1    Sep 2014278 comments

Labor Day: 10 jobs that are obsolete

Did your great-grandfather cut ice for a living? Perhaps your grandmother was a switchboard operator and connected calls from house to house?

There are so many professions that our ancestors once followed that are now extinct today.

Here are 10 examples of professions that no longer exist:

1) A scissors-grinder was a street merchant that sharpened the blades of knives and scissors. He would call out in the streets or knock at the doors to try and get business. He worked the stone grinding wheel with his foot using a treadle.

A scissors-grinder in 1909. Credit: Maryland Historical Society Library.

Continue reading "Labor Day: 10 jobs that are obsolete" »

3    Jul 20140 comments

July 4th: BBQ nation!

July 4th is the most popular day for barbecuing in the US. As it's just around the corner, we're taking a look at this age-old tradition.

Here is a countdown of the top 10 facts that our researchers discovered about BBQ:

10. Prehistoric cavemen may have been the first barbecuers! Anthropologists say that roasting meat started 1.4 million years ago. Others argue that this method originated in the Caribbean, where native Indians used wood gratings to cook strips of meat over a slow fire. Continue reading "July 4th: BBQ nation!" »

26    Jun 20140 comments

#DadTaughtMe: Competition Winner

For Father's Day, we asked you to share what your father taught you by finishing the sentence “Dad taught me. ...”

We received some great responses demonstrating how your fathers have impacted your lives, whether it was advice, a loving saying or a life lesson.

Here are some favorites: Continue reading "#DadTaughtMe: Competition Winner" »

12    Jun 201415 comments

Father’s Day Competition: Dad taught me…

One of my first memories of my dad was his teaching me how to dance by standing on top of his feet. We twirled, jumped and burst into fits of laughter as we glided across the room. At my wedding many years later, the father-daughter dance brought back these great childhood memories.

Fathers, grandfathers and step-fathers teach us many things. Whether it’s an important life lesson, how to dance, ride a bike or being a source of wisdom, they are essential to our upbringing.
Continue reading "Father’s Day Competition: Dad taught me…" »

10    Jun 201427 comments

The Father Behind Father’s Day

Father's Day is coming up at the end of the week. It's a special day when we honor our fathers and grandfathers and celebrate our paternal bonds.

The idea for Father's Day originated in the United States with Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Mother's Day, the special day to honor our mothers, and felt it would be right to create a day to honor fathers. She wanted to honor her own father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran. William had single-handedly raised his motherless children on an eastern Washington farm.

Sonora described her father as “both mother and father to us for 21 years.” He had five children with his first wife who died, six with his second wife who also died, and raised three stepchildren from his second wife's children from a previous marriage. He was a real family man! Continue reading "The Father Behind Father’s Day" »

23    May 20141 comment

Memorial Day: Search Military Records for Free

On Memorial Day we remember the brave men and women who fought and died while serving in the US military.

On this Memorial Day, learn more about your ancestors who served their country by searching millions of military records. MyHeritage is offering free access to millions of military records all weekend, through May 26.

Search now

Continue reading "Memorial Day: Search Military Records for Free" »

15    May 20140 comments

Happy International Families Day!

Today is International Family Day, created 20 years ago by the United Nations. It recognizes that families are a vital institution, necessary for every society. The day stresses the importance of having healthy and happy relationships within your family.

Since 1996, the U.N. Division for Social Policy and Development has chosen a theme for each International Family Day. This year's theme is "Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals." Continue reading "Happy International Families Day!" »

8    May 201414 comments

Mother’s Day: Then and Now

As Mother's Day approaches, our research team took a look at what life was like for mothers a century ago and compared our findings to what life is like for mothers today.

Times were very different 100 years ago. In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, the first US bus line began and, on May 7, 1914, Mother's Day was officially recognized as a national holiday in the United States!

Here are some interesting facts:

  • In 1914, pacifiers, wooden carriages and baby bottles were around, but mothers didn't have the conveniences of disposable diapers or wipes.
  • One hundred years ago, over 95% of all US births took place at home. Today, home births account for less than 1% of all births. Continue reading "Mother’s Day: Then and Now" »
2    May 20140 comments

Mother’s Day 2014: Send us your selfies!

There's a famous saying -- “A woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, a man becomes a father when he sees his baby.”

Even from the first signs of pregnancy, a woman begins to hope, dream, and worry about her future offspring, and what the future will hold for them.

Mothers never stop thinking about their children. They shower their children with kindness, show off their talents and achievements to anyone who will listen, and always have the best hopes and dreams for their kids.

My mother is a remarkable woman. She is the most positive person I know, always bringing sunshine to every room that she enters.

My mother and me, posing for a selfie

Continue reading "Mother’s Day 2014: Send us your selfies!" »

20    Apr 20141 comment

Happy Easter: Heritage Hunt 2014

Happy Easter!

Eggs are one of the most recognized symbols of Easter. Since ancient times, rabbits and eggs have been associated with rebirth and new life. In Germany, children would make nests for the egg-laying hare, Osterhase, to lay her eggs in.

In America, German immigrants brought their Osterhase tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. The beloved Easter egg hunt tradition began soon after, and it spread throughout the country. Baskets replaced nests and the game evolved into a treasure hunt. Prizes included chocolate, candy, toys and coins.

Read more about the MyHeritage Heritage Hunt below! Continue reading "Happy Easter: Heritage Hunt 2014" »

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