Contributing writer Schelly Talalay Dardashti is the US Genealogy Advisor for MyHeritage.com
Wouldn't it be great to get your far-flung family together and meet them in person? E-mail and Skype only go so far.
Some families plan reunions every year or two, while some have been meeting annually for decades. Others have never organized a formal get-together.
We've been talking about this for our Dardashti family - there are so many relatives that we'll need a football stadium. Several years ago, we had a mini-reunion with descendants of six Talalay branches. It was probably the first time in more than 100 years that that these branches had been together since the late 1890s, when many cousins began leaving Belarus and Russia for the US. We were all stunned by the familial and personality resemblance within the group, which included those who had remained in the ancestral towns until only very recently.
Don't forget that your family website at MyHeritage is a great way to communicate with reunion attendees. Share pre-event planning and programs. Then provide - after the event - photos and videos for the whole family to see. It will encourage those who didn't attend to show up next time.
Imagine going on a journey back 125 years and across continents. That's what Anna, from Sweden, will be doing as she flies across the world to Australia to travel to her ancestors' towns and learn about them.
Anna will be documenting her genealogical trip to learn more about her roots on her blog. Here is her first post, originally published on our Swedish blog.
I'm nervous, excited, tingly and happy, and a bit fearful to be going on this journey. However, there is a huge difference in traveling now than in 1890 when Oskar decided to go on his journey. He left his job, family and friends for an adventure filled with uncertainty in search for something new. Today, that level of fear isn't as necessary with all our technologies that connect us to our family no matter where we live. It's easy to stay in touch with our loved ones, unlike 125 years ago.
Her post continues:
When it comes to family, the more time spent together, the better the chance to bond over quality experiences. Traditionally, mothers stayed at home and fathers were the family breadwinners -often rarely seeing their children.
In the past few decades, however, things have changed, and fathers spend seven times more with their children than in the 1970s. While the time is still much lower than that of mothers, there is an awareness for more equal family roles.
Interestingly, last week also marked the UN’s International Day of Families, celebrated each May 15 for over 20 years. The day is also meant to reflect on the importance of family, as well as to increase knowledge and awareness on social, economic and demographic issues that affect families around the world. Each year has a theme; this year it is gender equality in the contemporary family.
For Mother’s Day, we asked you to share advice, sayings or quotes your mother told you when growing up by finishing the sentence “Mom says…”
There are pearls of wisdom or sayings that you have heard all the time growing up. It is likely that you say the same things to your own children!
With Mother's Day just around the corner, we want to hear those special messages - and motherly advice - that have stuck with you over the years. Our mothers teach us many things, including life lessons, but often their funny sayings will always be remembered.
If you’re a Waldo, Zelma or Sherwood, you have a name that’s one in a million! In 2013, only five or fewer babies were given these names in the US. Even the name Gary is becoming more rare, with only 28 in England and Wales, and 442 in the US in 2013.
Although Easter is celebrated around the world, traditions vary in each country and with each family. These include Easter egg hunts, family meals, religious festivities and more.
To get into the holiday spirit, we’re offering one lucky member the chance to win PremiumPlus and Data subscriptions for one year.
Just email a fun family photo from an Easter celebration or an Easter memory sharing your family traditions or memories to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 5.
We’ll choose our favorite to win and also share some of the other stories in our blog.
Looking forward to reading your memories!
Happy Mother's Day to our UK members!
Mother's Day, no matter when and how it is celebrated, is a time to honor and remember the important women in our family and all they've done for us.
The origins of the modern Mother's Day comes from the U.S., but the British date is believed to be associated with Mothering Sunday. During the 16th century, it became practice to visit "the mother church" on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Traditionally, it was also a day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants, were given a day off to visit their mother and family.
Building a family tree is an activity which the whole family can enjoy together.
Children can ask questions to learn about their heritage, relatives can share stories and photos, while everyone can collaborate in adding information to the family tree.
With smartphones, it’s even easier to work on your family history anywhere. The MyHeritage mobile app allows you to edit, share and search for records on-the-go. It’s a great tool for adding new details to your tree whenever you are visiting family.
Using Family Tree Builder or an online family site, family members can edit information and be part of building their family tree. Those who assist in this way are called site managers. You can always add more site managers to help manage your tree and share in building your family's heritage.
Some people choose to work on their family tree alone, but this doesn’t mean you can’t share your hard work with the rest of the family! Easily invite all your relatives to become members of your family site on MyHeritage and share family memories, photos and ancestors’ stories.
Which family members are involved in building your family tree? Do you choose to work on your tree alone? Let us know in the poll below.
On February 14, we will celebrate Valentine's Day, the festival of romance.
Do you know of interesting marriage proposals in your family? Or, stories of long-lost loves or wedding celebrations?