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" »

10    Aug 20110 comments

News from MyHeritage Australia – 11 August 2011

It's been a huge week in Australian genealogy as the once-every-5-years census was distributed and completed on Tuesday night.

The key thing for the genealogy community was spreading the word about the importance of saying "yes" to Question 60 on the census, which asked Australians if they'd like their physical census records to be retained in the national archives for 99 years.

For the uninitiated, Australia has a default position of destroying census records once the statistical data is removed, which is something the genealogy community as a whole has been trying to change.

To read more about the background to this you should read the recent blog post we ran on the topic.

Continue reading "News from MyHeritage Australia – 11 August 2011" »

3    Aug 201114 comments

Help Us Save Millions of Census Records From Being Destroyed

The Australian Census is coming up on August 9th and millions of records are at risk of being destroyed forever, stopping future generations from benefitting from the information.

We need your help to stop this, even if you are not in Australia. Please read on to see how you can help.

The Australian Census Night is on August 9, and it is a big moment for all Australian citizens. Of all the questions on the census, the one garnering most attention is Question 60, which asks respondents if they want their paper response stored in the national archives, to be released publicly in 99 years' time or if they want it destroyed immediately.

Those of you familiar with historical information in England, Wales and Scotland, for example, will probably be thinking “What’s so special about that?” considering the fact that census data from those countries has been preserved since 1841.

In Australia, however, that hasn’t been the historical case. Instead, once the statistical data has been captured, the actual census records have been religiously destroyed.

Continue reading "Help Us Save Millions of Census Records From Being Destroyed" »

21    Jun 20111 comment

The Changing Face of Australia

New information from Sensis, the publisher of the White Pages in Australia, has highlighted the increasing popularity of non-Anglo Saxon surnames in New South Wales (NSW), the most populous state of Australia.

And the change is not a small one.

The Daily Telegraph, one of the major daily newspapers in NSW, has reported that 7 of the top 20 surnames in NSW have Asian roots – a sign of the changing face of Australia.

Those surnames, Lee, Nguyen, Chen, Kim, Wang, Zhang and Li, will finally help the rest of the world understand what many Australians already know and love – the fact that Australia is no longer a white, Anglo-Saxon colony in the middle of the South Pacific.

Continue reading "The Changing Face of Australia" »

14    Jun 20110 comments

Why it’s a Good Time to be Irish Australian

It seems like now really is a good time to be Irish Australian especially if you’re keen to explore your Irish heritage.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “Irish Australians”, or Australians who claim to have Irish heritage, were the 3rd largest heritage group at the 2006 Australian census with almost 2 Million people, or just over 9% of the population, falling into the category. That’s quite a large chunk!

Now, the good thing about having Irish heritage is that even in normal times exploring your family history is easier than in most other cultures because of the excellent records that exist all over the world.

That having been said, now’s a pretty good time if you’re in Australia. Below are some reasons why:

Continue reading "Why it’s a Good Time to be Irish Australian" »

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