This weekend many of you will be celebrating Halloween. In the past, the day marked the start of the dark winter, a time when the Celts, the supposed founders of the Halloween concept, believed the dead came back to earth. Nowadays, most of us see it just as a day, or better night, of bonfires, ghosts, vampires, witches, pumpkins and trick or treats.
Celebrated from Ireland to Mexico, Halloween practices are varied: perhaps you'll be out trick or treating with your kids, like in the US; making bonfires, as they do in Ireland; or honouring the dead with flowers or fresh food, as in Spain.
If you're stuck for something to do though, here a few of our own ideas on how to spend your Halloween:
Update your virtual cemetery in Family Tree Builder
Barack Obama's ancestry never ceases to amaze. Over the past year we've heard of his Irish roots, his ancestors from the Luo tribe in Kenya, and his unexpected 8th cousin, Dick Cheney. This week even more has been revealed about his family tree, from the unlikely research of a seventh-grade schoolgirl.
BridgeAnn d'Avignon, pictured here, from Monte Vista Christian School in California, has made some startling discoveries about Barack Obama's heritage. With the help of her 80-year-old grandfather, who has been researching presidential genealogy for six decades, BridgeAnn claims to have discovered that Barack Obama is related to every single American president in history except one, Martin Van Buren.
This week we've added another language, so your family site can be displayed in as many as 35 different languages. As you'll see in your language options, we now offer Catalan as well.
We have received a lot of user requests about Catalan, so we are happy to be able to offer it now. For those of you who are not familiar with the Catalan language - it's a Roman language officially spoken in Andorra and some regions in Spain, such as Catalonia and Valencia. It is also spoken in parts of Italy and France. Over 7 million people speak the language worldwide, so a good reason for us to support the language on our site.
In fact you probably know some words that are taken from Catalan; aioli, the garlic and olive dip and aubergine (also known as eggplant), as well as the rice and fish dish paella originate from Catalan but are now widely adapted words in English.
We hope you'll enjoy this new option - Salut!
If your language is still not among the 35 or you want to help improving existing translations, we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at: translate [at] myheritage [dot] com.
If you are following the world of genealogy, you've probably heard of the hugely successful Who Do You Think You Are TV show, a series of programs following well-known Brits on a journey to trace their family histories. The first UK series aired in 2007, and in its fourth season the show was watched by over 6.8 million people in the UK! Real proof that genealogy captures many people's imaginations, not only online but also on TV.
What you may not know is that the first series of the Australian equivalent has just started. Throughout the eight episodes each subject goes on a personal journey to discover his or her family's past and its role in who they are today.
Politicians, stay-at-home dads, academics and businesswomen - they all know the value of family and the joys of keeping in touch. 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!
Kathryn Cass is a Local Studies Librarian who's always had a passion for history and research. Not too keen on writing, she jumped at the chance to become a librarian, a job which allows her to research different topics without necessarily having to publish on them. It turned out to be just the thing for her: answering people's questions, helping them with queries and research, and getting a great deal of intellectual stimulation in the process.
One of her recent activities was to present events as part of the Australian Heritage Festival, Family History Week and History Week, which was themed "Corruption, Crime and Scandal". The event led her to delve into the fascinating history of Australian "Botany Bay Poisoner" Louisa Collins, one of the last women to be hanged in NSW province after being convicted of poisoning her husband - a crime for which, some argue, her guilt was never fully established. Kathryn tells us about her findings on this topic, as well as her interest in genealogy more generally.
Localization references is the way in which all the information available in the Internet meets ends with reality, getting away from being a virtual world itself to become a tool to help us navigate and understand the place we live in.
MyHeritage.com is no exception to this innovation and that's why we offer maps to visually locate your relatives in your tree.
If you're using the MyHeritage.com website, you can make use of this interesting feature by checking out the profiles of the people in your tree. To do this, go to the Family Tree tab and select the People page. Then click on the person's name to get access to his or her profile If the record of the person contains the address of residence, you will see a little world icon attached to it at the end. Then hover the cursor over the icon and a window with the map of the address will pop up.
Indeed it is; last weekend a big wedding fair took place in Paris, or the Salon de Mariage as the French call it, and today will see another three day wedding fair take place in the heart of Paris, at the Caroussel du Louvre.
These fairs are the place where brides, their wedding party or other people dreaming to be a bride or groom one day can find wedding inspiration or start preparing the D-Day in the smallest details: from the dress, the entertainment, the catering to the photographer...
In these unsure economic times we know families across the globe are feeling the pinch. With wallets being tightened and less money being spent it seems all of us are affected in some way, shape or form.
But we're wondering how exactly is the current economic climate affecting our readers? After all, we're interested in the factors that bring families together and conversely what keeps them apart. With family members potentially having trouble making ends meet, we're wondering whether your family supports each other financially. Thus, we'd like to ask you: Have you borrowed money from family members in the past year?
In part III of this Poll Series we'd like to find out if the current economic climate is causing you to have to ask family members to support you financially or whether you are managing, or whether you are lending money to family members. So vote below and let us know!
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Thanks to our users' enthusiasm MyHeritage.com now hosts over 400 million profiles. We want to thank you for helping us grow. We hope it makes your world a little smaller, and your family tree even bigger! Our Smart Matching is loaded with more names than ever and is getting smarter by the day, with more accurate results to bring you closer to your relatives and their relatives across the world.
We're dedicated to continuously enhancing the way you can watch your photos, so that's why we're introducing improvements that give you better control while viewing through your photos. The new features are on all pages where you see one single photo (no matter if you clicked on a photo in the 'Album', 'Tag People' or the 'Find' section). Here's an overview of what has changed:
For an easier navigation, you will now find a preview of the photos of that album at the top-right hand side of the chosen photo. They show you the order the photos are in and give you a context of what other photos the album contains or what other photos of the person are tagged. You can use the arrows on the sides to browse through the album and click on the thumbnails to get to the respective photos.
For better navigation we have added left and right buttons that take you through the photos of your album. You will also find that the browser-back button is now performing at its best, allowing you to go back to the previous page whatever section or photo you were coming from.