15    Dec 20140 comments

10 Ways To Uncover Your Grandparents’ Hidden Stories

Whether it’s old photos, strange names, family stories or traditions, our grandparents offer a treasure trove of precious family information that should be documented and shared.

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 lmany questions and learn about their heritage. Continue reading "10 Ways To Uncover Your Grandparents’ Hidden Stories" »

4    Dec 20140 comments

Digitizing Cemeteries: MyHeritage is at it again (with friends)!

As part of the global initiative we launched with BillionGraves earlier this year, the MyHeritage team recruited a group of enthusiastic volunteers to continue our efforts to digitize cemeteries.

After successfully digitizing a medium sized cemetery of historical significance earlier this year (see video), we decided to undertake our biggest challenge yet - to digitize Israel's largest cemetery - with over 200,000 graves. So earlier this week, we embarked on a one-of-a-kind project to photograph all headstones of the huge Holon cemetery in central Israel.

This was one of largest events of its kind ever organized - in the world!

The best aspect of the event was the true collaboration between MyHeritage and all leading genealogy organizations in Israel, in addition to MyHeritage power users. In total, some 120 people joined our initiative and participated, and approximately 150,000 gravestone photos were taken throughout the day! It was heart warming to see such collaboration among so many people who care about genealogy, from all ages, and all groups, working together to create an incredible resource that is free for all to use.

The day began at 8:30am - with MyHeritage employees and volunteers arriving at our offices - and ended at 6:30pm.

29    Nov 20142 comments

Historical Masterpieces: ‘Downton Abbey’ and more

Recently, many historical television series have become very popular. What is it about this genre that appeals to us? What draws us to them?

Perhaps it's about getting a glimpse of what life was like in times gone by. We feel more connected to our ancestors when we learn more about their lives and times. It's the same feeling that draws many of us to genealogy and family history research. The achievements and struggles faced by our ancestors serve as lessons for our own future. After all, history is known to repeat itself.

One such show is the British series, "Downton Abbey," which has swept a nation and also has become popular in other countries, as well. It is now  into its fifth season.

Downton Abbey (Image credit: ITV)

"Downton Abbey" follows the Crawley family through major events in history, showing the effects on their lives. The series opened with news of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, followed by the outbreak of the WWI, the Spanish influenza pandemic, and the Marconi scandal in the second season. It dealt with the interwar period and the formation of the Irish Free State in the third season, the Teapot Dome scandal in the fourth, and the general election of 1923 in the UK in the current season. Continue reading "Historical Masterpieces: ‘Downton Abbey’ and more" »

9    Nov 20142 comments

Webinar: Discover your military ancestors

Do you have ancestors who fought and died in service? Would you like to learn more about their military history?

In honor of Remembrance Day and Veterans Day on November 11, we’re offering a special free webinar about digging deeper into military records to uncover the stories of your ancestors' pasts.

Continue reading "Webinar: Discover your military ancestors" »

31    Oct 20142 comments

Happy Halloween: Spooky Collections, Online Graveyards and more

Ditch the flashlight this Halloween and take a trip through MyHeritage’s online graveyards.

We've found over 100,000 Freddy Kruegers, 6,000 Munster families and 5,000 Frankensteins in our vast database of over 5.5 billion historical records!

If that hasn’t spooked you enough, we found over 2 million death records from people around the world who died last year on Halloween. Continue reading "Happy Halloween: Spooky Collections, Online Graveyards and more" »

23    Oct 20147 comments

Millions of historical records added to MyHeritage!

We're happy to announce that we've just added millions of new records to SuperSearch.

The new collections include birth and death records, church records, electoral rolls and more from around the globe to help families everywhere explore their past.

Search Now

The new records come from the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Russia and other countries to help discover more about your ancestors from around the globe.

The collections include: Continue reading "Millions of historical records added to MyHeritage!" »

20    Oct 20142 comments

Spooky Genealogy Webinar: Death records, gravestones and more!

Death records and gravestones can provide new information and leads in your family history research. Join us for a pre-Halloween webinar filled with "tricks and treats" with expert genealogist Schelly Talalay Dardashti, who'll navigate us through uncovering family mysteries through death records, obituaries and more!

Register for free here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/228679207

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time:
11 AM Los Angeles
2 PM New York
6 PM London

(To find the time of the webinar at your location, use this Time Zone Converter.)

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Leave us a comment below and we’ll try to answer as many as we can live.

Looking forward to see you online!

18    Oct 201411 comments

Our Stories: Reunite family, create stronger bonds

MyHeritage member Dayne Skolmen, 24, of South Africa, has been working on his family history since he was 14, when a family tree school assignment caught his interest. His ancestors come from Norway, Germany and the Netherlands.

Dayne's ancestor, Kristian Skolmen, working on one of his Norwegian landscape paintings

Dayne lives in Port Elizabeth, and is currently completing his Master of Technology (MTech) in Information Technology Research at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

His grandfather, Thorbjorn Christian Synnestvedt Skolmen, died at 81 when Dayne was only 3.

I was the last grandchild born and the youngest of my generation. Therefore I had the least knowledge about the family and grew up not knowing much of my heritage or surname origins. Continue reading "Our Stories: Reunite family, create stronger bonds" »

6    Oct 201416 comments

Death Records: Vital to Your Research

This guest post has been written by expert genealogist Miriam J. Robbins. Miriam has been instructing and lecturing in the United States since 2005. She has been interested in her family history since she was a young girl, living in Southeast Alaska. She began her genealogy research in 1987, and ten years later was successful in reuniting her grandmother with her biological family. Miriam writes an award-winning genealogy blog, AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors, and keeps busy adding links to her Online Historical Directories and Online Historical Newspapers websites.

The month of October is known for Family History Month as well as the holiday of Halloween. What better combination of the two than to learn about death records in genealogical research? Death records are one of the first and best types of records used in beginning genealogical research because of the variety of formats in which they appear, the basic facts which they contain, and the immense details that many list about both the decedent's life and death.

It’s important to learn a little about the history of death records in your ancestor’s location, as it will help you understand how the facts were gathered and recorded, what information the records may contain or omit, why the records themselves may be missing or difficult to find, and where to locate the death records currently. Continue reading "Death Records: Vital to Your Research" »

2    Oct 20148 comments

Surname Secrets: What’s in a name?

A surname passes through many generations connecting family members with that common surname. Many people are also named after deceased relatives to honor those who came before.

Surnames first appeared in the Middle Ages as a way to record and document people and for tax purposes. Details included given names, nicknames, parents’ names, occupation and residence. This personal information later became an important part of the history of surnames.

Women brewsters in the early 1900s in Seattle. Image credit: THE SEATTLE TIMES ARCHIVE

We recently wrote about jobs that no longer exist, and it was common for our ancestors to have surnames based on their occupation such as Cook, Carpenter or Smith. By looking at their surnames, it often leads us to learn more about our relatives’ lives. Yet there are many occupational surnames with hidden meanings. Here are a few of our favorites: Continue reading "Surname Secrets: What’s in a name?" »

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