MyHeritage members come to us in various ways. Maria Keep, 63, born in the Netherlands and now living in Australia, tried a free MyHeritage CD that came in a magazine.
Maria was born in Renkum, Netherlands. She, her husband and adult daughter and son live in Forster NSW Australia. She is a full-time caregiver for her husband who is vision impaired and suffers from total memory and short term memory loss.
Maria has been collecting family history for some four decades.
I am from a very big family and have always been interested in family history and had been collecting little bits of information on bits of paper and putting them in a book with the intention of putting it all together one day into a proper family tree record. I started collecting this information about 40 years ago.
MyHeritage is proud to be the official sponsor of Shake Your Family Tree 2013, presented by the National Archives of Australia.
Set for Tuesday, April 16, from 9.30am to 4pm, the event is taking place at local National Archives offices in Australia's state capitals.
Shake Your Family Tree, the annual family history day, includes a full day of activities to help you get started in your family history research, and celebrate your family heritage.
Many Australians are descendants of immigrants, and this year's theme is immigration. Australians can research records at events held at various state offices to learn their family’s story of arriving and settling in Australia.
Attendees will be able to speak to experts and participate in sessions with guest speakers and panels; resource advice will be available to help discover your ancestral background.
For our Australian MyHeritage users, this is a great day to discover tips for family history research and find records for your ancestors.
January 26 marks Australia's national holiday, Australia Day.
Australia Day celebrates the establishment of the first settlement in Port Jackson (which is now Sydney Harbour), in 1788.
What's known as the "First Fleet", consisted of 11 ships that set sail from Great Britain and landed on this day at the Port. By 1808, January 26 was celebrated as “First Landing Day” or “Foundation Day”.
In 1818, the Governor of Australia gave all government employees a day off, and in the years that followed, bank employees, and other employees, were also given a holiday day.
People look into their family history for all sorts of reasons. Australian Sylvia Baker, 62, had some special reasons for asking questions.
Born Wilhelmina Cornelia Steeneveld in Delft, Netherlands, Sylvia immigrated to Australia in 1957; lived in Matraville, NSW for five years; and later in Montrose, Victoria. Now retired, she lives in Manjimup, Western Australia and previously worked as a bookkeeper.
She was married to Lambertus Tip, and had two sons, Angus (born Wayne) and Jeffrey (now deceased).
Sylvia attended three years of primary school, began working and then married. At 37, she returned to school and began learning from the beginning!
There are many reasons why people become interested in their family history. It may be because of an inherited condition or the discovery of a previously unknown relative.
MyHeritage member Thelma (known as Thel) Brooks’ story includes both!
Born in Sydney, Australia, Thel’s interests were dancing, swimming and tennis. These days, it’s family history.
Now in her 70s and retired, she was a hospital office manager for most of her working life.
Married at 22, she and her husband, William John Brooks, were together for nearly 50 years. She has a daughter and a son, and four grandchildren. For 27 years, Thel was her husband John’s caregiver until his death in 2010.
Today, her life is devoted to her little dog, family and friends and she lives in Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Thel first became interested in family history when her husband was diagnosed with an inherited incurable disease and she wanted to find out more where it came from. She then discovered, at 56, a previously unknown half-sister in Scotland:
Now a Melbourne, Australia resident, Nghia (Neil) Huynh was born in Saigon, Vietnam.
The youngest of eight children, he is 54. His parents – from Bien Hoa and Di An – had lived in Saigon since the early 1940s. His father was a civil servant in the old South Vietnam government, and his mother took care of their large family.
In March, I traveled “down under” to Australia.
I was invited by the South Australian Genealogical & Historical Society (SAGHS) to present a keynote talk at the 13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy & Heraldry. I spoke about how we share and preserve memories in today’s digital age. In addition, I presented a program about MyHeritage’s unique and well-known facial recognition technology, which helps researchers discover relatives in family photos.
The conference was a wonderful experience, and I enjoyed meeting some long time genealogy community friends and speaking with regional experts. While staffing our exhibit hall booth, I greeted MyHeritage users and informed others about the advantages and features MyHeritage offers.
Always busy, this trip follows his recent participation at Who Do You Think You Are Live! in London.
He'll also speak in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide on general genealogy topics and what MyHeritage and WorldVitalRecords offers to family historians and genealogists.
He has a multi-faceted role at MyHeritage. With more than 20 years of genealogy experience, Daniel provides key contributions in product development, customer support and public relations; working with genealogy societies, bloggers and media; as well as speaking and attending conferences around the world. He also heads our translation department, where he has been instrumental in increasing MyHeritage’s global support for 38 languages for our website and software.
Today I read a moving article in The Guardian - “Top five regrets of the dying." It made me wonder about my own life. The first thing that came to mind was my family history project.
The article is based on Australian nurse Bronnie Ware, who spent several years working in hospice care with patients in the last few months of their lives. She included the patients' comments in a blog, Inspiration and Chai and authored a book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
Among the common regrets:
- I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected.
- I wish I had not worked so hard.
This is a guest post by Shauna Hicks.
Shauna is a professional genealogist, former archivist and librarian who has been researching her own family history since 1977.
She is also a MyHeritage member.
Genealogists for Families
The Genealogists for Families project established by Brisbane genealogist Judy Webster in October, is big news in Australian genealogy circles.
Since first gaining popularity in Australia, genealogists from around the world have joined the project and are helping to further publicise it.
What’s it all about? In a nutshell, a team of genealogists and their families have joined together to help families in low-income areas. The project slogan is We care about families (past, present and future).