16    Oct 20144 comments

Just like our ancestors: Shared personalities

Has anyone ever said that you speak exactly like your grandfather?

We often talk about resemblances and physical similarities between ourselves and our ancestors - perhaps it's the same smile as a cousin, or the identical eyes of a grandparent.

However, our physical appearance may not be the only connection passed through generations. Not only can we look like our ancestors, but we can act like them as well.

Continue reading "Just like our ancestors: Shared personalities" »

4    Oct 20143 comments

Our Ancestors: Sleep patterns

How much do you know about the lives that your ancestors lived?

Many of us know their names and, if we are lucky, we have dates, professions and stories about our distant ancestors. However, many questions still remain. There are some essential day-to-day activities of our ancestors that we may know little or nothing about.

Take sleep, for example. We can assume that our grandparents sleeping patterns were similar to ours. But what about our grandparents’ grandparents, and our grandparents’ grandparents’ grandparents? Continue reading "Our Ancestors: Sleep patterns" »

1    Sep 2014285 comments

Labor Day: 10 jobs that are obsolete

Did your great-grandfather cut ice for a living? Perhaps your grandmother was a switchboard operator and connected calls from house to house?

There are so many professions that our ancestors once followed that are now extinct today.

Here are 10 examples of professions that no longer exist:

1) A scissors-grinder was a street merchant that sharpened the blades of knives and scissors. He would call out in the streets or knock at the doors to try and get business. He worked the stone grinding wheel with his foot using a treadle.

A scissors-grinder in 1909. Credit: Maryland Historical Society Library.

Continue reading "Labor Day: 10 jobs that are obsolete" »

27    Mar 20142 comments

Family History: What we leave for our children

We often think of family history in one direction- what we are learning or "taking from" our ancestors. We rarely take the time to think about give and take in the other direction.

What's the legacy that you would like to leave for your children and for future generations? How are you making sure that it will be passed on?

There are many practices for ensuring that your family history survives into future generations. Perhaps the most crucial is including your children and descendants in your family history research.

By encouraging interest in the family tree from your children, grandchildren and other relatives, they will want to preserve the records for generations to come. Continue reading "Family History: What we leave for our children" »

24    Nov 201311 comments

Nicknames: Family history research tips

Ever faced an obstacle in your family research as you look for an ancestors’ name?

When viewing census records, for example, it’s not uncommon to find a relative listed with their formal birth name in one record, and then listed under a nickname in another.

Nicknames are usually familiar or humorous and used as an appropriate replacement or addition to a given name. They can be a form of endearment, refer to a personal character trait or just be a shortened version.

When you stumble upon these new listings, you might think your family research has hit a brick wall. Searching for records can be difficult if you don’t have all the information, but don’t despair, here are some tips below to help in your family history research. Continue reading "Nicknames: Family history research tips" »

30    Oct 20130 comments

Millions of gravestone records and obituaries added to SuperSearch

As Halloween approaches we’re excited to bring you new tricks and treats to help you find out more about your ancestors. We’re happy to announce that we've added millions of gravestone records and obituaries to SuperSearch, our online search engine for billions of historical records.

This new addition includes 5.5 million gravestone records from BillionGraves and 3.5 million obituaries from Tributes.com.

Search the BillionGraves and Tributes collections now

Continue reading "Millions of gravestone records and obituaries added to SuperSearch" »

9    Oct 2013120 comments

Competition: Which ancestor would you like to meet?

We received many photo captions for last week’s Family History Month competition. Thank you to everyone that entered.

Congratulations to Christalina Jager, winner of a Premium Family Site Subscription for her family site.

We loved your photo caption; “believing that the exhaust from those new things called cars would kill them, the ladies invented a new mask that wouldn't mess up their makeup".

According to the Netherlands Nationaal Archief's bibliographic record, the photo shows women in Montreal, Canada in 1939, wearing plastic face protection from snowstorms.

This week, we're holding another Family History Month competition to win a PremiumPlus site subscription. Continue reading "Competition: Which ancestor would you like to meet?" »

16    Sep 201319 comments

New Feature: Save Records to Your Tree

We’re delighted to launch today a new feature that allows the saving of records that you discover in SuperSearch – MyHeritage's online search engine for billions of historical records – directly to the relevant profiles in your family tree.

Save records to your family tree

Our Record Matching technology already provides accurate matches of historical records to family tree profiles and when a match is confirmed, or pending confirmation, the record appears on that individual’s family tree profile. Our new “Save Records” feature takes this one step further and enables you to save any record that you find on SuperSearch, to one or more profiles in your online family tree on MyHeritage.

Have ancestors you want to learn more about? Search for them in SuperSearch, or click on the research icon on any family tree profile, and save any relevant records that you discover directly to their family tree profile.

Walkthrough: How to Save Records

Continue reading "New Feature: Save Records to Your Tree" »

9    Sep 20137 comments

Our Stories: Planning a family reunion

By his own account, Norwood Wayne Newkirk says that reading and history were not his greatest passions as he grew up. Today that has changed, as he was the project manager for his family’s reunion held August 1-4, 2013, in New Jersey.

He holds a degree in electrical engineering and worked as a loss prevention consultant. Today he creates risk management systems as a senior account executive and computer application developer.

So what I have done over the past two years [since the 2011 reunion] in preparation for our 2013 reunion is not a far stretch from what I do vocationally. I see the issue and try to develop a solution.

However, as he went through life, he began to recognize that something was missing.

I found a church with teaching ministry that filled the void in my spiritual life and became very active in leading the Media Volunteer Ministry (it is in my genes). Yet there was an area still lacking.

I eventually recognized I had become distant from my family, not because I wanted to, but life situations and circumstances caused things to happen just that way. In fact, there was a time when I truly could not remember a large chunk of my past.

As life would have it, things changed and there was a rekindling of his family history. As family members grew older and died, it offered occasions for the family to come together more frequently than they would like.

It was on those occasions that I heard stories about family members including myself. Stories that made you laugh and stories that made you say, “Did that really happen?” At that point I began to understand what I was missing. It was family. Cousins that I grew up were now distant relatives.

At his grandmother’s funeral, a family pastor talked about thing his grandparents experienced over 92 years of their life and the legacy they left behind.

The Starling family could have written “Roots.” This revelation showed me the importance of family.

Continue reading "Our Stories: Planning a family reunion" »

7    Sep 20131 comment

Family Heritage: Patriots, spies and other surprises

While some genealogists have been at it for only a few years, MyHeritage member Gary Fenton Kemp, 76, has been researching for decades.

Gary became interested in computers in the early 1970s.  He also observed his parents, then in their 70s, trying to put together their genealogy by typing and writing everything out by hand. He knew that there had to be some way to use computers and began searching for a program that would be able to organize the data.

I found PAF and started using it. In 1987, I went to my parents’ home and spent three days entering data for 752 names.

Gary has many interests in addition to family history, such as surfing, fly fishing, geocaching, glider racing and lifting weights. He’s been an educator from kindergarten through university, and conducted teacher training programs in Fiji and elsewhere. Although now retired as a teacher, coach, high school principal and school district superintendent, he is still active, serves as a local school board member and as a Boy Scout merit badge counselor.

The San Tan Valley, Arizona resident has been married to Nancy for 54 years, has four children, 13 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and four more on the way.

Gary's paternal grandparents' wedding photo,1881

He’s discovered so many exciting and interesting things about his family history. Continue reading "Family Heritage: Patriots, spies and other surprises" »

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