8    Dec 20101 comment

User Story: Meet Donna Emmons – Great Grandmother and Family Historian

We first met Donna when she contacted MyHeritage.com with a story that really made us smile. She nearly lost all of her family tree data due to a computer crash, but was relieved to find out she could recover her data through her online family site!  We know how much time and effort goes into building family trees, so we were thrilled to hear that Donna's online family site served as a nice and free backup for her FTB projects -- allowing her to recover all of her special family photos and family records.

As we got to talking, we soon realized that Donna had a great passion for her family history research and had worked out how to get the most out of her MyHeritage.com account. We asked if Donna would be willing to share some of her experiences with the community, and tell us a bit more about her family story. We hope you enjoy the interview!

Hi Donna. Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Donna Emmons and I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and still live here.  San Antonio is a city rich in history and I have had family in this area since 1840. I have 3 daughters, 3 grandchildren, and our latest addition, Madison Rose, my great granddaughter born on November 9, 2010!  I have worked for the Greater San Antonio Transportation Company since 1971.
How did you get started on your family tree?
I began working on my family tree in 1988 when my uncle was doing research on the Emmons branch of our family.  When I asked him questions about the women in the family - he didn't know and really acted uninterested. Since I was the mother of 3 daughters I wanted to know about these women, so I started doing research on my grandmother's part of the family, the Williams.
How would you describe your connection to your family history?
I feel a really deep connection to my family.  I am thrilled when I realize that I am standing in the very spot that my ancestors stood almost 170 years ago or that one of my ancestors arrived on the Mayflower (Francis Cooke).  How exciting!!  My five times great-grandfather came to Texas in 1840 with his wife and 10 children. Some of the children were married with children so he brought all of them with him from Lincoln County, TN.   These were very brave and adventurous people and they have passed these genes on to me.
How many people are in your family tree?
Right now there are about 1,500 in the database.  I am sure I have an equal number that I have not entered yet.  I have found preachers, farmers, and politicians, as well as wealthy plantations owners and slaves. I have found ancestors famous and infamous, rich and poor – Somehow they have all come together to be one family and they are my family.
7    Dec 20102 comments

What Happened The Year You Were Born?


When I was growing up I remember reading “This Day in History” in the local newspaper, which would give a few examples of things that happened on that day’s date in the past.

Most fun, of course, was reading about things that happened on my birthday but no matter what the day it was always interesting to read things that had happened in the year I was born.

For those of us who were keen to know more about what the world was like in the year we were born, the Internet has been a fantastic tool but it still involved doing research and, in many instances, pulling the pieces of the puzzle together.

Until now... Continue reading "What Happened The Year You Were Born?" »

6    Dec 20105 comments

Families Around the World: A very diverse family from Suriname

This post was written by our colleague Denie, who lives in the Netherlands. We have translated his Dutch post into English and hope you will enjoy his truly beautiful family story!

This post is dedicated to the story of a very mixed family. A family which embodies centuries of global migration. A family that today might be characterized by a specific appearance, but has roots in almost every continent on the globe. It's my own family: A family of Dutch, French, Germans, Africans and Javanese, Israelis, Muslims, Huguenots, Lutherans, Dutch Reformed, Roman Catholics, and Protestants.

While I could talk for hours about my family history, I will keep this post very brief. Generally, I consider Suriname the central location for our family. After all, this is where my family's diversity is centered.

Diorama of the Waterfront in Paramaribo by Gerrit Schouten, 1820

Continue reading "Families Around the World: A very diverse family from Suriname" »

6    Dec 20101 comment

MyHeritage.com Holiday Charts Contest

Create a family tree chart design, send it to us, and take part in our Charts Contest. The winner will receive $200 in printing and shipping costs to get a high quality poster delivered to their doorstep.Last week we launched our Family Tree Charts service. Thousands of you have already created family tree charts and prepared individual designs with individual colors, backgrounds, etc. Now we'd like to see what you've come up with. Send us your family tree design to participate in the contest, it doesn't matter if you have prepared. We'll draw up a shortlist for our readers to vote on. The following points explain how to enter.

Continue reading "MyHeritage.com Holiday Charts Contest" »

3    Dec 20100 comments

Video of the Week: An Oral History of Crestdale

This video talks about the origins of Crestdale, one of the first African-American communities in the United States. All of those in the video are descendants of the original founders of the community.

1    Dec 201028 comments

Introducing Family Tree Builder 5.0

Practical new features for family history lovers
This week we’re very excited to launch Family Tree Builder 5.0 – packed with many new features that make researching, building, printing and sharing family trees easier than ever. New features include the unique ‘Tree Consistency Checker’, useful ‘To-Do’ lists, better privacy controls, beautiful charts, mail-order posters, DNA marker entry and much, much more. There’s added value and enjoyment for everyone, from genealogy beginners to seasoned pros.

This is a FREE update, which means anyone who had an older version of Family Tree Builder can download the new version and upgrade for free. Those of you who are already Premium and PremiumPlus members can also do that, and the new program will automatically detect their status and respect it. Installing the program on top of an older version is safe and will not affect existing data. The good news for people who weren't using this great software before and want to start using it: it's free.

Let's dive in and take a closer look at the new features in the latest version of Family Tree Builder.

Family Tree Builder 5.0 - by MyHeritage.com

Family Tree Builder 5.0 by MyHeritage.com (click to enlarge)

Continue reading "Introducing Family Tree Builder 5.0" »

1    Dec 20106 comments

Photo of the Week: Can You Guess the Celebrity?

Last week we set you the challenge of identifying a celebrity from a childhood picture, and this week we're doing it again.

This one, we think, is a little easier than last week's pesky challenge. In fact, when you find out who this is you'll probably cup your face in your hands and weep an ocean of tears at the obviousness of it all, before learning the contents of Celebrity Childhood Photos: 2010 Edition by heart to avoid future embarrassment.

But we don't want that to happen. So here are a few clues:

- this person is a Hollywood star
- this person is best known by his middle name
- the first rule of these clues is that we do not talk about the clues

Do feel free to ask questions of us, which we'll answer in the comments. Although keep them to 'yes/no' questions - we can't give the game away too easily.

Good luck!

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