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.
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.
I remember the home that I grew up in with many fond memories. We moved into our suburban home, in Canada, when I was only 4 years old. We lived in the same house until after I left home for university.
I didn't realize that I still had an emotional attachment to that home, until I went back for a visit recently, with my own family.
On a recent visit, I took my family back to my old house. Some things had changed on the outside -- the garden wasn't as beautiful, the shutters were painted a different color, but above all, the house still looked the same.
We recently wrote about smells that evoke nostalgic memories. Many claim that smell is the most powerful sense, as it brings up memories from the past. Sound is also powerful in that it helps us remember our childhood, and times gone by.
According to a recent article, Ryan Dube explains that for generations of early technology users, sounds of technologies from an earlier time can evoke powerful memories of childhood games, long nights of online chats, and new email messages.
Dube lists five top sounds from a time when technology was simpler and these sounds along with the technology that they accompanied was just being introduced into our daily lives.
1) The whir of the floppy drive:
Do you remember waiting as our computers tried hard to read data from floppy disks? We would wait patiently as the floppy driver whirred away and we hoped that our disks were not too damaged to be read.
The word nostalgia comes from a combination of two Greek words, νόστος (nóstos), meaning "homecoming," and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning "pain, ache."
It is attributed to a 17th-century medical student to describe anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home.
It can be brought on by many different associations. Memories can be stirred when looking at old photos of people and places, listening to a song that takes you back to when you first heard it, or tasting something familiar from your childhood.
Sensory expert Professor Barry Smith says that "Smell, more than any other sense, can evoke powerful, emotional memories. Whole scenes of people, places and things can be brought back to life by the hint of a long forgotten scent."
Wouldn't it be exciting to read the diary of an ancestor who recorded his or her daily activities?
Matt Unger, a 40-ish software executive in New York, was handed his grandfather Harry Scheurman’s 1924 diary, written when he was 29 and had been in the US for 11 years. Matt has transcribed each journal entry at his website http://papasdiary.blogspot.com. Scheurman had immigrated from Sniatyn, then in Austro-Hungary.
Matt’s project received coverage in The New York Times.
As we hear more frequently these days, family history researchers are getting bitten by the genealogy bug at ever younger ages. Although Matt was given the pocket-sized diary for a fifth-grade family history project, it wasn't until Thanksgiving 2007 that he examined it closely and decided to transcribe it.
MyHeritage interviewed Matt via email and is happy to offer his comments on this wonderful and very personal project.
What better way to capture your favorite family moments than with an annual photo?
That’s what American photographer Nicholas Nixon has done since 1975 when he took a picture of his wife and her three sisters, beginning an annual tradition that lasted 36 years.
Each year, the Brown sisters – Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie – all posed in the same order in for the photo.
Mimi, the youngest, was only 15 in the first picture, and the oldest, Bebe, was 61 in the last photo taken in 2010. Find the full photo collection here.
Photographs are an excellent way to bring family history to life over the years, and bring back precious memories. An annual photo documents your loved ones and becomes a timeless piece of history.
Don’t forget that preserving those family memories online is important as a way to share those images with future generations. They are an important way to capture family history and to help in your family research.
Join our global campaign to preserve your family heritage and upload your photos today.
What do you think of this idea? Would you do it with your siblings or other members of your families?
Let us know in the comments below.
A few years ago, my grandmother gave me a shoebox filled with some of her mother’s heirlooms and photos. I looked through it briefly, but had then forgotten about it until last month.
My grandmother had told me stories about her childhood, but these photo discoveries really brought my family history to life. I finally got to put faces to those stories I had heard over the past few years, and to see my family heritage displayed in front of me.
Last week I sat with my grandmother and together we looked through these family memories. As we viewed each photo and heirloom, she began to tell stories she hadn't mentioned before about the people and events in each picture.
Viewing old family photos brings up nostalgic memories. Whether it’s a wedding, a picnic in the park or goofing around at home, it’s important to preserve those family moments.
We have wonderful old photos from our ancestors, yet it’s also important to document our lives and cherish today's family gatherings and events.
However, it can be difficult encouraging the kids and and the entire family together to sit for a portrait. That’s why - as part of our “Treasure Family Photos” global initiative - we are offering tips to save and share your family story.
People catch the genealogy bug in many ways. For MyHeritage member Chris King (in Georgia, US), it was because of the Girl Scouts.
My daughter, Caitlin, was in Girl Scouts and had to do a family tree of three-to-four generations. I always wanted to know more about where my family was from, but had never thought about doing a family tree. I helped her with the project and together we went back several more generations.
Born Christine Carlton in Paget, Bermuda, in January 1969, Chris' father was in the US Air Force, stationed on the island. Her parents divorced when she was 3, and she, her sister and their mother moved to Georgia, where she grew up. Today she has four children and a step-daughter. She and her husband have been together for 12 years and married for nine, with six grandchildren and another on the way.
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… .”