20    Oct 20140 comments

Spooky Genealogy Webinar: Death records, gravestones and more!

Death records and gravestones can provide new information and leads in your family history research. Join us for a pre-Halloween webinar filled with "tricks and treats" with expert genealogist Schelly Talalay Dardashti, who'll navigate us through uncovering family mysteries through death records, obituaries and more!

Register for free here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/228679207

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time:
11 AM Los Angeles
2 PM New York
6 PM London

(To find the time of the webinar at your location, use this Time Zone Converter.)

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Leave us a comment below and we’ll try to answer as many as we can live.

Looking forward to see you online!

18    Oct 20142 comments

Our Stories: Reunite family, create stronger bonds

MyHeritage member Dayne Skolmen, 24, of South Africa, has been working on his family history since he was 14, when a family tree school assignment caught his interest. His ancestors come from Norway, Germany and the Netherlands.

Dayne's ancestor, Kristian Skolmen, working on one of his Norwegian landscape paintings

Dayne lives in Port Elizabeth, and is currently completing his Master of Technology (MTech) in Information Technology Research at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

His grandfather, Thorbjorn Christian Synnestvedt Skolmen, died at 81 when Dayne was only 3.

I was the last grandchild born and the youngest of my generation. Therefore I had the least knowledge about the family and grew up not knowing much of my heritage or surname origins. Continue reading "Our Stories: Reunite family, create stronger bonds" »

16    Oct 20144 comments

Just like our ancestors: Shared personalities

Has anyone ever said that you speak exactly like your grandfather?

We often talk about resemblances and physical similarities between ourselves and our ancestors - perhaps it's the same smile as a cousin, or the identical eyes of a grandparent.

However, our physical appearance may not be the only connection passed through generations. Not only can we look like our ancestors, but we can act like them as well.

Continue reading "Just like our ancestors: Shared personalities" »

14    Oct 20140 comments

Genealogy Tip: Virtual Cemetery

Have you tried out the Virtual Cemetery feature in Family Tree Builder?

The Virtual Cemetery is a place to memorialize your ancestors. It is automatically created whenever an uploaded media file is associated to an individual's burial fact.

Gravestones contain important information of relatives such as birth and death dates, names, spouses' information and more. The Virtual Cemetery feature is a great way to enrich your family tree with a wealth of information such as gravestone images linked to family tree profiles.

The Virtual Cemetery compiles all burial-related media, making it easy to access information from these important sources, without crowding other photo albums in Family Tree Builder. It is kept separate from regular photo albums, as it is just associated with burial facts. This way, you will not see cemetery photos when looking at your images of living people.

Accessing the feature is easy. The Virtual Cemetery for all relatives can be listed together, or you can view by individual. Continue reading "Genealogy Tip: Virtual Cemetery" »

11    Oct 20141 comment

Journals: A source for family history discoveries

Journals and diaries are where we write our memories, secrets and daily thoughts. As such, when we find an ancestor’s journal, it can provide a wealth of rich information about his or her personal life and is a great source for discovering even more.

I recently stumbled upon my great-grandmother’s journal while helping my grandmother organize her house. It was incredible to see how intact the journal was despite many years of being stored in a box filled with other family treasures such as photos and documents. Continue reading "Journals: A source for family history discoveries" »

8    Oct 20148 comments

Travelling the World by Digitizing Cemeteries

As part of our global initiative to digitize cemeteries, MyHeritage was contacted by a couple with an interesting idea that allowed them to embark on an international adventure.

Michael Kerr and his wife, Sabrina Rowe, decided to leave the comfort of their home, and bicycle across Europe, stopping to photograph entire cemeteries on the way.  All the photos are being shared with the community for free on MyHeritage and BillionGraves.com.

Michael digitizes graves in Mirogoj cemetery (Zagreb, Croatia). The beautiful Mirogoj is listed as one of the “Significant Cemeteries” of Europe. It is unique in that it has long been multi-denominational and has beautiful grounds surrounded with long arcades with arches, columns and cupolas.

Michael and Sabrina have always wanted to travel, but they craved a deeper experience than just a short vacation that they were normally able to take once a year. Continue reading "Travelling the World by Digitizing Cemeteries" »

6    Oct 20146 comments

Death Records: Vital to Your Research

This guest post has been written by expert genealogist Miriam J. Robbins. Miriam has been instructing and lecturing in the United States since 2005. She has been interested in her family history since she was a young girl, living in Southeast Alaska. She began her genealogy research in 1987, and ten years later was successful in reuniting her grandmother with her biological family. Miriam writes an award-winning genealogy blog, AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors, and keeps busy adding links to her Online Historical Directories and Online Historical Newspapers websites.

The month of October is known for Family History Month as well as the holiday of Halloween. What better combination of the two than to learn about death records in genealogical research? Death records are one of the first and best types of records used in beginning genealogical research because of the variety of formats in which they appear, the basic facts which they contain, and the immense details that many list about both the decedent's life and death.

It’s important to learn a little about the history of death records in your ancestor’s location, as it will help you understand how the facts were gathered and recorded, what information the records may contain or omit, why the records themselves may be missing or difficult to find, and where to locate the death records currently. Continue reading "Death Records: Vital to Your Research" »

4    Oct 20143 comments

Our Ancestors: Sleep patterns

How much do you know about the lives that your ancestors lived?

Many of us know their names and, if we are lucky, we have dates, professions and stories about our distant ancestors. However, many questions still remain. There are some essential day-to-day activities of our ancestors that we may know little or nothing about.

Take sleep, for example. We can assume that our grandparents sleeping patterns were similar to ours. But what about our grandparents’ grandparents, and our grandparents’ grandparents’ grandparents? Continue reading "Our Ancestors: Sleep patterns" »

2    Oct 20148 comments

Surname Secrets: What’s in a name?

A surname passes through many generations connecting family members with that common surname. Many people are also named after deceased relatives to honor those who came before.

Surnames first appeared in the Middle Ages as a way to record and document people and for tax purposes. Details included given names, nicknames, parents’ names, occupation and residence. This personal information later became an important part of the history of surnames.

Women brewsters in the early 1900s in Seattle. Image credit: THE SEATTLE TIMES ARCHIVE

We recently wrote about jobs that no longer exist, and it was common for our ancestors to have surnames based on their occupation such as Cook, Carpenter or Smith. By looking at their surnames, it often leads us to learn more about our relatives’ lives. Yet there are many occupational surnames with hidden meanings. Here are a few of our favorites: Continue reading "Surname Secrets: What’s in a name?" »

29    Sep 20142 comments

A Sacrifice: The story of an Italian WWI hero

This year marks a century since the beginning of World War I. To commemorate, we share the touching story of Italian soldier Cesare Mele, from Sezze, south of Rome.

A view of ancient Sezze, in southern Italy

While the Central Powers consisted of Austria-Hungary and Germany, Italy decided to remain neutral in 1914, and eventually joined the Allies (France, UK and Russia) in May 1915. Once they entered the conflict, 650,000 Italian soldiers died, 947,000 were wounded, and 600,000 disappeared or were captured as prisoners of war.

MyHeritage user Lucia Fusco shared the story of Cesare Mele, her courageous great-uncle , who, through his self-sacrifice, was able to save his own family. Continue reading "A Sacrifice: The story of an Italian WWI hero" »

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