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Family History Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Posted December 10, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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The holiday season is upon us! Are you still shopping for gifts for your relatives? Here are some ideas for the perfect gift for relatives interested in learning more about your family history. 1. Family photo album Make copies of old photos you have in your possession and put them into a family history photo album. This would make a perfect gift for the entire family! 2. Scrapbook supply kit Scrap booking and genealogy were… Read the full story

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Strange Inventions From the Past

Posted December 5, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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There have been a lot of great inventions throughout history that have made significant impacts on our lives. From the invention of photography to the creation of the smartphone, numerous devices have changed the way we interact and communicate with the world. Of course, for every successful invention, there are tons that couldn’t quite make it to production. While some proved to be impractical and cumbersome, others turned out to be rather bizarre. Here are a… Read the full story

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Veterans Day: 5 Famous Faces Who Served in the Military

Posted November 11, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today the U.S. celebrates Veterans Day! Do you have any military veterans in your family? Check out some famous faces you may not have known served in the military: 1. Bea Arthur Bea Arthur Did you know actress Bea Arthur served in the United States Marine Corp during World War II? Before she became a Golden Girl, Arthur served as a truck driver for 30 months as one of the first members of the Women’s Reserve. 2…. Read the full story

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Global Family Reunion: Hangout with AJ Jacobs – VIDEO

Posted November 5, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Did you miss our Google+ Hangout on Air with best-selling author A.J. Jacobs? Don’t worry, you can catch what you missed in the video below! A lot has happened since AJ first announced the Global Family Reunion. In this hangout, AJ gave us an update on his latest celebrity-cousin discoveries, dished on upcoming television appearances and explained ways for you to get involved. Here are some ways you can help: Connect for the Cure – Help… Read the full story

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The History of Halloween

Posted October 31, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy Halloween! A yearly celebration in many countries, Halloween is a fun holiday filled with candy, costumes and parties. But do you know where these Halloween activities originated? From Samhain to Halloween The origin of Halloween dates back the Celtic harvest festival Samhain, which was annually celebrated on November 1. During this time, it was believed spirits or fairies could more easily come into our world. Bonfires were lit and offerings of food and drink were left in… Read the full story

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Photos: Halloween Costumes from the Past

Posted October 29, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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In just a few days, millions of children and adults will celebrate Halloween. For those looking for a scare, haunted houses and hayrides are frightening and fun activities to partake in. With costumes of all shapes and sizes, families get to enjoy trick-or-treating for candy, costume parties and pumpkin carvings. It wasn’t until the 1930s that Halloween costumes were mass-produced and sold to consumers. Before then, costumes were made by hand. Do you remember what costumes you wore on Halloween? If you’re still… Read the full story

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Your Stories: Photographing Cemeteries in Malaysia

Posted October 23, 2014 by Amanda | 2 Comments
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Earlier this month, we shared some great ways to celebrate Family History month. One suggestion was to plan a trip to the cemetery, a fun activity to explore the outdoors and to take in some family history. To help inspire your next cemetery field trip, Geni user Georgette Tan shares her experiences photographing cemeteries in her country of Malaysia. Born in Sarawak in East Malaysia, Georgette works as a journalist with the local English daily,… Read the full story

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The London Beer Flood of 1814

Posted October 17, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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When doing genealogy research, you may come across significant disasters that occurred during your ancestors’ lifetime. These significant incidents can include fires, such as the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 or natural disasters, such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. One of history’s more bizarre disasters occurred 200 years ago today when over 323,000 gallons of beer flooded the streets of the London parish of St. Giles. The date was October 17, 1814 in the parish of St. Giles, London,… Read the full story

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Global Family Reunion: Hangout with AJ Jacobs

Posted October 14, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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We’re excited to announce our upcoming Hangout On Air with best-selling author AJ Jacobs! AJ Jacobs is throwing the world’s largest family reunion in history and he’s inviting every one of his 7 billion cousins to the party! Come hangout with AJ as he shares the latest Global Family Reunion updates and answers questions from the community. Joining AJ will be GFR Cousin Coordinator Eowyn Langholf and a few Geni Curators to discuss the successes and challenges… Read the full story

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Your Stories: Connecting with Norwegian Relatives

Posted August 21, 2014 by Amanda | 2 Comments
jorgen_anna_wold

Discovering your family history is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. We always love to hear stories from our users about their journeys as they research their genealogy. In 2012, Kitty Cooper launched Kitty Cooper’s Blog to keep track of her family’s DNA tests as well as her genealogical research. Written for her relatives with simple step-by-step pictorial explanations, the blog soon became extremely popular for her articles on genetics and genealogy…. Read the full story

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Global Family Reunion: A.J. Jacobs Explains How the World is Related

Posted July 23, 2014 by Amanda | 3 Comments
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The Global Family Reunion is only a year away and A.J. Jacobs has been busy spreading the word to all his cousins. AJ recently sat down with Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani on HuffPost Live’s Thrive on Live to discuss his quest to hold the largest family reunion in history and the importance of knowing our genealogy. He is joined via video chat by Mike Mallin, MyHeritage’s Chief Product Officer, and genealogists Thomas MacEntee and Jen Baldwin. AJ is… Read the full story

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Early Board Games

Posted July 18, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you love playing board games with your family? Most cultures and societies have been playing board games throughout history. From ancient Egypt and Rome to our homes today, board games have been a staple of entertainment for families all around the world. Here’s a brief history of some early board games, some of which we still play today: The Mansion of Happiness The Mansion of Happiness / Library of Congress The first board game… Read the full story

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Genealogy in the Classroom

Posted July 1, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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It is always rewarding when we can introduce younger generations to the wonders of genealogy. Fostering that early interest in one’s family history is essential to preserving the stories of our family heritage. For the last few months, the history class of West Valley Middle School in Knoxville, Tennessee have been using Geni and our sister site WorldVitalRecords for their family history project. Spearheaded by their teacher, John Martin, this budding group of genealogists used Geni… Read the full story

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Father’s Day: Memories with Dad

Posted June 12, 2014 by Amanda | 3 Comments
Telefonerende vader met huishoudschort geeft baby de fles. [1961].

This Sunday, June 15, the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day in honor of fathers, grandfathers and other paternal figures in our lives. Throughout the country, families take advantage of the approaching summer weather by celebrating with outdoor activities and barbecues. Inspired by Mother’s Day, the popular holiday to honor motherhood, Father’s Day was celebrated for decades before officially being recognized as a federal holiday. In 1910 Spokane, Washington, Sonora Smart Dodd sought to honor her father… Read the full story

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SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2014 Recap

Posted June 9, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
jamboree_2014_booth

We had a great time at the 45th annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, California this weekend. Each year, we can always count on Jamboree to be an enjoyable experience. We were thrilled to see old friends, meet users and introduce some first timers to Geni’s world of collaborative genealogy. Here’s a picture of the MyHeritage/Geni booth before the expo hall was opened. On Friday, we were joined by Geni Curator Randy Schoenberg. He… Read the full story

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We’re Heading to Jamboree 2014!

Posted June 3, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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We’re excited to attend the 45th annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree taking place this week from June 6 – 8 in Burbank, California! The theme to this year’s Jamboree is Golden Memories: Discovering Your Family History. And this year’s heritage focus will be on European ancestors. If you’re planning to attend, come see the MyHeritage and Geni teams at booth #308. We love meeting users, so be sure to stop by and say hi! MyHeritage… Read the full story

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Webinar: The Biggest Family Reunion Ever – VIDEO

Posted May 28, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
AJ photo

Did you miss our webinar with best-selling author A.J. Jacobs? Don’t worry – now you can watch the entire webinar below! AJ gave us a great overview of his journey into his family history and his upcoming attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the largest family reunion ever. Check how you’re related to AJ on Geni with the AJ Jacobs Cousin Connector and follow the Global Family Reunion project on Geni to meet… Read the full story

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Webinar: The Biggest Family Reunion Ever – You’re Invited

Posted May 2, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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We are excited to announce an exclusive webinar with A.J. Jacobs, well-known author, editor and genealogist. Hear first-hand about A.J.’s own journey to his past, and his upcoming attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the largest family reunion in history. A.J.’s mission to break the Guinness world record for the largest family reunion was recently reported in the New York Times and in interviews on NPR and CBC Radio. Using Geni and MyHeritage, A.J…. Read the full story

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Caption the Photo and Win a Free Geni Pro Subscription

Posted April 9, 2014 by Amanda | 10 Comments
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Spring is in the air! Come up with a unique caption for the image below for your chance to win a free Geni Pro subscription. With Geni Pro you will have access to advanced tools to help grow your family tree, including: Tree Matches – achieve faster tree growth with instant tree matches to connect with new relatives Unlimited data – upload unlimited photos, videos and documents Premium support – communicate directly with our expert… Read the full story

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Patents: The Hula Hoop

Posted March 5, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Girl_twirling_Hula_Hoop,_1958

Did you play with a hula hoop as a child? Image credit: George Garrigues, Wikipedia On March 5, 1963, the modern day Hula-Hoop was patented by Arthur Melin. The co-founder of the toy company, Wham-O, Melin was inspired to develop the popular children’s toy after observing Australian children twirling wooden hoops around their waists during gym class. Wham-O began selling plastic versions of the hoop, which they dubbed “Hula” after the Hawaiian dance, and demonstrated them… Read the full story

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted February 14, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy Valentine’s Day! With romance in the air, today is an especially affectionate day of love. It’s also the best time to share the love stories found in our families. Below is a sweet picture from the 1957 inaugural parade. At first glance, you may find it adorable for the capture of President Eisenhower with his grandchildren and Vice President Nixon with his children as they enjoy the parade together. However, it’s even sweeter when you realize the little boy, David… Read the full story

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Chinese New Year: A Celebration of Tradition and Family

Posted January 31, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy Chinese New Year! Today, January 31st, marks the first day of the Year of the Horse on the lunar calendar, which is believed to bring prosperity and wealth. Also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, the holiday is considered one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays, which holds a deep significance to families. Not solely confined to China, the Lunar New Year is celebrated across the world in countries and… Read the full story

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Your Stories: Uncovering Finnish Roots Leads to New Family Connections

Posted January 29, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Debra Jeanne Ryon-Weathers is from North Las Vegas, Nevada. She was born to Helen Jeanne Bay-Ryon-Jarviz and William Eugene Ryon. Debra’s parents met while her father was stationed at the Naval Base in Astoria, Oregon and married when Helen was only 14 years old. When she was three, her mother left the family and started a new life with Gene Jarvis. Her father became a fisherman and worked the sea from Astoria to Alaska in… Read the full story

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Your Stories: A Mission to Preserve Her Family History

Posted January 10, 2014 by Amanda | 5 Comments
Mary Archie Henry at BRR 1945

Jennifer Lynn Young loves genealogy. Born in San Jose, California, Jennifer has held a variety of professions, from the graphic arts to owning a bookstore and her passion for genealogy has helped unite her many interests. She’s even working towards her certification as a genealogist, which she will complete this spring. At the family homestead, 1945 Her passion for genealogy didn’t begin with such enthusiasm at first. A proud fifth-generation Californian, Jennifer was always fascinated… Read the full story

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Old Photographs: Hidden Mothers

Posted December 13, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Since the camera was first invented, people have always desired to capture special moments in time to remember for years to come. Capturing the perfect family photo can often be difficult, especially when you have very young children. Even at the best of times, trying to get a baby to hold still for a photo can be an almost impossible task. But in today’s world, you have the luxury of taking multiple digital photographs until… Read the full story

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Remembering John F. Kennedy

Posted November 22, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was fatally shot by a sniper while traveling with his wife, Jacqueline, in an open motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Celebrated as one of the most beloved Presidents of the United States, his death shocked the entire nation. In honor of his memory, let’s take a look at his life and legacy as we remember him on the anniversary… Read the full story

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Royal Family: Celebrating 66 Years of Marriage

Posted November 20, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary! The couple met when the then Princess Elizabeth was only 13 years old. It was love at first sight for the young princess and throughout her teen years, the pair continuously exchanged letters. In 1946, Prince Philip asked King George VI for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The King granted his request provided any formal engagement was delayed until Elizabeth turned 21 the following April. On November… Read the full story

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Haunting Spirit Photography

Posted October 31, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Have you ever found an old photo that appears to have a ghostly presence amongst the individuals pictured? You may have stumbled upon a “spirit” photograph. During the late 19th century, spirit photography sprang into popularity. The practice attempted to capture images of a passed loved one’s ghost or spirit within a photograph. With Halloween upon us, let’s take a closer look at the history behind these spooky photos. In the 1860s, photographer William H. Mumler discovered… Read the full story

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Photo Caption Contest: Win a Free Geni Pro Subscription

Posted October 17, 2013 by Amanda | 18 Comments
BabySkates

It’s competition time! Help come up with a unique caption for the image below for your chance to win a free Geni Pro subscription. With Geni Pro you will have access to advanced tools to help grow your family tree, including: Tree Matches – achieve faster tree growth with instant tree matches to connect with new relatives Unlimited data – upload unlimited photos, videos and documents Premium support – communicate directly with our expert support staff… Read the full story

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Reunited After Death

Posted September 26, 2013 by Amanda | One Comment
holdinghands

Not even death can keep this couple apart. Below are the graves of Colonel JWC van Gorkum, a Protestant, and the Catholic CJHP van Aefferden, a woman of nobility in the region. In 1842, the Dutch couple were married in the Netherlands. Because of their different religious affiliations, their “mixed” union was quite controversial for the time. Despite the scandal, the couple remained married for 40 years, until van Gorkum died in 1880. He was… Read the full story

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Back to School: Continuing the Family Legacy

Posted September 6, 2013 by Amanda | One Comment
classroom

It’s that time of year again! Back-to-school season is upon us in the U.S. as children get ready to start the new school year. Do you have little ones in your family about to start their first day of school? As you are researching your family history, you may find a tradition of relatives, generation after generation, attending the same schools. In many cases, family’s that share deep roots within a community and have stayed relatively… Read the full story

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50 Years Later: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream

Posted August 28, 2013 by Amanda | One Comment
mlk dream

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’” Today marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. On August 28, 1963, over 200,000 people marched to Washington, D.C. to participate in a peaceful civil rights rally known as the March on Washington. From… Read the full story

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Quality Time With the Family

Posted August 2, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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How do you usually spend quality time with your family? If you were the Steinlauf family, you would probably all go out for a nice bike ride…on the same bike. In 1939, Charles Steinlauf invented the “Goofybike,” a two-story bicycle contraption to carry the entire family. Here’s a photo of Charles pedaling up top to help guide the bike, while his son pedals down below. His wife sits below him with the fully operational sewing… Read the full story

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IAJGS 2013 – Come Meet Geni Curators in Boston

Posted August 1, 2013 by Geni | No Comment
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Six Geni Curators from around the world – Adam Brown, Randy Schoenberg, Pam Karp, Kevin Hanit, Malka Mysels and Hatte Blejer – will fly to Boston this weekend to represent Geni at the 33rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. Located at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel, the conference will run from Sunday, August 4th through Friday, August 9th. The Curators will staff the official Geni exhibit all week as well as a table sponsored by… Read the full story

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Remembering Marvin Caulk

Posted July 23, 2013 by Amanda | 8 Comments

It is with a heavy heart to report that we have lost an important member of the Geni community. On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, Geni Curator Marvin Caulk passed away after a long battle with cancer. In January 2011, Marvin joined the ranks of Geni’s dedicated group of volunteers to help Curate the World Family Tree, a daunting task and one that Marvin embraced wholeheartedly as one of Geni’s ever-watchful eyes, guardians and mentors. He… Read the full story

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It’s A Boy! The Royal Baby Has Arrived

Posted July 22, 2013 by Amanda | 5 Comments
Happy new parents

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! Today William and Kate welcomed their first child – a healthy baby boy! Kate went into labor earlier today and was taken to St. Mary’s hospital, the same hospital where William and his brother Prince Harry were born. The birth announcement stated the future monarch was born at 4:24pm local time and weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces. While his name has not yet been released, here… Read the full story

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It’s in the Mail

Posted June 27, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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No doubt many of you have found letters addressed to your relatives in your genealogy research. Some may be thoughtful love letters sent from soldiers at war or general greetings from one cousin to another across the country. But it’s likely you never came across this: It turns out, after the parcel service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent via parcel post with stamps attached to their clothing. The children rode… Read the full story

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Jamboree 2013 Recap

Posted June 10, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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This weekend we had the pleasure of attending the 44th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, California. It was a blast meeting Geni users and seeing familiar faces, old friends and first timers. This year we had a much larger space as part of the MyHeritage family with a lovely day-in-the-park theme and green “grass” to complete the look. We even had new Geni banners to show off! Below is a picture of Mark Olsen,… Read the full story

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Your Stories: Making New Discoveries in the World Family Tree

Posted June 7, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Chad A. Woodburn

Chad Woodburn is descended from a long line of pioneers. From his nine ancestors who were on the Mayflower to his father, who came to California in a covered wagon, it’s no wonder Chad became interested in his family history at a young age. Chad Woodburn His interest was first peeked upon reading handwritten family genealogy tables that went back a few hundred years. As a child, he would listen to his parents and grandparents… Read the full story

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Geni Will Be at Jamboree 2013!

Posted May 30, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Jamboree-Logo

We’re excited to attend the 44th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree next week! From June 7 – 9, genealogists and family history enthusiasts will gather at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel for one of the funnest genealogy events of the year. And with the conference so close to home, you can expect several folks from the Geni office to stop by throughout the weekend.  We’ll be there along side MyHeritage, with a huge space… Read the full story

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More Amazing Discoveries Made Through Record Matches and Smart Matches™

Posted May 17, 2013 by Amanda | Comments Off
Gustav Edward Ambrose   MyHeritage

We love hearing how valuable Geni users are finding their new Record Matches and Smart Matches™. Recently, we shared how Record Matches and Smart Matches™ have led to exciting new discoveries for many users. We’re happy to share even more amazing stories from users who have made great breakthroughs in their family tree. Check them out below: Jennifer Lynn Young: “So far Smart Matches have led me to 17 collateral ancestors (siblings of ancestors in my… Read the full story

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NGS 2013: Geni is Heading to Las Vegas!

Posted May 2, 2013 by Amanda | 3 Comments
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In just one week, Geni will be at the National Genealogical Society 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada! Between May 8 – 11, genealogists from around the country will meet in Sin City for a fun-filled genealogy adventure.  The conference is a great opportunity for genealogists and those interested in family history to meet and share ideas on how to advance family research. Will you be at NGS? We love meeting Geni users… Read the full story

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Record Matches and Smart Matches™ Lead to Exciting New Discoveries

Posted April 29, 2013 by Amanda | Comments Off
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Just last week we launched Record Matches and Smart Matches™ on Geni and already it’s made a huge impact on the quality of the World Family Tree. Many users are finding new and exciting information and relatives that they never knew before. Check out what some Geni users are saying about their latest discoveries: Wendi Newman: “The new matches between Geni and MH are not just Smart, but extremely intelligent and very easy to use. I’m adding… Read the full story

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Your Family History Discoveries

Posted April 12, 2013 by Amanda | One Comment
Geni stories

We recently shared an article on Facebook about how two Norwegian relatives who found each other at a Miami CVS. By chance, these two women struck up a conversation while shopping. Soon they discovered that their families both came from a remote village in Norway and that they were cousins! It’s always interesting to hear these type of stories and several of you had a few to share of your own on Facebook. Here are… Read the full story

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RootsTech 2013 Recap

Posted March 26, 2013 by Amanda | 2 Comments
RootsTech March 2013 094

We had an amazing time at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over 6,700 people came out to the conference, drawing an even larger crowd than last year. The first day was a whirlwind as the booth was crowded with people interested in learning more about MyHeritage and Geni. This was the first time we attended as a part of the MyHeritage family and we had an amazing team manning the booth. It was a… Read the full story

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RootsTech 2013: Day 1

Posted March 22, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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We had a great first day at RootsTech and we wanted to share a few pictures from the day with you. Within minutes of the expo hall opening, we had swarms of people at the booth. It’s estimated that there are over 6,800 people registered – that’s over 2,000 people than last year! This year was especially exciting as it was the first time we attended RootsTech as a part of the MyHeritage family. Check… Read the full story

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Idaho Territory ~ 150 years

Posted March 19, 2013 by Geni | No Comment
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We’re happy to present a guest post written by blogger Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here. Today she shares some interesting facts about the Idaho Territory and how you can honor your Idaho ancestors by sharing their memories in the Idaho Pioneers Project on Geni. It has been 150 years this March since Idaho Territory was created. President Lincoln signed the bill creating Idaho Territory March 4, 1863 from  Dakota Territory, Nebraska Territory, and Washington… Read the full story

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Celebrating International Women’s Day

Posted March 8, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment

Today, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. Celebrated since the early 1900s, the holiday found its roots in the United States when 15,000 women marched through New York City protesting inequality and oppression in the workplace. In 1911, the first official international women’s day was celebrated across Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland as women banded together to demand women’s worker rights. Now the day is celebrated in over 100 different countries all around the world… Read the full story

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Genealogy Conferences 2013

Posted January 3, 2013 by Amanda | 8 Comments

Now that it’s the start of a new year, we’re putting together a helpful list of genealogy conferences for 2013! Check out the list of upcoming conferences below and we’ll continue to update it as more dates become available. If you know of a conference that’s not on the list, please let us know in the comments below. Which conferences will you be attending? January Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (Salt Lake City, Utah) January 14… Read the full story

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Curator Meet Up at MyHeritage!

Posted December 20, 2012 by Amanda | 2 Comments
December 19, 2012-0009

Shmuel, Yuval, Gilad, Noah, Yigal, Daniel and Raziel This week, Noah Tutak paid a visit to MyHeritage headquarters in Israel and took the opportunity to spend some time with local Geni Curators. All of the Geni Curators in Israel were invited to MyHeritage HQ for a visit and a chance to sit down with MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet, EVP of R&D & Operations Yuval Ben-Galim, Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz and Noah, General Manager,… Read the full story