29    Aug 201311 comments

Labor Day: Free access to all US census records

Labor Day weekend is here - a time to celebrate the contributions made by workers from the labor movement. It's also time for families to get together and enjoy the last bit of summer with barbecues, parades and reunions.

In honor of the holiday, we’re providing free access – from August 31 through September 2 – to all US Census records.

Search Now

Continue reading "Labor Day: Free access to all US census records" »

28    Aug 20130 comments

Competition: Fun family photos

Congratulations to James Colina, winner of last week’s competition for the photo with the largest number of family members. This week, we're holding another photo competition, and asking you to send in your fun family photos. Read more below.

Over 220 family members were photographed in the winning entry taken at a family reunion organized by James in August 2011. He won a photo consultation with Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, to learn more about his old family photos. Watch the consultation here.

Colina Family Reunion, August 2011

Thanks to those who submitted their largest family photos. It was lovely to receive so many images from family reunions, gatherings, weddings and other celebrations, both old and new.  View all the entries on our Pinterest board here.

The competition continues:

Continue reading "Competition: Fun family photos" »

27    Aug 20139 comments

Tip of the month: Tree Consistency Checker

Having a large, family tree can sometimes lead to small oversights that may be difficult to identify. Some common mistakes are misspelled names, mixed-up dates or incorrect ages, while others are more difficult to detect such as a person tagged in a photo dated before they were born.

That’s where MyHeritage’s Tree Consistency Checker comes in to help fix these mistakes and improve the quality of data in your family tree.

Tree Consistency Checker is a unique, free tool that helps locate mistakes in family tree data. It automatically identifies any errors and inconsistencies in 40 categories - and shows you how to fix each of them.

Inconsistencies such as “child older than parent,” or “fact occurring after death” and “inconsistent last name spelling” will alert and enable you to make the necessary changes in your family tree.

The tool is available on our latest version of Family Tree Builder 7.0 and takes advantage of the new sync features so users with online trees can now utilize this tool as well. Users can sync their online tree to the Family Tree Builder software, and use the Tree Consistency Checker to identify any mistakes. Once you re-sync the tree back to the web, the online family tree will show all the updated information.

Don't have Family Tree Builder 7.0? Download it free here, and learn more about its new features.

We hope this tool will help you make your family tree as accurate as possible!

26    Aug 201317 comments

1932: A most famous photograph

As part of our Treasure Family Photos initiative, to preserve old family photos and to encourage people to learn more about their family history from them, we've seen some beautiful family photos and learnt about their history. There are also many other famous photos with a great history behind them. One of the world's most iconic photos is of a group of men sitting on a 69th floor construction beam high above Manhattan.

This iconic 1932 photo of construction workers having lunch on the 69th floor of the Rockefeller Center is the subject of MEN AT LUNCH, a film by Sean O Cualain.

MyHeritage was delighted to be able to interview (via email) Seán Ó Cualáin – director of the documentary Men at Lunch – on his project. Continue reading "1932: A most famous photograph" »

24    Aug 20131 comment

Boston: A visit to the New England Historic Genealogical Society

Our chief genealogist Daniel Horowitz was recently in Boston, Massachusetts for the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies’ 33rd conference. While there, he visited the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), at 101 Newbury St.

Daniel met with NEHGS chief genealogist David Allen Lambert, who provided a wonderful and complete tour of the building, including some backstage areas. Here's Daniel's report of his visit.

Two Chief Genealogists together: David Allen Lambert, NEHGS (left) and Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage (right)

It was great to meet with another Chief Genealogist!

As visitors enter the building, its wonderful architecture is apparent. David explained that the original three-floor building (now eight floors) was a bank and that they kept the original design, including the vault, where some NEHGS records are stored.

This is the second genealogical society that I've seen housed in a bank facility. Two years ago, I visited the Genealogical Society of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, where their facility is also a former bank.

The NEHGS, as a historical society, has a good collection of portraits and historical artifacts from Boston,  the New England region and other US locations, including such objects as John Hancock’s chair. Continue reading "Boston: A visit to the New England Historic Genealogical Society" »

21    Aug 20138 comments

Nostalgia: Old family photographs

A few years ago, my grandmother gave me a shoebox filled with some of her mother’s heirlooms and photos. I looked through it briefly, but had then forgotten about it until last month.

My grandmother had told me stories about her childhood, but these photo discoveries really brought my family history to life. I finally got to put faces to those stories I had heard over the past few years, and to see my family heritage displayed in front of me.

I moved last month. Although moving can be stressful, I was in for a surprise when I discovered a box filled with family treasures at the back of a closet.

Last week I sat with my grandmother and together we looked through these family memories. As we viewed each photo and heirloom, she began to tell stories she hadn't mentioned before about the people and events in each picture. Continue reading "Nostalgia: Old family photographs" »

19    Aug 20132 comments

Family photos: Creative activities with the kids

Summer is a perfect opportunity to dig out your stash of old family photos and get children interested in their own family history.

A fun activity to help fill time during the school break, learning about family heritage is an excellent way to bond and do something meaningful with the younger generation.

As part of our “Treasure Family Photos” initiative, here are some fun ways to get creative with those old family photos to make beautiful additions to your home that showcase your family legacy.

Photo Time Capsule

A photo in a jar creates a time capsule. In a jar, get the kids to add some of their small personal items that remind them of family fun times such as movie stubs, notes and souvenirs from family vacations.

Image credit: http://kellicrowe.typepad.com

Once all the "memories" are added to the jar, put in a recent family photo and close the jar.  Choose to display it on a shelf or bury it in the yard with instructions to not open it for at least 10 years and look forward to the memories you’ll look back to! Continue reading "Family photos: Creative activities with the kids" »

15    Aug 20130 comments

Competition: The largest family photo

Last week we asked you to send in your oldest family photos as part of a weekly competition to win a free photo consultation with Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective. This week, we would like to see your photos with the largest number of family members.

We also want to thank everyone who submitted beautiful images showcasing their family history. We received hundreds of photos from around the world, dating back to the 1850s!

Eunice Baldwin Whedon (b. 1778, d. 1854)

Congratulations to Janice Moerschel who sent in this photo of  her relative Eunice Baldwin Whedon from Branford, New Haven, Connecticut. You can see her photo consultation with Maureen Taylor here.

It was difficult to choose a winner from the photos submitted. View all the entries on our Pinterest board here.

However, the competition isn't over. This week, we're giving one lucky winner a chance to win another free photo consultation with Maureen. Continue reading "Competition: The largest family photo" »

14    Aug 20133 comments

Uncovering stories: Free webinar with the Photo Detective

Photos hold the key to your family story. They allow us a glimpse into the lives and personalities of our ancestors.

Join Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, who will show you how you can learn more about your family history from old photos in our free online webinar.

As a photo curator, genealogist, writer and photo analysis expert, Maureen focuses on family photos, history and genealogy.

She is an internationally recognized expert who helps solve photo-related family mysteries and discovers stories behind family photos.

Continue reading "Uncovering stories: Free webinar with the Photo Detective" »

12    Aug 20131 comment

Treasure Family Photos: Tips for taking great pictures

Viewing old family photos brings up nostalgic memories.  Whether it’s a wedding, a picnic in the park or goofing around at home, it’s important to preserve those family moments.

We have wonderful old photos from our ancestors, yet it’s also important to document our lives and cherish today's family gatherings and events.

However, it can be difficult encouraging the kids and and the entire family together to sit for a portrait. That’s why - as part of our “Treasure Family Photos” global initiative - we are offering tips to save and share your family story.

Here are some tips for taking a great family photo: Continue reading "Treasure Family Photos: Tips for taking great pictures" »

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