Posts Tagged ‘MyHeritage’

What’s in a US Census?

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

If you are looking for ancestors who were born in or emigrated to the United States, US Census records are one of your most valuable tools. They don’t provide precise records of births, marriages, or deaths, but they offer a wealth of clues to these events and valuable information as to where and how ancestors lived.

Every 10 years since 1790, the US government has conducted a nationwide census. Officially, the census’s purpose is to insure each state, based on its population, an equitable allocation of seats in the US House of Representatives (US Constitution, Article I, Section 2). But the census does more than just count heads. The government also gathers other information from each person and household — in fact, a slightly different set of information in each census. This data facilitates various types of research by government, businesses, and other entities. Family historians use it to find ancestors, discover where they lived and when, and to gather clues for further research.

The US Census Bureau publishes many different kinds of information, based on the latest census, but, to protect privacy, the actual census records are not released until 72 years after the census. So the 1940 US Census was released in 2012. (This 72-year rule has not always been in place; see below.)

Here’s a quick survey of the US Censuses which are already available, with notes about what was asked; the reported population; a few morsels of history, politics, and technology; and one big fire.

To see notes about a particular census, skip the proper heading below; they’re in chronological order. To see how the census evolved, start with 1790. If what you really want to do right now is search the censuses for your ancestors, follow this link to the WorldVitalRecords US Census collection.

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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 Mobile App

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

NGS 2012: A new conference mobile app

WorldVitalRecords and MyHeritage are gearing up for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) conference, set for Cincinnati, Ohio, from May 9-12. Read more about the NGS conference here.

Mobile App for NGS

NGS just released a mobile app for the conference.  Several recent events – such as Jamboree 2011 and Rootstech 2012 – also provided very popular mobile apps, used by many attendees to check sessions, special  events, speaker information and much more on their smart phones, IPads and other devices. No longer do conference attendees need to carry around a heavy printed syllabus.

Click image to get the NGS mobile app

Click image to get the NGS mobile app

Some of the mobile app’s best features:

  • Schedule

With the Mobile app, you can browse the entire schedule by day, speaker, and topic (track). You can also check topics by audience skill level – beginner, beginner intermediate, intermediate, intermediate advanced, advanced and all. Can’t decide which level is appropriate for you? There’s probably an app for that!

  • My Schedule

As you flip through the pages of speakers, topics, levels, simply click to add those of interest to “My Schedule” to your calendar. Remember to have your smartphone or device turned on, the guidebook app running and calendar running to be reminded of events you select.

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Combining Social Media with Family History

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

As Facebook enters its eighth year and many other social networking sites become publicly-traded companies (LinkedIn, Groupon, Yelp, Zynga, Twitter), it seems that social media is here to stay.

As genealogists, how can we embrace today’s online social media tools to further our research? I’ve spoken to people who – through social networking – find both long lost cousins and other family members. Some find family they did not know they had.

One society I know of uses the free online meet-up technology available through GooglePlus – they are called Hangouts – to hold weekly meetings without leaving home.

There is so much knowledge and shared experience in the blogosphere. Whether it is a wiki website with user-submitted articles or a professional genealogist sharing his or her experience, blogs offer relevant hints and tricks. If you are not already familiar with blogs, follow a few presenters from a recent conference, company page or visit Geneabloggers.com for a comprehensive list of genealogy blogs. Once you find writers who resonate with you on your favorite social networking site, it’s like checking the daily news. You’ll receive valuable insights and entertaining snippets.

Microblogging, blogging but on a smaller scale, allows people to share quick bits of content. Whether you want to share a link to a great video or just your thoughts at the moment, Twitter is the most common forum for microbloggers. If you aren’t into sharing right away, following others is a fascinating way to learn about current trends. It feels as if you are listening simultaneously to 100 conversations. It is easy to see what topics are most commonly discussed. Are you are a visual person? There are sites to pin images of products, fun ideas or content as well like Pinterest. Whatever your style, share the best of what you find online within your network and learn new ideas from others — that’s what it’s all about. (more…)

Meet our historical content team

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The Provo, Utah office is delighted to welcome two new members to the MyHeritage Family: Russ Wilding and Roger Bell.

Roger Bell (L) and Russ Wilding (R)
Roger Bell (L) and Russ Wilding (R)

They are the former founders of Footnote.com, which was acquired by Ancestry.com in 2010. Russ has been appointed chief content officer and Roger is VP Product.  They will be based in the MyHeritage Utah office.

Russ and Roger will be responsible for increasing the volume of international historical record content for our users. This will be a major benefit to our user base as it will complement the massive amount of user-contributed content that has made MyHeritage the world’s largest family social network for discovering and sharing family memories. (more…)

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…)

In praise of baby-steppers

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

I work at MyHeritage, so you might think I’d be a dedicated, relentless genealogist who spends many hours each month on my own family’s roots. My long-standing commitment is more than casual, and I expect to enjoy RootsTech this week as much as last year. However, my life and my chosen pursuits never seem to allow much time or energy for my own research. I know many people, even in my own neighborhood, who work much harder and accomplish far more.

I still like to think there’s room for me and others like me in the vast, welcoming community of genealogists. More importantly, I think I’m justified in feeling I’ve accomplished something worthwhile, even when it’s not very much.

So, as a tribute to those who enjoy genealogy but advance only in occasional baby steps, let me share what I’ve accomplished in January 2012. For some researchers it might be only an afternoon’s work, but by my standards it was a productive and satisfying month.

First, I found a photo of my maternal grandmother, c. 1918. It hadn’t been missing for generations, only for 18 months, since my family moved across town. But I had missed it. It was in the last box to be unpacked. I scanned it for later use and posted a low-resolution version on Facebook. (more…)