2    Nov 20150 comments

Your Holiday Cards: We want to see them!

Excitement builds as we approach the holidays and preparations get underway. Family holiday cards are a longstanding Christmas tradition, and to many, an integral part of the lead-up to the holiday season. Each year, over 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the US alone.

The very first Christmas card was commissioned by a UK government worker, Sir Henry Cole, in 1843 when he was too busy to write to his friends himself. Printed in black and white, they were originally colored by hand.

Only a handful of the 1,000 originally printed were sold, probably because of their prohibitively expensive price of one shilling.

It was only many years later that the tradition caught on. Sending cards became even more popular in Victorian times (1870s) when the cost of mailing Christmas cards dropped to a half-penny.

In the US, the first Christmas cards were produced in the late 1840s, but were too expensive for most people. They became more affordable in 1875, when a German printer began mass-producing them. In 1915, John C. Hall and two of his brothers created Hallmark Cards, still one of the biggest sellers of Christmas cards today!

Here at MyHeritage, we're searching for your oldest family Christmas card. What's the oldest Christmas card that you have in your family? Send it to us at stories@myheritage.com.

1    Nov 20152 comments

Tackle Your Research: Carpe Diem!

In searching for ancestors, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the stones still unturned and research yet to be done. As genealogists know, family history research is truly never-ending. With every door that opens, so do  many more avenues of research.  Many of us have long to-do lists of names to be researched, relatives to interview, places to visit, and more.  There are so many reasons why it is important to seize the moment and tackle your long list.

Here are 5 reasons to get to your research, today, and not to delay!
Continue reading "Tackle Your Research: Carpe Diem!" »

28    Oct 20152 comments

Webinar: Discovering our ancestors’ daily lives

Don't you wish your ancestors had recorded their daily lives and thoughts so that we'd be able to better understand their personal lives and feelings? Books, newspapers, censuses, military records and more are great resources that can provide a wealth of rich information about our ancestors' personal lives.

Join expert genealogist, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, for an in-depth webinar on how to uncover more details of how our ancestors lived daily.

Register for free here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1454909339589496322 Continue reading "Webinar: Discovering our ancestors’ daily lives" »

25    Oct 20156 comments

DNA: Are our friends actually family?

Many of us are lucky to have close friends, who feel like family, in our lives. In recent years, genetic research has supported the theory that friends are more likely to share certain similarities in their genetic makeup.

When I was growing up, Uncle Max was always hanging around our house, chatting with my parents. He helped steer my father right with his do-it-yourself home projects, he told jokes at the dinner table, and he always came bearing little treats for my siblings and me. He visited so often that he was considered a member of the family.

I had always assumed that he was a second cousin or somehow distantly related to us. It was only when I was a teenager that I discovered that "Uncle" Max was not my uncle, but a very close friend of my parents. He had shared several stages of life with them and had essentially become family. Growing up, we were closer with Max than we were to many of our other aunts and uncles. Continue reading "DNA: Are our friends actually family?" »

21    Oct 201524 comments

Our Stories: A past he never imagined

October marks the 210th anniversary of the death of the great British military hero, Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was mortally wounded during his final victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

We recently spoke with MyHeritage user David Bullock - from Bath, England - after he discovered an unexpected connection with Nelson that blew him away.

David Bullock and Horatio Nelson

When he began tracing his roots in February 2014, David, a graphic designer, never imagined the roller coaster of emotions his journey would become. Continue reading "Our Stories: A past he never imagined" »

19    Oct 201510 comments

Send Us Your Stories for a Chance to Win a Kindle!

Do you have a family history discovery story that you'd like to share? We'd love to hear it!

Looking deeper into your roots and learning more about your family's past can help strengthen family connections and uncover previously unknown relatives. Many of our users have shared what they've uncovered and learned about their families, using MyHeritage.

Take a look at our featured stories to see some incredible discoveries. Barbara followed a MyHeritage SmartMatch to uncover her mother’s side of the family and, as a result, received priceless family correspondence. Brian was able to use MyHeritage to trace his family tree back to 690 AD and he discovered that his ninth great-grandfather was, in fact, The Duke of Argyll!

Share your story for a chance to win one of three Kindles, and to have your story featured on our blog! To enter, send us an email with your story, to stories@myheritage.com by November 7.

We look forward to hearing about your discoveries!

15    Oct 20150 comments

46 Million Swedish Household Records Now Available

We are happy to announce that we've added over 46 million Swedish records to MyHeritage SuperSearch. The high quality parish register records, spanning 1880 to 1920, are now available, indexed and searchable online for the first time. These records include information about births, deaths, marriages, addresses and changes in household composition. They provide a unique view into the lives of Swedish people living at that time, making this collection a fantastic family history resource for anyone with Swedish heritage.

Search Sweden Household Examination Books Now

Swedish Household Examination Books are the primary source for researching the lives of individuals and families throughout the Parishes of Sweden, from the late 1600s to modern times. The books were created and kept by the Swedish Lutheran Church, which was tasked with keeping the official records of the Swedish population until 1991. Continue reading "46 Million Swedish Household Records Now Available" »

14    Oct 20157 comments

Lisa Louise Cooke: Using Google tools for genealogy

This is a guest post by Lisa Louise Cooke, founder of Genealogy Gems, a genealogy and family history multi-media company. She is producer and host of "Genealogy Gems Podcast," the popular online genealogy audio show, as well as the "Family History: Genealogy Made Easy" podcast. Her podcast episodes bring genealogy news, research strategies, expert interviews and inspiration to genealogists. She is also the author of a variety of multi-media materials, including "The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox." She is also a doting wife to Bill, the proud mom of three daughters, and a grandmother to boot.

We recently spoke with Lisa about how Google's online tools have changed the face of genealogy research and using them to help you search, translate, message, and span the globe.

1. Can you highlight some of the main ways Google tools have changed the face of genealogy research? Continue reading "Lisa Louise Cooke: Using Google tools for genealogy" »

13    Oct 20150 comments

5 Easy Tips to Create a Great Family Tree Poster

It's never too early to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. Now is the perfect time to start planning, to reduce unwanted stress and chaos in December, making your life easier. Early planning also allows you to fully enjoy the holiday season, leaving you free to spend time with your family, and revel in your favorite activities, yearly traditions and celebrations.

A poster of your family tree, can be a very special gift for just about anyone on your list. A poster can be created very easily, with just a few clicks on your family site. Personalizing a poster can make it a one-of-a-kind and unique gift. It can be ordered on your family site, from the comfort of your own home, and sent anywhere in the world!

Here are our top 5 tips for creating a perfect family poster: Continue reading "5 Easy Tips to Create a Great Family Tree Poster" »

11    Oct 20154 comments

How to Find Your Norwegian Relatives

The Kingdom of Norway is quite small - just a narrow strip of land with barely 5 million inhabitants. But, despite its size, there are Norwegians and those of Norwegian heritage spread all around the world.

Some famous people such as Richard Ayoade, Sophie Dahl, and the British Royal Family all have Norwegian relatives. If you do too, here are some helpful tips on how to find them!

Norwegian emigration in a nutshell
Over the centuries, Norwegians have settled all over the world. It started with the Vikings, who settled mainly in the UK, Ireland and France, but also populated areas as far as Sicily, Turkey, Russia and the USA. Continue reading "How to Find Your Norwegian Relatives" »

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