With a huge migrant history, millions of people living around the world have Irish roots. Holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day often spur an interest in family heritage and learning more about those ancestors.
In the U.S. alone, there are over 36 million people with Irish ancestry, more than eight times the population of Ireland! Millions in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada also have Irish roots, and there are significant Irish diaspora communities in Mexico, Argentina and the Caribbean!
In the past, we’ve provided tips for getting started in Irish family history research. This St. Patrick’s Day, we share some fun facts about the day. Enjoy!
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.
The best love stories are not those from films or storybooks, but those from our own families. These stories stay with us as lasting memories and are passed down through the generations.
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?
January 26 marks Australia Day, and is a celebration of everything “Australian.”
This is a fun day for families to come together and celebrate with barbecues and firework displays, but also an important day to look back at Australia’s history and its diverse society.
It celebrates the anniversary of the first settlement - Port Jackson - with the arrival of the First Fleet of convict ships from Great Britain, in 1788.
A nation made of immigrants, convicts and indigenous people, Australia’s different cultures reflect the nation’s history and its unique identity of what it means to be Australian.
Do you have Australian ancestry? Would you like to learn more about the lives of your Australian ancestors?
Search our Australian record collections and see what family discoveries you’ll make.
Wishing you and your family a Happy Australia Day! How will you celebrate?
Last year, we wrote about many Christmas traditions still common today, and the history behind them.
This year, as the holidays approach, we had our researchers look into interesting Christmas facts we never knew, and we're sure you didn't, either!
Check them out:
- If you received all the gifts from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would have 364 presents, and according to a group that prices the gifts each year, the total price tag would be $116,273.
The holiday season is upon us, and that means lots of food, fun and family!
Just in time for the holidays, we’ve got a great gift to share - our First Holiday Cookbook
This Christmas marks 100 years since the famous Christmas truce of WWI, in 1914.
During a stormy winter of fighting between the two sides, a widespread but unofficial truce emerged in the week leading up to - and on - the holiday. German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and to sing songs between their trenches. There were even occasions where soldiers walked over to opposing sides to talk to their counterparts and exchange gifts.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the soldiers put aside their differences for a few hours. Many of them - from both sides - ventured into "no man's land," where they met and exchanged food and souvenirs, and sang carols together.
It is said that at the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines calling out "Merry Christmas." The Allied soldiers were wary at first, thinking it might be a trick, but when they saw the Germans approach them unarmed, they climbed out of their trenches as well, and shook hands with the enemy.
The holidays are fast approaching, and they will be here before we know it.
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.
Recently, many historical television series have become very popular. What is it about this genre that appeals to us? What draws us to them?
Perhaps it's about getting a glimpse of what life was like in times gone by. We feel more connected to our ancestors when we learn more about their lives and times. It's the same feeling that draws many of us to genealogy and family history research. The achievements and struggles faced by our ancestors serve as lessons for our own future. After all, history is known to repeat itself.
One such show is the British series, "Downton Abbey," which has swept a nation and also has become popular in other countries, as well. It is now into its fifth season.
"Downton Abbey" follows the Crawley family through major events in history, showing the effects on their lives. The series opened with news of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, followed by the outbreak of the WWI, the Spanish influenza pandemic, and the Marconi scandal in the second season. It dealt with the interwar period and the formation of the Irish Free State in the third season, the Teapot Dome scandal in the fourth, and the general election of 1923 in the UK in the current season.