16    Jan 20134 comments

Family History: Our place in space

How do our surroundings, our homes, impact our families, our thoughts, our history?

Isn't this what our pursuit of genealogy helps to reconstruct? To make sure that our family history remains alive and known and preserved?

In a poem by Leib Borisovich Talalai, a young poet whose family was from our ancestral village of Vorotinschtina, Belarus, and who was murdered in Minsk (1941), he writes about his family home in the village, "If the walls of this house could talk. ..." When I found two of his slim books of poetry at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, it was fascinating to read his words.

What an image he presented of a home’s talking walls! What if we could access those memories? What do you know about the spaces in which your ancestors lived? Continue reading "Family History: Our place in space" »

5    Dec 20121 comment

Poll: Largest number of grandchildren in your family tree?

At this time last year, a Canadian couple celebrated the birth of their 100th grandchild.

Grandparents Viktor and Aneta Urich have so many grandchildren that they find it difficult to remember all their names. Half of them have Canadian names, half have Russian names.

The couple has 16 children. The 100th grandchild was born to their eldest son Heinrich and his wife, Tatjana. Heinrich and Tatjana have nine children, the eldest is 12.

Is there someone in your family tree with a large number of grandchildren? What's the largest number of grandchildren you've found in your family history research?

Let us know in the poll below.


24    Oct 20120 comments

Webinar: Tomorrow with Randy Seaver

We're delighted to invite you to register for our Online Record Matching Masterclass, tomorrow, Thursday, October 25.

MyHeritage's Mark Olsen will be joined by expert genealogist Randy Seaver, author of the geneablog Genea-Musings, who will discuss the surprises he's received from record matching for his personal family tree.

The webinar takes place at 1pm Pacific US (4pm Eastern US, or 9pm UK).

Visit your family site now to check your Record Matches. Learn more about Record Matching in this blog post.

View past webinars and register for future events on our new webinar website.

We look forward to welcoming you online.

22    Oct 20120 comments

Family: Creative ancestors?

Were your ancestors innovative or creative? What else do you know about them? Were they social individuals or were they outsiders? Did others consider them “different” in some way?

According to a new Cornell University study, social rejects can be tomorrow’s innovators because being an outcast can lead to heightened creativity and even commercial success.

"If you have the right way of managing rejection, feeling different can help you reach creative solutions,” said Jack Goncalo, associate professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University’s ILR School. “Unlike people who have a strong need to belong, some socially rejected people shrug off rejection with an attitude of ‘normal people don’t get me and I am meant for something better.’ Our paper shows how that works.”

Continue reading "Family: Creative ancestors?" »

17    Oct 20120 comments

Tough love: Lessons from an older sibling

Most families tend to have "a wise one," the person to whom the family goes for help and who dishes out good advice. That person is also often charged with reprimanding - or rebuking - family members when necessary.

It's common for that person to be an older family member. However, in the following adorable video, we see from 4-year-old Delilah O'Donoghue's ''heart-to-heart'' with Gabriel, 2, that this role fits her perfectly.

Delilah dishes out some ''tough love'' to her younger brother who apparently did something not so nice in the playground. She wants him to learn a lesson, and here's how she does it:

Who's the ''wise one'' in your family? Whom do you go to for advice?

Share with us in the comments below.

1    Oct 20126 comments

Poll: Larger families in days gone by?

In times gone by, were families so much bigger than today?

My grandmother was one of eight and my grandfather one of seven. Many of my ancestors also came from large families. I used to wonder whether people tended to have bigger families.

According to UK statistics, the 1900 birth rate was 3.5 children per family;  by the end of the century (1997), the rate fell to 1.7 children.

Why do you think people had larger families back then?

What about your family? How many siblings did your grandparents have?

Let us know in the poll below.


27    Aug 20120 comments

FGS 2012: Looking forward to seeing you!

We love genealogy conferences. We meet old friends, make new ones and learn about all the newest developments in the field.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) annual conference begins Wednesday, August 28, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Thousands of attendees will be able to extend their personal research with what they learn at the hundreds of sessions presented by some of the best speakers in the genealogy world.

MyHeritage will be at Booth 715

We invite everyone to stop by and say hello, to ask questions, to learn about new features, new technology and our new family history content.

Conference Specials

Enjoy great conference pricing for both World Vital Records and MyHeritage. Stop by our booth to learn more.

Conference Tips

Continue reading "FGS 2012: Looking forward to seeing you!" »

17    Aug 20126 comments

Elvis: Long live the king!

Yesterday, August 16, marked 35 years since Elvis Presley's death.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935, to Vernon and Gladys in Tupelo, Mississippi. Gladys was carrying twins, but Elvis's older brother was still-born 35 minutes before his delivery.

According to his Wikipedia entry, "Presley's ancestry was primarily a Western European mix: On his mother's side, he was Scots-Irish, with some French Norman; one of Gladys's great-great-grandmothers was Cherokee. His father's forebears were of Scottish or German origin."

On the German side of the family, Elvis's ancestor, Johann Valentin Pressler, a winegrower, immigrated to the US and settled with his wife and five children in New York. He then moved with his family to the south (where Elvis was born). The name Pressler - also Preslar, Preßler and Bressler - has changed with the time and was adapted into English to Presley.

The origin of the surname Presley is not clear. Some say that it originates from Brezel (Pretzel), which is quite popular in Pfalz, Germany.

According to some genealogists, Elvis is related to both Oprah Winfrey and Jimmy Carter.

His father was a carpenter; his mother a seamstress. Little did they know what lay ahead for their 5-year-old son. (Click to zoom).

Continue reading "Elvis: Long live the king!" »

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