29    Oct 20100 comments

Trick or Treat?

Ah, it's Halloween again, time for the little ones to run around town trick-or-treating for their favorite sweets. You might be surprised to learn the humble roots of trick-or-treating. Originally Hallows' Eve, it is believed to have origins in the Middle Ages when 'souling' was common practice. Poor folk would travel door to door on Hallowmas, receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day. Since, it has evolved into a more family-centered holiday -- a playful weekend when everyone from kids to parents dress up in costumes, play games and eat copious amounts of candy.
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27    Oct 20102 comments

A Mobile Phone in the 1920s?

We stumbled across this footage today, and we're having a hard time explaining it. This is supposedly footage from outside the Hollywood premiere of Charlie Chaplin's film, The Circus. For those of you who have knowledge of this period - outfits people wore, technology available, and so on - take a look and see what you make of it. An explanation behind the video from the man who 'discovered' it can be seen here.

Here's the footage. It's not just the 'phone', but the outfit that seems strange.

Current theories we have are:

*It's some sort of hearing aid

*It's a voice recorder

*The individual is just a bit crazy, and holding her hand to her head while talking to herself for no apparent reason

*It's fake

Any ideas to shine some light on this are most welcome!

26    Oct 20102 comments

How Fast Has the GeneaBlogging Community Been Growing?

It's an interesting question for anybody writing in the field, and not a straightforward one to answer. Do we measure by the number of blogs out there, or the number of times those bloggers are posting? And how do we find out these figures? Has anyone been keeping track of the number of new blogs out there?
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25    Oct 20102 comments

History and Genealogy Expo Sydney 2010

Last weekend was the History and Genealogy Expo Sydney 2010 and MyHeritage was on hand to meet and greet other members of the local family history and genealogy community.

In all over 800 people attended the 2-day event which featured exhibitors and guest speakers who gave talks on all manner of topics related to family history research.

The real pleasure for me was speaking with MyHeritage users face-to-face to hear what they love about the site and software and what they think can be improved.

It was also fantastic to meet some of our favourite family history people, like Shauna Hicks, Carole Riley and Rosemary Kopittke.

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21    Oct 20100 comments

Yesteryear Nostalgia

With all the talk lately about Lesley M. M. Blume's new book, Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By, I just had to see what all the fuss is about. Blume's book is a homage to history -- a stylish collection of traditions, recipes, landmarks, and celebrities from eras past including explanations and appreciations for things such as paper maps, proverbs, Sunday "Best", and scented ink.

A historian at heart, I thoroughly enjoyed flipping through the pages and was inspired to dig through some of my old boxes in search of my family heirlooms and photos. I found some gems: a recipe book with old notes in the margins, a vintage etiquette book from the 1950s, and a few pieces of costume jewelry. All of these things tell a little bit of my family's story -- my nana's best Thanksgiving turkey, her entertaining and style tips, and the broach she wore to her wedding -- all of which bring me closer to her and the time when she lived.

Whether I'm making my nana's classic macaroni and cheese recipe, or giving advice in the form of proverbs, one thing is certain -- rediscovering things from past eras makes for great memories and conversations among family and friends!

Have a wise old family saying or tradition you would like to share?  Please add a comment.

20    Oct 20101 comment

A YouTube Time Machine?

We’ve talked before about the online ‘time machine’. This tool is great for general websites, but offered nothing for the video-inclined in particular.

Well now we’ve found another neat site: the YouTube Time Machine. It’s still in an alpha version, but it’s already a lot of fun.
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19    Oct 20100 comments

4 Extraordinary Teenage Achievements

The teenage years are when our kids really start to garner some achievements. Exam results, sports trophies, musical performances: all of these and more give good reason to be proud of our youngsters.

For some teens, though, this just isn’t enough. They have to go and achieve that bit more than the rest. A lot more, in some cases.
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15    Oct 20100 comments

MyHeritage to Sponsor Family History Day at the Imperial War Museum, London

On Saturday 6 November, the Imperial War Museum is holding its annual Family History Day. The event’s going to be packed with experts and specialists to help you with all aspects of your genealogy.

MyHeritage is the official sponsor of the event, and we’ll be manning a stand with computers, offering advice and helping visitors to get started or get through any sticking points in their family history research.


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14    Oct 20100 comments

When 600 Years of English History Don’t Make You English

An odd-story in the UK’s Mirror newspaper outlines how a man, who can date his English family back to 1410, has been told that he has to leave the country because he’s not English enough.

Seems that although he has a rich English history,  including having lived in England for 18 years in his earlier days, Stephen Hewitt, who is now 50, was actually born in America before coming to the UK.

On top of that his father (who was the English link in his family) was born in the Netherlands.

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13    Oct 20105 comments

Genealogy Books – A Popular Research Tool?

Ever wondered what the best selling books about genealogy in the Amazon online bookstore are?

And what about their popularity? I mean, we speak often about the growing trend in genealogy research but how is that reflected in Amazon book sales?

Let’s look at Amazon.com first.

The top book in the genealogy research category is ‘The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy

Surprisingly, that book is also number 7 in the Parenting and Family Reference category and number 6 in the Online Searching Category. That hints that genealogy really is one of the most popular research activities online.

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