This guest post was written by expert genealogist Scott Phillips, owner of Onward to Our Past genealogy services, and specializing in immigrant ancestry. He is a regular genealogy contributor for Huffington Post and also blogs weekly for the e-publications of GenealogyBank.com. Follow Scott on his Facebook page and on his website/blog.
Not all that long ago (in genealogy time) my wife and I received the wonderful news that our son and his wife were expecting our second grandson and would be named William in honor of my dad, who had died a year previously.
I began thinking how well I knew my dad and how well our son knew his grandfather, but his namesake would not personally know him at all. Since no one in our family had ever done any family history research, I made the fateful decision to write a paragraph or two about my father so my grandson would know him.
Now, years later, I still find myself laughing when I think back to my desire to write “a paragraph or two”! Our family tree now includes over 11,100 individuals representing 3,685 families, and contains over 6,900 images and documents.
Recently, many historical television series have become very popular. What is it about this genre that appeals to us? What draws us to them?
Perhaps it's about getting a glimpse of what life was like in times gone by. We feel more connected to our ancestors when we learn more about their lives and times. It's the same feeling that draws many of us to genealogy and family history research. The achievements and struggles faced by our ancestors serve as lessons for our own future. After all, history is known to repeat itself.
One such show is the British series, "Downton Abbey," which has swept a nation and also has become popular in other countries, as well. It is now into its fifth season.
"Downton Abbey" follows the Crawley family through major events in history, showing the effects on their lives. The series opened with news of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, followed by the outbreak of the WWI, the Spanish influenza pandemic, and the Marconi scandal in the second season. It dealt with the interwar period and the formation of the Irish Free State in the third season, the Teapot Dome scandal in the fourth, and the general election of 1923 in the UK in the current season.
We recently hosted a webinar - "Discover your military ancestors" - featuring two of MyHeritage's experts: director of content production Mike Mansfield and UK genealogy expert Laurence Harris.
The webinar included an overview of our matching technologies to advance your family history research for ancestors in the military, as well as hints and tips for searching through MyHeritage's military record collections (available in SuperSearch) to learn more about the roles your ancestors played during times of war.
Did you miss it? Don't worry! Click on the video below to watch the full webinar.
Don’t forget to check our other webinars for even more genealogy tips to help make family history research easier.
Have ideas for other webinars? Let us know in the comments below.
Did your grandmother make the best turkey stuffing? Was it your aunt’s minced pies that had you drooling at the Christmas table?
In honor of the upcoming holiday season, we’re bringing together two great traditions - food and family - for an exciting holiday competition!
We want you to send us your family's favorite holiday recipes and the stories behind them. Is it a dish passed down from an ancestor, or one made last year for the first time? A unique dish to your family or a traditional one? Why do you love that recipe and what's the story behind it?
One lucky winner - with the best recipe and family story - will have the chance to have a personal chef prepare a delicious meal for you and your family at your home. We'll collect a selection of our favorite submitted family recipes and prepare a special international holiday cookbook with recipes and stories from around the globe.
Do you have ancestors who fought and died in service? Would you like to learn more about their military history?
In honor of Remembrance Day and Veterans Day on November 11, we’re offering a special free webinar about digging deeper into military records to uncover the stories of your ancestors' pasts.
We're excited to introduce our new and enhanced online family tree editor!
The old online family tree editor on MyHeritage was loved by our users, but it was based on Adobe Flash technology which has, over time, become obsolete. We aim to constantly provide our users with the best tools for building their family trees, so the tree editor had to be reinvented, and developed from scratch using newer technologies such as HTML5 and Angular JS. The new family tree editor is faster and easier to use. It runs smoothly on smartphones and tablets. Another important benefit is that Record Matches can now be accessed directly from the family tree. Most importantly, the new editor provides better performance, especially for large trees.
We've been releasing the new version of the online tree editor gradually, while receiving and addressing feedback from our users. This week, we're delighted to complete the introduction of the enhanced family tree editor to all MyHeritage users.
The look and feel of the new family tree editor is very similar to the previous editor, but it includes many enhancements and subtle changes described below. The post below is very detailed, it's probably the longest we've ever written for the blog We encourage you to read it in detail in order to learn all about the enhanced family tree editor, and how you can make the most of it.
Ditch the flashlight this Halloween and take a trip through MyHeritage’s online graveyards.
We've found over 100,000 Freddy Kruegers, 6,000 Munster families and 5,000 Frankensteins in our vast database of over 5.5 billion historical records!
We're happy to announce that we've just added millions of new records to SuperSearch.
The new collections include birth and death records, church records, electoral rolls and more from around the globe to help families everywhere explore their past.
The new records come from the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Russia and other countries to help discover more about your ancestors from around the globe.
MyHeritage member Dayne Skolmen, 24, of South Africa, has been working on his family history since he was 14, when a family tree school assignment caught his interest. His ancestors come from Norway, Germany and the Netherlands.
Dayne lives in Port Elizabeth, and is currently completing his Master of Technology (MTech) in Information Technology Research at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
His grandfather, Thorbjorn Christian Synnestvedt Skolmen, died at 81 when Dayne was only 3.
Journals and diaries are where we write our memories, secrets and daily thoughts. As such, when we find an ancestor’s journal, it can provide a wealth of rich information about his or her personal life and is a great source for discovering even more.
I recently stumbled upon my great-grandmother’s journal while helping my grandmother organize her house. It was incredible to see how intact the journal was despite many years of being stored in a box filled with other family treasures such as photos and documents.