23    Feb 20168 comments

Guest Post: Place your ancestors in context

This is a guest post by George G. Morgan, president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally-recognized genealogy lecturer. He is the prolific award-winning author of hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, newsletters, in genealogical publications, and at online sites internationally. His 12th book, the fourth edition "How to Do Everything: Genealogy," was released in 2015. He is also co-host of "The Genealogy Guys" podcast, the longest-running genealogical podcast, with thousands of listeners around the globe.

Placing your ancestors into geographical, historical, and social context is one of the most important means of understanding them better. Like you, your ancestors and their families did not live in a vacuum. They were attentive to the news and events of their times. Information they received influenced their opinions and attitudes and helped them make important decisions.

The announcement about a new tax was liable to cause them to worry about how they would make financial ends meet. News of political or religious unrest or about the approach of a foreign army might cause tremendous stress and fear. Economic downturns, drought, famine, and disease all meant potential disaster for the people. Such news could also cause your ancestors to make the crucial decision to migrate elsewhere or immigrate to another country. Continue reading "Guest Post: Place your ancestors in context" »

14    Feb 20162 comments

Romance Through the Ages

Happy Valentine's Day!

The best love stories are those from our own families. Romantic photos showing our ancestors' love for each other offer lasting memories for future generations.

Photo submitted by Cynthia Tucker of her parents

Leading up to Valentine's Day, we asked you to send in romantic wedding photos from your family.  Thanks to all who participated in our competition - we received many beautiful photos.

Today, we are displaying some of our favorite entries and the touching love stories behind them. Continue reading "Romance Through the Ages" »

7    Jan 20162 comments

What Was Life Like 100 Years Ago?

No matter how much we learn about our ancestors as individuals, it's hard to picture what their lives were like back then. What were their struggles and challenges? What were their daily routines? Was life simpler for them?

A theatre troup in Del Tura, Florida compiled a list of what life was like 100 years ago. After viewing that list, it's amazing to think just how much has changed over time.

Brooklyn, 1916 (Image credit: Library of Congress)

Some of our favorites in that list: Continue reading "What Was Life Like 100 Years Ago?" »

10    Nov 20150 comments

Our Ancestors: Discover more about their daily lives

We recently hosted a webinar with expert genealogist Schelly Talalay Dardashti about discovering more about our ancestor's daily lives.

Schelly covered an extensive array of aspects of our ancestors' lives that we can research to get a better idea of their lifestyle and the times that they lived in.

Did you miss it? Don't worry! Click the video below to watch the full webinar.

Continue reading "Our Ancestors: Discover more about their daily lives" »

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" »

20    Sep 201510 comments

Old Photos: Why our ancestors didn’t smile

We remember our ancestors by their photos, which provide small glimpses into their world, and bring them to life once again. If preserved properly, photos offer lasting impressions for future generations.

When looking at old photos of our ancestors, it's easy to wonder what they were thinking at that moment. Their ambiguous expressions leave us questioning. Were they happy? Were they sad?

It's extremely rare to find 19th-century photos where people are smiling or showing any emotion. What's the story behind their stony and serious stares? Continue reading "Old Photos: Why our ancestors didn’t smile" »

20    Aug 20156 comments

Do You Have Progonoplexia?

Have you ever heard of progonoplexia?

According to Wikipedia, progonoplexia, from the Greek word Προγονοπληξια is roughly translated as "ancestoritis," or a deep obsession with one's ancestry.

Learning about one's roots was a huge part of Greek identity; being able to brag about ancestors and their past glories. The word was coined to describe the modern Greek people’s preoccupation with discovering their ancient past.

It's an obsession that has lasted over time.

In today's world, the genealogy "bug" has taken over. It is now the second most common pastime in the United States. We are questioning, curious beings. Continue reading "Do You Have Progonoplexia?" »

18    Jun 20157 comments

Family: Planning a roots trip?

Contributing author Schelly Talalay Dardashti is the US Genealogy Advisor for MyHeritage.com

Are you planning a family roots trip in the future? If so, it's time to make plans.

Whether you stay at home or plan an international trip, the basics are the same: Decide where you are going and what information you would like to find. Contact local historic or genealogical societies in the area for more information, and see below for even more suggestions.

Make a list of your names of interest and the towns your ancestors lived in. Try to group the towns regionally, by a particular geographic area. If this is an ambitious trip, you may want to make several groupings of towns.

A good way to put everything into perspective is to get a big map of the region you are planning to explore. Go to your local office supply store and pick up a few packages of colored transparent removable adhesive dots - they come in all sizes. Using the transparent ones mean you won't cover up important information.

Color-code your map. For example, put a red dot for the town, a blue dot for the cemetery, a yellow dot for archives, courthouses or libraries, and a green dot for possible accommodations. Use other colors for restaurants or other landmarks.

And, if your family is coming with you, mark sites they would like to visit with you or on their own, while you are digging through archives and cemeteries. Pay attention to fun places like water parks, amusement parks, a beach, music festivals or childrens' museums. Remember that cemeteries are not high on other people's must-see lists. Continue reading "Family: Planning a roots trip?" »

8    Apr 20150 comments

Webinar: Discover your Scandinavian ancestors

Do you have Scandinavian roots? Interested to learn how to find out about those ancestors?

In honor of our recent addition of millions of new Scandinavian records recently added online, we’re offering a free webinar to help advance your Scandinavian family history research.

Join Mike Mansfield, MyHeritage Director of Content Production and Jason Oler, MyHeritage Senior Program Manager, as they provide research tips and tools to help navigate these new records to help you explore your family history and make new discoveries. Continue reading "Webinar: Discover your Scandinavian ancestors" »

6    Jan 20156 comments

Recreating family photos: Honoring our ancestors

Photographs are a great inspiration to see family similarities, past and present. Have you ever been told that you resemble an ancestor?

We often see old photographs and want to learn the stories behind the faces in our family tree. Christine McConnell decided to take this further and actually "become" her ancestors in a beautiful portrait series.

Honoring seven generations of women on her maternal lineage, Christine recreated these photos using herself and showed them side by side. The similarities are uncanny and demonstrate how family connections also extend to appearances.

Martha (born 1821) Great-great-great-grandmother (Image credit: Christine McConell)

Continue reading "Recreating family photos: Honoring our ancestors" »

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