My paternal great-grandmother’s line has a long history as founders of the town where she was born. Her parents were born there, my grandmother was born there, and my father grew up in the same place, before emigrating to the U.S.
My grandmother, who still lives there, lives minutes away from the house where she grew up. Each time we visit her, it’s like going back in time to see the places where she spent her childhood as we relive my ancestors’ history.
The best love stories are not those from films or storybooks, but those from our own families. These stories stay with us as lasting memories and are passed down through the generations.
And so another RootsTech conference comes to an end. But what an incredible few days it's been!
Today saw RootsTech's largest crowd ever. The exhibit hall was filled to capacity with people of all ages, interested in family history.
Today was also family day, so 2000 extra young people and families attended.
All our demos were well attended and people flooded our team with questions.
The MyHeritage team is in Utah for RootsTech, the largest family history event in North America.
Here are some highlights from day 1.
Historical treasures are sometimes only discovered years after they have been stashed away or hidden. Once found, they may reveal a wealth of information.
This was the case when the oldest-known time capsule in the US was recently opened in Massachusetts. In 1795, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams buried it at the Massachusetts State House.
During repairs to the building in 1855, the time capsule was removed and contents cleaned, but put back - with added objects - for almost 160 years. This time, historians went through the contents and saw history unfold. Inside, they discovered five folded newspapers, coins, a silver engraved plate, a Massachusetts Commonwealth seal and a title page from Massachusetts colony records.
Opening the time capsule provided a treasure trove of historical information and documents to learn about the past. It’s easy to create your own family time capsule, filled with memories and documents. to preserve for future generations to remember us.
London resident Duncan Barrett is a writer and editor, specializing in biography and memoir.
He grew up in London and studied English at Jesus College, Cambridge. He is the author or co-author of several Sunday Times top-10 bestsellers, such as “The Sugar Girls,” and “GI Brides.” His most recent book (August 2014) is “Men of Letters: The Post Office Heroes Who Fought the Great War.”
After his grandmother, Helen Hudson, died in 2006, Duncan’s mother Michèle received a box containing documents and artifacts relating to his family history.
I had been familiar with the box all my life, but it was only then that I began exploring its contents. As well as objects – and associated stories – that related to ancestors I had never known, there was all the research work that my grandmother and my aunt had done into the family history, putting together family trees and organizing the material in the box. Looking through it made me feel closer to the grandmother I had lost.
Growing up, Duncan never felt that interested in the lives of his ancestors who lived before he was born – they seemed very remote, anonymous faces in photo albums. But he was able to get to know them quite intimately as he read through the materials in box, particularly through the letters exchanged among the relatives.
After 60 years of searching, MyHeritage found the connection – in just two months - between Australia’s Ann Clare Meagher’s mother Hilda Welchman Moss, and Ann’s previously unknown maternal uncle, John Welchman, in the UK.
Ann’s mother, Hilda, died at 32, leaving six children, when Ann was nine. Her father, Fred Moss, was a British Army major posted to India, and Ann was born in Lahore (now Pakistan) in 1945. Her mother Hilda Welchman had travelled to India from England and she married in 1941.
As a teen, I often wondered about my grandparents, as I had no knowledge or contact with them. We moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1962. I became a nurse, and have been happily married for 43 years, with a wonderful husband and three sons.
Ann had spent years looking for any relative of her mother without success until she became a member of MyHeritage and found her previously unknown uncle. She discovered a story he had written about his life and was dumb-founded that he had been looking for his sister’s family for 60 years. He lives in Dorset, England.
It is important to record key events of our ancestors, including the date when each event occurred.
Usually several sources indicate an event's date. For example, for a death: the date may be indicated on a death certificate, a headstone, a newspaper obituary and in a Grant of Probate (which authorizes distribution of a deceased person's estate). However, those dates would have been documented using the calendar and recording conventions of the geographical location and time when the event originally took place, rather than the calendar and conventions with which today's researcher would be familiar. Failure to take into account the original context of an event or document often results in mistakes in understanding when an event actually happened.
2015 is here! Have you thought about what you'd like to accomplish this year in your family history research?
Storytelling is a great way to create a stronger family bond, share family moments and have our children and grandchildren feel part of a grander history. Children love listening to stories and looking at old photographs. Seeing a family tree filled with images of people they may or may not know will peak their curiousity to ask many questions and learn about their heritage.