29    Apr 201017 comments

The Prime Ministerial Candidates: A Genealogical Backdrop

With the UK General Election only a week away, people are really starting to size up the Prime Ministerial candidates. We’ve seen endless discussion on their policies, personalities, expenses, and even interactions with the public, but so far relatively little has been said about their genealogy. This post aims to help fill that gap.

We’ve researched the background of the three major party leaders – Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, and David Cameron. While there’s a lot more information out there than we could possibly fit into a single article, this post should give you a good overview of where the candidates come from. As you’ll see, there are some extraordinary connections among the candidates' roots.

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29    Apr 20105 comments

The Interview Series: An American Genealogist in Paris

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!

Anne Morddel


Anne Morddel is an American genealogist in Paris and the author of the blog ' The French Genealogy blog'. Her interest in genealogy dates back to the young age of 14, when she caught the 'genealogist bug' and decided to interview her grandmother about every single relative she could recall in order  to understand her roots.

Since then she's come a long way, not only becoming a professional genealogist, but a librarian, researcher and even children author.  She's a globetrotter too, having lived around the world until she found herself in France more permanently together with her French partner and children. In search for her childrens French ancestors, she began to learn about genealogy in France until she felt ready to share her insights in the blogosphere. Started in 2009, her hugely successful blog aims to Continue reading "The Interview Series: An American Genealogist in Paris" »

28    Apr 20103 comments

MyHeritage.com Unveils New Blogs

It’s a new week, and a new improvement over at MyHeritage.com. As you’ll no doubt have noticed already, we’ve given our blog a redesign. We constantly try to improve the service, so we created a new layout to make the blog easier to read on the page, and with new features to make it more accessible.

To begin with, we’ve opened blogs in additional languages. We're now posting not only in English but in French, German, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese (links are at the top of the page). There are huge genealogy communities in all of these regions, but they often receive less attention and coverage than those in the English-speaking world. We want to help change that, and reach out to those communities in their local language. And it is some of the people who joined us from Verwandt (OSN) who are now coordinating some of the local versions of those blogs, posting relevant news for the culture and context of the regions they have experience in and helping to translate the main company news.

You’ll also notice a direct link to our Genealogy Blog. This blog is separate Continue reading "MyHeritage.com Unveils New Blogs" »

27    Apr 20101 comment

A Reminder to Check your Basic Family Tree Facts

This story is a real reminder to check even the most basic of information that you add to you tree; well known English geneticist Sir Paul Nurse made the news this week with his remarkable family (hi)story.

Paul Nurse

It all started when the nobel prize winner and Rockefeller University President got his green card request rejected by the US department of Homeland Security due to the missing of the details on his parents on his birth certificate....only to find out more than he bargained for.

When the new and fuller version of his birth certificate returned from Britain's General Register Office, his secretary asked him if he'd made a mistake in his mother's name and handed him the document.

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23    Apr 20100 comments

The Geneacast

Genealogy; a voice to be heard

Today's market is saturated with information. Pop open your browser, scroll through your RSS feed, push your daily candy to your handheld, wade through a Facebook feed, scan your Tweetdeck, check your MyHeritage Smartmatches; it doesn't take much more than the warm embrace of a fingertip to a rifle through millions of bytes of information.

Newsreels turned into e-publications, user commentary became one among many expressions of the blog, books are now Ebooks, film morphed to Blueray and is now beaming across web streams, and the CD has been revamped into hundreds of different audio formats.

It's hard to keep up with the erupting hardware market, advances often leading to the availability of more media types, at least until the market determines one of these formats to be an ideal form of consumption. To that regard, media giants and tech industry leaders are racing to calculate how, when, and where users will consume their information in the future. Apple, with the introduction of ITunes, played its hand right. ITunes was introduced in 2001 and now holds an 80% market share of digital music. This market outstrips traditional form of the media and has lead to the popularization of a few media types, the MP3 and its derivations, and the Podcast.

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22    Apr 20107 comments

Earth Day: Saving the World’s Orangutans

April 22nd is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, an occasion for people to celebrate the world we live in. Amidst a warming globe, the disappearing of animal species and the destruction of the world's forests, environmentalist Willie Smits reminds us of the daily destruction humans cause to their planet but also offers the hope that we can reverse the tide.

Willie SmitsDutch-born Willie Smits (pictured) has lived and worked In Indonesia for over 30 years, trying to save some of the earth's most precious resources. Probably best known for his work to preserve the orangutans, he is also a microbiologist, a geneticist, a tropical soil and plant diseases expert, a lecturer in mathematics, an ecologist, and even a genealogist.

His work began when he came to Indonesia to work on growing tropical hardwood trees and the generation of tropical rainforests. It has led him to look into the reversal of disappearing rainforests in South East Asia, which have been the victim of oil palm plantations and logging, and the preservation of wildlife such as the orangutan - which he calls the thinkers of the jungle.

"I call them beings, when you look into the eyes of the orangutans there comes this moment when you get goosebumps, when you realise you are looking into the eyes of a person. The orangutans have a personality and you can read their history in their eyes," he says.
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20    Apr 20100 comments

MyHeritage Meets Chris Paton

Click to view photo in full size

At the recent Who Do You Think You Are conference, MyHeritage had the opportunity to meet Chris Paton - one of the UK's leading family history researchers. Chris hails from Largs, Ayrshire, and is a prominent genealogical researcher with a specialism in Scottish ancestry.

Amid the hustle and bustle of the conference, Chris told us a bit about his background and what he's doing in genealogy today. His career has seen him direct BBC history documentaries and contribute to genealogy publications such as Practical Family History and Your Family Tree.
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19    Apr 20100 comments

Tweets Preserved for Next Generations

Library of CongressToday the US Library of Congress announced- via Twitter- that it will preserve the world's tweets for posterity. This means that your descendants and others may be able to look up what you've said decades from now..

There are over 100 million twitter users and every day fifty-five million tweets are sent to Twitter, numbers that are ever increasing. All the tweets back through to march 2006 will now be accessible in the library for research or just for general interest.

The idea is that tweets have become part world events around the world and thus of our history and are therefore worth preserving.
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16    Apr 20100 comments

1791 U.S. Census Sold

A first edition of the first U.S. census signed by Thomas Jefferson in 1791 has been sold at auction in New York City for over US $122,000.

The census lists all people across the then 13 states of American, and South-West Territory, by both state and county. The 1791 census lists the population for New York City and county - Manhattan and the South Bronx - as 33,131 and the Washington, D.C., area, with some districts unreported, as 35,691 people.

People are divided into four categories: free white males 16 years and upward, free white males under 16, free white females, all other free persons and slaves.

The first census was a headcount that did not include the amount of land or animals owned and was intended for viewing by the political class, not the public

Jefferson was Secretary of State at the time and his signature certified that the information was an official accurate count. The census was part of a large collection of American history owned by the late newspaper publisher James S. Copley.

US census
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15    Apr 20100 comments

NGS Family HIstory Conference

NGS Family History Conference

NGS Family History Conference

MyHeritage.com will be attending the NGS Family History Conference in Salt Lake City April 28th - May 1. Daniel Horrowitz, our genealogy and translations manager, and myself will be there throughout the event. Daniel will be lecturing about our suite of products. Our booth number is 928, so any of you that are going to attend please come and visit our booth. We'll be helping people get signed up for new accounts, answering questions, and looking forward to meeting our users. So please come on down we're looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

Also let us know if you plan on having a stand and we'll drop by for a visit.

You can find out more about the NGS Conference in Salt Lake here.

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