21    Dec 20156 comments

Our Stories: Decoding an old letter

South Carolina resident Joia Sokol Thompson shared this story about her sister Carol Sokol, a nurse who lives in Utah.

Carol is the Sokol family genealogist and has been working on their history — particularly their father’s line — since she was 14 in the early 1970s. One of her most prized heirlooms is a letter written to her great-grandfather in 1880. MyHeritage led her to cousins in Canada who decoded the antique letter and uncovered new family connections.

A photo of the gravestone plate of relative Katerina Myskova, discovered through a MyHeritage connection.

Carol’s mother accompanied her husband to visit his relatives and, for years, she recorded family history information. She often asked relatives to complete family group sheets and pedigree sheets that she organized. Continue reading "Our Stories: Decoding an old letter" »

21    Oct 201526 comments

Our Stories: A past he never imagined

October marks the 210th anniversary of the death of the great British military hero, Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was mortally wounded during his final victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

We recently spoke with MyHeritage user David Bullock - from Bath, England - after he discovered an unexpected connection with Nelson that blew him away.

David Bullock and Horatio Nelson

When he began tracing his roots in February 2014, David, a graphic designer, never imagined the roller coaster of emotions his journey would become. Continue reading "Our Stories: A past he never imagined" »

19    Oct 201510 comments

Send Us Your Stories for a Chance to Win a Kindle!

Do you have a family history discovery story that you'd like to share? We'd love to hear it!

Looking deeper into your roots and learning more about your family's past can help strengthen family connections and uncover previously unknown relatives. Many of our users have shared what they've uncovered and learned about their families, using MyHeritage.

Take a look at our featured stories to see some incredible discoveries. Barbara followed a MyHeritage SmartMatch to uncover her mother’s side of the family and, as a result, received priceless family correspondence. Brian was able to use MyHeritage to trace his family tree back to 690 AD and he discovered that his ninth great-grandfather was, in fact, The Duke of Argyll!

Share your story for a chance to win one of three Kindles, and to have your story featured on our blog! To enter, send us an email with your story, to stories@myheritage.com by November 7.

We look forward to hearing about your discoveries!

24    Aug 20151 comment

Make Summer Work For You: 9 ways to a family history win!

Most people find they have more time for hobbies and interests during the summer than the rest of the year. Perhaps it's the long days and nice weather that give us more energy to broaden our horizons and inspire our creativity.

Whatever the reason, summer is a great time to focus on family history research and unlock new clues into your family's past.

Here are nine ways to ramp up your family history research and make the most of those long summer days:

1. Spend quality time with family: Close or far, it's important to strengthen family bonds. Encourage sharing memories, photos and family heirlooms. Use the MyHeritage Mobile App to add photos while you're on-the-go. Continue reading "Make Summer Work For You: 9 ways to a family history win!" »

15    Aug 20150 comments

Cousins: A special connection

A cousin is a relative with whom you share common ancestors. First cousins share grandparents, but all cousins share a family history bond that goes far beyond that.

If you have a really close cousin, you know that the relationship can be very special.

(Credit: Etsy)

The relationship between cousins is often a powerful cross between that of family and friends. Continue reading "Cousins: A special connection" »

26    Jul 20152 comments

Our Volunteers: A young genealogist’s Norwegian family history

Continuing our spotlight on volunteer translators, we introduce Torbjorn Wolden, a MyHeritage member from Norway, who has been helping to translate MyHeritage products into Norwegian for the five years.

A young genealogist, Torbjorn became interested in his family history in elementary school.

We did a project where we would make our own family tree (which I still have) and show it to the rest of the class. My grandparents also had a bygdebok (a local history book) for the parish, where all the farms and everyone who had lived there are listed, and I used to look at this and see how long my family had owned the farm and how long they had lived in the area.

Torbjorn has traced back his family history to the mid-1500s to the Trøndelag and Nordmøre regions in Norway. While most of his close family still lives in these regions, he has discovered distant relatives in Sweden; the US; Rotuma, Australia; Denmark and Switzerland. Continue reading "Our Volunteers: A young genealogist’s Norwegian family history" »

23    Jul 20154 comments

Our Stories: From Sweden to Australia, Part 3

Anna’s family journey to meet relatives in Australia continues. In this post, she discusses Oskar’s life, and looks at his decision to suddenly move to Australia.

The other day, David and I spoke about Oskar and his initial trip to Australia, the decisions that caused him to leave Sweden and what he may have encountered on the journey. There were still unanswered pieces that we can only speculate about. We have no information on his voyage, who he met or about his first journey.

What we do know, however, is that a significant event influenced Oskar’s decision to leave Sweden. An event that changed everything and added an entire branch to the family tree that would not otherwise have existed today.

Oskar's childhood home

Continue reading "Our Stories: From Sweden to Australia, Part 3" »

26    Jun 20152 comments

Our Stories: 44,000 and growing!

Continuing our spotlight on volunteer translators, we introduce Seppo Tarvainen, a MyHeritage member from Finland, who has been helping to translate MyHeritage products into Finnish for a few years.

Born a few years after WWII in a small village in the middle of Finland, Seppo grew up with a passion for travel. He studied mechanical engineering, which led him and his family around the world on various work projects. Now home, he began looking into other hobbies, such as genealogy.

My parents had a lot of family history information, but they died before I had the opportunity to properly interview them.

About four years ago, Seppo came across MyHeritage’s Family Tree Builder and began adding the information he had and building his family tree. The number of individuals increased, so he soon upgraded to a PremiumPlus account.

I kept getting even more Smart Matches, and my family tree kept growing.

Today, his family tree has over 44,000 people. Through matches to other MyHeritage members, he discovered ancestors dating back to the late-1500s. Some ancestors remained in the region, while later generations emigrated to the US, Canada and Australia. Continue reading "Our Stories: 44,000 and growing!" »

13    Jun 20155 comments

Our Stories: From Sweden to Australia Part 2

We recently wrote about the start of Anna’s journey to meet her relatives in Australia. A journey that really began 125 years ago, Anna crossed oceans to meet relatives related to their common ancestor, Oskar. Here is Part 2.

In late December 2012, several relatives in Gotland, Sweden received a call from a man speaking English. Many hung up the phone and thought it was a hoax. They didn’t understand why an English-speaking man was calling them.

After many disconnected calls, the same person called my cellphone on December 30, 2012. David Michel said he was calling from Sydney, Australia.

Anna Lindblom and David Michel

He said he was Oskar’s grandson. The mystery of our family story about what happened to Oskar in Australia was beginning to be solved. Continue reading "Our Stories: From Sweden to Australia Part 2" »

26    May 201566 comments

13 ways to know you’re a genealogist

Whether you are a family historian or just someone interested in learning about their family’s heritage, there are certain things only a genealogist will understand.

You’ve been hit with the genealogy bug if…

  1. When introducing someone you say, “this is my sister’s grandmother’s father’s son.”
  2. You are more interested in what happened in 1815 than in 2015. Continue reading "13 ways to know you’re a genealogist" »
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