15    Aug 20150 comments

Cousins: A special connection

A cousin is a relative with whom you share common ancestors. First cousins share grandparents, but all cousins share a family history bond that goes far beyond that.

If you have a really close cousin, you know that the relationship can be very special.

(Credit: Etsy)

The relationship between cousins is often a powerful cross between that of family and friends. Continue reading "Cousins: A special connection" »

8    Aug 20153 comments

Family Size: The bigger the better?

Does family size impact how happy we are?

Our ancestors often came from larger families, with at least three siblings. Today, however, the number of couples who are having more than two children is small.

A recent happiness study found that two-thirds of couples with three or more children consider themselves happy most of the time. Also, they are more satisfied with their lives and build stronger personal relationships with others. Continue reading "Family Size: The bigger the better?" »

1    Aug 20153 comments

7 Bizarre Places to Find Family Heirlooms

My grandmother was recently searching for some old jewelry of her mother's that she had misplaced. She wanted to give it to me for my birthday to ensure it gets passed down to the next generation.

She opened all the closets, searched through kitchen pots, and even behind light switches! Where did she finally find it? In the pocket of a jacket she hadn’t worn in years.

Photos, jewelry, furniture or documents can all tell us a bit of our family history and are a link to our past. Continue reading "7 Bizarre Places to Find Family Heirlooms" »

29    Jul 20158 comments

5 Things Only Middle Children Will Understand

I was the second of four siblings. Growing up as middle children, my sister (the third child) and I often joked that we were considered double-stuff Oreo filling, and therefore we were the best part of the family.

But, let's face it, it's not easy being a middle child.

According to various studies, birth order in a family can have a great impact on a child's life.

Middle children often feel squeezed between older and younger siblings and have trouble finding their place in the family. There's even a syndrome named after us!

Here are five things that only middle children will understand:

1) Always wearing hand-me-down clothes. Continue reading "5 Things Only Middle Children Will Understand" »

1    Jun 20150 comments

12 Steps to Creating the Perfect Family Reunion

Contributing writer Schelly Talalay Dardashti is the US Genealogy Advisor for MyHeritage.com

Wouldn't it be great to get your far-flung family together and meet them in person? E-mail and Skype only go so far.

Some families plan reunions every year or two, while some have been meeting annually for decades. Others have never organized a formal get-together.

We've been talking about this for our Dardashti family - there are so many relatives that we'll need a football stadium. Several years ago, we had a mini-reunion with descendants of six Talalay branches. It was probably the first time in more than 100 years that that these branches had been together since the late 1890s, when many cousins began leaving Belarus and Russia for the US. We were all stunned by the familial and personality resemblance within the group, which included those who had remained in the ancestral towns until only very recently.

Don't forget that your family website at MyHeritage is a great way to communicate with reunion attendees. Share pre-event planning and programs. Then provide - after the event - photos and videos for the whole family to see. It will encourage those who didn't attend to show up next time.

How do you plan a family reunion? Here are 12 steps to help: Continue reading "12 Steps to Creating the Perfect Family Reunion" »

17    May 20151 comment

Fathers spend seven times more with their kids now than in the ’70s

When it comes to family, the more time spent together, the better the chance to bond over quality experiences. Traditionally, mothers stayed at home and fathers were the family breadwinners -often rarely seeing their children.

In the past few decades, however, things have changed, and fathers spend seven times more with their children than in the 1970s. While the time is still much lower than that of mothers, there is an awareness for more equal family roles.

Interestingly, last week also marked the UN’s International Day of Families, celebrated each May 15 for over 20 years. The day is also meant to reflect on the importance of family, as well as to increase knowledge and awareness on social, economic and demographic issues that affect families around the world. Each year has a theme; this year it is gender equality in the contemporary family. Continue reading "Fathers spend seven times more with their kids now than in the ’70s" »

27    Nov 20141 comment

Thanksgiving: What are you thankful for?

“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.

5    Sep 20142 comments

Daddy’s Girl: 50 rules for dads of daughters

Michael Mitchell took “Daddy’s girl” to a new level with 50 rules for dads of daughters.

The 30-year-old dad writes daily tips and life lessons at Life to Her Years including many things to enhance the father-daughter relationship.

Image credit: vintageantiqueclassics.com

We loved the list, and wanted to highlight some of his great “rules” for dads with daughters. See the full list here. Continue reading "Daddy’s Girl: 50 rules for dads of daughters" »

1    Sep 2014291 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" »

26    Aug 20143 comments

An Unusual Family Reunion: Opening the family crypt

It was a family reunion unlike any other. When members of the Douse family met in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (Canada) last month, one of the central events of the week-long event was excavating their ancestor's crypt. They gathered from all over the world, coming from Ohio, Michigan, and as far as Zimbabwe.

Their story was featured in the Toronto Star last week.

Their ancestor, William Douse, arrived at Prince Edward Island, from Wiltshire, England, in 1822. He was known for his strong wit and tenacity. He was a character, and became well-known on the island. He contributed to the early evolution of P.E.I., serving nearly three decades in the island Assembly, longer than any politician in history.

An oil portrait of William Douse (1800-1864). Image credit: Douse family.

Continue reading "An Unusual Family Reunion: Opening the family crypt" »

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