You may have noticed that postings have not recently been made to the MyHeritage Genealogy Blog.
This is the last post we will publish on this blog, but the good news is that we are folding this blog into the MyHeritage Blog as we go forward.
Chief genealogist Daniel Horowitz and I will continue writing for the MyHeritage Blog on various topics. We hope you will join us there, continue to offer your comments, and follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
Existing posts on the MyHeritage Genealogy Blog will be available via the MyHeritage Blog.
We look forward to greeting you online.
with best wishes
Schelly and Daniel
Or, have you been researching your family for a long time and are now experiencing writer's block?
This post may help everyone interested in recording family history.
Many researchers want to do more than just record names and dates. What we'd like to do is "add meat to the bones," or flesh out our ancestors as we learn about them as individuals.
Amy Coffin of the WeTree genealogy blog has organized 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, which offers a weekly prompt on a different topic. Readers can also access this list at Geneabloggers.com.
We think that this list is as valuable for recording your own life for your future descendants as it is for those considering interviewing older relatives.
It doesn't matter if you start in the middle of this list, at the end or at the beginning. The essential thing is just to start.
How you record your answers doesn't matter: Use "notes" on an iPad, a document on your computer, write your ideas longhand in a leather-covered journal, an ordinary school notebook, or on plain white paper. Just begin. However, recording them in a nice journal that can be passed down through the generations seems a good idea to us.
As you start recording this information for yourself - and that notebook may become a prized possession for a great-grandchild in the future - you will find more information useful when you interview senior family members.
It is also a great suggestion for your family members at your site at MyHeritage.com. Ask your relatives to contribute their own memories of a topic each week.
I've included a bit about my favorite stuffed animal - in the toy category - but you'll need to read on to learn about Wolfie!
Some warm weather topics:
I’m heading back to the US for the largest West Coast genealogy conference - and the largest number ever of participating genealogy bloggers (70) – at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2011.
I just finished a short visit home after a long trip covering the East Coast. Here are some highlights of that trip.
At the end of March, I ran the MyHeritage.com booth at the Ohio Genealogical Society regional conference in Columbus. I reunited with old friends and colleagues, met new friends and also gave some lectures for local genealogy groups in Dayton and Cleveland.
The New England Regional Conference - in Springfield, Massachusetts – was next. I tried to find the Simpson family, but it seems it was the wrong Springfield. There were some very interesting lectures and the opportunity to work on my personal research with a lecture about genealogy repositories in Romania and Ukraine. A later conversation with the speakers discovered some previously unknown resources.
Voices from the past are an integral part of family history. These voices may come through in diaries or letters written by ancestors.
Today, however, there's another way.
To put it another way, every story matters.
Individuals can record interviews with relatives, friends or community members via the non-profit StoryCorps, which has scheduled its third annual National Day of Listening on Friday, November 26, the day after Thanksgiving.
The Day encourages Americans to follow a new holiday tradition which promotes listening and understanding to share their stories on the day following Thanksgiving, which itself is an essentially family-oriented holiday.
Participants use equipment found in many homes, such as a computer, mobile phone, tape recorder or even pen and paper.
To learn more click nationaldayoflistening.org for a free instruction guide with equipment recommendations, suggested questions and ideas for preserving and sharing interviews.
Of course, another great way to preserve your family interviews is on your own MyHeritage.com family site, so all your relatives can them.
Imagine preserving an interview with your grandmother that would be available for future generations to hear.
“In an era of fierce political and cultural divides, we hope that the idea of listening to one another during the holiday season resonates with many Americans,” says StoryCorps Founder and MacArthur “Genius” Dave Isay. “Through our National Day of Listening, StoryCorps hopes to remind Americans of all stripes how much more unites us than divides us.”
Although a US-based day, the idea is certainy appropriate for people in all countries around the world and - as an additional benefit - encourages talking about family history and connecting families, which is exactly what MyHeritage.com is all about.
Although the Day of Listening is celebrated on the day after Thanksgiving, you can record family members, friends or community members on any day of year or in connection with any holiday.
Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each is recorded on a free CD to share, and is also preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC).
The project is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.For more information, or to listen to stories online, visit storycorps.org.
Have you recorded interviews with any of your relatives?
If you have a senior relative, remember to record them as soon as possible so that interview will be preserved. This is truly voices from the past!
Who have you recorded? Where and how have you preserved that interview?
Let us know via comments to this blog.
Do you have ancestors or relatives who served in the military?
As we peer into our past, we often find family members who served on land or sea in many countries and in many capacities. Some were on-the-ground forces, while others filled support roles such as tailors, doctors, nurses, cooks or musicians.
London's Imperial War Museum has organized a Family History Day on Saturday, November 6, sponsored by MyHeritage.com. The event will assist participants - from beginners to experienced family historians - to learn how the Blitz affected families, the roles relatives played to help win the war, the aftermath of this history in today's families, and what records are accessible for more information.
The Imperial War Museum is the museum of everyone’s story: the history of modern conflict told through the stories of those who were there. It is an educational and historical institution responsible for archives, collections and sites of outstanding national importance. You can view the Museum’s main website here.
Women as well as men have served in diverse capacities in all US military branches - Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and the Coast Guard. For information on women veterans from Colonial to contemporary times, view stories here (scroll down to see other relevant pages on that site), and a time line here. For a collection of photos and artifacts documenting women's service, click here.
One Civil War surgeon - Dr Mary Edwards Walker (photo left) - was the first woman to receive the Medal of Honor.
Accessible records include regiment lists, files for widows' pensions, death and burial records, medals, hospital lists for the wounded, transport lists and many other records, each supplying another piece of the family history puzzle.
Where can you find more information on those who served?
Imagine going down to the cellar of your house and seeing "1423" carved in an original beam.
Our daughter once lived in Zurich, Switzerland. Her fascinating house on a historic street - Rennweg - in the center of town was on all the medieval maps at the city museum.
In the Middle Ages, it was the main street of the city's upper town and ran along the 12th century city wall from a fortified gate to the town hall. During street renovations, a Roman-era well was discovered.
Except for that carved date in an ancient wooden beam, a casual visitor would not have known the nearly 600-year-old building's history. Of course, other clues were the very steep steps, sloping floors and oddly-shaped rooms, but everything else was modern.
Wouldn't you love to know the history of your home? When it was built and by whom? Who lived in it through the years? How they were connected to the community in which they lived?
Unless preserved, this type of information is often lost.
In Ithaca, New York, a group of people have come up with a local project to preserve house history - one which could easily be replicated in places around the world.
For two days, MyHeritage has been at a family festival with 50 computers and a team of 15 experts.
We are a major presence at this three-day event - the "One Family, Many Faces" family festival.
I spoke to quite a few families yesterday to learn why they visited to set up a family tree. The answers were interesting, as we all knew they would be.
This post originally appeared on the MyHeritage Blog (English), but here's some of it and a link to the complete
The team has been here for two days - a great experience - as MyHeritage is all about uniting families, whether it is discovering new relatives or building a family tree together.
Every computer and chair was filled about an hour after the festival opened (see photo above).
Crowds of people - families with many children - were learning how to start a family tree and how to begin researching their family history during 30-minute consultations.
This morning several families shared their stories:
Click here to read the complete post.
Journals and diaries are excellent resources for family history research.
Don't you wish your ancestors had recorded their daily lives and thoughts in a format that has come down to you as a treasured keepsake through the centuries?
I know someone whose ancestor left a journal written several hundred years ago. The writer describes the family's everyday life in difficult new surroundings, how they celebrated holidays, the writer's wishes for her descendants far in the future and much more. It is as if the writer knew it would be treasured and passed down through the generations, as it has been. It is a priceless heirloom.
Put yourself in the shoes of a great-grandchild who finds your journal. What do you think will interest him or her? What is happening in your life now that you want future generations to know about? Do you want to include advice for future generations?