23    May 20141 comment

Memorial Day: Search Military Records for Free

On Memorial Day we remember the brave men and women who fought and died while serving in the US military.

On this Memorial Day, learn more about your ancestors who served their country by searching millions of military records. MyHeritage is offering free access to millions of military records all weekend, through May 26.

Search now

Continue reading "Memorial Day: Search Military Records for Free" »

20    May 20140 comments

Levis: From a quick fix to the world’s best-selling jeans

Levi's jeans are well known throughout the world for their quality and durablility, but do you know the history of how the jeans were were originally created by Levi Strauss for gold miners in the 1800s' California Gold Rush?

In 1853, Levi Strauss, a German Jewish immigrant, moved to San Francisco to open a branch of his brother's wholesale dry goods store. He began selling clothing, blankets, fabrics and other items to small stores throughout the region.

One of his customers, Jacob Davis, was a Latvian Jewish immigrant, in Reno, Nevada. As a tailor, Jacob frequently purchased bolts of denim cloth from Levi Strauss & Co.'s wholesale house. Davis found himself repeatedly reinfocing torn pants, and had an idea to to use copper rivets to reinforce the pants at stress points. He added rivets to the button fly and pocket corners.

Davis knew that the idea would take off, but he didn't have the money required to obtain a patent, so he wrote to Strauss suggesting that they go into business together.
Continue reading "Levis: From a quick fix to the world’s best-selling jeans" »

13    May 20147 comments

Photography: Styles and fashion of times gone by

When thinking about old times, we remember past decades by the styles and the fashion trends that were prevalent.

Image credit: Annalisa Hartlaub

I remember frizzy hair and jean jackets in the 80s, and the slicked-back hair of the 90s. But what if I had been around in the Roaring 20s? What would I have looked like in a flapper dress with a feather in my hair?

Have you ever wondered what you would have looked like in a different decade? Continue reading "Photography: Styles and fashion of times gone by" »

23    Apr 20140 comments

Shakespeare: His life and legacy

Today marks 450 years since the birthday of English poet, playwright and actor, William Shakespeare.
Possibly born April 23 1564, Shakespeare is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in English literature and someone who revolutionized theater. The third of eight children, his father, John Shakespeare, was a glover, trader and local politician, and his mother was Mary Arden. His parents were first cousins, not uncommon in those times.

Although William's exact date of birth is unknown, we do know that he was baptized on April 26. In those times, baptism took place no more than a few days after birth, and therefore April 23, 1564 is widely recognized as his date of birth. Continue reading "Shakespeare: His life and legacy" »

24    Mar 201412 comments

Ten Inventions: What were they thinking?

Not all inventions have been successful. Here are some bizarre inventions that will make you wonder what their inventors were thinking!

1. A fold-up piano, designed for bedridden patients, Britain, 1935:

Image credit: imgur.com

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13    Dec 201322 comments

Surnames: Different countries, different traditions

Surnames or family names are the part of a person’s name that is passed down through families, or given according to law or custom. Many cultures have different customs for how names are passed from generation to generation.

Surnames originate from the relatively "recent" medieval custom of bynames, or names given to differentiate people.

Continue reading "Surnames: Different countries, different traditions" »

8    Dec 20138 comments

Dear Santa: Then and now

"Dear Santa..."

As Christmas nears, millions of children around the world are using these two words to begin their letters to Santa , with the hope he will bring what they want.

These letters are often sent by obliging parents to Santa's home at the North Pole. However, back in time, it was popular to send "Dear Santa" letters to a local newspaper, which published them.

Our newspaper collection includes over 120 million pages dating back to 1609, and a quick search using the keywords "Dear Santa" brings really interesting results... Continue reading "Dear Santa: Then and now" »

2    Dec 201327 comments

Five skills: Our grandparents had them – we don’t

Have you thought about the skills your grandparents had, but that are no longer common today? Here are the top five skills:

1. The ability to write long, handwritten letters:

Do you still write letters by hand and send them by mail? Nowadays, most of us write emails and text messages, but not long, handwritten letters.


Old letters sent to family and friends

Continue reading "Five skills: Our grandparents had them – we don’t" »

22    Nov 20131 comment

John F. Kennedy: His life and his legacy

Where were you when you heard about John F. Kennedy’s assassination?

It shocked the world and shook the very foundations of our liberty and freedom. Today marks 50 years since that devastating day, November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated.

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, the youngest president elected. He was a man that the country identified with. He sent the first man to the moon.

On this 50th anniversary of his death, we celebrate his life and his legacy. Continue reading "John F. Kennedy: His life and his legacy" »

19    Oct 20133 comments

Our Stories: Papa’s Diary

Wouldn't it be exciting to read the diary of an ancestor who recorded his or her daily activities?

Matt Unger, a 40-ish software executive in New York, was handed his grandfather Harry Scheurman’s 1924 diary, written when he was 29 and had been in the US for 11 years. Matt has transcribed each journal entry at his website http://papasdiary.blogspot.com. Scheurman had immigrated from Sniatyn, then in Austro-Hungary.

Matt’s project received coverage in The New York Times.

As we hear more frequently these days, family history researchers are getting bitten by the genealogy bug at ever younger ages. Although Matt was given the pocket-sized diary for a fifth-grade family history project, it wasn't until Thanksgiving 2007 that he examined it closely and decided to transcribe it.

MyHeritage interviewed Matt via email and is happy to offer his comments on this wonderful and very personal project. Continue reading "Our Stories: Papa’s Diary" »

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