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The Genealogue

MyHeritage BlogMyHeritage Blog

Latest News on DNA Ethnicity and Family Heritage

Deep Nostalgia™ is an Internet Sensation!

2021. március 4., csütörtök 22:35:18

In just one week since its release, Deep Nostalgia™, our new feature for animating family photos, has exploded in popularity and become an internet sensation. Over 10 million faces have been animated so far, and a few thousand photos are being animated every minute! 

When we released Deep Nostalgia™ last week at RootsTech Connect 2021, we knew that lovers of family history would be thrilled to see their beloved ancestors’ faces come to life. We also knew that it had the potential to go viral, and we hoped that would happen, but the extent of its success exceeded our expectations. We are humbled by its popularity and we love seeing all the examples shared from all over the world. 

Most of all, we love that Deep Nostalgia™ is creating massive interest in genealogy, especially among the younger generations. 

In the first few days after the release, the overwhelming demand created some initial stability issues. We have been working hard to upgrade our service infrastructure to continue to meet the demand and the situation is now much improved. We apologize to all those who experienced difficulties. For now, Android users who are unable to use the feature through the MyHeritage app are requested to use it online. On the iPhone, everything works smoothly and the MyHeritage mobile app even made it to the top of the App Store, and yesterday it was the most downloaded free app in the United States!

Here are some of the highlights we’ve seen from the past week:

Celebrities using Deep Nostalgia™

American TV host Jimmy Kimmel and his team claim they weren’t very productive at work yesterday, thanks to playing around with Deep Nostalgia™ all day long!

We weren’t very productive at work today…

Posted by Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

English actor, Sir Ian McKellen, unforgettable as Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, enjoyed animating drawings of British kings from centuries ago, and animated a very popular rendition of Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde!

Pee-wee Herman can’t seem to get enough of Deep Nostalgia™. Among others, here’s a childhood photo that he animated:

American journalist Jake Tapper tried his luck animating a family member born in 1773!

Some of our favorites


Obsessed! This app lets you bring to life your family’s old photos 😭👼 #myheritage #myheritageapp #fyp #oldies

♬ (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons – King Cole Trio

More emotional reactions

Translation: I made an animation on MyHeritage with a photo of my dad and my heart falls to the floor every time he blinks, I still can’t find the pieces!

Translation: All my life I dreamed of seeing my father ALIVE for at least one moment, since I was only 7 months old when he passed away. Today this is possible thanks to the Artificial Intelligence of @MyHeritage. Even for a few seconds, today you were mine! Infinite thanks!

Notable historical figures

Here are some famous artists and scientists animated into “living portraits”:

“The hall of deepfake presidents”:

Unexpected uses


Some users have inserted their own sense of humor in their use of Deep Nostalgia™:

This one had us laughing out loud! 



Joelle Goldstein for says that “MyHeritage is helping people experience their family history like never before.”

AJ Willingham writes for CNN: “It’s hard to explain the mix of emotions that spark upon seeing a photo of Frederick Douglass come alive with the click of a button.” She says “And yet, there he is, blinking and nodding as if he were just alive yesterday, as if he hadn’t died in 1895, years before film recording became commonplace.”

The Canadian publication National Post featured an article by Tristin Hopper where he animated photos of some of the most famous Canadians throughout history, such as John A. McDonald. He says “Even the most humourless of great-grandparents can be rendered into smiling and genteel golems.” 

Deep Nostalgia™ was also featured in the Independent, New York Post, Adweek, Design Taxi, and many others.


We are extremely touched by the overwhelming support that we’ve seen for Deep Nostalgia™ in the past few days.

We’re excited to continue improving Deep Nostalgia™ and to enhance it even further in the coming weeks, working together with D-ID on the future of historical photos.

We are proud to help millions around the world bring their family history to life.

The post Deep Nostalgia™ is an Internet Sensation! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Deep Nostalgia™ Goes Viral! 

2021. február 28., vasárnap 18:12:23

Just three days ago, we announced the release of Deep Nostalgia™: a groundbreaking new feature that allows you to animate the faces of your loved ones in still photos. This feature truly takes “bring your old family photos to life” to a whole new level — and it’s gone a new level of viral in turn!

Over 1 million photos were animated in the first 48 hours alone. Today we expect to pass the 3 million milestone. Users have responded with wonder and emotion: some were awed to see ancestors they’d never met — some from over 100 years ago — move, blink, and smile, while others were moved to tears witnessing their lost loved ones in motion after so many years with only still photos to remember them by.

“It makes me so happy to see him smile again,” one user said after animating a photo of her husband, who died 4 years earlier. “It’s as if they are looking at you and your surroundings and seeing how much things have changed,” said another user. Reporter Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez commented that the feature gave him a chance to see his late father’s face move again after he lost the only videotape he had of him years ago.

“Forget iPhones and self-driving cars,” one commenter said in response to a Deep Nostalgia™ animation. “This is the moment we officially started living in the future!”

Deep Nostalgia™ even made a splash in the international media: it was featured in Financial Times, USA Today, and the BBC among others.

Read on to see what everyone is saying about Deep Nostalgia™!



Translation: The new animate feature #DeepNostalgia of @MyHeritage is amazing: here is the result with an old passport photo of my paternal grandmother … I have goosebumps!


Users get creative with historical portraits

Some users got creative with Deep Nostalgia™ and used it on portraits and statues of historical figures.

Van Gogh’s self-portrait:

Egyptian queen Nefertiti:

King Tut:

Julius Caesar:

King George III of England and family:

Albert Einstein:

Queen Elizabeth, William Shakespeare, Jesus, the Girl with the Pearl Earring, and other subjects of historical photos:

Abraham Lincoln:

The Beatles:

Rosalind Franklin, English chemist and X-ray crystallographer whose work was central to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite:

Seán Mac Diarmada, 1916. A  portrait of one of the leaders of The Easter Rising who was executed in Kilmainham Gaol on the 12th of May 1916 aged 33.

Edgar Allen Poe:


Brittany Vincent writes for PC Mag: “The results are startlingly lifelike, as we see people moving their heads around, blinking, and even slightly changing expressions. The AI-powered results can be arresting. Seeing a loved one’s face speaking looking at you once more, smiling and emoting, is an emotional experience. So is seeing a long-lost ancestor you didn’t even know you were related to.”

GIZMODO claims it’s another fascinating application of AI and deep learning that feels straight out of science fiction.

Tony Tran writes for The Byte: “While it’s easy to poke fun at this tool, it is undeniably a fascinating and compelling application of AI — not to mention, it can allow many people to reconnect to their long-passed loved ones through technology, which is always fantastic.”

Natasha Lomas writes for TechCrunch: “The Black Mirror-style pull of seeing long-lost relatives — or famous people from another era — brought to a synthetic approximation of life, eyes swivelling, faces tilting as if they’re wondering why they’re stuck inside this useless digital photo frame, has led to an inexorable stream of social shares since it was unveiled yesterday at a family history conference…”

Yahoo News, The Next Web, The Economic Times, Financial Times, USA Today, and Gadgets 360 also reported on the release of the feature.

Genealogy Bloggers & Podcasters

Chris Paton from Scottish GENES put it in blunt terms, as only a Scottish genealogist could: ”Clears throat: Ho-ly sh** balls with little animated bells on…!!!!” he wrote. “MyHeritage evolved its toolkit from the realms of genealogy into digital sorcery! I genuinely don’t know whether to fetch a priest to yell ‘The power of Christ compels you’ at it, or to just drop everything immediately and play with this new toy for the rest of the month…! It really takes a lot to impress me, but I’m properly impressed with this.”

Roberta Estes of DNA Explained writes: “For one of my friends who only has photos of their parents and grandparents, and never knew them, this technology has been a gift of the highest magnitude… This technology is the only way I’ll ever “see” my mother move as a child. I want to hug her. She looks so much like my daughter about the same age. The enhancement technology itself is amazing, even without animation… Their technology has improved dramatically from the first versions, just a few months ago. This picture of my mother during her show business years is stunning.”

Amy Johnson Crow, host of the Generations Cafe podcast, pointed out how this tool can engage the younger generations: “If you’ve been trying to get younger people or non-genealogists interested in your genealogy or family history, it’s things like this that can spark an interest,” she wrote. “Thanks, MyHeritage, for giving us another tool to help break the ice!”

Deep Nostalgia™ also got a shout-out on Who Do You Think You Are Magazine, Family History Hound, and The Legal Genealogist.

Many, many thanks to all of you for sharing your videos and telling your friends about this incredible new feature. Keep ‘em coming!

The post Deep Nostalgia™ Goes Viral!  appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Offer Extended: Upload Your DNA for Free Access to All DNA Features

2021. február 28., vasárnap 13:53:32

Due to the enthusiastic response to our week-long offer to waive the unlock fee on the advanced DNA features for uploaded DNA, we have decided to extend the offer another week!

Now those of you who haven’t yet uploaded your DNA data to MyHeritage and enjoyed free access to all DNA features — including the brand-new Genetic Groups — will have another chance!

MyHeritage’s mission is to help people all over the world learn about their family history and bring families together. We know that you have multiple DNA testing services to choose from, and we don’t want the cost of purchasing an additional DNA kit from us to be prohibitive. That’s why, unlike most other DNA testing services, we allow users to upload DNA data from other providers and receive DNA Matches for free. To access additional DNA features, such as Ethnicity Estimates (including Genetic Groups), the One-to-many Chromosome Browser, AutoClusters, and Theory of Family Relativity™, there is usually an unlock fee of $29.

However, we are waiving that fee for an additional week, from March 1–7, 2021. Users who upload their DNA data this week will receive free access to all DNA features on MyHeritage — forever!

If you’ve already uploaded your DNA to MyHeritage, the additional features have already been unlocked, so go check them out now!

If you’ve tested with another service and haven’t uploaded your DNA to MyHeritage yet — there’s never been a better time. Uploading your DNA to MyHeritage is easy, and your results will usually be ready within a day or two. Click here to upload your DNA to MyHeritage.

Don’t miss this chance! Upload your DNA to MyHeritage now.

The post Offer Extended: Upload Your DNA for Free Access to All DNA Features appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

New: Animate the Faces in Your Family Photos 

2021. február 25., csütörtök 16:15:44

Do you sometimes wonder how your ancestors moved, smiled and looked in real life? You can now see your ancestors from generations past like never before! 

We’re happy to introduce Deep Nostalgia™, a groundbreaking new photo feature on MyHeritage that allows you to animate the faces of your loved ones in still photos. This new addition to our suite of photo tools produces a realistic depiction of how a person from an old photo could have moved and looked if they were captured on video. 

Animate your photos 

It may be lovely to see this photo of your grandmother…

…but seeing her smile at you and look around is a whole different story:

Deep Nostalgia™ uses deep learning algorithms, to produce remarkable results. You can animate any of the faces in your photos to see them move, blink, and smile. It works equally well on black and white photos and photos that were originally taken in color. It also works well on colorized photos and photos whose colors were restored using MyHeritage In Color™. Share the short animated videos of your ancestors smiling, blinking, and turning their heads with your friends and family and see what they think!

How it works

The remarkable technology for animating photos was licensed by MyHeritage from D-ID, a company specializing in video reenactment using deep learning. MyHeritage integrated this technology to animate the faces in historical photos and create high-quality, realistic video footage. 
Deep Nostalgia™ works on all enhanced photos — whether in their original color scheme or colorized or color-restored with MyHeritage In Color™. If your photo was not yet enhanced on MyHeritage, then that is done automatically as part of the process in order to achieve as high-resolution an image as possible. This ensures optimal results for the video animation. 

We have several possible sequences of gestures that can be applied to a photo, each originating from a pre-recorded driver video that we’ve prepared in advance. The driver videos guide the movements in the animation so you can see your ancestors smile, blink, and turn their heads. 

In the example below, you can see how the recorded driver videos work. On the left you see the driver video we prepared of Sagih Keinan from the MyHeritage Marketing team, and on the right, you see how the driver was applied to a still photo to create the video animation.

We analyze the orientation of the head and the direction of the eyes, and choose automatically which driver is best and will be applied to the selected face.

The result is a short, high-quality video animation of an individual face that can smile, blink, and move. 


When uploaded to MyHeritage, two faces were detected in this photo: 

Here are the faces enhanced:

And now the videos:

In this next example, Sir Cecil Herbert Edward Chubb, 1st Baronet is pictured with his daughter Mary Chubb. Sir Cecil was the last private owner of the prehistoric monument Stonehenge. He bought the monument for his wife Lady Chubb on a whim at auction in 1915, using £6,600 of her £100,000 fortune, and in 1918, he donated it to the British government.

Their individual faces are brought into focus using the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer:

Seeing Sir Cecil and his daughter Mary’s faces animated makes us feel as if they’re right in front of us! 

Getting started 

To animate new photos that haven’t been uploaded to MyHeritage yet, you can upload and animate them at  




Deep Nostalgia™  main page

Click “Upload photo” to choose a file from your computer. Or, drag and drop a photo of your choice into the photo frame.

Once you upload your photo, you’ll be asked to sign up to MyHeritage to animate your photos. Signing up is free. If you already have a MyHeritage account, and aren’t logged in, select the “Log in” option on the bottom of the popup.

Once the photo has been uploaded, select a face to animate from among the individual faces that have been detected in the image.

Select a face to animate from the detected faces

Animating one face in a photo typically takes between 10 to 20 seconds, depending on the length of the driver video that we’re applying to it. Videos that consist of a longer sequence of gestures take longer to create. 

Once your animated video is ready it will start playing immediately. Hover over it to pause the video at any point.

Pausing the video animation

Animating photos already on MyHeritage

You can also animate any photo that is already on MyHeritage by visiting the “My Photos” section of the website.

Accessing the My photos section

Select one of your photos, and click the new “Animate” button.

Click “Animate” to begin!

If only one face is detected in your photo, we’ll begin animating it right away. 

If there is more than one person in the photo, you can choose which face to animate by selecting from the bar below the photo which shows all the individual faces detected in the image. 

Choose from the faces we’ve detected

Once complete, you’ll be able to watch the output video of your animation. 

Click play to replay your animation

Sharing and saving

Once you’ve created your video animation, you’ll surely want to share it with your friends and family. Click on the Share icon to share the original photo or the animation on Facebook, Twitter, or to easily copy the link. Select Download to save the video animation in mp4 format.

Share an animation


The gestures in the driver videos that are used to create the animation sequences are real human gestures and the actors in most of these blueprint videos are employees of MyHeritage. However, the end result is not authentic — it’s a technological simulation of how the person in your photo would have moved and looked if they were captured on video.

We believe it is our ethical responsibility to make sure that people see the difference between simulated videos created using deep learning and original photos or videos. For this reason, we differentiate animated photos from the originals using a special embossed motion icon (it looks like a moving ball) in the bottom left corner of the photos. Together with the magic wand icon indicating that the photo was enhanced, these icons appear on all animated photos so that users can tell them apart from the original. If the animation was created on a colorized photo, the palette icon will appear next to the magic wand and motion icons on the bottom left corner. 

You’ll see the same icon in the thumbnails of the photos that you’ve already animated in the My Photos section of your family site. This icon will help you keep track of which photos you’ve animated. 

Icon indicating that an animated version of a photo has been created

When you animate a photo, the animated video that is created is not added to your albums on MyHeritage as a standalone item. Instead, it piggybacks on the original photo. 

Multiple faces

Once you upload a photo, we automatically detect the faces in it, and allow you to select a face to animate. We are usually able to find most faces that are present in a photo, but there are cases where some faces are not detected. Currently, only faces that have been detected by the algorithm can be animated.

You can animate all the detected faces in a photo, but in the current version of this feature, they cannot all be animated at the same time. You’ll need to create a separate animation for each face, one at a time. 

If you’re viewing a photo from the My Photos section of the website, you’ll be able to tell which faces have been animated by looking at the individual faces below the main photo — those with an animation appear with a play button.

Play button indicates which faces have already been animated

Changing the sequence of movements

If you want to control which sequence of gestures is selected, rather than stick with the default driver that was chosen for you, you can do so from the My Photos section of the website. There, you can change the driver for a photo that has already been animated. Although we’ve chosen the sequence that we believe works best for the selected face, you can play around with the different options, and see if you prefer a different one. 

To change the driver for your animation, click the “Animation” drop-down and choose any of the available drivers. The driver that we originally chose will appear with the word “default” next to it. 

For this lovely wedding day photo, a specific driver (Animation #8) is automatically chosen as the default driver: 

Video animation using default driver (Animation #8)

The automatically chosen driver produces a fantastic result. Let’s play around with others, and see if they can also capture this bride’s joy on her wedding day.

Selecting a different driver (Animation #2) also produces a fantastic animation:

Video animation using a new driver (Animation #2)

Animating your photos using the mobile app

Deep Nostalgia™ is also available on the free MyHeritage mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. If you already have the app, you’ll need to update it first to make sure you’re using the latest version. 

You can animate photos from the Photos section in the app or upload new photos to be animated. We recommend using the mobile app’s built-in scanner. This is a great way to digitize your historical photos and transfer them from their physical albums straight to MyHeritage, where they will be preserved for posterity. When scanning your photos, do so in the highest resolution possible to maximize quality and achieve the best possible results.

Visit the Photos section to see all of your uploaded photos, and choose one. Tap on the new animation icon on top of a photo:

If your photo has not yet been enhanced, we will enhance it at this stage, in order to achieve optimal animation results. 

If multiple faces are detected in the photo, you’ll be asked to select which one you’d like to animate:

The animation process can take up to 20 seconds, depending on which driver we have chosen for the face you selected. Once the video animation has been created, it will play automatically. Tap the play button to play it again. 

You can also share the video animation, delete the animation, or download the file from this page. 

Tap on the “Animation type” dropdown menu to try out other drivers for a specific face. 


While many love the Deep Nostalgia™ feature and consider it magical, others find it uncanny and are uncomfortable with the results. Our driver videos don’t include speech in order to prevent abuse of this feature, such as the creation of “deep fake” videos of living people. Please use this feature on your own historical photos, and not on photos featuring living people without their permission. 

When you create an animation using Deep Nostalgia™, your privacy is protected. The animation and enhancement occur on MyHeritage servers and neither the photos nor the videos are shared with any third party. MyHeritage doesn’t own the resulting video; it belongs to you, as with all photos you upload to MyHeritage.


If you have a Complete subscription with MyHeritage, you will be able to animate an unlimited number of photos.

Other MyHeritage users can create several animations for free. Beyond that, they will need a subscription to animate more. Non-subscribers will notice a watermark of the MyHeritage logo on the bottom right of the video animation, while Complete subscribers will be able to produce animated photos that are logo-free.

You can learn more about our various subscription plans here.


We’re excited to add the Deep Nostalgia™ feature to our suite of advanced photo tools that help our users connect with their ancestors in a whole new way. With the introduction of MyHeritage In Color™ and the Photo Enhancer, you could see the faces of your ancestors in vivid color and stunning clarity. Now, with Deep Nostalgia™, you can see their faces come to life in a high-quality video animation.

Making incredible family history discoveries can often feel like we’re getting to know our ancestors on a personal level. Seeing our ancestors move makes them even more real to us, and creates an encounter with our family history that is more personal and lifelike than ever before. 

Try it today and let us know what you think! 

The post New: Animate the Faces in Your Family Photos  appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Search All Irish Records for Free This St. Patrick’s Day!

2021. február 25., csütörtök 7:40:05

St. Patrick’s Day is all about celebrating your Irish heritage… and what better way to celebrate your connection to the Emerald Isle than to make discoveries about your ancestors who lived there?

From March 11–18, you’ll be able to do just that on MyHeritage for free! We’re opening all Irish records to the public for the entire week. Don’t miss your chance to delve into the historical records and find new information about your relatives!

Search Irish records on MyHeritage

As many as 100 million people all over the world are believed to have Irish ancestors. In the 2019 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, around 32 Americans identified as being of Irish heritage — but the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that around 40 million Americans have some Irish ancestry. That leaves around 8 million U.S. citizens who don’t know that they are from an Irish background! Perhaps making these records readily accessible will help more of them realize their connection to Ireland.

MyHeritage’s Irish record collection includes around 14 million records of all kinds: census records, vital records, directories, wills, and much more.

MyHeritage is also home to around 120 million family tree profiles with Irish heritage — so even if you don’t find your ancestors among the free records, you just might discover a relative who’s already done some sleuthing and can give you some new insights!

Remember, these records are free only from March 11–18, so mark your calendars to search the free Irish records on MyHeritage!

The post Search All Irish Records for Free This St. Patrick’s Day! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

MyHeritage Online Events for March

2021. február 25., csütörtök 6:45:31

This month marks one year since we began offering our free online Facebook Live and Ask the Expert sessions! While we wouldn’t have chosen the circumstances that inspired us to begin these sessions, we couldn’t be more grateful that we’ve been able to provide this valuable free content and bring the genealogy community together during this challenging year.

We’re roaring ahead with plenty of fantastic sessions for you this month!

Our free, live webinars feature top experts in genealogy, family history, and DNA speaking on a wide variety of useful and relevant topics. Thanks to the live format, you can ask questions and interact with the lecturers in real time. Even if you can’t make it to the live events, you can still enjoy all recorded FB Live sessions in the Videos section of the MyHeritage Facebook page.

Facebook Live Sessions

No advance registration is required for these sessions: you can join them straight from our Facebook page. Simply visit the page when the session is scheduled to start, and look out for the live video broadcast at the top of the feed. You’ll be able to ask questions in the comments, and the speakers will respond to them live.

March 1, 2 P.M. EST

Topic: Inheritance and Family Secrets

Speaker: Dani Shapiro

Description: We’re very excited to invite you to this special session with Dani Shapiro, author of the instant NYT bestselling memoir, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love. Dani will speak about her fascinating book and the events that led her to write it.

March 3, 9 A.M. EST

Topic: Following Genealogy Clues to Learn Great-Grandma’s Story

Speaker: Lisa Alzo

Description: Genealogist and author Lisa Alzo will take us along on her journey to learn more about the lives of her Slovak ancestors.


March 8, 2 P.M. EST

Topic: Using the Gossip Columns in Newspapers to Document Your Ancestors

Speaker: Melissa Barker

Description: Learn how to find the juiciest details about your ancestors using the gossip columns of newspapers with Melissa Barker, public historian and archives manager.


March 17, 1 P.M. EST

Topic: Diving into My Irish Heritage

Speaker: James Tanner

Description: Join genealogist James Tanner for a special St. Patrick’s Day session on researching your Irish heritage.


March 22, 2 P.M. EST

Topic: Destination DNA: How a Woman Chose Her Travel Itinerary

Speaker: Rachel Decoste

Description: Join Black history expert and author Rachel Decoste as discusses her whirlwind heritage tour of 5 African countries, guided by the results of a DNA test.


March 24, 1 P.M. EST

Topic: Recording Family Stories

Speaker: Rhonda Lauritzen

Description: Rhonda Lauritzen, professional biographer and expert on preserving family stories, will share her tips and advice for recording the stories in your family in a way that is engaging, memorable, and will carry your family legacy forward for future generations.


March 29, 2 P.M. EST

Topic: Strategies for Finding Your Family in Newspapers at MyHeritage

Speaker: Lisa Louise Cooke

Description: Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems will share tips and best practices to help you find your family in MyHeritage’s newspaper collections.


March 29, 8 A.M. EST

Topic: Are You Related to Royalty?

Speaker: Caroline Gurney

Description: Historical researcher Caroline Gurney will show you how to find out whether you’re descended from a royal family.


We look forward to having you join us!

The post MyHeritage Online Events for March appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Meet us at RootsTech 2021!

2021. február 24., szerda 13:20:45

If you’ve been dreaming of attending the annual RootsTech conference, but haven’t been able to go in years past, you may be delighted to learn that for the first time ever, the world’s largest genealogy event will be entirely virtual and completely free! Over 500K attendees from all world are expected to attend the virtual lectures and booths, offering new opportunities to connect with genealogy and family history enthusiasts from all over the world. As a platinum sponsor for the event, you’ll have the opportunity to hear some incredible MyHeritage feature announcements and 100’s of lectures from our experts on all things genealogy, DNA and MyHeritage. The conference officially starts February 25th and ends February 27th 2021. 

Register to RootsTech 2021 for FREE! 

Visit the MyHeritage virtual booth

We’d love to meet you! Our virtual booth is open! Come visit and chat with MyHeritage representatives about all of our features, products, and services. You can even start your own chats and meet other MyHeritage fans from all over the world.

MyHeritage Lectures

We are excited to be presenting the MyHeritage keynote this year on the main Rootstech virtual stage. Be the first to hear our big feature announcement on February 25th at 7:18Am MST or 7:30PM MST. You can also catch it on Friday, February 26 at 4:30AM MST and 4:18PM MST. 

In addition to the MyHeritage keynote, you’ll be able to access hundreds of MyHeritage lectures in 10 different languages throughout the Rootstech conference. The lectures cover a wide array of topics in genealogy, DNA, and all things happening at MyHeritage. They will be available on demand, 24 hours a day, starting on Thursday, February 25 at 9am MST.

Here is your guide to all our must-watch lectures happening this weekend.

Lectures on Genealogy

  • Genealogy by the Clock: What You Can Do with the Time You Have: You’ll get specific recommendations for how to make the most of the time that’s available to you and move forward with your genealogy, even if it’s only a few minutes at a time.
  • Planting a Family Tree Online on MyHeritage: Learn the basics of building a family tree, adding new people, and filling in their details, and discover how MyHeritage technologies help you effortlessly make new discoveries.
  • Exploring Billions of Historical Records on MyHeritage: Learn how to use MyHeritage’s historical record search engine to systematically search 13+ billion historical records from around the world and find information about your ancestors.
  • How I Found My Jewish American Family, A Genealogy Research Success: Learn from expert genealogist Daniel Horowitz about his experience retracing the steps of his family in the U.S. and glean some useful advice on how to research yours.
  • If Only I Knew Then What I Know Now: Learn about common genealogy mistakes so you can get it right the first time — or revisit your research and make new discoveries.

Lectures on DNA

  • Introducing Genetic Groups with Ran Snir: Discover the long-awaited enhancement of MyHeritage DNA’s ethnicity results: Genetic Groups, which dramatically increase the resolution of MyHeritage’s ethnicity breakdown to 2,114 geographic regions.
  • How to Analyze Your DNA Matches: Genetic genealogy 101! Learn new strategies for reviewing your matches so you can advance your family history research.
  • MyHeritage DNA — An Overview: Get an introduction to MyHeritage DNA with all its features and tools, and shows you how you can use your results to learn about your family background, find new relatives, and make new discoveries about your family.
  • Advanced DNA Tools to Analyze MyHeritage DNA Matches: Learn to use MyHeritage’s advanced tools for genetic genealogy to reveal how you and your DNA Matches may be related.

Lectures on MyHeritage Features

  • MyHeritage’s New Tools for Historical Photos with Keren Dotan: Product Manager Keren Dotan shares the latest enhancements to MyHeritage In Color™ and shows you how MyHeritage’s photo tools can help you encounter your ancestors as you’ve never seen them before.
  • Genealogy on the Go with the MyHeritage Mobile App: Genealogy doesn’t have to stop because you’re on the move! Learn how to enjoy MyHeritage features from the palm of your hand and enrich your tree anytime, anywhere.
  • Using MyHeritage Photo Tools to Enhance Your Genealogical Research: Discover how MyHeritage’s tools for colorizing and enhancing photos can enrich your family history research.
  • Minimum Effort, Maximum Output: Making Discoveries on MyHeritage: Learn how to use MyHeritage’s automatic matching technologies to instantly grow your family tree.
  • MyHeritage PedigreeMap™ — An Interactive Map of Your Family History: Learn to use MyHeritage PedigreeMap™ to take an interactive tour of the places where significant events occurred in your family.
  • Creating Beautiful Charts of Your Family Tree on MyHeritage: Learn how to showcase your discoveries with a free, beautiful chart of your family tree that you can create on MyHeritage.

Click here to watch MyHeritage lectures!

Lectures in 10 Different Languages

In addition to our selection of lectures in English, you’ll also be able to listen to lectures from our experts in German, Danish, Spanish, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish. As the #1 destination for family history research and DNA testing in Europe, MyHeritage is proud to be a global genealogy platform. Our website is available in 42 languages, and our ultimate goal is to make genealogy easy and accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Explore RootsTech lectures by language!

Join us at a truly international RootsTech this year!

By removing the obstacles of distance and cost, RootsTech is going truly international this year! MyHeritage is dedicated to making family history accessible to people all over the world for more than a decade, and we can’t wait for our users from all corners of the globe to join us at RootsTech this year. Registration is free at

See you there!

The post Meet us at RootsTech 2021! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Half-Siblings from Around the World Discover Each Other with MyHeritage DNA

2021. február 22., hétfő 21:18:14

Years ago, Gina McClelland met her biological father for the first and last time. After almost four decades of growing up without him, she Googled him, and ended up spending 3 hours with him at a mall. During that visit, he revealed that she had siblings… but said that he couldn’t tell them about her because she was a “secret” and it would upset them. It seemed that she’d never know what it would feel like to be a sister.

But thanks in part to MyHeritage DNA, Gina found and reconnected with her siblings. Last year, Gina and her half-sister Wendy flew down to the Dominican Republic to meet their brother Larro for the first time.

Watch their amazing story in the video below:

‘You are a secret’

Gina grew up in the Toronto area as the daughter of a single teenage mom. The only thing she’d known about her father was his name: Larry Cooper. She grew up and had five kids of her own, and at the age of 37, she decided to Google him. A photograph of a man who had a striking resemblance to one of Gina’s daughters popped up. She contacted him and he agreed to meet her for that one and only meeting.

“I remember tears running down his cheeks as he walked away,” says Gina. “And I knew in my heart that I would never see him again.”

A comment on an obituary

After Larry didn’t reply to her last email, Gina had a sinking feeling, and decided to Google him again. This time, she found an online obituary.

The obituary had a comments section, and one of the comments caught Gina’s eye: a woman named Wendy wrote that Larry was her father, and wanted to get in touch with anyone who could give her more information about his death.

Gina decided to write to Wendy, letting her know that they were half-sisters. Wendy was shocked — she had known about two other half-siblings, but her father had never told her about Gina.

Wendy and Gina connected with each other and started to enjoy each other as sisters.

A surprise sibling

At Christmas time in 2017, Gina’s and Wendy’s families decided to give them MyHeritage DNA tests to confirm their sisterhood and give them a chance to learn more about their ethnicities.

When Gina’s results came in, there was a half-sister match… but to her shock, it wasn’t Wendy or Laura! It was a woman named Brigitte Currie, who also grew up in Toronto and is just 9 days older than Gina. Brigitte had been raised by a single father who had also recently passed away — but wasn’t Larry. She was sure the match must be through the biological mother she hadn’t known. But when Wendy’s results came through, the three of them matched — indicating that her connection with them was actually through her father, and that the man who raised her wasn’t her birth father after all.

The shock for Brigitte was immense. Not only was the man who raised her and who she’d recently lost not her birth father after all, she had 3 sisters and a brother she’d never known existed.

‘I want to know everything’

While Brigitte was taking the time to process all this, Gina and Wendy decided to fly down to the Dominican Republic to finally meet their brother, Larro — who Wendy had known about before Gina contacted her. Larro was the only one of the siblings who had been raised by Larry.

“For me, my dad was the best man in the world, my superhero,” says Larro. “The hardest thing when he passed away was that after that, I knew I had more siblings. In that moment, life started to change.”

“I grew up an only child and now I have several siblings, and I’m pretty excited about that,” says Gina. “My siblings helped me to see a part of me that I could never see growing up.”

“Finding my siblings was really fantastic,” Larro says. “I want to know everything.”

“We’re making memories,” says Wendy. “I’ll never forget this.”

After their reunion with Larro in the Dominican Republic, the sisters went on a cottage trip together and got matching tattoos to seal their bond. They’re hoping to bring Larro to Canada someday, so the last piece of the puzzle will finally fall into place and they can enjoy being one family.

Ready to make your own incredible discoveries? Order your MyHeritage DNA kit today.

The post Half-Siblings from Around the World Discover Each Other with MyHeritage DNA appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Upload your DNA Data to MyHeritage and Get FREE Access to All DNA Features — Limited-time Offer!

2021. február 21., vasárnap 9:37:30

Christmas came just a tad early for MyHeritage DNA users when we finally released a long-awaited enhancement to our DNA ethnicity results: Genetic Groups. This feature significantly increases the resolution of MyHeritage DNA’s ethnicity breakdown to 2,114 geographic regions. Our users have been raving about it ever since.

But many folks who have tested their DNA with other services, such as 23andMe, Ancestry, or FamilyTree DNA Family Finder, were unable to join the fun.

MyHeritage allows you to upload your DNA data from other providers and get DNA Matches for free, but a one-time unlock fee of $29 (or a Complete plan with MyHeritage) has been required to access the advanced DNA features — and that includes the Ethnicity Estimate and the new Genetic Groups.

Well, we don’t want you to feel left out just because you tested with another service! For a limited time only, between February 21–28, 2021, we are waiving the unlock fee. (UPDATE: This offer has been extended through March 7, 2021!) You can now upload your DNA data to MyHeritage and get access to your Ethnicity Estimate, Genetic Groups, and other advanced DNA tools such as the Chromosome Browser, AutoClusters, and Theory of Family Relativity™ — absolutely free! These features will remain free forever for the DNA kits you upload to MyHeritage during this week.

Upload your data to MyHeritage now

If you’ve already tested your DNA with another service, you don’t need to waste your time and money purchasing a new kit. We’re aware that people who are searching for family members — such as adopted people searching for their birth parents — want to “fish in multiple ponds” and try multiple DNA databases to find leads, and purchasing multiple DNA kits gets expensive. That’s why we offer users the option of uploading their DNA data to MyHeritage for free.

Here’s what one user, Joan Matalon, recently had to say about her experience uploading her DNA data to MyHeritage: “I uploaded my raw DNA from Ancestry to MyHeritage and in May last year I joined and it has been fabulous! I have found relatives that I never knew about! I would recommend MyHeritage to anyone who would like to learn more about their family! MyHeritage has so many features that are helping me with my research.”

If you tested your DNA with another service and haven’t uploaded it to MyHeritage yet, now’s the best time to do it! Upload your data to MyHeritage now


The post Upload your DNA Data to MyHeritage and Get FREE Access to All DNA Features — Limited-time Offer! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Announcing the Winners of #LoveInFullColor!

2021. február 18., csütörtök 18:20:27

In honor of Valentine’s Day this year, and in celebration of our recently released photo color restoration feature, we asked you to share your enhanced, colorized, and/or color-restored wedding photos for a chance to win our #LoveInFullColor competition. We were blown away by all the entries — such stunning photos and fascinating stories from all over the world!

Before we announce the winners, we’d like to share some honorable mentions. These are just a few favorites from among so many wonderful photos and stories.

Julia of @julia.vdelft shared a few lovely photos of her Oma and Opa on their wedding day, August 18, 1959.

She tells the following story about their wedding: “Apparently their whole wedding was planned for the 17th. The invitations said it would be on Monday, the 17th, and even their wedding rings were engraved with the 17th. They arrived in Smithers on the 15th only to find that the banns hadn’t actually been read on time in church, so the minister could not legally marry them. My Opa had to find someone quick who could get them a special 3-day license. He finally found an official in a bar, but it was past midnight. The official graciously backdated his license so they could at least get married on the 18th. Or so the story goes!”

Julia says her Opa passed away when she was 8, and her Oma on her 14th birthday.

“I absolutely love how clear the photos look in colour and so much more real,” says Julia. “Can’t wait to see what else I can do!”

This next one comes to us from genealogist Andy Likins at @glimpsesofthepast, featuring his wife Heidi’s great-grandparents, married in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1908:

This is the story he tells: “Heidi’s great grandparents, Christian Peder and Petra Ingara (Berge) Pederson, lived lives of adventure. They were married in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1908. For their honeymoon, they first traveled to Norway to meet Christian’s mother and siblings. Petra had been born in Norway, but the family came to the US when she was just two. Then they visited the Alps. (Note the cord to trigger the camera in the photo taken on a mountainside.) From there they sailed through the Suez Canal to Madagascar. Christian had been born in Madagascar to Norwegian missionary parents. Christian and Petra would work in Madagascar for the next four decades and raise a family of nine children. When they got married, Petra’s family was afraid that she would surely die young going to such a far off place, but she outlived them all, dying a few months from her 100th birthday.”

Here’s another one from Andy, this time of his own great-great-grandparents, probably taken in Newton, Iowa, around the time of their marriage in 1860:

Andy says that unfortunately, life was not easy for them after this photo was taken: “Thomas was killed at the Battle of Atlanta in 1864, leaving Margaret a widow with two young boys at the age of 20. She would remarry and have three more children, all of whom died young. She would die at about age 30. The families of Margaret’s brother and sister took in her orphaned boys. Our ancestors often dealt with enormous hardships in their lives that we might be here today.”

Below is a stunning photo from Sarah Hinobayashi, featuring her husband’s parents on their wedding day in Japan, 1966.

It’s amazing to see how sharp and bright the colors are, and how clear even the smallest details are!” says Sarah. We heartily agree — check out the deep crimson and bright gold on her mother-in-law’s wedding kimono! Just beautiful.

The photo below is from Henrietta Silverman Jenrette, and it features her and her husband David Jenrette on their wedding day. David was a newly commissioned second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force at the time. He was from New Jersey and Henrietta from Miami, but they met in Texas through mutual friends when she was a freshman at the University of Texas, and he was an aviation cadet in the USAF.

The photo below, from Elizabeth Handler at @elizhandler, features her maternal grandparents on their wedding day in 1931:

Elizabeth says that the couple married earlier than planned to be sure that her grandfather’s mother, who was ill, could be there. The mother died less than a month later.

The photo below, from Michael Dornieden of Germany, features his mother with her first husband, who died in Russian captivity. 

Michael says: “Thanks to MyHeritage, we’ve been able to research quite a bit of new information. What I particularly like about the photo functions is that the pictures are greatly improved and that the faces are ‘brought to life’ again.”

The photo below comes to us from Luca Anderson, an 18-year-old genealogist who has been researching his family for the past 2 years. The photo features his great-grandparents on their wedding day, December 22, 1933, in Springe, which is in the Hanover region of Germany.

“This photo is very special to me,” says Luca. “What I particularly like about this photo is that it shows the special relationship between the two of them. It looks as if the bride is placing a protective arm on the groom’s shoulder, and ready to stand by him as a strong woman in any situation. According to my grandma, her father was always very welcoming. Unfortunately, however, he fell in Russia in 1943.”

“This new life that is breathed into the pictures is really incredible,” he says.

The stunning photo below from Gabriele features her parents Günther and Regina on their wedding day, October 25, 1955 in the Harz Mountains.

“It is almost a miracle that the two found each other,” says Gabriele. Günther, born 1931, grew up with his two brothers in a very wealthy family in the Harz Mountains, and had a relatively carefree childhood and youth. Regina was born in Lower Silesia in 1936, and was forced to flee to the Czech Republic with her family. The family suffered loss and hardship, but they survived the war.

In 1964, Regina went on vacation to the Harz for the first time, and that’s where she met Günther. Gabriele says that Regina told her she immediately knew that this was the man she would marry. The two corresponded for a while, and she moved to the Harz Mountains to marry Günther and the two went on to have 6 children, 14 grandchildren, and 8 grandchildren, and remained married for almost 60 years until Regina passed away.

The photo below is from Manja, and it features her aunt and uncle, who wed in 1979, standing in front of their “bridal car”:

Manja was 5 when this wedding took place, and she remembers that she held up the entire wedding party by falling down the stairs! Fortunately, she was not badly injured and the party was able to go on.

Manja also shared this photo of her grandmother and her grandmother’s new partner, and she says she was amazed when she colorized it because the colors were exactly as she remembered them!

“I’m really happy that I inherited all of these photos and that I can keep memories like that,” says Manja. “Many thanks to you for giving me the opportunity to breathe new life into the old black and white photos and to enhance them. I am always amazed at how realistic they are and how quickly memories come up!”

We love how the restoration worked on this photo of Gary Mokotoff and his wife Ruth on their wedding day 55 years ago:

The white looks so bright and crisp!

The photo below from Tatiana Gimenez, taken in France in 1930, features her dad’s grandparents:

The bride was from Spain, so not many members of her family were present and most of the people in the photo are from the groom’s side. Tat tells us that the son of the couple getting married would later marry the daughter of the man to their left!

The photo below is a double love story: that of a man and a woman, and that of a woman and a horse! Michele Hastings sent it to us, and it features her husband’s great-grandparents on their wedding day in 1902 in New Mexico.

Michele writes that the bride, Dollie, was only 17 years old. “She was visiting her aunt and uncle in rural New Mexico when she met her future husband, Jim. On this same visit, she fell in love with the horse pictured. Dolly reportedly told Jim, ‘If you will buy me that horse, I will marry you.’”

And apparently that’s what he did — even though, according to the family, he was not a big fan of horses! If you look closely at the photo, you can see that the bride is sitting sidesaddle.

The lovely photo below comes to us from Corinna Dallaire, and it features family members Jacobus and Elizabeth Hoogenhoud on their wedding day on June 20, 1946 in Holland. They immigrated to Canada the following year, owned several farms, and raised 6 children:

The photo below from Sandra van Heusden was taken in 1928 at the wedding of Sandra’s great-uncle and -aunt in Aberdeen.

Sandra writes: “I had no good pictures of my Great Aunts and Uncles, so to be able to see this enhanced and in colour is fantastic. What a great tool!”

The photo below, from Sally Olsen, was also taken in the 1920s:

Wedding of Oliver and Clara (Ovre) Kolstad, October 10, 1925

She also sent us this photo from a wedding in 1946 — the results of colorization are stunning!

Wedding of Bob & Emily (Short) Coffin

And in the one below, from 1979, really demonstrates the power of color restoration:

Wedding of Larry and Kathryn Nelson,  May 19, 1979

The photo below, from Daphne Coats, was taken in 1934 in Riversdale, Southand, New Zealand:

Marriage of Charles Arthur (Mick) Coats, 21, to Annie Susannah Clarke, 25, at Riversdale, Southand, New Zealand, November 14, 1934. Mick’s brother William is on the left, and Annie’s sister Catherine (Kit) is on the right.

“We have always had to see this photo in its sepia look,” says Daphne, “but what a difference your colour enhance feature makes 87 years after the event!”

The photo below, from Agnieszka Piasecka, features her grandparents on their wedding day on October 10, 1959, in Poznań, Poland:

Agnieszka writes that her grandmother Anna, as the only daughter of her parents, was brought up terribly spoiled and was never taught how to do housework. So when she married Feliks at almost 30 years old, the only housework she could do was make tea and scrambled eggs! At first this wasn’t an issue, since they lived with Feliks’ parents for a few years, and his mother was an excellent housewife. But when they moved to a place of their own, it was a crisis in the family. “Both families (Grandma’s and Grandpa’s) were so afraid that this may end in their divorce or worse, that they got together all at one table once and were discussing the situation, like at a war table or something,” writes Agnieszka. After a few hours, they finally came up with a solution: to hire a relative to help out. Anna eventually learned what she needed from that relative, but in the meantime, Feliks was the one changing and washing the diapers!

The colorized and enhanced photo below, from Paula Sanvito Dotson, was taken at her parents’ wedding in 1950:

Paula writes: “Although I’m not sure of the original color of the maid of honor’s dress, I think it turned out beautiful!” We agree — it looks convincing to us, and the colorization helps bring out the velvety texture of the dress, especially next to the shining white satin of the bride’s gown. Really lovely photo!

Below are a few more of our favorites that were shared on Twitter:

Translation: My beloved grandparents who were married for nearly 70 years, before my grandfather passed away last summer. Sometimes they had their differences, but otherwise they were like peas in a pod.

And the winners are…

Here are the winners of the #LoveInFullColor contest:

Janice Moerschel:

We just love this photo Janice sent from her parent’s wedding, and the story that comes with it:

Janice’s mother Grace had an identical twin sister, Anne, and when her father — Charles — first met them at his church youth group at Riverside Church, Manhattan, he thought was seeing double! Not being able to decide which of the two to ask out, he wrote to both of them: “Dear Grace and Anne… or is it Anne and Grace?” He invited them both to ride bicycles with him at Central Park on a Sunday afternoon, and only Grace showed up.

The rest is history: Charles and Grace were married at the Riverside Church Chapel in July, 1945. 

“Charles had been serving in the Army and wasn’t quite yet done, so he is wearing his uniform in this photo that I enhanced and colorized at MyHeritage,” writes Janice. “I had to use the MyHeritage [colorization settings] to choose the alternative model, used manual rendering and adjusted the saturation level to get better color on Charles’s Army uniform, but I think this turned out great! The photo was taken at his mother’s apartment in uptown Manhattan where the wedding reception was held.”

This photo is a great example of how you can achieve better results by playing with the colorization settings! Click here to learn how. Good for you, Janice, and congratulations!

Karina Gomez:

The second winner comes to us from Karina: a photo of her parents on their wedding day in 1964 in Singapore:

Dad came from Malaysia to study in 1954 at NSW University, Sydney, Australia,” writes Karina. “He met Mum, who had migrated from Holland with her parents in 1957 — also studying at NSW Uni, Sydney. They met at Uni. She borrowed his badminton racquet for an interstate tournament as hers was broken and she couldn’t afford to buy a new one — that’s how it started. Engaged in February, both graduated in April 1964 & were married in September that year in Singapore.”

Karina tells us that her mother made her own lovely wedding dress — using nylon, foam, and metal wire to make the flannel flowers while she commuted from the North Coast!

“Things were tough for them at the time as they were also challenged with a mixed race marriage,” says Karina. But apparently the diversity of their family history lives on in the second generation, as she and each of her 3 siblings married someone from a different country! “Their marriage lasted 52 years until my mother passed away in 2016, my father passing away 2 years later in 2018.”

So much to love in this story, especially the detail about Karina’s mom making the dress in the photo. Congratulations, Karina!

John Gardiner:

John sent us this photo with a truly remarkable story. It was taken around 1910 and depicts the marriage of his great-grandmother’s older brother, Louis, in Southwark, London:

John’s great-grandmother Eleanor is sitting on the bride’s right.

John has two interesting facts to share about this photo. The first is that the colorization really helped bring out the skin tone of his great-grandmother and her family. They were of mixed race: Eleanor’s father was born to a British soldier and the daughter of an Indian slave on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The second is that this photo was discovered on a garbage dump in St. Helena, 7,000 miles from where the photo was taken, in 2016! Apparently, Eleanor’s older sister Louisa brought it with her when she returned to the island to marry a distant relative in 1920. Louisa had two children, but the youngest died childless, and his possessions — including this priceless photo — were thrown away.

Luckily, the curators from St. Helena Museum visit the dump from time to time to look for relics exactly like these, and this photo was among their findings — along with a slave medallion belonging to John’s 4th-great-grandfather!

This story gives whole new meaning to the phrase “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”! Congratulations, John!

Janice, Karina, and John will each receive their choice of a free Complete plan with MyHeritage or a free DNA kit! We hope they enjoy their prizes and that it helps them continue to uncover amazing stories about their ancestors.

Many, many thanks to all those who shared their photos and stories with us!

Have you tried enhancing, colorizing, or restoring the colors in your old family photos yet? This post gives you a taste of the incredible results! Give it a try at MyHeritage In Color™ and the Photo Enhancer.

The post Announcing the Winners of #LoveInFullColor! appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.