Imagine going on a journey back 125 years and across continents. That's what Anna, from Sweden, will be doing as she flies across the world to Australia to travel to her ancestors' towns and learn about them.
Anna will be documenting her genealogical trip to learn more about her roots on her blog. Here is her first post, originally published on our Swedish blog.
I'm nervous, excited, tingly and happy, and a bit fearful to be going on this journey. However, there is a huge difference in traveling now than in 1890 when Oskar decided to go on his journey. He left his job, family and friends for an adventure filled with uncertainty in search for something new. Today, that level of fear isn't as necessary with all our technologies that connect us to our family no matter where we live. It's easy to stay in touch with our loved ones, unlike 125 years ago.
Her post continues:
Whether you are a family historian or just someone interested in learning about their family’s heritage, there are certain things only a genealogist will understand.
You’ve been hit with the genealogy bug if…
- When introducing someone you say, “this is my sister’s grandmother’s father’s son.”
- You are more interested in what happened in 1815 than in 2015.
Debating whether to explore your roots? Trying to persuade a relative or friend to start their family history research?
Here are nine reasons why family history is important to persuade you - or others - to begin learning about your heritage.
1. The Queen? Elvis? Who knows, they may be your distant cousins. You may find you're related to someone famous or be linked to royalty!
2. Leave a legacy for future generations. Do you want to leave something important to your children and grandchildren? Don't leave it to someone else, start preserving family memories and stories for them.
3. Document your life as a piece of living history.
Last month, we announced that Instant Discoveries™ are now available to all MyHeritage users, allowing our users to add entire branches to their family tree in just a few clicks. Many of our users have already been enjoying these Discoveries every day, and you can see this in near real-time using our exciting Discovery World Map.
Today we are introducing a useful new feature that lets you see the Discoveries available for you right in your family tree, in their exact context. For example, if a branch connected to your great-grandmother, which includes her father or mother, is missing in your family tree, but found by MyHeritage in another tree, you’ll see a special yellow card above your great-grandmother’s profile labeled “Discovery!”
Hover over the Discovery card to learn more about it: a tooltip will open describing the Discovery and specifying how many missing relatives it can add to your tree and the source of the information.
We’re excited to be at NGS 2015, taking place May 13-16 in St. Charles, Missouri.
The National Genealogical Society (NGS) was established in 1903 in Washington, DC to serve and grow the genealogical community through education, training, promoting access to and preserving genealogical records.
Continuing our spotlight on volunteer translators, we’d like to introduce Ulla Plon, a MyHeritage member from Denmark, who has been helping to translate MyHeritage products into Danish for over a year.
Born in 1952 in Copenhagen, to a Danish mother and a father who was a Jewish refugee from Vienna, Ulla spent her first 10 years in the suburbs. Later, she moved with her parents and younger brother 50km north to a small town on the coast near Elsinore, the setting of Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy, Hamlet.
Since she was a child, Ulla was always interested in her family history.
“I loved it when my mother and maternal grandmother told me family stories and about their own childhood.”
We're delighted to announce that we've updated our Android and iOS mobile app with a new look to improve your family history experience. The enhanced app enables families around the world to build their family tree, instantly discover ancestors and relatives, and preserve and share their legacy, all with a better looking and more intuitive interface.
So far more than 4 million people have downloaded the MyHeritage app, and its usage is growing worldwide. Within the last 3 months, the app was selected by Google as a featured Android app in more than 100 countries, making MyHeritage the first company in the family history industry to receive such a recognition.
The MyHeritage mobile app is supported in 36 languages, enabling families around the globe to stay connected by capturing and sharing family memories on-the-go.
Available for iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets, the mobile app has been optimized for each platform using cutting-edge technologies and provides a user-friendly interface for working on your family tree.
MyHeritage was recently featured on Israel’s leading prime time TV news show which covered the story of how the inhabitants of Erikoussa, a small Greek island, had risked their lives in WWII to save a Jewish tailor's family from the Nazis.
The video below (with English subtitles) shows the remarkable story of the island, the genealogical discoveries made by MyHeritage and an emotional interview with Abraham, whose mother was among those saved on Erikoussa.
When the Nazis invaded Corfu, most of the Jewish citizens were sent to Auschwitz, but a tailor named Savvas managed to escape with his three daughters and another girl named Rosa, to the nearby island of Erikoussa. Savvas had customers and acquaintances there, but what was incredible was that the entire island joined forces - at risk of death - and gave refuge to Savvas and his girls, and kept their presence secret from the Nazis for the duration of the war.
When you think of a genealogist, what does that person look like?
An elderly person, perhaps? Someone who has lots of time on their hands and for whom family history research utilizes that time?
Think again – this is the story of young Swedish genealogist Erik Elkan, 19, who proves that genealogy is a pursuit for everyone - regardless of age.
Thousands of people in Sweden - and everywhere else around the world - have, at some point, sat down and looked at old family photos. Many have looked deep into their closets and cupboards for family belongings; some have been more successful than others.
The important thing for Erik - as one of that multitude - is the moment when something completely new about deceased relatives is discovered, he says, whether it is in a dusty photo album or a hand-drawn family tree that has lost almost all its color.
We're delighted to announce that Instant Discoveries™ are now available for all MyHeritage users. Launched in December 2014, Instant Discoveries™ is a unique experience for discovering family history information and applying it to one's tree on MyHeritage with ease. Initially we released this experience only for new users - newcomers to family history - to make it easier for them to embark on their family history journey. By signing up at MyHeritage and entering some basic information about immediate family members, new users discovered ancestors, relatives and never-seen-before photos in just a few seconds. Following the successful launch we took Instant Discoveries™ to the streets of New York and demonstrated it to passers-by. It was incredible to see their emotional reactions.
As of this week, we've taken this breakthrough technology to the next level, by providing the Instant Discoveries™ experience to all users of MyHeritage, enabling multiple individuals and photos to be added to existing family trees in just a few clicks.
How does it work?
An Instant Discovery™ is a "package" of family history information that you can apply in one click. If an individual in your family tree connects to a branch in another family tree, you'll be alerted about this and can then choose to add everyone in that branch (up to 40-50 people) to your tree, who is not already there, in one go, rather than manually add people one by one, and amend the data piece by piece.
Every Instant Discovery™ is based on a match, which is found by our Smart Matching™ technology, and we filter out incorrect matches automatically. Instant Discoveries™ complement Smart Matches™ in how the information is applied to the user's tree. With Smart Matches™, information is added to the tree one fact at a time, one person at a time, manually. With Instant Discoveries™ an entire branch can be copied in a single click, along with all facts, events and photos, and source citations are automatically created in the target tree to document exactly where the data came from. To protect the privacy of other users, Instant Discoveries™ never bring information on living people.
We've already processed millions of family trees on MyHeritage for Discoveries out of the 28 million existing trees added by our users, and found that more than 50% of the trees will enjoy one or more Discoveries! The success rate increases as your tree grows (for example, a tree with 100 individuals will enjoy at least one Discovery almost always, and often many more). Even if your tree isn't growing, the success rate will still increase each day as MyHeritage adds millions of records and profiles every day, collecting more data to compare against your tree.
World map of Discoveries
MyHeritage users around the world have already begun enjoying Discoveries and adding them to their trees. To get a feel for the great things people are discovering, we've created a fun interactive map, showing the users making Discoveries on MyHeritage around the world, almost in real-time. Click the image below to view the interactive map.