5    Nov 20116 comments

Genealogy: Why family research?

What are your reasons for pursuing your ancestors across time and space? What motivates you to gather information and preserve it for the future?

Nearly 1,400 individuals responded to a study of genealogists and family historians as a sociology professor undertook a survey of the membership of the Ontario (Canada) Genealogy Society.

Although Professor Ronald D. Lambert - of the University of Waterloo - undertook this study in 1994, its results, I believe, are just as relevant today as they were then.

In addition to questions on age, sex, national origins, marital status, employment, income, religious affiliation and other details, he asked two questions about researchers’ reasons for doing genealogy and what value they found in that pursuit.

One question sought to rank 25 reasons we pursue genealogy. Respondents marked the statements as important, fairly important or personally irrelevant.

The three reasons considered most important by respondents:

Continue reading "Genealogy: Why family research?" »

4    Nov 20111 comment

Over 70? Join in the NY Times Life Report

Respecting our elders is a cornerstone of society. Regardless of the next leap in technology or society's next flight of fancy, we always look to our seniors for inspiration, wisdom and their stories.

That is precisely why New York Times columnist David Brooks is asking for people over 70 to write a brief report of their lives so far. Brooks plans to write several columns about the submissions he receives and intends to publish the best essays.

This is a chance for seasoned genealogists to turn a critical eye to their personal history.

Although Brooks insists that taking a step back from our lives and trying to form a complete picture is an important aspect of the exercise, he believes that the essays will be most useful for the young:

“Young people are educated in many ways, but they are given relatively little help in understanding how a life develops, how careers and families evolve, what are the common mistakes and the common blessings of modern adulthood. These essays will help them benefit from your experience.”

Said writings strike me as something that could be passed down through the generations of your family. Imagine having such a document from your ancestors; we could all benefit from learning their regrets and achievements in an attempt to re-align our own expectations of life and, indeed, our ambitions.

Why not take some time to write down your successes, regrets and lessons along the way- This exercise could turn out to be quite therapeutic for your soul.

Brooks is accepting submissions to his email: dabrooks@nytimes.com. Read his complete column here.

Have a lovely weekend.

3    Nov 20111 comment

Did you know?: MyHeritage recipes

MyHeritage.com offers some features that are sometimes missed by researchers. One of these is delicious and adds a yummy extra dimension to sharing information with your family.

Food is synonymous with family life. Traditional and ethnic family recipes are often at the top of lists demonstrating what is passed down through the generations, according to research.* Continue reading "Did you know?: MyHeritage recipes" »

2    Nov 20113 comments

Halloween: Family photo winners

We love running competitions at MyHeritage, and Halloween provided an excellent opportunity to see what our community created.

It's a chance for us to see how creative our community can be and -  in the case of this week's competition - be privy to some hilarious family Halloween photos. Ghoulish, disturbing, confusing and downright terrifying - you name it, we've seen them all! See the slide show here:

We know everyone wanted to be one of the lucky three - who will now enjoy excellent features including enhanced Smart Matches™ and Timeline features.

Continue reading "Halloween: Family photo winners" »

1    Nov 20110 comments

Day of the Dead: Celebrating Life in Mexico

Today (November 1) is the beginning of the two-day Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival in Mexico.

Contrary to its name, the festival is a celebration of life rather than death, which explains the widespread display of art, food and music.

It’s an amazing couple of days as Mexicans truly commemorate the lives of their ancestors – something that we all, as family history researchers, can relate to.

Below is a video, which explains the history of the celebration and shows what happens on the two days. Enjoy!

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