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Latest News on DNA Ethnicity and Family Heritage

Free Access to All U.S. Census Records on MyHeritage

2020. március 29., vasárnap 9:52:36

The 2020 U.S Census is currently underway and households across America are already responding over the internet, by phone, or by paper questionnaire.

To mark this once-a-decade milestone, searching and viewing all of our U.S. census collections is completely free from March 29th until April 5th, 2020.

Search all U.S. Censuses on MyHeritage

U.S. Censuses have been taken every ten years since the very first U.S. Census in 1790, after the end of the American Revolution. There have been 22 federal censuses since then. 

What can census records reveal about your family?

Census records contain valuable information just waiting to be discovered. They provide a unique view into the lives of your ancestors at the time of the census, making them a basic foundation of family history research.

Each record typically includes details such as the names of household members, ages, places of birth, residence, occupation, immigration, citizenship details, marriage information, military service and more. Some older U.S. censuses recorded religious affiliation as well.

Census records can reveal information about the daily lives of your ancestors that can be added to your family tree. By comparing multiple censuses, you can trace your family over the years, and often from location to location throughout the country.

Census records can also lead to new connections and relatives. You may be searching for one ancestor and discover additional family members or friends living in the same household whom you knew nothing about.

With over 700 million records from 54 collections in total — 18 federal census collections and 36 state or country census collections — you’re bound to make some fascinating family history discoveries among our U.S. census records.

We hope you enjoy searching these collections free of charge, and that it enhances your family history research.

The post Free Access to All U.S. Census Records on MyHeritage appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

MyHeritage In Color™ is Now Free and Unlimited for One Month!

2020. március 23., hétfő 16:16:57

Starting today we are unlocking MyHeritage In Color™ for unlimited use to give people who are isolated at home a fun way to pass the time and enjoy genealogy. Colorized photos can be shared with the whole family, and can help you see your historical family photos in an entirely new way, highlighting aspects you may not have noticed before. Many of our users have found the feature addictive — some have reported that it’s kept them up late into the night as they colorize any black and white photo they can get their hands on!

Ordinarily only 10 photos can be colorized by users who do not have a Complete plan, but now, you can colorize as many photos as you’d like for free, until April 22, 2020.

We invite you to pull out your family photo albums and join in the fun. Colorize all of your black and white photos, for free for a limited time, at If your photos are stashed in old albums and have not been digitized yet, now’s a great time to scan them with the free MyHeritage mobile app, and upload them to MyHeritage next to your family tree. If they are already on MyHeritage, you can colorize each photo by visiting it in your family site or through the MyHeritage mobile app. Our previous blog post explains how to do this.

Share your colorized photos to win

Over the coming month, anyone who shares their colorized photos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #ColorBeatsCoronavirusBlues and tags @MyHeritage will enter a draw. Each week we’ll select one lucky winner who will receive a free MyHeritage Complete subscription. They’ll enjoy free access to all content and features on MyHeritage including 12 billion historical records, Smart Matches™, Record Matches, Instant Discoveries™, and much more.

Whether you find yourself with more spare time than usual, or just want to take advantage of this excellent opportunity, we hope that you enjoy this fantastic tool.

Stay safe and keep healthy!
Your friends at MyHeritage

The post MyHeritage In Color™ is Now Free and Unlimited for One Month! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

MyHeritage Employees Share Their Home Office Photos

2020. március 19., csütörtök 21:26:18

At the start of the week, all MyHeritage employees around the world switched to working from home, to practice social distancing to the fullest.

We are well-equipped and well-prepared for this situation, and MyHeritage services are continuing as normal.

Here are some photos that our employees shared, of their workstations at home. We hope you’ll enjoy them!

Yigal Guskin, QA Engineer
Let’s rock! Max Chernopolsky, R&D Backend Tech Lead
Benefits of working from home, milk by the desk. Eve Grönlund, Translations Project Manager
Working in the kitchen. Marianne Melcherts, Social Media Coordinator
Jerusalem blue skies. Noam Markose, SEM Team Leader
My perfect workstation. Roi Weiss, Senior Product Manager
New balcony work spot. Anastasiya Kart, Designer
Code review session with Bella the cat. Sion Sasson, Senior iOS Developer
My small green balcony. Sivan Lustig, HR Specialist
Home office buddy. Paola Veloso Teixeira, Email Support Team
Work–life balance without a chair. Yurii Kovalenko, Senior Web Developer, Kiev
Shira Zaid, Telemarketing QA
Getting help from the younger generation. Anna Milkman, Head of Translations
Greenroom. Gershon Flaisher, Art Director
Roee Ben Shoshan, Sales Representative
Dmitry Vorobjov, Senior Backend Developer
Suit up! Alon Ganot, Sales Team, Tel Aviv
Small but very cozy! Daniël Boerstra, Email Support Team Leader, Tel Aviv

We hope you and your family are also finding ways to make the most of the situation while staying safe and healthy!

The post MyHeritage Employees Share Their Home Office Photos appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Korean Sisters Reunited Thanks to MyHeritage DNA

2020. március 18., szerda 6:43:47

In December 2019, an incredible reunion took place. Sisters Kim and Trine met in Copenhagen. Watch their moving reunion here:

Kim Ok Le, 43, was abandoned in a Catholic church in Daegu, South Korea as a baby. After a brief period spent at the White Lily Orphanage in Daegu, she was placed for adoption with an Italian family in September 1976.

Kim was always curious about her biological family, and around 20 years ago, she traveled to Korea to look for information about them. She visited the agency that had placed her for adoption and was able to recover her adoption files — and inside was a huge surprise: a handwritten letter from her mother.

The mother wrote in the letter that the child’s father was killed in a car accident, and that she herself had been seriously injured, and was therefore unable to raise the child by herself. The mother also said that she was considering taking her own life, and begged whoever found her daughter to raise the child well.

Kim naturally assumed that the narrative in the letter was true: her parents were probably dead, and her unfortunate mother had abandoned her because she was unable to care for her due to her injuries.

She still wanted to find out if she had living relatives, though, and at some point did a DNA test with a private agency, but the results were inconclusive. A year and a half ago, she took a MyHeritage DNA test, but got no significant results.

And then, out of the blue, she received an email that turned everything she thought she knew about her story on its head. She had a DNA match through MyHeritage, and the estimated relationship was for a full sister.

Trine Jensen, 40, was born in Busan in 1978, and was abandoned by her mother at the age of 1 year, 3 months. After a while at the NamKwang Orphanage in Busan, she was adopted by a Danish family in 1980. She, too, had tried to find her biological family, and learned from the Korean Social Services that her biological mother had tried to find her a few times during the 80s.

Trine Jensen

About a year ago, Trine took the MyHeritage DNA test just to learn more about her ethnicity. She never expected to find any of her relatives — let alone a sister!

Kim and Trine are full sisters, which means that what Kim’s mother wrote in her initial letter could not have been true. Kim’s father must have been alive when Kim was abandoned. Was the letter a fake? Or did Kim’s mother invent the story to protect her child from a different narrative?

The matter of adoption is an open wound in South Korean society: the Korean War and the Vietnam War brought 2 decades of American military presence in the region, and many multiracial children were born from relationships between American soldiers and local women. These children were shunned by society — people saw their very existence as being problematic. The nation’s leaders instituted a policy of sending these children abroad for international adoption. But it wasn’t only multiracial children who were placed for adoption: children born out of wedlock, or to families struggling with financial hardship, also placed them for adoption to ensure a better future for them.

By the early 80s, 24 Korean children were adopted by foreigners every day. An estimated 200,000 Korean children have been placed for adoption all over the world since the 1950s.

At the moment, the origins of the letter Kim found in her adoption files remain a mystery. But in the meantime, the sisters are making up for lost time. In December 2019, they met in person when Kim came to visit Trine in Copenhagen.

The sisters are still hoping to find their biological mother in Korea — and wondering if there are any more siblings they haven’t found yet.

“Emotionally, that’s a whole new world,” says Kim. “It was the beginning of a new search that I’d given up on.”

“I found out about my roots, and then I got a sister!” says Trine. “This outcome has been the best present I could ever have imagined.”

Kim and Trine’s story is the third case of Korean adoptees that MyHeritage DNA was able to reunite in the past 2 years. Another of those cases, another pair of full sisters who were both abandoned and placed in the same orphanage is Kim — was developed into a documentary film called The Missing Piece.

The post Korean Sisters Reunited Thanks to MyHeritage DNA appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

COVID-19 Update and the Importance of Social Distancing

2020. március 16., hétfő 14:14:29

We would like to update you that all is well with MyHeritage.

As the safety of our employees is a top priority for us, as of yesterday morning we have required all of them to switch to working from home, and we have temporarily closed all our physical offices. We are experienced with remote work and well prepared for it, and we will continue to serve our users this way.

At MyHeritage, we now practice social distancing to the fullest and we encourage our employees to do this in their daily lives too. This is also our strong recommendation to our users and the general public. Social distancing — avoiding public spaces and reducing physical proximity to other people outside of one’s immediate family members to the utter minimum — is critical in the global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. According to medical experts, by “flattening the curve” of infection, we can prevent the virus from overwhelming healthcare systems and help ensure that anyone who needs medical attention will have access to it. We invite you to read more about the benefits of social distancing, as illustrated through useful simulations in this Washington Post article.

Please keep yourselves, your families, and your communities safe. We’ll be here with suggestions, ideas, and inspiration in the domain of family history to help you get through these difficult times with some enjoyable genealogical activity. Stay tuned.

Wishing you all the best of health.

The MyHeritage Team

The post COVID-19 Update and the Importance of Social Distancing appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

A Spotlight on Reclaim the Records

2020. március 15., vasárnap 21:58:44

Today we’re writing about a non-profit organization that we believe deserves the spotlight  — Reclaim the Records. Led by genealogist Brooke Schreier Ganz, this group of activists — which includes volunteer genealogists, researchers, lawyers, and open government advocates — works tirelessly to get public genealogical data released into the public domain. Their goal is to “put [records] online, for free, for everyone.”

Reclaim the Records locates important archival data sets that are not available to the public online, and they use Freedom of Information (FOIA) laws in the U.S. to get copies of this information released to the public. They document everything they learn about filing these requests, and create a guide for genealogists, open data fans, and others who want their state, local, and federal records made more available. When they meet with record custodians that defy the law, who drag their feet intentionally or unintentionally, they put up a legal fight, and they usually win.

Once they’ve acquired the records, they digitize what they can and put it all online for free, without paywalls or usage restrictions.

“Too many government agencies and archives have long treated genealogists as if we were asking them for a favor when we ask to see their records — our records — rather than recognizing their responsibilities to the public under the law,” their website states.

So far, Reclaim the Records have achieved the public release of over 25 million records, which were previously accessible only by physically visiting government agencies and archive buildings, or not accessible at all.

We at MyHeritage truly appreciate the important work that Reclaim the Records does on a daily basis. We support them in their endeavors to open up records to the general public — a difficult but necessary mission. Their efforts align perfectly with our belief that every person has a right to know their heritage. We have benefitted from their work as well, and through us the entire genealogy community has benefitted. In every collection we publish to SuperSearch that was sourced by Reclaim the Records we give credit to this wonderful organization.

To show our solidarity with Reclaim the Records and its mission, the senior management team of MyHeritage gathered last week to take the picture below, all proudly wearing yellow Reclaim the Records t-shirts:

To learn more about Reclaim the Records and the important work they do — or to contribute to their cause — visit their website:

The post A Spotlight on Reclaim the Records appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Thanks to MyHeritage DNA, A Father Reunites with the Daughter He Never Knew He Had

2020. március 12., csütörtök 10:03:23

Anne Angot was born in 1972 in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and was adopted by a French family at a year of age. She grew up knowing nothing of her biological family. All that changed after Anne took a MyHeritage DNA test.

Watch her story here:

About a year ago, Anne decided to take a DNA test with MyHeritage in hopes of finding her biological family.

She received a 3% match with a cousin in the U.S. who was searching for his own mother. The cousin connected the dots: a relative of his, Theo Vann, was stationed in Vung Tau, Vietnam from 1971–1972.

The cousin encouraged Theo to take a DNA test — and the results confirmed that he was Anne’s father. Theo contacted Anne through the MyHeritage inbox right away.

Theo, an American army veteran from Georgia, had no idea that the brief relationship he had with a Vietnamese woman in Vung Tau resulted in the birth of a child. He had since gone on to have 2 sons and a daughter, unaware that he had another daughter growing up on the other side of the Atlantic.

This past June, Anne traveled to Georgia in the U.S. to meet Theo and introduce him to her son — the grandchild he never knew he had. In September, Theo flew to Paris to spend more time with his newfound daughter and to get to know the rest of her family.

“It’s a miracle,” Theo told RMC, a local news station. “I’m in Paris to thank her adoptive family who raised her all these years when I was absent.”

“I am so happy, because he really resembles me,” Anne told RMC. “I have answers to some of my questions. I feel like a new person. It’s reassuring. It’s a real comfort,” she says.

DNA tests for non-medical reasons are restricted in France, and Anne regrets that this is the case. “It’s a true shame, because it really allows people who want to find members of their family to increase their chances,” she says.

Jeannie, Anne’s adoptive mother, feels the same way. “Adopted children have the desire to find their parents,” she told RMC. “We must do everything we can to help them.”

Anne hopes that MyHeritage DNA, which successfully led her to her father, may one day lead her to her Vietnamese birth mother, too.

The post Thanks to MyHeritage DNA, A Father Reunites with the Daughter He Never Knew He Had appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

11 Famous Americans with Irish Roots

2020. március 11., szerda 12:59:42

March is Irish-American Heritage Month, and here at MyHeritage, we are celebrating by offering free access to Irish records from March 5–22, as well as a dedicated Irish heritage landing page.

Our research team also dove into our historical record collections in search of information about the Irish roots of 11 U.S. celebrities. Here’s what we found:

1. Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick is an actress and singer famous for her starring role in Pitch Perfect and her supporting roles in Up in the Air and The Twilight Saga. Born in Maine, Anna began her career as a child, and when she was just 12, she scored a Theater World Award and a nomination for the Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards for her role in the 1998 Broadway production High Society.

Anna’s paternal grandfather, Ronald Cooke, is listed in the 1920 U.S. census. Ronald was 3 at the time, and his sisters, Charlotte (5) and Dorothy (1) are listed as well as his parents — Anna’s great-grandparents, Harry (35) and Emma (30).

Emma appears in the 1900 census with her family. She was born Mary Emma McCoy in Arlington, Massachusetts, to Irish-born parents: John McCoy and Elizabeth A. Lawthers. John and Elizabeth immigrated to the United States in 1886.

2. Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds has also starred in numerous films and shows, but is best known for his role as the superhero Deadpool. Born in Vancouver, Canada, he became a U.S. citizen in 2018 — but he is not the first in his family to live in the U.S.

Ryan’s paternal great-grandparents are listed in the 1900 U.S. census as living in Chicago, Illinois. His great-grandfather William was born in Canada to a father who was born in Ireland, and his great-grandmother Elizabeth was born in Louisiana, also to Irish-born parents. William’s career is listed as stone mason. They appear in the census with 3 of their sons, not including Ryan’s grandfather, who was born in 1902.

3. Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan is a Golden-Globe-award-winning actress, noted for her roles in Atonement, Lady Bird, and most recently in the starring role as Jo March in the 2019 production of Little Women. Saoirse was born in the Bronx, New York, to Irish-born parents from Dublin.

We found Saoirse’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Joseph and Sarah Carson, in the 1901 Ireland census along with their 4 sons and 1 daughter, including Saoirse’s great-grandfather Joseph. Joseph Senior was a tailor and Sarah was a winder linen. They lived on Leoville Street, Falls, Antrim, Ireland, and all the children were born in Belfast.

In the 1911 census, just 10 years later, the family had grown to welcome 5 more daughters and had moved to Cupar Street. This time, Joseph Junior — Saoirse’s great-grandfather, who was 15 at the time — is listed as having a profession: an apprentice book binder.

4. Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro is one of the most acclaimed actors in Hollywood, known for his roles in The Godfather II, Taxi Driver, New York, New York, and many, many others. He has won numerous awards, including 2 Oscars. He was born in Manhattan, New York City.

We found Robert’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Edward and Margaret O’Reilly, in the 1870 U.S. census along with their 3 daughters. Both Edward and Margaret were born in Ireland.

Robert has Irish roots on his father’s side, too: his paternal great-great-grandparents, John and Mary Burns, were both born in Ireland. We found them in the 1880 U.S. census along with their daughter, Mary — Robert’s great-grandmother.

5. Meryl Streep

Another beloved Hollywood veteran beloved for her remarkable versatility, Meryl Streep holds the record for the highest number of Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. She won Academy Awards for her roles in Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, and The Iron Lady. She also won 8 Golden Globes and 2 Emmy Awards. Meryl was born in New Jersey and holds an MFA from Yale.

Meryl’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Manus and Grace McFadden, were born in Dufanaghy County, Ireland, and married before immigrating to the U.S. We found them in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. censuses with 4 children (not including Meryl’s great-grandmother, who was an adult and probably living somewhere else). The family lived in Pennsylvania.

6. George Clooney

George Clooney is also a Hollywood veteran, with 3 Golden Globes and 2 Oscars under his belt. His most successful film was Ocean’s Eleven, which went on to become a trilogy. He also starred in Syriana, Argo, and The Ides of March, and in 2009, was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. George was born in Kentucky.

George’s paternal great-great-grandfather, Nicholas Clooney, was born in Windgap, Ireland in 1829, and his great-great-grandmother, Bridget Byron, was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1835. The pair was married on May 24, 1862, in Mason, Kentucky. Our team found their marriage record:

We also found them in the 1880 census with their 7 children, all born in Kentucky. Nicholas is listed as a laborer.

7. John Travolta

John Travolta rose to fame as an actor, singer, and dancer in the successful films Saturday Night Fever and Grease. After a lull in his career, he rose again in prominence for his role in Pulp Fiction, and went on to star in many more movies. He was nominated for 2 Academy Awards and won a Golden Globe for his role in Get Shorty. John was born in New Jersey, the youngest of 6 children.

John’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Richard Burke, was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1818 and immigrated to the U.S. in July of 1848. His second wife, Mary Clancy Burke, was also born in Ireland. The pair appear in the 1850 U.S. census as living in Great Barrington, Berkshire, Massachusetts, with 2 sons, including John’s great-grandfather James. Richard is listed as a farmer in the census.

8. Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is one of America’s most beloved singers, celebrated for her 5-octave vocal range, vocal runs, and signature use of the whistle register — the highest register of the human voice. One of the best-selling artists of all time, she is the only artist to have their first 5 singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Mariah was born on Long Island, New York.

We found this photo of Mariah’s great-great-grandparents, John Edward Hickey and Ellen Cantrell. Both were born in Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland.

Photo of Mariah Carey’s Irish great-great-grandparents, John and Ellen Hickey

John and Ellen were listed in the 1870 U.S. census along with 4 of their children, including Mariah’s great-grandfather John, who were all born in Illinois. John was a farmer.

Mariah’s maternal great-great-grandfather, James Blanchfield, was born to Irish parents in Illinois in 1854. He married Mary Ryan Blanchfield, who was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1864. The pair are listed in the 1910 U.S. census as living in Sangamon, Illinois with 3 of their 5 children. James worked in the railroad industry.

9. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is an accomplished American singer-songwriter. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Taylor was the youngest artist to be signed by Sony/ATV Music publishing house at age 14, and signed her first record deal at age 15. She is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, has won numerous awards, and set 6 Guinness World Records.

Taylor’s 3rd-great-grandparents, Francis and Susan Gwynn, were both born in Ireland and married on November 12, 1839. They appear in the 1860 U.S. census, listed as living in Philadelphia with 5 children, including Taylor’s great-great-grandmother, Mary. Francis was a soap boiler, and the value of their personal estate is listed as $4000 — about $124,000 in today’s currency.

In the 1880 census, Francis and Susan appear with 2 of their children, including Taylor’s great-great-grandmother Mary, who was 24 years old at the time.

10. Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson’s acting career has spanned more than 60 years and has included an incredible range of roles, from comedy to romance to horror. He is best known for his roles in films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Shining, and Something’s Gotta Give. He has been nominated for the Academy Award 12 times, more than any other male actor in history, and is one of only 3 male actors to win 3 Oscars. He was born in New Jersey.

Jack’s maternal great-grandmother, Ella Nicholson (born Lynch), was born in 1867 in Cork, Ireland. She immigrated to the United States in 1880. In the 1910 U.S. census, she’s listed as a widow living in Neptune, Monmouth, New Jersey, with her only son: John, Jack’s grandfather. Ella was a homeowner and a “laundress” by profession, though the record states she had been out of work for the past 5 months.

Ella also appears in the 1930 census. The record lists the value of the home she owned as $2500, which is worth about $39,000 in today’s dollars.

11. Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller is celebrated for his roles in films such as Zoolander, Meet the Parents and There’s Something About Mary. Born in New York, he was the son of two veteran actors and comedians. His father is Jewish and his mother came from an Irish Catholic background.

His maternal great-grandparents, James and Annie Meara, appear in the 1910 U.S. census. They were living in Brooklyn, New York, with their two children, including Ben’s grandfather, Edward J, and a nephew. James was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, and immigrated to the United States in 1881. His wife Annie immigrated from Ireland in 1882. The record states that James was a city patrolman. The couple had 7 children, but only 2 were living in 1910: they lost a son at 2 months of age in 1890, and another at age 16 in 1907.

Annie died 4 years after this census was taken. James died at age 70 in 1928 as a retired police officer from accidental illuminating gas poisoning in his home.

Ben’s maternal great-great-grandfather Cornelius Dempsey was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1827. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1851 at 24 years of age, arriving on October 13 on a ship named Western World.

He married a woman named Ellen, who was also born in Ireland. In the 1860 U.S. census, the couple is listed as living in Brooklyn with their 4-month-old daughter, Mary. Cornelius was a carpenter by trade. His personal estate value is listed as $300, or around $9000 in today’s U.S. dollars.

In the 1880 census, Cornelius is listed as a widower. His wife, Ellen, died in 1870, but not before having 3 more children, including Ben’s great-grandfather John. The record states that John, aged 16, worked as a clerk in a store.

The Irish people have had a profound impact on American society and the world at large. Through the above examples, we can see that some of the most famous and influential figures in the United States have Irish roots. This Irish-American Heritage month, we celebrate them and their ancestors.

The post 11 Famous Americans with Irish Roots appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

New: Download a Comparison of Your Original and Colorized Photos

2020. március 9., hétfő 13:46:24

Last month we released MyHeritage In Color™, an exciting new feature for colorizing black and white photos automatically that helps bring them to life. It went viral and became an Internet sensation, and by now well over 2 million photos have been colorized.

Try MyHeritage In Color™ now

Colorizing photos is fun! It often brings the past to life, and evokes warm memories of our loved ones, when we see their photos in vivid colors. Colorization helps surface details in historical photos that were previously overlooked, and gets young people interested in genealogy, and infuses genealogy with new life and much enthusiasm.

At MyHeritage, we believe that the colorization of a photo should not modify the original photo. That’s why our colorization creates a separate copy without changing the original photo, and we mark all colorized photos with a special palette symbol in the bottom left-hand corner — to ensure that people can recognize that a photo has been artificially colorized. This is important to distinguish the authentic historical photo from the simulated colorized version.

We also encourage users who share a colorized photo to mention that it has been colorized, and to also share the original, black and white photo. To facilitate easy sharing of a single image that combines the original photo with the new colorized version, side-by-side, we created the new ‘Download comparison’ option described below.

Downloading a comparison photo

To download a comparison photo, first colorize your photos by visiting or by using the My Photos section of your family site on MyHeritage. More detailed instructions are provided in our former blog post about MyHeritage In Color™.

From the MyHeritage In Color™ page

After you upload a photo and colorize it, you can download the colorized photo or the comparison.

To do so, click the “Download” button and then choose whether to download the colorized photo or the comparison, as shown below:

From “My Photos” section of your family site

Access “My Photos” from the Family Tree tab.

Accessing your photos on MyHeritage

You’ll notice a colorization icon in the bottom right corner of any black and white photo that you’ve already colorized.

Click any photo that you wish to download, to visit its photo page. Then click the “Download” link, as shown below:

Now choose whether to download the original photo, the colorized one, or the new comparison option.

If the photo is landscape, shot in a horizontal orientation, then the comparison photo will show the original above the colorized photo, as in the example below:

On the other hand, if the photo is portrait, shot in a vertical orientation, then the original will appear to the left of the colorized photo in the comparison, as in the example below:

Note: The MyHeritage logo is added to the bottom right corner of colorized photo only for users who do not have a Complete plan on MyHeritage.


Our ancestors lived their lives in color, and with the release of MyHeritage In Color™, we can now step into their world and get to know it a little more intimately.

Try it today and colorize your photos at

You’ll be amazed what a difference color can make. The differences become even more pronounced when you see the original and colorized versions side-by-side. This is what the new ‘Download comparison’ option allows you to do.

We encourage you to share the comparison photos with your family and friends, as many of our users have been doing already.

The MyHeritage Team

The post New: Download a Comparison of Your Original and Colorized Photos appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Historical Record Collections Added in February 2020

2020. március 9., hétfő 8:00:32

What a month! 815 million records were added to MyHeritage in the month of February 2020: 545 million records from U.S. City Directories, 250 million of inventors of historical patents, 6.9 million from Canadian newspapers from 1752–2007, 4.7 million of famous people throughout history, 3.4 million from the Minnesota Birth Index 1900–1934, and 4.5 million from the Minnesota Death Index 1904–2001. This update brings the total number of historical records in MyHeritage SuperSearch™ to 11.9 billion.

Here is a list of the new collections:

CollectionDescription Number of RecordsLink to Search

U.S. City Directories
A huge collection of historical U.S. city directories produced from 25,000 public U.S. city directories published between 1860 and 1960. 545,346,859 recordsSearch collection now

Inventors of historical patents
An index of inventors of historical patents issued around the world.250,469,807 recordsSearch collection now

Canada Newspapers, 1752-2007

A compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns across Canada from 1752 to 2007.6,961,070 recordsSearch collection now

Famous People Throughout History

This collection contains biographical summaries of millions of notable people from around the world.4,700,220 recordsSearch collection now

Minnesota, Birth Index, 1900-1934

This collection contains an index to birth records from Minnesota from 1900 to 1934.3,406,802 recordsSearch collection now

Minnesota, Death Index, 1904-2001

This collection includes an index of death records from Minnesota from 1904 to 2001.4,460,579 recordsSearch collection now

U.S. City Directories

City directories contain an alphabetical list of adult residents and heads of household, often with their spouse, with addresses and occupations and additional information. This collection is a huge compilation from 25,468 city directories published in 1860–1960 across the United States, created exclusively by MyHeritage using advanced machine learning technologies. It comprises 1.3 billion individual records, which were consolidated to hundreds of millions of aggregated records, each featuring the same individual who lived in the same set of addresses during a span of years. The consolidation reduces duplication and makes this collection particularly easy and convenient to navigate.

Example: Thomas A. Edison, widely regarded as one of the greatest American inventors, is listed in the Fort Myers city directory along with his second wife, Mina, from 1921, 1925–1926, and 1927, as living at 606 McGregor Boulevard, where his occupation is listed as inventor. Edison invented the electric light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. He established his first laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, but later moved down to Fort Myers and opened a botanic laboratory.

Thomas Edison in the U.S. City Directories (click to zoom)

Learn more about the U.S. City Directories in this in-depth blog post.

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Famous People Throughout History

This free collection of 4.7 million records contains biographical summaries of notable people from around the world. Living and deceased persons detailed in this collection include, among others, actors, musicians, authors, inventors, artists, and politicians.

Records may contain the following searchable information: names (including aliases as well as names in non-Latin scripts), birth dates and places, marriage dates and places, death dates and places, names of relatives, names of spouses and former spouses, and names of children. Occupations, burial places, and descriptions may also be found in some of the records.

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Inventors of Historical Patents

This collection is a vast index of inventors of patents issued around the world. The most common countries of origin are the United States, Japan, and China, which together constitute more than half of the collection. Records may contain the following searchable information: first and last name of the owner or co-owner of the patent, the country where the patent was published, and the date of publication. The following may also be found in most records: title, abstract, publication number, filing date, and the assignee.

Example: Jonas Edward Salk, the prolific American medical researcher and virologist who discovered and developed one of the first successful polio vaccines, refused to patent it, saying “Does one patent the sun?” He believed public health should be considered a “moral commitment.” and had no interest in personal profit. His later studies, however — research to develop a vaccine for AIDS as part of the Immune Response Corporation — were patented and can be found in this collection.

A patent by Jonas Salk (click to zoom)

Bonus: you can find in this collection a patent granted to famous genealogist Randall (Randy) Seaver in 1984, describing a thrust reversing system for controlling the fan gases from a thrust producing aircraft engine.

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Canada Newspapers, 1752–2007

This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns across Canada from 1752 to 2007 in the English language. It includes many localities prior to the Canadian confederation in 1867. Newspapers are an important resource for genealogy and family history research as they contain obituaries and other vital record substitutes such as birth, marriage, and death notices. Additionally, society pages and stories of local interest contain rich information on activities and events in the community and often provide details about the persons involved.

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Minnesota, Birth Index, 1900–1934

This collection contains an index to birth records from Minnesota from 1900 to 1934. Information may include: first name, middle name, and last name of the child. It may also include the date and county of birth, and certificate number. In some cases, the mother’s maiden name is also available.

Birth certificates were used to record birth information beginning in 1907. When a child was born, a physician or midwife compiled information about the child on a birth certificate. The certificate was registered with the local county registrar. Birth cards were used to collect birth information from 1900 to 1907. Unlike birth certificates, many birth cards were not filled out completely. 80% of this collection takes place between 1907–1937, 19% is from 1900–1907, and 1% is from before 1900.

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Minnesota, Death Index, 1904–2001

This collection includes an index of death records from Minnesota, from 1904 to 2001. Information may include the name of the deceased, their date of death, county of death, date of birth, county of birth and certificate number. It may also include the mother’s maiden name when available.

Information for the years 1908–2001 is recorded from death certificates as recorded by a physician or a mortician. Information in this collection for years prior to 1908 is taken from death cards. Unlike death certificates, many death cards were not filled out completely. Cards, especially for the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, frequently contain little more information than the name of the deceased, date of death, sex, marital status, birthplace, cause of death, and person reporting the death.

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Searching these collections on MyHeritage SuperSearch™ is free, and you can also view records from the free collections for free. To view records from the paid collections, or to save records from all collections to your family tree, you’ll need a Data or Complete subscription.

If you have a family tree on MyHeritage, our Record Matching technology will notify you automatically if records from these collections match your relatives. You’ll then be able to review the record and decide if you’d like to add the new information to your tree.

Enjoy the new collections!

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