While Carl was exploring the Greek Easter traditions, I have made a move to Australia. I have come down under to discover the country and hope to eventually warm the Australians to MyHeritage. This shouldn't be too much of a problem, considering that a large part of the nation can trace its ancestors back to European settlers.
But, until that time, I am exploring the country's traditions, and during my first weekend here, I got a good introduction to it, as Australians celebrated Anzac day. I'd never heard of it, so chances are you haven' t either, so let me tell you a little bit more about it.
Anzac day is the day that Australians and New Zealanders commemorate the first major military action fought by their forces during the First World War at Gallipoli, Turkey. Under a plan devised by Winston Churchill, the soldiers set out to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies with the ultimate goal of capturing Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. But fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders thwarted their efforts,
The genealogy community of the UK is gathering in a one-day meeting called The Family History Event, which will take place on Sunday May 3rd at the Barbican Centre in London.
The fair brings together many genealogy related societies, associations and organizations, which specialize mainly in providing records for genealogy research to help people looking for ancestors in different communities, regions or cities in the UK.
MyHeritage will be there with a space of its own (find our logo in the bottom of the exhibitors' list in the event's website), as it's going to be a great opportunity to get personally in touch.
Carl and Nicolas, who are part of our international team of Community Managers, are going to be there. Please email them if you would like to get in touch in advance to say hi before meeting them at the event.
We are looking forward to meet the UK genealogy community. See you there!
An unauthorized biography in Spanish of Maxima Zorreguieta, the princess of the Netherlands, was released recently, to reveal a story that has all the ingredients of a fairy tale. These are some highlights of the love story that turned her into a royalty member.
Maxima was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the heart of a well connected family. She had an English-style education, studied economics at university and ended up working in New York for a financial corporation. So far, it could have been the life of any well educated, professional and independent woman. But then her life took a turn when an old school friend of hers introduced her to Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
A spontaneous and bubbly woman, Maxima wasn't intimidated by the prince. It was hardly a case of instant romance, but she couldn't deny her curiosity for this man and decided to give him a chance. Willem-Alexander then turned on his charm to the desired effect; Maxima fell in love with him.
Being raised in a Protestant family in America, every Easter I have celebrated has involved hunting for hidden Easter eggs, eating way too much chocolate, and seeing the family. But this year was different, because I spent Easter in Greece with my girlfriend and her family, taking part in all the Greek Orthodox traditions in Kipoi, a small village of 100 people nestled in the mountains of Euboia, one of Greece's biggest islands and just a short drive from Athens.
Easter in Greece lasts a whole week, but the central festivities begin on Thursday night with the crucifixion service. We gathered at the church with the whole town. The Greek church was much more colorful and elaborate than the simple Lutheran church I was used to, which has stained glass windows but few other decorations. Their church was covered floor to ceiling with colorful pictures of saints and icons, a large gold chandelier decorated with gold double-headed eagles (the symbol of the Church, taken from the Byzantine Empire), and many candles.
The church was so full that I had to push to move around at all - and I was constantly being lightly pushed back by other people moving around. The priests chanted in ancient Greek, telling the story of Jesus and the crucifixion, filling the church with a lyric rhythm that, together with the smell of frankincense, almost lulled me to sleep, despite the chaotic atmosphere. The rest of the congregation chanted along, but I hummed the tune. At the end of the service, a cross depicting Jesus was carried around the church, with all of us pressed against each other, watching. Afterwords, we stayed at a friends' house, which was decorated with bright red-dyed Easter eggs (one for all 13 of us), colorful candles, and even Easter bunnies.
News you want to share with your family? Messages? Announcements? Information?
Keep everybody on board sharing information that relates to you or any present or past member of your family, and write and record family history as you do it.
To keep a constant communication stream, use the bar right below the "Family news" headline in the family site home page. There you can write updates of anything you might by doing, thinking or planning, anything you want to tell others about, like how you like your new family dog!
The time of Easter eggs, bunnies, spring, and being together with the family has arrived.
MyHeritage wishes you a great Easter weekend, however, wherever and with however you celebrate it!
We already wrote about the Easter tradition of religious and cultural celebrations, so we thought it would be nice to have you share a little about how you celebrate Easter. The result is four mom bloggers from Russia, the US and Europe sharing the way they celebrate Easter with us. Find their stories below:
Feel free to share any Easter traditions you have with us in the comments section!
Natalia Konshina (Russia):
"Easter is a happy time to spend with your family and loved ones. It's the major Christian holiday so we celebrate it every year. We celebrate the day by dyeing, colouring or decorating hard-boiled eggs- the traditional symbol of resurrection and then giving and receiving them as Easter presents."
MyHeritage is the most popular free genealogy site in the world, according to ProGenealogists, a leading consortium of professional genealogical researchers who released a study conducted in the first quarter of 2009.
More than 300 genealogy websites were compared against each other using multiple ways to measure online traffic. In the end, MyHeritage was named the most popular free genealogy website in the world, and the third most popular overall.
Two unique aspects set our website apart from other genealogy sites. One is our community focus, which allows genealogists to meet other family researchers. The other is our online Family Tree Builder, which allows researchers to share their trees using our Smart Matching feature.
Only 4 of the top 50 sites were community sites, with MyHeritage by far the most popular with genealogy researchers. Communities are important because they allow you to meet other researchers, share information, and connect with people who share your passion. We believe genealogy and family history are not subjects that should be hoarded away and kept secret. Family history is best enjoyed when it is shared - it's fascinating listening to others' stories about their families!
One of MyHeritage's strengths is that it gives you access to more than 6 million different family trees from around the world. Family Tree Builder automatically searches each online tree looking for matching entries, and when it finds a match, it lets you know. Using this powerful tool allows you to contact family historians who may share some of your ancestors. You can fill in gaps in your family tree by comparing entries with other genealogists and confirming the matches. Only nine sites allowed researchers to build family trees online and share them, and MyHeritage is proud to be among that group.
All of us at MyHeritage would like to give a big "Thank You!" to all of our members who have made our site so successful. We will continue to develop our genealogical tools and always strive to provide the best service.
Easter is an important event on the religious and Western calendar. After Christmas, it's the tradition that most people in the world celebrate. It is a time for religious commemorations as well as a celebration rooted in cultural traditions, but regardless of its meaning, the backdrop is families reuniting.
Families use the occasion to get together to share their customs or pass their religious beliefs on to younger generations. The celebrations happen around nice and colorful symbols that engage children; they enjoy the occasion with chocolate bunnies and eggs.
In times like these you can make the most of MyHeritage, and here's how:
* Easily contact your whole family to send your best wishes.
* Create and invite people to an Easter event.
* Share your traditional Easter family recipes.
* Upload the photos or videos from your family Easter event and share them.
* Keep this content as a record, telling your family history in the years to come.
It can be hard work finding the long lost relatives of your past, but it's really easy to save and treasure every present moment of your family for the generations to come. This Easter is a great time to start doing it.
Politicians, stay-at-home dads, academics or businesswomen...they all know the value of family and the joys of staying in touch with them. But what is on their family photos? How often do they call their mother and what celebrity do they secretly admire? Get ready to find out through the MyHeritage interview series!
The Irish are known as great storytellers and Brian Reynolds is one of them. He runs the Irish American Story Project; a website set up to capture stories of Irish culture and emigration to the US. The site carries stories of luck, love, family and other tales. Find below the answers to the questions we asked Brian.
How did you get involved with this project?
I lived in New York for three years, and being there I met many people whose family has emigrated from Ireland. They set up a new life in the US, and I just thought it would be great to have a website to record some of their stories.
This is a smart little feature we launched last month which allows you to share your photo albums. It is a nice way to share you material with people who are not a member of your family site.