31    Jan 20130 comments

Super Bowl: Family parties, rivalry

I remember my family’s Super Bowl parties.

I can still taste the delicious chicken wings my dad would make and I have fond memories of our family coming together to watch the game.

This Sunday - the 47th Super Bowl - sees the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.

Whether we're watching the game for the Super Bowl commercials or rooting for our favorite team, it’s a great opportunity for family to enjoy the game together.

Families are often divided in their loyalties to different teams; my family was the same. My cousin would root for one team and my uncle would support the other. Friendly rivalry, of course, although I do remember my team winning quite often!

This Sunday’s Super Bowl is making history with its own sibling rivalry.

Continue reading "Super Bowl: Family parties, rivalry" »

6    Nov 20121 comment

Elections: Voting memories

Although voting for the 2012 election is still ongoing - and we won't know the results until tomorrow - we're wondering about your voting memories.

I remember going with my mother to vote at our local elementary school in the Bronx (New York) when I was a very young child. Many of my classmates also went with their parents.

What are your election day memories? Did you accompany your parents? Or was your first voting experience as an adult?

Let us know in the comments below.

No matter the results, some people will be happy while others will be angry or depressed. It is natural. How does one get over these emotional reactions?

Continue reading "Elections: Voting memories" »

9    Oct 20121 comment

MyHeritage: National Hispanic Heritage Month

Credit: Hispanic Heritage Month website -www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/

National Hispanic Heritage Month, in the US, celebrates the culture and traditions of Americans with roots in Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It is observed from September 15 through October 15.

First observed as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, it was expanded in 1988 to cover the 30-day period.

Some 14% of the US population – more than 42.7 million Americans – have an Hispanic origin, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is considered the largest ethnic minority in the country.

Tens of millions of Hispanics emigrated from Spain. Some came directly to the US and countries south, some first went to the Philippines or the Caribbean Islands and then arrived here. Spain was in the Caribbean and Mexico long before the English were in what would become the US. The state of New Mexico was settled by the Spanish in 1598, and they were in Saint Augustine, Florida, in 1565.

Tracing your Hispanic heritage may not lead directly back to Spain, but may go from the US to many other places, including Europe, Africa and even Eastern Europe. There may be many surprises along the way.

Continue reading "MyHeritage: National Hispanic Heritage Month" »

2    Oct 20123 comments

Banned Books Week: ‘Freedom to read’ anniversary

The 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, from September 29-October 6, will be celebrated in the US as groups - some on college campuses - read passages from the American Library Association’s top banned and challenged books.

Lafayette College (Easton, Pennsylvania) will hold a literary flash mob read-out at 1pm on Monday, October 1, near the library.

Among the books on the list: To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Harry Potter, Beloved, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, 1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm and many others.

Many of them illustrate relationships between families (conventional or not) and among family or group members. Today, most seem rather tame and quite ordinary but, when first published, the topics, characters and story lines were considered controversial.

Continue reading "Banned Books Week: ‘Freedom to read’ anniversary" »

9    Sep 20120 comments

Family: Happy Grandparents Day!

Today, September 9, is Grandparents Day in the US.

Although celebrated in various countries on different days, it is always commemorated in the US on the first Sunday after Labor Day.

Grandparents Day was established in 1978, following Marian McQuade's vision that youth should understand the importance of the contributions to society made by senior citizens.

After much lobbying by Marian, President Jimmy Carter signed the day into law on August 3, 1978,  proclaiming that it should be used "...to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer."

Those of us fortunate enough to have grandparents should take the opportunity to make them feel special and loved today. It's a perfect opportunity to ask about their families, their own grandparents and their experiences growing up. It's a great way  to learn more about your own family history.

Those of us who are grandparents should explain to our grandchildren about the family's origins, and share stories and information about previous generations.

Continue reading "Family: Happy Grandparents Day!" »

28    Aug 20122 comments

MyHeritage: Our 2012 Family Day

MyHeritage held its annual Family Day last week.

For the first time, it was held in our new offices, and our families could see where we work - and have fun!

We often say that MyHeritage is like one big family. When we bring our own families to the office, it feels like a family reunion! We played games, enjoyed a lot of laughs and it was really nice to see the interaction between parents and children.

Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy your virtual visit to our Family Day!

27    Aug 20120 comments

FGS 2012: Looking forward to seeing you!

We love genealogy conferences. We meet old friends, make new ones and learn about all the newest developments in the field.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) annual conference begins Wednesday, August 28, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Thousands of attendees will be able to extend their personal research with what they learn at the hundreds of sessions presented by some of the best speakers in the genealogy world.

MyHeritage will be at Booth 715

We invite everyone to stop by and say hello, to ask questions, to learn about new features, new technology and our new family history content.

Conference Specials

Enjoy great conference pricing for both World Vital Records and MyHeritage. Stop by our booth to learn more.

Conference Tips

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27    Jul 20122 comments

Olympics: An historic look at a modern event

The opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics - the Games of the XXX Olympiad - begin tonight in London.

The largest international sporting event in the world takes place every four years; it is the third time that it has been held in London. The last time was in 1948.

The first modern edition of the games was organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Athens in 1896. The original Olympics - with nude athletes - took place in ancient Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.

The Olympics is an historical event enjoyed for generations. Participating - as a competitor or spectator - connects you to your ancestors who also lived through the moment.

We've trawled the Internet to find weird and wonderful historic Olympic facts. Here are some of them:

Continue reading "Olympics: An historic look at a modern event" »

4    Jul 20120 comments

4th of July: Star-spangled family fun!

Today is Independence Day in the US. It is always marked with fun-filled activities, including parades, barbecues, picnics, and the all-important fireworks displays.

What’s your most memorable 4th of July family memory?

We may celebrate at a lake, at the beach, in a backyard or at a neighborhood park. It’s always a day for family and friends to gather. No matter what was going on in other parts of the world (see newspaper article from 1940 below), this holiday was celebrated to remind us of the freedoms we enjoyed at home.

My grandparents owned a large property with some 80 summer rental cottages, about two hours north of New York City. Many of the same families returned year after year, and we became a close group as we  grew up together.

My grandmother organized the two main summer events:  4th of July at the season's opening, and the Labor Day festivities in early September, signaling the end of our carefree summer, returning to the city and getting ready for school.

In the faux Tudor “big house,” Grandma's big country kitchen sported a black cast iron stove, the source of everything delicious! Every year, she produced buckets of the most delicious coleslaw, potato and macaroni salads.

Continue reading "4th of July: Star-spangled family fun!" »

2    Jul 20120 comments

The Olympics: Athletes in your family tree?

A Stamp printed in USA shows a Runner at Starting Mark, 10th Olympic Games Issue, circa 1932

US stamp shows an Olympic runner at the 10th Olympic Games, c1932

In about three weeks, the 2012 Summer Olympics (officially  the Games of the XXX Olympiad) will begin in London, UK.

The countdown to this summer's event began at the closing ceremony of the 2008 summer Olympics in China, as the Olympic flag was handed to the Mayor of London by the Mayor of Beijing.

This year, 197 countries will participate in 26 sports at the biggest international sporting event of the year.

The Olympics provide an opportunity to reminisce about great moments of the past, such as  the 1936 Berlin games when  Jesse Owens won four gold medals or when Michael Johnson smashed both the 400m and 200m sprints in the 1996 Atlanta event.

We couldn't resist searching  records relating to "Olympic games" in our new family history search engine - SuperSearch - and discovered really interesting information, such as this Kansas State University yearbook entry, demonstrating one student's ambition to win a gold medal in 1988 and discussing his time trials for the 1984 Olympics.

Kansas State University Yearbook (Royal Purple): 1987

Kansas State University Yearbook (Royal Purple): 1987

You can also try it for free - searching "Olympic games" or another keyword - that could lead to information about your family history.

As the Games draw closer, we''re interested in learning your personal Olympic stories. Have you competed? Do you have any Olympians in your family tree? If you're not sure, try a quick SuperSearch and see what you discover.

Let us know in the comments section below, or email your stories to stories@myheritage.com.

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