The Easter bunny is a prominent symbol of the holiday, although the furry creature is not mentioned in the Bible.
While the bunny's exact origin is unknown, rabbits are frequently used as a symbol of fertility and new life. According to some, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They brought the tradition of an egg-laying hare called Osterhase.
The tradition continued with children waking up Easter Sunday morning to find that the Easter Bunny had hidden decorated eggs for them to find.
The Easter Egg Hunt, as it is known today, is a fun family activity where children hunt for the decorated eggs indoors and outdoors to win a prize. Whomever finds the most eggs wins a prize including baskets of candies or chocolates.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (two weeks ago), we look at Irish heritage for this week's surname, MURPHY, considered the most common surname in Ireland.
Murphy is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Murchadha (descendant of Murchadh’), a personal name composed of muir (sea) + cath (battle or sea-warrior).
Traditionally, Irish surnames are taken from the leaders of tribes or famous warriors, and Murphy may be an example of this from pre-9th-century Ireland, then under Viking rule.
Do you have any secrets passed down through your family's generations?
Labyrinth is the story of two intelligent headstrong heroines, 17-year-old Alaïs Pelletier (Jessica Brown Findlay) from 13th century Carcassonne and modern-day PhD graduate Dr. Alice Tanner (Vanessa Kirby), who experience an adventure that intertwines their lives.
After inheriting a house in the South of France from an aunt she has never met, Alice stumbles upon an 800-year-old archaeological find.
Separated by time, but united in a common destiny, Alice is driven to find out about Alaïs and the past, which leads her through a journey into discovering the stories behind secrets passed down through the generations.
This year's RootsTech was only the third edition, and it has grown exponentially every year. Some 7,000 attendees - plus nearly 2,000 young people (ages 12-18) on Saturday - flocked to the Salt Palace Convention Center. It is now the largest such event in the US.
While the weather ranged from near-blizzard conditions to rain to sunshine, the halls - with some 100 exhibitors - and classrooms housing some 250 programs, drew excited crowds. According to organizer FamilySearch, attendees came from 49 states and 17 countries.
Additionally, FamilySearch announced that some 10,000 people viewed programs and keynotes via live streaming video online, while remote satellite broadcasts took place at 17 Family History centers in seven countries, attended by another 4,000 participated by remote satellite broadcast at Family History centers in 17 locations in seven countries.
Mark your calenders for RootsTech 2014 (February 6-8, 2014). FamilySearch said that they plan to export the event to some 600 locations worldwide (16 US locations and several other countries).
On Wednesday morning, following the keynote address, the doors opened and thousands of people came through. All of our computers were in use in a matter of minutes.
Last night's FamilySearch.org annual blogger dinner was informative.
As far as attendance stats, we were told that - as of last evening - some 6,800 people had registered. Last year, a little over 4,000 had come through the exhibit halls. In addition, the group has made a concerted effort to bring in young people. An additional nearly 2,000 young people, ages 12-18, will be here on Saturday. And this isn't even counting the numbers around the world you will see live streaming of a number of great programs during the event.
For the first time, organizers said, viewing centers were set up in six countries as a pilot program which is expected to continue and expand in the future.
We video-recorded interviews with Cindy Howells of Cyndi's List, Dick Eastman, Randy Seaver and DearMyrtle, and hope to being them to you soon.
Stay tuned for our next RootsTech post!
One of the best things about genealogy conferences is that we get to catch up with our friends.
This year's RootsTech is expected to attract some 5,000 attendees, some 25% more than last year's event. In addition to conference-goers, speakers and exhibitors, many genealogy bloggers are already here. While many are US-based, this year includes bloggers from Australia, UK, France, Spain and elsewhere.
By 7pm Tuesday, I was at the conference hotel, affectionately known as Geneabloggers Central. I knew that many bloggers had arrived early, and had a nice dinner with Randy Seaver, Heather Wilkinson Rojo, saw Dick Eastman, Lisa Louise Cooke, Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Alzo and others.
This morning (Wednesday) was set-up day for the MyHeritage booth.
Genealogical research today is very different from that of a few years ago.
Sites like MyHeritage enable us to communicate with more people, faster and more easily, while reaching out to others worldwide.
Tools - such as Smart Matches - help you discover new ancestors and possible relatives with similarities in their family trees and who may have a direct relationship with you.
Today we'd like to know what you discovered when researching your family heritage. Where do your ancestors come from?
A piece of family history can be found in a library book.
As a young girl, I spent a lot of time at the iconic New York Public Library – with those stone lions out front - working on school projects. I once found a book I needed and opened it. Out fell an old-fashioned photo postcard with my grandfather’s picture on it.
He was in the army and had sent the card, with a message, to his sister. She had likely stuck it in the book and forgotten about it, until I found it decades later.
I wasn’t a genealogist then, and in what I now believe was a misguided act of responsibility, I put the card back in the book. Perhaps the owner would come looking for it?
When I got home, I told my family about it, and everyone said I should have brought it home. Fortunately, we found a copy at another relative’s home much later.
Have you ever had to clear out the home of a deceased relative or had to help move an elderly relative to a retirement or nursing home?
Checking the dusty corners of a large home, or even a small apartment, can produce family treasures that would otherwise be lost forever.
Photographs are a great inspiration to see family similarities from past and present.
Argentine photographer Irina Werning's photography series - "Back to the Future" - shows us a new way to explore and preserve photographic memories.
Like many of us, Irina loves old photographs and preserving family memories. In a way to document the present family, she take an older photograph from childhood or from the past, and replicates it with the same people years later.
Together, the two photos show family history coming alive in the present, and is a great way to link memories from our childhood to adulthood.
Have you ever tried to give a recent photo a vintage look or emulate an old family photograph? If so, share the photograph or link to your photo in the comments section below, or share on our Facebook page, Twitter or Google +.
The event brings together genealogy and technology. It's a great place to share and learn from top genealogists and technologists about technology tools to help with your family history research.
MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet will give the keynote speech at 8.30am on Saturday, March 23, in Hall 1. He will unveil MyHeritage breaking news, so don’t miss out!
Gilad will speak alongside David Pogue, personal technology weekly columnist for The New York Times and a monthly columnist for Scientific American.