20    Dec 20156 comments

Family Mysteries: Revealed through holiday cards and letters

This is a guest post by genealogist James L. Tanner, a retired trial attorney from Arizona now living in Utah. He is the author of two popular genealogy blogs, Genealogy's Star and Rejoice, and be exceeding glad. With over 30 years of genealogy experience, he currently volunteers at the Brigham Young University Family History Library in Provo, Utah.

Many countries around the world have a tradition of sending greeting cards to friends and relatives during the holiday seasons. In the United States, there is also a strong tradition of sending family letters at the end of the year reviewing important events. In the last 100 years or so, these holiday cards and letters  have also contained photos and valuable information about family members. Sometimes the information contained in a card or on a photo may be priceless and could resolve long-standing family mysteries. A card from a distant relative may identify someone whose relationship you never knew about or even suspected.

"Burns Mont. Ayr Postcard 1899" (Credit: Tony Corsini at en.wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons)

Continue reading "Family Mysteries: Revealed through holiday cards and letters" »

18    Dec 201519 comments

10 Spectacular Vintage Holiday Cards

We recently put out a call for your oldest Christmas cards. We received many amazing cards from years gone by.

Here are some beautiful and rare cards, never seen before:

c1905. Sent to us by Barbara Becker. "Christmas post card 2 would have been given to my grandmother when she lived in Edinburgh, Scotland (1904-1909). Teanie was a nickname my mother told me my grandmother did not particularly like. This card appears to have been hand delivered."

Continue reading "10 Spectacular Vintage Holiday Cards" »

14    Dec 201545 comments

Holiday Competition: Win a tablet!

What was the most significant holiday gift you have ever received? Are there special family memories associated with it?

This is a guest post by Karen, MyHeritage's country manager for Germany.

Everyone knows that feeling of really wanting something with all your heart. For some, it may have been a first bike, a soccer ball, or maybe a special book. The gift that I dreamed of and wished for was a puppy. I remember the many months trying to convince my parents that I would be responsible and take care of a dog with love and affection. My parents kept trying to dissuade me of the idea. They told me the dog would mess up the house, eat our shoes, scratch the door, shed hair everywhere and that we would never again be able to take a vacation. Continue reading "Holiday Competition: Win a tablet!" »

13    Oct 20150 comments

5 Easy Tips to Create a Great Family Tree Poster

It's never too early to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. Now is the perfect time to start planning, to reduce unwanted stress and chaos in December, making your life easier. Early planning also allows you to fully enjoy the holiday season, leaving you free to spend time with your family, and revel in your favorite activities, yearly traditions and celebrations.

A poster of your family tree, can be a very special gift for just about anyone on your list. A poster can be created very easily, with just a few clicks on your family site. Personalizing a poster can make it a one-of-a-kind and unique gift. It can be ordered on your family site, from the comfort of your own home, and sent anywhere in the world!

Here are our top 5 tips for creating a perfect family poster: Continue reading "5 Easy Tips to Create a Great Family Tree Poster" »

24    Dec 20141 comment

Did You Know: 13 interesting Christmas facts

Last year, we wrote about many Christmas traditions still common today, and the history behind them.

This year, as the holidays approach, we had our researchers look into interesting Christmas facts we never knew, and we're sure you didn't, either!

(Image credit: dwellingsbydevore.com)

Check them out:

8    Dec 20143 comments

Family Recipe: Grandmother’s famous sweet potatoes

We recently asked for your favorite family recipes and the stories and photos behind them. Recipes are often handed down from generation to generation. They are a link to our past and provide  a connection to the special people and events in our family's history.

We received so many great responses that we're excited to include the highlights in our MyHeritage Holiday Cookbook. It will soon be available for download on our blog, just in time for the holidays!

We wanted to showcase one of the many heartwarming family stories that we received over the past few weeks.

Irene Jeppsen from Afton, Wyoming sent in her grandmother's sweet potato dish. She chose to enter the recipe to honor her grandmother's memory and highlight the memories of her ancestors. Although she is unsure of the origins of the recipe, she believes it came from her grandmother.

A family photo taken at Irene's grandparents J.R. and Lera Maughan's Golden Wedding in 1959. Irene

This was the sweet potato recipe served by my grandmother Lera Clark Maughan (1889-1974). She was an excellent and creative cook. My mother Alice Maughan Neilson also made this Thanksgiving dish. It is a light version of the often calorie-choked sweet potatoes served at most holiday meals. Continue reading "Family Recipe: Grandmother’s famous sweet potatoes" »

6    Dec 20141 comment

Family historians: Perfect holiday gifts

The holidays are fast approaching, and they will be here before we know it.

Do you know what you are getting your friends and family for the holidays this year? What about for the genealogists in your family?

It can be relatively easy to find a present for your family's family historians since they appreciate practical gifts.

  • Genealogists spend a lot of time researching and collecting information. In their line of "work," it is important to stay neat and organized. They may like a new pencil case with office supplies such as pencils, paper clips, a stapler, Post-it stickers and labels. Continue reading "Family historians: Perfect holiday gifts" »
29    Nov 20142 comments

Historical Masterpieces: ‘Downton Abbey’ and more

Recently, many historical television series have become very popular. What is it about this genre that appeals to us? What draws us to them?

Perhaps it's about getting a glimpse of what life was like in times gone by. We feel more connected to our ancestors when we learn more about their lives and times. It's the same feeling that draws many of us to genealogy and family history research. The achievements and struggles faced by our ancestors serve as lessons for our own future. After all, history is known to repeat itself.

One such show is the British series, "Downton Abbey," which has swept a nation and also has become popular in other countries, as well. It is now  into its fifth season.

Downton Abbey (Image credit: ITV)

"Downton Abbey" follows the Crawley family through major events in history, showing the effects on their lives. The series opened with news of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, followed by the outbreak of the WWI, the Spanish influenza pandemic, and the Marconi scandal in the second season. It dealt with the interwar period and the formation of the Irish Free State in the third season, the Teapot Dome scandal in the fourth, and the general election of 1923 in the UK in the current season. Continue reading "Historical Masterpieces: ‘Downton Abbey’ and more" »

13    Nov 20144 comments

Holiday Cookbook Contest: Send us your recipes!

Did your grandmother make the best turkey stuffing? Was it your aunt’s minced pies that had you drooling at the Christmas table?

In honor of the upcoming holiday season, we’re bringing together two great traditions - food and family - for an exciting holiday competition!

We want you to send us your family's favorite holiday recipes and the stories behind them. Is it a dish passed down from an ancestor, or one made last year for the first time? A unique dish to your family or a traditional one? Why do you love that recipe and what's the story behind it?

One lucky winner - with the best recipe and family story - will have the chance to have a personal chef prepare a delicious meal for you and your family at your home. We'll collect a selection of our favorite submitted family recipes and prepare a special international holiday cookbook with recipes and stories from around the globe.

Continue reading "Holiday Cookbook Contest: Send us your recipes!" »

20    Apr 20141 comment

Happy Easter: Heritage Hunt 2014

Happy Easter!

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.

Read more about the MyHeritage Heritage Hunt below! Continue reading "Happy Easter: Heritage Hunt 2014" »

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