Tuesday 22 March 2011

Mocavo's first Irish records to appear this week

Ireland Genealogy Projects (igp-web.com) will be the first Irish site to be indexed by Mocavo, the week-old genealogy search engine that's exciting researchers around the world.

"We have an absolute interest in Irish records," Mocavo's CEO and founder Cliff Shaw told Irish Genealogy News, adding that FailteRomhat.com and CMCPR.net would be next in the queue. "We're hoping the community can help us find more sites."

Researchers can do this easily by following the 'Suggest a Site' link at the foot of every page of Mocavo. The sooner sites are put forward, the sooner they can be crawled and their records made available to a wider audience. There's a fast turnaround; IGP-web's resources will be indexed and returning results in Mocavo by the end of this week – just five days after arriving in the Suggestion Inbox.

Mocavo operates in the same way as Google, Yahoo, Bing and other familiar search engines. You enter your query and a list of web pages appears. A search for '"James O'Grady" Down', for example, returns 96 pages. The first 10 include cemetery records for St Patrick's, King County, Wisconsin; the full texts of several books usually found only in archives; a random notice of payment of a nephew's passenger fare from a user-generated site on Family Tree Maker; and details of a marriage in a personal family history website.

Records from FamilySearch, the mammoth database run by the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, are not included. However, Shaw says this may change. "We're talking to them and would love to include their content."

At present, the new kid on the block is very USA-centric, but that emphasis should shift as the site develops and fulfils its boast of being the World's largest free genealogy search engine. Given Cliff Shaw's track-record, this may well be achieved rather quickly. Among his previous successes are GenForum, which he created 14 years ago and is now owned by Ancestry.com; GenCircles, a mayor publishing site; and Family Tree Legends, the popular genealogy software package. The latter two businesses are now owned by MyHeritage.com.

Clearly Shaw knows a thing or two about innovation in the genealogy sector! And while he won't announce any site statistics just yet, he is excited by the positive early reaction to Mocavo.

"This is the strongest launch I've ever been part of, and has the fastest growth of anything I've ever done."