What was life like before the internet?
I think that people had more free time before the internet. Days were longer, more time was spent with family. Well, perhaps that's an exaggeration. Days were never actually more than 24 hours, and people didn't really have an abundance of free time. It just felt that way since our attention wasn't so divided.
For many of us today, we'll be the last generation that can answer that question firsthand. The internet has added value to our lives and changed the world in so many ways. Many aspects of daily life have drastically changed since the internet was developed.
Take the field of genealogy as an example. In the past, you'd have to travel across the world to research your roots. People would write letters, they'd sit in libraries, museums, archives, and spend hours poring over microfilms.
It isn't a secret, or even something new. It's something you've probably heard before, but just never followed. There is a little-known trick that can make all the difference in preventing your family memories from being lost forever.
Family history feeds on family memories, but if we don't make sure that those memories are properly recorded - with as much data as possible (including sources) - then the memories may "change" over time and eventually fade away.
Do you know how your grandparents proposed? What about your parents? I don't know how any of my ancestors proposed, but I'm sure that if there was an interesting proposal story in my family's past, then I would have heard about it. Exciting wedding proposals become family lore told for generations.
At the Rio Olympics this week there was one such story that will surely be told over and over. Chinese Olympic diver He Zi stood on the podium after winning a silver medal in the women's 3-meter springboard diving final on Sunday in Rio. She was triumphant, and she was excited, but she was also surprised with an unexpected but not unwelcome incident.
It's always exciting to hear about MyHeritage users who have reconnected with family members around the world. One such user, Peri, recently told us about the incredible discovery of her unknown cousins through MyHeritage. As a result, she now has photos of her ancestors that had never been seen before.
I am wild with excitement. I got an email that on MyHeritage there was a match. I was shocked to see my mother's maternal family in another tree and the best part was there were so many photos which - as we all know - is "genealogy gold."
Peri is married and has two children. She is an attorney in Connecticut and graduated from Quinnipiac School of Law in 1984. For the past several years, she has devoted her practice to locate missing and unknown heirs, given her background in genealogy. She has successfully solved many cases where she reunited family members or just gave someone their family tree, and they were very grateful.
Old family photos encourage young people to become interested in their heritage and also bring precious family memories to life. Add photos to your family site on MyHeritage to add color to your family tree and to preserve those photos for future generations.
Summer vacation presents the perfect opportunity to dig out your stash of old family photos and do something meaningful with the kids. What family history activities do you have planned for the summer?
For new ideas, check out these fun ways to get creative with family photos. They'll help fill time during the school break and may make beautiful additions to your home that showcase your family legacy.
This is a guest post by George G. Morgan, President of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally-recognized genealogy lecturer. He is the prolific award-winning author of hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, newsletters, in genealogical publications, and at online sites internationally. His 12th book, the fourth edition of "How to Do Everything: Genealogy," was released in 2015. He is also co-host of "The Genealogy Guys" podcast, the longest running genealogical podcast, with thousands of listeners around the globe.
Gone are the days of librarians with their hair in a bun, wearing pince-nez, and shushing patrons. Libraries are now exciting hubs of information and activity in their communities. They provide computer equipment, databases of interest to their local populations, educational programs, and a wide variety of activities for every age group, as well as books, periodicals, microfilm, and more.
Many family historians attempt to conduct genealogical research exclusively from home using their computers. While there is certainly a vast, growing body of resources being made available online, we are a long journey away from having everything available electronically. On-site research will always be an essential part of our strategy.
When Linoy Maidvanikov Simon began working at MyHeritage 18 months ago, she never dreamed that her life would change forever.
Within days of using MyHeritage, Linoy discovered a previously unknown sister. Watch the emotional reunion of Linoy and her sister Kamilla in this video (in Hebrew with English subtitles) as they meet in person for the first time.
In early 2015, MyHeritage accepted a challenge by Yvette Manessis Corporon, an Emmy Award winning producer and author, to help her research the Secret of Ereikoussa, a tiny island in Greece north of Corfu. Our quest was successful. But when we concluded it in a tearful reunion on the Greek island, we realized that this was only a small part of a story that was never told, the story of the Jewish community of Corfu. We decided to continue this journey, and try to map out the family history of this ancient community, that was nearly wiped out in WW2. We realized that if we won't do it, probably no one would, and a significant piece of history would be forever forgotten.
On our genealogical journey, we encountered many emotional side stories and the family tree of the community that we were building, that began with a handful of people known only by their first name, grew into the thousands.
At one point, our research revealed an unexpected connection between the Jewish family that was saved on Ereikoussa thanks to the courage of the Greek islanders, and the Corfiot grandparents of Israeli journalist Amir Ziv. Over the years, Amir, although cognizant of his Greek past, had made little effort to look further into his Mediterranean background.
In truth, I never imagined that I would ever revisit these memories...
It was only earlier this year, when MyHeritage researchers approached Amir, that he became aware of the complex storyline linking his family history with that of the orphaned girl Rosa, who had been hidden and saved on Ereikoussa over 70 years ago.
We've completed our Tribal Quest expedition to Papua New Guinea, where we had an incredible experience documenting the family histories of people in remote tribes whose stories are at risk of being lost forever.
This trip was the second expedition in our Tribal Quest project. Learn more about our global initiative at the Tribal Quest website.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet. With 7 million people spread out over an area of 460,000 square kilometers, tribes live isolated from one another, separated by forests, rivers, and mountains.
While cooling off in my comfortable air-conditioned home, I wonder what summer was like for my ancestors. How did they attempt to keep cool during intense heat waves without the modern advancements we enjoy? How did they make the most of their summers?