Does Size Matter?

How can you ignore a database with nearly half a billion records?

The MyHeritage collection Historical Books – Index of Authors and People Mentioned, 1811-2003 names persons mentioned in various English-language public domain books as well as the names of authors of these publications. It has 494,147,034 entries from over three million digitized books.

The index includes the following searchable information: the title and the year of publication, name of the author(s), birth and death year of the author(s), the names of all the individuals mentioned in the publication, the publisher and the subject(s) of the publication can also be found in most records.

I started checking other large databases. Here are the results – an odd mixture.

Organization Database Items Comment
Internet Archive Wayback Machine 806,000,000,000 web pages
Alphabet Google 500,000,000,000 words
MyHeritage MyHeritage Family Trees 5,464,569,377
Likely has many dupllicates
MyHeritage Newspaper Name Index, USA and Canada 2,300,027,369
Ancestry Public Member Trees 1,895,402,199
Ancestry Geneanet Community Trees Index 1,525,138,110
Ancestry Private Member Trees 1,515,901,512
Ancestry U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 1,385,585,017
FamilySearch Tree 1.300,000,000
Individuals, no duplicates?
Ancestry California, U.S.,™ Stories and Events Index 1,067,030,708
Ancestry U.S.,™ Obituary Index, 1800s-current 1,056,609,084
MyHeritage FamilySearch Family Tree 1,056,564,440
Individuals, no duplicates?
Ancestry Florida, U.S.,™ Stories and Events Index, 1800’s-current 957,954,239
FamilySearch International Genealogical Index (IGI) 892,761,439
FamilySearch United States Public Records, 1970-2009 875,610,137
Ancestry U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-2016 864,610,581
MyHeritage U.S. Public Records Index 816,043,390
MyHeritage U.S. City Directories 561,496,413
OCLC WorldCat 540,000,000
bibliographic records
MyHeritage Historical Books – Index of Authors and People Mentioned, 1811-2003 494,147,034
Ancestry Ohio, U.S.,™ Stories and Events Index, 1800s-current 452,250,767

While The Wayback Machine is in first place, there’s a lot of repitition as it archives web pages many times. The 534 times has been saved between 25 October 2001 and 19 March 2023 means there’s a lot of duplication.

If size matters this reinforces the importance of using Google, or a general search engine.

Looking down the list you will see titles for places with no connection to your family history. For those size doesn’t matter, but maybe you’re looking for someone who dissappeared to end up who knows where.

One Reply to “Does Size Matter?”

  1. Unfortunately, there are plenty of duplicates on the FamilySearch Family Tree (and WikiTree). Some entries have so little information. Plenty of merging and connecting opportunities!

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