25    May 20130 comments

Family History: The human connection

We are so fortunate to be living today, when so much family history - and essential documents and records - is accessible online.

However, not everything is online ... yet!

Keep checking and searching online - particularly with MyHeritage's new Record Detective technology - to see what's available to you.

However, there may be perplexing family history mysteries that you are trying to resolve, and family historians need to speak - in person - to other researchers, who may have faced similar problems in the past. Continue reading "Family History: The human connection" »

23    May 201323 comments

Our Stories: The Mayflower and more!

There are so many ways to get bitten by the genealogy bug. MyHeritage member Melva Jo Wright of Florida (US) took over the research of her maternal aunt (Geraldine Martinez) when she died in 2004.

Her aunt’s four sisters helped with the research and each received a family history binder from their researcher sister.

Melva Jo’s maternal great-grandparents and their family: Norval Smith Channing (1878 PA-1955 PA) and Amanda Catherine (Pyle) Channing (1877 PA-1957 PA). Her grandmother (far left) is Rebecca (Channing) Lytle (1901 PA-1980 FL) (Courtesy photo)

Most have shared them with me, but I’m still waiting to hear from the others to complete their details in our family tree. I hope they contain some original pictures, as most of those I already have are copies.

Melva Jo, 60, has three children and three stepdaughters. Her mother worked at the Pentagon and her father was a stockcar racer, killed in a 1951 race. Her mother remarried, to an Army major, and the family lived in Germany and France.

Among her exciting discoveries: the Mayflower’s John and Priscilla Alden are her direct ninth great-grandparents. She's also related to writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, President Abraham Lincoln, Clement Clark Moore (who wrote “The Night Before Christmas), as well as Orson Wells, Marilyn Monroe, Dick and Jerry Van Dyke and Ricky Nelson, to name a few.

Continue reading "Our Stories: The Mayflower and more!" »

16    May 201326 comments

Introducing Record Detective™: A breakthrough technology for family history

MyHeritage is excited to announce the launch of Record Detective™. It is the first technology of its kind to automatically extend the paper trail from a single historical record to other related records and family tree connections.

Here's a short video which explains how it works:

Record Detective™ generates new leads and discoveries by turning a single record into a door to more. For example, a record discovered in MyHeritage’s digital archive, SuperSearch, will now automatically include a summary of additional records and individuals in family trees relating to it, providing new information and clues to take your research to new directions.

Continue reading "Introducing Record Detective™: A breakthrough technology for family history" »

26    Apr 20131 comment

Our Stories: Hidden families and an opera singer

We never know what our unique family histories may reveal, and MyHeritage member Kathleen Whitfield, 60, of the UK, is no exception.

Her childhood was spent in the UK with her parents and older brother, who lived some 250 miles from any blood relatives. Neither of the siblings ever met their father’s family or had any living grandparents they knew about.

Although they occasionally visited their mother’s sister and family in Lancashire and another sister in London, the only details they were told about their father’s family was that his Irish father was an opera singer, their father was born in London, that he had siblings, but he had lost contact with his family. Kathleen was told she was named for her father’s mother. Further, she discovered that her paternal grandmother was really Kate Constance, not Kathleen!

William C. Green, Kathleen’s paternal grandfather (Courtesy Photo)

Kathleen got “into” family history because her husband’s niece conducted fascinating research into his family. Continue reading "Our Stories: Hidden families and an opera singer" »

8    Apr 20131 comment

Heritage Hunt: The results

MyHeritage got into the Spring spirit last week with our own “Heritage Hunt,” an online scavenger hunt through our record collections.

We asked you to identify three people - using our online digital archive, SuperSearch - and find their records and details.

Here are the answers: Continue reading "Heritage Hunt: The results" »

5    Apr 20131 comment

MyHeritage: Making family history research easy!

Want to know all about how MyHeritage can help with your family history research?

MyHeritage makes it easy to discover your family heritage with our many features. Start building your family tree, research your family history, and discover relatives and ancestors with our sophisticated technologies such as Smart Matching™ and Record Matching.

Available in 40 languages, MyHeritage is the largest family history network with over 4 billion records and 1.5 billion profiles. Our online digital archive, SuperSearch, allows you to access billions of historical records and millions of public family trees and newspaper articles.

With all these great features to ease your family history research, we summed it all up in a video (below) showcased in March at our keynote speech during the RootsTech 2013 conference.

We hope you enjoy the video and begin today to discover your family history.

29    Mar 20133 comments

Surname of the week: MURPHY

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (two weeks ago), we look at Irish heritage for this week's surname, MURPHY, considered the most common surname in Ireland.

Murphy is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Murchadha (descendant of Murchadh’), a personal name composed of muir (sea) + cath (battle or sea-warrior).

Traditionally, Irish surnames are taken from the leaders of tribes or famous warriors, and Murphy may be an example of this from pre-9th-century Ireland, then under Viking rule.

Continue reading "Surname of the week: MURPHY" »

5    Feb 20132 comments

Black History Month: Resource roundup

Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, Major League Baseball Star, image credit: biography.com

Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron, Major League Baseball Star. Image credit: biography.com

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. Continue reading "Black History Month: Resource roundup" »

18    Jan 20133 comments

Poll: Family history in the genes?

Family history is important to us and, as a reader of this blog, it's probably important to you, too!

While family history is a fascinating subject, with more and more people getting involved than ever before, sometimes the desire to research our family history also runs in the family!

Some of us have family trees that have been passed down through the generations. Others are inspired to find out more via the stories our relatives share with us.

We want to know if researching family history runs in your family? Did your parents and grandparents research their family history? Were you inspired by their research? Alternatively, are you the first of your relatives to catch the genea-bug?

Let us know in the poll (or comments) below:

15    Jan 20132 comments

Research: Address books as a resource

Do you have an address book? Have you inherited an old address book from your parents or grandparents? This is almost as good as discovering an ancestor's journal.

Will Kenny, wrote a post for Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) - Address book is a family history, bound by tradition - in which he writes:

....And this annual ritual recently reminded us of a big difference between pulling out a physical, paper address book and pulling up a contact list.

These days, if you keep your contact list on your phone or your computer, you live very much in the present. When you update an entry in your electronic contact list, you just edit the information. You replace the old with the new.

And when people are no longer connected to you, whether you somehow lose touch or they pass away, you merely delete them from your list, and from your life. At the same time, you delete a piece of your own personal history.

Diane Richards wrote a great blog post in Upfront (the National Genealogical Society blog) on her own use of these hand-written resources for family history, who writes that she is on her third one (begun in December 1998). Earlier ones now live in her "memory boxes." She also shows examples from her latest address book. Continue reading "Research: Address books as a resource" »

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