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Halloween Around the World

Halloween in the United States is a holiday that has recently started gaining popularity around the world, but no other country celebrates Halloween quite like us. Despite this, Halloween as a holiday does have its roots in old Celtic and Catholic holidays that are celebrated to this day in much of the world. I decided to do a little reading on some of the interesting holidays celebrated around the world on this day. Ireland: Samhain Ireland is the ancestral home of Halloween, where many of the traditions we know and love today in the United States have become very popular. Despite commonly held beliefs about the holiday’s origins in Ireland, most of the history of All Hallow’s Eve as a Celt

Car Rental Advice for the Family Explorer

Planning out a trip to explore your family heritage can be a unique challenge for a number of reasons. When planning to wander off the beaten path in search of your history, it can be especially difficult to figure out just how to get to your destinations. One solution to that problem is car rentals. We asked two of our storytellers for their thoughts on renting cars: Q: What was your first experience of renting a car like? Rob: The first time was a little nerve wracking. But the associate who helped me was very helpful and walked me through the process and made it a very seamless and painless procedure. Serena: [laughs] The first time I rented a car, I was 18 and a freshman in college, and

Four Tips for Navigating Travel in a Foreign Language

I was standing in a station in Tokyo at the tail end of rush hour, a pink ticket in my right hand and a blue ticket in my left hand, panic rising in my chest. My friends had crossed the ticket barrier already, I had been trailing behind, and they were suddenly out of view. The barrier was making an angry sound, and I was getting in the way of the stream of rushed commuters. Take a deep breath. Take a step back. Think. I found a station employee and through a mix of limited Japanese and improvised hand gestures, managed to communicate that my ticket had stopped working. He took both the tickets from my hands and stared at them for a minute. I said the name of the station I was trying to get t

A Grave Matter: Recycling Burials in Overcrowded Cities

For the genealogist, professional or otherwise, cemeteries are a vital part of understanding a family lineage or a specific ancestor’s life. They hold special importance to descendants and relatives as the physical location that they can visit where their ancestor will lay for all time. Unless, of course, it’s not only their ancestor buried in the grave. No, it’s not a murder mystery. For cities such as London, with an ancient history and an overcrowded populous, cemetery workers and researchers are trying to find a pragmatic approach to a sensitive issue: what do you do when there’s no more room for the dead? One of the solutions select cemeteries in London are implementing is the practice

Conveyances as Genealogy Resources

If you are anything like us, then you are always looking for new resources for genealogy research. We get so excited when we find new resources that we just have to share them with the world! One such resource that we found recently is a collection from the Georgia Archives. The Colonial Conveyances is a collection provided by the Georgia Archives, an archive that houses "historic Georgia manuscripts, photographs, maps, and government records", according to the website. The documents in this collection are mostly recordings of private property transactions between private citizens of the Colony of Georgia, but some include other documents like marriage records. This is one way that you can t

5 Free Genealogy Websites

Starting out your genealogy search can be daunting, especially when you look at all of the many paid and unpaid options out there. There are

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