We had a great time at the Global Family Reunion last week!
Hosted by best-selling author A.J. Jacobs, this epic event brought thousands of “cousins” from around the world to the New York Hall of Science for a family fun day of activities, while raising money to benefit Alzheimer’s research.
We recently wrote about the start of Anna’s journey to meet her relatives in Australia. A journey that really began 125 years ago, Anna crossed oceans to meet relatives related to their common ancestor, Oskar. Here is Part 2.
In late December 2012, several relatives in Gotland, Sweden received a call from a man speaking English. Many hung up the phone and thought it was a hoax. They didn’t understand why an English-speaking man was calling them.
After many disconnected calls, the same person called my cellphone on December 30, 2012. David Michel said he was calling from Sydney, Australia.
Imagine going on a journey back 125 years and across continents. That's what Anna, from Sweden, will be doing as she flies across the world to Australia to travel to her ancestors' towns and learn about them.
Anna will be documenting her genealogical trip to learn more about her roots on her blog. Here is her first post, originally published on our Swedish blog.
I'm nervous, excited, tingly and happy, and a bit fearful to be going on this journey. However, there is a huge difference in traveling now than in 1890 when Oskar decided to go on his journey. He left his job, family and friends for an adventure filled with uncertainty in search for something new. Today, that level of fear isn't as necessary with all our technologies that connect us to our family no matter where we live. It's easy to stay in touch with our loved ones, unlike 125 years ago.
Her post continues:
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.
Continuing our spotlight on volunteer translators, we’d like to introduce Ulla Plon, a MyHeritage member from Denmark, who has been helping to translate MyHeritage products into Danish for over a year.
Born in 1952 in Copenhagen, to a Danish mother and a father who was a Jewish refugee from Vienna, Ulla spent her first 10 years in the suburbs. Later, she moved with her parents and younger brother 50km north to a small town on the coast near Elsinore, the setting of Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy, Hamlet.
Since she was a child, Ulla was always interested in her family history.
“I loved it when my mother and maternal grandmother told me family stories and about their own childhood.”
For Mother’s Day, we asked you to share advice, sayings or quotes your mother told you when growing up by finishing the sentence “Mom says…”
We're delighted to announce that we've updated our Android and iOS mobile app with a new look to improve your family history experience. The enhanced app enables families around the world to build their family tree, instantly discover ancestors and relatives, and preserve and share their legacy, all with a better looking and more intuitive interface.
So far more than 4 million people have downloaded the MyHeritage app, and its usage is growing worldwide. Within the last 3 months, the app was selected by Google as a featured Android app in more than 100 countries, making MyHeritage the first company in the family history industry to receive such a recognition.
The MyHeritage mobile app is supported in 36 languages, enabling families around the globe to stay connected by capturing and sharing family memories on-the-go.
Available for iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets, the mobile app has been optimized for each platform using cutting-edge technologies and provides a user-friendly interface for working on your family tree.
There are pearls of wisdom or sayings that you have heard all the time growing up. It is likely that you say the same things to your own children!
With Mother's Day just around the corner, we want to hear those special messages - and motherly advice - that have stuck with you over the years. Our mothers teach us many things, including life lessons, but often their funny sayings will always be remembered.
MyHeritage was recently featured on Israel’s leading prime time TV news show which covered the story of how the inhabitants of Erikoussa, a small Greek island, had risked their lives in WWII to save a Jewish tailor's family from the Nazis.
The video below (with English subtitles) shows the remarkable story of the island, the genealogical discoveries made by MyHeritage and an emotional interview with Abraham, whose mother was among those saved on Erikoussa.
When the Nazis invaded Corfu, most of the Jewish citizens were sent to Auschwitz, but a tailor named Savvas managed to escape with his three daughters and another girl named Rosa, to the nearby island of Erikoussa. Savvas had customers and acquaintances there, but what was incredible was that the entire island joined forces - at risk of death - and gave refuge to Savvas and his girls, and kept their presence secret from the Nazis for the duration of the war.