30    Nov 20102 comments

The Origins of…O.K.

O.K. Whether as an adjective, an adverb, a verb (‘okayed’), or even a grammatical particle, OK is one of the most ubiquitous and multi-purpose words in the English language. But where does it come from? This is such a mystery that one man has published a 200-page book on the topic.

The author, Allan Metcalf, is naturally very enthusiastic about OK. OK, he says in an interview, is more than just OK. It’s the essence of America’s philosophy wrapped up in a two-syllable package.
Continue reading "The Origins of…O.K." »

29    Nov 20100 comments

User Story: Meet Jean Collen – A Lover of History, Family and a Dog Called Bonnie

I first met Jean Collen when she contacted MyHeritage.com support for some help with her trees.

It didn't take long to realise that Jean had a great passion for family history research and had worked out how to get the most out of her MyHeritage.com account! It also didn't take long for Jean to respond when I asked her if she'd be keen to share her story with our readers.

Below are Jean's open and honest answers to some questions I asked her about her life, family and why she uses MyHeritage.com. I hope you enjoy them.

Hi Jean. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a semi-retired classical musician, teacher and writer, living in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am married with two married grown-up children  and two grandsons.

Continue reading "User Story: Meet Jean Collen – A Lover of History, Family and a Dog Called Bonnie" »

26    Nov 20103 comments

Most Popular Baby Names of the 20th Century

Ever wondered how the most popular baby names have changed over the past 100 or so years?

Well BabyCenter.com has a great list of the most popular baby names of each decade during the 20th century.

I've included links to their list below as well as the top 3 boys and girls names for each decade, but click on the year and you'll be taken through to a longer list of names.

For me the most fascinating thing is, despite how much society has changed, how little the most common names have varied.

I'd be keen to hear how many of you had names that made the list every decade, or had names that didn't feature in one.

Continue reading "Most Popular Baby Names of the 20th Century" »

25    Nov 20103 comments

Part Two: A Guide to Creating Family Tree Charts

As mentioned in our previous post, we have added exciting new features to the ‘Charts & books’ section. Now you can create a stunning family tree chart online and, if you wish, order a poster in just a few clicks.

Example of a chart with family photo in the background (Click to enlarge)

The new 'Charts & books' page is divided into three areas:

  • Create new chart - create a new chart here
  • My charts - review previously created charts and order prints
  • My poster orders - review poster orders

Here's how easily you can create a beautiful family tree chart for free:

Step 1:  Select your chart type

Continue reading "Part Two: A Guide to Creating Family Tree Charts" »

23    Nov 201012 comments

Photo of the Week – Can You Guess Who This Celebrity Is?

At MyHeritage.com we don't just believe that family history pictures should be shared, we live it! (Check out the childhood photos of the MyHeritage management team here.)

In our "Photo of the Week" series we'll be posting a baby or childhood picture of a famous person and seeing if you can figure out who it is.

Let's get started! Check out this childhood picture (click on it to see a bigger version).

Can you guess who this celebrity is?

Some clues:

  1. This person's career started on TV
  2. This person is now a Hollywood star
  3. This person's career has spanned multiple decades

OK - that's enough clues for now. Feel free to ask any questions that we can answer "Yes" or "No" to in the comments and we'll be sure to answer

Good Luck!

18    Nov 20101 comment

William’s Queen-in-Waiting: What Do We Know About Kate Middleton’s Ancestry?

With the announcement of her engagement to Prince William, Kate Middleton has been catapulted into the limelight, and will likely stay there for many years to come. But while we know a lot about where the Queen-to-be is going, we know rather less about where she came from.

Therefore, in the spirit of sharing and discovery, we thought we’d post some of the genealogical tidbits about Miss Middleton that we’ve been able to find around the web.
Continue reading "William’s Queen-in-Waiting: What Do We Know About Kate Middleton’s Ancestry?" »

18    Nov 201033 comments

Create a Beautiful Family Tree Chart Online & Print it as a Poster

We're very excited to unveil our new range of stylish online family tree charts and features - check them out in the 'Charts and Books' section on your family site!  Create a beautiful family tree chart in only a few clicks and share it with family and friends for free. We've also launched a new professional poster printing service – an ideal gift for the upcoming holidays.

Showcase your family history in a stunning chart or poster (click to enlarge)

New features include:

Continue reading "Create a Beautiful Family Tree Chart Online & Print it as a Poster" »

16    Nov 20100 comments

Being an Only Child: Not Such a Bad Thing After All?

Only children have been given a bad rap over the years. Ever since Stanley Hall, the ‘father of child psychology’, dubbed their condition “a disease in itself”, they’ve been characterized by ill-wishers as spoiled, bratty, maladjusted, or worse.

Is there any truth to these claims? Anecdotally, many would say there is. But then, anecdotally, plenty of people used to say that mercury does wonders for skin complexion, that adding radioactive chemicals to your drinking water is great for general health, and that the world is flat (and some do, indeed, still say this).
Continue reading "Being an Only Child: Not Such a Bad Thing After All?" »

16    Nov 20100 comments

Families Around the World

In this new series we’ll collect some of the best  family related stories of the past 7 days from all over the world and share them with you.

This week we have tales of serendipitous fortune for a mother and son, a reunion between father and daughter after 25 years, and more.

Continue reading "Families Around the World" »

11    Nov 20101 comment

4 Great Resources for Veterans Day History

In honor of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, we have pulled together a few great resources for wartime history, interviews and documents:

The Veterans History Project collects and archives personal accounts of U.S. war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The website includes first hand stories told through memoirs, postcards, photographs and interviews.

Rutgers Oral History Archives include records of personal experiences of those who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

The Cold War International History Project highlights new perspectives on the history of the Cold War and features virtual archives and collections ranging from The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall to the Korean War.

Wartime Columns include the archives of wartime reporter, Ernie Pyle's stories about ordinary soldiers fighting in World War II.

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