Mocavo Plus, a First Look


There is a new research tool named Mocavo.  Mocavo is designed specifically for searching sites that are only genealogy related.   I have to ask myself, do I really need another search engine? I use Google for the most part, so why is Mocavo different than Google?  According to their website Google only contains about 5% of the genealogical content, and their search engine will net more results.  That is enough to get my attention.

I like to know a little bit about the company if I am going to do business with them.  I’m a bottom line type of gal so my first question, is how much is it?  There is a Free subscription, and a Mocavo Plus.  Plus is currently $119.40 for an annual subscription.  So what does Plus give me that the free version doesn’t?  More robust searches, wild card searches both of which could make a big difference in data collection. I haven’t yet tested their claims, but will do so before my next posting in this series.   In a recent news release the company has announced a chief operating officer, with a technical and Wall Street background and a chief genealogist.  This model makes sense for a company that wishes to attract investors as well as have a useful product.  I’d be a little nervous at some of the other subscription-based sites.

Okay now to try Mocavo.  There are several ways to search, but I started with uploading my gedcom file.  The website states it can take as much as an hour for the file to appear, and up to 24 hours before getting hits.  The instructions suggest uploading the file via drop-box, I tried both drop box and my hard drive and it worked fine either way.  My tree has about 800 individuals and it showed up quicker than an hour, also it took less than 24 hours to start getting results.  After loading the tree I went to My Connections, this is where you should see your individualized results.  I have 8 pages of results to go through (8 hours after initial upload).  On my first page there seems to be quite a bit on the Church family, circa 1500’s.  I will follow-up with the quality of these and other search results in my next posting.  The real question will be how close of a match are the results.  With surnames like Church and King internet searches can bring a lot of unnecessary data to weed out.

I’ve established I can search but what about privacy?  It’s a big concern of my mine as it is of many.  Always a big question on my mind, who owns my tree?  You may think that is a silly question, but it many cases when you upload your tree to a service; you relinquish that data as result.  According to Mocavo I retain ownership of my tree, I can mark it private or delete it any time.  That’s good to know. My second question is how are living people handled?  Trees marked as private there is no risk of exposure. Public trees, Mocavo will filter out individuals with a birth or death date after 1910.

Overall it looks like a nice idea.  I really have to test the quality of my search results, because like in every other situation not all evidence is created equally.


Stay Tuned!

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