10    Jul 201430 comments

Search WWI military records for free!

2014 marks a century since the outbreak of World War I. On July 28 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded Serbia, beginning a world war that would last four years and result in millions of casualties.

Were your ancestors among the brave men who fought? How did they serve their country? Learn more about them by searching hundreds of thousands of WWI military records.

Enjoy FREE access to the following record collections from now through the end of July: Continue reading "Search WWI military records for free!" »

19    Jun 20140 comments

Biggest Family Reunion: A TED talk by AJ Jacobs

Six months ago, author AJ Jacobs received an email from a man halfway across the world claiming to be his 12th cousin. It sparked his interest, and AJ began researching his family history.

Since then, AJ has looked into his family history and discovered scores of fascinating relatives. He's now planning the largest family reunion in history - and you're invited!

AJ recently gave a TED talk about his genealogical endeavors, and his plans for the largest family reunion ever. His talk is featured on the TED homepage. Watch the video below:

Each and every person is invited to go to globalfamilyreunion.com to see their relation to AJ and to sign up for the big reunion! We hope to see you all there!

31    May 201425 comments

Old Household Appliances: Cherished family heirlooms

Growing up in my house, we used a very old pop-up toaster to make our morning toast. When I say old, I mean very, very old. It was no longer shiny, but the metal and strong base shouted durability.

As a young child, I actually thought it was from ancient times. It turns out, it wasn't really medieval, but rather a present that my grandparents had received as a newly married couple in the 1950s.

This toaster worked perfectly every single day without fail, turning our bread a light brown color and popping out the pieces just in time. It was a no-fail piece of cookery. Continue reading "Old Household Appliances: Cherished family heirlooms" »

20    May 20140 comments

Levis: From a quick fix to the world’s best-selling jeans

Levi's jeans are well known throughout the world for their quality and durablility, but do you know the history of how the jeans were were originally created by Levi Strauss for gold miners in the 1800s' California Gold Rush?

In 1853, Levi Strauss, a German Jewish immigrant, moved to San Francisco to open a branch of his brother's wholesale dry goods store. He began selling clothing, blankets, fabrics and other items to small stores throughout the region.

One of his customers, Jacob Davis, was a Latvian Jewish immigrant, in Reno, Nevada. As a tailor, Jacob frequently purchased bolts of denim cloth from Levi Strauss & Co.'s wholesale house. Davis found himself repeatedly reinfocing torn pants, and had an idea to to use copper rivets to reinforce the pants at stress points. He added rivets to the button fly and pocket corners.

Davis knew that the idea would take off, but he didn't have the money required to obtain a patent, so he wrote to Strauss suggesting that they go into business together.
Continue reading "Levis: From a quick fix to the world’s best-selling jeans" »

19    May 20142 comments

Nostalgia: Smells of the past

Nostalgia is defined as sentimentality about the past, typically for a time or place remembered with happy personal associations.

The word nostalgia comes from a combination of two Greek words, νόστος (nóstos), meaning "homecoming," and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning "pain, ache."

It is attributed to a 17th-century medical student to describe anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home.

It can be brought on by many different associations. Memories can be stirred when looking at old photos of people and places, listening to a song that takes you back to when you first heard it, or tasting something familiar from your childhood.

Sensory expert Professor Barry Smith says that "Smell, more than any other sense, can evoke powerful, emotional memories. Whole scenes of people, places and things can be brought back to life by the hint of a long forgotten scent." Continue reading "Nostalgia: Smells of the past" »

9    May 201413 comments

Hidden Treasure: Family heirlooms

Family heirlooms are precious to family members and often teach us about our heritage. They provide clues about our ancestors and how they lived.

Sometimes ancestral treasures are hidden and are only discovered years after they have been stashed away or hidden. When uncovered, they can reveal a wealth of information!

Such is the case in the story of this grandson, who recently discovered hidden treasure when cleaning out his grandparents' garage. What his family discovered was unbelievable!

Continue reading "Hidden Treasure: Family heirlooms" »

8    May 201414 comments

Mother’s Day: Then and Now

As Mother's Day approaches, our research team took a look at what life was like for mothers a century ago and compared our findings to what life is like for mothers today.

Times were very different 100 years ago. In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, the first US bus line began and, on May 7, 1914, Mother's Day was officially recognized as a national holiday in the United States!

Here are some interesting facts:

  • In 1914, pacifiers, wooden carriages and baby bottles were around, but mothers didn't have the conveniences of disposable diapers or wipes.
  • One hundred years ago, over 95% of all US births took place at home. Today, home births account for less than 1% of all births. Continue reading "Mother’s Day: Then and Now" »
3    Apr 20140 comments

Uncovering Family History: Live on Fox News

When author Yvette Corporon wrote her recently released novel, When the Cypress Whispers, she delved deep into her family history. She uncovered the tale of her grandparents, who lived on a small Greek island -- and how they, along with their neighbors, hid a Jewish family on the island during the Second World War.

MyHeritage helped Yvette connect with people who know the family that was hidden and she hopes to reunite with them soon.

Yesterday, Yvette was on Fox News Channel's weekday morning show, Fox and Friends, to discuss her new book.

Watch Yvette talk about using MyHeritage for her family research:

Continue reading "Uncovering Family History: Live on Fox News" »

27    Mar 20142 comments

Family History: What we leave for our children

We often think of family history in one direction- what we are learning or "taking from" our ancestors. We rarely take the time to think about give and take in the other direction.

What's the legacy that you would like to leave for your children and for future generations? How are you making sure that it will be passed on?

There are many practices for ensuring that your family history survives into future generations. Perhaps the most crucial is including your children and descendants in your family history research.

By encouraging interest in the family tree from your children, grandchildren and other relatives, they will want to preserve the records for generations to come. Continue reading "Family History: What we leave for our children" »

20    Mar 20141 comment

Family History: Movies and documentaries

Genealogy continually gains popularity around the world, and is increasingly becoming a favorite activity and hobby. More and more people want to research their family history and discover their past.

As the trend grows, there has also been an increase in family history and genealogy-related films and documentaries.

Here are some  films - some still in progress - having to do with family history:

Children of the Inquisition

Filmmaker Joseph Lovett of New York is currently working on a movie focusing on the stories of descendants of Jews who fled Iberia beginning in 1492. Children of the Inquisition follows a group of descendants of those persecuted during the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions. It accompanies them as they unravel their complex and often hidden identities. Each of them is on a quest to determine and embrace their ancestral roots. Continue reading "Family History: Movies and documentaries" »

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