|Statute of Annie and her brothers in Cork, Ireland|
New York's Ellis Island's first immigrant was Annie Moore, who, at the age of 17, set foot January 1st, 1892- an event memorialized in song and in two bronze statues found at the New York Harbor and in Ireland.
It was long thought that Annie and her two young brothers, who accompagnied her onboard the SS Nevada, and their family who were in New York already, settled in Texas, where Annie married a descendant of Irish liberator Daniel O'Connell and then died tragically under the wheels of a streetcar at the age of 46.
But that story was proven wrong a few years ago, when her relatives joined forced with a genealogist to reveal she never left New York, rather, she had lived on the Lower East Side in New York until she died in 1924.
It's that time of year again. The Christmas tree is shedding its needles, the turkey sandwiches are tasting increasingly dry, and genealogists - like almost everybody else - are sitting down to make their New Year's resolutions.
Unfortunately, by February most of us will have lost the inspiration that gripped us when the year began. Whether you set out to trace the life of that long-lost great-great-grandparent, or to once and for all substantiate aunt Dorothy's claims that you're a direct descendent of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, it won't be long before your ambitions are cast to the wayside like a Christmas sweater left discarded in the wardrobe.
Throughout the last couple blog posts we've offered some insight into our year and the holiday season. With the advent of holidays and the coming of 2010, we thought we'd take a slightly different approach and share a bit about us, the MyHeritage team.
Our team works together from around the globe in Europe, the United States, Israel, and Australia. We communicate through the graces of technology, dialoguing across continents. Though this prevents us from sharing a daily cup of coffee, it gives us a birds-eye view to our customers, helping us to more directly communicate and respond to your needs. As the borders that once bound us dissolve with globalization, so to proliferates the global citizen.
MyHeritage embraces the growth of the global community, as well as the unique identity of cultures. We would like to share with you our holiday experiences, a demonstration in the ubiquity of ritual of this transcendent holiday season.
This is the first in a two-part series where we'll be looking at how technology and social media platforms help families to stay better connected. Since this is the season for spending time with those close to you, we thought this might offer you some ideas for keeping in touch when the new year comes round.
Earlier in the year, in July, we attended a conference called Reboot Britain, where the main focus of discussion was on using technology to re-start the local economy. The event was attended by government officials, entrepreneurs, academics, film makers, politicians, teachers, and even some young children. There were many different cross-sections of society present, but all of these people were interested in one thing: the opportunities that exist in a technologically-connected society and how we can best use those to help get the local economy back on its feet.
The winter holidays are a unique time of year. Families reunite from across the globe in celebration. It is a time to share, to give, and to recant the year past. For some it is stuffed with spiritual overtones and practice, to others, holidays are a time to imbibe the rituals of seasonal culture. So whether you dress your pine tree with family heirlooms and strands of lights, or eat Latkes in cohort and light the nightly Menorah, or simply pass neatly wrapped packages triumphant with ribbon, it is a time to revel in the good spirit, sing festive songs, and tip a glass to a season that has become a universal holiday.
Genealogists aren't the easiest bunch to buy Christmas gifts for. If your friend's a film buff, a DVD collection will do nicely; if your partner likes looking good, some clothes or some jewellery might keep them happy. But what if they're a genealogist? For a group of people whose passions are the intangible wonder of tracing connections back to a distant past, it can be rather more difficult to package the perfect present in a box under the Christmas tree.
Even if it isn't 2010 yet, in the last month of the year a lot of you will be looking back at the past 12 months. We have done the same and so we'd like to share with you the highlights of our year:
- We've kept innovating and stepping up the game to help you better research your family history. It resulted in a new version of the Family Tree Builder , launched in August this year. The 4.0 version is still free, for all main features, and still as popular as ever. As well, it offers many new features such as the exciting family chat or its maps to visualize your family's life journeys. It was accompanied by our improved user guide making it easier for you to use the program.
Mike Heywood's life has taken him from the rainy isles of Britain to the sunny coast of California. He became interested in genealogy in the early 1970s, and has since discovered some very interesting tales about his ancestral past and brought members of his family together in the present. Now, using MyHeritage.com alongside more traditional genealogical tools, Mike is beginning to introduce genealogy to the next generation of his family.
I was born in England, but I've spent most of my life in the United States. I live in California, where my wife and I have been in the same home in Huntington Beach for 35 years. Our two daughters grew up here, and they're now married and raising their own children in the town. Both my sisters lived and raised families in California also. Each had six children, who have subsequently spread out around the United States.
We can thank my oldest sister Maureen for our being here. She was a 'war bride', and married a Yank from the US Air Force in 1946. They moved out to Columbus, Ohio, two years later. In 1950, on a trip home to London to visit us, Maureen broached the idea of the whole family coming to America. It took until 1952, but eventually my siblings, my parents, and I left my grandmother Elizabeth's home in Finchley and, after a train ride to Southampton, boarded the MV Georgic to New York.
We've paid some attention to the Australian Who do you Think You Are program and the Dutch equivalent, but for American audiences who may feel a little left out, a new genealogy series just started on the American ABC.
"Find My Family" is a 6 part series of one-hour shows about people trying to track their lost family members, be it parents or other relatives. Created by the producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, it is no surprise the series is full of emotional reunions taking place under, yes, a family tree.
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!
Tami Glatz is a genealogist, a blogger and public speaker. She started a genealogy blog entitled 'Relatively Curious' last year on which she covers websites she finds interesting, her research processes and different ways to approach genealogy problems. Although it started as a personal project, it grew to be an invaluable resource for other genealogists, recognised by Family Tree Magazine as belonging to the top 40 of genealogy blogs, and a great portal through which to interact with other genealogists. But her blog is not the only place she engages with the genealogy community. Finding she had a passion for speaking to libraries and genealogy societies she looked to spread the world about genealogy further. After her discovery of the virtual world Second Life and coming to grips with the concept of an avatar, hosting a monthly discussion in one of the online genealogy areas seemed like the obvious next step for her. Read more here about all of these activities here: