17    Jan 20125 comments

‘The Greatest’ – Muhammad Ali’s family history

Muhammad Ali

Today, the world celebrates the 70th birthday of the first and only three-time consecutive World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.).

In celebration of Muhammad Ali's extraordinary journey, MyHeritage decided to build his family tree and share his family and personal history.

Muhammad is a descendant of pre-Civil War era American slaves in the American South, and is predominantly of African-American descent, with some Irish and English ancestry.

His Irish ancestry was uncovered through research revealing his descent from a man who lived in the town of Ennis, in County Clare, Ireland.

Continue reading "‘The Greatest’ – Muhammad Ali’s family history" »

16    Jan 201229 comments

What’s your best piece of genealogy advice?

Have a think about your best genealogy advice...

We all remember our first forays into the world of family research.

"Where do I look?", "How do I physically record the information?" and "What on earth is a GEDCOM file?" are just a few of the many questions that went through my mind when starting out.

Now, if somebody who had "been there and done that" could have provided some advice about the importance of citing sources or, indeed, the art of deciphering census handwriting, my research would have been significantly more efficient!

Over the next three days, we're going to be asking our learned community to share advice for budding or even experienced genealogists. Continue reading "What’s your best piece of genealogy advice?" »

13    Jan 20120 comments

Lucky Foods: Good fortune for the family

Here at MyHeritage HQ, we’ve always been big fans of the way that food brings families together.

We’ve written about it once or twice on our blog. And every family site on MyHeritage.com also includes a recipe page so families can share their traditions.  (CLICK HERE to learn how to access your recipe page)

However, we’ve never really looked into what families and cultures believe to be “lucky foods,” those that bring luck or fortune to those who eat them.

A few weeks ago, the ABC in the US published a great post showing some lucky foods consumed on New Year’s Day by various cultures around the world to make sure the year ahead is a good one.

The foods include Black-Eyed Peas in the American south, which either look like coins or “grow” when cooked like your fortune will (depending on which tradition you believe); Long Noodles, thought to bring long life in many Asian countries; and Cooked Greens, which resemble money and are thought to bring good fortune in Germany.

Continue reading "Lucky Foods: Good fortune for the family" »

12    Jan 20121 comment

User Story: From Syria to the US

Old photo of family members found via MyHeritage

We were recently contacted by Omar Hossino, a MyHeritage user with Syrian roots. His story is particularly inspiring for many people around the world who are held back in their research by a lack of records and other information.

Omar's story demonstrates how MyHeritage helps people contact their family (in Omar's case, Syrian family members), build their family tree, learn about their family history and create a unique path of communication with relatives.

Omar's interview is below. We hope you find it as fascinating as we did.


Omar Hossino was born in West Virginia, but his family is originally from the small city of Salamieh in central Syria. He became interested in family tree research when he visited Syria and met many family members. Continue reading "User Story: From Syria to the US" »

11    Jan 20121 comment

Poll: How do you plan to pass down your family research?

Part of the beauty associated with family history research is that the researcher can always share findings with loved ones. Wouldn't it be a shame for that research to be lost to the generations?

Regardless of your age, I believe that we should all make some attempt to inform others about our research or, indeed, provide some guidance as to the order and direction of your general research. Speaking as head researcher for my family, I have spoken in some depth with my siblings about where my research is stored and how they can access the Sanderson MyHeritage tree.

So, now that I've given you some insight into my preparations, how do you plan to pass down your family research.

Let us know in the poll below and the comments section.

10    Jan 20121 comment

Genealogy News: North America, 10 January 2012

Welcome to 2012! The genealogy conference schedule is just beginning and there is lots of news about the programs, presenters and events.

MyHeritage will be at both RootsTech (February 2-4, Salt Lake City) and at Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE! (February, London UK). Stay tuned for more information about both events.


Of course, all of us interested in family history are looking forward to the new season of the US version of Who Do You Think You Are?, with the celebrity lineup just announced.

Continue reading "Genealogy News: North America, 10 January 2012" »

9    Jan 20123 comments

Tracing Kate Middleton’s family tree

In case you didn't know, today is the 30th birthday of Kate Middleton and we couldn't think of a better way to honor the occasion than by sharing her fascinating family history and tree.

Kate's family history - contrary to her now relatively opulent lifestyle - is one that many of us can attest to in our family trees.

Kate's family are from the North of England and - up to the last few generations - her ancestors were mostly working-class. According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society her ancestors include merchants, messengers, solicitors, cabinet makers, butchers, bakers, a laundress, and coalminers.

The Society also revealed in November 2010 that Kate Middleton (along with the Queen Mother and Princess Diana) is a cousin of America's first president, George Washington.

Click here to see Kate Middleton's MyHeritage family tree (screenshot below).

Click the image to see the family tree.

6    Jan 20126 comments

Steven Tyler: A fascinating family tree past and present

On January 2, Steven Tyler - legendary front man of rock-and-roll band Aerosmith - announced his engagement to girlfriend, Erin Brady.

Tyler’s professional success is known to many. Aerosmith has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, while American Idol, on which he is a judge, is the top-rated American television show.

Not as well known are the details of his amazingly diverse heritage, the rich history of musicians among his ancestors or the complex structure of his current family including his partners (ex and current) and his children.

To kick things off, we’ve pulled together Tyler’s family tree.

Click on the image below (or HERE) to be taken to the actual family tree on MyHeritage.

Click to see the tree

As part of our research on Tyler’s family, we found some other fascinating information.

Continue reading "Steven Tyler: A fascinating family tree past and present" »

5    Jan 20121 comment

Knowing your family history can save your life: Eating disorders

New research has shown that eating disorders are a form of genetic disease and that family history research is an effective way of determining your predisposition of inheriting them.

We’ve written several times in the past about the importance of family medical histories as a way of determining predispositions to certain genetic diseases.

While this may make sense due to the growing awareness of the hereditary traits of illnesses like heart disease, obesity and certain forms of cancer, for many the idea that eating disorders may also share similar traits is news.

In a recent Huffington Post article, Dr. Kenneth Weiner skillfully examines the topic and looks at the theory around what exactly it is people are inheriting when it comes to eating disorders.

Continue reading "Knowing your family history can save your life: Eating disorders" »

3    Jan 20125 comments

Photographs: Some of the world’s oldest images

We’ve showcased some very old photographs before, such as in this post about some of the world’s first color photographs, and this one featuring shots from the Russian Empire.

Today, we have some even older photos for you. These shots comprise some of the earliest ever captured. Click each image to see a larger version.

This image – called ‘View from the Window at Le Gras’ – is reckoned to be the first ever taken, dated at around 1826. It was taken and developed by the French photography pioneer Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, and required an exposure time of about 8 hours!

Continue reading "Photographs: Some of the world’s oldest images" »

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