who wishes to enroll. Members of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) receive a tuition discount. Family History Personal Enrichment Classes Learn from Brigham Young University about research in the United States, France and Germany. These are non-credit courses, so there are no exams! Certificate in Genealogical Studies The National Institute for Genealogical Studies has joined forces with the Professional Learning Centre, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto to provide web-based courses for both family historians and professional genealogists. Canadian-based. GenClass Online classes in a variety of genealogical topics are conducted online by qualified, experienced instructors. Each four-week class includes a detailed course curriculum and online class meetings for $29.95. A more comprehensive listing, along with seminars, workshops and classes, can be found in my book.

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