There are so many ways to get bitten by the genealogy bug. MyHeritage member Melva Jo Wright of Florida (US) took over the research of her maternal aunt (Geraldine Martinez) when she died in 2004.
Her aunt’s four sisters helped with the research and each received a family history binder from their researcher sister.
Most have shared them with me, but I’m still waiting to hear from the others to complete their details in our family tree. I hope they contain some original pictures, as most of those I already have are copies.
Melva Jo, 60, has three children and three stepdaughters. Her mother worked at the Pentagon and her father was a stockcar racer, killed in a 1951 race. Her mother remarried, to an Army major, and the family lived in Germany and France.
Among her exciting discoveries: the Mayflower’s John and Priscilla Alden are her direct ninth great-grandparents. She's also related to writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, President Abraham Lincoln, Clement Clark Moore (who wrote “The Night Before Christmas), as well as Orson Wells, Marilyn Monroe, Dick and Jerry Van Dyke and Ricky Nelson, to name a few.
Mother’s Day is nearly here. What better way to thank our mothers for everything they've done for us than by reflecting on all the wonderful mothers out there.
Mothers have a strong impact on our lives. Many even say that “mother knows best.”
Whether they are, in fact, our grandmothers, our aunts or our own mothers, all leave us with lasting impressions of the advice and wisdom they share.
Growing up, I remember listening to my grandmother recall her childhood, and learning about my own history. On my first day of school, I remember my mother's hug and her words of encouragement, reassuring me that everything would be OK. I know that - even today - I can always count on these great women in my family.
What would happen if there were a knock on the door, you opened it and a box was delivered into your hands. Inside, you would find documents, photographs (labeled!), journals and other records.
What would you like to see in that box?
For me, that's an easy answer. One of the last family members to arrive in the US from Belarus brought with him a 300-year-old family history. The few people who saw it described it as a sort of book, compiled of different kinds of papers, different calligraphies, many different languages, all bound together.
Thank you for the overwhelming and beautiful entries to our oldest wedding photo competition.
With your help, we've narrowed the vote down to the top winner, who will receive a one-year PremiumPlus and one-year data subscription to MyHeritage’s SuperSearch, our online database with access to billions of records.
With over 30% of the votes, photo 8 is the winner!
Congratulations to Rob Hoogenbos who sent in the photo from his maternal grandparents from their wedding in Rotterdam in 1910.
Michael Pugh and Rebecca Griffin, who married nearly three years ago, are an example of this latest trend in the UK called "meshing,” where married couples fuse their surnames.
The couple took part of Michael’s surname “Pu” with part of Rebecca’s surname “Ffin.” Now they are the Puffins.
Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s oldest wedding photo competition. All the entries were fantastic and captured the beauty and significance of the person’s special day. The oldest entry was from 1846!
With over 40 photos received, participation was above our expectations. It was great to see the lives of your families and the rich history brought to life with the stories that accompanied them.
In the old days, when doctors were few and far between in rural areas, women with knowledge of medicinal herbs, of healing the sick and of midwifery were important community members.
In the American Southwest, among the old Hispanic families, there are many documented curanderas (healers). The older generations still tend gardens of special medicinal herbs and are the keepers, preservers and transmitters of generations of remedies.
In some countries, foods are classified as hot or cold in nature. People with certain ailments are told to eat one and not the other or vice versa. It is something a person is brought up with and never disregarded. Those who have not been raised with this system generally find "the rules" somewhat strange.
So do these remedies really work, or do we just believe that they work because that’s what we’ve been told since we were little children? In any case, this is part of our family history, of our heritage, and the details should be preserved.
An exciting dimension to family history is returning to our ancestors' hometowns, whether overseas in the "old country," or closer to our current home.
Every year, increasing numbers of families walk the streets that their great-grandparents walked in Scotland, view the Greek and Portuguese village buildings their ancestors saw each day, and visit Eastern European houses of worship and cemeteries.
Some geographical areas even promote ancestral or heritage trips - such as Ireland. Trips can be just just quick tourist-type visits to where ancestors might have lived or entail intensive research trips to archives. Go on your own or visit locales with major genealogical societies, such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) which organizes trips to London, Belfast and Dublin.
Do you ever find yourself seeing double?
There's been a peak in twin births, particularly in the US. A report by the National Center for Health Statistics indicates that the twin birth rate rose 76% since 1980, and in 2009, one in every 30 babies born in the US was a twin.
In the past, we've written about twins, and the MyHeritage family even has its own set of twins!
With the celebration of National Siblings Day yesterday, we want to know how many of you have twins in your family history. Let us know!
Yet some of the most important people who shape our lives are those with whom we grow up every day.
Today, April 10, is National Siblings Day. It celebrates the impact our brothers and sisters had or have on us and how much we appreciate them.
The day was founded by Claudia A. Evart through a non-profit charity, Siblings Day Foundation, in 1998, to honor the memory of her late sister and brother who died in accidents at an early age.
Siblings are our closest family members, other than our parents, with whom we grew up with every day; the bonds we share with them last forever.