24    Jul 20161 comment

How Did Our Ancestors Beat the Heat?

While cooling off in my comfortable air-conditioned home, I wonder what summer was like for my ancestors. How did they attempt to keep cool during intense heat waves without the modern advancements we enjoy? How did they make the most of their summers?

Farm boys eating ice-cream cones, July 1941 (Credit: Library of Congress)

Continue reading "How Did Our Ancestors Beat the Heat?" »

10    Jul 20165 comments

On the Trail of a French Prisoner of War in Germany

This post was written by Elisabeth Zetland, researcher at MyHeritage. It was originally posted on our French blog.

I have long hoped to reconnect with the German family that had such a great impact on my grandfather’s life. I never met my maternal grandfather, Roger Dubuc. He passed away when I was only four months old. I don’t remember when I first heard his story but it quickly became a mystery that intrigued me, and I decided that I had to solve it.

Roger’s story began like that of many other French soldiers, but it suddenly took an abrupt turn. At the age of 20, on June 22, 1940, he was captured in Vannes without ever having fought in the war. When he left French soil, he didn't imagine that it would be five long years before he would return home again. His father Léon had also been a prisoner of war in Germany at the end of WWI, but had returned home after seven months.

My grandfather on the left, with the German family (which I finally discovered) in Sandstedt

Continue reading "On the Trail of a French Prisoner of War in Germany" »

4    Jul 20161 comment

MyHeritage Reunites 93-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor with Her Relatives

Nata Gattegno, a Holocaust survivor from Corfu, Greece could never have children of her own as a result of what she endured in Auschwitz during WWII. Although she thought she was alone in the world, research done by the MyHeritage team uncovered cousins, that Nata either never knew existed, or with whom she had lost touch many years ago.

Watch the emotional reunion that took place recently when we introduced Nata to her new-found relatives in this video, in Hebrew with English subtitles:

Continue reading "MyHeritage Reunites 93-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor with Her Relatives" »

23    Jun 20163 comments

25 Family History Questions You’ll Really Want to Ask

Today, it's easier than ever to conduct family history interviews with family. The Audio Recordings feature in the MyHeritage mobile app makes it quick and painless to have a relative sit down and document their story, allowing it to be preserved for the future.

How do you make sure that you're documenting the complete story? How do you get those juicy bits of family history that you're looking for?

We've collected 25 unusual family history questions that are sure to get your family members talking about the stories probably never heard before: Continue reading "25 Family History Questions You’ll Really Want to Ask" »

19    Jun 20163 comments

Top 10 Pearls of Wisdom from the World’s Oldest Dad

Happy Father's Day!

This year for Father's Day, we hosted Israel Kristal, the world's oldest living man, who live-tweeted fatherly advice from the @MyHeritage Twitter account.

Israel, who will be 113 in September, currently holds the title of the world's oldest man, making him also the world's oldest father. We couldn't have chosen a more experienced person to dispense sage wisdom.

Here are the top 10 pearls of wisdom he shared with us:

1."Set aside special time for your kids weekly, with no distractions. You won't regret it! When I was younger, I would work very long days at my confectionary business. I always made sure to keep the weekends free for my children." Continue reading "Top 10 Pearls of Wisdom from the World’s Oldest Dad" »

9    Jun 20160 comments

The Oldest Selfie Ever Taken

The "selfie" is a casual self-portrait photograph, usually taken with a front-facing camera on a smartphone or a digital camera. They are most often shared through social networks and have become so common that it is rare to have not heard of them.

Although the term "selfie" is relatively new — it was only added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013 — the idea of taking a photograph of yourself by holding the camera in front of you is most certainly not new.

The first known selfie was produced by Robert Cornelius, an American pioneer in photography. He created a daguerreotype of himself in 1839. Not only is it the first known selfie, but it's also one of the first photographs taken of a person...ever.

Because the process was slow, Robert was able to uncover the lens, run into the shot for a minute or more, and then replace the lens cap. The photo is labeled on the back as "The first light Picture ever taken. 1839."

Credit: Library of Congress

Continue reading "The Oldest Selfie Ever Taken" »

1    Jun 20161 comment

Road Trip: MyHeritage at Conferences Around the World

We're hitting the road this week to head to four family history conferences in four corners of the world! We hope you will come along and say hello to us in person at our booths and learn more about MyHeritage from our classes and demos. We'd love to see you there!

1) Ontario Genealogy Society Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 3-5
The OGS Conference of 2016 is promising to be even larger than expected. Members of all 34 branches and special interest groups of the Ontario Genealogical Society and other family historians from across North America and around the world will meet in Toronto for three days of inspiring lectures, workshops, displays, and other learning opportunities.

MyHeritage Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz will give a mini-lecture on Saturday morning on "Why Build Your Family Tree on MyHeritage?" On Sunday, he will speak on "Discovering Your Family History with Seven Unique Technologies" and "Mobile Applications for Genealogy Research and Family Photo and Data Sharing." On Sunday, Esther Shuman will give a mini-lecture on "How to Use MyHeritage’s Cutting-Edge Matching Technologies." Continue reading "Road Trip: MyHeritage at Conferences Around the World" »

30    May 20162 comments

11 Million Australian Newspaper Pages Now Online

We've just added 11.4 million pages of Australian newspaper records to our collections. The records are now available for free at MyHeritage SuperSearch.

Including over 700 Australian newspapers, this phenomenal collection, digitized by the Trove (The National Library of Australia), covers newspapers from 1803 to the mid-20th century. Each Australian state and territory are represented, although the bulk of the collection consists of newspapers from New South Wales and Victoria.

Search the Australian Newspaper collection now

This collection is a treasure trove of information for all Australian researchers — or those with Australian heritage — looking to add to the rich fabric of their family history and fill in missing details. Newspapers are fantastic sources of genealogical and family history information. Birth, marriage and death announcements, and obituaries found in newspapers are commonly used resources for genealogy. However, your ancestors may also be mentioned in articles on local news and events (i.e. social, community, school, sport, or business related events).

In the next few months, we will add 5 million new pages to this collection. This collection will also soon be matched with all family trees on MyHeritage.

Here are a few interesting examples from the collection: Continue reading "11 Million Australian Newspaper Pages Now Online" »

26    May 20160 comments

Family ‘Curse’ Broken after 102 Years!

Is there a long direct line of one gender in your family? How many men versus women are in your family tree?

The statistics section on your MyHeritage family site will provide the answer. Among other interesting facts, see which gender is more prevalent in your family. In my family tree, it's split pretty evenly. Of 304 people, 156 are male.

If the Underdahl family of Idaho would check their family tree statistics, they would probably see that the men in their tree reigned and are the majority. In their family, there hadn't been a baby girl born in the direct line for over 100 years. That just changed. Continue reading "Family ‘Curse’ Broken after 102 Years!" »

19    May 201645 comments

MyHeritage is Adding Free DNA Matching

We have some good news for the genealogy community.

We are constantly developing new ways to advance genealogy through the latest technological innovations. One of the most exciting frontiers in family history research is DNA and today's announcement reflects a major step by MyHeritage in this important area.

DNA and traditional genealogy methods, such as family trees and historical records, go hand in hand. DNA can sometimes help where traditional research encounters a dead end, while traditional genealogy is often required to pinpoint an exact relationship path discovered by DNA.

While we have been offering DNA test kits for a few years — through partnerships — and will continue to do so, we are now developing a new DNA Matching service. This service will enable people who have already tested their DNA through DNA testing services (such as 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, and AncestryDNA) to enjoy MyHeritage’s exceptional matching capabilities for their family history research, and get more value from the DNA test they already took. Continue reading "MyHeritage is Adding Free DNA Matching" »

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