Mocavo and Genealogy Karma

The purpose of this article is (1) to encourage you to try Mocavo – a specialised family history search engine, and (2) to introduce you to a new service from Mocavo which they are calling Genealogy Karma – it is like Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness.

Anyway . ..   read on!

Have you tried yet?   I think it can be a very helpful resource – so try it!  Use it more than once so you actually know how to use it.

What is Mocavo?

“at Mocavo, you can find your family’s history for free. Our search engine scours millions of hard-to-find genealogy Web pages, while ignoring non-genealogical information. Sophisticated research tools speed up your discovery and help you preserve the story of your family while a growing community helps you share information and tips with other genealogists.

Mocavo Basic is a free service that you are welcome to use for as long as you like. It gives you access to all Mocavo content, as well as the ability to share your family trees, historical photos and documents.

Mocavo Plus requires a subscription fee. Mocavo Plus provides multiple research tools to help you make discoveries faster and with less effort. Learn more about these features under the “Mocavo Plus Subscription” heading.” (Source:  Help files at

How is using Mocavo different from just doing a Google search?

“The difference between Mocavo and Google is that Mocavo has been designed to help you discover information related to your family history. On the other hand, when you search for an ancestor on Google you’ll get lots of search results with information about people who share your ancestor’s name but are still alive.” (Source:  Help files at

Lots of search opportunities, tips, and resources.  Well worth and visit – try it!

What I like – this is a specialised FH Search engine – and is one of the places I would go to conduct a search.

The basic search is very very basic, just 3 fields:  first name, last name, keywords – but when I click on the Advanced Search I get . . . .   oh oh – pay up! For those of you doing British research, they do have FreeBMD – and even with the basic search my great grandfather had 3 entries in FreeBMD.  The searches were fast and they did produce some interesting results.  Although when I searched for my 5th great grandfather Richard Hart the first result as a full text version of the Phillimore Nottinghamshire Parish Marriages at the Allen County Library.  These are an old and reputable transcripts from the parish registers published in 1903.  Then it took me to the beginning of a text version but not the page images.  Only way I could see to find what I wanted was to use CTRL F (Command F on a Mac) and search for the name.  Then I managed some how – I don’t know how – to get to a page at the Allen Library that offered me the opportunity to download a pdf copy of the entire volume 5 of Phillimore.  A few MB later I now have a digital copy of the book and can go through the East Leake Parish pages at my leisure.  I was able to locate a marriage in 1734 that was new to me!

In fairness good services are worth paying for.  Is this service worth the price? Not sure if you want to pay?  Then take their 14 day free trial.  What does it cost for a year?  US$59.95 – this is like getting rid of the one cent coin, why don’t they just say $60?

What is the difference between the free and pay services?

“Mocavo Basic is free and gives you access to all Mocavo content as well as searching and sharing capabilities. Mocavo saves you the time and frustration associated with visiting and searching through multiple genealogy sites and irrelevant information. We bring you information from genealogy web sites only; filtering out much of the unwanted information you receive through Google. This enables you to search across the web from one convenient location, giving you access to genealogy libraries, state archives, and family records. Mocavo also lets you share your family trees, historical photos and documents with the genealogy community.

Mocavo Plus provides all the benefits of Mocavo Basic, but provides multiple research tools to help you make discoveries faster and with less effort. Mocavo Plus Search has multiple search fields for specific queries, such as first names, last names, birth dates, death dates, etc., and has the knowledge to differentiate them all to bring you the best results possible. It is a more efficient way of searching.”  (Source:  Help files at

Mocavo is growing.  More and more features are being added.

Recently Mocavo introduced Genealogy Karma!

Those of you a little grey haired like me will remember RAOGK – now there’s a good acronym for you!  Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness!  People helping each other!  You post what you need help with.  Others offer to help – and everyone ends up feeling very good.  Originally this concept worked well because the participants came from different countries.  Mocavo has an international focus, so if sufficient people use Karma it could be very helpful

Here is part of the announcement from Mocavo:

“Back in 1999, a fantastic resource was established to bring together members of the genealogy community all around the world. The brainchild of Bridgett and Doc Schneider, Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) was created to help genealogists collaborate with the genealogy community to document their research, while also offering genealogists a way to give back to a community that had helped them in the past. RAOGK quickly turned into a global organization. The group’s volunteers were able to help thousands of genealogists make progress in their family history research.

The ROAGK website went offline in 2011 because of a computer disaster. Sadly, Bridgett Schneider passed away later that year, and the website was never able to come back online. In tribute to Bridgett and Doc Schneider and all of the participants in RAOGK, many volunteers have created programs similar to ROAGK to help bring together the expertise of the genealogy community. Doc and Bridgett’s legacy and the efforts of thousands of volunteers inspired us to create a place for researchers to come together and collaborate to help other members of the genealogical community.

Today, at Mocavo, we are excited to announce the launch of Genealogy Karma. Modeled after Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, we hope to empower the Mocavo community and connect researchers all around the country. If you’re looking for documents, records, or photos from an ancestor who lived far away, we will connect you with family history volunteers who can do this research for you in other cities. Likewise, if you’d like to give back to the Mocavo community and have a little time to donate, you can sign up as a volunteer.”  (Source:  Mocavo Blog – no date on entry but it looks like 4 May 2013)

. . .  and there are free mobile apps for Mocavo

Mocavo even in the free basic version is worth using.  Add it to your list of resources.

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