Historical records are essential to help us learn more about our families.
MyHeritage has recently added millions of historical records to our data collections, with access to over 4 billion historical records, millions of public family trees and newspaper articles in our online digital archive - SuperSearch. These include grave stones, military records, yearbooks, posters and even mugshots!
We want to know now what are some of the strangest places you have found information about your family members? What are some unusual sources you've used to locate information? The more unusual, the better! Let us know via the poll below and your comments.
Today we look at CHURCHILL, in honor of Sir Winston Churchill’s famous Iron Curtain speech made on March 5, 1956.
Churchill, an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman conquest of 1066, derives from the town Curcelle, which became confused with the English name “Churchill.”
This geographical surname comes from various towns named Churchill (in Oxfordshire, Somerset and Worcestershire). The name goes back to pre-7th century Old English for cyrice (church) and hyll (hill). The surname means “the church on the hill.”
There is one known case where the name's translation is different.
One of my favorite blogs is The Signal, the digital preservation blog of the Library of Congress. A hot topic there centers on personal digital archiving, and much of that relates to family history and genealogy.
The LOC’s Mike Ashenfelder, who writes online articles about personal digital archiving, digital preservation leaders and developments in digital preservation, writes on preserving personal genealogical collections in a digital age.
The popularity of genealogy websites and TV shows is rapidly growing, mainly because the Internet has made it so convenient to access family history information. Almost everything can be done through the computer now. Before the digital age, genealogical research was not only laborious and time consuming, it also resulted in boxes of documents: photos, charts, letters, copies of records and more. Online genealogy has replaced all that paper with digital files. But the trade-off for the ease of finding and gathering the stuff is the challenge of preserving it.
About genealogical databases, Ashenfelder writes:
that relational databases are the engines that drive digital genealogy. Databases make it possible to quickly search through enormous quantities of records, find the person you’re looking for and discover related people and events. And when institutions collaborate and share databases, statistical information becomes enriched.
And, considering some demographics of family history aficionados, digital estate planning now a popular topic. What happens to our digital possessions after we die? And what can we do to preserve them? Getting your digital affairs in order offers much practical information.
MyHeritage welcomes you to a new weekly blog post, "Surname of the week." We'll discuss the origin, history and other information of one surname in each post.
Surnames first appeared in the Middle Ages as a way to record and document people and for tax purposes. Details included given names, nicknames, parents’ names, occupation and residence. This personal information later became an important part of the history of surnames.
English surnames, as we know them today, began in England as early as the 11th century. However, it was not until the late-17th-century that many families adopted permanent surnames.
Generally speaking, family names fall into the following categories with some examples given:
- Occupation: Smith, Taylor or Miller
- Personal characteristics: Young, Black or White
- Geographic or locations: Hamilton, Bush, Hill, Windsor or Murray
- Patronymics, Matronymics or Ancestral: Stephenson, Richardson or Harris
In honor of American-British Actress Elizabeth Taylor's birthday, we look at TAYLOR this week:
When the genealogy “bug” hits us, we just can't help ourselves. We want to search deeper into our heritage.
A great way to start is with our children and grandchildren.
Children are curious about black-and-white photos, strange names, and seeing a family tree filled with images of people they may or may not know. Most importantly, they ask questions - lots of questions!
Children love listening to stories, so reading to them about the family is a great way to grab their interest and demonstrate that they are part of a grander history. Sharing family moments creates a stronger family bond, as well as a chance to share ancestral information.
Do you share family stories with your children and grandchildren? How do you pass on your unique heritage to the younger generations? Let us know in the comments below.
The MyHeritage team returned from three intensive days at the Who Do You Think You Are Live 2013 show in London’s Olympia. We enjoyed greeting so many visitors at our booth.
Our team included Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz, Head of Genealogy (UK) Laurence Harris, Chief Content Officer Russ Wilding, Netherlands Community Manager Denie Kasan, Scandinavian Community Manager Sara Silander, German Community Manager Karen Brandel Hägele and Marketing Manager Aaron Godfrey.
Both old friends and new shared fascinating stories of their ancestors and their own family history research experiences.
The MyHeritage team are coming to the end of an exciting first day at the 2013 Who Do You Think You Are Live! at London’s Olympia.
We're enjoying seeing all the new faces and meeting old friends at our booth, and hearing everyone's family history stories.
MyHeritage heads to London this week for the leading family history show, Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE, from February 22-24.
The event, at the Olympia Exhibition Halls, features genealogy workshops, expert speakers, vendors and more to help with your family history research.
We've recently added millions of new records to MyHeritage's data collections.
The international collections include headstones, military records, yearbooks and even wanted posters and mugshots!
The records are searchable on MyHeritage's SuperSearch engine and are integrated with MyHeritage's Record Matching technology. This means that MyHeritage users will automatically receive notifications about records from these collections that match individuals in their family trees.
Here's some more information and links to the main collections we've added:
In February 2012, MyHeritage introduced DNA testing for genealogy. And now, to celebrate the first anniversary, we're providing significant discounts to make DNA tests more affordable for all our users.
The discounts are available for a limited period, so now's your best chance to get a DNA test and take your family history research to the next level.