19    Dec 20132 comments

Family History at the Holidays: Get your family involved

This week our US Genealogy Advisor Schelly Talalay Dardashti joined us for a webinar, Family History at the Holidays.

With the holidays fast approaching, Schelly gave us great ideas for getting family more involved in family history. Remember that these ideas are useful for all family gatherings during the year.

Didn't get a chance to join? Don't worry! Click on the video below to watch the full webinar.

Check our other webinars for genealogy hint and tips to help make family history research easier.

Don't forget to sign up for our next webinar - "Creative ways to showcase your family tree" - on February 18, 2014. After learning about your roots and discovering your past, there's nothing better than sharing your family history with others!

Join us for this new webinar on creative, fun ways to uniquely share your genealogy with your family.

Click here to register.
16    Dec 20131 comment

Family Christmas Traditions: Through the Years

(Credit: Dwellingsbydevore)

Did you know that Christmas trees were originally hung upside down from ceilings in some countries? Or that up until 100 years ago, it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in parts of the United States?

Many Christmas traditions still common today date back thousands of years in some form or another. Some customs, such as the 12 days of Christmas, gift-giving, and caroling, have been traced back to as early as Mesopotamian times.

When did we start celebrating Christmas as we know it today?

In 1647, the English Parliament passed a law making it illegal to celebrate Christmas. The ban was lifted in 1660. During Queen Victoria's reign, Christmas was a time for gift giving, and became a special season for children. In Colonial America, Christmas was not celebrated as we know it today. Even in the US, it was illegal to celebrate Christmas until about 100 years ago.

As customs developed in different countries, we celebrate many of the same holiday traditions.

Where do some of our favorite Christmas traditions come from? Continue reading "Family Christmas Traditions: Through the Years" »

8    Dec 20138 comments

Dear Santa: Then and now

"Dear Santa..."

As Christmas nears, millions of children around the world are using these two words to begin their letters to Santa , with the hope he will bring what they want.

These letters are often sent by obliging parents to Santa's home at the North Pole. However, back in time, it was popular to send "Dear Santa" letters to a local newspaper, which published them.

Our newspaper collection includes over 120 million pages dating back to 1609, and a quick search using the keywords "Dear Santa" brings really interesting results... Continue reading "Dear Santa: Then and now" »

14    Oct 20130 comments

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving: A Family Celebration

Today marks Canadian Thanksgiving, a time for families to get together.

Did you know that Canadian Thanksgiving is widely recognized as the first celebration of its kind in North America?

Its history dates to 1578, when Englishman Martin Frobisher set out in search of the Northwest Passage, along the northern coast of North America.

On his third voyage to the bay area of Baffin Island (now the Canadian territory of Nunavut), the 15 ships were filled with men and materials to begin a small settlement.

Frobisher's journey was harrowing as the fleet traveled in bad weather and harsh storms. They lost a ship and most of the building materials. Making it through the storm and reuniting with the rest of the fleet, they gave thanks for a miraculous deliverance from the dangers. Continue reading "Happy Canadian Thanksgiving: A Family Celebration" »

27    Jun 20131 comment

Competition: Discover your American roots this Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one week away, and we’re ready to celebrate!

Also known as Independence Day, Americans come together to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the country’s birthday.

A great time to celebrate American heritage, it is also fun to share the holiday with families at  barbecues, picnics, parades, fairs, firework displays and other family activities.

Continue reading "Competition: Discover your American roots this Fourth of July" »

16    Jun 20135 comments

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

We asked you to share your memories and sayings from your father. We wanted to know how he had an impact on your life, whether it was advice, a loving saying or a life lesson.

We received numerous responses completing the sentence: “My father used to say… .”

Here are some of our favorites: Continue reading "Happy Father’s Day!" »

21    May 20132 comments

Memorial Day: Free access to US military records

Memorial Day in the US  is May 27, and millions of Americans will remember the men and women who died while serving in the US Armed Forces.

In honor of this special day, we are proud to provide free access - through May 28 -  to our most popular collections of US military records.

Search now

Journey back in time to some of the most important conflicts in world history that not only  impacted families in the US, but millions of families worldwide.

Continue reading "Memorial Day: Free access to US military records" »

8    May 20138 comments

Honoring Our Mothers: Mother’s Day competition

Mother’s Day is nearly here. What better way to thank our mothers for everything they've done for us than by reflecting on all the wonderful mothers out there.

Mothers have a strong impact on our lives. Many even say that “mother knows best.”

Whether they are, in fact, our grandmothers, our aunts or our own mothers, all leave us with lasting impressions of the advice and wisdom they share.

Growing up, I remember listening to my grandmother recall her childhood, and learning about my own history. On my first day of school, I remember my mother's hug and her words of encouragement, reassuring me that everything would be OK. I know that - even today - I can always count on these great women in my family.

Mothers around the world have a huge influence on our lives. It's always important to show our appreciation for all they do. Continue reading "Honoring Our Mothers: Mother’s Day competition" »

31    Mar 20137 comments

Happy Easter: Will you win the ‘Heritage Hunt’ ?

Easter is here, with all its traditions.

The Easter bunny is a prominent symbol of the holiday, although the furry creature is not mentioned in the Bible.

While the bunny's exact origin is unknown, rabbits are frequently used as a symbol of fertility and new life. According to some, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They brought the tradition of an egg-laying hare called Osterhase.

The tradition continued with children waking up Easter Sunday morning to find that the Easter Bunny had hidden decorated eggs for them to find.

The Easter Egg Hunt, as it is known today, is a fun family activity where children hunt for the decorated eggs indoors and outdoors to win a prize. Whomever finds the most eggs wins a prize including baskets of candies or chocolates.

At MyHeritage, we wanted to get into the Easter spirit with our own “Heritage Hunt,” an online scavenger hunt, with a chance for you to win a free data subscription. Continue reading "Happy Easter: Will you win the ‘Heritage Hunt’ ?" »

8    Mar 20131 comment

International Women’s Day: Your stories

International Women’s Day has its roots in the North American and European Labor movements.

It was first observed in the US on February 28, 1909, in honor of the 1908 worker’s strike when women protested against poor working conditions. A year later, The Socialist International met in Copenhagen and established a Women’s Day to honor the women’s rights movement.

The first International Women’s Day, in 1911, took place in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Women rallied for worker’s rights, the right to vote and to hold public office, among other issues.

Today, International Women’s Day is observed worldwide: Continue reading "International Women’s Day: Your stories" »

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