16    May 201331 comments

Introducing Record Detective™: A breakthrough technology for family history

MyHeritage is excited to announce the launch of Record Detective™. It is the first technology of its kind to automatically extend the paper trail from a single historical record to other related records and family tree connections.

Here's a short video which explains how it works:

Record Detective™ generates new leads and discoveries by turning a single record into a door to more. For example, a record discovered in MyHeritage’s digital archive, SuperSearch, will now automatically include a summary of additional records and individuals in family trees relating to it, providing new information and clues to take your research to new directions.

Continue reading "Introducing Record Detective™: A breakthrough technology for family history" »

24    Apr 201315 comments

Competition: The oldest wedding photo, Part 2

Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s oldest wedding photo competition. All the entries were fantastic and captured the beauty and significance of the person’s special day. The oldest entry was from 1846!

With over 40 photos received, participation was above our expectations. It was great to see the lives of your families and the rich history brought to life with the stories that accompanied them.

We've selected the top 10 photos and want you to vote for the final winner.  Below you can see the top 10 photos in no particular order: Continue reading "Competition: The oldest wedding photo, Part 2" »

17    Apr 201342 comments

New Release: Family Tree Builder 7.0

We're pleased to announce the release of MyHeritage Family Tree Builder 7.0 - the latest version of the world’s most popular free genealogy software - which combines innovative technologies with easy-to-use features.

Used by millions of people worldwide, Family Tree Builder lets you build your family tree and enhance it with photos, historical records and more. The latest version, 7.0, is packed with exciting new features and improvements.

Download Family Tree Builder 7.0 for free now

We've been working hard for more than a year to enhance Family Tree Builder to make documenting and sharing your family history even easier. We're taken the time to ensure this release is as robust as possible and have just completed a successful two-month beta program with some of our power users. Enthusiastic feedback from the first users to use version 7.0 indicates that this is the best version we've ever released.

The new version now syncs your entire family history in both directions between your computer and your family site on MyHeritage, as well as smart phones and tablets, and opens new channels for discovering relatives and billions of historical records with our advanced matching technologies. This means you can now access your family tree securely not just from your computer but also from your online family site, smart phone or tablet device, and even grow the tree and add more information and photos to it, any time and anywhere. All additions and changes will sync back to your Family Tree Builder software on your computer. Continue reading "New Release: Family Tree Builder 7.0" »

16    Apr 20137 comments

Surname of the Week: KELLY

This week marks the anniversary of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier’s wedding on April 18, 1956. In honor of the couple, we'ill look at the surname KELLY and discover its origins.

KELLY is of Irish origin, and is the second most common name in Ireland, and the 69th most popular name in the United States. There are various origins.

It is an Anglicized form of the patronymic Gaelic name O’Ceallaigh, meaning "descendant of Ceallach," from the Gaelic prefix “O” meaning "descendant of" and the ancient Irish personal name, Ceallach .

Originally a byname meaning ‘"right-headed," it was later understood as "frequenting churches" from the Irish ceall. Several early Irish saints bore the name.

It may also be of English origin, from a place in Devonshire recorded as “Kelli” in the 1194 Pipe Rolls. It may also be of Scottish origin, from the lands of Kelly near Arbroath, Angus.

Along with the different Irish, English or Scottish origins, there are also variant spellings that include KELLEY, KELLIE, O’KELLY, O’KELLEY and KELLI. Continue reading "Surname of the Week: KELLY" »

12    Apr 20135 comments

Family History: Going home again!

An exciting dimension to family history is returning to our ancestors' hometowns, whether overseas in the "old country," or closer to our current home.

Every year, increasing numbers of families walk the streets that their great-grandparents walked in Scotland, view the Greek and Portuguese village buildings their ancestors saw each day, and visit Eastern European houses of worship and cemeteries.

An historic drawing of a street in Mogilev, Belarus, where my family lived

Some geographical areas even promote ancestral or heritage trips - such as Ireland. Trips can be just just quick tourist-type visits to where ancestors might have lived or entail intensive research trips to archives. Go on your own or visit locales with major genealogical societies, such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) which organizes trips to London, Belfast and Dublin.

Thinking about such a trip? Here are some resources to help you plan the trip of a lifetime. Don't forget to bring the kids and the grandparents! Continue reading "Family History: Going home again!" »

9    Apr 20134 comments

MyHeritage: Australia’s ‘Shake Your Family Tree 2013′

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.

Continue reading "MyHeritage: Australia’s ‘Shake Your Family Tree 2013′" »

4    Apr 20130 comments

Surname of the week: ANDERSEN

On April 2, we celebrated Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday and International Children’s Book Day.

In honor of the Danish author and poet, we look at the surname ANDERSEN this week.

It is a patronymic surname from the personal name Anders, a vernacular form of Andreas. From the New Testament, the Greek name Andreas derives from andreios, meaning “manly” and aner, meaning, “man” or “male.”

Andreas was the first of Christ’s disciples. Various forms for this personal name throughout Europe are André (France) and Andrea (Italy).

It also gave rise to the northern Middle English name Andrew, which was absorbed in the surname ANDERSON. St. Andrew was also the patron saint of Scotland, making the surname popular in Scotland, under the spelling ANDERSON.

Continue reading "Surname of the week: ANDERSEN" »

13    Mar 20132 comments

Surname of the Week: Dennis

Welcome back to our weekly edition of the history of English surnames.

Today we look at DENNIS, in honor of the debut of the "Dennis the Menace" comic strip on March 12, 1951.

DENNIS comes from the medieval personal name Den(n)is (Latin Dionysius, Greek Dionysios’  - follower) in reference to an early Eastern god believed to be the protector of the vine.

St. Denis, the 3rd-century martyred Bishop of Paris, was one of the first mentions. However, the modern popularity of the name in England came in the 12th-century, via a French influence. The first recording of the name was believed to be Walter Denys in 1272. Throughout the centuries, the surname developed with DENNIS being a variant.

Continue reading "Surname of the Week: Dennis" »

6    Mar 20130 comments

Surname of the Week: Churchill

Welcome back to our weekly edition of the history of English surnames.

Today we look at CHURCHILL, in honor of Sir Winston Churchill’s famous Iron Curtain speech made on March 5, 1956.

Churchill, an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman conquest of 1066, derives from the town Curcelle, which became confused with the English name “Churchill.”

This geographical surname comes from various towns named Churchill (in Oxfordshire, Somerset and Worcestershire).  The name goes back to pre-7th century Old English for cyrice (church) and hyll (hill). The surname means “the church on the hill.”

There is one known case where the name's translation is different.

Continue reading "Surname of the Week: Churchill" »

27    Feb 20133 comments

New section: Surname of the week

MyHeritage welcomes you to a new weekly blog post, "Surname of the week." We'll discuss the origin, history and other information of one surname in each post.

Surnames first appeared in the Middle Ages as a way to record and document people and for tax purposes. Details included given names, nicknames, parents’ names, occupation and residence. This personal information later became an important part of the history of surnames.

English surnames, as we know them today, began in England as early as the 11th century. However, it was not until the late-17th-century that many families adopted permanent surnames.

Generally speaking, family names fall into the following categories with some examples given:

  • Occupation: Smith, Taylor or Miller
  • Personal characteristics: Young, Black or White
  • Geographic or locations: Hamilton, Bush, Hill,  Windsor or Murray
  • Patronymics, Matronymics or Ancestral:  Stephenson, Richardson or Harris

In honor of American-British Actress Elizabeth Taylor's birthday, we look at TAYLOR this week:

Continue reading "New section: Surname of the week" »

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