10    Apr 20135 comments

National Siblings Day: Honoring brothers and sisters

When looking at family history, we often first look at who we descend from, our parents, our grandparents and their parents.

Yet some of the most important people who shape our lives are those with whom we grow up every day.

Today, April 10, is National Siblings Day. It celebrates the impact our brothers and sisters had or have on us and how much we appreciate them.

The day was founded by Claudia A. Evart through a non-profit charity, Siblings Day Foundation, in 1998, to honor the memory of her late sister and brother who died in accidents at an early age.

Siblings are our closest family members, other than our parents, with whom we grew up with every day; the bonds we share with them last forever.

Continue reading "National Siblings Day: Honoring brothers and sisters" »

20    Mar 20131 comment

RootsTech 2013: We’ve arrived!

One of the best things about genealogy conferences is that we get to catch up with our friends.

This year's RootsTech is expected to attract some 5,000 attendees, some 25% more than last year's event. In addition to conference-goers, speakers and exhibitors, many genealogy bloggers are already here. While many are US-based, this year includes bloggers from Australia, UK, France, Spain and elsewhere.

By 7pm Tuesday, I was at the conference hotel, affectionately known as Geneabloggers Central. I knew that many bloggers had arrived early, and had a nice dinner with Randy Seaver, Heather Wilkinson Rojo, saw Dick Eastman, Lisa Louise Cooke, Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Alzo and others.

This morning (Wednesday) was set-up day for the MyHeritage booth.

Click to zoom

Continue reading "RootsTech 2013: We’ve arrived!" »

14    Mar 20133 comments

Rootstech 2013: MyHeritage heads to Salt Lake City

MyHeritage is excited to see our old friends and meet new ones at next week’s RootsTech 2013 conference, from March 21-23, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The event brings together genealogy and technology. It's a great place to share and learn from top genealogists and technologists about technology tools to help with your family history research.

MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet will give the keynote speech at 8.30am on Saturday, March 23, in Hall 1.  He will unveil MyHeritage breaking news, so don’t miss out!

Gilad will speak alongside David Pogue, personal technology weekly columnist for The New York Times and a monthly columnist for Scientific American.

Continue reading "Rootstech 2013: MyHeritage heads to Salt Lake City" »

11    Mar 20130 comments

Ethnic Foods: Eating around the world

The US is a nation of immigrants. Each group has added its cultural traditions – including delicious food – to the shared multi-ethnic experience. Every family has its favorite dishes from its own unique heritage or a combination of ancestries!

What I really enjoy is how different groups have incorporated their unique dishes into the celebration of US holidays. To use the Thanksgiving holiday as an example, most people feature the golden roasted turkey as a centerpiece, but the stuffing and side dishes will change! Mexican-Americans will add tamales and serve Spanish rice. Persian-Americans will use a rice, nut and fruit stuffing, while side dishes include stews, such as walnut-and-pomegranate, along with rice dishes featuring many green herbs. Italian-Americans will add pasta dishes like lasagna.

March is National Nutrition Month, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) offers ways to “eat right, your way, every day,” with foods from  everywhere.

Dietary guidelines, according to a registered dietician in this story, should accommodate food preferences, cultural, ethnic, traditional and personal preferences the many diverse groups in the US. The story lists yummy healthy dishes from many cuisines:

Continue reading "Ethnic Foods: Eating around the world" »

27    Feb 20133 comments

New section: Surname of the week

MyHeritage welcomes you to a new weekly blog post, "Surname of the week." We'll discuss the origin, history and other information of one surname in each post.

Surnames first appeared in the Middle Ages as a way to record and document people and for tax purposes. Details included given names, nicknames, parents’ names, occupation and residence. This personal information later became an important part of the history of surnames.

English surnames, as we know them today, began in England as early as the 11th century. However, it was not until the late-17th-century that many families adopted permanent surnames.

Generally speaking, family names fall into the following categories with some examples given:

  • Occupation: Smith, Taylor or Miller
  • Personal characteristics: Young, Black or White
  • Geographic or locations: Hamilton, Bush, Hill,  Windsor or Murray
  • Patronymics, Matronymics or Ancestral:  Stephenson, Richardson or Harris

In honor of American-British Actress Elizabeth Taylor's birthday, we look at TAYLOR this week:

Continue reading "New section: Surname of the week" »

18    Feb 20130 comments

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Washington's Birthday Image credit: Wikipedia

Washington's Birthday. Image credit: Wikipedia

Today is, in the United States, “President's Day.” Did you know that this was originally celebrated as “Washington’s Birthday"?

Established in 1885 as a Federal holiday, it was first celebrated on February 22, Washington’s real birthday. It was also the first Federal holiday honoring an American citizen.

In 1971, the date changed to the third Monday in February, after the creation of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

The Act also combined Washington’s Birthday with Abraham Lincoln’s, which fell on February 12. Lincoln’s Birthday had long been a state holiday in some states. The combining of these two days gave equal recognition to two of America's most famous men.

Since then the day has become known as President's Day and also honors other presidents born during February, including Ronald Reagan and William Henry Harrison. It is popularly seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all US Presidents.

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15    Feb 20130 comments

Valentine’s Day: 1 billion cards

A card by Esther Rowland Courtesy Mount Holyoke College

How many valentines did you receive this year? How many did you send?

Some 190 million valentines are sent each year, according to the US Greeting Card Association. If you count the cards made by schoolchildren, it goes up to 1 billion. And, in 2010, some 15 million e-valentines were sent!

The American tradition of sending valentines was the idea of Esther Rowland (1828-1904), a young graduate of Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts).

Holyoke's archives and special collections has an impressive collection of historic valentines, many created by Esther. She is credited with having established the commercial valentine industry in the US.

The school’s original name was the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, and Esther graduated in 1847. She was inspired by an ornate English valentine - sent by a family friend – to create her elaborate versions of the greeting card.

Continue reading "Valentine’s Day: 1 billion cards" »

13    Feb 201310 comments

MyHeritage adds millions of historical records

We've recently added millions of new records to MyHeritage's data collections.

The international collections include headstones, military records, yearbooks and even wanted posters and mugshots!

The records are searchable on MyHeritage's SuperSearch engine and are integrated with MyHeritage's Record Matching technology. This means that MyHeritage users will automatically receive notifications about records from these collections that match individuals in their family trees.

Here's some more information and links to the main collections we've added:

Continue reading "MyHeritage adds millions of historical records" »

5    Feb 20132 comments

Black History Month: Resource roundup

Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, Major League Baseball Star, image credit: biography.com

Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, Major League Baseball Star. Image credit: biography.com

In honor of Black History Month, established in 1926 and celebrated in February, here’s a roundup of resources – websites, blogs, repositories and more – to help you learn more about your family. Each resource listed offers more links to additional information.

Today is also the birthday of African American baseball superstar Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, born in 1934.  A major league baseball icon, Aaron is best known for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record. Read more on Aaron.

For many black families with roots in the Southern US states, research can be frustrating. Although African American genealogy research can get back to the 1880s and much earlier, it is difficult for most researchers. Researching their family trees has been almost impossible, as their ancestors' original names were literally erased. Slaves' African given names were replaced by English names and their surnames were those of their owners.

With the advent of new databases and technological tools, research has become much easier. A growing number of individuals are preparing their family stories and discovering images of their unique history. Continue reading "Black History Month: Resource roundup" »

21    Jan 20130 comments

Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther KingToday, the US observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a Federal holiday.

Dr. King was world-renowned for his work for the civil rights movement in America, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born Michael King, Jr. in 1924 in Atlanta, Georgia. His name was changed 10 years later, after his family visited Eisleben, Germany, the birthplace of Martin Luther, who founded Protestantism. His father, Michael King Sr., changed both his name and his son's name to Martin Luther in honor of him.

Continue reading "Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day" »

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