13    Jan 20090 comments

Challenges and Stories from American Family Historians

MyHeritage US MembersHi everyone! I'm Carl, and I'm the Community Manager for the US here at MyHeritage. I'm based in London, but I'm originally from warm, sunny Los Angeles - and yes, I miss the weather!!!

Let me share with you some of the challenges Americans face in keeping in touch with their families, and some interesting stories from my family history.

Many Americans move around a lot, and so we have family members that are scattered around 3.7 million square miles and 6 times zones. I have close relatives in 8 states, and extended family in many more, and it's hard to know the latest family news all the time. Luckily for us, the family pages makes it easy to stay close to everyone!

Researching US family history has tough obstacles. Many immigrants changed how their names were spelled when they came to America, so making the genealogical leap overseas can be difficult (try a Megadex search for help). Descendants of slaves and those of us with Native American ancestors often can't trace large parts of our family histories back more than a few generations.

Like everyone, I have some interesting stories from my family history. During the Civil War, brothers were fighting brothers, and sons were fighting fathers - I have examples of both from my family. I'm distantly related to one president, Andrew Jackson, but at the time my great-great-great-great-grandmother (a cousin of his) was so ashamed of him that she didn't mention it to other people - I hope she doesn't mind anymore!

Obama, BushPeople can be surprised at some of their relatives - during the election, we found out that Barack Obama is a distant cousin of George W. Bush! It's amazing how closely we are all related - and it just shows that we all part of the same big family.

These are just small examples of some of the interesting stories that you can find out by looking into your family history - and MyHeritage is a great place to start! If you have any fun stories from your family, share them here!

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