19    Jan 20111 comment

Poor Richard’s Almanack: Ye Olde Adage

First published in 1732 under the pseudonym Richard Saunders, Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack--a guide to both weather forecasts and wise maxims--was a hit with over 10,000 issues sold annually and was published annually up until the year 1757.

Allegedly, Franklin wrote Poor Richard's Almanack as a service to the American people, with the intent to educate the public and inspire their intellectual curiosity. At the time, it would have been common for the almanac to be the only publication a person ever bought; and therefore, it is said that Franklin felt especially indebted to write as much as possible.
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19    Jan 20111 comment

A Family History Message in a Bottle: Clement’s Search

This is a rough English translation of Une bouteille généalogique à la mer by our French colleague, Joss.

If you have spent time on your family tree then you've likely experienced the joys and roadblocks that often come with family history research—as they say, "It’s like reading a mystery where you’re the protagonist, and there literally is no end."

A while back we received an email from a member in Quebec. His name is Clement and he has stumbled into a brick wall: he has several family photos, which may have come from the USA circa 1900-1920. Clement has sent us an email asking for help identifying two photos from the families of Gagnon and Bouchard.

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18    Jan 20112 comments

Families Around the World – Jan 18, 2011

In this series we look at some of the more interesting family stories from around the world over the past 7 days.

This week we have a wide-range of family-related stories from New Zealand, The USA, Asia, Denmark and Oman. Enjoy.

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17    Jan 20119 comments

User Story: Courage, Survival and an Emotional Family Reunion

David Greenberg has been researching his family history for nearly 40 years, all this time believing that a large part of his family had perished during the Holocaust. So you can imagine how David was ‘‘flat out speechless’’ to discover otherwise, thanks to a Smart Match on MyHeritage.com. This is a tale of how fate divided a family, and how MyHeritage helped reunite it.

David today, with his wife Nadine (click to enlarge)


If there’s one common gene in David Greenberg’s family, it’s courage. Whether it’s his cousin serving in Afghanistan or his activist niece aiding peace in Bosnia, his family, many of whom are doctors, social workers and teachers – have a lot of guts and a desire to do good work. It’s hardly surprising then to discover that his great aunt, Rebecca Relkin, was a pioneering engineer in Lithuania – responsible for building some of the major bridges that stand today on the Niemen River in Lithuania. This was undoubtedly a remarkable achievement for a female in the early 20th century. Rebecca was one of 18 children, so it’s clear that David Greenberg’s great grandparents were rather resilient as well!

Isaac R. Relkin, (1877-1970). Rebecca Relkin (later Scwarz), (1861-1927)


After immigrating to the USA in 1902 to follow in the footsteps of other siblings who braved the crossing, Isaac Relkin (David’s grandfather and Rebecca’s brother), then aged 24, left behind much of his family in Kovno (Kaunus), Lithuania, and began a new life as a milliner in Brooklyn. Isaac (affectionately known as “Ike”), though born in Kovno traced his roots to Kedanaiai Lithuania. Kedanaiai was a major center for making women’s hats and that is presumably where various members of the family inherited the art.

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11    Jan 20111 comment

Irish Family Photos Found: Collections from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland


Dorman family of Keady, County Armagh - Wedding Portrait - 5th August 1925

Have you ever wondered if you have family photos sitting in an archive in some far away country? Well, turns out you well could! We are happy to share with you Sharon Tate Moody's article Find your Irish ancestors in new online collection, where she reveals the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland's new photographic collections, including wedding and family portraits shot from 1900 to 1952!


Calvert family of Armagh, County Armagh - Wedding Portrait

This news is thrilling for those of us with few family photos—always looking to find something new. One can only imagine the many hours that went into this project; as Moody explains "the pictures were transferred from fragile glass plate negatives commonly used by photographers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries…Only about 200 images currently are available but over the next few weeks, all 15,330 will be posted. Viewers can browse them alphabetically by surname."


Diffin family - Wedding Portrait - 29th September 1937

Moody also notes: the Irish record office recently indexed and digitized wills from 1858 to 1900 from three district probate registries of Armagh, Belfast, and Londerry. Click here to visit these records.

• Have you come across a photographic collection or family history project you'd like to share with the MyHeritage.com community?

10    Jan 20110 comments

Video of the Week: A Sicilian-American Experience

This week's clip comes from the Oral History Video Archive, a collection of videos compiled by students at Rowan University, New Jersey. It provides an insight into the lives of just a handful of Italian-American immigrants during the 20th Century - their experiences upon arrival to America, and while coming to grips with a new culture and society.
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10    Jan 20110 comments

Families Around the World – Jan 10, 2011

In this series we look at some of the more interesting family stories from around the world over the past 7 days.

This week we have a wide-range of family-related stories from Southern Sudan, Taiwan, Uruguay, Spain and the USA. Enjoy.

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7    Jan 20113 comments

Journey Back in Time: The TV Shows

This Friday, we thought it would be fun to quiz you on some classic TV shows of the 1960s...

What are some of your family's favorite TV shows?
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6    Jan 20112 comments

A growing interest amongst the young in family history

Don’t be mistaken in thinking that family history is a simply a popular pastime for old folk or for serious genealogists. We’re witnessing an increasing number of young people becoming interested in researching their family’s past. Many are actually becoming genealogy experts themselves!

So the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how old you are, family history is a great hobby for everyone. After seeing their great work and reading their thrilling stories, we’re feeling pretty pleased with ourselves that our site has helped children still at school make such tremendous accomplishments with their family history research.

We recently interviewed three MyHeritage.com users whose passion for genealogy at their age just amazed us. Here we share with you their stories:

"Thanks to MyHeritage.com discovering my family's past has been a fun and rewarding experience”

David Kaufmann, 16 years old, Spain.

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4    Jan 20110 comments

The Science Of…Thinking About Ancestors (And Why It Makes You More Successful)

We all know that learning about our ancestors does us good. It gives us a feeling of identity, banishes any question marks about our origins, and gives us great stories to tell.

But make us more successful in life? Family history research surely can’t do this, can it? Well, an intrepid team of scientists from the University of Graz with a lot of time on their hands would beg to disagree.
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