17    Dec 20140 comments

It’s in the family: Unique family traditions

Every family has traditions passed down through generations. Some relate to holiday food traditions and using ancestors’ recipes, while others are more unique such as the tradition of all women in a family wearing the same wedding dress or veil.

Image credit: Betty Crocker

Whether it’s every day, every year or for a specific event or milestone, family traditions create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds. It’s always nice to have memories of recurring childhood activities with the family, and it becomes even more special if you carry those traditions forward for your own family.

Last week, a friend told me she was celebrating her daughter’s half-birthday. Growing up, her whole family celebrated half-birthdays. Her parents would even make half of a birthday cake! It was nice to see that, years later, she was continuing this same tradition for her own daughter.
Continue reading "It’s in the family: Unique family traditions" »

6    Dec 20141 comment

Family historians: Perfect holiday gifts

The holidays are fast approaching, and they will be here before we know it.

Do you know what you are getting your friends and family for the holidays this year? What about for the genealogists in your family?

It can be relatively easy to find a present for your family's family historians since they appreciate practical gifts.

  • Genealogists spend a lot of time researching and collecting information. In their line of "work," it is important to stay neat and organized. They may like a new pencil case with office supplies such as pencils, paper clips, a stapler, Post-it stickers and labels. Continue reading "Family historians: Perfect holiday gifts" »
1    Dec 20143 comments

Genealogy and Family History Success: How MyHeritage made it happen for us!

This guest post was written by expert genealogist Scott Phillips, owner of Onward to Our Past genealogy services, and specializing in immigrant ancestry. He is a regular genealogy contributor for Huffington Post and also blogs weekly for the e-publications of GenealogyBank.com. Follow Scott on his Facebook page and on his website/blog.

Not all that long ago (in genealogy time) my wife and I received the wonderful news that our son and his wife were expecting our second grandson and would be named William in honor of my dad, who had died a year previously.

I began thinking how well I knew my dad and how well our son knew his grandfather, but his namesake would not personally know him at all. Since no one in our family had ever done any family history research, I made the fateful decision to write a paragraph or two about my father so my grandson would know him.

Now, years later, I still find myself laughing when I think back to my desire to write “a paragraph or two”! Our family tree now includes over 11,100 individuals representing 3,685 families, and contains over 6,900 images and documents.

The family tree was not always this robust. However, thanks to MyHeritage, it is now – and it keeps on growing. Continue reading "Genealogy and Family History Success: How MyHeritage made it happen for us!" »

27    Nov 20141 comment

Thanksgiving: What are you thankful for?

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” ― John F. Kennedy

How do your family and friends make a difference in your life? What do they do to make you feel special and loved?

Every year, when Thanksgving comes around, we think about what we are grateful for. We take time to remember the blessings that we take for granted in our daily lives. It's not always easy to translate what we feel into words.

Family and friends are often at the top of our lists. They are our treasured people. Our rocks. They stand by us through thick and thin, giving us the gift of unconditional love.

It is heartwarming to hear how much you are appreciated and valued by family and friends.

Thanksgiving is also a nice time to get together with the family, and share in your favorite Thanksgiving traditions. We recently wrote about our favorite traditions and the stories behind them.

This year, as the holidays approach, and you spend time with your nearest and dearest, take the opportunity to tell your loved ones how you feel about them, and what you are grateful for.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Let us know below.

30    Oct 201411 comments

Baby Names: Rules around the world

Did you know that the name Harriet is banned in Iceland or, that in Denmark and Hungary, parents have to choose from a pre-approved list of childrens' names? In the past, we have written about baby names banned in New Zealand.

Around the world there are rules and customs for allowed names for children.

Here are some of the most interesting baby-naming laws from 10 countries: Continue reading "Baby Names: Rules around the world" »

16    Oct 20145 comments

Just like our ancestors: Shared personalities

Has anyone ever said that you speak exactly like your grandfather?

We often talk about resemblances and physical similarities between ourselves and our ancestors - perhaps it's the same smile as a cousin, or the identical eyes of a grandparent.

However, our physical appearance may not be the only connection passed through generations. Not only can we look like our ancestors, but we can act like them as well.

Continue reading "Just like our ancestors: Shared personalities" »

5    Sep 20142 comments

Daddy’s Girl: 50 rules for dads of daughters

Michael Mitchell took “Daddy’s girl” to a new level with 50 rules for dads of daughters.

The 30-year-old dad writes daily tips and life lessons at Life to Her Years including many things to enhance the father-daughter relationship.

Image credit: vintageantiqueclassics.com

We loved the list, and wanted to highlight some of his great “rules” for dads with daughters. See the full list here. Continue reading "Daddy’s Girl: 50 rules for dads of daughters" »

26    Aug 20143 comments

An Unusual Family Reunion: Opening the family crypt

It was a family reunion unlike any other. When members of the Douse family met in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (Canada) last month, one of the central events of the week-long event was excavating their ancestor's crypt. They gathered from all over the world, coming from Ohio, Michigan, and as far as Zimbabwe.

Their story was featured in the Toronto Star last week.

Their ancestor, William Douse, arrived at Prince Edward Island, from Wiltshire, England, in 1822. He was known for his strong wit and tenacity. He was a character, and became well-known on the island. He contributed to the early evolution of P.E.I., serving nearly three decades in the island Assembly, longer than any politician in history.

An oil portrait of William Douse (1800-1864). Image credit: Douse family.

Continue reading "An Unusual Family Reunion: Opening the family crypt" »

19    Aug 20144 comments

Childhood Homes: Fond memories

I remember the home that I grew up in with many fond memories. We moved into our suburban home, in Canada, when I was only 4 years old. We lived in the same house until after I left home for university.

I didn't realize that I still had an emotional attachment to that home, until I went back for a visit recently, with my own family.

On a recent visit, I took my family back to my old house. Some things had changed on the outside -- the garden wasn't as beautiful, the shutters were painted a different color, but above all, the house still looked the same.

My childhood home.

Continue reading "Childhood Homes: Fond memories" »

2    Aug 201411 comments

Summertime Research: Hints and tips

Long summer days are the perfect time for family gatherings and a great opportunity to ask questions of relatives to discover more about your family heritage.

Here are some hints and tips for furthering your family history research this summer:

1. Visit close family members. Encourage the younger generation to record relatives' stories and anecdotes to learn about earlier generations and preserve those memories for future generations.

2. Plan a vacation to meet distant family members. Come prepared with questions about their branch of the family and use the MyHeritage Mobile App to fill in gaps in your family tree and to add photos while you're on-the-go.

3. Take a family trip to ancestral towns. Visit important places from your ancestors' stories, such as where they lived, where they went to school and more. Continue reading "Summertime Research: Hints and tips" »

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