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.
“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.
Thanksgiving is almost here and it’s time for family, food and football!
For decades, Americans have been celebrating Thanksgiving with its fun traditions, from watching the Macy’s Day Parade to eating turkey.
Did your grandmother make the best turkey stuffing? Was it your aunt’s minced pies that had you drooling at the Christmas table?
In honor of the upcoming holiday season, we’re bringing together two great traditions - food and family - for an exciting holiday competition!
We want you to send us your family's favorite holiday recipes and the stories behind them. Is it a dish passed down from an ancestor, or one made last year for the first time? A unique dish to your family or a traditional one? Why do you love that recipe and what's the story behind it?
One lucky winner - with the best recipe and family story - will have the chance to have a personal chef prepare a delicious meal for you and your family at your home. We'll collect a selection of our favorite submitted family recipes and prepare a special international holiday cookbook with recipes and stories from around the globe.
Today we remember those heroes who fought for their countries and sacrificed their lives to save many.
Whether a fighter on the battlefield, or part of the home-front movement, these heroic men and women fought to protect their families, country and friends - their memories will always remain with us.
Many of us may have a personal link to Remembrance Day, or Veterans Day, by honoring our own ancestors who fought and lost their lives in battle.