16    Jan 20134 comments

Family History: Our place in space

How do our surroundings, our homes, impact our families, our thoughts, our history?

Isn't this what our pursuit of genealogy helps to reconstruct? To make sure that our family history remains alive and known and preserved?

In a poem by Leib Borisovich Talalai, a young poet whose family was from our ancestral village of Vorotinschtina, Belarus, and who was murdered in Minsk (1941), he writes about his family home in the village, "If the walls of this house could talk. ..." When I found two of his slim books of poetry at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, it was fascinating to read his words.

What an image he presented of a home’s talking walls! What if we could access those memories? What do you know about the spaces in which your ancestors lived? Continue reading "Family History: Our place in space" »

15    Jan 20132 comments

Research: Address books as a resource

Do you have an address book? Have you inherited an old address book from your parents or grandparents? This is almost as good as discovering an ancestor's journal.

Will Kenny, wrote a post for Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) - Address book is a family history, bound by tradition - in which he writes:

....And this annual ritual recently reminded us of a big difference between pulling out a physical, paper address book and pulling up a contact list.

These days, if you keep your contact list on your phone or your computer, you live very much in the present. When you update an entry in your electronic contact list, you just edit the information. You replace the old with the new.

And when people are no longer connected to you, whether you somehow lose touch or they pass away, you merely delete them from your list, and from your life. At the same time, you delete a piece of your own personal history.

Diane Richards wrote a great blog post in Upfront (the National Genealogical Society blog) on her own use of these hand-written resources for family history, who writes that she is on her third one (begun in December 1998). Earlier ones now live in her "memory boxes." She also shows examples from her latest address book. Continue reading "Research: Address books as a resource" »

14    Jan 20132 comments

Family History: Have a mentor?

Do you have a genealogy mentor? Someone you can turn to and have your questions answered? Someone who can guide you through the problems and pitfalls or help you break through brick walls?

The genealogy community worldwide has always been very helpful to newcomers.

Someone once asked me why genealogists were so friendly. My answer was that we never know if the next person to ask a question might hold the “missing link” to our own research!

We are also reminded of the concept of paying forward help we ourselves received in the past. As we are helped, so we attempt to help others.

Continue reading "Family History: Have a mentor?" »

9    Jan 201328 comments

MyHeritage mobile app version 2.0 released today!

We're delighted to announce the release of MyHeritage app version 2.0, our free mobile application, packed with exciting new features. Now you can build and edit your family tree, add more information to it, and take your heritage with you anywhere you go.

MyHeritage App 2.0 - Edit your tree on the go!

Our mobile app is available for iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets, in 32 languages, and has been optimized for each platform using cutting-edge HTML5 and SVG technologies. Download the new app now, for free, from Apple's App Store or Google Play.

Continue reading "MyHeritage mobile app version 2.0 released today!" »

8    Jan 20132 comments

Diaries: A family history source

Take it from a writer: The more you write, the easier it becomes. Why not keep a journal or diary?

Journals and diaries are excellent resources for family history research.

Don't you wish your ancestors had recorded their daily lives and thoughts in a format that has come down to you as a treasured keepsake through the centuries?

I know someone whose ancestor left a journal written several hundred years ago. The writer describes the family's everyday life in difficult new surroundings, how they celebrated holidays, the writer's wishes for her descendants far in the future and much more. It is as if the writer knew it would be treasured and passed down through the generations, as it has been. It is a priceless heirloom.

Put yourself in the shoes of a great-grandchild who finds your journal. What do you think will interest him or her? What is happening in your life now that you want future generations to know about? Do you want to include advice for future generations?

Continue reading "Diaries: A family history source" »

7    Jan 20130 comments

Family: Top baby names 2012

Expecting a bundle of joy? Don't know what to name the new arrival? Here's some help for you.

A Florida hospital, which delivered nearly 14,000 babies in 2012, issued its list of the most popular baby names for the year.

Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies (Orlando, Florida) said that Isabella (111) and Jayden (90) were the most popular names.

The hospital is one of the top three labor and delivery hospitals in the US and many names on its list were also on lists in other areas of the US, according to Babycenter.com's "100 Most Popular Baby Names of 2012." That site's data comes from nearly 500,000 parents who shared their baby's name with them during the year.  So if the top 10 (below) aren't enough, check the link for the top 100 names for girls and boys.

Palmer Hospital's top 10 lists:

Continue reading "Family: Top baby names 2012" »

4    Jan 20139 comments

Family History: Necessary skills

What's required for challenging searches and rewarding finds?

As a New Year begins, offering us a chance to jump start our research using every available resource, we are reminded that family history researchers need skills, according to MyHeritage's US genealogy advisor Schelly Talalay Dardashti. We may already have those skills but - more likely - we learn on the job!

Genealogists are strange creatures.

We live for the dead or the missing. We practically vacation in cemeteries - if we can discover where relatives are buried. We hope for the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of visiting “old country" ancestral towns and villages, wherever they might be.

We revel in bettering our investigative skills, similar to those used by detectives, lawyers or police, while piecing together the most complicated of puzzles, analyzing and dissecting clues, theories, stories.

Continue reading "Family History: Necessary skills" »

3    Jan 20133 comments

Holiday Competition: And the winner is…

Before the holidays we offered you the chance to win a digital camera by sharing with us your favorite holiday memory or photo.

We received many beautiful photos and touching stories and it's been really difficult choosing a winner.

We decided to divide the competition into two categories - pictures and stories - and choose a winner from each.

So, without further ado, the winning photo is: Continue reading "Holiday Competition: And the winner is…" »

2    Jan 20137 comments

Family: Grandmother’s favorite dish

When we think of our grandmothers, we immediately think about their warmth and their food!

Grandmothers around the world are famous for the culinary treats they lovingly prepare for family.

Both my grandmothers died many years ago, but I remember their cooking as if I tasted it yesterday. Although they came from different countries and backgrounds, each had her specialties. These matriarchs' dishes were the family favorites!

An article on My Modern Met compares dishes of grandmothers around the world, and shows photos of the women with their flagship dishes.

Continue reading "Family: Grandmother’s favorite dish" »

1    Jan 20130 comments

Resolutions: Here’s some help!

Some people may have been holding off their resolutions for 2013 because of the Mayans. However, now that we are still here and 2013 has started, it's time put those resolutions into action.

Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.) researchers have released some great tips (13, actually!) for the New Year.

- Learn something new

Learning never ends, so commit to continuing on this path. Explore new interests, and uncover something great!

- Walk in the park

Decrease stress and increase focus by visiting a park. Research has show that visiting parks improves mood, concentration and positive feelings. Seeing nature produces reduced feelings of depression, anxiety, anger and tension. Make 2013 a healthy green year.

Continue reading "Resolutions: Here’s some help!" »

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