Archive for the ‘Genealogy News, Tips, Tricks’ Category

Family Reunion Hangouts

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Hot summer days signal the time for families to gather for the annual ritual of family reunions.

Family reunions often bring together many generations to mingle, play, create new memories and relive those memories of the past.

The intent of a family reunion is to bring together the family in one place at the same time.  Some family members may be overextended on their PTO, over-strained on the financing or busy with other summer activities such as boy scout camp, a business trip or other commitments.

Until only recently if you were not able to make the reunion you were out of luck and would likely miss out on all the fun.  Today we have many options of keeping up to speed on all the events and with the advent of modern social media you can even join in on the fun with the use of video collaboration.

Skype and Facetime

Example of a hangout (with David Beckham and Google)

Example of a hangout (with David Beckham and Google)

Using Skype video you can call in to or from the family reunion and have the person on the other line share in the special moments of the gathering.  Skype is free over the internet, there are some costs when call phone number. Facetime is a social app for the iPhone which can be used for face to face video interactions between phones.

Facebook:  Using Facebook Video Calling

I have not yet used Facebook video calling but understand that it is built on the backbone of Skype and can help you meet face to face with Facebook friends and family who are online.

Google Plus – Google Hangouts

Holding the unofficial world record for the longest lasting Google Hangout, 77 days,  I am biased to hangouts as the hands down winner of video collaboration.  From early July 2011 to August I and over 12,000 others used hangouts to test this new technology and join in on a video conversation which we held.  Now I use hangouts to connect with friends, family, business partners and virtual conference attendees. (more…)

On the Road: A visit with Dick Eastman

Thursday, May 17th, 2012
Dick Eastman

Dick Eastman

This post was co-authored by MyHeritage US genealogy adviser, Schelly Talalay Dardashti and MyHeritage business development manager and genealogist, Mark Olsen.

One of the most recognized names in the genealogy world, Dick Eastman is synonymous with geneablogging and using technology to improve your family history experience.

At the recent National Genealogical Society conference in Cincinnati, the MyHeritage team saw a chance to spend some personal time with Dick – and tour his recreational vehicle (RV) – we jumped at the opportunity.

For the past year or so, Dick has left his Massachusetts home for several months at a time while he roams the country – geneahopping from one genealogy event to another, not only in the US, but globally. Since the end of 2011, he’s been home for no more than three days at a time, but is looking forward to being home again in a few weeks.

While attending NGS, Dick parked his RV and drove his towed Mini Cooper into town each morning.

Dick's Mini Cooper

Dick's Mini Cooper

Being in demand at so many conferences takes detailed planning by Dick. This now includes road travel, RV campground arrangements and – most importantly – arranging for Internet connections so he can log on and write the Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter (www.eogn.com).

A group of us got together at a Brazilian steakhouse. In addition to the MyHeritage team (Daniel Horowitz, Mark Olsen, and Schelly Talalay Dardashti), the group included Dick, Pamela Weisberger (Los Angeles), Elise Friedman and Alex Yi (FamilyTreeDNA.com), and our friend Chris Mueller (Albuqerque). Since Schelly’s birthday was a few days later, we shared a candle-topped dessert and sang Happy Birthday.

Brazilian steakhouse: Daniel Horowitz, Mark Olsen, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, Dick Eastman, Pamela Weisberger (Los Angeles), Elise Friedman, Alex Yi (FamilyTreeDNA.com), Chris Mueller (Albuqerque)

Brazilian steakhouse: Daniel Horowitz, Mark Olsen, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, Dick Eastman, Pamela Weisberger (Los Angeles), Elise Friedman, Alex Yi (FamilyTreeDNA.com), Chris Mueller (Albuqerque)

Genealogy conferences are always happy events as we enjoy relaxing with our friends after a busy day at our booth in the exhibit hall. (more…)

NGS 2012: Recap

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
MyHeritage Team with Dennis Brimhall CEO of FamilySearch

MyHeritage Team with Dennis Brimhall CEO of FamilySearch

Last week, the MyHeritage team was kept very busy in a whirlwind of work, learning and fun at very well attended National Genealogical Society’s 2012 conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On Wednesday, the team was busy at the booth answering questions and providing more information to attendees who had heard about MyHeritage from speakers who spoke about our very social family trees, WorldVitalRecords.com data, facial recognition technology and much more.

A Man hides behind a post in his quest for freedom - National Underground Railroad Museum Cincinnati Ohio

Portrayal of a man hiding behind a tree in his quest for freedom - National Underground Railroad Museum Cincinnati, Ohio

In the evening, Daniel Horowitz and Mark Olsen joined hundreds of conference-goers at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for a moving experience as they learned about the lives of thousands of freedom seekers and “conductors” (those of all races and backgrounds who assisted the enslaved to reach the Ohio River and beyond – freedom – at their own and their families’ risk). Although not an actual railroad, nor underground, it was the secret route used to transfer the slaves from one location to another – from one farm or home to the next – until he or she reached freedom.

Many moving scenes are portrayed. If you visit Cincinnati, the museum should be on your must-see list.

Thursday was another fabulous day full of hundreds of great interactions with customers at the booth and conference goers looking to soak in as much information as they could through classes and interactions with other genealogists and vendors.

On Friday NGS organizers announced that the official NGS attendance was 2,155, resulting in packed session rooms. Many sessions reached capacity, and fire codes are very strict. There were reports of some attendees who could not get a seat in the session they wanted to attend. Technology and census sessions seem to be drawing the largest crowds.

The Ancestry Insider along with others at the blogger dinner hosted by FamilySearch who wish to remain unnamed

The Ancestry Insider along with others at the blogger dinner hosted by FamilySearch who wish to remain unnamed

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Webinar: Family history research made easier

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

This is a post from the MyHeritage Blog regarding a Family Tree Builder Webinar this week.  We hope to see you there.

Family Tree Builder 6.0 (click to enlarge)Family Tree Builder 6.0 (click to enlarge)

Following the success of How to find your relatives in the 1940 US Census, we invite you to register for our next webinar: “Family Tree Builder: Tips and tricks to make family history research easier.” The webinar will take place on Thursday, May 17 at 2pm EDT*.

Want to learn the tricks of the trade from our MyHeritage experts? In this session, we’ll discuss: (more…)

NGS: Day one

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

NGS 2012 began today with a huge line to enter the exhibit hall.

NGS 2012 Kicks Off

Exhibit hall traffic was heavy throughout the day as thousands came to get a good deal on products and service and find answers to their genealogy questions. (more…)

Family History Expo – Albuquerque, New Mexico April 13 and 14

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

The Albuquerque New Mexico Family History Expo April 13, 14 2012

Crowne Plaza Hotel

More information

Schelly Talalay Dardashti and Mark Olsen

Schelly Talalay Dardashti and Mark Olsen from MyHeritage and WorldVitalRecords will be in New Mexico this weekend for another Family History Expo

Here is the agenda of our events – we hope to see you there!

(more…)

1940 Census: at the Houston Family History Expo

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

We at WorldVitalRecords and MyHeritage are very excited to announce that we have all states and territories from the 1940 United States Census now live on our sites!

This week we will get the opportunity to show you the 1940 census  live via Google Hangouts and in person if you are in Houston, Texas at the Family History Expo.

We will also have a booth where you can try the WorldVitalRecords and MyHeritage sites and learn more.

1940 US Census

1940 US Census

Houston Texas Family History Expo MyHeritage/WorldVitalRecords Events

Friday April 6th

3:30 CT       Galveston Room               US Census Records 1850-1940              Mark Olsen

7:50CT        South Padre Room          MyHeritage Online Family Tree            Mark Olsen

Saturday April 7th

11:20CT     Galveston Room                 Google Hangout – Connecting Genealogists      Mark Olsen

2:30CT       Houston Classroom         Facebook vs. Google+ Do I want both?                 Mark Olsen

We will bring each class to you live via Google Hangouts but may be limited by the internet connection speed at the event.  Check www.familyhistoryexpos.com Houston Expo Link  for the live feed at the appropriate times above.  The feed may also be found here where you can participate via comments.

Tara McIntosh

tara@myheritage.com

The 1940 Census: Why all the hype?

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

The 1940 Census – What’s the big deal?

If you’re not a diehard genealogist or family historian you may not have even noticed that the 1940 census is the talk of the town over the past few months.  Yet genealogists around the world are going nuts over the April 2nd release.

Why all the hype? What’s a census?

In 1787, the founding fathers of the United States of America mandated that a census be taken every 10 years to count the entire population of the country to direct taxes and state representation.

Representation and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

– Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States

The 1940 Census on WorldVitalRecords.com

The 1940 Census on WorldVitalRecords.com

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The missing link: Finding an enumeration district

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

The missing link: Finding an enumeration district

As a genealogist, I’m excited about the release of the 1940 census. Not only will it be online but – better yet – it will be available directly from WorldVitalRecords.com and MyHeritage.com on the very day that NARA releases the census to the public.

It is essential for researchers to know their enumeration districts (EDs) to ensure their early success on April 2nd. The last thing you want to do is call Grandma to help you find the location you should be searching instead of actually spending time in the census images.

I thought I was going to easily find my grandmother’s ED. Wow – was I wrong! Here’s my story and I hope it will provide some tips for you.

First, I called my family and asked for the city and state where my grandmother lived in 1940. The answer wasn’t immediately given, but within a day, we had an exact address: 217½ Clubhouse Avenue, Venice, California.

I went to the NARA ED finder site and to SteveMorse.org and expected a very fast ED response. However, I ran into a problem on both sites, as there was no city of Venice.  I was perplexed – Venice is a rather well known place southwest of Los Angeles, so I thought it must have been a case where the county – in 1940 – is no longer the county today.

After some research, I thought it could be under San Joaquin County – and tried that on the ED calculator, with no luck. I talked to some friends and some experienced genealogy buffs, but found no answer.  I was not overly concerned because I did find a range of EDs where it could be listed under the “other” field and typing in Venice.  I had a list of 10 or so possible EDs.  This would limit my image search but would still require a lot of work.

Hoping for better results I tried again a few days later – still no Venice.  I had read the early history of Venice up to and beyond 1940 on Wikipedia. Despite much information, there was nothing to help determine the ED.  I decided to read more slowly and look for something.

Here is what I found – and was surprised to find. (more…)

1940 Census: Just six days away – Get prepared

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Genealogists around the world and members of WorldVitalRecords.com are thrilled that the release of the 1940 census is less than one week away!

Here at WorldVitalRecords, a MyHeritage Company, we are excited about the news released last week that the census images will be available at www.worldvitalrecords.com/1940census for free as well as on the MyHeritage 1940 Census Site.

On April 2nd the census images will be made available via both sites the same day they are released by the National Archives. The census images will also be indexed and – as quickly as they are made available – added to the sites.

From April 2 and beyond, you’ll be able to search our sites and census images free of charge.  To search, it will be best if you do some preparation ahead of time and know where to look among the 132 million estimated individuals included in the 1940 census images.

Census images are broken down to the state and county levels and then to enumeration districts (EDs), the area which an enumerator could cover in a limited amount of time. In big cities, the ED may only be a few blocks. In rural areas, the ED was much larger and the census-taker had a month to cover that. (more…)