Wouldn't it be exciting to read the diary of an ancestor who recorded his or her daily activities?
Matt Unger, a 40-ish software executive in New York, was handed his grandfather Harry Scheurman’s 1924 diary, written when he was 29 and had been in the US for 11 years. Matt has transcribed each journal entry at his website http://papasdiary.blogspot.com. Scheurman had immigrated from Sniatyn, then in Austro-Hungary.
Matt’s project received coverage in The New York Times.
As we hear more frequently these days, family history researchers are getting bitten by the genealogy bug at ever younger ages. Although Matt was given the pocket-sized diary for a fifth-grade family history project, it wasn't until Thanksgiving 2007 that he examined it closely and decided to transcribe it.
MyHeritage interviewed Matt via email and is happy to offer his comments on this wonderful and very personal project.
Did you know that Canadian Thanksgiving is widely recognized as the first celebration of its kind in North America?
Its history dates to 1578, when Englishman Martin Frobisher set out in search of the Northwest Passage, along the northern coast of North America.
On his third voyage to the bay area of Baffin Island (now the Canadian territory of Nunavut), the 15 ships were filled with men and materials to begin a small settlement.
Frobisher's journey was harrowing as the fleet traveled in bad weather and harsh storms. They lost a ship and most of the building materials. Making it through the storm and reuniting with the rest of the fleet, they gave thanks for a miraculous deliverance from the dangers.
There’s nothing like that first family photo with a precious new family member. New parents are so excited to get that perfect shot, showcasing their new bundle of joy.
I remember taking our baby to the photo studio for our first family portrait. It took hours to find the right outfits to wear. After much effort to feed and dress the baby, we finally made it out the door. By the time we got to the studio, we had to start the whole feeding and changing process all over again!
This is why I have come to appreciate the effort involved in taking that first family photo.
Recently, the Royal Family released their first family photos of the Duke, Duchess, and Prince of Cambridge. They were taken by the Duchess' father, Michael Middleton, in their family garden earlier this month. There is one image of the Duke, Duchess and baby George together, and another that includes their two family pets, Tilly and Lupo.
Relaxed and natural, everyone can see their absolute happiness as a new family. This is a great example what a first family photo should look like.
We look forward to seeing more family photos of the Royal Family and Prince George at his upcoming christening at the end of October.
Do you have a first family photo? What is it like?
October marks Family History Month - an excellent time for you and your family to learn about your family heritage. We’ll be celebrating throughout this month with exciting competitions, webinars and tips to enhance your family history research.
See this week's contest and read about our other activities.
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.
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.
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
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.
What better way to capture your favorite family moments than with an annual photo?
That’s what American photographer Nicholas Nixon has done since 1975 when he took a picture of his wife and her three sisters, beginning an annual tradition that lasted 36 years.
Each year, the Brown sisters – Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie – all posed in the same order in for the photo.
Mimi, the youngest, was only 15 in the first picture, and the oldest, Bebe, was 61 in the last photo taken in 2010. Find the full photo collection here.
Photographs are an excellent way to bring family history to life over the years, and bring back precious memories. An annual photo documents your loved ones and becomes a timeless piece of history.
Don’t forget that preserving those family memories online is important as a way to share those images with future generations. They are an important way to capture family history and to help in your family research.
Join our global campaign to preserve your family heritage and upload your photos today.
What do you think of this idea? Would you do it with your siblings or other members of your families?
Let us know in the comments below.
Labor Day weekend is here - a time to celebrate the contributions made by workers from the labor movement. It's also time for families to get together and enjoy the last bit of summer with barbecues, parades and reunions.
In honor of the holiday, we’re providing free access – from August 31 through September 2 – to all US Census records.
Last week we asked you to send in your oldest family photos as part of a weekly competition to win a free photo consultation with Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective. This week, we would like to see your photos with the largest number of family members.
We also want to thank everyone who submitted beautiful images showcasing their family history. We received hundreds of photos from around the world, dating back to the 1850s!
Congratulations to Janice Moerschel who sent in this photo of her relative Eunice Baldwin Whedon from Branford, New Haven, Connecticut. You can see her photo consultation with Maureen Taylor here.
It was difficult to choose a winner from the photos submitted. View all the entries on our Pinterest board here.