25    Jan 20142 comments

Australia Day: January 26

Australia's National Day is celebrated on January 26. It has its beginnings in the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, originally called Landing Day or Foundation Day.

Captain Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales, raised the Union Jack flag at Sydney Cove in 1788, which commemorated the British occupation of the continent's eastern half claimed by Captain James Cook on August 22, 1770.

Continue reading "Australia Day: January 26" »

9    Apr 20134 comments

MyHeritage: Australia’s ‘Shake Your Family Tree 2013′

MyHeritage is proud to be the official sponsor of Shake Your Family Tree 2013, presented by the National Archives of Australia.

Set for Tuesday, April 16, from 9.30am to 4pm, the event is taking place at local National Archives offices in Australia's state capitals.

Shake Your Family Tree, the annual family history day, includes a full day of activities to help you get started in your family history research, and celebrate your family heritage.

Many Australians are descendants of immigrants, and this year's theme is immigration. Australians can research records at events held at various state offices to learn their family’s story of arriving and settling in Australia.

Attendees will be able to speak to experts and participate in sessions with guest speakers and panels; resource advice will be available to help discover your ancestral background.

For our Australian MyHeritage users, this is a great day to discover tips for family history research and find records for your ancestors.

Continue reading "MyHeritage: Australia’s ‘Shake Your Family Tree 2013′" »

25    Jan 20132 comments

Australia Day: Do you celebrate?

Australia Day - Image credit: timeanddate.com

Australia Day - Image credit: timeanddate.com

January 26 marks Australia's national holiday, Australia Day.

Australia Day celebrates the establishment of the first settlement in Port Jackson (which is now Sydney Harbour), in 1788.

What's known as the "First Fleet", consisted of 11 ships that set sail from Great Britain and landed on this day at the Port. By 1808, January 26 was celebrated as “First Landing Day” or “Foundation Day”.

In 1818, the Governor of Australia gave all government employees a day off, and in the years that followed, bank employees, and other employees, were also given a holiday day.

Continue reading "Australia Day: Do you celebrate?" »

31    Jul 20128 comments

MyHeritage: Family history with challenges

Sylvia Baker

Sylvia Baker

People look into their family history for all sorts of reasons. Australian Sylvia Baker, 62, had some special reasons for asking questions.

Born Wilhelmina Cornelia Steeneveld in Delft, Netherlands, Sylvia immigrated to Australia in 1957; lived in Matraville, NSW for five years; and later in Montrose, Victoria. Now retired, she lives in Manjimup, Western Australia and previously worked as a bookkeeper.

She was married to Lambertus Tip, and had two sons, Angus (born Wayne) and Jeffrey (now deceased).

Sylvia attended three years of primary school, began working and then married. At 37, she returned to school and began learning from the beginning!

Continue reading "MyHeritage: Family history with challenges" »

6    Jun 20122 comments

Australia: Family mysteries revealed

There are many reasons why people become interested in their family history. It may be because of an inherited condition or the discovery of a previously unknown relative.

MyHeritage member Thelma (known as Thel) Brooks’ story includes both!

Born in Sydney, Australia, Thel’s interests were dancing, swimming and tennis. These days, it’s family history.

Now in her 70s and retired, she was a hospital office manager for most of her working life.

Married at 22, she and her husband, William John Brooks, were together for nearly 50 years. She has a daughter and a son, and four grandchildren. For 27 years, Thel was her husband John’s caregiver until his death in 2010.

John and Thel, 2008

John and Thel, 2008

Today, her life is devoted to her little dog, family and friends and she lives in Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Thel first became interested in family history when her husband was diagnosed with an inherited incurable disease and she wanted to find out more where it came from. She then discovered, at 56, a previously unknown half-sister in Scotland: Continue reading "Australia: Family mysteries revealed" »

24    May 20122 comments

MyHeritage: A Saigon story

MyHeritage members live around the world. Here’s one member’s story!

Now a Melbourne, Australia resident, Nghia (Neil) Huynh was born in Saigon, Vietnam.

The youngest of eight children, he is 54. His parents – from Bien Hoa and Di An – had lived in Saigon since the early 1940s. His father was a civil servant in the old South Vietnam government, and his mother took care of their large family.

Neil's family

Neil's family: His parents (from left), Huynh Thang Nhut and Dinh Thi Quyen; sisters Huynh Thi Xuan Hoang, Huynh Thi Xuan Ha; brother, Huynh Thang Toan.

Continue reading "MyHeritage: A Saigon story" »

2    May 20120 comments

Down Under: A visit to Australia

Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage's chief genealogistMyHeritage's chief genealogist, Daniel Horowitz, recently visited Australia. Here's his report.

In March, I traveled “down under” to Australia.

I was invited by the South Australian Genealogical & Historical Society (SAGHS) to present a keynote talk at the 13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy & Heraldry. I spoke about how we share and preserve memories in today’s digital age. In addition, I presented a program about MyHeritage’s unique and well-known facial recognition technology, which helps researchers discover relatives in family photos.

The conference was a wonderful experience, and I enjoyed meeting some long time genealogy community friends and speaking with regional experts. While staffing our exhibit hall booth, I greeted MyHeritage users and informed others about the advantages and features MyHeritage offers. Continue reading "Down Under: A visit to Australia" »

19    Oct 20113 comments

News from MyHeritage Australia – 19 October 2011

This is a guest post by Shauna Hicks.

Shauna is a professional genealogist, former archivist and librarian who has been researching her own family history since 1977. She is also a MyHeritage member.

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As always, much has been happening in Australian genealogy circles, so let’s get straight into it:

I have recently been looking at the State Records NSW (SRNSW) pilot project which will place online (free) digital copies of their microfilmed shipping lists.

While the microfilm is fairly accessible at major libraries and genealogical societies, it is fantastic to be able to see these microfilms at home without having to travel anywhere. Also,  you don’t have to worry about anyone else wanting to use the microfilm reader!  Although the quality is not the same as if the lists had been digitised from the original, the lists are still quite easy to read. It would be useful  if other archives would undertake  similar projects.

Continue reading "News from MyHeritage Australia – 19 October 2011" »

23    Sep 20111 comment

News from MyHeritage Australia – 23 September 2011

This is a guest post by Shauna Hicks.

Shauna is a professional genealogist, former archivist and librarian who has been researching her own family history since 1977. She is also a MyHeritage member.

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Lots going on since my last news update, so let's get started!

First of all, we were pleased to learn that season 2 of the US version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” (WDYTYA) was to be screened nationally on Channel 9.

The first episode – with Gwyneth Paltrow – was screened last Wednesday night. The starting time was set for 10pm, obviously a ratings decision, but it would have been nice for it to be shown earlier.

Wikipedia has a useful WDYTYA article listing the celebrities and the locations visited for each episode.

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The UK Federation of Family History Societies has scheduled a family history competition - Who is the Most Interesting Person in Your Family Tree? Write 1,000 words or less and  enter before 31 December 2011. For full details, click here. Continue reading "News from MyHeritage Australia – 23 September 2011" »

26    Aug 20111 comment

News from MyHeritage Australia – 26 August 2011


This is a guest post by Shauna Hicks.

Shauna is a professional genealogist, former archivist and librarian who has been researching her own family history since 1977.

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It's been another busy week in Australian genealogy and with lots more to come over the next few weeks being a family history buff in Australia is going to be a busy time!

The Week That Was

This week I was really pleased to finally see the Society of Australian Genealogists (Sydney, NSW) offering a webinar to its members. Their first one was offered to 100 members and was booked out very quickly so there is obviously a need for this kind of service to members.

It should be said that the Genealogical Society of Victoria has been offering podcasts to its members for years but a podcast is not as interactive as a webinar but still good if you can’t get along to society talks.

With that in mind, here’s hoping that SAG start offering webinars to non-members and that other societies will also follow their lead.

Continue reading "News from MyHeritage Australia – 26 August 2011" »

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