15    Jun 201632 comments

New Innovation: Sun Charts

Family tree charts are an excellent way to share your research with your family, and to bring your family history to life. MyHeritage offers a wide selection of beautiful charts and books that can be created — for free — on your family site with a few clicks.

Today we're introducing a new addition to the lineup — The Sun Chart. This is an innovative new family tree chart for visualizing descendants in family trees.

Sun Chart

Click to zoom

We call it a "Sun Chart" because the main ancestor (selected by the user) is shown in the center with multiple generations of descendants in outer concentric rings. It can be classified as a descendant fan chart, but it is unique in that it also includes photos, and it isn't limited in the number of generations. The new Sun Chart is designed to be the most spatially efficient chart, and yet it still easy to understand. Do you have a family get-together or reunion coming up? Be sure to bring along a Sun Chart (or several, one for each of your ancestral lines), and everyone will ooh and aah over it!

The chart above was prepared by MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet for his direct paternal line (Japhet/Pat)  — showing the descendants of his great-great-grandfather. Click here to view the full PDF version of Gilad's chart. Note that living people are displayed with initials to protect their privacy (this is one of the chart configuration options at the user's disposal).

Continue reading "New Innovation: Sun Charts" »

9    Jun 20160 comments

The Oldest Selfie Ever Taken

The "selfie" is a casual self-portrait photograph, usually taken with a front-facing camera on a smartphone or a digital camera. They are most often shared through social networks and have become so common that it is rare to have not heard of them.

Although the term "selfie" is relatively new — it was only added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013 — the idea of taking a photograph of yourself by holding the camera in front of you is most certainly not new.

The first known selfie was produced by Robert Cornelius, an American pioneer in photography. He created a daguerreotype of himself in 1839. Not only is it the first known selfie, but it's also one of the first photographs taken of a person...ever.

Because the process was slow, Robert was able to uncover the lens, run into the shot for a minute or more, and then replace the lens cap. The photo is labeled on the back as "The first light Picture ever taken. 1839."

Credit: Library of Congress

Continue reading "The Oldest Selfie Ever Taken" »

1    Jun 20161 comment

Road Trip: MyHeritage at Conferences Around the World

We're hitting the road this week to head to four family history conferences in four corners of the world! We hope you will come along and say hello to us in person at our booths and learn more about MyHeritage from our classes and demos. We'd love to see you there!

1) Ontario Genealogy Society Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 3-5
The OGS Conference of 2016 is promising to be even larger than expected. Members of all 34 branches and special interest groups of the Ontario Genealogical Society and other family historians from across North America and around the world will meet in Toronto for three days of inspiring lectures, workshops, displays, and other learning opportunities.

MyHeritage Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz will give a mini-lecture on Saturday morning on "Why Build Your Family Tree on MyHeritage?" On Sunday, he will speak on "Discovering Your Family History with Seven Unique Technologies" and "Mobile Applications for Genealogy Research and Family Photo and Data Sharing." On Sunday, Esther Shuman will give a mini-lecture on "How to Use MyHeritage’s Cutting-Edge Matching Technologies." Continue reading "Road Trip: MyHeritage at Conferences Around the World" »

30    May 20162 comments

11 Million Australian Newspaper Pages Now Online

We've just added 11.4 million pages of Australian newspaper records to our collections. The records are now available for free at MyHeritage SuperSearch.

Including over 700 Australian newspapers, this phenomenal collection, digitized by the Trove (The National Library of Australia), covers newspapers from 1803 to the mid-20th century. Each Australian state and territory are represented, although the bulk of the collection consists of newspapers from New South Wales and Victoria.

Search the Australian Newspaper collection now

This collection is a treasure trove of information for all Australian researchers — or those with Australian heritage — looking to add to the rich fabric of their family history and fill in missing details. Newspapers are fantastic sources of genealogical and family history information. Birth, marriage and death announcements, and obituaries found in newspapers are commonly used resources for genealogy. However, your ancestors may also be mentioned in articles on local news and events (i.e. social, community, school, sport, or business related events).

In the next few months, we will add 5 million new pages to this collection. This collection will also soon be matched with all family trees on MyHeritage.

Here are a few interesting examples from the collection: Continue reading "11 Million Australian Newspaper Pages Now Online" »

26    May 20160 comments

Family ‘Curse’ Broken after 102 Years!

Is there a long direct line of one gender in your family? How many men versus women are in your family tree?

The statistics section on your MyHeritage family site will provide the answer. Among other interesting facts, see which gender is more prevalent in your family. In my family tree, it's split pretty evenly. Of 304 people, 156 are male.

If the Underdahl family of Idaho would check their family tree statistics, they would probably see that the men in their tree reigned and are the majority. In their family, there hadn't been a baby girl born in the direct line for over 100 years. That just changed. Continue reading "Family ‘Curse’ Broken after 102 Years!" »

24    May 201610 comments

Our Stories: Uncovering a brood of half-siblings

When Cathy Combs of Spokane, Washington began researching her family history, she had no clue what discoveries were awaiting. She uncovered a huge chunk of family that she never knew existed.

MyHeritage has played a pivotal role in the documentation of my family history, and research that enabled the discovery of my half-siblings!

Cathy and four of her six siblings, at a 2014 reunion

It all started with Jean McDonald Clark. Jean was born in Chicago, but raised in Minnesota. She married Ernest Rucks in 1946. Between 1947 and 1950, the couple had four children. She was a young bride with an unfortunate domestically turbulent home life. While pregnant with her fifth child, she fled to California to safely give birth and process for divorce. In the early 1950s, battered women in such situations had few options or resources. Continue reading "Our Stories: Uncovering a brood of half-siblings" »

19    May 201648 comments

MyHeritage is Adding Free DNA Matching

We have some good news for the genealogy community.

We are constantly developing new ways to advance genealogy through the latest technological innovations. One of the most exciting frontiers in family history research is DNA and today's announcement reflects a major step by MyHeritage in this important area.

DNA and traditional genealogy methods, such as family trees and historical records, go hand in hand. DNA can sometimes help where traditional research encounters a dead end, while traditional genealogy is often required to pinpoint an exact relationship path discovered by DNA.

While we have been offering DNA test kits for a few years — through partnerships — and will continue to do so, we are now developing a new DNA Matching service. This service will enable people who have already tested their DNA through DNA testing services (such as 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, and AncestryDNA) to enjoy MyHeritage’s exceptional matching capabilities for their family history research, and get more value from the DNA test they already took. Continue reading "MyHeritage is Adding Free DNA Matching" »

19    May 201619 comments

Enhance Your Research: Understand Worldwide Naming Patterns

This is a guest post by genealogist James L. Tanner, a retired trial attorney from Arizona now living in Utah. He is the author of two popular genealogy blogs, Genealogy's Star and Rejoice, and be exceeding glad. With over 30 years of genealogy experience, he currently volunteers at the Brigham Young University Family History Library in Provo, Utah.

Not too long ago, MyHeritage.com opened a major genealogical door for many researchers with its new Global Name Translation Technology. Quoting from the product announcement, “The technology automatically translates the names found in historical records and family trees from one language into another, at very high accuracy, generating all plausible translations, to facilitate matches between names in different languages.” See, New Feature: Global Name Translation™ Technology. This technology is highly beneficial because many given names and surnames have equivalents in various languages. But even with this valuable help from MyHeritage.com, it is still important to understand the basic naming patterns in the country or countries where your ancestors lived. Continue reading "Enhance Your Research: Understand Worldwide Naming Patterns" »

16    May 20166 comments

Meet the Team: Maor and Maayan Cohen

Visitors to the MyHeritage office often do a double take when they walk past the development offices. Only a few doors from each other sit twin brothers Maor and Maayan. They swear that they’re not identical twins but, looking at them, you would never guess it.

Maor was the first to interview at MyHeritage back in December 2011, but he joined the company after his brother, Maayan. Maor couldn’t immediately leave his position at a different company, but suggested Maayan as another candidate for the MyHeritage development team. “I told them that I have a very similar looking and talented brother who would be very interested,” Continue reading "Meet the Team: Maor and Maayan Cohen" »

10    May 20160 comments

New Initiative: Tribal Quest

MyHeritage is excited to announce the launch of a new global initiative — Tribal Quest — to record the family histories of tribal people living in remote locations and to preserve their stories for future generations.

Visit the Tribal Quest website

Here’s a short video that introduces the Tribal Quest project, and shows highlights from our first destination, Namibia:

One of our driving forces as a company is to do good, and we place particular emphasis on initiating pro bono projects that increase people's engagement with genealogy — wherever they may live. We recognize that, across a diverse range of cultural practices and geographic locations, every family has its own stories waiting to be told and shared. Tribal Quest is one of our most exciting initiatives, and its impact is already proving very positive.

Continue reading "New Initiative: Tribal Quest" »

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