And so another RootsTech conference comes to an end. But what an incredible few days it's been!
Today saw RootsTech's largest crowd ever. The exhibit hall was filled to capacity with people of all ages, interested in family history.
Today was also family day, so 2000 extra young people and families attended.
All our demos were well attended and people flooded our team with questions.
This year's RootsTech is set to be the biggest yet, with more attendees and online participants than ever before.
One of today's highlights was MyHeritage's participation in the first ever Innovator Showdown.
Over 50 software developers from around the world entered a challenge to create the best new innovations in family history for an opportunity to win $25,000 in awards provided by sponsors (including MyHeritage, a platinum sponsor). The entrants were narrowed down over a course of rounds, and finalists were invited to present their ideas in the keynote hall. Prizes were determined by a panel of renowned judges and live audience voting. MyHeritage's VP of Business Development, Dan Mano, was a judge, alongside our good friend AJ Jacobs and other leaders from the business world.
Historical treasures are sometimes only discovered years after they have been stashed away or hidden. Once found, they may reveal a wealth of information.
This was the case when the oldest-known time capsule in the US was recently opened in Massachusetts. In 1795, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams buried it at the Massachusetts State House.
During repairs to the building in 1855, the time capsule was removed and contents cleaned, but put back - with added objects - for almost 160 years. This time, historians went through the contents and saw history unfold. Inside, they discovered five folded newspapers, coins, a silver engraved plate, a Massachusetts Commonwealth seal and a title page from Massachusetts colony records.
Opening the time capsule provided a treasure trove of historical information and documents to learn about the past. It’s easy to create your own family time capsule, filled with memories and documents. to preserve for future generations to remember us.
We’re looking forward to seeing our old friends and meeting new ones at RootsTech 2015.
RootsTech, the largest family history event in North America, is a unique family history conference for both new and experienced genealogists. It is a place to learn about new technologies that bring families together and help make family history discoveries easier.
This year’s event will take place February 11-14 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and we're proud to be Platinum Sponsors.
On Thursday, February 12, MyHeritage Chief Product Officer Mike Mallin will give a keynote address in the main lecture hall. Later that day Mike will be presenting "Instant Discoveries and Family Storytelling in the Mobile World," at a MyHeritage-sponsored lunch.
The MyHeritage Team will be speaking at classes throughout the conference. Here is a list of the great talks we have lined up:
London resident Duncan Barrett is a writer and editor, specializing in biography and memoir.
He grew up in London and studied English at Jesus College, Cambridge. He is the author or co-author of several Sunday Times top-10 bestsellers, such as “The Sugar Girls,” and “GI Brides.” His most recent book (August 2014) is “Men of Letters: The Post Office Heroes Who Fought the Great War.”
After his grandmother, Helen Hudson, died in 2006, Duncan’s mother Michèle received a box containing documents and artifacts relating to his family history.
I had been familiar with the box all my life, but it was only then that I began exploring its contents. As well as objects – and associated stories – that related to ancestors I had never known, there was all the research work that my grandmother and my aunt had done into the family history, putting together family trees and organizing the material in the box. Looking through it made me feel closer to the grandmother I had lost.
Growing up, Duncan never felt that interested in the lives of his ancestors who lived before he was born – they seemed very remote, anonymous faces in photo albums. But he was able to get to know them quite intimately as he read through the materials in box, particularly through the letters exchanged among the relatives.
Ever looked at an old family photo of your grandparent or parent next to your own photo and seen a striking resemblance?
It's not surprising that we share looks with our relatives. Yet, sometimes we do a double-take, as if we're looking at the same photo.
See these fascinating look-a-like photos shared by members of the Huffington Post Parents Community.
Triple-take: 3 Generations
After 60 years of searching, MyHeritage found the connection – in just two months - between Australia’s Ann Clare Meagher’s mother Hilda Welchman Moss, and Ann’s previously unknown maternal uncle, John Welchman, in the UK.
Ann’s mother, Hilda, died at 32, leaving six children, when Ann was nine. Her father, Fred Moss, was a British Army major posted to India, and Ann was born in Lahore (now Pakistan) in 1945. Her mother Hilda Welchman had travelled to India from England and she married in 1941.
As a teen, I often wondered about my grandparents, as I had no knowledge or contact with them. We moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1962. I became a nurse, and have been happily married for 43 years, with a wonderful husband and three sons.
Ann had spent years looking for any relative of her mother without success until she became a member of MyHeritage and found her previously unknown uncle. She discovered a story he had written about his life and was dumb-founded that he had been looking for his sister’s family for 60 years. He lives in Dorset, England.
Photographs are a great inspiration to see family similarities, past and present. Have you ever been told that you resemble an ancestor?
We often see old photographs and want to learn the stories behind the faces in our family tree. Christine McConnell decided to take this further and actually "become" her ancestors in a beautiful portrait series.
Honoring seven generations of women on her maternal lineage, Christine recreated these photos using herself and showed them side by side. The similarities are uncanny and demonstrate how family connections also extend to appearances.
As we get more involved in our family history research, we acquire more and more information, papers, notes and photos that clutter up our homes.
To avoid losing these valuable pieces of family history, it’s important to find ways to organize and keep track of your family history research discoveries.
Storytelling is a great way to create a stronger family bond, share family moments and have our children and grandchildren feel part of a grander history. Children love listening to stories and looking at old photographs. Seeing a family tree filled with images of people they may or may not know will peak their curiousity to ask many questions and learn about their heritage.