Aaron wrote this post from the UK where, after what's been called the wettest June in a century, he reports that it looks like summer has finally arrived!
Summer's a great time for meeting up with friends and family. Many of us have relatives scattered in a specific country, if not abroad. When summer comes, it provides an opportunity to reconnect and get together with family.
If we have school-age children, we tend to use some the summer holidays to reconnect with family.
When the family gets together - especially for extended time - it's a great opportunity to informally discuss family history.
We can help by bringing out old family photo albums and scrapbooks. We can encourage senior relatives to share their stories and memories.
These activities can inspire the younger generations to investigate their family history.
Are you planning to organize or attend a family reunion this summer? Tell us more in the comments section below.
Thirty years ago, MyHeritage member Marcia K. Hanson, now 64, began gathering family information:
I talked to all the old family I could find (I began this when I was in my late 30s) and wrote down their stories. The stories were priceless, many were funny. It gave me an appreciation of who they were and the sacrifices they made to give their family a better life.
Marcia describes herself as a retired introvert who likes history, loves puzzles and is good with details. She enjoys having family stay in touch and loves to share family stories gathered during her research. Also an active volunteer, an avid reader and an average golfer, Marcia is certainly a busy woman.
We're delighted to introduce you to SuperSearch by MyHeritage, a brand new search engine for historical records! In development since early 2011, and officially out of Beta this week, we are proud to present one of the most comprehensive products we've ever developed.
Here's a fun one-minute video about SuperSearch:
The release of SuperSearch is an exciting moment for genealogy and family history lovers everywhere who can now search over 4 billion records such as birth, marriage, death, burial, census, military, immigration, yearbooks, plus scans of the original documents.
SuperSearch at a glance
She is 115, and was born on August 26, 1896.
Can you imagine what changes Besse has witnessed in her lifetime? She has lived through 20 US presidents, world wars, global economic crises, men on the moon, space travel and universe-changing technological innovation.
What's her secret to longevity? She says it is minding her own business and not eating junk food! View a short video about Besse below.
We'd also like to hear from our readers about longevity. Who lived the longest in your family tree? Did your longest-lived relatives share their secrets for life? Let us know in the comments.
It might seem like a mundane lunch topic, but it was interesting to learn what people eat first thing in the morning. For example, there's the "full English" with sausages, beans, bacon, toast and eggs, served up with a ginormous mug of breakfast tea. For the Americans, waffles and pancakes are a regular feature.
Chileans eat various breads with avocado or cheese spreads and a Swedish colleague had a bowl of porridge oats every morning.
Today, most people grab a quick slice of toast or bowl of cereal.
What about our ancestors? Did they eat the same foods? Did they have the same diets?
Family history research is all about discovering previously unknown information.
Most of our time is focused on locating interesting family facts and following clues to diverse records. Sometimes, however, we make an incredible discovery that reveals something completely new and unexpected.
We'd like to learn about the most incredible, amazing, surprising thing you've found through your research. Let us know in the poll below.
If I asked my grandmother who Lady Gaga is, she'd have no idea, but if I asked about 'The Beatles, she'd likely sing any number of tunes, as would my parents, as would I, and as would my kids.
Some musicians are timeless. From classical masters to the more contemporary, some music simply spans the generations.
Today is Sir Paul McCartney's 70th birthday. Born in Liverpool on June 18, 1942, his parents, Mary and Jim, couldn't know that their son would become one of the most influential musicians in the world, and part of a band that would enjoy global success.
What musicians or bands are enjoyed by the generations in your family? Do you share a favorite singer - or a timeless tune - with your grandparents or grandchildren? Share your answers in the comments section below, on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Happy birthday, Sir Paul!
Last week we asked you to send in your best fatherly advice. We wanted to hear the advice you have given your children, or advice your father has given you.
We received lots of great pearls of wisdom and in honor of Father's Day we wanted to share our favorite ones with you.
- Frances Lynch: My father always said "look after the pennies and the pounds will mind themselves". So true!
- Debbie Baldwin: "A friend is like a dollar in your pocket."
- Diana N Gary Dinsick: "When in doubt do the right thing."
- Ali Eltigani Mahmoud: "Don't make friends with money."
- Susan Yeatman: "Don’t let anyone make you do something that you don’t want to do."
- A Phakade Mchunu: Our Dad said "Manners and honesty are your passport to success."
- Nancy Mendes: My father taught me what family truly is and not to be selfish. RIP Albert Henry Smith
- Lillian Heron: Dad used to say "Never think anyone is more important than you and never think anyone is beneath you. Treat everyone as your equal and most important - be yourself".
- Barbara Pettard: My father taught me by example: honor, trust, honesty & truth!
- Prisca Campbell: "Never let the gas tank fall below half empty". I still hear my Dad's voice in my head whenever I look at the gas gauge.
- Geraldine Barker: Ever the entrepreneur his advice: "Always buy land because God isn't making it anymore".
An article in the Dallas Morning News, quoting a 2012 American Legacies Pulse Study, states that family history is the most important "asset" that we bequeath to our descendants.
According to the story, 86% of people ages 47-66 and 74% of those ages 72+ say that passing on family stories and memories means more to them than passing on material possessions.
What a great day to talk about family history with our families. The summer season is full of reunions, graduations, weddings and other family sharing opportunities.