1    Oct 2013313 comments

Family History Month: Competitions, Tips and More

October marks Family History Month - an excellent time for you and your family to learn about your family heritage. We’ll be celebrating throughout this month with exciting competitions, webinars and tips to enhance your family history research.

See this week's contest and read about our other activities.

From historical records, to building family trees, we're here to help you learn, collect and share your family history.

Continue reading "Family History Month: Competitions, Tips and More" »

13    Sep 20130 comments

Society Spotlight: California Genealogical Society

One of the oldest genealogical societies in the US is the California Genealogical Society, established in 1898, 115 years ago!

CGS is located at 2201 Broadway, LL2, Oakland, California 94612, close to San Francisco. Jeffrey Vaillant, current CGS president, responded to MyHeritage's questions via email.

With some 1,150 members – including those well living beyond California, and those who do not have California ancestors – this is a very active society. Continue reading "Society Spotlight: California Genealogical Society" »

9    Sep 20137 comments

Our Stories: Planning a family reunion

By his own account, Norwood Wayne Newkirk says that reading and history were not his greatest passions as he grew up. Today that has changed, as he was the project manager for his family’s reunion held August 1-4, 2013, in New Jersey.

He holds a degree in electrical engineering and worked as a loss prevention consultant. Today he creates risk management systems as a senior account executive and computer application developer.

So what I have done over the past two years [since the 2011 reunion] in preparation for our 2013 reunion is not a far stretch from what I do vocationally. I see the issue and try to develop a solution.

However, as he went through life, he began to recognize that something was missing.

I found a church with teaching ministry that filled the void in my spiritual life and became very active in leading the Media Volunteer Ministry (it is in my genes). Yet there was an area still lacking.

I eventually recognized I had become distant from my family, not because I wanted to, but life situations and circumstances caused things to happen just that way. In fact, there was a time when I truly could not remember a large chunk of my past.

As life would have it, things changed and there was a rekindling of his family history. As family members grew older and died, it offered occasions for the family to come together more frequently than they would like.

It was on those occasions that I heard stories about family members including myself. Stories that made you laugh and stories that made you say, “Did that really happen?” At that point I began to understand what I was missing. It was family. Cousins that I grew up were now distant relatives.

At his grandmother’s funeral, a family pastor talked about thing his grandparents experienced over 92 years of their life and the legacy they left behind.

The Starling family could have written “Roots.” This revelation showed me the importance of family.

Continue reading "Our Stories: Planning a family reunion" »

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!" »

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