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.
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:
When the genealogy “bug” hits us, we just can't help ourselves. We want to search deeper into our heritage.
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.
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.
Both old friends and new shared fascinating stories of their ancestors and their own family history research experiences.
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.
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:
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:
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:
Our family and ancestors have helped form us to what we are today.
Whether it's a parent, sibling or other relative, there may be a special someone in our family who serves as an example of whom we wish to emulate.
Do you have a role model in your family - past or present - who has impacted you today? Who is that role model?