15    Mar 20130 comments

Photos: Family images then and now

Photographs are a great inspiration to see family similarities from past and present.

Argentine photographer Irina Werning's photography series - "Back to the Future" - shows us a new way to explore and preserve photographic memories.

A trip back in time, photographer Irina Werning

A trip back in time, photographer Irina Werning

Like many of us, Irina loves old photographs and preserving family memories. In a way to document the present family,  she take an older photograph from childhood or from the past, and replicates it with the same people years later.

Together, the two photos show family history coming alive in the present, and is a great way to link memories from our childhood to adulthood.

Have you ever tried to give a recent photo a vintage look or emulate an old family photograph? If so, share the photograph or link to your photo in the comments section below, or share on our Facebook pageTwitter or Google +.

28    Feb 20130 comments

Family History: What do we do with our ’stuff’?

One of my favorite blogs is The Signal, the digital preservation blog of the Library of Congress. A hot topic there centers on personal digital archiving, and much of that relates to family history and genealogy.

The LOC’s Mike Ashenfelder, who writes online articles about personal digital archiving, digital preservation leaders and developments in digital preservation, writes on preserving personal genealogical collections in a digital age.

The popularity of genealogy websites and TV shows is rapidly growing, mainly because the Internet has made it so convenient to access family history information. Almost everything can be done through the computer now. Before the digital age, genealogical research was not only  laborious and time consuming, it also resulted in boxes of documents: photos, charts, letters, copies of records and more. Online genealogy has  replaced all that paper with digital files. But the trade-off for the ease of finding and gathering the stuff is the challenge of preserving it.

About genealogical databases, Ashenfelder writes:

that relational databases are the engines that drive digital genealogy. Databases make it possible to quickly search through enormous quantities of records, find the person you’re looking for and discover related people and events. And when institutions collaborate and share databases, statistical information becomes enriched.

And, considering some demographics of family history aficionados, digital estate planning now a popular topic. What happens to our digital possessions after we die? And what can we do to preserve them? Getting your digital affairs in order offers much practical information.

Continue reading "Family History: What do we do with our ’stuff’?" »

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" »

26    Feb 20130 comments

Family History: Our children, their ancestors

When the genealogy “bug” hits us, we just can't help ourselves. We want to search deeper into our heritage.

It's disappointing when some family members don't share our ancestor interest. We want them to ask questions and learn about our shared family history.

A great way to start is with our children and grandchildren.

Children are curious about black-and-white photos, strange names, and seeing a family tree filled with images of people they may or may not know. Most importantly, they ask questions - lots of questions!

Children love listening to stories, so reading to them about the family is a great way to grab their interest and demonstrate that they are part of a grander history. Sharing family moments creates a stronger family bond, as well as a chance to share ancestral information.

Do you share family stories with your children and grandchildren? How do you pass on your unique heritage to the younger generations? Let us know in the comments below.

25    Feb 20130 comments

WDYTYA Live 2013: MyHeritage highlights

The MyHeritage team returned from three intensive days at the Who Do You Think You Are Live 2013 show in London’s Olympia. We enjoyed greeting so many visitors at our booth.

Our team included Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz, Head of Genealogy (UK) Laurence Harris, Chief Content Officer Russ Wilding, Netherlands Community Manager Denie Kasan, Scandinavian Community Manager Sara Silander, German Community Manager Karen Brandel Hägele and Marketing Manager Aaron Godfrey.

The MyHeritage Team

The MyHeritage Team at WDYTYA Live! 2013

Both old friends and new shared fascinating stories of their ancestors and their own family history research experiences.

Continue reading "WDYTYA Live 2013: MyHeritage highlights" »

20    Feb 20133 comments

Family: Conformists or not?

Some families have numerous rebels, who purposely choose unusual or unique behaviors, as well as conformists, who choose to follow what the family considers good behavior.

Many genealogists love to find the rebels among their ancestors. These may be those truly adventurous souls who were the only people in their immediate family to immigrate to another country or continent. They may have been artists, musicians or political activists, whose interests were very different from their siblings and parents.

Does social pressure play a part in this? Is it nature or nurture? Do we love a movie because our friends and family do, which means we want to be part of that group? Or do we want to be different from everyone else?

Continue reading "Family: Conformists or not?" »

19    Feb 20137 comments

WDYTYA Live!: MyHeritage heads to London

MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet demonstrating the MyHeritage iPhone app at WDYTYA 2012

MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet demonstrating the MyHeritage app at WDYTYA 2012

MyHeritage heads to London this week for the leading family history show, Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE, from February 22-24.

The event, at the Olympia Exhibition Halls, features genealogy workshops, expert speakers, vendors and more to help with your family history research.

Come visit the MyHeritage team at booth #842 and participate in some of our exciting activities: Continue reading "WDYTYA Live!: MyHeritage heads to London" »

14    Feb 20131 comment

Valentine’s Day: Your Stories

Millions around the world will send flowers, write love letters and say "I love you" to their families, significant others and spouses to mark Valentine's Day today.

We each have our own romantic stories. Whether a first love, a first kiss or discovering a secret admirer, these stories are memorable moments.

At MyHeritage, we know how important  family and love are in our lives. Last week, we asked you to send in romantic stories of proposals, marriage and love from your unique family history.

Here we share a few of our favorites on this special day:

Continue reading "Valentine’s Day: Your Stories" »

13    Feb 201310 comments

MyHeritage adds millions of historical records

We've recently added millions of new records to MyHeritage's data collections.

The international collections include headstones, military records, yearbooks and even wanted posters and mugshots!

The records are searchable on MyHeritage's SuperSearch engine and are integrated with MyHeritage's Record Matching technology. This means that MyHeritage users will automatically receive notifications about records from these collections that match individuals in their family trees.

Here's some more information and links to the main collections we've added:

Continue reading "MyHeritage adds millions of historical records" »

12    Feb 20130 comments

Mardi Gras: Happy Pancake Day!

Olney Pancake Day Race

Olney Pancake Day Race Image credit: Olneyonline

Today is a most delicious day of the year, Pancake Day.

Pancake Day is also known as  Shrove Tuesday. The meaning of shrove derives from “confess.” The day marks the last day of celebration before 40 days of “shriving” - or absolution for one’s sins - during the Christian festival of Lent.

It was common to host a family feast beginning with luxurious or “fatty” foods not eaten during the weeks of Lent. Sugar, milk and eggs were good ingredients and - combined - formed yummy pancakes.

Worldwide family traditions include:

Continue reading "Mardi Gras: Happy Pancake Day!" »

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