Steve and his family had been hearing stories about “the family farm” for most of their lives. Steve’s mother, Fran, had been born there and grew up there, and she had wonderful memories. But the family didn’t own the farm any longer, and none of them had been there for years. With Fran’s 90th birthday […]
When you look back on old family photos or reminisce about happy moments from the past, you’re likely to be doing more than just reliving fond memories. Research has shown that recalling positive experiences can have a range of physical and mental health benefits. During a recent “siblings call,” which is a weekly Zoom call […]
Ah, the crispness of fall. The smell of firepits holding back the evening chill. The pumpkin spice everything. The planning for costumes, parties, decorations, and treats for trick-or-treaters (or just for you – no judgement here). It’s a time of year like no other. From the first day of school to the Halloween costumes to […]
Family. That word can mean different things to different people, I have learned. There’s the obvious – the family you’re born into or adopted into – your birth family. In my case, that means my parents and siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. As each generation reaches adulthood, we add spouses or partners and possibly […]
Family reunions. Some people love them. Some hate them. Others are somewhere in between, falling more into the “it depends” category… perhaps first wanting to know who else will be there? Or where will it be held? Or what events are planned? Me? I fall into the “love them” camp. How about you? What camp […]
What memories do you have of those amazing trips you took with your parents when you were just a kid? Thank goodness for photos and videos, right? They give you an opportunity to go back in time to re-experience those moments. As you browse through them, do you ever reflect on what you were thinking […]
Even with war happening on other continents, in the summer of 1945 here in the US, the SS North American was cruising the Great Lakes, and my mom and her sister, my aunt, were part of her crew that summer. We had heard stories about that summer every now and then – brief anecdotes brought […]
In my prior post, I shared my secret for capturing family history. That secret? Take an event-based approach! So many meaningful memories come from your past interactions with family and friends while you were traveling together or gathered for a special event. You can read all about it here. But how do you do that? How do you capture and share event-based stories? Especially if you’re conditioned to think first about the family tree […]
Have we been “conditioned” to think of our family history like a family tree? Do we automatically think that a family history is mainly about the connections we have to our ancestors? I think so. You? And I think it’s why, for many, the notion of starting to pull together stories and photos to share with the rest of the […]
That list… you know the one. The list of things we want to do while we still can. The “bucket list.” For many, there are trips to exotic – or not so exotic – places. “Airboat through the Everglades,” perhaps. Or “visit all 50 states.” Maybe it’s simple – “Go camping in the mountains” or “take a bike […]
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to reconnect with an 87 year old genealogist. I will call him Howard. We knew each other because we briefly overlapped at the same company, though he retired 30 years ago. Since retirement, he and his wife spent much of their time researching, connecting, aggregating, and building the extended family story. The last time I talked to him was 6 years ago. He showed me […]
The following is a story that was shared with me by one of our TightKnit friends. Perhaps it will bring back memories for you as it did for me. – Eric Ah, the smell of the house on cookie-baking day. The mess in the kitchen, the warmth of the oven, and the smells – did I mention the smells? […]
Have a bunch of old photos or slides that you want to share with others, but they aren’t in digital format? You’re in luck. You have more options today than ever before, and it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive to do. Here are some tips, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to help you. There are quality, cost and effort trade-offs to each […]
Remember those days when you were young, and family – perhaps aunts and uncles or grandparents — were visiting? At some point, they all gravitated to the kitchen or dining room table and just talked. Initially, the conversation was likely about what each other’s families were up to, current events, maybe even politics or religion […]
Family photos. If you are like almost everyone, you have them! Great! And, like most people, when asked where a particular photo is, you may not really know. You have probably felt the pain too when trying to find that photo. It can be immensely frustrating! The issue of “Where are my photos?” is related […]
Do you have some vintage family photos that you just cannot figure out? Who are those people? Where was it taken? When was it taken? What is going on? It used to be that, if you did not know, then forget it! You may as well throw those photos away. But times are different, and […]
Has this happened to you? You show a family member an old family photo, and that photo triggers a memory and an amazing story. It proves something that we all know: That is, it is not the photo that is necessarily of value, but in fact, it is the story behind the photo that is […]
Did you grow up looking forward to the next family slide show? Did you or your parents ever take “slide” photographs? Slides were amazing things. Near perfect resolution, meaning you could blow one up into a wall-sized poster if you wanted. A transparency, which, like a negative, light could be shone through. However, as opposed […]
One of our newer TightKnit users sent me a story she wrote, suggesting I could share it on our blog. I LOVE this story! And here it is… My sister was giddy when I opened a big flat gift from her a few Christmases ago – so excited she could hardly sit still. It was […]
Who shares your DNA? For around $100, people, by the millions, are finding out. There are many reasons why people might want to do this. For those of us with a passion for researching and building out our family’s history, one of the huge benefits is finding distant cousins with whom you share great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, […]
Do you have forgotten relatives? Perhaps you have a photo or two, but you’ve lost track of who they are or how they tie in to your family? In the northeastern corner of the US, a group of people created a Facebook group called “Old Pictures of Forgotten Maine.” Most of the photos shared in […]
Do you have a favorite family photo at home? Specifically, a vintage one? Perhaps of your grandparents? Or, your mother as a little girl? Or, your parents at your wedding? Most people do. I certainly do. In fact, my wife and I have the ones I just mentioned and many more old family photos hanging […]
My Grammy made the very best bread in the whole world. Even though I was barely three years old when she died, I have a VERY vivid memory of sneaking out to her kitchen and pinching off a little bit of the heel. Confession: I did that over and over again until it looked like […]
Are you concerned that your family photos may someday wind up in a landfill? If not, you should be. I am not necessarily talking about the photos you took yesterday of that amazing pizza, though, to some people, that too maybe something worth keeping. I am really referring to the old family photos, slides, negatives […]
Was your dad or grandfather in World War II? Do you have a family member who was in any war – it really does not matter, as the experience was likely horrific no matter where or when it occurred. In the winter of 1945, my 20 year old dad fought for his life in a foxhole in Europe during the […]
Did you know that having a strong family narrative can be very beneficial to your children? Not only has it been proven to be good for their wellbeing, but establishing it can be fun to do.
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