12    Jul 201313 comments

Family reunion: Relatives reunite in Denmark

It began in summer 2011 when MyHeritage user Patricia Skubis (Madison, Wisconsin) stumbled upon a family discovery. Some two years later, she was in Denmark  on the way to meet her Danish family.

Birgit Thygesen Moses (left) and Patricia Skubis meeting for the first time at family party in Vejle. Image credit: Peter Friis Autzen lokalavi-sen.dk

For more than 30 years, Patricia searched for her Danish roots. She had tried various ways to connect the family history, but never managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Patricia’s relatives had immigrated to the US in 1888 , and another branch had been in Australia since 1873. Twenty-seven years ago, Patricia, now 75, had connected with Alison Rogers from the Australian branch. However, Alison was also unable to find the Danish missing links.

One day, Patricia received a new Smart Match on her MyHeritage website. Her grandfather, Martin Thygesen, had appeared in another member’s tree, but not all the information matched completely. Her curiosity peaked, and she wrote directly to MyHeritage member Tage Therkildsen Thygesen for more information. Continue reading "Family reunion: Relatives reunite in Denmark" »

4    Jul 20130 comments

Happy Fourth of July: How are you celebrating?

Happy Fourth of July! Get out your barbecue grills, fireworks and gather your families to celebrate the birth of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress.

Independence Day marks a weekend of celebrations including parades, picnics, fireworks and other family fun-filled activities.

As America turns 237, here are some fun facts for the day. Continue reading "Happy Fourth of July: How are you celebrating?" »

27    Jun 20131 comment

Competition: Discover your American roots this Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one week away, and we’re ready to celebrate!

Also known as Independence Day, Americans come together to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the country’s birthday.

A great time to celebrate American heritage, it is also fun to share the holiday with families at  barbecues, picnics, parades, fairs, firework displays and other family activities.

Continue reading "Competition: Discover your American roots this Fourth of July" »

21    Jan 20130 comments

Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther KingToday, the US observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a Federal holiday.

Dr. King was world-renowned for his work for the civil rights movement in America, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born Michael King, Jr. in 1924 in Atlanta, Georgia. His name was changed 10 years later, after his family visited Eisleben, Germany, the birthplace of Martin Luther, who founded Protestantism. His father, Michael King Sr., changed both his name and his son's name to Martin Luther in honor of him.

Continue reading "Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day" »

7    Jan 20130 comments

Family: Top baby names 2012

Expecting a bundle of joy? Don't know what to name the new arrival? Here's some help for you.

A Florida hospital, which delivered nearly 14,000 babies in 2012, issued its list of the most popular baby names for the year.

Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies (Orlando, Florida) said that Isabella (111) and Jayden (90) were the most popular names.

The hospital is one of the top three labor and delivery hospitals in the US and many names on its list were also on lists in other areas of the US, according to Babycenter.com's "100 Most Popular Baby Names of 2012." That site's data comes from nearly 500,000 parents who shared their baby's name with them during the year.  So if the top 10 (below) aren't enough, check the link for the top 100 names for girls and boys.

Palmer Hospital's top 10 lists:

Continue reading "Family: Top baby names 2012" »

3    Dec 20121 comment

Poland, Lithuania: From the heart

Heather Alexander

Heather Alexander

“I can actually recall the moment when I became interested in my family history,” writes MyHeritage member Heather Alexander in Massachusetts.

My sister was helping my then-young niece with a school project. Our entire family was on vacation in historic Newport, Rhode Island, when she was going over all sorts of records in a binder she had for my niece to go through to figure out how to do her assignment.

I recall thinking "What is all this? I know I'm Irish and English on our mother's side, Lithuanian and Polish on our father's side but I've never actually seen the evidence. I've never heard names. I only know that's what I was told...Irish/English Lithuanian/Polish.

Heather, 37, was born in and lives in Massachusetts. Married with a daughter, 9, she was educated in public and private schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and is a former credit analyst.

Heather put off her questions for a while, but became curious to find out about those few stories she had heard as a child but didn’t pay much attention to. Her sister, the eldest child, is highly intelligent and would explain things in such complex terms that only another person with an advanced degree in history could understand.

I didn't have that. I would question her a lot, but I grew frustrated with not understanding her answers to my questions and the same held true for our middle sister when she would ask - she got confused.

Continue reading "Poland, Lithuania: From the heart" »

21    Nov 201213 comments

The Mayflower: Coming to America

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882). Credit: Wikipedia

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882). Credit: Wikipedia

What do Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood, Richard Gere and Noah Webster (of dictionary fame) have in common?

They – and many others - are descendants of passengers who arrived on the Mayflower, which sailed from Southampton, England in 1620, and landed at Plymouth Rock in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in November of that year

The first document of the Plymouth Colony was the Mayflower Compact, signed onboard the ship. The total number of passengers was 101 or 102, depending on the source, and the document was signed by 41 adults and dated November 11, 1620, according to the old-style Julian calendar which is 10 days behind today’s Gregorian calendar.

Not all the passengers were Pilgrims - some were adventurers, tradesmen and servants.

Continue reading "The Mayflower: Coming to America" »

3    Sep 20123 comments

Labor Day: Honoring America’s workers

Today, the first Monday in September, is Labor Day in the US. The legal holiday has been celebrated for more than 100 years and came out of the labor movement. It is a tribute to contributions made by workers.

To many, however, the three-day weekend is the last blast of summer, with many communities’ schools opening on the day after.

For more on the holiday, look at the Department of Labor's Labor Day 2012 page, with videos, resources and more.

Although more than a century old, the actual founder of the day is not certain. Some believe that the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Peter J. McGuire, who was also a founder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first to suggest a day to honor workers. Others believe that a machinist, Matthew Maguire – we don’t know if he was related to Peter - founded the day.

Continue reading "Labor Day: Honoring America’s workers" »

31    Dec 20110 comments

New Year: Traditions around the world

In most cultures, the New Year is traditionally the time for hope. We look forward to a New Year which will be prosperous, that we will enjoy health, peace and other positive attributes.

And, of course, there are countries where the New Year is not celebrated on January 1, but in spring or fall.

Regardless of where or when, let’s look at some customs surrounding the New Year.

Auld Lang Syne – written by Scottish poet Robert Burns - is the New Year’s Eve song In English-speaking countries. Read the history of the song here.

Continue reading "New Year: Traditions around the world" »

20    May 20106 comments

West Coast Genealogy Tour I

Daniel lecturing at NGS

Daniel lecturing at NGS

I have finally found time to write about my recent trip, which featured two intensive genealogy-focused weeks. I returned to a huge backlog of emails and other tasks and then had to firm up the details of my next trip.

First, I want to thank all the wonderful people who hosted me during this trip.

It kicked off in Grand Junction, Colorado, where Dale Seibert, of the local LDS Family History Center, invited me to the Family History Fair. This small town is simply beautiful, everyone is friendly and doors are open all the time. I gave four lectures on “Face Recognition” and “Family Tree Builder software”.

People were so kind - as they have been in every other place I have visited. I think the most amazing thing for them was to have someone from so far away visit. Believe me, I did it with pleasure.

Continue reading "West Coast Genealogy Tour I" »

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