13    Feb 20150 comments

RootsTech 2015: Day 1

The MyHeritage team is in Utah for RootsTech, the largest family history event in North America.

Here are some highlights from day 1.

Continue reading "RootsTech 2015: Day 1" »

8    Feb 20151 comment

RootsTech 2015: MyHeritage heads to Utah

We’re looking forward to seeing our old friends and meeting new ones at RootsTech 2015.

RootsTech, the largest family history event in North America, is a unique family history conference for both new and experienced genealogists. It is a place to learn about new technologies that bring families together and help make family history discoveries easier.

This year’s event will take place February 11-14 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and we're proud to be Platinum Sponsors.

On Thursday, February 12, MyHeritage Chief Product Officer Mike Mallin will give a keynote address in the main lecture hall. Later that day Mike will be presenting "Instant Discoveries and Family Storytelling in the Mobile World," at a MyHeritage-sponsored lunch.

The MyHeritage Team will be speaking at classes throughout the conference. Here is a list of the great talks we have lined up:

Continue reading "RootsTech 2015: MyHeritage heads to Utah" »

12    Jan 201535 comments

Understanding Dates: Five common mistakes to avoid

This post was written by Laurence Harris, Head of Genealogy UK at MyHeritage.

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.

Here are five of the most common mistakes that can occur in interpreting dates, together with suggestions as to how these mistakes can be avoided or corrected. Continue reading "Understanding Dates: Five common mistakes to avoid" »

3    Jan 20153 comments

New Year’s Resolution: Family history research

2015 is here! Have you thought about what you'd like to accomplish this year in your family history research?

Here are some tips for a successful year in your genealogy journey: Continue reading "New Year’s Resolution: Family history research" »

1    Dec 20143 comments

Genealogy and Family History Success: How MyHeritage made it happen for us!

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.

The family tree was not always this robust. However, thanks to MyHeritage, it is now – and it keeps on growing. Continue reading "Genealogy and Family History Success: How MyHeritage made it happen for us!" »

31    Oct 20142 comments

Happy Halloween: Spooky Collections, Online Graveyards and more

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!

If that hasn’t spooked you enough, we found over 2 million death records from people around the world who died last year on Halloween. Continue reading "Happy Halloween: Spooky Collections, Online Graveyards and more" »

11    Sep 201411 comments

Tools of the Trade: Newspaper research

Local notes from the Spanish American newspaper (pg 12; February 6, 1905, Roy, Mora County, New Mexico)

MyHeritage's US genealogy advisor, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, describes how historic newspapers add life to our family trees.

Old newspapers are treasure troves of family information. If your family lived for a long time in one location, then local papers likely hold information about your relatives.

Such details include birth, marriage and death announcements. If your ancestors owned businesses, there may be legal records or advertisements. Social announcements, real estate records, school graduations, athletic events and even the costs of consumer goods at the time can provide a glimpse into your family and also provide a backdrop as to what life was like for them at a certain point in history.

In the Spanish American (published in Roy, Mora County, New Mexico) page 12 of the February 6, 1906 edition offers local notes such as these (see left). We learn who went where and why, business announcements and who was sick. If your family is one of those mentioned, here’s a very personal look into what happened around that time.

No matter where you live around the world, local historic newspapers provide fascinating information available nowhere else.

Although current events and major historic events are of great interest, it is the personal and cultural reporting that may be of more interest to family historians. Consumer goods are only one area of life detailed in historic newspapers, and those published in major ports (such as San Francisco and New York City) published ship arrivals, the cargo carried, as well as passengers. Continue reading "Tools of the Trade: Newspaper research" »

7    Sep 20141 comment

MyHeritage featured on prime time news

This weekend, MyHeritage Founder & CEO Gilad Japhet was interviewed on Israel's leading prime time TV news show to discuss MyHeritage and some of its pro bono projects. These include discovering heirs for unclaimed assets confiscated in WWII, returning looted art to its rightful owners and our global crowdsourcing project with BillionGraves to digitally preserve the world's cemeteries.

Our technologies are helping millions of families around the world discover more about their history. We're happy to take our mission several steps further by proactively initiating and executing important projects that have the potential to make the world a better place. Watch the video clip with English subtitles below:

We're proud of our motto to not only do well, but also do good, and we will strive to continue in this direction in the years ahead.

3    Sep 20142 comments

MyHeritage and BillionGraves honored for global crowdsourcing project

We work hard to provide greater access to family history information and so were thrilled to be awarded the Presidential Citation at the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) conference this past weekend, along with BillionGraves, for our partnership in promoting the preservation of international burial locations.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies was established in 1976 and represents more than 500 member genealogy and history societies, including over a half-million individual members. You can learn more about FGS in our genealogy society spotlight blog post.

Gravestones are a great resource for family history investigation and a useful tool to learn more about your ancestors. They provide detailed information such as names, dates of birth and death and often describe personality. However, natural wear and tear means that these important family history sources need to be preserved before it’s too late. Together, MyHeritage and BillionGraves launched a global initiative to digitize cemeteries and gravestones to preserve these gravestones by making them accessible for free online to millions to aid in their family history research.

Watch the video below to hear MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet explain the tremendous importance of this project and the value of gravestones for genealogy.

Continue reading "MyHeritage and BillionGraves honored for global crowdsourcing project" »

30    Aug 201419 comments

Our Stories: Genetics leads to genealogy

Some people begin with traditional family history and turn to genetics to find more connections, but MyHeritage member Peggy Shackelford, 64, of Southern California began her geneajourney to understand the genetics in her family.

She has two grown daughters and three dogs. She holds a BS in computer and management sciences and works as a business intelligence developer. Although born just outside Chicago (in Hammond, Indiana), Peggy grew up in northern California. Her work involves analytical research and developing business intelligence software.

Peggy and her family at a recent family gathering. Peggy is center back in the peach color.

About 30 years ago she started the journey to discover her family roots. Armed only with some family stories she began her research. It was very hard going back then, she says. There was very little available online and most of her research involved sifting through microfilms of census records to find people and clues. Continue reading "Our Stories: Genetics leads to genealogy" »

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