29    Aug 201311 comments

Labor Day: Free access to all US census records

Labor Day weekend is here - a time to celebrate the contributions made by workers from the labor movement. It's also time for families to get together and enjoy the last bit of summer with barbecues, parades and reunions.

In honor of the holiday, we’re providing free access – from August 31 through September 2 – to all US Census records.

Search Now

Continue reading "Labor Day: Free access to all US census records" »

26    Aug 201317 comments

1932: A most famous photograph

As part of our Treasure Family Photos initiative, to preserve old family photos and to encourage people to learn more about their family history from them, we've seen some beautiful family photos and learnt about their history. There are also many other famous photos with a great history behind them. One of the world's most iconic photos is of a group of men sitting on a 69th floor construction beam high above Manhattan.

This iconic 1932 photo of construction workers having lunch on the 69th floor of the Rockefeller Center is the subject of MEN AT LUNCH, a film by Sean O Cualain.

MyHeritage was delighted to be able to interview (via email) Seán Ó Cualáin – director of the documentary Men at Lunch – on his project. Continue reading "1932: A most famous photograph" »

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" »

4    Jul 20130 comments

Happy Fourth of July: How are you celebrating?

Happy Fourth of July! Get out your barbecue grills, fireworks and gather your families to celebrate the birth of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress.

Independence Day marks a weekend of celebrations including parades, picnics, fireworks and other family fun-filled activities.

As America turns 237, here are some fun facts for the day. Continue reading "Happy Fourth of July: How are you celebrating?" »

27    Jun 20131 comment

Competition: Discover your American roots this Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one week away, and we’re ready to celebrate!

Also known as Independence Day, Americans come together to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the country’s birthday.

A great time to celebrate American heritage, it is also fun to share the holiday with families at  barbecues, picnics, parades, fairs, firework displays and other family activities.

Continue reading "Competition: Discover your American roots this Fourth of July" »

16    Jun 20135 comments

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

We asked you to share your memories and sayings from your father. We wanted to know how he had an impact on your life, whether it was advice, a loving saying or a life lesson.

We received numerous responses completing the sentence: “My father used to say… .”

Here are some of our favorites: Continue reading "Happy Father’s Day!" »

30    May 20130 comments

MyHeritage: Getting ready for Jamboree 2013

MyHeritage is getting ready for next week’s 44th Jamboree conference, organized by the Southern California Genealogical Society.

This year’s theme is “Follow the Path to the Past,” and the event takes place from Friday-Sunday, June 6-9, in Burbank, California.

We’re excited to see friends and meet new faces from all those expected at Jamboree. Will you be there? We’ll be at booth #409 where you can visit our team: Continue reading "MyHeritage: Getting ready for Jamboree 2013" »

28    May 20130 comments

Memorial Day: How did you celebrate?

Yesterday, the US celebrated Memorial Day to honor fallen soldiers who served in the Armed Forces.

Memorial Day has many traditions, including spending time with family at a barbeque and sharing memories of relatives who served in the military.

To help you learn more about your family heritage and your relatives and ancestors who served in service, we offered last week free access to our most popular US military record collections. Continue reading "Memorial Day: How did you celebrate?" »

23    May 201323 comments

Our Stories: The Mayflower and more!

There are so many ways to get bitten by the genealogy bug. MyHeritage member Melva Jo Wright of Florida (US) took over the research of her maternal aunt (Geraldine Martinez) when she died in 2004.

Her aunt’s four sisters helped with the research and each received a family history binder from their researcher sister.

Melva Jo’s maternal great-grandparents and their family: Norval Smith Channing (1878 PA-1955 PA) and Amanda Catherine (Pyle) Channing (1877 PA-1957 PA). Her grandmother (far left) is Rebecca (Channing) Lytle (1901 PA-1980 FL) (Courtesy photo)

Most have shared them with me, but I’m still waiting to hear from the others to complete their details in our family tree. I hope they contain some original pictures, as most of those I already have are copies.

Melva Jo, 60, has three children and three stepdaughters. Her mother worked at the Pentagon and her father was a stockcar racer, killed in a 1951 race. Her mother remarried, to an Army major, and the family lived in Germany and France.

Among her exciting discoveries: the Mayflower’s John and Priscilla Alden are her direct ninth great-grandparents. She's also related to writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, President Abraham Lincoln, Clement Clark Moore (who wrote “The Night Before Christmas), as well as Orson Wells, Marilyn Monroe, Dick and Jerry Van Dyke and Ricky Nelson, to name a few.

Continue reading "Our Stories: The Mayflower and more!" »

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