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:

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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.

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22    Nov 20121 comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time when many families come from near and far to celebrate together, a time for reminiscing and sharing stories.

It's also a great opportunity to make family history discoveries. Ask your relatives about their lives, and the lives of their parents. Asking about past family Thanksgiving celebrations can be an enjoyable conversation for all the family where you can learn how your ancestors celebrated and discover other unknown information.

Try and use the time when the family is all together to share with them what you've discovered about your collective family history. Who knows, perhaps you'll get a piece of information that will help you break down a brick wall in your research.

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19    Nov 20126 comments

Holiday: Talking Turkey

Holidays“Gobble, gobble” to everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving!

This wonderful family holiday is celebrated by Americans around the world, no matter where they live. It's the time for families to get together and share a delicious feast. The day often includes watching football on TV and planning for “Black Friday” shopping deals!

It is a genuine family holiday and many of us have touching or hilarious stories about Thanksgivings past.

MyHeritage invites you to share your funny stories for the chance to win a one-year PremiumPlus membership. Simply comment on this post or post comments on our Facebook wall or, if you can fit it into 140 characters, tweet them @myheritage. The winning story will be announced on Friday.

Since I can’t participate in the competition as I'm part of the MyHeritage team, here’s my hilarious holiday story.

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16    Nov 20121 comment

Cousins Connect: Lithuania to the UK and US

We love bringing member success stories to our readers. They provide encouragement, offer tips, and show what can be accomplished. We especially like the stories of our younger members, which often spotlight social media.

Joe Tarsh of Manchester (UK) is only 21 and became interested in his family when he was 13.

I came to the realization that I wanted to know where I came from and a little voice at the back of my head told me that if I don’t ask now, then all the people who can answer may not be around to answer those questions much longer.

Born in London in 1991, his family moved to Hertfordshire, where he lived until 18. He then took a gap year, returned to the UK in 2010 and is now in his third year at university, studying for a degree in youth and community work.

He joined MyHeritage in March 2010 because he liked the site’s easy accessibility, found it simple to use and it had an incredible amount of data.

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16    Sep 20123 comments

Family: Stepfamily Day is September 16

National Stepfamily Day is celebrated on September 16. Dedicated to the stepfamily, it is a day to honor all the "Step-Heroes" out there who choose - every day - to be parents to all the children in their lives.

The day was founded by Christy Borgeld in 1997.

Stepfamilies are all around us. One in three Americans live in a stepfamily, and more than 50% of Americans will live in a stepfamily at some point in their lives, while some 30% of children grow up in stepfamilies. Another frequently-used term is "blended" families.

According to Bray & Kelly in a 1998 study, it may take at least four years or more for a step-parent to build a relationship with a step-child.

"Parenting differences" is the top reason cited by remarried couples who divorce due to the marriage's failure. Parenting agreements are crucial for a successful stepfamily.

Are you part of a step-family, or do you have a stepfamily? Share your comments below.

21    Aug 20123 comments

Family History: Telling tales of the dead

The obituary is one of the most useful of all records for genealogists, often providing clues to names and places of hard-to-find relatives or data about the deceased. Genealogists love obituaries.

How have obituaries changed over the years? Has public fascination with celebrities grown during the 20th century, while interest in those who achieve or produce (scientists, inventors or religious figures) has decreased?

A University of South Carolina sociologist has now investigated a century of New York Times obits as a cultural barometer.

Using The New York Times obituaries, sociologist Patrick Nolan has analyzed 100 years of obits (1900-2000), working from the paper’s “notable deaths” section. The results of his study, “Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Apotheosis of Celebrities in 20th-century America,” are in the summer issue of the sociological journal “Sociation Today.”

He expected his theory to hold true. The surprise was how strong the evidence would be. Nolan says the most striking results were simultaneous increases in celebrity obits and declines in religious obits.

They document the increasing secularization and hedonism of American culture at a time when personal income was rising and public concern was shifting away from the basic issues of survival.

The magnitude of these trends is seismic. While the Greeks may have looked to their gods for guidance and entertainment, we’ve turned increasingly to our celebrities – entertainers and athletes.

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24    Jul 20122 comments

Amelia Earhart: American aviation pioneer

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

American aviator Amelia Earhart, born 115 years ago today, disappeared on July 2, 193, over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island.

Amelia was attempting to complete a round-the-world tour on a twin-engine Lockheed Electra with navigator Fred Noonan, when they lost radio contact. A dozen ships and 50 aircraft, from the US government, searched for them for several months. Nothing of significance has ever been discovered about their whereabouts and Amelia, then 41, was officially declared dead on January 5, 1939.

Amelia, a pioneer of American aviation, was born July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. In 1922, she broke the women's altitude record for flying above 14,000 feet. In 1928, she became the first woman to be flown across the Atlantic Ocean and in 1932 she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, and the first person to cross it twice. That same year, she received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society.

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18    Jul 20121 comment

Marissa Mayer: From Finland to Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer, as a child

Marissa Mayer, as a child (taken from MilwaukeeMag.com)

A lot of media attention was devoted to Marissa Mayer yesterday, a former Google executive, who has just been appointed CEO of Yahoo!.

Marissa, all of 37 years old(!), was one of the first 20 employees - and the first female engineer - at Google. She has been listed by Forbes on four occasions as one of America's 50 most powerful women in business.

In addition to her professional achievements, Marissa holds two degrees from Stanford, is a keen dancer and runner and has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Her appointment came as a shock to some, as on the same day it was announced, Marissa announced that she is six months pregnant.

Marissa is clearly a remarkable woman, having achieved so much professionally while still being young and family-oriented. She married Zach Bogue in 2009 and they are expecting a baby boy in October.

An article from 2004 about Google quoting Marissa - as found on SuperSearch (click to search)

An article from 2004 about Google quoting Marissa - as found on SuperSearch (click to search)

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