Today, we know that a father's participation impacts his children, and a close relationship is good for those maturing children.
Two generations ago, not too many fathers were found in the kitchen on a regular basis or taking on major child-raising chores. A generation ago, more fathers were more involved in their households and with their children. These days it isn't uncommon to see Mr. Mom at home and running the household, while mom has a career outside the home.
Mothers were and still are viewed as the nurturers and caregivers at the expense of fathers, although this is certainly changing in some cultures. In some countries, where months of maternity leave can be taken by mothers, a similar period of time can be taken by fathers, allowing for closer bonding.
I can still taste the delicious chicken wings my dad would make and I have fond memories of our family coming together to watch the game.
Whether we're watching the game for the Super Bowl commercials or rooting for our favorite team, it’s a great opportunity for family to enjoy the game together.
Families are often divided in their loyalties to different teams; my family was the same. My cousin would root for one team and my uncle would support the other. Friendly rivalry, of course, although I do remember my team winning quite often!
This Sunday’s Super Bowl is making history with its own sibling rivalry.
Technology crept into my life when I switched from my beloved black portable manual Remington typewriter to an IBM electric.
Just a few years ago - relatively speaking - personal computers were just appearing on the scene. We researched the old-fashioned way - handwriting letters, loading rolls of film in our cameras, visiting dusty archives and winding through endless rolls of microfilm in resource centers. It took hours of effort to search for family information.
Today we connect in ways we couldn't imagine only a short time ago. We communicate almost instantaneously with email and messaging, and we access ever-expanding Internet resources for family history. Everyone is connected by computer, by smartphone, by technology.
Once upon a time, my tech arsenal consisted of an electric typewriter. Period.
We write e-mails, send letters or speak on the phone. Even with Skype on our computers, many of us still have a land line phone at home to connect with our families locally and worldwide.
Hearing our families’ voices brings us closer together, but how were we able to keep in touch before all these technological advances showed up in our homes?
Construction of the first regular phone line was completed in 1877. By the end of 1880, there were 47,900 telephones in the US. Since the first Bell telephone company was established in 1878, phones have evolved from the “candlestick” telephone to rotary-dial and to today’s cordless handsets.
Choosing a name for a child is certainly not easy.
Some families have names that recur every other generation, passing from grandparent to child.
Others parents choose to use an original name, or one that has a special meaning.
Do you know where your name comes from? Let us know in the poll below:
January 26 marks Australia's national holiday, Australia Day.
Australia Day celebrates the establishment of the first settlement in Port Jackson (which is now Sydney Harbour), in 1788.
What's known as the "First Fleet", consisted of 11 ships that set sail from Great Britain and landed on this day at the Port. By 1808, January 26 was celebrated as “First Landing Day” or “Foundation Day”.
In 1818, the Governor of Australia gave all government employees a day off, and in the years that followed, bank employees, and other employees, were also given a holiday day.
In the back of a high closet shelf, in the basement, in your attic, you have some kind of a container.
It may be an old metal box that held cookies a lifetime ago, an old shoebox or hatbox, a modern plastic container with a snap-on lid, or even a handy-dandy sealed plastic bag stuck in a drawer.
The contents may include dried flowers, holiday and life-cycle event cards, and many old photographs. If this is your personal collection, you'll likely know who the people were and when the image was taken. That's good.
However, these treasured possessions may have belonged to your great-grandmother. She, if you are very fortunate, may have written lightly in pencil on the back. The lady in the strange hat is Cousin Helen, you learn, but you've never heard of anyone with that name.
If you are even luckier, the inscription may indicate that it's a holiday gift from "your dear brother in London." You've never heard of anyone who had a brother in London.
If your relative was somewhat obsessive, he or she may have recorded the names, dates and places on each photograph. In this case, your genealogy colleagues around the world will congratulate you on your good fortune!
My colleague Javier showed me an article in the Spanish magazine Zankyou, which discusses marriage as the merging of two family trees, and therefore the perfect occasion to honor our ancestors.
The article suggests some very original ways to not only think about those relatives who have passed on, but actually incorporate genealogy in our wedding celebrations.
One way is with jewelry. Some people choose to wear a special family heirloom, like a brooch, others use their ancestors' rings as their own wedding bands.
Artist Ashley Gilreath takes it one step further. Ashley specializes in creating pieces that fuse heirlooms with their story, and like the necklace below, with genealogy.
Family history is important to us and, as a reader of this blog, it's probably important to you, too!
While family history is a fascinating subject, with more and more people getting involved than ever before, sometimes the desire to research our family history also runs in the family!
Some of us have family trees that have been passed down through the generations. Others are inspired to find out more via the stories our relatives share with us.
We want to know if researching family history runs in your family? Did your parents and grandparents research their family history? Were you inspired by their research? Alternatively, are you the first of your relatives to catch the genea-bug?
Let us know in the poll (or comments) below:
How do our surroundings, our homes, impact our families, our thoughts, our history?
Isn't this what our pursuit of genealogy helps to reconstruct? To make sure that our family history remains alive and known and preserved?
In a poem by Leib Borisovich Talalai, a young poet whose family was from our ancestral village of Vorotinschtina, Belarus, and who was murdered in Minsk (1941), he writes about his family home in the village, "If the walls of this house could talk. ..." When I found two of his slim books of poetry at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, it was fascinating to read his words.