This is a guest post by Kate Eakman, staff genealogist at Legacy Tree Genealogists, MyHeritage’s recommended research partner. Kate has a master's degree in history and loves to help people see into the lives of their ancestors. Her ability to “think outside the box” helps her to find treasured details about a person's heritage.
You’ve just been handed the family research of your grandmother, or great-uncle, or perhaps some even more distant relative who heard that you “do genealogy” – and now you are wondering what to do with it.
Here are three easy steps to integrate it into your own research.
When Cathy Combs of Spokane, Washington began researching her family history, she had no clue what discoveries were awaiting. She uncovered a huge chunk of family that she never knew existed.
MyHeritage has played a pivotal role in the documentation of my family history, and research that enabled the discovery of my half-siblings!
It all started with Jean McDonald Clark. Jean was born in Chicago, but raised in Minnesota. She married Ernest Rucks in 1946. Between 1947 and 1950, the couple had four children. She was a young bride with an unfortunate domestically turbulent home life. While pregnant with her fifth child, she fled to California to safely give birth and process for divorce. In the early 1950s, battered women in such situations had few options or resources.
We have some good news for the genealogy community.
We are constantly developing new ways to advance genealogy through the latest technological innovations. One of the most exciting frontiers in family history research is DNA and today's announcement reflects a major step by MyHeritage in this important area.
DNA and traditional genealogy methods, such as family trees and historical records, go hand in hand. DNA can sometimes help where traditional research encounters a dead end, while traditional genealogy is often required to pinpoint an exact relationship path discovered by DNA.
While we have been offering DNA test kits for a few years — through partnerships — and will continue to do so, we are now developing a new DNA Matching service. This service will enable people who have already tested their DNA through DNA testing services (such as 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, and AncestryDNA) to enjoy MyHeritage’s exceptional matching capabilities for their family history research, and get more value from the DNA test they already took.
"I can't tell you what it means to finally meet my brother after 65 years."
At MyHeritage, we regularly hear from our users about life-changing discoveries they have made about their families using our website. Today we share with you a truly exceptional story, and one that we had the privilege of taking part in as it unfolded. This is the story of two brothers separated as young children in post-World War II Europe. They hadn’t seen one another in 65 years — until MyHeritage reunited them.
We often come across stumbling blocks in our genealogy research, such as an old letter in a language we don't understand, a mysterious family photo in which we cannot identify the people, or a particular ancestor for whom we cannot find any information. Help from others can make all the difference in breaking through these genealogical brick walls.
"MyHeritage Community" is the name of a new, much-needed Questions & Answers hub for our users to collaborate and help each other in typical genealogy quests such as locating long-lost relatives, translating historical documents, deciphering illegible handwriting, identifying unknown people in photos, or searching for elusive ancestors. It's built as an image-oriented forum, integrated into the MyHeritage website (so you don't need to sign up separately for it), it can be a game-changer for your research, and it's totally FREE.
A friend recently shared the story of how her great-grandfather Leon emigrated to America from Europe in the early 1900s. His brother had previously arrived, in search of a better life. When Leon followed his brother, he worked as a tailor and struggled to make ends meet to support his growing family.
After a few years, he reached a point in his career where he had become comfortable and had some expendable income. He searched to invest some money in a new opportunity. Leon's brother suggested that he try investing with him in real estate — and purchase some rural farmland in New York City.
In September 2015, Jacob Eric Stathers, 63, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and began treatment. While undergoing chemotherapy, he found himself with extra time on his hands, and he decided to dedicate this time to exploring his family history.
He began searching for the best tools and technology for his research and soon learned about MyHeritage. What he didn’t realize then were the new and exciting discoveries that genealogy would bring, and that it would open up a broader world during this difficult time in his life.
A British Columbia native, now Eric lives with his wife in Bellevue, Washington. They each have two children and two stepchildren. He holds a BSc (Agriculture — Soil Science), an MBA (University of British Columbia, Canada), and also studied at the Advanced Management College (Stanford University, California). A senior executive with 35 years of experience in business software, consulting, and management, he is today the managing partner of Stathers & Associates LLC. He is also co-editor and publisher of In the Ditch: Stories of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway 1929-65, authored by his grandfather, Eric Prince Stathers.
Eric became interested in family history as a young boy when his UK-born paternal grandfather, who lived with Eric's family while recovering from a heart attack, began compiling his family tree and writing his memoirs.
With Easter, we welcome Spring and the rebirth of new life. It’s a great time of year to do some spring cleaning and organize your genealogy research. It is also a great opportunity to try new things and venture down new avenues of genealogy research.
This is a guest post by Leslie Albrecht Huber, a genealogy writer, and speaker. She has written over 100 articles published in a variety of history and family history outlets. She loves speaking to groups on genealogy topics, particularly those focused on German genealogy, tracing immigrant ancestors, social history, and writing family histories. Leslie has spoken in over 20 U.S. states, on "Good Morning America" and on NPR (National Public Radio). Her book, "The Journey Takers," was published in 2010.
We’ve all read family histories that begin something like this: “My great-grandmother, Mary Smith, was born on June 3, 1890, in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of Sarah Smith and John Smith. She had two older brothers and three younger sisters.”
With nothing story-like to them, these histories are little more than lists of details strung together in paragraph format. They may be packed full of well-researched information, but many readers will struggle to get beyond the first few pages before they find their mind wandering or their eyes drifting closed.
Genealogists take family history research very seriously. However, we all still love good genealogy humor.
We hope you can take a break — from searching for your great-great-great-grandmother — to check out our favorite genealogy jokes. They're sure to make genealogists and non-genealogists alike chuckle.