by Katy Barnes Immigration, always a hot topic in the United States, has been a common part of the historical and political discourse since the founding of the nation, largely because immigrants make up such an enormous part of our history and heritage as Americans.
Heritage and Culture
Your heritage can teach you a lot about yourself. Discover the stories and facts behind the fascinating cultural traditions of your ancestors.
by Stephen C. Young As a young man in 1979, I was still living in my hometown of London, Ontario, and it was then that I first cut my teeth on genealogical research. Though tentative, the curiosity to know more about my family history motivated me to enlist the help of my father to take […]
Family history is a great way to bring your loved ones together as you celebrate and explore your common roots. There are lots of great activities you can use to fill your family gatherings with family history fun! If you’re looking for a creative and engaging way to make your ancestors a part of your family reunions or parties, check out these family history activities, and plan a time to put them into action this summer or at any time during the year. Full Story
by John de Jong I stood on a dike in the small village of Andijk, my ancestors’ home, looking out at the rough sea. It was easy to imagine my ancestors, hundreds of years earlier, preparing for an approaching gale. I was standing on a strong, modern dike. But in their day, only an earthen […]
The other articles in this series cover a variety of specific types of family history items. But what about family heirlooms that don’t fall into one of these tidy categories? These heirlooms could include a wide variety of objects of sentimental importance to a family, such as a baby blessing or christening dress, a piece of jewelry, a quilt, a war medal, a musical instrument, a vase, or just about anything else that a family feels is a treasure. Although each type of object has its own challenges, here are some suggestions to help you figure out what to do with those family objects that just don’t fit in the document or photo box. Full Story
Our desire to preserve memories and memorabilia of the past is anything but logical. How can having our great-grandfather’s shaving kit help us in the era of monthly shave club subscriptions? What can a candid photo of our grandmother, or an audio recording that captures the lilt of her voice when she teases our grandpa do in a world of Snapchats and tweets? In short, how can a tangible yet essentially useless artifact benefit us in an increasingly virtual world? Full Story
In my younger years, I found myself drawn to the exotic food traditions of those around me, feeling like my own food heritage was, well, unexciting. Compared to the standard American meals we ate at home, it seemed other people’s kitchens were brimming with rich culinary traditions, such as: Full Story
We love Christmastime—gathering with family and friends, sharing gifts, good food, and happy celebrations. Do you know when those customs began in your family? Such traditions bind us to our heritage and will be passed on for generations to come. They give us continuity—a sense of identity and belonging. Your traditions may include the ways you celebrate the birth of Christ or a dish that came from the old country. No matter the culture, the Christmas spirit seems to come from traditions that help us celebrate joy, love, and goodwill to mankind. Full Story