30    Apr 20131 comment

NGS 2013: MyHeritage heads to Las Vegas!

MyHeritage is excited to head to the 2013 National Genealogical Society (NGS) conference, taking place next week from May 8-11, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

NGS was established 110 years ago in Washington, DC, to serve and grow the genealogical community through education, training, promoting access to and preserving genealogical records.

The conference is a great opportunity for genealogists and those interested in family history research to meet and share ideas on how to advance family research.

Will you be at NGS? Come visit MyHeritage at booth #431, and meet our team.

Continue reading "NGS 2013: MyHeritage heads to Las Vegas!" »

29    Apr 20136 comments

Meshing surnames: A new wedding trend?

It’s not uncommon for people to change their given names or surnames, but a new trend is becoming popular among married couples in both the US and the UK.

Michael Pugh and Rebecca Griffin, who married nearly three years ago, are an example of this latest trend in the UK called "meshing,” where married couples fuse their surnames.

The couple took part of Michael’s surname “Pu” with part of Rebecca’s surname “Ffin.” Now they are the Puffins.

Continue reading "Meshing surnames: A new wedding trend?" »

26    Apr 20131 comment

Our Stories: Hidden families and an opera singer

We never know what our unique family histories may reveal, and MyHeritage member Kathleen Whitfield, 60, of the UK, is no exception.

Her childhood was spent in the UK with her parents and older brother, who lived some 250 miles from any blood relatives. Neither of the siblings ever met their father’s family or had any living grandparents they knew about.

Although they occasionally visited their mother’s sister and family in Lancashire and another sister in London, the only details they were told about their father’s family was that his Irish father was an opera singer, their father was born in London, that he had siblings, but he had lost contact with his family. Kathleen was told she was named for her father’s mother. Further, she discovered that her paternal grandmother was really Kate Constance, not Kathleen!

William C. Green, Kathleen’s paternal grandfather (Courtesy Photo)

Kathleen got “into” family history because her husband’s niece conducted fascinating research into his family. Continue reading "Our Stories: Hidden families and an opera singer" »

25    Apr 20130 comments

MyHeritage in 40 languages: Thank you to our translators

MyHeritage knows the importance of connecting family around the globe, no matter the language. We are proud to be a worldwide family network available in 40 languages.

Do you know that to provide our members with all these languages, we have a dedicated group of volunteers?

With this team, most of the language translations are complete.

We want to thank all our hard-working volunteers for their assistance in translating for our web, software and FAQ guides:
Continue reading "MyHeritage in 40 languages: Thank you to our translators" »

24    Apr 201315 comments

Competition: The oldest wedding photo, Part 2

Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s oldest wedding photo competition. All the entries were fantastic and captured the beauty and significance of the person’s special day. The oldest entry was from 1846!

With over 40 photos received, participation was above our expectations. It was great to see the lives of your families and the rich history brought to life with the stories that accompanied them.

We've selected the top 10 photos and want you to vote for the final winner.  Below you can see the top 10 photos in no particular order: Continue reading "Competition: The oldest wedding photo, Part 2" »

22    Apr 20131 comment

Family Heritage: Not just chicken soup!

Many of our female ancestors were healers or midwives.

In the old days, when doctors were few and far between in rural areas, women with knowledge of medicinal herbs, of healing the sick and of midwifery were important community members.

In the American Southwest, among the old Hispanic families, there are many documented curanderas (healers). The older generations still tend gardens of special medicinal herbs and are the keepers, preservers and transmitters of generations of remedies.

In some countries, foods are classified as hot or cold in nature. People with certain ailments are told to eat one and not the other or vice versa. It is something a person is brought up with and never disregarded. Those who have not been raised with this system generally find "the rules" somewhat strange.

So do these remedies really work, or do we just believe that they work because that’s what we’ve been told since we were little children? In any case, this is part of our family history, of our heritage, and the details should be preserved.

Continue reading "Family Heritage: Not just chicken soup!" »

17    Apr 2013109 comments

New Release: Family Tree Builder 7.0

We're pleased to announce the release of MyHeritage Family Tree Builder 7.0 - the latest version of the world’s most popular free genealogy software - which combines innovative technologies with easy-to-use features.

Used by millions of people worldwide, Family Tree Builder lets you build your family tree and enhance it with photos, historical records and more. The latest version, 7.0, is packed with exciting new features and improvements.

Download Family Tree Builder 7.0 for free now

We've been working hard for more than a year to enhance Family Tree Builder to make documenting and sharing your family history even easier. We're taken the time to ensure this release is as robust as possible and have just completed a successful two-month beta program with some of our power users. Enthusiastic feedback from the first users to use version 7.0 indicates that this is the best version we've ever released.

The new version now syncs your entire family history in both directions between your computer and your family site on MyHeritage, as well as smart phones and tablets, and opens new channels for discovering relatives and billions of historical records with our advanced matching technologies. This means you can now access your family tree securely not just from your computer but also from your online family site, smart phone or tablet device, and even grow the tree and add more information and photos to it, any time and anywhere. All additions and changes will sync back to your Family Tree Builder software on your computer. Continue reading "New Release: Family Tree Builder 7.0" »

16    Apr 20137 comments

Surname of the Week: KELLY

This week marks the anniversary of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier’s wedding on April 18, 1956. In honor of the couple, we'ill look at the surname KELLY and discover its origins.

KELLY is of Irish origin, and is the second most common name in Ireland, and the 69th most popular name in the United States. There are various origins.

It is an Anglicized form of the patronymic Gaelic name O’Ceallaigh, meaning "descendant of Ceallach," from the Gaelic prefix “O” meaning "descendant of" and the ancient Irish personal name, Ceallach .

Originally a byname meaning ‘"right-headed," it was later understood as "frequenting churches" from the Irish ceall. Several early Irish saints bore the name.

It may also be of English origin, from a place in Devonshire recorded as “Kelli” in the 1194 Pipe Rolls. It may also be of Scottish origin, from the lands of Kelly near Arbroath, Angus.

Along with the different Irish, English or Scottish origins, there are also variant spellings that include KELLEY, KELLIE, O’KELLY, O’KELLEY and KELLI. Continue reading "Surname of the Week: KELLY" »

15    Apr 20132 comments

Competition: The oldest wedding photo?

Springtime is here and the wedding season is near.

Wedding photos preserve your unique family legacy and document memories in your family history research.

We want to know the stories behind your ancestors' wedding photos.

In February, our colleague Justyna received a stunning 1932 wedding photograph via the MyHeritage Polish Facebook page, from a member.

Wedding Photo 1932

With that photo’s popularity, we wanted to see more of our members' family memories.

What's your oldest wedding photo of an ancestor?

Share your photos of your ancestors' weddings, a brief description of the people, and the date and place where they were married.

The oldest photos - with the most interesting stories - will be posted on our blog and our Facebook page. Readers will decide the winner.

One lucky winner will receive a one-year Premium subscription and a one-year data subscription.

Send photos by April 22 (with description, date and place) with the subject "Wedding Competition" to stories@myheritage.com.

Good luck!

Note: Do not send photos not your own or those for which you do not have permission to use. MyHeritage is not responsible for photos that may be transferred without the consent of the family. The competition is open to registered users at MyHeritage. Don’t have an account yet? Start your free digital family tree today at www.myheritage.com.

12    Apr 20135 comments

Family History: Going home again!

An exciting dimension to family history is returning to our ancestors' hometowns, whether overseas in the "old country," or closer to our current home.

Every year, increasing numbers of families walk the streets that their great-grandparents walked in Scotland, view the Greek and Portuguese village buildings their ancestors saw each day, and visit Eastern European houses of worship and cemeteries.

An historic drawing of a street in Mogilev, Belarus, where my family lived

Some geographical areas even promote ancestral or heritage trips - such as Ireland. Trips can be just just quick tourist-type visits to where ancestors might have lived or entail intensive research trips to archives. Go on your own or visit locales with major genealogical societies, such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) which organizes trips to London, Belfast and Dublin.

Thinking about such a trip? Here are some resources to help you plan the trip of a lifetime. Don't forget to bring the kids and the grandparents! Continue reading "Family History: Going home again!" »

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