18    Oct 201411 comments

Our Stories: Reunite family, create stronger bonds

MyHeritage member Dayne Skolmen, 24, of South Africa, has been working on his family history since he was 14, when a family tree school assignment caught his interest. His ancestors come from Norway, Germany and the Netherlands.

Dayne's ancestor, Kristian Skolmen, working on one of his Norwegian landscape paintings

Dayne lives in Port Elizabeth, and is currently completing his Master of Technology (MTech) in Information Technology Research at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

His grandfather, Thorbjorn Christian Synnestvedt Skolmen, died at 81 when Dayne was only 3.

I was the last grandchild born and the youngest of my generation. Therefore I had the least knowledge about the family and grew up not knowing much of my heritage or surname origins. Continue reading "Our Stories: Reunite family, create stronger bonds" »

27    Sep 20135 comments

South Africa: Family history and a Harley

Family history researchers share a common passion. South African MyHeritage member Denise Wronsky Barnard, 55, has always felt an interest in history since she was a child.

However, as an adult, she has more time to conduct research and to spend time on her other passion – riding a Harley! Denise is also a photographer, a writer and loves to travel.

Born in Pretoria, where she still lives, Denise is married and has three adult children. She holds a Diploma in Architecture.

We asked Denise what she’s discovered about her family history.

Continue reading "South Africa: Family history and a Harley" »

20    Dec 20123 comments

South Africa: Fashion, photos and family history

Leigh Toselli with her sons (from left) Devin, Rowan and Kieran

Leigh Toselli with her sons (from left) Devin, Rowan and Kieran

Listening to family stories as a child sparked Leigh Toselli’s interest, but - for her - it’s all about photographs and their stories.

A South African fashion, beauty and decor stylist, Leigh, 52, lives in Johannesburg with her French photographer husband Patrick and three sons (Devin, 25; Rowan, 23; and Kieran, 20).

Her biography reads like an A-Z of fashion, and she’s worked on every facet of image in the industry. She authored a series of books on beauty and image, and was also co-presenter of the South African version of the BBC show, What Not to Wear.

A few years ago, Leigh was trying to find a way of restoring, filing and sharing old family photographs.

Old photographs that gather dust seem so sad; all too often these are neglected and the names and faces forgotten. So I started asking the older generations to put names and anecdotes to the photos.

Family trees didn't really interest me, as they were simply a list of dates and names. That is, until I realized I could put faces to the names! Suddenly, my family’s history became a fascination - seeing family resemblances and spotting faces in old albums became a bit of an obsession.

Continue reading "South Africa: Fashion, photos and family history" »

3    Jul 20120 comments

MyHeritage: An African diplomat’s story

We were delighted to learn of Lesotho diplomat Paramente Phamotse’s heritage story.

Born and raised in a rural African village, Paramente, 45, attended a Christian mission school, attended secondary education and received an undergraduate degree (1989) in mathematics and education, and an MA.

Since then Paramente has worked as a teacher, school inspector and education administrator in Lesotho and South Africa. He studied international education in the UK in 2003, and was appointed a Lesotho diplomat – and posted to Dublin – in 2011.

My interest and research in family genealogy is one of my hobbies.

Paramente writes:

Continue reading "MyHeritage: An African diplomat’s story" »

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