Monday, 23 June 2014

FindMyPast/DCTFH buys Mocavo

Findmypast/DC Thompson Family History is continuing its spending spree with the purchase of Mocavo, an online business that set out to bring all the world's historical information online for free.

I have to admit that Mocavo, which was established in 2011, didn't make much of an impression on my consciousness. It seemed very USA-centric and I didn't note that its database held any exclusive Irish genealogical records. All in all, I couldn't quite grasp the company's general purpose or Unique Selling Point.

I guess that others felt the same, and Mocavo presumably found that free didn't result in profit.

The press release announcing today's move says that Mocavo offers more than 8million yearbooks, 500million military records and a ton of other datasets including, from today, the US Census from 1790 to 1940, absolutely free. It will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Findmypast, alongside and GenesReunited.

Whether this purchase results in any advantages for Irish research remains to be seen.

The timing of the announcement is a tad unfortunate, given that FindMyPast has lost a lot of credibility after its disastrous database 'upgrade', and many customers are still highly critical. I think many family historians will think the company should be concentrating on putting its own house in order before adding-in the complication of assimilating other businesses.

The Mocavo press announcement can be read here.
The FindMyPast/DCTFH announcement can be read here.