29    Jul 20150 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" »

2    Aug 201411 comments

Summertime Research: Hints and tips

Long summer days are the perfect time for family gatherings and a great opportunity to ask questions of relatives to discover more about your family heritage.

Here are some hints and tips for furthering your family history research this summer:

1. Visit close family members. Encourage the younger generation to record relatives' stories and anecdotes to learn about earlier generations and preserve those memories for future generations.

2. Plan a vacation to meet distant family members. Come prepared with questions about their branch of the family and use the MyHeritage Mobile App to fill in gaps in your family tree and to add photos while you're on-the-go.

3. Take a family trip to ancestral towns. Visit important places from your ancestors' stories, such as where they lived, where they went to school and more. Continue reading "Summertime Research: Hints and tips" »

14    Jul 20142 comments

A Daughter’s Legacy: A letter discovered

Not long after Athena Orchard, then 13, lost her short battle with cancer, her family uncovered a hidden message of over 3,000 words written on the back of her bedroom mirror. The Orchard family's story was featured in the Daily Mail.

“Happiness depends upon ourselves. Maybe it's not about the happy ending, maybe it's about the story.” she wrote. “The purpose of life is a life of purpose. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” Continue reading "A Daughter’s Legacy: A letter discovered" »

29    Jun 20142 comments

Fathers: More quality time

Spending time with family is vital for maintaining a happy family with strong relationships. The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of bonding over quality experiences.

Today’s fathers are spending more time with their children than ever, and are becoming more and more involved in family childcare.

Continue reading "Fathers: More quality time" »

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