MyHeritage LIVE 2019 Competition Winners

MyHeritage LIVE 2019 Competition Winners

We’re gearing up for our second annual user conference, MyHeritage LIVE 2019, which will take place September 6–8 in Amsterdam.

Register now to reserve your spot and receive early bird pricing!

We recently held a competition where we offered two free tickets to the conference, plus one night’s stay in the very same room where John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their “Bed-In for Peace” back in 1969. The response was overwhelming! We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in the contest and helped make it a success!

Special congratulations goes to our winner, Daniel Stedfast from the U.S. He is thrilled to have won this fantastic prize!

I am so excited to have won tickets to MyHeritage Live!  I am 66 years old and a year ago, thanks to DNA testing, I met two brothers and a sister. This experience would never have happened without the advances in DNA technology. I have been looking for my biological family my entire life. The range of emotions throughout this experience has taken me places I never thought I would go. I have a loving and supportive family that were not biological and that “need to know” was fired up but suppressed most of my life. My newly found siblings represent my maternal side and I have yet to discover my biological father. We have so much in common and continue to learn more about our connections. Truly a blessing. Through MyHeritage, I have also found a daughter! That is all very new and dynamic. My life is far fuller and richer than I ever imagined possible. I hope everyone enjoys this live event in Amsterdam. Thank you MyHeritage!
— Daniel Reed Stedfast (born Martin Clarke Decker)

Here are some of the inspiring entries from our runners up:

Peggy and Chuck Weyant

I was looking for my husband’s adopted sibling, and with DNA, I found out the father who raised him was not his real dad. It was quite a surprise at 73 to find that he was very much from Amsterdam from the Tillman, Tilemam and other spellings. Barney Tillman his bio dad owned 4 motorcycle dealerships in Los Angeles and my husband Charles Weyant was raised just 45 minutes from his home. It is quite apparent that Barney never had a son and always wanted one to work in his stores. As it is, my husband is a motorcycle guy too and has 4 of his own. There is one sibling that he has met, Debra Tillman, one of three daughters of Barney Tillman and the only one left in the immediate family. I also have some DNA relatives that came from the Netherlands, so it would be very exciting to see where our lives began from the Tillman, and my family. MyHeritage has been very helpful, while we figure it took me about 900 hours to find my husband’s deceased father. A very bittersweet experience, but happier to find out the truth, and meet a new sibling. We would cherish this opportunity.

Don Costello

I’d love to retrace my father’s footsteps as a member of the 1928 USA Olympic contingent in Amsterdam. Visiting the stadium where he and other fellow track athletes posed for an awards ceremony picture, which is in my possession, would be a thrill.

1928 Olympics poster.jpg

Wendy Goodwin

The most exciting place I would love to see would be the Van Gogh museum in North Holland. It’s supposed to be the largest collection of his works anywhere! Please allow me to be chosen to not only attend this informative conference, but to also see the Van Gogh museum. I recently found my birth mother, and although she was deceased before I found her, I learned that she was an artist. This was amazing, since all 3 of my children are artists! We love art, and would love to see this museum.

Image result for van gogh museum


Well, if I were to win tickets to MyHeritage LIVE, I would want to visit the Rijksmuseum. The museum reflects the many Dutch painters’ works throughout history. Additionally, I would like to visit the city of Delft, where the famous Delft pottery is made. And while I realize that tulips will not be in bloom at the time of the conference, I would love to see where they are farmed.

Image result for delft pottery

Martha Fulford

When my now 26-year-old son was 3 years old we started hearing and learning about autism. A friend gave me a copy of a poem titled “Welcome to Holland”. Throughout my son’s journey, I have carried a copy of that poem with me. The lines of the poem, “Holland has windmills… and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts” has always intrigued me.

Image result for windmills in amsterdam


I have spent much time unearthing my own ancestry which is primarily Norwegian, French, Irish, and Scottish. I have spent no time on my husband’s ancestry and would be thrilled to do it where his ancestors lived. My husband’s grandfather left Amsterdam at age 17 with no money in his pocket and no other family members. To be able to meet his relatives would be incredible.

Connie L. Hute

My late husband was a Navy man and we lived in Scotland for three years during his tour of duty. Our twin sons were born there in 1973. They, of course, have dual citizenship and one spent his honeymoon touring Europe. Being parents of newborn twins and having one child 2 years old restricted the possibility of further touring Europe due to finding someone to look after them. Raising three children under 2 years old was more than a full-time job. My husband’s Naval service took him away a great deal as it was during the Vietnam Conflict further keeping us homebound. I would love to see Amsterdam since we never got to when we lived in Scotland. My husband passed in 2006 with cancer so I am a widow. I have never remarried. I am a 69-year-old retired nurse. My most dearest wish would be to see the area where Anne Frank lived and grew up in. I read the book in history many years ago and would love to see the area.

Norah Schneider

I studied the Holocaust for 9 years during my Ph.D. and wrote my doctoral dissertation on it. Amsterdam is one of the cities on my list of places to visit to follow in the footsteps who are no longer here to tell their stories of what happened to them. I want to go to the Jewish ghetto, the cemeteries, the synagogues, the Anne Frank house, and walk where those before me walked.

Image result for anne frank house

Esther Potgieter

Firstly I would definitely beg, steal or borrow to extend my stay. I am dreaming of losing myself in the Rijksmuseum for more than the “Nagwacht”, then onto the Van Gogh Museum. I shall take a rest in Vondelpark and then onto Leidseplein for a spot of shopping. I shall have to go on a cruise on the canals to rest my hurting feet. I have a dream of myself strolling under the trees along the “Grachte” with the wind blowing in my hair. How I wish the tulips could still be blooming in Keukenhof, but Zaanse Schans with it’s impressive windmills would still blow my skirt up. I am a descendant of the Huguenots, most of whom embarked from Amsterdam on their epic journey to the Cape of Good Hope. I would like to retrace their steps at the harbour from where they departed from Europe, leaving their own families and my forefathers behind. And of course the archives!


Christine Sforza

The industrious Dutch have been the force behind so many astounding accomplishments in history, and we are feeling the effects of their efforts to this day. I would like to meet people who’s ancestors have played a role in the many diverse accomplishments of that small, brilliant, energetic land. I am interested in the character of the Dutch people and what they know about their inherited identity, their drives, their innate talents and abilities that make them “Dutch”. I am so curious about the invisible drive that pulls on them to do so many daring, intellectual, artistic and entrepreneurial feats.


I have a lot of personal family history in Amsterdam, in addition to attending the conference, I’d love to pursue my investigation of that. The most amazing part might be hearing the voice of my deceased great-grandfather Dave Swaab (who I’d never met) in the archive of the Joods Historisch Museum — an amazing place I’d highly recommend to anyone visiting the city.

Joods Historisch Museum, voorheen de Hoogduitse Synagoge

Ron A Walker

I would love to attend the MyHeritage 2019 Event in Amsterdam in September. The history of this city is unique, historic and sometimes turbulent. My favorite aspect to explore is the area where Anne Frank hid during the invasion of the Nazis during World War II. Her story of courage, brave friends who helped their family, and her last days would be improved for me by actually observing the situation she and her family endured in hiding as Jews wanted by the Nazis. In addition, my father was there in World War II as part of the Canadian Army who eventually helped to free Amsterdam from the Nazis.

Image result for Canadian soldiers in Netherlands ww2

Thanks to everyone who participated. We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam!