and Family Tree Magazine contest…win a free family reunion! and Family Tree Magazine contest…win a free family reunion!

Participate in the contest and win a free family reunion! We’re very excited to launch a joint contest with Family Tree Magazine, the leading family history magazine in the USA, to celebrate long-lost relative discoveries! Lots of amazing prizes to be won! Read on

Ever discovered a long-lost relative through your family history research?

Share your “long-lost relative discovery” with us and enter a contest to win a free, expenses-paid reunion with them, a year-long VIP subscription membership with Family Tree Magazine and a three-year Premium-Plus subscription with leading family history site (among other prizes – a digital subscription to Family Tree Magazine and a 3-year Premium-plus subscription on for the two runners-up!).

It takes just a few moments to write a sentence or two about your discovery of a long-lost relative and what this meant to you- either in the comments section below this blog post, on the Facebook page or the Family Tree Magazine Facebook page.

This is all you need to do to enter the contest and win a chance to meet your long-lost relative for the first time!

A few tips regarding your entry:

  • What relation is your long-lost relative?
  • Did you actively search for them or find them by chance? Or did they find you?
  • When was the discovery made?
  • Describe the personal impact of this discovery. Did it change you or cast new light on your family’s legacy?
  • What would it mean to you to be able to meet your long-lost relative?

We’d love to hear from all of you – regardless of your location. Sharing family history discoveries and personal stories provides a great source of inspiration for others researching their own families. However, to enter the contest, there are a few rules:

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Each entrant takes responsibility for any third-party consent.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly by Family Tree Magazine – although Facebook likes will be taken into account.
  • Odds of winning are directly related to how many people enter the contest.
  • One winner will be chosen to win the grand prize. Two will be chosen to win the secondary prize.
  • The timing of the reunion trip will be scheduled during summer 2011.
  • Restrictions apply to the paid-for reunion: Paid expenses include a round-trip economy flight ticket for one person to meet with the long-lost relative in the US (or alternatively, if the long-lost relative resides outside the US, an international return flight for the relative to the US), a two -night stay at a selected hotel and $300 personal expenses.
  • Only those with no prior meeting with the long-lost relative are eligible for the grand prize – and must be willing to participate in a family reunion.
  • The winning entry and long-lost relative (s) are required to participate in any related media opportunities/interviews.
  • The contest begins at 12AM ET June 8, 2011, and ends at 12AM ET June 15, 2011.
  • The entrant is responsible for anything in regard to the legality of entering a contest in the area in which the entrant lives.
  • Rules may be updated at any time without notice.
  • Winners will be notified via their provided contact information the week following the end of the contest.
  • Winners have seven days to claim their prize.
  • One entry per person.
  • To be eligible to win, the entrant must live in the United States. There are no restrictions on the residential location of the “long-lost relative.”

There’ll be three lucky winners! If you have a favorite tell us by either commenting below or clicking on the “like” button on entries on the two Facebook pages: Facebook page or Family Tree Magazine Facebook page.

Good luck!


The email address is kept private and will not be shown

  • Julee

    June 8, 2011

    I am a big genealogy buff. I started when I was 16 years old and through the years have discovered journals, and trace my lineage back on a couple lines to Adam and Eve or Thor and Odin.

    On my maternal grandmother’s side there are prominent names that have created American History. Among these surnames are Schuyler and Van Rensselaer. I was immediately fascinated by these names as they dominated Albany, married Alexander Hamilton and there was a plethora of information on them.

    One day, while working as a Delta Reservation agent, a phone call came in from a Skymiles Member. The name auto-populated: Schuyler (last name with-held for privacy). I addressed the member, and she was shocked when I properly said her first name–it’s pronounced SKY-ler.

    Towards the middle of the conversation, while searching for her fare, I asked, ‘Do you happen to know if you are related to General Philip Schulyer?”

    She gasped and told me it was her great-great grandfather and that was whom she had been named after. I shared, that he too was my distant grandfather. We immediately began “catching up”…she is an artist in Georgia and her sister is named Rensselaer.

    It would have been a missed opportunity if I had not done my pedigree homework and learned about this family that shaped American history!

    I’d love to meet her and her family face to face and share more intimate details of our life!

  • lord dwyer

    June 8, 2011

    i am just trying to find a list of land that’s gone back to Lloyd George and a solicitor to sort out my government t status as lord Thomas dwyer

  • Jennifer Geoghan

    June 9, 2011

    I recently came into contact with my father’s 2nd cousins in Arzheim, Germany. I knew that was where his family came from but had no clue that the family was still living in the area. I got the idea last year to buy some wine from Arzheim for a holiday dinner as Arzheim is in wine country. I cotacted a local winery there by email asking if they sold in the US and saying that my family came from there. I got an email back saying “No, we don’t sell out wine in the US but there is a family the next village over by the same last name who own a vineyard as well.” Shortly after I got an email from the other vineyard and it’s owner was our cousin! I know tons of info about my mother side do the family but never in a million years did I think I’d make contact with my father’s relatives in Germany. Since then I’ve made many more discoveries with the help of my German cousins, all via email. I’d love to meet these wonderful relatives face to face and thank them in person for all the help they have given me and the rest of the US side of the family. I always joke that if it wasn’t for wine, I’d never have found them!

  • Judy Cohen

    June 11, 2011

    I made connections with my mothers brother. They were seperated when they nwe adopted out. My mother has since passed and my uncle is in his late 80’s. Also, I made contact with a distant cousin in England. I found him thru an article he wrote about the release of the census in England. I emailed him, and much to my surprise he is related.

  • Jo-Anne Smith-Huber

    June 11, 2011

    I began my family research not long after my father passed away in 1994. I thought it would be easiest to search my mothers side as I had some information already and because the family name on my fathers side was Smith. So for the first few years I spent my time looking for my mothers family.
    I had no information on my Grandfather Smith except his first name and a copy of his marriage certificate to my Grandmother. Thus began my search for Smith relatives. With my father and his two brothers deceased I knew this was going to be a difficult search. I have found that my Grandfather was one of 15 children and most of his siblings immigrated to Canada or the US, with only one or two remaining in Scotland. It has been both frustrating and exciting, trying to find the descendants of John and Anne Smith, but persistence pays off. Two years ago I made contact with my second cousin and we have been corresponding ever since. I have pictures to share and questions to ask. I would love to meet and share all the amazing information I have found.

  • Pam Ingermanson

    June 11, 2011

    My paternal great-great grandparents lived in Norway. They had 9 children, 3 boys and 6 girls. Two of the daughters died as infants. Ten members of the family were able to immigrant to America, in 4 different groups, beginning in 1876 and ending in the mid 1880’s. Their oldest child and daughter remained in Norway. Nine family members settled in Idaho and one son ended up in Ohio. Those who settled in Idaho changed their surname from Olsen to Petterborg.
    I was fortunate enough to spend most of the month of Oct 2008 at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah researching this family. I decided to concentrate on the daughter who stayed in Norway and the son who went to Ohio. I knew almost nothing about these two siblings. I knew the son’s name-Ole Johan Olsen-and his birth date-5 Oct 1851 and his wife’s name as Carline. I knew the daughter’s name was Gina and that she was married to someone from Sweden and whose name was Haakon Kjellgren( I had several spellings of both his names and had no idea which was correct). I felt very overwhelmed but determined to find information on them.
    Through some pretty miraculous circumstances, I was able to find a John Olsen living in Akron, Ohio the very first hours of my research at the FHL. John’s information fit my Ole Johan’s almost exactly and his wife’s name was even close-Caroline. I spent the next three weeks finding so much information on John and his family that I could barely keep up with getting it all copied. Even though I had so much on him, I still had not found anything to connect him with the family in Idaho. In some of my research, using Akron City Directories, I had found Olaf Olsen living with John and his family. Who was Olaf?
    The night before my last day at the library I spent hours putting name combination into Google searches, trying to find something. About midnight I put in some combination and I got a hit for Gina’s family. I was in shock. I sent an email to the person who had submitted the information to the mailing list and went to bed. I did not sleep well all night. Early the next morning I was up checking emails and I had a message back. The person was Sheri and her great- great grandmother was Gina and her great grandfather was Olaf Olsen. That was the piece I needed to connect John to my family!!!
    Just this week, I have been doing more research on John’s descendants and most of them stayed in the Akron area. I have found approximately 25 obituaries and death records. I have excitedly been building families. I am not sure any of the Olsens know anything about the Idaho branch of the family. Sheri had heard that family had gone to Idaho but she knew nothing about “us”. It has been wonderful to learn about the two families I knew nothing about and to share information about those I am familiar with.
    Sheri lives in Columbus, Ohio and I live in Tucson, AZ. We have corresponded many times over the last 2 ½ years but we have never talked on the phone or met in person. Sheri has a hard time hearing phone conversations, so emails have been our method of communication. Oh, how I would love to meet Sheri-we have a lot of sharing to do. E-mails can only do so much. Nothing like a good hug to really connect!!

  • Grace Wyatt

    June 11, 2011

    I was raised in an ophranage in Dallas Texas and only started looking for my family a few years ago when I got my first computer. Of course, it was hard because I didn’t even know where to begin. I knew nothing of either my mothers family or my fathers family. I think in 2003, I had contact from a second cousin once removed but didn’t really have any contact with her until about 5 years ago. A couple of months ago, I discovered through Find A Grave, two cousins from mothers side of my family. I also found my older half brother by mama and her first husband. I called the cemetery where my uncle was buried and found my grandfather was buried right beside him. My older brother was buried in the same cemetery. The caretaker of the cemetery gave me the funerial home where granddaddy was taken I have not met them but would love to meet them.

    When I left the home, I thought the 5 of us, one younger half brother, two sisters, myself and one older brother were the only ones of our family left. I would love to have a family reunion for both sides of the family. There aren’t any aunts and uncles left from either side of the family but there are first cousins, second cousins, neices and nephews that are my age or older.

  • Susan

    June 11, 2011

    Can someone please help me? I lost all data on my computer. I have just tried(several times) to download my tree from my site to my home computer. It didn’t take. any ideas?

  • Aaron Ginsburg

    June 12, 2011

    My grandmother Dvorshe Kusinitz Ginsburg came to the United States in 1921 with three children including my father from what was then Poland (although very close to the Soviet Union) but is now Belarus. She joined my grandfather and three of her siblings in Newport, RI. A family tree prepared about 1960 listed four other siblings who did not immigrate, including Berke Kusinitz who was married with children. This was all I knew about Berke until July 2010.

    Approximately 95% of the Jews in this part of Europe were killed in the Holocaust. In addition, Stalin and his successors made it difficult and even dangerous to stay in touch with relatives abroad starting in the 1920s and continuing until the break up of the USSR in 1991. The politics and the many wars culminating in the widespread destruction of WWII make it very difficult to find anything out about Jewish family history in this part of Europe.

    I searched various sites over the last few years, but in vain. This summer, someone suggested I drop the name of the town when searching. Immediately I found a page of testimony (record of a Holocaust victim) on Yad Vashem- one page out of 3 million that have been collected. The page was for Berke Kusinitz whose father was Abram (the same as my great-grandfather) and was submitted by his grandson, also named Abram Kusinitz. Berke’s page said he was born in 1877 in Begoml, which was only three km from Uskrimie where my great-grandfather, Abram had a mill. Realizing it was a match, I got a bit weepy. The page was only a couple of years old and it took only a few days to get the phone of number of Abram Kusinitz, who lived in Minsk.

    I did not speak Russian, but my wife did and she made the call. It took a few minutes to convince Abram that we were related. I knew more about the family then he did; knowledge of any overseas relatives was suppressed by his part of the family during the Stalin era. Soon I was communicating with l Abram’s son Vladimir and niece Rimma in Minsk, as well as his nephews in Israel and Chicago.

    I knew based on the family tree that Abram would be a few years older than I. He was ill when we spoke to him, and died a few months later while his sister who had moved to Chicago was visiting. I was glad to be able to send him a picture of our mutual great-grandparents.

    I don’t feel this story will be complete until I am able to meet my “new” family. Somehow a hug by e-mail is not the same as one in person.

  • Kim E. Dolce

    June 13, 2011

    Last fall, I received a message through from Kevin. He had seen my family tree and told me that Patrick Callaghan was his great grandfather, and he wanted to share notes. I was ecstatic. Patrick Callaghan was my gg grandfather, but I didn’t have much information on more recent generations of the family. Kevin’s grandmother Estelle, and my great grandmother, Catherine, were sisters – both children of Patrick Callaghan. Catherine, however, died during the 1918 flu epidemic while still in her twenties. My grandmother (also named Estelle), ended up living with her paternal aunt. Her two younger sisters were farmed out to other relatives. Although my grandmother was always in contact with her sisters, the rest of the family lost contact with the Callaghans and the extended family. This family has been a big brick wall for me, in part because Patrick Callaghan is such a common name. Since Kevin first contacted me, we have been in touch via email and phone. We’re comparing notes and would really love to meet each other. We are close in age, even though he is a generation before me in the family tree. He’s told me about his wife and children, and I’d like to meet them as well as his blood family. His family is from NY and PA, although he lives in NC and I’m in FL. I would love to have the chance to meet Kevin and his family, which would in turn help me to learn about my own heritage!

  • Elaine Egge Brillhart

    June 13, 2011

    My Gt Grandfather was Martin Egge from Lier, Norway. His two
    brothers and one sister made it to America all at different times on their own. One other brother had a farm their in Lier, Norway, which prompted me to have the 2004 reunion after
    finding him on the internet and through family members.
    I happened to be looking for the family that didn;t make it to the
    Egge Family reunion in 2004, because I didn;t know how to find
    them. I started to search the internet for the names of my
    Great Uncle;s family Gustav Egge.
    There were three brothers that came to the US in 1870 from Lier, Norway. One brother
    remained behind and had his own farm…from which I found from
    investigating also. We now email each other often.
    My Gt Grandfather also sponsered his sister to come to America
    and she had two daughters one of which came to the family reunion in 2004 and we honored her.
    I was looking for Gustav Egge;s family when I noticed the town
    and church where he was buried. I thought will I wonder if
    anyone would know this family at that church. So I emailed the
    church. The secretary, Darlene wrote back immediately and said she was related to Gustav Egge and it was quite a pleasant surprise.
    In my search I had seen a email from
    FAMILY TREE of a women with the same grandfather as Gustav
    Egge, Carol. She had sounded so blue because she did not think there was any relations in America left.
    I emailed right back to her and she was related to Gustav
    and was so happy I connected her to Darlene because she had not been in touch with
    the other part of her family for a long while and was so happy
    to communicate with them also.
    It has been wonderful to talk with them and would love
    to meet them all some day.
    It is so exciting to find loved ones you never expected to
    ever even get to know.

  • John Smithers

    June 13, 2011

    My name is John Lane Smithers. I am in my mid-80’s. The long lost relative I want to meet is my brother Lincoln Gray who is in his 60s and living in Australia. We have never met. Until 2008 we didn’t know each other existed.

    My father James W. Smithers fled the US in 1924 for Australia, changed his name and disappeared. I spent 60+ years trying to find out what happened to him. I traveled to Australia twice, and wrote numerous letters to the authorities, but to no avail.

    Meanwhile, my father died in Australia in 1970, leaving a wife and five children who had no idea of who he was. In 2002 his daughter Cindy desperately seeking her father’s identity, visited a psychic who told her his real name was Fitzpatrick. She contacted well-known forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick, who told her a DNA test was the only way to discover her father’s real name.

    Finally in December 2008, Cindy’s brother Lincoln found a match with a Smithers. Within hours, Colleen was able to reconnect our families.

    Many mysteries about my father have been solved, many more have come to light. We believe he fled because he was the telegraph operator in the White House during the Harding Administration’s Teapot Dome Scandal. He knew too much. The oil tycoons feared his testimony would send them to prison – some paid him to disappear while others vowed to kill him. We discovered other exploits that made him look like James Bond.

    Our families are overjoyed to have found each other, but our reunion will be complete only when we meet in person. Having Lincoln visit us in the US would be the first step.

    The story of the discovery of my father’s past and our families’ reunion was featured in Ancestry magazine’s July/August 2009 award-winning article “One Man Two Names Three Families and Much Intrigue” by Colleen Fitzpatrick. See

    My father actually had a family in the US before mine, but it’s too complicated to explain. Read the article!

  • Tom Higgins

    June 13, 2011

    My Mother’s family came from England. Her parents who had moved to America visited them often and spoke about this Aunt or Uncle but as kid I paid little attention. One day I realized time was short. Both of my Grand Parents had passed away and I had no idea where in England my Mother’s family came from. I immediately started to work with my Mom about trying to get into touch with them. She had no information She just knew the city that my Grandfather was born in. One day she remembered a city that one of her Uncles had moved too. This was back in the days before the internet and computers were using Bulletin Boards to communicate. I posted a message on a Genealogy one in hopes that someone would be able to help me. I had a city and a last name – that was it. A week later I got a reply from someone who told me the first person listed in the telephone book for that city was my long lost cousin. I immediately called the number I was given and we spoke for a long time. He was surprised to hear from his American relatives. It seems that my Grand Mother came to America but did not keep in touch quite like we do today. We continued to exchange regular mail till about a year later I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to go and visit them. My cousin & I spent hours talking about our relatives. Discovering we weren’t all that different. He lived in a City near a Cathedral – I do too. He had 2 children – same. We made plans to meet again. Some two years later my family traveled across the pond to meet my Moms family. Our cousins were amazing. They took wonderful care of us. To this day my kids still talk about them – almost 10 years later. I’m only sorry that my Mom didn’t live to see it but I’m sure she is smiling on us.

  • Linda Mehlinger

    June 14, 2011

    The old, antique picture has been in my family for over 70 years and family members have always referred to it as “Grandma’s People”. But what would my Louisiana born great-grandmother, as born in 1861, be doing with a picture of a lady and five school girls in a rickshaw being pulled by a Zulu warrior? All I knew was that my great grandmother, Elizabeth, constantly told her kids that the people who raised her were not her real parents and that she remembers coming to New Orleans on a ship! I spent several years pouring over historical records and US census records and never came up with much other than my great grandmother, Elizabeth, seemed to live all of her life in the US. One day this past April, I took another look at the 1910 census which I access through Ancestry.Com and I noticed a change – the place of birth for my great-grandmother’s mother was listed as Isle of St. Helena. This remote island in the South Atlantic was the place where Napoleon was exiled after Waterloo – and it also had a webpage and a mail list for genealogy that I joined. After weeks of asking about my grandmother and her real family, I did receive a nice e-mail from a lady in South Africa who said she was researching the same family name. I e-mailed her my rickshaw picture and she emailed me back HER pictures of the people in MY picture. The people in my picture were her grandmother and one of the little girls was her mother. All were born in St. Helena and had moved to South Africa sometime in the early 1900’s! Meeting my new-found cousin would be like taking my great-grandmother back home to her real family. We still don’t know the true story about how Elizabeth got to the US (and that is a mystery to be solved), but we do know that through that old rickshaw picture of her cousins sent to her before she died in 1927, that her family had never forgotten her!

  • binada

    June 14, 2011

    When I was little kid I was tack from my bad ackson bu t when I then now I matt them again. I think thatr kid’s like me should know about there famely members. So kid’s can thing that they didn’t know befor that wiil be batter I think but that is other

  • Patricia Skubis

    June 15, 2011

    In 1873, Andreas Thygesen, his wife and eight children left Møgeltønder, Denmark for Australia. In 1888, Caroline Thygesen Jessen, her husband and children left Møgeltønder for the USA. Were these two families related? 27 years ago, Andreas Thygesen’s great-granddaughter, Alison Rogers and I tried to find a connection, but with the information that we had at the time we were unable to do so.

    In March of 2011, a family in Denmark researching the Thygesen name, posted information on MyHeritage and I received a Smart Match notice. At first I wasn’t sure that we had a match. The Parents names were the same but the children’s names did not match. So I asked the submitter for more information. With the additional information I thought that we did indeed have a match.

    I then went on line to the Danish Church Records @ and found all of the Tyge Jørgensen’s children between Neils Madsen Thygesen, born in 1794 and my great-great-grandfather Martin, born in 1805. What a great surprise I received when I found that the next son after Neils was Peder Andersen Thygesen the great-great-grandfather of Alison Rogers. Our 27 year old mystery of the lost ancestors had been solved.

    Tage (who lives in Denmark) and I are 4th cousins once removed or you could say we are cousins of cousins. Our great-great-grandfathers, along with Alison’s were brothers. In fact there were 7 children born to our great-great-great-grandparents, Thyge Jørgensen and Karen Neilsdatter.

    It would be wonderful to meet with Tage and his family, since it was his posting on MyHeritage that helped solve this mystery. Patricia Skubis

  • Laura Cesare

    June 15, 2011

    After an episode of “Who Do You Think You Are,” I received a message from someone saying she had been inspired by the show to start searching for her ancestors. She immediately found her grandparents listed on my family tree on She was shocked because they passed away some time ago without revealing much about their past and she was sure she wouldn’t be able to find much on them. But she was in luck–I have been researching the family for quite some time. I had been puzzled by some “mysteries” on her side so I did some extra research on them and have even written up some long narratives about the family and their arrival from Ireland.

    Fortunately for me, Jill was able to clear up some of the mysteries for me. We have a great-great-aunt, Aunt Kate, who was a suffragette and was the Secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association at the headquarters in Washington when the women suffrage amendment was passed in 1919. I had heard of her but couldn’t find much information on her. It turns out that Jill actually KNEW her! When Jill was a small child, she spent summers at her grandparents’ house and Aunt Kate lived there awhile, too. Jill told me that Aunt Kate had changed her first name to Caroline. Suddenly, I was able to find a good deal of information on this “famous” aunt.

    I would love to go to Chicago to meet Jill, my second cousin, and to see the city where my great-grandparents met (in 1894) and raised my grandmother.

  • Tony Morgan

    June 15, 2011

    I met my late father’s maternal Uncle Sidney Fargo for the first and only time in 1979 at his nursing home in Santa Cruz. He had run away from home in England, changed his name from Jenkins to Fargo, and became a merchant ship captain, living most of his life in the US. I was working in San Francisco at the time and he passed away in 1980. Recently, I have been downloading and expanding my family tree on MyHeritage and I was determined to find out more about Uncle Sidney. Through a very helpful lady in Carmel, CA, I was able to learn some more of his life but the very pleasant surprise was that I was quickly put in touch with Uncle Sidney’s grand-daughter, Christie Murphy and her brother, Dan, second cousins I had never previously heard of. We have exchanged family news and photographs and Christie was particularly interested to see a couple of photographs I sent her of two of Uncle Sidney’s sisters, one of them my paternal grandmother. She had never seen photographs of her great-Aunts before. Also, my daughter, Gilly, who was born in San Francisco in 1979, now lives close to where we lived in Tiburon, CA, when she was a baby, and she and her husband have a 2yo daughter, Piper. Christie is looking forward to meeting her new US relatives and I am looking forward to meeting Christie and her brother at a family reunion in the US. We must have almost crossed paths, when in 1978-1981 I did a lot of travelling on thhe West Coast and on frequent visits to Seattle, never realised that I had a relative nearby on Vashon Island.

  • Barbara (McKinnies) Kennedy

    June 16, 2011

    Okay, this may be one for the books, or maybe not.
    My dad was born and raised in Golden and Grand Junction, Colorado. His mother’s family were all from Colorado as well; different parts, but, all ended up marrying and living next door to each other, or around the corner, etc. They were tight knit and I have pictures of when my dad was small and he, his aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and grandparents were off to a summer picknick, or some other activity.
    One of my dad’s cousins, Ernie, ended up moving to San Diego, CA when small because Ernie’s dad got sick and needed the warmth and air quality of southern California. They lost touch for probably 30 to 35 years. In the time apart, both of Ernie’s parents died within a year of each other, leaving Ernie and his two older sisters orphaned. It was Ernie’s other side of the family who stepped in and raised the children, even possibly changing Ernie’s name from Charles jr to Ernie, after an Uncle on that side of the family.
    Somehow my dad’s oldest brother, Gene, knew where Ernie and his sisters were living with their families in Garden Grove, CA., and while on a visit to our family here in southern California (LA County), reunited everyone. Ernie had a couple of teenage children, I was only about 5 or 6 and have two older brothers, and Ernie’s wife was pregnant. About two years later, we had Ernie’s family over to our home, and the baby, Jami, toddled up and down our staircase all night while I watched her to make sure she didn’t fall, and our parents visited. I didn’t see any of them again after that and we lost touch until last year.
    So, in the meantime, I married, moved to Lake Elsinore, CA. for about 8 years with my family. My dad retired and my parents moved to Sun City, CA. Both cities are in Riverside County, CA. A place I knew nothing of before moving here. After 8 years in Elsinore, my family moved to Murrieta, about 2 cities to the south. My father passed away and my mother moved to a senior home in Chino Hills, CA, away from Riverside County.
    Last year, in the spring, I had a young friend help get me into swing with my genealogy. In so doing, he sent me a link to a site for finding the graves of loved ones. He had found graves of some of my ancestors. I noticed that one of the people helping to upload information and pictures to that site was here in Riverside County. She had placed several of my family members information from Colorado, so I thought maybe we might be related. I quickly emailed her and asked if a relation could be possible. The next thing I knew, my phone rang and the woman on the otherside was the one I’d just emailed. As we spoke, we discovered so many exciting things. First off, this was my 2nd cousin Jami. Ernie’s baby who toddled up and down my stairway about 46 years before, in Los Angeles County. Secondly, she moved into the area we had moved from (the Elsinore area) the very year we moved out. Her next door neighbor and best friend is a common friend of ours! And lastly, her parents moved to Sun City the year my mom moved to Chino Hills, and, they moved just down the street from my mom’s old home, on a street that crossed her’s at the end of her old street!
    I LOVE Jami! And it has been so awesome to discover her and so close by. She is a huge genealogy buff and has shared so much with me, which I am, of course grateful for. But, more than that, it is like having a sister discovered. And watching her; her mannerisms, hearing about decissions she’s made, etc, are all so much like watching a home video. We are definitely related. Even with her father having moved away from the rest of my side of the family when young. Even with her father having been raised my the other side of the family upon his parents’ deaths, Jami and I are definitely related! The way she speaks, the opinions she has, her gestures, words she won’t use because she finds them inappropriate, etc, I would think I was with my little sister if I didn’t know better.
    It’s so marvelous to me and such a genuine blessing to have her in my life, though, we don’t get to see each other as much as I’d like too. And, I guess I took for granted all the things that are unique about my family until meeting her and seeing these same qualities shine through. Even though her father was raised by different relations, even though so many years have gone by, even though we both are obviously influenced by our mothers’ sides of our families as well, which would dilute the unique quality we share, the sameness between us is what stands out to me and I love it to pieces. I love Jami, she is an amazing young woman!
    Thank you for letting me share my story.

  • Howard Coblentz

    June 17, 2011

    I been able to meet more than 50 relatives that I never new they existed. These relatives live in all the Americas and Europe. I have made contact with all of them directly and each one have answered me and welcomed me as a cousin.
    At the same time recently I was able to bring two coblentz sisters who shared the same father but for 50 years did not know of each other. Now both Coblentz sisters are friends in Facebook. My story was published as a blog by your offices.

    It would mean the world to me to go to Europe and vistit my cousin Andre Coblentz who has the largest Coblentz tree in Europe. We only met each other via computer. Both of us have spent countless of years in work and thousands of hours in making our tree a reality.

    I am proud of our Jewish heritage. I have traced all the Coblentz who came to America and know pretty much the great infuence these Coblentz have done in the Americas.

    It would mean the culmination of my work to visit and make a reunion in Europe. I am writing a book on the Coblentz and thanks to Myheritage I have done all. Many of the Coblentz in FRance are good people and have made good in their own. I am retired in the USA and can not afford to go. A trip would be very nice. I hope I win the contest.

  • Howard Coblentz

    June 17, 2011

    I been able to meet more than 50 relatives that I never new they existed. These relatives live in all the Americas and Europe. I have made contact with all of them directly and each one have answered me and welcomed me as a cousin.
    At the same time recently I was able to bring two coblentz sisters who shared the same father but for 50 years did not know of each other. Now both Coblentz sisters are friends in Facebook. My story was published as a blog by your offices.

    It would mean the world to me to go to Europe and vistit my cousin Andre Coblentz who has the largest Coblentz tree in Europe. We only met each other via computer. Both of us have spent countless of years in work and thousands of hours in making our tree a reality.

    I am proud of our Jewish heritage. I have traced all the Coblentz who came to America and know pretty much the great infuence these Coblentz have done in the Americas.

    It would mean the culmination of my work to visit and make a reunion in Europe. I am writing a book on the Coblentz and thanks to Myheritage I have done all. Many of the Coblentz in FRance are good people and have made good in their own. I am retired in the USA and can not afford to go. A trip would be very nice. I hope I win the contest.
    I am proud to have the largest tree of the Coblentz family in the world thanks to my

  • Deborah Smith

    June 18, 2011

    I realize the contest is over but I thought my story worth telling. I have been researching our family tree for over 10 years. I have concentrated mostly on my mother’s side, as my father’s side (Smith) was a little too difficult to trace. My parents are both deaf, since childhood and getting up there in age, so they could not always remember names and I have had to track a lot of misinformation through the years. Over the last year I have been going through all my father’s old slides and family pictures and having him try to remember everybody in the pictures. This has been a great goldmine, as I had not seen most of these pictures before and had no faces to put to all the names, but now i also finally had some names. I was working to put together a video for my parents 50th anniversary so i had gone through just about every photo.
    I would always share all my genealogical finds with my father, finding we had a shared love of history and it also helped to bring back the memories for him. But no matter what I found or which old relative i was able to place in the tree, my father would always ask if i was able to find his cousin David. David and my father were practically raised as brothers. They grew up together, living on the same street, and spent many good times together. Going through the photos I could see that they loved hanging out together. They lost touch in the late 60’s or early 70’s when David moved out of state. My father never knew what happened to him and missed him very much.
    I was unable to locate David over the years but kept trying whenever I could. I finally had a breakthrough when going through all the old pictures. there were many of David and his wife and their first daughter, a baby. I knew her name but not much else. Then I came across one picture of the daughter and apparently a baby son, and it was the rare photo that my grandmother actually wrote the names on the back of. So now having two of the children’s names I searched even harder. My father had never mentioned there was a son and i figured the daughter was long married and would be impossible to trace.
    When I googled their names, i came across a post made by the daughter on a website regarding the paternal surname. the information matched up but her name was unfamiliar to me and did not match the name of the daughter I had a photo of. I did a search on facebook and found her there and when i searched her friend list i spotted the name of the son, her brother. So I believed I had the right family. I sent her a message and she replied, and it was indeed the same girl from the photos – she went by her middle name now instead of the name I had listed.
    Amazingly, she remembered my father and her father, David, was still alive and living nearby. We were able to swap some stories and pictures. I surprised my dad with the news by showing him some of the downloaded pictures I had done of his slides and then I put up a current picture of David and asked him who it was. He took all of a second, grabbed his chest and said OH My God That’s David! There were tears in his eyes. He was so excited. he was also full of questions. he wanted to know where David was living and when I said Portland he was all set to drive up there. Unfortunately, it was Portland on the other side of the country, so there would be no face to face meeting. And since my father is deaf, there could be no phone call. Us daughters are trying to arrange a video or email chat for the two of them. They both have missed each other and are both 80ish. It’s been more than 40 years but the memories came flooding back for my dad and I was able to learn so much more about our family, especially with help from my new found family. We have had fun posting photos and identifying the people in them and I was able to go around and take some pictures of all the old homesteads they haven’t seen since they left the state. I had hit a brick wall and all of a sudden I had more information than I could ever hope for.
    I hope to be able to arrange a face to face this summer for the two of them, but with some health issues, that may not be possible. But you never know. Genealogy has definitely taught me anything is possible. This was one of my greatest finds, sharing the spotlight with another story of recovering my uncle’s dogtags from Vietnam after 40 years because of a post on a website trying to find information on him ( He died in 1969).

  • virginia van dam

    July 7, 2011

    These stories are increible!!!!!!virginia van d

  • virginia van dam

    July 7, 2011

    Incredible stories!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SBA 8a

    August 12, 2011

    I’ve been to your website before. The extra I study, the more I keep coming once more!

  • Kim

    March 2, 2013

    I know I’m a little late re contest, but last yr I met a relative online who was looking for my grandmother and great grandmother back in 2003 or 2005. I just happened to type in my grandmother’s name and I couldn’t believe it when I had seen that someone was looking for her and her mom. I literally took my glasses off, rubbed my eyes, put my glasses back on for confirmation. I contacted the person who turned out to be my cousin. Her grandfather and my grandmother were brother and sister. Unfortunately, her grandfather passed away prior to me making this discovery. She asked me questions about my grandmother and great grandmother. She had very little information because her grandfather couldn’t tell her much. We filled in the blanks for each other. We found out information together that neither of us had known. We exchanged pictures online and to my amazement, she looked just like my other cousin and her brother favored a younger version of another cousin. She came to my hometown with her husband and 3 children. I didn’t tell my family that she was coming. They only knew that we met online. My uncle was having a bbq in his backyard and to get my grandmother to attend, I told her about her niece coming. I brought the two cousins together that looked alike and said, “Don’t y’all look like twins?!”. Both cousins are married with 3 children. The middle daughter of the visiting cousin and the one yr old (who was not at the bbq)of my other cousin also looked alike. We’re planning a reunion in July to go to Ohio where my cousin lives and where my grandmother was born. Next year they will visit us.