MyHeritage has Finished Digitizing Israel's Cemeteries

MyHeritage announced that they have completed their goal of digitizing every cemetery in Israel. The process took five years of dedicated efforts.

Israel is now the first country in the world to have almost all of its gravestones preserved and searchable online, with images, locations, and fully transcribed records. MyHeritage put up all of that content for free.

In 2014, MyHeritage teamed up with BillionGraves to launch a global crowdsourcing initiative to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries. It is essential to digitize cemeteries by photographing and transcribing the the gravestones. The gravestones provide a person’s name, the names of close relatives and dates of birth and death. All of this information is important to genealogists.

Gravestones, over time, can become damaged by weather (or by people who intend to cause destruction). The markings fade, and it becomes harder to figure out who had been buried there. BillionGraves is an app that enables volunteers to post photos and transcriptions of gravestones onto the BillionGraves website.

MyHeritage employees kickstarted the effort to digitize every cemetery in Israel by digitizing the Segula Cemetery. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in Israel. The employees took 73,000 photos in a single day in order to index them shortly afterwards.

A few months later, MyHeritage employees, their friends, and genealogy organizations worked to digitize Holon cemetery. It is the largest cemetery in Israel, with over 200,000 graves.

MyHeritage says that completing the project of digitizing all of Israel’s cemeteries was a milestone worthy of celebration and a tribute to their commitment to preserving valuable family history information for future generations.

Related Articles at

* Israeli Genealogy Databases

* Israel Genealogy

* How to Record a Gravestone Without Damaging It

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