9    Sep 20135 comments

Our Stories: Planning a family reunion

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.

Continue reading "Our Stories: Planning a family reunion" »

1    Aug 20132 comments

1790: First US Census Day

The US Census is the nation’s largest and most important set of records. They are invaluable to everyone interested in discovering their family history.

This week marks the original Census Day, which took place on the first Monday in August in 1790.

The 1790 Census was the first census conducted, numbering the then-population at  3,929,214.

Thomas Jefferson in the 1790 U.S. Census. Note occupation listed as 'Sec of State to the US' (click to zoom)

Census records provide a snapshot into the lives of our ancestors by documenting names, addresses, birthplace, members of household and more. Continue reading "1790: First US Census Day" »

16    Jun 20135 comments

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

We asked you to share your memories and sayings from your father. We wanted to know how he had an impact on your life, whether it was advice, a loving saying or a life lesson.

We received numerous responses completing the sentence: “My father used to say… .”

Here are some of our favorites: Continue reading "Happy Father’s Day!" »

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!" »

21    May 20132 comments

Memorial Day: Free access to US military records

Memorial Day in the US  is May 27, and millions of Americans will remember the men and women who died while serving in the US Armed Forces.

In honor of this special day, we are proud to provide free access - through May 28 -  to our most popular collections of US military records.

Search now

Journey back in time to some of the most important conflicts in world history that not only  impacted families in the US, but millions of families worldwide.

Continue reading "Memorial Day: Free access to US military records" »

1    May 20138 comments

MyHeritage: All US census records now available!

We're proud to announce that the entire collection of U.S. Federal Censuses is now available on MyHeritage.

These censuses span every decade from 1790-1930 and complement the existing 1940 U.S. Census, which you can search already on MyHeritage.

The collection is the nation’s largest and most important set of records including a huge searchable index and all scanned images of the original census documents, covering some 520 million names.

Start searching the censuses now
Continue reading "MyHeritage: All US census records now available!" »

30    Apr 20131 comment

NGS 2013: MyHeritage heads to Las Vegas!

MyHeritage is excited to head to the 2013 National Genealogical Society (NGS) conference, taking place next week from May 8-11, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

NGS was established 110 years ago in Washington, DC, to serve and grow the genealogical community through education, training, promoting access to and preserving genealogical records.

The conference is a great opportunity for genealogists and those interested in family history research to meet and share ideas on how to advance family research.

Will you be at NGS? Come visit MyHeritage at booth #431, and meet our team.

Continue reading "NGS 2013: MyHeritage heads to Las Vegas!" »

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" »

28    Nov 20129 comments

MyHeritage acquires Geni.com

MH+Geni

We’re thrilled to announce today that we’ve acquired Geni.com, the Los Angeles-based family tree network. Geni.com is one of the leading family tree websites and it has established a very strong global brand since its inception in 2007. We’re really excited to welcome Geni.com’s talented team to the MyHeritage family.

This is great news all round! As a larger community, the users of MyHeritage and Geni.com can expect to benefit greatly from this acquisition. Users of each website will now receive matches with the family trees of the other website, and MyHeritage’s Smart Matching and Record Matching technologies will benefit the Geni.com users, who will get access to historical records never available before on Geni.com.

This is our eighth and largest acquisition yet. It comes at a time when we’re rapidly growing, adding more records, and offering additional technologies to help you make family history breakthroughs.

The websites of MyHeritage and Geni.com will be kept separate and the users of MyHeritage will not experience any changes in how they use MyHeritage. If you already happen to have an account on MyHeritage and on Geni.com, they will be kept separate.

We thought you may have some questions about this acquisition and hope this post will answer them. For more information, you can read the official press release here.

Continue reading "MyHeritage acquires Geni.com" »

22    Nov 20121 comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time when many families come from near and far to celebrate together, a time for reminiscing and sharing stories.

It's also a great opportunity to make family history discoveries. Ask your relatives about their lives, and the lives of their parents. Asking about past family Thanksgiving celebrations can be an enjoyable conversation for all the family where you can learn how your ancestors celebrated and discover other unknown information.

Try and use the time when the family is all together to share with them what you've discovered about your collective family history. Who knows, perhaps you'll get a piece of information that will help you break down a brick wall in your research.

Continue reading "Happy Thanksgiving!" »

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