Contributing author Schelly Talalay Dardashti is the US Genealogy Advisor for MyHeritage.com
How good is your memory?
Many years ago, when I was very new at the genealogy game, I really believed I could accurately remember where I had discovered every bit of family data. And - for awhile - I actually could do that.
However, as the years went by, the numbers of people in my trees increased - while my brain cells seemed to decrease - it became impossible. Sometimes, I would write the information on a scrap of paper. We all know what happens to a scrap of paper stuck in a bag or pocket.
At one point, I had to stop all new research and backtrack, almost to the beginning of my quest, to fill in all those blanks.
Fortunately, I had even saved some of those scraps of paper on which I had scribbled information while visiting archives and libraries. To preserve them, I had taped them onto regular sheets of white paper. Eventually, I transferred that data to the family tree software I used, but the scraps didn't cover all my research.
Whether you are a family historian or just someone interested in learning about their family’s heritage, there are certain things only a genealogist will understand.
You’ve been hit with the genealogy bug if…
- When introducing someone you say, “this is my sister’s grandmother’s father’s son.”
- You are more interested in what happened in 1815 than in 2015.
Debating whether to explore your roots? Trying to persuade a relative or friend to start their family history research?
Here are nine reasons why family history is important to persuade you - or others - to begin learning about your heritage.
1. The Queen? Elvis? Who knows, they may be your distant cousins. You may find you're related to someone famous or be linked to royalty!
2. Leave a legacy for future generations. Do you want to leave something important to your children and grandchildren? Don't leave it to someone else, start preserving family memories and stories for them.
3. Document your life as a piece of living history.
Imagine a boy named Emma or a girl named Joshua. Sounds strange? Sounds normal? In Finland, these gender-switching names may become a reality.
The current Finish naming law, dating from 1985, is about to be obsolete. Until now, the law banned giving a female child a male name, and a male child a female name, but a new proposal may change that.
The law, considered controversial by some, would allow parents to give their children names regardless of the gender to which they might be associated. However, chosen names may not be offensive, inappropriate or incite harm to children.
Last month, we announced that Instant Discoveries™ are now available to all MyHeritage users, allowing our users to add entire branches to their family tree in just a few clicks. Many of our users have already been enjoying these Discoveries every day, and you can see this in near real-time using our exciting Discovery World Map.
Today we are introducing a useful new feature that lets you see the Discoveries available for you right in your family tree, in their exact context. For example, if a branch connected to your great-grandmother, which includes her father or mother, is missing in your family tree, but found by MyHeritage in another tree, you’ll see a special yellow card above your great-grandmother’s profile labeled “Discovery!”
Hover over the Discovery card to learn more about it: a tooltip will open describing the Discovery and specifying how many missing relatives it can add to your tree and the source of the information.
Middle names. Some people have them; others don’t. The three-name structure we use today (given, middle and last name) began in the Middle Ages when Europeans wanted to give a child a saint’s name and a traditional family name, but middle name use goes back even further.
In ancient Rome, it was an honor given to important people to have multiple names. Later - in the 1700s - aristocrats began to give their children long names to indicate his or her place in society. For example, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.
We recently hosted a webinar - "Uncover your Scandinavian Roots" - featuring two of MyHeritage's experts: Director of Content Production Mike Mansfield and Senior Program Manager Jason Oler.
Mike and Jason demonstrated how to navigate through the Scandinavian records and provided other research tips to help explore your Scandinavian heritage and family history.
Did you miss it? Don't worry! Click on the video below to watch the full webinar.
Don’t forget to check our other webinars for many more genealogy tips to help make family history research easier.
Have ideas for other webinars? Let us know in the comments below.
Do you have Scandinavian roots? Interested to learn how to find out about those ancestors?
Join Mike Mansfield, MyHeritage Director of Content Production and Jason Oler, MyHeritage Senior Program Manager, as they provide research tips and tools to help navigate these new records to help you explore your family history and make new discoveries.
We’re happy to announce millions of historical records have been added to SuperSearch. The new collections include military records, birth records and prison registrars.
The new records come from the United States and Scotland and help families uncover the stories of the lives their ancestors led.
We’re delighted to announce that we have started making good on our promise to digitize and bring online millions of exclusive historical records from Scandinavia. The majority of these records have never been indexed online before.
The records are searchable on MyHeritage SuperSearch and MyHeritage users will now automatically receive matches to those records relevant to their family tree.
Anyone with Scandinavian roots will be able to explore their family history and learn more about the lives of their ancestors with this robust searchable index of records published online for the first time.