17    Sep 20150 comments

Fashion Styles: 100 years in two minutes

Everything changes over time, including relationships, memories and, of course, fashion. Clothing trends constantly evolve. Sometimes it's difficult for us to realize just how much styles have changed over the years, and over our own lifetimes.

In the past, we've written about photographing styles and fashion of times gone by.

Website Mode.com has taken a long hard look in the mirror and presented fashion styles for women over the past century  in a two-minute video! It is fascinating, and can be watched over and over.

The video has over 6 million views, so take a look!

Which decade over the past century has had the most interesting styles?

16    Sep 20154 comments

The Grandma Hypothesis: Couldn’t have done it without her!

In honor of Grandparents’ Day, that we celebrated this past Sunday, September 13, here are some fond memories.

Those of us fortunate enough to grow up with grandparents understand how important they were (and are) in our lives. I grew up knowing my mother's parents and maternal great-grandmother;  my paternal grandparents had died when I was quite young, although I do remember some holiday celebrations

My great-grandmother took care of my mother when she was little, so her parents (my grandparents) could work without worry. Today, this model is still common in many cultures around the world. Both parents are often working and grandmothers (and grandfathers) are helping to raise their grandchildren.

I remember my grandmother’s visits very well, and saw my great-grandmother, quite elderly by that time, during the summer vacations. Grandma would arrive for visits laden with boxes and jars of wonderful delicacies that our mother didn’t have time to prepare. When we were little, she kept us busy and happy with painting, making pasta necklaces and pasta artwork, trying to teach us how to sew dresses for our dolls. Her legendary attempts to teach me to crochet, unfortunately, fell on hands that just didn't catch on. Continue reading "The Grandma Hypothesis: Couldn’t have done it without her!" »

10    May 20150 comments

Happy Mother’s Day!

For Mother’s Day, we asked you to share advice, sayings or quotes your mother told you when growing up by finishing the sentence “Mom says…”

We received great responses and wanted to share some of our favorites: Continue reading "Happy Mother’s Day!" »

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" »

19    Aug 20144 comments

Childhood Homes: Fond memories

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.

My childhood home.

Continue reading "Childhood Homes: Fond memories" »

20    Jun 20145 comments

Nostalgia: Sounds of technologies from the past

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. Continue reading "Nostalgia: Sounds of technologies from the past" »

19    May 20142 comments

Nostalgia: Smells of the past

Nostalgia is defined as sentimentality about the past, typically for a time or place remembered with happy personal associations.

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." Continue reading "Nostalgia: Smells of the past" »

19    Oct 20133 comments

Our Stories: Papa’s Diary

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. Continue reading "Our Stories: Papa’s Diary" »

4    Sep 20131 comment

Preserving family memories: Four sisters, 36 years of photos

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.

Image credit: Nicholas Nixon, http://www.whudat.de/four-sisters-take-a-photo-every-year-for-36-years/

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.

21    Aug 20138 comments

Nostalgia: Old family photographs

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.

I moved last month. Although moving can be stressful, I was in for a surprise when I discovered a box filled with family treasures at the back of a closet.

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. Continue reading "Nostalgia: Old family photographs" »

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