In case you haven't heard about it, journalist and author AJ Jacobs is on a mission to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest family reunion.
AJ decided to embark on a family history journey. His quest is to see how everyone is related and, so far, he's made exciting discoveries of cousins and relatives from around the world.
To top it off, he's inviting the whole family to celebrate this summer at the largest family reunion - on June 6, 2015, in New York.
Family history is all about uncovering clues of your family's past and bringing people together who share a common heritage. The holiday season is the perfect time to get together with the family, preserve those moments and recount family memories.
As we get more involved in our family history research, we acquire more and more information, papers, notes and photos that clutter up our homes.
To avoid losing these valuable pieces of family history, it’s important to find ways to organize and keep track of your family history research discoveries.
Last year, we wrote about many Christmas traditions still common today, and the history behind them.
This year, as the holidays approach, we had our researchers look into interesting Christmas facts we never knew, and we're sure you didn't, either!
Check them out:
- If you received all the gifts from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would have 364 presents, and according to a group that prices the gifts each year, the total price tag would be $116,273.
We're happy to announce that MyHeritage is adding millions of Danish historical records to SuperSearch, with some collections dating as far back as the 1600s.
MyHeritage has entered into an agreement with the Danish National Archives to index Census and Parish records from 1646 to 1930, content that was not previously digitized. This partnership will provide access to significant sources of family history information in Denmark and enable MyHeritage users to learn more about their Danish ancestors and the lives they led. The collections follow fascinating periods throughout history such as the Napoleonic wars, liberalism and nationalism of the 1800s, the Schleswig Wars and industrialization.
The records will also illuminate the lives and times of noted Danish historical figures such as Kierkegaard and Niels Bohr. Celebrity fans will be able to look into the family history of Danish Americans such as Scarlett Johansson and Viggo Mortensen for clues on their success. Many of the records will be made available on MyHeritage as early as April 2015 and the rest will be added during the year.
The holiday season is upon us, and that means lots of food, fun and family!
Just in time for the holidays, we’ve got a great gift to share - our First Holiday Cookbook
Every family has traditions passed down through generations. Some relate to holiday food traditions and using ancestors’ recipes, while others are more unique such as the tradition of all women in a family wearing the same wedding dress or veil.
Whether it’s every day, every year or for a specific event or milestone, family traditions create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds. It’s always nice to have memories of recurring childhood activities with the family, and it becomes even more special if you carry those traditions forward for your own family.
Last week, a friend told me she was celebrating her daughter’s half-birthday. Growing up, her whole family celebrated half-birthdays. Her parents would even make half of a birthday cake! It was nice to see that, years later, she was continuing this same tradition for her own daughter.
Storytelling is a great way to create a stronger family bond, share family moments and have our children and grandchildren feel part of a grander history. Children love listening to stories and looking at old photographs. Seeing a family tree filled with images of people they may or may not know will peak their curiousity to ask many questions and learn about their heritage.
This Christmas marks 100 years since the famous Christmas truce of WWI, in 1914.
During a stormy winter of fighting between the two sides, a widespread but unofficial truce emerged in the week leading up to - and on - the holiday. German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and to sing songs between their trenches. There were even occasions where soldiers walked over to opposing sides to talk to their counterparts and exchange gifts.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the soldiers put aside their differences for a few hours. Many of them - from both sides - ventured into "no man's land," where they met and exchanged food and souvenirs, and sang carols together.
It is said that at the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines calling out "Merry Christmas." The Allied soldiers were wary at first, thinking it might be a trick, but when they saw the Germans approach them unarmed, they climbed out of their trenches as well, and shook hands with the enemy.
We're delighted to announce the launch of Instant Discoveries™, a new, free experience that makes it easier for new users to embark on their genealogical journey.
Imagine - if at the very moment you signed up to MyHeritage - you were handed a never-before-seen photo of your great-grandmother? Or, if you were given a family tree branch with many of your ancestors, just by entering some basic information? Discoveries can be magical and help engage newcomers to family history and introduce them to this fascinating activity.
With Instant Discoveries™, it takes only seconds for people who sign up to MyHeritage to discover ancestors and create an online family tree with many relatives and photos. After perfecting the technology, we took Instant Discoveries™ to the streets of New York and successfully demonstrated it to passers-by. It was incredible to see their emotional reactions which you can watch in the short video above.
We recently asked for your favorite family recipes and the stories and photos behind them. Recipes are often handed down from generation to generation. They are a link to our past and provide a connection to the special people and events in our family's history.
We received so many great responses that we're excited to include the highlights in our MyHeritage Holiday Cookbook. It will soon be available for download on our blog, just in time for the holidays!
We wanted to showcase one of the many heartwarming family stories that we received over the past few weeks.
Irene Jeppsen from Afton, Wyoming sent in her grandmother's sweet potato dish. She chose to enter the recipe to honor her grandmother's memory and highlight the memories of her ancestors. Although she is unsure of the origins of the recipe, she believes it came from her grandmother.