An exciting dimension to family history is returning to our ancestors' hometowns, whether overseas in the "old country," or closer to our current home.
Every year, increasing numbers of families walk the streets that their great-grandparents walked in Scotland, view the Greek and Portuguese village buildings their ancestors saw each day, and visit Eastern European houses of worship and cemeteries.
Some geographical areas even promote ancestral or heritage trips - such as Ireland. Trips can be just just quick tourist-type visits to where ancestors might have lived or entail intensive research trips to archives. Go on your own or visit locales with major genealogical societies, such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) which organizes trips to London, Belfast and Dublin.
In honor of the Danish author and poet, we look at the surname ANDERSEN this week.
It is a patronymic surname from the personal name Anders, a vernacular form of Andreas. From the New Testament, the Greek name Andreas derives from andreios, meaning “manly” and aner, meaning, “man” or “male.”
Andreas was the first of Christ’s disciples. Various forms for this personal name throughout Europe are André (France) and Andrea (Italy).
It also gave rise to the northern Middle English name Andrew, which was absorbed in the surname ANDERSON. St. Andrew was also the patron saint of Scotland, making the surname popular in Scotland, under the spelling ANDERSON.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (two weeks ago), we look at Irish heritage for this week's surname, MURPHY, considered the most common surname in Ireland.
Murphy is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Murchadha (descendant of Murchadh’), a personal name composed of muir (sea) + cath (battle or sea-warrior).
Traditionally, Irish surnames are taken from the leaders of tribes or famous warriors, and Murphy may be an example of this from pre-9th-century Ireland, then under Viking rule.
This year's RootsTech was only the third edition, and it has grown exponentially every year. Some 7,000 attendees - plus nearly 2,000 young people (ages 12-18) on Saturday - flocked to the Salt Palace Convention Center. It is now the largest such event in the US.
While the weather ranged from near-blizzard conditions to rain to sunshine, the halls - with some 100 exhibitors - and classrooms housing some 250 programs, drew excited crowds. According to organizer FamilySearch, attendees came from 49 states and 17 countries.
Additionally, FamilySearch announced that some 10,000 people viewed programs and keynotes via live streaming video online, while remote satellite broadcasts took place at 17 Family History centers in seven countries, attended by another 4,000 participated by remote satellite broadcast at Family History centers in 17 locations in seven countries.
Mark your calenders for RootsTech 2014 (February 6-8, 2014). FamilySearch said that they plan to export the event to some 600 locations worldwide (16 US locations and several other countries).
On Wednesday morning, following the keynote address, the doors opened and thousands of people came through. All of our computers were in use in a matter of minutes.
Last night's FamilySearch.org annual blogger dinner was informative.
As far as attendance stats, we were told that - as of last evening - some 6,800 people had registered. Last year, a little over 4,000 had come through the exhibit halls. In addition, the group has made a concerted effort to bring in young people. An additional nearly 2,000 young people, ages 12-18, will be here on Saturday. And this isn't even counting the numbers around the world you will see live streaming of a number of great programs during the event.
For the first time, organizers said, viewing centers were set up in six countries as a pilot program which is expected to continue and expand in the future.
We video-recorded interviews with Cindy Howells of Cyndi's List, Dick Eastman, Randy Seaver and DearMyrtle, and hope to being them to you soon.
Stay tuned for our next RootsTech post!
One of the best things about genealogy conferences is that we get to catch up with our friends.
This year's RootsTech is expected to attract some 5,000 attendees, some 25% more than last year's event. In addition to conference-goers, speakers and exhibitors, many genealogy bloggers are already here. While many are US-based, this year includes bloggers from Australia, UK, France, Spain and elsewhere.
By 7pm Tuesday, I was at the conference hotel, affectionately known as Geneabloggers Central. I knew that many bloggers had arrived early, and had a nice dinner with Randy Seaver, Heather Wilkinson Rojo, saw Dick Eastman, Lisa Louise Cooke, Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Alzo and others.
This morning (Wednesday) was set-up day for the MyHeritage booth.
Genealogical research today is very different from that of a few years ago.
Sites like MyHeritage enable us to communicate with more people, faster and more easily, while reaching out to others worldwide.
Tools - such as Smart Matches - help you discover new ancestors and possible relatives with similarities in their family trees and who may have a direct relationship with you.
Today we'd like to know what you discovered when researching your family heritage. Where do your ancestors come from?
A piece of family history can be found in a library book.
As a young girl, I spent a lot of time at the iconic New York Public Library – with those stone lions out front - working on school projects. I once found a book I needed and opened it. Out fell an old-fashioned photo postcard with my grandfather’s picture on it.
He was in the army and had sent the card, with a message, to his sister. She had likely stuck it in the book and forgotten about it, until I found it decades later.
I wasn’t a genealogist then, and in what I now believe was a misguided act of responsibility, I put the card back in the book. Perhaps the owner would come looking for it?
When I got home, I told my family about it, and everyone said I should have brought it home. Fortunately, we found a copy at another relative’s home much later.
Have you ever had to clear out the home of a deceased relative or had to help move an elderly relative to a retirement or nursing home?
Checking the dusty corners of a large home, or even a small apartment, can produce family treasures that would otherwise be lost forever.
The event brings together genealogy and technology. It's a great place to share and learn from top genealogists and technologists about technology tools to help with your family history research.
MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet will give the keynote speech at 8.30am on Saturday, March 23, in Hall 1. He will unveil MyHeritage breaking news, so don’t miss out!
Gilad will speak alongside David Pogue, personal technology weekly columnist for The New York Times and a monthly columnist for Scientific American.