31    May 20123 comments

MyHeritage: A ‘titanic’ family discovery

Our post on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking produced a breakthrough for a South African member of MyHeritage.

Christopher Brian Jennings (known as Brian), 44, of Johannesburg, South Africa became interested in family history as his elders aged. He realized that their wealth of information would disappear if he did not document the family.

Brian lives with his wife Adri, 44, and children Natasha, 19, and Michael, 15.  He is an insurance industry director.

Brian and his wife, Adri

Brian and his wife, Adri

Continue reading "MyHeritage: A ‘titanic’ family discovery" »

30    May 20120 comments

Colorado Family History Expo 2012: Come say hello!

MyHeritage's US genealogy advisor Schelly Talalay Dardashti and business development manager and genealogist Mark Olsen are heading off to the Colorado Springs (Colorado) Family History Expo 2012 this weekend, Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2.

In-demand speakers, each will  present several programs, in addition to staffing the booth (#9,10). Here's a preview of their sessions:

Schelly and Mark

Schelly and Mark

Continue reading "Colorado Family History Expo 2012: Come say hello!" »

29    May 20123 comments

Mystery Soldier: His identity expands a family tree

Tuck Studio male soldier, Gloversville, NY

Tuck Studio male soldier, Gloversville, NY

This is a guest post by Ava Cohn - known as Sherlock Cohn, The Photo Genealogist - who writes The Photo Genealogist blog*

Sometimes it takes more than the proverbial village to solve a mystery.

This is the tale of three cities, of a mystery photograph and of how an intricate web of relationships helped a family researcher learn more about a lost branch. Perhaps it can serve as an example of how similar mysteries can be solved in your family.

This story starts in Hampshire, Illinois, where I met Michele Halt after one of my talks on old photographs. She showed me a photo of a proud and distinguished soldier in full regalia.  Who was he? The photo came from a family album passed down to the females in Michele’s Radley family for over 100 years.  Each time the album changed owners, new photos were added.

Michele’s grandmother’s great-aunt, Maggie Radley Mole, started the meticulous family photo album. There was only one problem - Maggie knew everyone in the photos so she never labeled or identified them - nor did any of the album inheritors label their photos. Only one person was identified and he wasn’t the soldier.

Continue reading "Mystery Soldier: His identity expands a family tree" »

28    May 20120 comments

Memorial Day: Honoring the fallen

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the US.

Over the weekend, flags fly at half-mast, graves are decorated with flowers and family members pay their respects at national cemeteries. Ceremonies honoring fallen soldiers - of all wars and conflicts - take place across the country.

In many places, Boy Scout Troops - as part of their commitment to community service - place flags on each soldier’s grave.

See below two newspaper articles  on the holiday, from the New York Sun (May 31, 1872) and the Hawaiian Gazette (May 30, 1911). Click on each article image to see the original page from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America site, and learn more.

The day was first observed in 1865 to remember fallen Civil War soldiers; it was then called Decoration Day.

The Hawaiian Gazette reported on Decoration Day (Credit: Library of Congress, Chronicling America, Hawaiian Gazette)

Continue reading "Memorial Day: Honoring the fallen" »

25    May 20127 comments

Movie Lines: What’s your favorite?

POPCORNGoing to the movies this weekend?

So many films are being released for the summer season, and there may well be lines we’ll be quoting for years to come.

We’ve all been going to see films – and eating lots of popcorn - since we were little kids.

Can you remember the first film or feature-length cartoon you saw with your parents? What was the first film you went to with your friends – no parents?

All of us have our favorite cinema lines. They range from “I’ll be baaack!” (The Terminator) to "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" (Gone With the Wind). Perhaps you prefer “There’s no place like home” (The Wizard of Oz), or “May the Force be with you,” a Star Wars favorite.

It must be fate that encouraged us to publish this post on the 35th anniversary of that space epic's opening!

A personal favorite is from Airplane! where a character says “Surely you can't be serious," while the other replies, "I am serious...and don't call me Shirley." Continue reading "Movie Lines: What’s your favorite?" »

24    May 20122 comments

MyHeritage: A Saigon story

MyHeritage members live around the world. Here’s one member’s story!

Now a Melbourne, Australia resident, Nghia (Neil) Huynh was born in Saigon, Vietnam.

The youngest of eight children, he is 54. His parents – from Bien Hoa and Di An – had lived in Saigon since the early 1940s. His father was a civil servant in the old South Vietnam government, and his mother took care of their large family.

Neil's family

Neil's family: His parents (from left), Huynh Thang Nhut and Dinh Thi Quyen; sisters Huynh Thi Xuan Hoang, Huynh Thi Xuan Ha; brother, Huynh Thang Toan.

Continue reading "MyHeritage: A Saigon story" »

23    May 201211 comments

Family History: Looking for someone?

Family history researchers are often curious about someone in their ancestry for whom they can find no information.

The quest for information for that individual becomes the family mystery. As researchers, we feel that finding that elusive data will provide another piece of our family tree puzzle.

Even though we've accessed every available research tool (including searching for our uncommon names on Facebook and Twitter), we may still run into a brick wall. So what can we do to broaden our search?

Genealogy forums and special interest discussion groups are useful places to ask for help, while MyHeritage's own Smart Matches™ are a useful tool to uncover information and relatives.

For whom are you looking? Grandparents, great-grandparents or contemporary cousins? Have you discovered family through Smart Matches?

Tell us about your discoveries in the comments below.

22    May 20121 comment

Poll: Your family’s favorite sports team

stadium

Sports are a traditional part of family entertainment.

Allegiance to specific teams - which team you cheer for - is something generally passed down through the generations.

Baseball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, cricket - so many teams with associations to certain cities. To New Yorkers, it will always be the "Brooklyn" Dodgers, even though they left for other parts long ago, while Chicagoans will always love "Da Bears."

We go with our families to sporting events. We support the same team, we console each other when they lose and celebrate when they win. Our family team is part of our shared family experience.

I remember going with my family to watch football games, and I imagine taking my own children, when they're old enough to appreciate it.

We're interested in learning if you have a family team. Does your family cheer on the same team? Or, do  you support rival teams? Let us know via the poll below.


21    May 20121 comment

Washington, DC: NARA Genealogy Fair

Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz was recently in Washington, DC, for the Eighth NARA Genealogy Fair. Here's his report.

Credit: archives.gov

The National Archives, Washington DC (Credit: archives.gov)

On my recent visit to Washington, I met with representatives of the National Archives and the US Holocaust Museum, but also spent time at the Library of Congress and do some genealogy research.

Although MyHeritage didn’t have a table in the exhibit tent, it was nice to see long time friends including geneablogger DearMyrtle (and Mr. Myrtle), members of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington, the Fairfax (Virginia) Genealogy Society, and those from other genealogy companies. Continue reading "Washington, DC: NARA Genealogy Fair" »

17    May 20122 comments

On the Road: A visit with Dick Eastman

Dick Eastman

Dick Eastman

This post was co-authored by MyHeritage US genealogy adviser, Schelly Talalay Dardashti and MyHeritage business development manager and genealogist, Mark Olsen.

One of the most recognized names in the genealogy world, Dick Eastman is synonymous with geneablogging and using technology to improve your family history experience.

At the recent National Genealogical Society conference in Cincinnati, the MyHeritage team saw a chance to spend some personal time with Dick - and tour his recreational vehicle (RV) - we jumped at the opportunity. Continue reading "On the Road: A visit with Dick Eastman" »

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