Our Translators: Candan from Turkey


MyHeritage depends on its dedicated team of volunteer translators to help our users around the world. This month, meet Candan Baysan, a Turkish translator team member, from Ankara, Turkey.

Candan, 72, says that as one matures begins to lose friends and relatives, they seek out remaining family and old friends. A direct result is to learn more about those who have passed, those we have known or even known that they existed. The best way to move forward is to build your family tree!

He is the eldest of three siblings born into an army officer’s family.

My father was posted to various regions of the country and abroad. I had a good chance to see many places.

My parents come from different parts of the country; my mother – Halide (Güner) Baysan –  from Trabzon and my father from Yozgat. My sister and I were both born in İzmit, near Istanbul, while my brother Serhat was born in Posof in eastern Turkey.

Candan studied at METU, graduated as a statistician and worked for about a decade as an academic. Later, one of his former teachers who was a director of an international research organization invited him to become head of the information department, in charge of the library, computer, and statistics. Gathering information was the main part of his job as a public servant.

Candan with his son, Umut, in 1987 when he was one year old.

He believes that generally, people who are not self-employed retire as they age. And, when you retire, you look for things to keep yourself busy using your knowledge.

In 2011, Candan was introduced to MyHeritage by an old colleague at the international research organization where he worked who was in charge of the computer section.

He told me, “There are a number of such tools but the best one I know and use is MyHeritage.” That’s how I became acquainted with MyHeritage and it is what has kept me occupied as a retiree. 

Candan worked hard gathering information about his family and building a family tree. He has even produced calendars and other materials that he distributes among relatives.

The words Baysan Takvimi on the covers mean “Baysan Calendar.” Since 2013, Candan has designed, duplicated and distributed them among his relatives. In the photo (right above), the man on the cover is his grandfather, with whom he shares the first name Fazil.

Today, I prepare these calendars for 16 households with some 47 people. My MyHeritage family tree includes 274 names, and more than 100 of them are still living. The oldest person was born in 1735, and our tree covers almost three centuries.

He tries to make each year’s calendar different from previous ones in both content and looks. The birth, death and marriage dates accompany photos of the highlighted relatives. In one, he copied what was said on Facebook by congratulating relatives for each occasion.

MyHeritage has indeed influenced his relationship with and communication with his family. The most important way was in his calendar project for the family.

This had one very important result: The youngsters began to show an interest in family information. I remember a nephew’s answer as to how he knew when a cousin’s birthday was celebrated. He said, “Because Uncle Candan’s calendar is hanging on the wall… .”

At a family gathering in 1999, with some older relatives when many were still alive.

What does Candan like best about MyHeritage?

The alternative program I was trying to use then didn’t support marriages between relatives even if they were very distant ones; you had to start a separate tree for the involved spouse and even then correlating the two trees was problematic. MyHeritage handled the issue in a simple manner and satisfactorily. I remember that this aspect convinced me to stick with it. As I said, there may be many other reasons, but I distinctly remember this one, especially as my two aunts were married to two brothers who were distant Baysans.

Did you enjoy Candan’s story? Are you interested in joining our team of translators? If so, please email us at translations@myheritage.com.

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