6    Apr 201420 comments

Competition: Share your stories

MyHeritage is always interested in hearing your stories. Helping users make amazing discoveries is why we do what we do.

Send us your user story at stories@myheritage.com for a chance to win a Kindle!

In two of the wonderful user stories we've recently published on our blog, Mike uncovered his friend's ties to Queen Elizabeth II and Janice finally discovered what happened to her Irish great-grandfather who went missing in 1885.

Whether you've uncovered ancestors or long-lost relatives through MyHeritage SmartMatches, rekindled a relationship through your family site, or have an interesting family history adventure, we'd love to hear more about it!

We'll be giving away free Kindles to three users who share their stories with us.

Send in your story by Wednesday, April 30 to stories@myheritage.com or in the comments below. The favorite entries will be selected by our panel of in-house genealogists, and the lucky winners will be notified by email.

User stories are a great way to share your experiences and to inspire others in their own family history research.

We can't wait to hear yours!

Search for your ancestors:

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  1. Well hear is my story guys don't know if I would call it inspiring my Father was born 1 of twins in Perth Western Australia in1931 suffice it to say that my Grandfather was not a good provider with drinking, gambling and other women being some of his many vices my grand mother was in Hospital after the twins berth to have a hysterectomy as she had Cancer during this time my grandfather lost the house that my Grandmother was paying for so the Family ended up living in a Tent in squalid conditions outside Albany in Western Australia in 1932 when Bertram David died of pneumonia in his mothers arms as she walked the 10 miles into Albany at the time my Grandfather was no ware to be found the reporters of the time assumed he was at the pub.
    Any way I digress for the past 20 years we have tried to find David's burial place his Death Certificate states he was buried in the Shire of Plantagenet Western Australia we have searched every record spoken to every Town Council in this shire and would you believe it they have lost him there is no record of any Child in that age group having been buried in Plantagenet Shire and definitely no Bertram David Addenbrooke he has disappeared from all record this is something you may expect in the 1800's or maybe even the early 1900's but I am totally gob smacked that you can loose a body in the 1930 I have records of my family in Australia from 1870 and I mean all records but poor little Bertram has disappeared where ever he is I hope he is resting peacefully
  2. Neither my grandfather (my father's father) nor his sister, my great-aunt, would speak of anything regarding their growing up or their heritage or history. It left my brother and I thinking that there must've been something or someone in their past of which they were ashamed. We've not solved the cause of their reticence, but after several years of MyHeritage interaction with other sites and (primarily) Record Matches, we have located not only our great-grandfather but our great-great-grandfather up that limb of our tree! And there appears to have been no horsethief in the attic, either! (At least, not thataway.) With each "find," we are encouraged to keep checking back; in fact, I have just now three each additional Smart Matches and Record Matches I must investigate!! Ta-ta for now, and good hunting!!
  3. Just before the American Revolution, though they were prominent churchmen and government officials around Roxbury (now Chester) New Jersey, the Swayzes’ fierce loyalty to the king placed them among an increasingly hostile local populace. In 1772 the brothers were able to purchase 19,000 acres of land in the primitive British colony of Western Florida, a vast tract which included much of modern Mississippi and Louisiana. They made a hard trek overland to inspect their holdings far to the south and then returned to New Jersey to prepare to move. Samuel’s 800 acres of prime New Jersey farmland were sold to his daughter-in-law’s father Caleb, and a small sailing ship was chartered to take the party of about 15 families around the Florida peninsula and up the Mississippi to the mouth of the Homochitto River, a few miles south of present-day Natchez, MS. The group struggled to wrest a colony from the primeval wilderness and set up their Congregational church there while fighting off pirates and hostile Indians. They called it the “Jersey Settlement.” By the end of the Revolution the colony was running fairly smoothly but the defeat of the British meant that the river valley reverted to the control of Catholic Spain. The Spanish were tolerant of the settlers, but not of their religion. Armed Catholic patrols were sent out regularly to put a stop to what they thought of as blasphemy. Reverend Swayze had to resort to holding services in a forest clearing and hiding his Protestant Bible and religious books in a hollow tree! The settlement survived isolation and persecution, though, and became part of the United States in 1802 when the acreage was included in the vast Louisiana Purchase made by President Jefferson. To this day there are still hundreds of Swayzes in western Mississippi and northern Louisiana, but the site of the village and the hard-won farms of the Jersey Settlement are now mostly part of a national wildlife refuge.
  4. Here is my story:

    RELATIVES FROM “DOWN UNDER”, AUSTRALIA

    I have been researching both my husband’s and my heritage for about 30 years. Most of my relatives still live in Lithuania. Both my parents were born there and came to the US when they were young. I had found some of my mother’s relatives and some of my father’s relatives on a trip to Lithuania, but all I could find out about my great uncle Brunus was that he had married and had two daughters. This confirmed what I already knew, but gave me nothing new
    I knew that one of my great uncles on my mother’s side had gone to Australia, had married and had two daughters. But, when I had started my research, the great uncle had died and I had no idea as to whether the daughters had married or where they lived. After digging for about 10 years, off and on, I dropped the research there to follow up on other relatives.
    What a surprise I had about four months ago when I received a friend request from a young lady that I did recognize on Face book. When I returned a questioning response, it turned out to be the long lost cousin, the daughter of my aunt that was the daughter of my great uncle that had gone to Australia. Behold, miracles do happen. My cousin was putting together a family tree with My Heritage. In her research she found an inquiry that I had made probably 20years ago to a source in Australia for her .grandfather. And then plugged it into the My Heritage match program. When she received a smart match from my tree and requested a reply.
    Due to a large number of family matters I had not been checking my smart matches, or had worked on my family tree for probably 18 months or so. But I am very grateful that my cousin, Asta, was very persistent in her research and innovative enough to try to find me on Face book when I didn’t respond to her smart match request.
    Since I have started corresponding with my cousin and her mother, I now have updated pictures of the family, have and address in Australia and a wonderful addition to my family tree, and a published biography of my great uncle, in book form. It covers the time from his birth in Lithuania, through his schooling, his move to Australia, his family and his profession as a respected Attorney in Australia.
    I have received many smart matches from My Heritage, but they have all been for my husband’s family, since that family tree starts a couple of hundred years ago. But, this is the very best smart match that I have received ever. I now have been able to add the branch of my great uncle to my tree. And have found a cousin and two aunts that I knew nothing about.
    In the words of my great aunt, “We truly have family all over the world.”
  5. Hi. I have been researching my Scottish ancestors on My Heritage and have found out where my great, great grandparents were married in Argyll in 1828. Their four children were baptised in this church before coming to Australia.
    I will be visiting this church in Kilfinan, Argyll in August this year for my 60th birthday. So I feel that I will be going home in Scotland's year of the Homecoming.
  6. A voyage of Discovery

    Genealogy research is sometimes a mystery that stays that way, sometimes a time to shout "Yeah, I found you!", sometimes full of frustration, and always lots and lots of research and persistence.

    I've been looking for family off and on for years. The Hungarian side has always been complicated because of distance and language. About 6 months after I joined MyHeritage, I got an email from Peter Budai of Brussels. Peter not only added a couple generations, but also got me connected, thru MyHeritage to another many-times removed Hungarian cousins who shared his research.
    I have also been able to find a lot more about my son's grandfather, Edward Walker. I was always told that no one knew anything about his family except where he was born- Chicago...there are LOTs of Walker in Chicago. But being able to access all the records and research that MyHeritage has, I have discovered quite a bit about this man and his family. Evidently, he and his siblings were in a foster home at one time, but, I've been able to trace his parents back to the late 1800's and now am receiving Smart Matches that I need to verify that may take me back quite a bit further.

    I've also found distant family in Australia and that goes back further to Ireland. And not let's not forget the family here in the US. Some of the cousins I've re-discovered, I knew when I was younger but lost touch with over the years. Now, they are also on the family tree along with their sons and daughters and grandchildren.
  7. A mistake in a census return led to a breakthrough for me. My mother and aunt had an old family story that Eamon Devalera, a leader in the Irish War of Independence and subsequently Taoiseach (PM) and president of Ireland, used to visit their grandmother when he returned to his homeplace, and used to call her "Kate Quinneen", apparently her maiden name. All searches under that name were fruitless - indeed, I'd never heard of the surname. Using other information, I tracked down what HAD to be her marriage cert - but her father was listed with a surname of "Roberts". I decided to track the father.

    As there weren't many Roberts in the vicinity, I found the transcribed Irish census return for the parents (so my G-G-grandparents) for 1901 and 1911 but no further clues were apparent to link the two - until I clicked into the image of the 1911 census return. In that, the father had initially entered a surname of "Cunneen", but had then crossed it out and changed it to "Roberts". A bit of research showed that Cunneen was the Irish form of the English/Welsh name "Roberts", and that people tended to use the English form on official records but the colloquial form in general use. Cunneen is the phonetic form of the Irish word "coinín", so the "Roberts" name was probably originally "Rabbit".

    This tied it all together and solved the mystery of Kate Quinneen. You'd have to know the accent of the area in question, but I'm sure you can imagine how calling someone "Kate Cunneen" could, to a child, be mis-remembered years later as "Kate Quinneen".
  8. I have been researching both my husband's and my own family histories - it is absolutely fascinating! My maternal grandfather was called John Simpson Paterson and I was searching through the Simpson ancestry - I came across a "Sir" on my great-great grandfather's line and thought I must be climbing the wrong tree! Not so, however - the "Sir" was none other than Sir James "Young" Simpson. I am so proud to have such a distinguished man in my ancestry - it is amazing! I also discovered that my husband's grandmother had a son whom she kept in touch with all of her life - but didn't tell any of her family about him - so my husband has a whole lot of relatives to discover!
  9. I knew that I had English, Irish & Scottish descendants. The English & Scottish were on my mothers and the Irish on my paternal grandmothers side. I already have extensive records of both sides of my mothers family but I have been able to add a lot more information via "My Heritage"
    I knew my paternal grandmother and two aunts and some of my father's cousins. My grandparents had been separated before I was born and I first met my grandfather when I was 14 years old.
    A couple of years ago I joined My Heritage and traced my grandmothers side back as far as my G G Parents to Dublin, Ireland. Her father Louis Bernard John Higgins migrated to Tasmania, where he married Ada Louisa Cashen. They had 5 children including my grandmother. Through smart matches I have found many relatives. A lot of these were buried at Leeton NSW. One relative had used "find a grave" to trace the burial place of my G G F and my great aunt. They were also related to her.
    I then traced my grandfather's line and found that he was born in Richmond, Vic Australia. He had 8 siblings. I can't find further back than his parents who were also born in Australia. I would love to have more information about my G G Grandfather. He was a shoemaker in Dublin.

    My husband migrated from Holland in 1957. Through smart matches we have found records back to the 1400's. We recently had a visit from a cousin he had never met.
    I feel a more complete person by knowing about my grandparents.
  10. I Have been looking for My Fathers family for about a yaer( hard to do being they were slaves), I recently found my Great- Great-Great- Grandparents. Which Was so awesome.
  11. I'd like to share a short story. I consider myself to be a very lucky person. My Great grandmother was Margret McGillem she was born in 1869. She never was married but had premature twin girls that weighed two pounds(IIRC). Margaret died of Sepsis shortly after they were born in December1892. Both girls survived and and were raised by Margaret's parents Drusilla and Franklin McGillem. They also lived with Eward and Meecie McGillem sometime after Franklin died. Margaret was buried in McGillem cemetery and the graves there were moved to Walnut Hills when Old Ben Coal mined the area. Margaret's Stone has the wrong dates as I guess they couldn't make out the correct years and assumed she was a child that died. My Grandmother Ethel had several children that died and my Father was one of twins that survived--see how lucky I am!
  12. Finding relatives on my Fathers side was proving difficult as he never spoke about Uncles or Aunts. A friend of mine was on a genealogy site and asked if there where any Didsbury's on there and a friend of a cousin once removed got in touch with me, which led me to finding relatives I didn't know I had. Some in USA and Australia.
  13. My wife was always told of one ancestor or two that were American Revolutionary War Veterans but through MyHeritage we have found two more and have traced family here in the US back to the 1630s. No one ever imagined that we went back to the very inception of New England. We are fascinated. We even found a Native American in her bloodline.
  14. I came to Spain from Cuba on September 1961. I did not know that I have here as many relatives of my parents family. From 1961 to now (2014) I have found using MyHeritage more than 1400 relatives in 470 sub-families. About 30% of those relative persons are alive, and I have meet 50% of them during my 53 years living in Spain and visiting different cities.
  15. I have found using MyHeritage the Moncada parents family. Ther firts was the General Guillermón Moncada, he was an heroi in the war vs colonialism espanish in Cuba.
  16. Hi! I live in Ukraine and my story is truly amazing. I began to research my family history in 2008, after my mother has died. Unfortunately, I knew nothing about her parents. My grandmother was from Siberia, she died when I was fifteen and since that time the connection with her relatives has been lost for more than 30 years. The old photo album was the only thing that I had. I had examined it, analyzed the titles and signatures, trying to recognize the people, which captured on photo, defined the year and I wondered what can I do to find my lost relatives.
    And the miracle happened. It was miracle indeed, because it happen on Christmas Eve 2013. I was on the web site Myheritage.com and used function SuperSearch. I was trying to find familiar names. Many times my searches were fruitless, but not this time. I saw the familiar photo almost immediately. These were the photos, which I saw in my grandmother’s old album. This was amazing – photo, which never was published, familiar names and faces! In such way I found my sister. She lives in Russia and explores family history and she had published her family tree on myheritage.com just like me. I learned that my grandmother's two sisters were still alive, I have many second cousins, nephews and nieces. Now we communicate, my uncle even visited us. Whole branches of my family tree was restored. This inspired me for further investigation. Other relatives were joining to my searches, some of them create their own pages on this wonderful site. I wish all success to your research. Believe in miracle, they do happen!
  17. Здравствуйте. Я занимаюсь родословной с 2005г. В основном я многое узнала в нашем истрическом архиве г. Минска. Работала над архивными данными пять лет, а потом ездила по местам свои предков и все собирала по крупицам.Вообще очень интересно и увлекательно.Спасибо.
  18. Я вместе с внуком Серёжей составила родословное дерево (170 персон). Мы с ним написали размышление о своей скмье.
    Моя семья
    Марк Петрович Ефанов
    На уроке истории нам задали составить родословную. Я стал расспрашивать маму, папу, бабушку и дедушку о своих предках. Вместе бабушкой Светланой я составил родословную таблицу. Всего в ней 120 родственников. Отдельная таблица «Предки С. С. Щербакова» составляет 31 персону.
    Я рассматривал альбом и увидел фотографию Марка Петровича Ефанова (1885 - 1938 год). Бабушка мне рассказала, что наша семья пострадала от репрессий. Мой прапрапрадед Ефанов Марк Петрович, крестьянин села Новая Ведуга, был участником Первой Мировой войны, был награжден двумя георгиевскими крестами, двумя медалями за верную службу царской власти.
    Он был крепким хозяином. Он был кузнецом. Интересна справка об имущественном положении.
    У него было земли до 17 года 20 соток, в 29 году - 15 , на момент ареста - 0, 5.
    Хозяйственных построек до 17 года - 6, в 29 году - 5 , на момент ареста - 3.
    Плугов до 17 года - 2, в 29 году - 1 , на момент ареста нет.
    Борон до 17 года - 2, в 29 году - 1 , на момент ареста нет.
    Лошадей до 17 года - 5, в 29 году - 4 , на момент ареста нет.
    Коров до 17 года - 3, в 29 году - 2 , на момент ареста - 1.
    Овец до 17 года - 30, в 29 году - 15 , на момент ареста - 5.
    Из этой таблицы видно, как ухудшалось материальное положение семьи. В семье было шесть детей: Евдокия, Анна, Наталья, Мария, Александра, Василий. Все работали в хозяйстве. Хорошо работали. Но жили очень плохо. Анна Марковна, его дочь, рассказывала, что она работала в колхозе, просеивала зерно. Работающим давали кашу и суп, и хлеб. А дети дома голодные, вылезали через окошко во двор и рвали траву мураву и ели её, называли её калачиками. Поэтому хлеб она отдавала Полине и Наташе, своим дочкам. Зерно, которое попадало в карманы и в платок, она аккуратно стряхивала, молола на ручной мельнице. Из муки делала мучную болтушку.
    Он был раскулачен в 30 году. Это я прочитал в копии протокола допроса. Он был арестован за критику советской власти. ОН выступал против государственного займа и хлебозаготовок. Он смело высказывал своё мнение по поводу работы в колхозе: «В колхозе, сколько ни работай, всё равно ничего не заработаешь, нужно уходить в город». Он был объявлен врагом народа. Он отрицал всё: «...контрреволюционной деятельностью не занимался». Я видел копию приговора. 9.01.1938 года он был расстрелян тройкой. 3 июня 1970 года он был реабилитирован Воронежским судом. Моя бабушка узнала об этом только в 1996 году. Семья не знает, где его похоронили. Но бабушка ездит в Дубовку. Там находится Мемориал. Может быть, его косточки там лежат. Семья не знает, где его похоронили. Но бабушка ездит в Дубовку. Там находится Мемориал. Может быть, его косточки там лежат.

    Елена Константиновна Ефанова
    На Ново-Митрофановском кладбище покоится моя прапрапрабабушка Елена Константиновна Ефанова, которая жила в Новой Ведуге. Она родила дочку Наталью и заболела, Марк Петрович повёз её в Воронеж. У него была лошадь и телега. Он быстро приехал. Но врачи не смогли ей помочь. Она умерла. Он похоронил её в Воронеже на этом кладбище. В 1940 году на месте кладбища был разбит Парк культуры и отдыха Ворошиловского района. Теперь он называется Парк Ленинского района имени Дурова. Но в народе его называют «Парк живых и мёртвых», или «Жим». Комсомольцы выкопали надгробия, из них сделали бордюры. Несколько надгробных плит осталось в парке. Сейчас они собраны и лежат у строящегося на территории парка с 1996 года храма во имя великомученика Димитрия Солунского. Останки погребённых, найденные во время стройки магазина «Европа», перезахоронены на территории храма. Поставлен крест. В недостроенном храме проводится богослужение, и поминаются имена погребённых на кладбище.
    Анна Марковна Ефанова, в замужестве Павельева
    Мой прадед рядовой Степан Никитович Павельев пропал без вести во время Великой Отечественной войны. Его призвали из Читы. Я удивился, почему семья там оказалась. Мне объяснили, что после расстрела Марка Петровича, его дочь Анна Марковна с семьей уехала из села, бежали до самой Читы. Там Анна Марковна работала поваром. Она была награждена медалью «За доблестный труд во время Великой Отечественной войны 1941-1945 г.г.».
    Наталья Степановна Павельева, в замужестве Руднева
    Моя прабабка Наталья Степановна была ребёнком, когда после гриппа, она потеряла слух. Все врачи были на фронте. Все лекарства отдавали фронту. Когда переехали в Читу, Анна Марковна отдала Наталью Степановну в детский дом для глухонемых под Читой. Наталье Степановне там нравилось. Много детей. Учителя добрые. Когда Анна Марковна приезжала, Наталью Степановну всегда хвалили. Оценки у неё были хорошие. Но Анна Марковна раз приехала, гроб из школы выносят, ребёнок умер. Второй раз приехала, гостинцев привезла мешок сушёных сухарей, опять похороны. В третий раз Анна Марковна приехала - Наталья Степановна худая, бледная, хлеба просит. Не выдержало её материнское сердце, забрала она Наталью Степановну из школы и сказала: «Пусть будет неучёная, но живая и сытая». В Чите жили до окончания войны. Потом Анна Марковна получила письмо от старшей сестры Евдокии, что та жива и живёт в Воронеже. Затосковала Анна Марковна по родной стороне, снялась с места и поехала в Воронеж. В длинную дорогу собрала два мешка сушёных сухарей. Но в дороге их обокрали. Хлеб был главной ценностью. Приехали они Воронеж голодные без денег, без хлеба. Евдокия жила в полуподвале на улице Освобождения труда. Окошки наполовину вросли в землю. Пол земляной, стены сырые, по ним вода течёт. Дочки заболели, попали в больницу. Анна Марковна устроилась в больницу санитаркой. Потом она долго печалилась, что уехала из сытой и благополучной Читы. Полина Степановна и Наталья Степановна выздоровели и работали на расчистке развалин. Город лежал в руинах. Не было целых зданий. Всё было разрушено. Потом Полина Степановна выучилась в техникуме и по распределению уехала в Хабаровск. Наталья Степановна выучилась на портниху, шила вначале плащ-палатки для военнослужащих, а потом до пенсии работала мастером по пошиву мужской одежды в ателье на улице Среднемосковской. У вокзала был клуб для глухонемых. Там были кружки. Глухонемые танцевали, разыгрывали спектакли, устраивались выставки поделок. Наталья Степановна любила вышивать крестиком и гладью. Она вышила картины «Букет сирени», «Девочка и мальчик» и картину Шишкина «Утро в сосновом бору». Работа очень мастерски выполненная. Только вблизи видно, что это вышивка. За свои работы она получала призы, занимала первые места. Она была мастерица.
    Октябрь Николаевич Руднев
    Там в клубе она встретила Октября Николаевича Руднева. Они поженились. Он тоже был инвалид по слуху. Тогда он работал сапожником. Стране нужны были руки. Все работали. Потом он перешёл работать на Мехзавод. Там работали его брат Иван Николаевич Руднев, его сестра Анна Николаевна. На заводе был переводчик для глухих. Поэтому на заводе много глухих работает и сейчас. На заводе он проработал сорок лет. Семья была большая дружная. Они жили в селе Пружинки Водопьяновского района. Когда была коллективизация. Ночью к ним пришёл сосед и сказал, что их хотят раскулачить. Ночью семья погрузила имущество на телегу. Они бежали до Воронежа, купили дом на улице Пироговой. Теперь его снесли. На этом месте стоит многоэтажка. Глава семьи Николай Игнатович Руднев погиб под Коломной. Поэтому его вдова Акулина Ивановна Руднева получала пенсию за погибшего мужа, её сын-инвалид получал также пенсию за погибшего отца. Октябрь Николаевич ветеран завода. Четырежды был победителем соцсоревнования. Он работал обрубщиком. Он любил рисовать. Он часто говорил, что, если бы не война, он бы учился бы на художника, а не на сапожника. Хотя тапочки он шил красивые, всегда подбивал набойки. Октябрь Николаевич много работал на заводе. После работы он строил дом на Депутатской, 21, в котором живёт моя бабушка Светлана.
    Александр Павлович Белоусов
    Александр Павлович родился в селе Борщевое Тамбовской области. Когда была коллективизация, он был ребёнком. Его мать так переживала, так охала, что корову заберут в колхоз, что не пережила этого и к утру умерла. В семье было трое детей: Виктор, он погиб во время Вов, Оля, она вышла замуж и жила в Мичуринске, и Александр Павлович. Семья голодала. Поэтому Александр Павлович пришёл в военкомат и сказал, что он хочет служить в Армии. Ему было шестнадцать лет, но прибавил себе года, чтобы не умереть от голода.Он служил в 20 Славутском пограничном отряде, май 1937 г.; в 39 отделении особого батальона пограничных войск, 1938 г.; в 31 пограничном отряде, 1939 г.; в 49 стрелковой дивизии 144 стрелкового полка 21 стрелковой бригады с 10 октября 1941 г. по 9 мая 1945.Вместе с дивизией он прошёл боевой путь: 1941-1944: Оборона Карелии, Оборона Заполярья. 1944: Будапештская операция. 1945: Балатонская операция. 1945: Венская операция. Надьканиже-Кермендская операция. Сохранилась фотография гвардии сержанта Александр Павлович (слева во втором ряду) с однополчанами. А. П. Белоусов честно служил, был награждён правительственными наградами. Больше всего он гордился медалью «За отвагу». После войны участникам военных действий давали купоны. После войны он вернулся в Мичуринск, работы не было, поэтому ему пришлось согласиться работать охранником в Беллаге. Он рассказывал, что у них был хороший доктор, который заставлял всех пить хвойный отвар. Все, кто пил хвойный отвар, остались живы и здоровы. Те, кто отказывались, умирали от цинги. Каждый день кормили треской, хлебом, кашей. Овощей не было. Дед пил отвар. Поэтому остался с зубами. Потом его перевели в Тамбовлаг.
    Мария Ефимовна Скворцова, в замужестве Белоусова
    Там он встретил Марию Ефимовну Скворцову. Она работала в лагере библиотекарем. Раздавала заключённым книги. Заключённые много читали. Они были молоды. Мария Ефимовна тоже была участница войны. Она проходила службу в 583 зенитном артиллерийском полку 2 формирования с 1. 12. 1944 - 3. 02. 1945, в звании ефрейтор с 1. 01. 1945 - 9. 05. 1945 находилась в действующей армии. Когда она смотрела фильм «А зори здесь тихие», она плакала. Этот фильм был о её юности. Её подразделение было в лесу. Она вместе с девушками следила за немецкими самолётами. Им повезло. Немецкий десант прошёл мимо и не заметил их. Они остались живы. Мария Ефимовна и Александр Павлович поженились. Началась хрушёвская оттепель. Лагерь закрыли. Они приехали в Мичуринск. В доме (30 метров) жили Ирина Скворцовой, мать Марии Ефимовны, Брат Николай Ефимович, сестра Екатерина Ефимовна, старшая сестра Антонина Ефимовна Пяткина с мужем и пятью детьми. Семён Пяткин был начальником тюрьмы в Мичуринске. Он ходил в кожаной тужурке. Его возили на работу в машине. На фотографии С. Пяткин с женой двумя детьми, Н. Е. Скворцов и Е.Е. Скворцова.
    Белоусов Виктор Александрович
    Мария Ефимовна и Александр Павлович построили пристройку 15 метров, чтобы поставить сыну кровать. Сын вырос заботливым. Белоусов Виктор Александрович с отличием закончил профтехучилище по специальности электрик, потом служил в Армии, был отличником боевой и политической подготовки. После Армии, работал на Мичуринском заводе «Прогресс», поступил на юридический факультет ВГУ на заочное отделение, перешёл служить участковым, затем следователем. Родители были против, чтобы он работал в органах, отговаривали его, говорили, что работа неблагодарная, тяжёлая. Даже когда моя мама Ирина родилась, он был занят, выезжал на дело. После женитьбы он переехал в Воронеж, устроился служить в УВД ВО инспектором по личному составу, где прослужил двадцать лет. ОН следил за законностью работы личного состава. Он стал подполковником. Был начальником отделения дознания области. Воронежская служба дознания была признана лучшей в СССР, на награждение был приглашён в Москву. Сейчас он пенсионер. Он был заботливым сыном. Когда родители стали старенькими. Он привёз их в Воронеж, ухаживал за ними, стирал. кормил с ложечки, купал, хотя сам был инвалидом, перенёс тяжёлую операцию. Последние слова Марии Ефимовны были: «Берегите мальчика!» В последнюю минуту она думала обо мне. Он похоронил их на Никольском кладбище. Я с дедом, бабушкой Светой мамой и тётей Леной убираю могилы.
    Когда я был маленький, дед всегда сидел со мной, чтобы мама не брала больничные листы. Он мене варил супы, каши, жарил котлетки. Котлетки у него замечательные! Гулял со мной в парке. Он купил мне лыжи. Я катался на лыжах. В лесу он мне делал стрелы и лук. Мы стреляли. Все мальчишки мне завидовали. Лук отлично стрелял. Мы с ним ходим на рыбалку на море у санатория имени Максима Горького. Бабушку Свету мы берём только на открытие рыбалки. У них с дедушкой традиция в мае приезжать на водохранилище у санатория, где они познакомились. Однажды Я поймал 22 рыбки. Рыбалка – это счастье. Сидишь. Тихо. Вода плещется. Солнце светит. Облака плывут.
    Моя мама Ирина красавица. У неё есть даже удостоверение красавицы. На конкурсе красоты в школе № 14, в институте, на работе она была первой. Папа у меня спортсмен-гребец. Он много времени проводит в спортзале. Он подполковник в отставке. Я их люблю.
    В моей семье произошло примирение. Соединились семьи Ефановых, Павельевых, Рудневых и Белоусовых. Семьи Ефановых, Павельевых, Рудневых перенесла репрессии. Семья Белоусовых служили в лагерях. Всё прошло. Но всё нельзя забывать. Нужно помнить о тяжёлых годах нашей истории и не повторять ошибок. Теперь я понимаю, что обозначает 4 ноября, День примирения.
    Светлана Белоусова и Сергей Щербаков
  19. Thank you everyone for your wonderful stories!

    We'll be notifying the winners and announcing them on our blog in the coming days.
  20. My ancestors, on the paternal side of my family, came out to South Africa with the 1820 settlers from Scotland. According to my genealogy, Andrew Geddes Bain is my great great grandfather. He, with convict labour, built quite a few mountain passes here in South Africa. His entire road building skills is well documented. But, I am not here to praise that great man, but one somewhat more recent; namely, my great grandfather, Edward Wood Mundell. Edward was Andrew Bain’s son-in-law, and in my eyes, an unsung hero.
    Edward was born (10. 2. 1849) in Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape, only twelve years after the town was established. He later acquired a farm, in the Queenstown district by the name of “Dwaalfontein”, which means lost or wandering fountain, where he lived with his wife Agnes (Nee Bain). His first two children, a son and a daughter were born there. Later, another 5 children were born, two dying in infancy. I actually have a small painting, hanging in my lounge, of the old homestead.
    Edward was well known for his stature, 6 foot 6 or 7, in his stockinged feet; great strength and his.... hairiness. He was also known for his abstinence from alcohol and tobacco; but he could not keep away from the bar! Every Saturday afternoon he would ride off to the bar to sip his glass of milk and ‘chew the fat’ with his friends and neighbours. On one such occasion, an acquaintance is believed to have said to him. “Mr Mundell, I have read of Esau the hairy man, in the Bible; but I never believed it, until I saw you!” His friends had seen Edward’s wrath, when unwary strangers had taunted him about drinking milk in a bar, so waited with baited breath to see his reaction to this remark. Edward just answered with a sweet smile!
    Edward farmed his land, planting crops of maize, which were very much in demand. The story goes, when his son Robert was old enough, he used to help his father in the fields. Back in those days, they hadn’t yet learned of contour ploughing. One day as little Robert led the plough-horse down the hill; he tripped over a stone, falling flat on his face. The horse stepped neatly over him, but the impetus and the weight of the plough were too great to stop in time. Edward, with a show of great strength, and most probably a rush of adrenalin, lifted that big old plough right over his son’s prostrate body. Not a hair on that little boy’s head was harmed!
    On another occasion, the family were on their way into town, riding in the ox wagon. Harvest had been good, and the wagon was piled high with 100pound bags of corn. The road was bad and washed away in places, due to recent rains. Suddenly the wagon lurched, accompanied by the sound of rending wood – they had hit a large rut, and the one wheel had broken. Luckily Edward had a spare wheel lashed to the bottom of the wagon, and one black labourer with him. Instead of off-loading the wagon, which would have been time consuming, he opted to lift the laden wagon, while the labourer replaced the wheel. They got into town in time to sell their corn at the market, and to buy his wife a new bonnet.
    Unfortunately this great man was struck down, at the age of 39, (14. 6. 1888) by typhoid fever. He lies buried in Jagersfontein in the Free State. I have no one left to ask what he was doing so far from home, or if the family had moved. I remember visiting the grave on two occasions, and helping to paint the ornate iron railing around the grave.
    Edward’s widow went on to marry a chap by the name of Palm. Robert was very unhappy at home. He ran away at the age of 14; lied about his age to join the army, to fight in the Kaffir wars. Later, after he was married, he fought in WWI. He was sent to South West Africa to fight. One day, while hunting ‘for the pot’, he shot three Springbuck with one bullet. The herd of buck were grazing on a hill: Robert fired his shot, hitting the first one in the chest, side on. The bullet went straight through, hitting the second one in the neck. A third buck, just behind the second, dropped dead too. Not a mark could be found to indicate the cause of death... till they came to skin and disembowel it. The bullet had entered the anus, not leaving any outward mark.
    I don’t believe these exploits have been documented before. This is for posterity!

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