3    Aug 20131 comment

What’s in a name?: Strangers pick a baby’s name

For many expecting parents, it can be difficult to think of the perfect name for an unborn baby.

Many people turn to baby name books or choose an ancestor's name, but one US couple decided to take their name search to a vote, at their local Starbucks.

The New Haven, Connecticut couple asked customers to vote for two names: Logan and Jackson. With over 1,800 votes and many other name suggestions, they decided to combine the two names and will call their son, due in September, Logan Jackson.

Some might say the controversial idea of  asking strangers to name a  baby lacks that personal element of naming a child after a relative. Others may find this a relief and a unique way to choose a name.

We recently wrote about names banned in New Zealand and have asked about rare names in your family tree.

What do you think of crowd sourcing for baby names? Do you have a similar story in your family where relatives were named by strangers? Would you ask others to choose your child's name?

Let us know your stories and thoughts in the comments below, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.

1    Aug 20132 comments

1790: First US Census Day

The US Census is the nation’s largest and most important set of records. They are invaluable to everyone interested in discovering their family history.

This week marks the original Census Day, which took place on the first Monday in August in 1790.

The 1790 Census was the first census conducted, numbering the then-population at  3,929,214.

Thomas Jefferson in the 1790 U.S. Census. Note occupation listed as 'Sec of State to the US' (click to zoom)

Census records provide a snapshot into the lives of our ancestors by documenting names, addresses, birthplace, members of household and more. Continue reading "1790: First US Census Day" »

29    Jul 20134 comments

MyHeritage discovers heirs for unclaimed assets confiscated during WWII

We have often discussed the importance of building family trees and how genealogy can be used to make exciting family discoveries.

Gilad Japhet, MyHeritage's Founder & CEO, read an article a few months ago concerning the compensation for Jewish-owned German property that had been confiscated by the Nazis during World War II.

The article linked to a list compiled by the Claims Conference of around 40,000 properties (homes, buildings, stores and factories) located in former East Germany. The descendants of these property owners are entitled to compensation.

MyHeritage notified Cati Holland that she was eligible for compensation (Credit: Oded Balilty/AP)

Gilad initiated a project to use MyHeritage resources to try and match the people on this list, the original property owners, with their living descendants. Continue reading "MyHeritage discovers heirs for unclaimed assets confiscated during WWII" »

27    Jul 20133 comments

Ty’s Journey: Part 2

When you travel abroad, you have an opportunity to visit your ancestral home, as well as the important buildings and locations that might have been relevant to your ancestor’s life. These include houses of worship, schools, businesses, beaches, parks and other locations your ancestors may have frequented.

Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury England (near Stonehenge)

In addition, you may be able to visit repositories holding documents for your family, including libraries, archives and record offices. However, just showing up at a location won’t always do much good. It’s important to pre-plan and do prep work before you visit, or you may just be frustrated and come away with little of real value.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit. Continue reading "Ty’s Journey: Part 2" »

24    Jul 20137 comments

Welcoming Royalty: 10 facts about the Royal Baby

Welcome to the world Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge!

Want to know more facts about the royal baby, including to whom he's related?
Learn more in our infographic below and in our Royal Family Tree:

22    Jul 20136 comments

Congratulations: A new Royal is born

Congratulations to Will and Kate on the arrival of their prince, a new addition to the Royal family tree.

The royal baby was born today at Lindo wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London, where his father Prince William and his uncle, Prince Harry were also born.

The baby will be known officially as the Prince of Cambridge. Although not the only Prince in the royal family tree, he is now third in line to the throne. It is also the first time in more than a century when the next three generations of monarchy will be alive at the same time.

Amid all the excitement of the new royal arrival, people are anxiously waiting to find out what the little royal Prince will be named. Continue reading "Congratulations: A new Royal is born" »

21    Jul 20133 comments

Old postcards: A family history resource

Cards with messages have been mailed since the creation of the postal service. Many of us have sent postcards to our loved ones from vacations or just a quick note to say hello.

A postcard is traditionally a rectangular piece of thick paper or cardboard intended for mailing without an envelope.

The earliest known picture postcard comes from the 19th century, hand-painted by writer Theodore Hook in 1840. In the US, John P. Carlton patented the postal card and produced the first commercial cards in 1861.

The earliest known picture postcard, posted in London to writer Theodore Hook in 1840

Over the course of the 19th century, postcards gained additional popularity among all social classes. They were a convenient, inexpensive and attractive means of correspondence.

Continue reading "Old postcards: A family history resource" »

18    Jul 201324 comments

New Chinese law: Children must visit parents

In China, a new law makes it mandatory for children to visit their parents (over age 60), with a fine for those who don’t comply.

Image credit: http://bit.ly/14Tv2Ko

According to the law, children are required to visit their parents “frequently” and make sure their financial and spiritual needs are met.

The new law would be a major reform in safeguarding the rights of Chinese elderly. Coupled with an aging population and a one-child policy, the number of those over 60 is projected to increase. In 2011, some 185 million people were over 60. By 2050, a third of China’s population will be classed as elderly. Continue reading "New Chinese law: Children must visit parents" »

16    Jul 20130 comments

Society Spotlight: Federation of Genealogical Societies

Genealogical societies are essential to family history researchers. They provide resources, programs, conferences, and other important assistance.

MyHeritage is  spotlighting these societies in a new series over the year.

Today, we look at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), based in Austin, Texas, and established in 1976.Headed by D. Joshua Taylor, FGS represents other genealogical and historical societies. More than 500 member societies represent over a half-million individual members in those societies.

Continue reading "Society Spotlight: Federation of Genealogical Societies" »

12    Jul 201312 comments

Family reunion: Relatives reunite in Denmark

It began in summer 2011 when MyHeritage user Patricia Skubis (Madison, Wisconsin) stumbled upon a family discovery. Some two years later, she was in Denmark  on the way to meet her Danish family.

Birgit Thygesen Moses (left) and Patricia Skubis meeting for the first time at family party in Vejle. Image credit: Peter Friis Autzen lokalavi-sen.dk

For more than 30 years, Patricia searched for her Danish roots. She had tried various ways to connect the family history, but never managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Patricia’s relatives had immigrated to the US in 1888 , and another branch had been in Australia since 1873. Twenty-seven years ago, Patricia, now 75, had connected with Alison Rogers from the Australian branch. However, Alison was also unable to find the Danish missing links.

One day, Patricia received a new Smart Match on her MyHeritage website. Her grandfather, Martin Thygesen, had appeared in another member’s tree, but not all the information matched completely. Her curiosity peaked, and she wrote directly to MyHeritage member Tage Therkildsen Thygesen for more information. Continue reading "Family reunion: Relatives reunite in Denmark" »

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