9    Oct 2013120 comments

Competition: Which ancestor would you like to meet?

We received many photo captions for last week’s Family History Month competition. Thank you to everyone that entered.

Congratulations to Christalina Jager, winner of a Premium Family Site Subscription for her family site.

We loved your photo caption; “believing that the exhaust from those new things called cars would kill them, the ladies invented a new mask that wouldn't mess up their makeup".

According to the Netherlands Nationaal Archief's bibliographic record, the photo shows women in Montreal, Canada in 1939, wearing plastic face protection from snowstorms.

This week, we're holding another Family History Month competition to win a PremiumPlus site subscription. Continue reading "Competition: Which ancestor would you like to meet?" »

7    Oct 20132 comments

First Family Photos: Create Lasting Memories

There’s nothing like that first family photo with a precious new family member. New parents are so excited to get  that perfect shot, showcasing their new bundle of joy.

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1e3ul6O

I remember taking our baby to the photo studio for our first family portrait. It took hours to find the right outfits to wear. After much effort to feed and dress the baby, we finally made it out the door. By the time we got to the studio, we had to start the whole feeding and changing process all over again!

This is why I have come to appreciate the effort involved in taking that first family photo.

Recently, the Royal Family released their first family photos of the Duke, Duchess, and Prince of Cambridge. They were taken by the Duchess' father, Michael Middleton, in their family garden earlier this month. There is one image of the Duke, Duchess and baby George together, and another that includes their two family pets, Tilly and Lupo.

Relaxed and natural, everyone can see  their absolute happiness as a new family. This is a great example what a first family photo should look like.

We look forward to seeing more family photos of the Royal Family and  Prince George at his upcoming christening  at the end of October.

Do you have a first family photo? What is it like?

4    Oct 20130 comments

Webinars: Genealogy tips and tricks

Discovering more about our ancestors helps take family history research to the next level. Whether it’s historical records, images, or looking for a relative’s name, there may be missing pieces we need to find to complete our family trees.

Our webinars help provide genealogy tips and tricks to make your family history research easier, and learn more about how to make the most of MyHeritage.

Last week, MyHeritage’s Chief Genealogist, Daniel Horowitz, gave a free online webinar on finding the gaps in family history research.

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

Don’t forget to check our other webinars, both for beginners and more advanced researchers, to take your family history to the next level.

Would you like to learn more about a certain genealogy topic? Leave a comment below with suggestions for future webinars!

1    Oct 2013313 comments

Family History Month: Competitions, Tips and More

October marks Family History Month - an excellent time for you and your family to learn about your family heritage. We’ll be celebrating throughout this month with exciting competitions, webinars and tips to enhance your family history research.

See this week's contest and read about our other activities.

From historical records, to building family trees, we're here to help you learn, collect and share your family history.

Continue reading "Family History Month: Competitions, Tips and More" »

27    Sep 20135 comments

South Africa: Family history and a Harley

Family history researchers share a common passion. South African MyHeritage member Denise Wronsky Barnard, 55, has always felt an interest in history since she was a child.

However, as an adult, she has more time to conduct research and to spend time on her other passion – riding a Harley! Denise is also a photographer, a writer and loves to travel.

Born in Pretoria, where she still lives, Denise is married and has three adult children. She holds a Diploma in Architecture.

We asked Denise what she’s discovered about her family history.

Continue reading "South Africa: Family history and a Harley" »

24    Sep 20139 comments

Our Stories: From the Netherlands to Australia

MyHeritage members come to us in various ways. Maria Keep, 63, born in the Netherlands and now living in Australia, tried a free MyHeritage CD that came in a magazine.

Maria was born in Renkum, Netherlands. She, her husband and adult daughter and son live in Forster NSW Australia. She is a full-time caregiver for her husband who is vision impaired and suffers from total memory and short term memory loss.

Family wedding in 1954

Maria has been collecting family history for some four decades.

I am from a very big family and have always been interested in family history and had been collecting little bits of information on bits of paper and putting them in a book with the intention of putting it all together one day into a proper family tree record. I started collecting this information about 40 years ago.

Continue reading "Our Stories: From the Netherlands to Australia" »

16    Sep 201319 comments

New Feature: Save Records to Your Tree

We’re delighted to launch today a new feature that allows the saving of records that you discover in SuperSearch – MyHeritage's online search engine for billions of historical records – directly to the relevant profiles in your family tree.

Save records to your family tree

Our Record Matching technology already provides accurate matches of historical records to family tree profiles and when a match is confirmed, or pending confirmation, the record appears on that individual’s family tree profile. Our new “Save Records” feature takes this one step further and enables you to save any record that you find on SuperSearch, to one or more profiles in your online family tree on MyHeritage.

Have ancestors you want to learn more about? Search for them in SuperSearch, or click on the research icon on any family tree profile, and save any relevant records that you discover directly to their family tree profile.

Walkthrough: How to Save Records

Continue reading "New Feature: Save Records to Your Tree" »

9    Sep 20137 comments

Our Stories: Planning a family reunion

By his own account, Norwood Wayne Newkirk says that reading and history were not his greatest passions as he grew up. Today that has changed, as he was the project manager for his family’s reunion held August 1-4, 2013, in New Jersey.

He holds a degree in electrical engineering and worked as a loss prevention consultant. Today he creates risk management systems as a senior account executive and computer application developer.

So what I have done over the past two years [since the 2011 reunion] in preparation for our 2013 reunion is not a far stretch from what I do vocationally. I see the issue and try to develop a solution.

However, as he went through life, he began to recognize that something was missing.

I found a church with teaching ministry that filled the void in my spiritual life and became very active in leading the Media Volunteer Ministry (it is in my genes). Yet there was an area still lacking.

I eventually recognized I had become distant from my family, not because I wanted to, but life situations and circumstances caused things to happen just that way. In fact, there was a time when I truly could not remember a large chunk of my past.

As life would have it, things changed and there was a rekindling of his family history. As family members grew older and died, it offered occasions for the family to come together more frequently than they would like.

It was on those occasions that I heard stories about family members including myself. Stories that made you laugh and stories that made you say, “Did that really happen?” At that point I began to understand what I was missing. It was family. Cousins that I grew up were now distant relatives.

At his grandmother’s funeral, a family pastor talked about thing his grandparents experienced over 92 years of their life and the legacy they left behind.

The Starling family could have written “Roots.” This revelation showed me the importance of family.

Continue reading "Our Stories: Planning a family reunion" »

7    Sep 20131 comment

Family Heritage: Patriots, spies and other surprises

While some genealogists have been at it for only a few years, MyHeritage member Gary Fenton Kemp, 76, has been researching for decades.

Gary became interested in computers in the early 1970s.  He also observed his parents, then in their 70s, trying to put together their genealogy by typing and writing everything out by hand. He knew that there had to be some way to use computers and began searching for a program that would be able to organize the data.

I found PAF and started using it. In 1987, I went to my parents’ home and spent three days entering data for 752 names.

Gary has many interests in addition to family history, such as surfing, fly fishing, geocaching, glider racing and lifting weights. He’s been an educator from kindergarten through university, and conducted teacher training programs in Fiji and elsewhere. Although now retired as a teacher, coach, high school principal and school district superintendent, he is still active, serves as a local school board member and as a Boy Scout merit badge counselor.

The San Tan Valley, Arizona resident has been married to Nancy for 54 years, has four children, 13 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and four more on the way.

Gary's paternal grandparents' wedding photo,1881

He’s discovered so many exciting and interesting things about his family history. Continue reading "Family Heritage: Patriots, spies and other surprises" »

4    Sep 20131 comment

Preserving family memories: Four sisters, 36 years of photos

What better way to capture your favorite family moments than with an annual photo?

That’s what American photographer Nicholas Nixon has done since 1975 when he took a picture of his wife and her three sisters, beginning an annual tradition that lasted 36 years.

Each year, the Brown sisters – Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie – all posed in the same order in for the photo.

Image credit: Nicholas Nixon, http://www.whudat.de/four-sisters-take-a-photo-every-year-for-36-years/

Mimi, the youngest, was only 15 in the first picture, and the oldest, Bebe, was 61 in the last photo taken in 2010. Find the full photo collection here.

Photographs are an excellent way to bring family history to life over the years, and bring back precious memories. An annual photo documents your loved ones and becomes a timeless piece of history.

Don’t forget that preserving those family memories online is important as a way to share those images with future generations. They are an important way to capture family history and to help in your family research.

Join our global campaign to preserve your family heritage and upload your photos today.

What do you think of this idea? Would you do it with your siblings or other members of your families?

Let us know in the comments below.

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