20    Dec 20156 comments

Family Mysteries: Revealed through holiday cards and letters

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.

Many countries around the world have a tradition of sending greeting cards to friends and relatives during the holiday seasons. In the United States, there is also a strong tradition of sending family letters at the end of the year reviewing important events. In the last 100 years or so, these holiday cards and letters  have also contained photos and valuable information about family members. Sometimes the information contained in a card or on a photo may be priceless and could resolve long-standing family mysteries. A card from a distant relative may identify someone whose relationship you never knew about or even suspected.

"Burns Mont. Ayr Postcard 1899" (Credit: Tony Corsini at en.wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons)

Continue reading "Family Mysteries: Revealed through holiday cards and letters" »

18    Dec 201519 comments

10 Spectacular Vintage Holiday Cards

We recently put out a call for your oldest Christmas cards. We received many amazing cards from years gone by.

Here are some beautiful and rare cards, never seen before:

c1905. Sent to us by Barbara Becker. "Christmas post card 2 would have been given to my grandmother when she lived in Edinburgh, Scotland (1904-1909). Teanie was a nickname my mother told me my grandmother did not particularly like. This card appears to have been hand delivered."

Continue reading "10 Spectacular Vintage Holiday Cards" »

16    Dec 20150 comments

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Do you remember with whom you first saw Star Wars? In many homes, watching the Star Wars movies together has become a family tradition. The franchise  — which has been around for almost 40 years — takes many of us back to a familiar, nostalgic place.

The newest Star Wars film, "The Force Awakens", is being released this week after a 10-year hiatus since the last film.

We are always excited about family history discoveries, which is why we love Star Wars. Anakin Skywalker — who later became Darth Vader — had two children, Luke and Leia. Family connections were severed and, for many years, Luke and Leia did not know who their father was. They were not even aware that they were siblings. Continue reading "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" »

14    Dec 201545 comments

Holiday Competition: Win a tablet!

What was the most significant holiday gift you have ever received? Are there special family memories associated with it?

This is a guest post by Karen, MyHeritage's country manager for Germany.

Everyone knows that feeling of really wanting something with all your heart. For some, it may have been a first bike, a soccer ball, or maybe a special book. The gift that I dreamed of and wished for was a puppy. I remember the many months trying to convince my parents that I would be responsible and take care of a dog with love and affection. My parents kept trying to dissuade me of the idea. They told me the dog would mess up the house, eat our shoes, scratch the door, shed hair everywhere and that we would never again be able to take a vacation. Continue reading "Holiday Competition: Win a tablet!" »

11    Dec 20156 comments

FTM Users: Join MyHeritage and get Family Tree Builder with an Unlimited Size Family Site for Free

As you may have heard, Ancestry® has recently announced that it will no longer sell its Family Tree Maker® (FTM) software as of the end of this month, with further plans to discontinue support for the program.

At MyHeritage, we believe there is still a place in the world for genealogy software, and there is value in the ability to work offline, and enjoy more powerful functionality that many websites cannot offer. We also believe that people should be able to discover and preserve their family history on whatever platform they are comfortable with. That's why we are constantly innovating new technologies and enhancing our website, mobile apps and our Family Tree Builder genealogy software.

MyHeritage Family Tree Builder

So for all disappointed FTM users looking for alternative genealogy software, look no further! MyHeritage Family Tree Builder is the ideal tool to continue growing your family tree, and open new frontiers of research. You'll enjoy its innovative technologies and easy-to-use features.

Family Tree Builder is FREE and you can use it to build a tree of up to 100,000 individuals on your computer. This is not an imposed size limit, but rather a technical limitation, but if you have a larger tree, you can use our new version that's in beta.

Download Family Tree Builder now

Continue reading "FTM Users: Join MyHeritage and get Family Tree Builder with an Unlimited Size Family Site for Free" »

7    Dec 20150 comments

Huge Free Collection of Digitized Books Now Available on MyHeritage!

We've just added an exciting new collection to MyHeritage SuperSearch™, containing over 37 million pages in 150,000 books relevant to family history!

Search Compilation of Published Sources now

The new collection includes tens of thousands of digitized historical books, with actual images of the books' pages, and all their text extracted using Optical Character Recognition. The books span the last four centuries and include family, local and military histories, city and county directories, school and university yearbooks, church and congregational minutes and much more. A vast amount of rich data from diverse publications makes this collection a fantastic source of rare genealogical gems, providing insight into the lives of our ancestors and relatives.

We've added this collection using a new process that adds approximately 250 million pages to SuperSearch™ per year, utilizing a team of 40 curators. The curators examine each digitized book for relevance to family history research, and enhance its meta data if they decide to include it. The collection is sourced from various published texts that are copyright-free, and will be updated from now on several times each year.

The Compilation of Published Sources collection is located in SuperSearch™ under Books & Publications and is free to access. Easily search the collection by any of the following: first name, last name, publication title, publication date, publication place, or keywords. Continue reading "Huge Free Collection of Digitized Books Now Available on MyHeritage!" »

6    Dec 201522 comments

Guess Who?

It can be quite difficult to recognize someone from their childhood photo. Although some years have passed since this picture was taken, see if you can guess who this celebrity is:

Here are some clues to help out:

3    Dec 20150 comments

Maxima Chan Zuckerberg: Promise of the next generation

How will your family remember you in 100 years? What are your hopes and dreams for the next generation? We recently wrote about the importance of recording family history and making an effort to leave your children and grandchildren with lasting memories.

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan welcomed their new baby girl, Max, into the world last week. Judging by what they've already accomplished in the short time that they've been parents, they're leaving her quite the legacy.

Continue reading "Maxima Chan Zuckerberg: Promise of the next generation" »

29    Nov 201522 comments

The Power of Story: Yours, Mine and Ours

This is a guest post by genealogy professional Thomas MacEntee. He specializes in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. His latest endeavor is Genealogy Bargains, a way to save money on genealogy and family history products and services.

“Mommy? Where are you?”

At age four, I almost drowned in a lake at my father’s hunting camp in upstate New York. It is one of my earliest memories that remain with me to this day. I remember looking up from the water and seeing my mother reach down for me. I could see her, almost clearly, yet she could not see me. And time stood still.

My mother saved me that day after I had wandered away from the rest of the family and slipped on the wet grass along the bank of the lake. Luckily, it was only a few seconds after I fell in that she realized something had happened. While on her hands and knees at the water’s edge, she frantically reached around the murky bottom until she was able to grab the waist of my pants and pull me out.

I was saved that day. It was one of several times when this gentle yet strong woman would agitate the waters of my life, to save me and then soothe me to make those waters calm. Continue reading "The Power of Story: Yours, Mine and Ours" »

26    Nov 20151 comment

Thanksgiving: The holiday of travel

Thanksgiving is one of the year's busiest travel times in the United States. According to the US Bureau of Transportation, the number of long-distance trips (50 miles or more) increases by 54 percent around Thanksgiving.

Visiting friends and family is the single biggest reason Americans travel during the holidays. The visits account for 53 percent of all Thanksgiving trips. The average Thanksgiving trip is 214 miles. In 2012, AAA estimated that nearly 44 million people traveled during the holiday weekend - 90 percent traveled by car; the rest traveled by air, train or bus. Continue reading "Thanksgiving: The holiday of travel" »

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