Throughout October, we celebrated Family History Month, and brought you exciting competitions, webinars and tips to enhance your family history research.
We wrapped up our competitions last week by asking you to tell us about your family history finds to win a free PremiumPlus and data subscription.
We want to thank everyone who submitted meaningful stories and anecdotes about their precious family heirlooms.
Congratulations to our winner, Liz Zito, who wrote the following:
My Dad died when I was four, in 1965. In recent years I have become obsessed with trying to find out more about his life, his family in Italy and his loves. The youngest of nine, many of my siblings had told me that he loved to play the round-backed mandolin that had been passed down to my brother. I had seen it once but have no memories of my father playing it, holding it. In April last year, I asked my brother if I could visit and take photos of it and when I arrived, he handed it to me telling me I could keep it. I was so grateful. I've since found out that my father had sponsored an Italian friend to come to Australia from Italy and this gent had brought the mandolin for my father as a thank you gift. My plan is to get it restrung and to learn to play one of the songs he used to play on it. When I hold it now I wonder how it looked in his arms...whether he strummed it hard or plucked it gently and if it looked tiny against his hands. I often embrace it, closing my eyes and try to feel my father's presence. It's precious to me and the only thing of my father's that I have.
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.