Marilyn Monroe died 50 years ago on Sunday, August 5. In her short 36-year life, she achieved international stardom both on and off the big screen.
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles on June 1, 1926, her surname was later changed to Baker, the family name of her mother's first husband.
Marilyn's birth certificate (below) lists Martin Edward Mortensen as her father.
Marilyn did not believe Martin was her father. She was once shown a photo of her father, whom she thought resembled Clark Gable. As a child, she pretended that Gable was her father.
She adopted the stage name of Marilyn Monroe - Monroe was her mother's maiden name.
This is a guest post from Rachel L. Swarns, a correspondent who has written for the New York Times since 1995. Rachel has published a book called: “American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama” in which she describes the many multicolored strands that make up the first lady’s family tree. In this guest post Rachel shares with us some of her discoveries about Michelle Obama’s lineage.
When Michelle Obama first moved into the White House in 2009, people knew her as a Harvard-educated lawyer, a mother of two and the nation’s first African-American first lady. But very little was known about her family origins. No one – not even Mrs. Obama -- had any idea how fascinating her family story was.
Dick (Richard Wagstaff) Clark, American radio and television personality died yesterday.
Born November 30, 1929, in Bronxville, New York, he died of a massive heart attack in Santa Monica, California, on April 18, 2012.
Best known as the host of the long-running teen music show - American Bandstand - watched religiously every afternoon by millions of US teens when they came home from school. The show is credited by many as the forerunner of reality TV shows like "American Idol." Later, he also created "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" and even a game show - "Pyramid."
The release of the 1940 US Census (available on MyHeritage) earlier this month provides an inside view into the lives of those who lived at the time. Clark was 10 years old when the enumerator came to call.
There are many ways to "pop the question."
This article lists a number of famous marriage proposals. It includes that of King Edward VIII, who abdicated the British throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, and performer Seal, who proposed to supermodel Heidi Klum in a custom-built igloo on top of a glacier!
Speaking of celebrity proposals, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie recently announced their engagement and are planning to wed in September. Watch this space for a Brangelina special!
Yesterday we completed the uploading of all 1940 Census images. Users around the world have been searching the census for free and have already found their ancestors’ records at www.MyHeritage.com/1940Census.
We couldn’t resist researching the records of celebrities who were alive in 1940. Thanks to our fantastic team of genealogists, we made some exciting discoveries and we invite you to see the census images below:
His father was a carpenter, and his mother was a seamstress, and little did they or the enumerator know what lay ahead for this 5 year old boy – Elvis.
This post is from the Dutch MyHeritage Blog, originally written by Denie Kasan, MyHeritage’s Netherlands community manager.
Today, March 21, marks the birthday of one of the greatest musical composers, Johann Sebastian (J.S.) Bach (1685-1750). His famous works are still taught today to music students across the globe, ensuring that Bach’s music and style lives on.
Perhaps less known is Bach's musical family background and abundant progeny. Within seven generations, the Bach family produced no fewer than 120 musicians and, over two marriages, Bach fathered 20 children!
Born March 21, 1685, in the German town of Eisenach (Thuringia), he was the eighth child of German composer Johann Ambrosius Bach and Elisabeth Lämmerhirt. His musical legacy is attributed to his great-great-grandfather Veit Bach who, according to J.S. Bach’s diary, played the lute. Generation after generation of musicians were born to the Bach family, and many served as royal court musicians.
There weren’t many hotel or motel chains in those days, so famous people - indeed, all travellers - slept in taverns, inns, private homes or camped out under the stars.
Perhaps that’s why Presidents' Weekend is known as the best time for sales of mattresses and bedding, as every US department and bedding store advertises great prices!
Seriously though, Presidents’ Weekend is relatively new. When I was in elementary school in New York, we celebrated Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays on two weekends in February, each with a Monday or Friday off.
Since they were both legal holidays - with banks, businesses, government offices and schools closed – someone suggested that perhaps the two holidays could be combined with only one day off instead of two. While schoolchildren mourned the loss of an anticipated holiday, the business community welcomed it.
Each state sets its observance of the holiday, and not all US states observe Presidents' Weekend. Read the history here.
She was one of my favorite singers.
As a tribute, I wanted to explore her family history. It was exciting to learn that she had inherited a family gift in her voice. Her ancestry included African, Dutch and Native American roots.
Houston's mother was Grammy Award–winning American soul and gospel singer Cissy Houston. Her successful career included backup for Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Wishbone Ash and Aretha Franklin - she is now a solo artist. One of Cissy's great-great-grandfathers was Dutch.
Cissy's father Nitcholas Drinkard was born to Susan Bell Drinkard (maiden name Fuller; born 1876), who was part Dutch and part African-American. Nitcholas's father was Native American John Drinkard, Jr. (b. 1870).His ancestors included a family of African-American landowners in Blakely, Georgia, where three of Cissy's siblings were born.
Following the large audience for the third-season premiere of the US-version of Who Do You Think You Are? - starring Martin Sheen - the second episode focused on Marisa Tomei.
Tomei's story concerned her murdered great-grandfather, and the false belief held by her family about the event's circumstances.
Her odyssey takes her from Brooklyn to Tuscany, Elba, Castiglioncello and Lucca to find the truth about the event, and her mother's BIANCHI and CANOVARO families. Her father, Gary, had already done extensive research on the TOMEI family tree.
Traditionally, most people research their own family, or one that that they have some connection to - but college student Emil Johansson is different.
Johansson has chosen a more peculiar family tree. He recently received international attention when he published his gigantic tree focusing on most of the characters in “Lord of the Rings”.
In his own words, Johansson is “overly enthusiastic about Tolkien's Lord of the Rings,” leading him to create a project where he has attempted to collect all Middle Earth’s characters and creatures in one giant family tree.
Eighteen months ago, he began studying chemical engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, but it wasn’t an easy choice: