7    Dec 20126 comments

Photos: Do ancestors resemble living relatives?

Ever heard someone say "he looks just like his father"? What about,"he looks just like his great-great-great-grandfather"?

I recently found an old family photo of one of my ancestors and noticed a striking similarity with a living relative.

When looking at old ancestral photos, I've always had a sense of familiarity. I notice a certain family resemblance to living relatives, such as their physical features or just their facial expressions.

Photographer Ulric Collette's "genetic portraits" takes this concept to a new level. Ulric merges photos of relatives and shows how alike some family members look.

MyHeritage's look-alike meter helps people answer that age-old question as to whether they look more like their mother or father.

Have you found an old family photo and noticed a resemblance between those in the photo and your living relatives?

Let us know in the comments below.

8    Oct 20122 comments

Names & Faces: What’s your memory IQ?

Do you remember names and faces? Some people are better at this than others, and some claim that they never forget a face.

This is a valuable talent in the family history field, as some of us can immediately recognize people in photographs or remember the names of relatives at reunions or large family weddings.

A new study - and online test - developed by researchers at Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) will help you learn how good your memory is in relation to others. They are inviting the world to participate in the online experiment.

The 10-minute test can be taken from a computer, smartphone, iPad and other mobile device. It's part of a “crowd-sourcing” science trend, using the Internet to gather research data while allowing participants to learn something about themselves.

I just took it and my rough-estimate score result was 108, meaning that I correctly identified 86% of the name-face pairs.

Continue reading "Names & Faces: What’s your memory IQ?" »

29    May 20123 comments

Mystery Soldier: His identity expands a family tree

Tuck Studio male soldier, Gloversville, NY

Tuck Studio male soldier, Gloversville, NY

This is a guest post by Ava Cohn - known as Sherlock Cohn, The Photo Genealogist - who writes The Photo Genealogist blog*

Sometimes it takes more than the proverbial village to solve a mystery.

This is the tale of three cities, of a mystery photograph and of how an intricate web of relationships helped a family researcher learn more about a lost branch. Perhaps it can serve as an example of how similar mysteries can be solved in your family.

This story starts in Hampshire, Illinois, where I met Michele Halt after one of my talks on old photographs. She showed me a photo of a proud and distinguished soldier in full regalia.  Who was he? The photo came from a family album passed down to the females in Michele’s Radley family for over 100 years.  Each time the album changed owners, new photos were added.

Michele’s grandmother’s great-aunt, Maggie Radley Mole, started the meticulous family photo album. There was only one problem - Maggie knew everyone in the photos so she never labeled or identified them - nor did any of the album inheritors label their photos. Only one person was identified and he wasn’t the soldier.

Continue reading "Mystery Soldier: His identity expands a family tree" »

27    Feb 20123 comments

Photographs: Enrich your family history

This is a guest post by James L. Tanner*

Nothing can do more to make your family history come alive than finding old family photographs and you might be surprised at where those photographs can be found.

Photographs of individuals and families became popular in the mid-1800s and since that time it is estimated that as many as 3.5 trillion photos have been taken. Obviously, only a very, very few of these trillions of photos are even vaguely interesting to you as a genealogist or family historian, but there are enough photos out there that you may wish to make an effort to see if any photos of your ancestral family members or the places they lived may have escaped your notice.

Continue reading "Photographs: Enrich your family history" »

3    Jan 20125 comments

Photographs: Some of the world’s oldest images

We’ve showcased some very old photographs before, such as in this post about some of the world’s first color photographs, and this one featuring shots from the Russian Empire.

Today, we have some even older photos for you. These shots comprise some of the earliest ever captured. Click each image to see a larger version.

This image – called ‘View from the Window at Le Gras’ – is reckoned to be the first ever taken, dated at around 1826. It was taken and developed by the French photography pioneer Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, and required an exposure time of about 8 hours!

Continue reading "Photographs: Some of the world’s oldest images" »

1    Dec 20112 comments

Holidays: Making, sharing memories

Why is sharing family history at the holidays so important?

Gifts come in many forms, so think of sharing family history as a gift to your family.

Wake Forest University professor of counseling Samuel Gladding and his family have "halls of remembrance" in their home. Every year since they were married, he and his wife, Claire, have created picture collages highlighting that year with snapshots of trips, sports, plays and family outings.

He shared his views here.

Author of several family counseling books, the professor says that sharing family history

... strengthens individuals and it strengthens families. If you know the past, you are much more likely to benefit from it and be inspired or determined to make the future better or at least as good as the past.

When families gather for the holidays, Gladding says it can be the perfect opportunity to share family stories that will benefit younger and older generations.

There are benefits for both younger and older generations.

Continue reading "Holidays: Making, sharing memories" »

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