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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Easter is just around the corner and - with this holiday - we welcome Spring and the rebirth of new life.
It’s a great time of year to celebrate your family lineage with the younger generations.
Try some of these do-it-yourself crafts to celebrate both the holiday and your heritage. They are sure to be fun for kids and adults alike:
- Create a family tree centerpiece out of eggs:
Ethnic holidays, such as St. Patrick's Day for those of Irish ancestry, often spur an interest in family history.
According to the New York Times, the Irish diaspora in the United States alone numbers more than 36 million people, more than eight times Ireland's population. And this isn't even counting the descendants of Irish immigrants in countries around the world.
In large cities with many Irish descendants, such as New York and Boston to name just two, the day is celebrated by great parades. Traffic lane lines are painted green and green beer is served in bars. Parade-goers and others celebrating often wear green hats, ties or other items indicating their ancestry, such as pins or T-shirts reading "Kiss me. I'm Irish."
Many bars and restaurants will feature corned beef and cabbage or other Irish delicacies, along with that once-a-year green beer.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, MyHeritage is offering free access to its Irish collection of some 600,000 Irish immigration records to the Port of New York, covering the years 1846-1851, which includes the Irish Potato Famine period. Immigration records and passenger manifests offer a wealth of family information. Read more here.
St. Patrick's Day, commemorating the life and work of Ireland's patron saint, is a day full of wonderful and joyous celebrations. This year it is celebrated on Monday, March 17.
In honor of the day, we are happy to give you free access - through March 17 - to a special collection of passengers arriving in New York from Ireland from 1846-1851.