30    Sep 20111 comment

Poll: How do you resolve family disagreements?

Family disagreements are a fact of life.

Research has shown that families who occasionally have disagreements (and then resolve them amicably) are far more likely to have a transparent and, therefore, more relaxing home life.

Every family has their own method of dealing with these situations. Please vote below on your family's preference (all votes are anonymous):

29    Sep 20110 comments

Links We Like: September 2011 edition

This edition of interesting resources for Links We Like includes archival material suppliers, Canadian research sites, Google+, historic newspapers, and a way to stay in touch for eternity.

The New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) posted two articles on preservation of family history resources on its blog at AmericanAncestors.com.

Readers might wonder why I seem to focus on preservation issues. After years of living in two US states plagued by earthquakes, fires, mud slides or hurricanes and flooding, I tend to be somewhat protective of my research.

Could those precious photos be replaced? Would I have the time to once again reconstruct years of work?

Continue reading "Links We Like: September 2011 edition" »

27    Sep 20110 comments

News from MyHeritage UK – 27 September 2011

Who Do You Think You Are?

The BBC’s current run – the eighth series - of Who Do You Think You Are is slowly drawing to a close. Celebrity participants so far have included June Brown, J.K. Rowling, Sebastian Coe, Larry Lamb, Emilia Fox, Alan Carr and Robin Gibb. This Wednesday, Richard Madeley- of “This Morning” and “Richard & Judy” fame- will investigate the Canadian side of his family with some surprising connections to some of the earliest Canadian pioneers. In Rhode Island, Richard discovers that his eighth great-grandfather was privy to one of the bloodiest ever massacres on American soil. Len Goodman and Tracey Emin will complete the current series of the ratings juggernaught.

London Metropolitan Archives to open late on Wednesdays

In addition to Tuesdays and Thursdays, the London Metropolitan Archives (the largest of all local authority archives in the UK) is to remain open on Wednesdays until 7.30pm. This is welcome news to many amateur genealogists who can’t visit during the normal opening hours of 9.30am to 4.45pm, due to work schedules. Continue reading "News from MyHeritage UK – 27 September 2011" »

26    Sep 20114 comments

Adoption: Redefining Family History

Many of us take it for granted. The ability to trace back your family heritage at one’s own will is now almost a divine right, an activity in which many partake and many avoid - perhaps because they assume that records will always be available.

For those who are adopted or a direct descendant of an adoptee, the most basic of genealogical research can present seemingly impenetrable barriers. Chief of all these barriers - in the UK - is the lack of adequate adoption records prior to 1927. For many years, the process of adoption was an informal, rudimentary affair reflected in the quality of the records. The 1926 Adoption of Children Act recorded every granted adoption in England and Wales; however, the names of the natural parents are only released to the verified adoptee, and then only following a meeting with an advisor.

As you can imagine, this presents significant barriers for the researcher or individual and can present  gaping holes in one’s family history. This is a reality for many people across the world, but dealing with an unknown past needn’t be upsetting. Continue reading "Adoption: Redefining Family History" »

25    Sep 20112 comments

Genealogy News: North America – 25 September 2011

This week we report on why people want to gather more information via digital preservation, a hidden cemetery in Indiana, a photo collection of a Japanese-American internment camp in Wyoming, and a slew of events and classes in Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio and Canada.

We offered two views of digital preservation in last week’s North American News edition.

As promised, writer Mike Ashenfelder of the Library of Congress’ preservation blog - Signal - has provided Part 2 of his first post..

In Part 1, he wrote that“relational databases are the engines that drive digital genealogy. Databases make it possible to quickly search through enormous quantities of records, find the person you’re looking for and discover related people and events. And when institutions collaborate and share databases, statistical information becomes enriched.”

In Part 2, he addresses why modern genealogists want to gather this information.

“Brian Lambkin, director of the Centre for Migration Studies, said that adding multimedia, geospatial data and more, enriches the biographical information about a person. “Potentially there’s a biography to be written about every single individual,” said Lambkin.”

This is what researchers call “adding flesh to the bones.” Family history research is much more than merely a dry list of names and dates. We want to know more about our ancestors and this includes all aspects of their lives. Ashenfelder’s post provides numerous examples of projects and sites that try to do just that. Continue reading "Genealogy News: North America – 25 September 2011" »

24    Sep 20111 comment

Soppy Saturday: Writing your Family Legacy Video

As it's the weekend, we thought you may like to watch a short, but emotive video about writing your family history and autobiography, for the pleasure of generations to come.

Linda Weaver Clarke travels around the U.S, teaching people the importance of family legacy and leads free workshops on turning your family history into a variety of interesting stories. A volunteer, she has dedicated much of her life to motivating individuals to do just that.

Today's video, produced by this remarkable woman, has a few ideas from which we could all benefit.

23    Sep 20111 comment

News from MyHeritage Australia – 23 September 2011

This is a guest post by Shauna Hicks.

Shauna is a professional genealogist, former archivist and librarian who has been researching her own family history since 1977. She is also a MyHeritage member.


Lots going on since my last news update, so let's get started!

First of all, we were pleased to learn that season 2 of the US version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” (WDYTYA) was to be screened nationally on Channel 9.

The first episode – with Gwyneth Paltrow – was screened last Wednesday night. The starting time was set for 10pm, obviously a ratings decision, but it would have been nice for it to be shown earlier.

Wikipedia has a useful WDYTYA article listing the celebrities and the locations visited for each episode.


The UK Federation of Family History Societies has scheduled a family history competition - Who is the Most Interesting Person in Your Family Tree? Write 1,000 words or less and  enter before 31 December 2011. For full details, click here. Continue reading "News from MyHeritage Australia – 23 September 2011" »

22    Sep 20111 comment

Poll Results: Research Hours

It’s not often that we receive over 2,000 responses to a single poll on the MyHeritage blog, but it seems that this week’s poll has generated wide interest throughout our community.

Here are the results:

As for the results: On first glance there isn't a runaway favourite across the whole survey which - given the diversity of occupations across the genealogy community (including professional genealogists) - isn't particularly surprising.

More interesting, perhaps, is that the two most popular responses were: "Whenever the mood takes me" and "One to five hours per week." Individuals in both of these categories made up 60% of respondents. It seems that an unregimented research schedule is popular. Continue reading "Poll Results: Research Hours" »

21    Sep 20110 comments

Video: MyHeritage at the UK National Family History Fair 2011

We often report back from the various family history and genealogy fairs that we attend around the world. Although the hours can be long, these fairs and conferences transcend the barriers of the internet and provide us with an opportunity to speak face-to-face with our users and potential users.

Recently, we attended the National Family History Fair in Newcastle, UK and today's short video shows the buzz around the MyHeritage stall during the day. Enjoy.

20    Sep 20110 comments

MyHeritage acquires BackupMyTree.com

We're pleased to announce the acquisition of the popular family tree backup service, BackupMyTree.com.

This is part of our continued efforts to expand the range of family history oriented services we offer to our customers worldwide.

With the acquisition of BackupMyTree, we add a comprehensive free backup service renowned for providing peace of mind to genealogists around the world. Already protecting over nine terabytes of precious family tree data, we are sure that BackupMyTree will continue to grow in popularity.

The BackupMyTree.com homepage (click to enlarge)

BackupMyTree’s software automatically finds family tree files on your computer and then creates an off-site backup of your data. Other features include wide compatibility with major genealogy applications, anywhere access and multiple revision history - extremely useful if you update your family tree often.

The service is used by some of the world’s most experienced genealogists to complement and secure years of painstaking research for posterity.

At MyHeritage, we know just how important protecting data contained within our family trees is, which is why we introduced our own backup service around a year ago. There is little overlap between these backup services, and they complement each other beautifully. For those interested in the differences between BackupMyTree and the MyHeritage backup service, here is a useful comparison:

* Both services, once started, provide genealogists with ongoing, automatic backup of their family tree data without having to take any special actions.
* Both provide high value and high reliability and allow restoration of the latest version, or prior versions, at any point in time.
* Both services provide extra security by encrypting the backups.
* BackupMyTree is free, whereas the MyHeritage backup service costs $3/month.
* The MyHeritage backup service also protects photos and all other files referenced within the family tree, but BackupMyTree currently does not.
* BackupMyTree is a desktop backup service, backing up family tree files on your computer, from any major genealogy software provider.
* The MyHeritage backup service is an online backup service, backing up family trees you have on MyHeritage.com itself.

BackupMyTree is a welcome addition to our range of products and we look forward to maintaining the service and keeping it completely free.

This is actually the second company that we've purchased from serial entrepreneur Cliff Shaw, having acquired Pearl Street Software, makers of GenCircles.com and Family Tree Legends, in 2007. Cliff and his team are now shifting their focus to their latest venture, genealogy search engine Mocavo.com .

If you're an existing BackupMyTree user and have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our friendly support team on our help center.

And for all our MyHeritage.com users - we'll be looking at ways for allowing BackupMyTree to benefit you in the near future.

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