29    Sep 20160 comments

Video: Put your family history on the map

Earlier this week, we hosted a webinar with Uri Gonen (VP of Product Management for MyHeritage) about our recently released feature, PedigreeMap™.

PedigreeMap is an innovative free feature for visualizing your family history. This feature plots births, marriages, and deaths, digital and scanned historical photos from your MyHeritage family tree on an interactive map. Get tips on tracing the locations of important events in your family history and understanding your ancestors' life journeys.

Along with our Genealogy Expert Daniel Horowitz, Uri provided a live demo of PedigreeMap and answered dozens of questions from our users.

Did you miss it? Don't worry! Click on the video below to watch the full webinar.

Don’t forget to check our other webinars for many more genealogy tips to help make family history research easier.

Have ideas for other webinars? Let us know in the comments below.

28    Sep 20160 comments

Meet the Team: Marianne

Marianne Melcherts

Dutch-born Marianne Melcherts has been working with the customer support team at MyHeritage since 2010. The way she describes it, it feels both like forever and like no time at all.

As a child, Marianne was already quite interested in discovering her roots. She grew up in a small village in the Netherlands, located between Amsterdam and Utrecht. She was interested in history and archaeology. Marianne’s family is very well read, and reading was a big part of her upbringing. From an early age, she would often read books that had to do with historical research.

Photos of the family's ancestors were hung on the walls in the living room of her parents' house. They depicted her grandparents, great-grandparents, and there was even one of her great-great-grandfather. As a child, Marianne was mesmerized by the people in these photos and was curious to know more.

My paternal ancestors came from Friesland, the most northern province of the Netherlands and, in some photos, the women wore the traditional costume. I remember my father and grandparents speaking Frisian. I am very proud of my Dutch heritage.

Photos of Marianne's great-grandmother Luurtske Durks Hijlkema and great-grandfather Lolle Rimmers Hijlkema.

Continue reading "Meet the Team: Marianne" »

26    Sep 20163 comments

Webinar: PedigreeMap™

We recently released PedigreeMap™, an innovative free feature for visualizing your family history. This feature plots births, marriages, and deaths, digital and scanned historical photos from your MyHeritage family tree on an interactive map.

Join us tomorrow for a free webinar about PedigreeMap. Uri Gonen, VP of Product Management at MyHeritage will give tips on tracing the locations of important events in your family history and understanding your ancestors' life journeys.

Register for free here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2606482850766305538.

Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2014.

10 AM Los Angeles
1 PM New York
6 PM London

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

Have a question about PedigreeMap? Leave a comment below and we'll try to answer as many as we can during the webinar. Looking forward to seeing you online!

18    Sep 20168 comments

We’re Halfway to Digitizing Every Cemetery in Israel

We're happy to announce that we've completed 50% of our goal to digitize every cemetery in Israel — aiming to make it the first country in the world to have all of its gravestones preserved online and searchable, and we're making all of this data available on MyHeritage for free.

Cemeteries play a vital role in family history research and society in general. Most of the world's cemeteries have never been systematically documented nor has their information made available online. Also, age and exposure to the elements are rendering gravestones illegible, making this project even more urgent.

In 2014, we launched a global initiative with BillionGraves to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries. The MyHeritage team even went out and digitized an entire cemetery, taking more than 50,000 photos in a single day.

The MyHeritage team at Segula Cemetery (click to zoom).

When photographing and documenting gravestones using the excellent BillionGraves mobile application, the precise GPS coordinates of every gravestone are preserved. This makes it easy for others to locate and visit graves of family members and also allows volunteers to see which areas of a cemetery have already been photographed, avoiding duplication and maximizing productivity.

We have extended that original initiative, pledging to photograph all cemeteries and gravestones in Israel and to transcribe all the information on each and every gravestone.

Continue reading "We’re Halfway to Digitizing Every Cemetery in Israel" »

12    Sep 20160 comments

New: 33 Million Finland Church Records Added

We've just added the most significant records available for Finnish genealogical research to MyHeritage SuperSearch — a huge collection of 33 million digitized Finland Church Records. The records in the Finland Church Census and Pre-confirmation Rolls, 1657-1915 collection were maintained by the Lutheran Church in Finland and cover nearly 300 years, providing insights into the entire population of Finland during this period.

Almost everyone with Finnish roots will be able to find their ancestors in this collection, follow them over time and across various locations in Finland, learn more about their lives, and ultimately extend their family tree by many generations and make fascinating family history discoveries.

Search the Finland Church Census and Pre-confirmation Rolls

While parts of the Finnish church records could previously be found online, such as non-indexed images, they were never entirely indexed or searchable, until now. Under agreement with the National Archives Service of Finland, MyHeritage is the first to have undertaken the challenging project of indexing the church records and pre-confirmation books. They are now available online for the first time, fully indexed and searchable, and only on MyHeritage.


This collection is the most significant resource for anyone with Finnish roots because of the unmatched quality and quantity of the genealogical information it provides. It is likely to remain the most valuable collection of Finnish historical records ever published online. Continue reading "New: 33 Million Finland Church Records Added" »

11    Sep 20162 comments

Our Volunteers: From Madeira to MyHeritage

Born on the island of Madeira (Portugal) in 1954, Vasco Gonçalves de Andrade moved to Lisbon in 1976 to work and to study psychology. He holds a degree in social and organizational psychology.

Married, he has two daughters in Lisbon. The older is a TV reporter, and the younger is a landscape architect.

After many years of working for two large companies in Lisbon and in Funchal (where he has lived for 16 years), he took early retirement due to illness.

Today, Vasco is a volunteer for the Portuguese Red Cross, where he can help people and work for a good cause. He has also been a volunteer translator of Portuguese for MyHeritage, since 2012.

It was so long ago that I don’t remember if I was asked to help or if I proposed to help.  It has been a great experience! Since I enjoy genealogy and also like to practice my English, this has been a dual-goal job. I’ve also made friends on the MyHeritage team.

Continue reading "Our Volunteers: From Madeira to MyHeritage" »

8    Sep 20164 comments

50 Years of ‘Star Trek’

Fifty years ago, on September 8, 1966, the first Star Trek episode was broadcast in the US, on NBC.

Has it really been a half-century? We feel that time has passed by at warp speed!

Original Star Trek cast (Credit: TVgoodness.com)

Star Trek was a culturally influential TV show that made a considerable impact on society. The show regularly dealt with significant social issues of the day such as sexism and feminism, racism, militarism, and peace. The idea of people from all nations coming together to explore space and utilizing the imagined exciting futuristic technologies inspired a generation.

Martin Cooper, General Manager of Systems at Motorola and one of the inventors of the cell phone, explained how Star Trek affected his life-mission: Continue reading "50 Years of ‘Star Trek’" »

6    Sep 201629 comments

DNA Matching Now Live

In mid-May, we gave MyHeritage users who have taken a DNA test the ability to upload DNA data to benefit from free DNA Matching, once we complete developing it. We’re happy to announce that our DNA Matching technology is now ready and live!

DNA Matching can open up exciting new research directions, and allow you to find and connect with relatives you may not have known about.

MyHeritage DNA Matching Now Live

As promised, our DNA Matching is completely free and will remain free for those who have already uploaded their DNA test results. If you have taken a DNA test (with test providers like Family Tree DNA, 23andMe or Ancestry), or have DNA test results from other family members, and have not uploaded them to MyHeritage yet, we recommend that you hurry up and upload the DNA data now. If you do, you will still enjoy free DNA Matching on MyHeritage forever. Follow these simple instructions to export your raw DNA data from the service you tested with and import this data to MyHeritage.

Continue reading "DNA Matching Now Live" »

1    Sep 20162 comments

21 Best Tips From Family History Enthusiasts

Over the years, we've featured many incredible stories from MyHeritage users who have made family history discoveries. Some have found hidden photos or mementos of their loved ones, others reconnected with long-lost family members or were reunited with completely unknown relatives!

We've collected some of their tried-and-tested advice, to help you with your family history research, no matter what stage you are at right now.

Getting started. Enter the names of people you know and the information you have. Work back towards the unknown.

Talk with living older relatives. Speak with your family: parents, grandparents, cousins, and siblings, and especially with all your older relatives to find out about their lives and what they remember. Do not wait until your parents or grandparents are too old to remember or are no longer living. Continue reading "21 Best Tips From Family History Enthusiasts" »

30    Aug 20162 comments

Life Before the Internet

What was life like before the internet?

I think that people had more free time before the internet. Days were longer, more time was spent with family. Well, perhaps that's an exaggeration. Days were never actually more than 24 hours, and people didn't really have an abundance of free time. It just felt that way since our attention wasn't so divided.

For many of us today, we'll be the last generation that can answer that question firsthand. The internet has added value to our lives and changed the world in so many ways. Many aspects of daily life have drastically changed since the internet was developed.

Take the field of genealogy as an example. In the past, you'd have to travel across the world to research your roots. People would write letters, they'd sit in libraries, museums, archives, and spend hours poring over microfilms. Continue reading "Life Before the Internet" »

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