The list of speakers and their sessions have now been announced for the 2nd annual MyHeritage LIVE conference. This year we will be in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. If you've always wanted to visit, and you want to mingle with other genealogists, this would be the perfect combination.
MyHeritage is hosting a live genealogy seminar at its headquarters in Or Yehuda, Israel this Wednesday. If you're not in the area, but still want to attend classes taught by renowned genealogical educators Thomas MacEntee, Daniel Horowitz and Garri Regev, you can attend the live broadcasts (free) via FamilyTreeWebinars.com. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/mhseminar2019.
The presentations include:
Genealogy Pit Stop: Research in 15 Minute Increments by Thomas MacEntee
MyHeritage: New Advanced Features and Technologies by Daniel Horowitz
City Directories: No Town Too Small, No Clue Too Little by Thomas MacEntee
APPsolutely Genealogy! by Garri Regev
We'll see you in Or Yehuda or online at FamilyTreeWebinars.com!
Passenger lists provide genealogists with key information about an ancestor's arrival in the New World. Once located, these records can help us discover an immigrant’s original name and potentially assist with determining an immigrant's place of origin.
The MyHeritage Immigration & Travel Collection includes passenger arrival records, naturalization records, border crossings, emigration records, passports, and convict transportation records. You will need a subscription or free 14-day trial to view your search results.
I started working on my genealogy in 1989 to learn more about my maternal grandmother, Verona Straka, and eventually published her story in my book Three Slovak Women. My early research involved family documents and interviews with my mother. My mother shared a story about how my grandmother was detained at Ellis Island for health reasons and almost did not make it into the United States.
At that time, I had no documentation to prove this story. In the old days of genealogy research (before online databases), obtaining a ship's manifest required a several step process of submitting forms to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. I did eventually track down the passenger list showing my grandmother's arrival in New York on 8 August 1922. There was a notation "hospital discharged" above her name, which meant she had spent time in the Ellis Island hospital upon arrival, and confirmed what my mother told me.
One of the benefits of indexed online immigration records is the possibility of more than one type of record turning up in the search results. So even if you have located the manifest for your ancestor through correspondence (as I did), via microfilm, or by using free sites such as The Statue of Liberty Foundation Ellis Island Database, FamilySearch, or subscription websites, it is worth searching for your ancestor’s name in all available immigration record collections.
The New York Passenger Lists on MyHeritage.com
I typed my grandmother's name into the "Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957" database collection on MyHeritage.com, and found her arrival record listed on the first page of results. This database contains over 113+ million records. My grandmother arrived in 1922 and the manifest spanned two pages consisting of 33 columns. MyHeritage has also indexed the answers to two vital supplemental questions: The name and address of the relative or friend whom they were joining in the USA (added to the form in 1897) and the name and address of their closest relative or friend in their home country (added in 1907), yielding an additional 26.6 million names to this database (see the post "New: Ellis Island and other New York Passenger Lists" from November 2017 on the MyHeritage Blog for details). So be sure to look for your ancestor’s name in these columns too. With a different search, I found my paternal grandfather listed as the "Relative joined in the U.S." on the 1920 passenger manifest for his sister. This is a great way to perform cluster and collateral searches.
Another benefit of searching for New York passenger lists on MyHeritage is being able to view a two-page manifest such as the one listing my grandmother as one whole image and not have to move forward or backward to see each individual page as with other databases (MyHeritage took the 2.2 million paired images and married the pages together resulting in 1.1 million stitched images). To learn more about this particular indexing project, watch the free Legacy Family Tree webinar “Find Your Immigrant Ancestors AND Their Relatives in the NY Passenger Arrival Records” by Mike Mansfield.
One More Result: My Favorite Ancestor Find
In addition to the main arrival record I located for my grandmother, one of the results returned was for a Record of Detained Alien Passengers for the Orduna, arriving in New York on 8 August 1922. This record is my favorite ancestor find because it not only confirmed a family story, but also gave me additional insights into the immigration experience of my maternal grandmother.
In her article "A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations" Marian L. Smith, Historian, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, explains the purpose of the Record of Detained Aliens form: "Passenger list annotations from the early 1890's indicate that some immigrants were held or detained for further questioning, but there are no additional records on the microfilm about the detained immigrants. Beginning in 1903, at New York (Ellis Island), new forms came to be filed with each manifest and bound in the manifest volumes. One of these is the list or Record of Detained Aliens. Information on the record helps to clarify why a given immigrant was detained, how long they remained in detention, and how the case was resolved." An electronic version of this article is found on the JewishGen website.
When I viewed The Record of Detained Alien Passengers for the Orduna, my grandmother's name was listed along with her cause of detention (Hosp. on arrival), the date and time of her discharge, and her next of kin, "Mother, Maria, 129 Crawford St. Duquesne, PA.” The “next of kin” information is actually incorrect as Maria was my grandmother’s sister, the mother of her niece, also named “Maria Straka” who traveled with my grandmother and also appears on the main passenger list. Passenger lists were prepared at the port of departure. The wrongly noted “next of kin” information” offers a good example of why we should always carefully evaluate any record we obtain about an ancestor.
Of course, your mileage and search success with immigration records may vary. But, as with any genealogy site, you should keep checking MyHeritage for new and updated database collections. You never know where you will find that new clue about an immigrant ancestor.
For over two decades, author and instructor Lisa A. Alzo has been educating and inspiring genealogists around the world to research and write about their ancestors. She has presented 44 webinars for Legacy Family Tree Webinars, include nine on Writing and Publishing. Lisa coaches aspiring family history writers through her online courses at Research, Write, Connect https://www.researchwriteconnect.com
If you have Danish or Finnish ancestry (like I do!), and you don't yet have a subscription to MyHeritage, here's your chance to gain access to these Nordic records for free for a week. Here's the details.
We recently added the 1940 Denmark Census to our historical records database, making MyHeritage the world’s most comprehensive online resource for Danish historical records.
To mark this milestone, we are opening up access to ALL 105 million Danish records on MyHeritage for FREE, starting today and until May 12, 2019 (inclusive).
This is first big announcement at RootsTech, and it's a game-changer for genetic genealogy! I've played with it for about an hour this morning and am very impressed. Learn about it below, register for its free webinar, and then check out your new DNA theories in the DNA Matches area at MyHeritage.com.
TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, revealed today its latest innovation in genetic genealogy — the Theory of Family Relativity™. This technology offers users, for the first time ever, theories that utilize nearly 10 billion historical records and family tree profiles to explain DNA connections. Until now, family history enthusiasts used two distinct domains for making discoveries: the paper-trail world of records and trees, and the biological world of DNA connections. Now, MyHeritage has combined these two domains and integrated them seamlessly.
The Theory of Family Relativity™ is based on a big data graph that connects billions of data points drawn from thousands of databases on MyHeritage, in real time. Every node on this graph represents a person, and every edge depicts a blood relationship between two individuals that is described in a family tree or a historical record; or a match between two tree profiles that are likely to be the same person; or two records that are likely to be about the same person. These connections between people and records are established by MyHeritage’s industry-leading matching technologies. MyHeritage engineers and algorithm experts led by the company’s CTO, Sagi Bashari, developed a unique approach that allows the big data graph to instantly compute all paths between millions of blood relatives. The Theory of Family Relativity™ draws upon this resource to construct the most plausible theories explaining how pairs of people linked by a DNA Match on MyHeritage are related, using family trees and historical records.
Previously, users who took a DNA test looking to find relatives were faced with puzzling lists of thousands of distant relatives, without many clues explaining the DNA connections. Now, for a growing percentage of these DNA Matches, theories are provided by MyHeritage that explain the precise relationship paths using trees and records. In these theories, not only does genealogy illuminate DNA connections, but DNA also helps separate fact from fiction in the genealogy and shows which tree and record connections appear to be correct.
This technology uses millions of family trees on MyHeritage, as well as the World Family Tree on Geni, which is replicated daily to MyHeritage, and the single family tree of FamilySearch, which is also replicated daily to MyHeritage under license. This combination results in the most comprehensive family tree traversal available today. Additionally, the technology utilizes billions of historical records on MyHeritage, including all census records, as well as the MyHeritage Record Detective™ technology that indicates whenever two records are about the same person. For example: a theory that explains a DNA Match between two users can begin in the family tree of the first user, traverse through a series of matching trees into a census record, continue to a household relative, who then matches into another tree, until the path completes with the family tree of the second user. MyHeritage displays the complete path of every theory, and explains every step along the way, allowing the user to verify its accuracy. Each theory is presented with a confidence level that is based on the confidence of the matches used to construct it.
“Our new technology is a game changer in its scope and power and is a tribute to our passion for developing the best genetic genealogy tools for our users,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Using genealogy to explain DNA Matches, and using DNA to validate genealogy matches, combines the best of both worlds. We expect this technology to help people make new discoveries in their family history. With every day that goes by, this technology grows even more powerful as more tree profiles, historical records and DNA kits are added to our global database.”
The Theory of Family Relativity™ feature is included for free with all Premium, PremiumPlus, and Complete subscriptions on MyHeritage. Individuals who upload their raw DNA data from other testing services to MyHeritage who do not have a subscription can pay a one-time fee of $29 per DNA kit to unlock the Theory of Family Relativity™ and the full range of advanced DNA features offered by MyHeritage.
The recording of today's webinar, "Using MyHeritage Tools to Improve Your Family Tree Data” by Daniel Horowitz is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.comfor free.
MyHeritage offers advance features to make sure your family research is accurate and neat: Consistency Checker and Pedigree Map are two wonderful tools available to curate your names, dates and places, finding minimal details you probably overlooked while building your tree. Take this opportunity to pause and evaluate your current data making sure you end with an accurate and clean family tree.
View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com
If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 23 minute recording of "Using MyHeritage Tools to Improve Your Family Tree Data" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.
Webinar Members get:
On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 857 classes, 1,108 hours of genealogy education)
On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 3,702 pages)
On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features
Registration for MyHeritage LIVE 2019 is officially open! To be held September 6-8, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, it will feature both genealogy and DNA lecture tracks, plus hands-on workshops. This follows the resounding success of last year's conference in Oslo (read about it here and here).
Those with ancestors in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York or California will be especially enthusiastic with these new records from MyHeritage.
We are excited to announce that we have recently added 22,718,797 new historical records to SuperSearch™ from four entirely new collections: Massachusetts Newspapers, 1704-1974, New Jersey Marriage License Index, 1915-2016, New York State Death Index, 1880-1956, and the US Naturalization Records, Northern California, 1852-1989.
A great lineup of new records from MyHeritage this month. I'm particularly excited about the updates to the Sweden records and all of the new newspaper collections. Below is the official announcement.
We are delighted to announce the addition of over 51 million new historical records to SuperSearch™ since our last update in October!
These include updates in two of our popular collections: Sweden Household Examination Books, 1860- 1947, and New York City Marriages collection, 1950 – 2017. Also included are 19 completely new collections — 14 of which are in the US Newspaper Collections.
Here’s a look at all records added since the October 2018 update.
Number of Records
Exclusive to MyHeritage
Link to Search
Sweden Household Examination Books, 1860-1947 Update
Records contain information about birth dates, marriages, deaths, and changes in residence, etc. from the years 1930-1947.
17,047,768 new records for a total of 104,449,108 records in the collection
An index to marriage licenses filed at the New York City Clerk Offices from 1950 to 2017. The index contains the given names and surnames of both the bride and the groom, the year of the license application, and the state file number.
We have recently added over 17 million new records to the Sweden Household Examination Books from the years 1930- 1947, bringing the collection total to 104,449,108 historical records. If you have ancestors from Sweden, this collection is essential as it serves as the primary source for researching the lives of individuals and families throughout the Parishes of Sweden, from the late 1600s to modern times. Collected until 1991 by the Swedish Lutheran Church, the Sweden Household Examination Books contain information about birth dates, marriages, deaths, where people had moved to or from, etc.
This update adds 1,633,136 new historical records to the existing 7,882,294 historical records in this collection. The index now includes over 4 million marriage licenses filed at the New York City Clerk Offices in the five boroughs from 1950-2017. In addition to information on the bride and groom, the New York City Marriages collection contains additional information: Birth dates, birthplaces, occupations; whether single, widowed or divorced at the time of the marriage. It is often possible to learn more information about the bride and groom’s families with parent’s names and birthplaces. Please note that marriage licenses older than 50 years are classified as public documents and available to all researchers. Marriages of less than 50 years ago, however, are restricted and available only under certain circumstances.
From this collection is the marriage license of Eunice Kennedy and Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. It details their marriage license number, location and year in which they were married.
The West Virginia Birth Index is a compendium of 3,172,114 records from 1853-1914. Provided by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the index includes the name of the infant, birthplace, and names of the parents. Although earlier records show just the year of birth, later records contain the full birth dates. Images associated with the collection offer additional information about the parents such as their ages and birthplaces.
From 1853 (and sometimes as early as the late 1700s) birth records were collected by each of the 55 counties in Virginia and West Virginia, resulting in some variability in the record collection. Some counties had gaps in their records collection, privacy restrictions, or record losses depending on the year. Beginning in 1917, the record collection became more uniform as the West Virginia Department of Health Vital Registration began issuing official state birth certificates
Below is the record of Harley Orrin Staggers (1907-1991). Harley represented West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District as he served 16 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-1981. From the record, see that he was born August 3, 1907 in Cabin Run, Mineral County, West Virginia, to J.K. and Fannie Staggers.
The 3,007,161 records in this collection are from the Ohio Department of Health Death Certificates from 1913-1944 and 1954-1963, Stillborn Death Certificates from 1913-1935 and 1942-1953, and Columbus Board of Health Death Certificates from 1904-1908.
Death certificates are valuable resources for obtaining the exact name of the deceased, the death date, the death county, and certificate number and can also provide information on the deceased’s life.
Drawn from the Ohio Death Index, is the record of Roger Philip Bresnahan, a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player who died in Lucas, Ohio on December 4, 1944 at age 65.
We have added two new US naturalization record indexes: the US Naturalization Record Index, Northern Illinois, 1840-1950 and US Naturalization Records, New England, 1791-1906.
The US Naturalization Record Index, Northern Illinois, 1840-1950 is an index of petitions for naturalization filed in Northern Illinois Circuit Court and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) District 9 from 1840- 1950.
The 1,491,656 records in this collection include – in addition to Illinois – the INS District 9, which covered parts of northwestern Indiana, eastern Iowa, and southern and eastern Wisconsin.
From 1840-1906, petitions generally contained the name of the petitioner, the name of the court, record number, the petitioner’s country of origin, and the date of naturalization. From 1906-1950, petitions collected additional information such as the petitioner’s address, names, and addresses of any witnesses, birth date, as well as date and place of arrival in the US. These changes reflect overall changes in how the petitions were collected. Prior to 1906, petitioning for US citizenship could be done through any local, county, state or Federal court. After 1906, the petitions were collected only by the Federal court.
The US Naturalization Records, New England, 1791-1906 collection includes 615,903 records. It is an index of naturalization documents filed in courts in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont from 1791-1906.
These records reflect the history of US naturalization laws. The first law related to obtaining US citizenship, the Naturalization Act of 1790, required two years’ residence and limited citizenship to free white people of good moral character. The Naturalization Act of 1795 required five years’ residence before applying for citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1798 extended the residency requirement to 14 years. In 1868, after the American Civil War, Congress passed the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to all those born within the US, regardless of their parents’ citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1870 further expanded the naturalization process to include “aliens of African nativity and…persons of African descent.”
Below is the naturalization record of John Muir, a Scottish-American immigrant who became a famous environmentalist and author. Known as the “Father of the National Parks”, Muir helped establish Yosemite National Park.
In addition to the previous collections, we have added 14 new US newspaper collections reaching a total of 24,376, 578 newspaper historical records. This update contains newspapers from the states of Washington, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, California, Missouri, South Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Michigan, Iowa, Virginia, Arizona, and Idaho.
In addition to articles related to important events and activities in the communities, newspaper collections also contain birth, marriage and death announcements, obituaries and society pages.
This collection contains both the text and the scanned image of the newspaper article. Search the collection for a particular name or keyword and find a list of articles and an image of with the highlighted name or keyword. After selecting the record, you may enlarge it to full screen to zoom in and read the article from the scan of the original publication.
Drawn from the Alabama newspaper collection is the obituary of Governor Lureen B. Wallace. Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Lurleen Burns Wallace (1926-1968) was the first woman to be elected Governor of Alabama. The article, from The Tuscaloosa News, pays tribute to Lurleen, who after one year as Governor died of cancer. In his eulogy of Lurleen, Rev. John Vickers shares that “Lurleen was committed to the truth that whatever proved to be the will of the Father, she would seek the power to accept.”
From our new Idaho Newspaper Collections, is an article about Picabo Street in the Sports section of the Moscow- Pullman Daily News, during the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games. On February 11, 1998, Picabo became the first US woman skier to win two gold medals since 1952.
Searching all these exciting new collections is completely free and accessible through MyHeritage SuperSearch™. A MyHeritage Data subscription is required to view records from these collections, to save them to your family tree or to confirm Record Matches.
Enjoy searching these collections and let us know in the comments below what you have discovered!