Monday, 23 June 2014

FindmyPast purchases Mocavo

FindmyPast ( has just announced that it has purchased American genealogy company Mocavo (, founded in 2011. From the press release:

Founded by Cliff Shaw in 2011, Mocavo is a technological innovator in the genealogy industry. Its highly sophisticated search engine brings together, in one place, a diverse range of sources, such as family history record indexes, school and college yearbooks, church records and biographies, which help millions of family history enthusiasts to fill in blanks in their family trees and add colour to their family stories.

This acquisition, coupled with the recent tender win of the 1939 Register for England and Wales and the purchase of, forms an important part of the growth strategy set out by Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, and her new team.

Together Findmypast and Mocavo will create one of the fastest growing global genealogy businesses. The two companies will provide customers with easier access and more relevant information to help add colour and depth to family history. Additionally, they both remain committed to delivering on Mocavo’s promise to provide free access to family history records on an individual database level forever. Toward that commitment, Findmypast is announcing today that the full indexes to the US Census from 1790 to 1940 are available for free at

COMMENT: It would be good if FindmyPast could reinstate the original census source information for its Scottish entries, amidst all the other disastrous errors awaiting correction on its new site. I think that might impress me more.

(With thanks to Annelies van den Belt)


Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And FindmyPast - please reinstate the original Scottish census citations on your new site.

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy, the expected, but unstated, ( post April 2014 mess that findmypast made of their own site ), fmp strategy of, "let's become a bigger player in the American market", has made it's first open appearance.

    If fmp's disastrous tinkering with the fmp site is a guide to how this new venture is likely to be manifested in practice, then presumably Mocavo will be converted into the same sort of nebulous and frequently inaccurate and unreliable muddle that fmp has now become.

    On 23rd June 2014 fmp published an announcement of this venture on the news section of the fmp site...

    The wording of some of the fmp comments, in light of recent fmp site events, is ominous.

    "Today, the entire family history industry has a reason to shout from the rooftops"...well that has certainly been the case with fmp customers from April 2014 onwards,...but not in a good way.

    "Findmypast continuously engages in incredible partnerships with leading archives and genealogical organizations,"...well yes, and it was fmp's bizarre implementation of the results of their recent new partnership with three of the main genealogical records sites in America that caused fmp to try to make fmp a clone of those sites, both in appearance and in search methods and results presentation, which resulted in calamitous consequences for the fmp site.

    Most alarming of all, fmp says, "Together, Findmypast and Mocavo represent a passion for family history, a desire to innovate,..."

    Whenever a corporate body uses words like..."passion"...and..."innovate", seemingly inevitably, negative consequences usually seem to follow.

    Would anyone be willing to bet that won't happen in this case. ?