One of the big companies in the family history industry has developed new technology that transforms still pictures into moving images.

Now people are using MyHeritage’s “Deep Nostalgia” photo animator feature to bring all kinds of historic photos to life.

MyHeritage introduced Deep Nostalgia last week at RootsTech Connect, the largest family history conference in the world.

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“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!” MyHeritage posted in a Feb. 25 blog. “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.” 

The feature has helped some to feel a deeper connection to lost loved ones.

One person tweeted: “My mom died of cancer in 2017. ... I never had any happy videos of her. This is from a picture of her as a teenager being all smiley. I’m not crying hysterically or anything.”

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Another person identified as “Nearlyknowledgablehistory” tweeted a photo of their grandfather as a young man in a military uniform with the message: “It’s so bizarre to see him brought to life — I never met my Grandad, however I used to imagine a young soldier stood by my doorway smiling just before I fell asleep.”

Since the announcement, Deep Nostalgia has gained popularity as people have used social media to share animated photos of famous individuals and artwork, including Mona Lisa, Ludwig van Beethoven, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Oscar Wilde, Nicola Tesla and Albert Einstein, using the hashtags #DeepNostalgia and #MyHeritage.

There are four steps for using Deep Nostalgia:

  1. Download the MyHeritage app using iOS or Android.
  2. Sign in.
  3. Upload the photo you want to animate.
  4. Tap on the picture and then tap on the animation icon. After a short wait, you can download and share with friends.

For more on Deep Nostalgia, visit

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