19    Oct 20133 comments

Our Stories: Papa’s Diary

Wouldn't it be exciting to read the diary of an ancestor who recorded his or her daily activities?

Matt Unger, a 40-ish software executive in New York, was handed his grandfather Harry Scheurman’s 1924 diary, written when he was 29 and had been in the US for 11 years. Matt has transcribed each journal entry at his website http://papasdiary.blogspot.com. Scheurman had immigrated from Sniatyn, then in Austro-Hungary.

Matt’s project received coverage in The New York Times.

As we hear more frequently these days, family history researchers are getting bitten by the genealogy bug at ever younger ages. Although Matt was given the pocket-sized diary for a fifth-grade family history project, it wasn't until Thanksgiving 2007 that he examined it closely and decided to transcribe it.

MyHeritage interviewed Matt via email and is happy to offer his comments on this wonderful and very personal project. Continue reading "Our Stories: Papa’s Diary" »

26    Sep 20122 comments

Diaries: Windows to the past

Many of us have treasured items that have been passed onto us by previous generations.

Recently, Mark Rigg (Stockport, UK) was going through his attic, when he found a treasure he never knew existed.

His great-aunt, Annie Droege, was a British woman living in Germany during WWI. What Mark didn't know was that Annie had kept a diary of her experiences.

She recounts her emotions of spending the war in Germany, and having German friends fighting against her British friends and family.

At one point, Annie and her family were under siege in their own home, as a mob from the nearby village descended upon them.

Mark was excited by the discovery, and decided to publish the diary to demonstrate the hardships of life during the Great War. He dedicated the book to the 16.5 million people who lost their lives.

No other artifact or family heirloom - other than personal diaries - helps us understand the lives and emotions of the previous generations.

Have you inherited a family diary or journal? What did you learn from it?

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