Anastasia Harman/Courtesy of

With a name shrouded in history like “Anastasia”, it seems natural that you’d be interested in genealogy.

Anastasia Harman, the lead family historian for, has made a living out of it. She’s uncovered such high-profile connections as the familial link between Jane Austen and the newly-wed Princess Catherine Middleton and however distantly, Edward-the-heartthrob from the adolescent vampire series “Twilight” has some links to the real Dracula: Vlad the Impaler. But the most heartwarming of her discoveries revolves around her involvement with the show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”.

Jonah Gomez, 7, has been diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia. Finding a donor that can provide him with the bone marrow he needs proved to be tricky business until Anastasia stepped onto the scene. Utilizing the website’s resources which includes about 6 billion official historical records, she rustled up an additional 100 or so living relatives that could potentially be donors.
Jonah’s story isn’t over. Contacting these individuals could prove just as difficult, but finding so many potential donors will prove to be invaluable. It’s increased his chances of survival significantly.

Typically, though, finding organ or transplant donors isn’t the average use for the website. Usually it’s used to connect people to the instinctive draw to their backgrounds. Anastasia thinks that Alex Haley, author of “Roots”, had it figured out.

“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage- to know who we are and where we have come from.”

That hunger, marrow-deep, provided a boy and his family with the resources necessary to continue his young life.