This is a guest post by George G. Morgan, president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally-recognized genealogy lecturer. He is the prolific award-winning author of hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, newsletters, in genealogical publications, and at online sites internationally. His 12th book, the fourth edition "How to Do Everything: Genealogy," was released in 2015. He is also co-host of "The Genealogy Guys" podcast, the longest-running genealogical podcast, with thousands of listeners around the globe.
Placing your ancestors into geographical, historical, and social context is one of the most important means of understanding them better. Like you, your ancestors and their families did not live in a vacuum. They were attentive to the news and events of their times. Information they received influenced their opinions and attitudes and helped them make important decisions.
The announcement about a new tax was liable to cause them to worry about how they would make financial ends meet. News of political or religious unrest or about the approach of a foreign army might cause tremendous stress and fear. Economic downturns, drought, famine, and disease all meant potential disaster for the people. Such news could also cause your ancestors to make the crucial decision to migrate elsewhere or immigrate to another country.
Just a few days after creating a family tree on MyHeritage, Nancy Guay received a message: "My name is Judy, and I think I’m your sister."
These were the words Nancy Guay - of Montreal, Canada - and her brother Jamie had been waiting to hear for over 50 years.
Nancy: For a moment I felt the ground disappear from under my feet. I’d discovered my lost sister after believing I’d never find her.
This year's RootsTech conference — the biggest family history event in the world — which takes place in Salt Lake City, Utah, has come to a close. It was the largest audience ever recorded, with an estimated 25,000 people attending and over 150,000 watching classes online.
We had a great time participating in the event, introducing MyHeritage to new people and demonstrating new features to existing users.
We're excited to announce the release of a new version of our popular free software, Family Tree Builder (FTB). New version 8.0 has all of the features that you know and love, with a totally rewritten internal infrastructure that adds support for very large family trees (up to 500,000 individuals), and delivers faster performance.
We’ve just released a new feature in the MyHeritage mobile app: Audio Recordings. You can now interview your relatives directly from their profile in the family tree, and store your family's stories for future generations in your MyHeritage family site.
The MyHeritage mobile app is free. It's available for iPhone, iPad and Android, and it lets you access and enhance your family tree on the go. The Audio Recordings feature is now available in both the iOS and Android versions of the mobile app.
Oral interviews are vital in family history research. Our relatives are a treasure trove of precious family information. Unfortunately, our family members don't stay with us forever, and when they are gone, their memories and stories may be lost. This is where Audio Recordings come in. With this feature, it is now easier than ever to record your family’s unique stories and preserve them for future generations. They are very simple to create and edit, and convenient for both interviewer and interviewee.
Many people want to start building their family tree and researching their family history, but they have no clue as to where to begin. Often the first few steps are the hardest.
Here are some tips for getting started on your family tree:
No matter how much we learn about our ancestors as individuals, it's hard to picture what their lives were like back then. What were their struggles and challenges? What were their daily routines? Was life simpler for them?
A theatre troup in Del Tura, Florida compiled a list of what life was like 100 years ago. After viewing that list, it's amazing to think just how much has changed over time.
As one year ends and another begins, we look back on last year and try to remember what happened in our lives and in our family. Big things are easy to remember, but over 365 days, 8,760 hours, or 525,600 minutes, a lot happens. Let's start 2016 by making an effort to record those special moments we experience. A great way to do this is with a family memory jar!
What is a family memory jar? It's a glass jar or any container in which you can store family memories. It can be filled with short messages, everyday moments, photos or just about anything you want to preserve. Every item added has meaning for us, and is worthy of preserving and remembering.
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.
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.
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.