We often come across stumbling blocks in our genealogy research, such as an old letter in a language we don't understand, a mysterious family photo in which we cannot identify the people, or a particular ancestor for whom we cannot find any information. Help from others can make all the difference in breaking through these genealogical brick walls.
"MyHeritage Community" is the name of a new, much-needed Questions & Answers hub for our users to collaborate and help each other in typical genealogy quests such as locating long-lost relatives, translating historical documents, deciphering illegible handwriting, identifying unknown people in photos, or searching for elusive ancestors. It's built as an image-oriented forum, integrated into the MyHeritage website (so you don't need to sign up separately for it), it can be a game-changer for your research, and it's totally FREE.
Oral interviews are vital in family history research. Our relatives are a treasure trove of precious family information, and we want to make sure that their stories are preserved forever. Audio Recordings lets you interview your relatives directly from their profile in your family tree, and store the interview for future generations on your MyHeritage family site.
Thousands of MyHeritage users have already taken advantage of this new feature. Today we've chosen to showcase the feedback and recordings of some users who have already enjoyed using Audio Recordings.
Our MyHeritage team had a great time last week at the Who Do You Think You Are Live? 2016 show in Birmingham, UK.
The show attracted visitors from all over the UK and also many from abroad. Both beginners and advanced researchers shared their passion of family history.
We're excited to announce the release of a revolutionary new technology — Book Matching — perhaps our best technology yet. Book Matching automatically researches individuals found in family trees on MyHeritage in our vast collection of digitized historical books. Unique to MyHeritage, the innovative new technology uses semantic analysis to understand every sentence in every page in the digitized books, in order to find matches with very high accuracy. Book Matching has already produced over 80 million new matches for our users! Every match is a paragraph from a book specifically about the person in the family tree, providing direct access to that paragraph and the ability to browse through the rest of the book.
With Book Matching, you'll discover fascinating family information that you would not find otherwise. You may even discover new relatives and ancestors. Use this information to expand your family tree and add color to it.
By way of background, we first launched SuperSearch™, our search engine for historical records, in 2012. In December 2015, the collection of digitized historical books was added to SuperSearch™. Very recently, we've tripled the books in the Compilation of Published Sources from 150,000 to 450,000 books, with a total of 91 million pages. We've assembled a team of hard-working curators and plan to add hundreds of millions of additional pages of digitized books to the collection each year.
He will speak about MyHeritage's new features and other genealogy topics in the UK and North America over the next few months. He will have many opportunities to meet with friends, users and visit archives along the way.
A friend recently shared the story of how her great-grandfather Leon emigrated to America from Europe in the early 1900s. His brother had previously arrived, in search of a better life. When Leon followed his brother, he worked as a tailor and struggled to make ends meet to support his growing family.
After a few years, he reached a point in his career where he had become comfortable and had some expendable income. He searched to invest some money in a new opportunity. Leon's brother suggested that he try investing with him in real estate — and purchase some rural farmland in New York City.
In September 2015, Jacob Eric Stathers, 63, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and began treatment. While undergoing chemotherapy, he found himself with extra time on his hands, and he decided to dedicate this time to exploring his family history.
He began searching for the best tools and technology for his research and soon learned about MyHeritage. What he didn’t realize then were the new and exciting discoveries that genealogy would bring, and that it would open up a broader world during this difficult time in his life.
A British Columbia native, now Eric lives with his wife in Bellevue, Washington. They each have two children and two stepchildren. He holds a BSc (Agriculture — Soil Science), an MBA (University of British Columbia, Canada), and also studied at the Advanced Management College (Stanford University, California). A senior executive with 35 years of experience in business software, consulting, and management, he is today the managing partner of Stathers & Associates LLC. He is also co-editor and publisher of In the Ditch: Stories of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway 1929-65, authored by his grandfather, Eric Prince Stathers.
Eric became interested in family history as a young boy when his UK-born paternal grandfather, who lived with Eric's family while recovering from a heart attack, began compiling his family tree and writing his memoirs.
Taking photos at family events used to be a huge production. Today, however, it is just so easy to use your smartphone to capture those wonderful family gatherings.
Uncle Sam was the designated photographer in my family when we were growing up. He loved to take photos, and he always had the latest cameras available. Sammy would bring his camera to each event, making sure to charge it in advance or to bring fresh batteries. He would take candid shots, and we usually tried to have a large group photo with as many people as possible. At the end of the day, if you wanted to be in the photo, you had to be where the camera was located.
Although we still have power issues with modern smartphones, today just about everyone has a phone to capture special moments. It's never been easier for every family member to record family experiences and preserve them for future generations.
As easy as it has become to “snap” photos or, more correctly, press the picture icon on your phone, not every captured image has the same quality.
With Easter, we welcome Spring and the rebirth of new life. It’s a great time of year to do some spring cleaning and organize your genealogy research. It is also a great opportunity to try new things and venture down new avenues of genealogy research.
This is a guest post by Leslie Albrecht Huber, a genealogy writer, and speaker. She has written over 100 articles published in a variety of history and family history outlets. She loves speaking to groups on genealogy topics, particularly those focused on German genealogy, tracing immigrant ancestors, social history, and writing family histories. Leslie has spoken in over 20 U.S. states, on "Good Morning America" and on NPR (National Public Radio). Her book, "The Journey Takers," was published in 2010.
We’ve all read family histories that begin something like this: “My great-grandmother, Mary Smith, was born on June 3, 1890, in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of Sarah Smith and John Smith. She had two older brothers and three younger sisters.”
With nothing story-like to them, these histories are little more than lists of details strung together in paragraph format. They may be packed full of well-researched information, but many readers will struggle to get beyond the first few pages before they find their mind wandering or their eyes drifting closed.