10    Jun 201312 comments

Father’s Day: Memories and advice

Fathers are monumental figures in our lives and are known for giving great advice. The 17th-century poet George Herbert said that “one father is more than 100 schoolmasters.”

Father’s Day is a celebration honoring dads, granddads and paternal bonds, and in honor of the day we want to know how your dad made an impact on your life by participating in our competition (see details below.)

Image credit: http://justimagine-ddoc.com/

The day has American roots and was founded in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd.

Continue reading "Father’s Day: Memories and advice" »

3    Jan 20133 comments

Holiday Competition: And the winner is…

Before the holidays we offered you the chance to win a digital camera by sharing with us your favorite holiday memory or photo.

We received many beautiful photos and touching stories and it's been really difficult choosing a winner.

We decided to divide the competition into two categories - pictures and stories - and choose a winner from each.

So, without further ado, the winning photo is: Continue reading "Holiday Competition: And the winner is…" »

28    Dec 20120 comments

Poll: New Year family resolution?

As we approach the end of 2012, we reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

Many people use the new beginning to make a New Year resolution. Whether it's about achieving a goal, or becoming a better person, people like to start the year with an objective - something they want to accomplish during the 12 months ahead.

We're interested to know whether this happens in your family. Do you make family New Year resolutions? Perhaps you'll resolve to spend more time together, or research more of your family history?

Let us know in the poll below:

26    Dec 20120 comments

Holidays: Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally observed in the UK and Commonwealth on December 26, but has nothing to do with the sport of the same name!

Where did it originate?

There are various opinions about its origins.

One view is that it comes from a very early Christian custom where boxes were left outside of churches for people to donate offerings for the Feast of Saint Stephen.

The European belief is that it stems from a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages where people would give money and gifts to needy tradesmen. In Britain, it was customary for tradesmen to collect boxes of money or presents, as thanks for their services, much like the concept of the Christmas bonus that many companies in western countries have adopted.

In the days when wealthy aristocrats employed servants to manage their homes, servants would have to work on Christmas Day, but would be given the next day as a holiday. The masters would give the servants a box of presents and leftovers to take home to their families.

Today, Boxing Day in the UK is mainly about shopping. Most people who celebrate Christmas will have spent a large amount of time and money shopping before the holiday, buying food for their festive dinner and presents for their family. To entice people back to the stores, Boxing Day is the day retailers traditionally hold sales. In this regard, it's very similar to Black Friday in the US.

As many families come together for the holidays, Boxing Day is also a ''bonus'' family day.

Are you celebrating Boxing Day? If so, how?

Let us know in the comments below.

22    Nov 20121 comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time when many families come from near and far to celebrate together, a time for reminiscing and sharing stories.

It's also a great opportunity to make family history discoveries. Ask your relatives about their lives, and the lives of their parents. Asking about past family Thanksgiving celebrations can be an enjoyable conversation for all the family where you can learn how your ancestors celebrated and discover other unknown information.

Try and use the time when the family is all together to share with them what you've discovered about your collective family history. Who knows, perhaps you'll get a piece of information that will help you break down a brick wall in your research.

Continue reading "Happy Thanksgiving!" »

19    Nov 20126 comments

Holiday: Talking Turkey

Holidays“Gobble, gobble” to everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving!

This wonderful family holiday is celebrated by Americans around the world, no matter where they live. It's the time for families to get together and share a delicious feast. The day often includes watching football on TV and planning for “Black Friday” shopping deals!

It is a genuine family holiday and many of us have touching or hilarious stories about Thanksgivings past.

MyHeritage invites you to share your funny stories for the chance to win a one-year PremiumPlus membership. Simply comment on this post or post comments on our Facebook wall or, if you can fit it into 140 characters, tweet them @myheritage. The winning story will be announced on Friday.

Since I can’t participate in the competition as I'm part of the MyHeritage team, here’s my hilarious holiday story.

Continue reading "Holiday: Talking Turkey" »

28    May 20120 comments

Memorial Day: Honoring the fallen

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the US.

Over the weekend, flags fly at half-mast, graves are decorated with flowers and family members pay their respects at national cemeteries. Ceremonies honoring fallen soldiers - of all wars and conflicts - take place across the country.

In many places, Boy Scout Troops - as part of their commitment to community service - place flags on each soldier’s grave.

See below two newspaper articles  on the holiday, from the New York Sun (May 31, 1872) and the Hawaiian Gazette (May 30, 1911). Click on each article image to see the original page from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America site, and learn more.

The day was first observed in 1865 to remember fallen Civil War soldiers; it was then called Decoration Day.

The Hawaiian Gazette reported on Decoration Day (Credit: Library of Congress, Chronicling America, Hawaiian Gazette)

Continue reading "Memorial Day: Honoring the fallen" »

23    Jan 20121 comment

Chinese New Year: A family day

The most populous country in the world - along with its global diaspora - is celebrating its most important caendar day: The Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year (known in China as "The Spring Festival") marks the end of the winter season and welcomes the first solar term of the Chinese lunisolar calendar year, Lìchūn. This new year is the year of the dragon.

In the traditional Chinese calendar, the festival begins on the first day of Lìchūn and ends on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival, when traditional Chinese lanterns decorate the streets and children visit temples while carrying paper lanterns.

Chinese New Year’s Eve is a day for the family. Similar to the Western culinary spectacle of Christmas Day (or Thanksgiving), Chinese New Year’s Eve (Chúxī) brings the family together for the annual reunion dinner. Continue reading "Chinese New Year: A family day" »

2    Jan 20121 comment

Happy holidays competition: See the winners!

The rules were simple: Send us a short video incorporating the MyHeritage logo and letting us know where you are.

For more on the contest announcement, see the blog post here. Congratulations to our four winners for your great videos.

We received videos showing lots of happy MyHeritage multigenerational families - and even a family pet! The team thanks to everyone that participating, for their time and creativity. We enjoyed viewing your entries and hope you had fun making the videos.

View the other three winning entries below.

Continue reading "Happy holidays competition: See the winners!" »

22    Nov 20110 comments

Thanksgiving: Picture the festivities!

Where has the year gone?

Supermarkets in the US are jammed with shoppers looking for that perfect turkey and gathering all the ingredients for side dishes and traditional desserts.

There are only a few days left until entire neighborhoods and apartment buildings are filled with the fragrance of roasting turkeys.

The MyHeritage team encourages everyone to record this holiday - and all family holidays, of course - in photographs for posterity. To help this project along, we’re giving away two Premium subscriptions for the best photo in each of two categories: Old family photos of Thanksgiving past and contemporary photos of this year’s festivities.

Continue reading "Thanksgiving: Picture the festivities!" »

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