This year’s RootsTech 2014 was, as usual, an intense experience – and also much fun!
In addition to each of us working with attendees, covering the entire spectrum from those who hadn’t heard of MyHeritage to those who were very experienced members, it was also a great team experience to bond with team members from our various offices.
This year, we launched many new exciting features and cutting-edge technologies. We added billions of historical records, adding even more global historical content and made it easier for you to research your family history.
We’re delighted to launch today a new feature that allows the saving of records that you discover in SuperSearch – MyHeritage's online search engine for billions of historical records – directly to the relevant profiles in your family tree.
Our Record Matching technology already provides accurate matches of historical records to family tree profiles and when a match is confirmed, or pending confirmation, the record appears on that individual’s family tree profile. Our new “Save Records” feature takes this one step further and enables you to save any record that you find on SuperSearch, to one or more profiles in your online family tree on MyHeritage.
Have ancestors you want to learn more about? Search for them in SuperSearch, or click on the research icon on any family tree profile, and save any relevant records that you discover directly to their family tree profile.
Walkthrough: How to Save Records
By his own account, Norwood Wayne Newkirk says that reading and history were not his greatest passions as he grew up. Today that has changed, as he was the project manager for his family’s reunion held August 1-4, 2013, in New Jersey.
He holds a degree in electrical engineering and worked as a loss prevention consultant. Today he creates risk management systems as a senior account executive and computer application developer.
So what I have done over the past two years [since the 2011 reunion] in preparation for our 2013 reunion is not a far stretch from what I do vocationally. I see the issue and try to develop a solution.
However, as he went through life, he began to recognize that something was missing.
I found a church with teaching ministry that filled the void in my spiritual life and became very active in leading the Media Volunteer Ministry (it is in my genes). Yet there was an area still lacking.
I eventually recognized I had become distant from my family, not because I wanted to, but life situations and circumstances caused things to happen just that way. In fact, there was a time when I truly could not remember a large chunk of my past.
As life would have it, things changed and there was a rekindling of his family history. As family members grew older and died, it offered occasions for the family to come together more frequently than they would like.
It was on those occasions that I heard stories about family members including myself. Stories that made you laugh and stories that made you say, “Did that really happen?” At that point I began to understand what I was missing. It was family. Cousins that I grew up were now distant relatives.
At his grandmother’s funeral, a family pastor talked about thing his grandparents experienced over 92 years of their life and the legacy they left behind.
The Starling family could have written “Roots.” This revelation showed me the importance of family.
We're pleased to announce the release of MyHeritage Family Tree Builder 7.0 - the latest version of the world’s most popular free genealogy software - which combines innovative technologies with easy-to-use features.
Used by millions of people worldwide, Family Tree Builder lets you build your family tree and enhance it with photos, historical records and more. The latest version, 7.0, is packed with exciting new features and improvements.
We've been working hard for more than a year to enhance Family Tree Builder to make documenting and sharing your family history even easier. We're taken the time to ensure this release is as robust as possible and have just completed a successful two-month beta program with some of our power users. Enthusiastic feedback from the first users to use version 7.0 indicates that this is the best version we've ever released.
The new version now syncs your entire family history in both directions between your computer and your family site on MyHeritage, as well as smart phones and tablets, and opens new channels for discovering relatives and billions of historical records with our advanced matching technologies. This means you can now access your family tree securely not just from your computer but also from your online family site, smart phone or tablet device, and even grow the tree and add more information and photos to it, any time and anywhere. All additions and changes will sync back to your Family Tree Builder software on your computer.
This year's RootsTech was only the third edition, and it has grown exponentially every year. Some 7,000 attendees - plus nearly 2,000 young people (ages 12-18) on Saturday - flocked to the Salt Palace Convention Center. It is now the largest such event in the US.
While the weather ranged from near-blizzard conditions to rain to sunshine, the halls - with some 100 exhibitors - and classrooms housing some 250 programs, drew excited crowds. According to organizer FamilySearch, attendees came from 49 states and 17 countries.
Additionally, FamilySearch announced that some 10,000 people viewed programs and keynotes via live streaming video online, while remote satellite broadcasts took place at 17 Family History centers in seven countries, attended by another 4,000 participated by remote satellite broadcast at Family History centers in 17 locations in seven countries.
Mark your calenders for RootsTech 2014 (February 6-8, 2014). FamilySearch said that they plan to export the event to some 600 locations worldwide (16 US locations and several other countries).
On Wednesday morning, following the keynote address, the doors opened and thousands of people came through. All of our computers were in use in a matter of minutes.
Last night's FamilySearch.org annual blogger dinner was informative.
As far as attendance stats, we were told that - as of last evening - some 6,800 people had registered. Last year, a little over 4,000 had come through the exhibit halls. In addition, the group has made a concerted effort to bring in young people. An additional nearly 2,000 young people, ages 12-18, will be here on Saturday. And this isn't even counting the numbers around the world you will see live streaming of a number of great programs during the event.
For the first time, organizers said, viewing centers were set up in six countries as a pilot program which is expected to continue and expand in the future.
We video-recorded interviews with Cindy Howells of Cyndi's List, Dick Eastman, Randy Seaver and DearMyrtle, and hope to being them to you soon.
Stay tuned for our next RootsTech post!
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.
In honor of Black History Month, established in 1926 and celebrated in February, here’s a roundup of resources – websites, blogs, repositories and more – to help you learn more about your family. Each resource listed offers more links to additional information.
Today is also the birthday of African American baseball superstar Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, born in 1934. A major league baseball icon, Aaron is best known for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record. Read more on Aaron.
For many black families with roots in the Southern US states, research can be frustrating. Although African American genealogy research can get back to the 1880s and much earlier, it is difficult for most researchers. Researching their family trees has been almost impossible, as their ancestors' original names were literally erased. Slaves' African given names were replaced by English names and their surnames were those of their owners.
With the advent of new databases and technological tools, research has become much easier. A growing number of individuals are preparing their family stories and discovering images of their unique history.
In the back of a high closet shelf, in the basement, in your attic, you have some kind of a container.
It may be an old metal box that held cookies a lifetime ago, an old shoebox or hatbox, a modern plastic container with a snap-on lid, or even a handy-dandy sealed plastic bag stuck in a drawer.
The contents may include dried flowers, holiday and life-cycle event cards, and many old photographs. If this is your personal collection, you'll likely know who the people were and when the image was taken. That's good.
However, these treasured possessions may have belonged to your great-grandmother. She, if you are very fortunate, may have written lightly in pencil on the back. The lady in the strange hat is Cousin Helen, you learn, but you've never heard of anyone with that name.
If you are even luckier, the inscription may indicate that it's a holiday gift from "your dear brother in London." You've never heard of anyone who had a brother in London.
If your relative was somewhat obsessive, he or she may have recorded the names, dates and places on each photograph. In this case, your genealogy colleagues around the world will congratulate you on your good fortune!