Tell Us Your Ancestors’ Military Stories for a Chance to Win!

Tell Us Your Ancestors’ Military Stories for a Chance to Win!

This month, in honor of Remembrance Day in the U.K. and Veterans Day in the U.S, we’d like to help celebrate the heroic service men and women in your families.

We invite you to share the stories of your ancestors who served in the military for a chance to win a MyHeritage Complete plan! Starting today, November 5th through November 30th, send us a story, photo, or military record about a relative who fought for their country. You can share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram by tagging us and using the hashtag #MyMilitaryHeritage. You can also submit your story to Three lucky users will win a one-year MyHeritage Complete plan!

Photo Submissions

A picture says a thousand words and a photo can tell just as many stories. Ever since we launched MyHeritage In Color™ and the Photo Enhancer, we’ve received remarkable feedback on how the tools have helped users discover more information about their ancestors, and in particular to discover new details about their ancestors’ military service.

MyHeritage user Bart Van Eyck shared his extraordinary discovery with us.

“I had an old photo of my great-great-grandfather. In the photo, he was wearing an army uniform. My family knew he was a soldier during the First World War, but knew nothing about his time at the front…After coloring the photo, I discovered that my great-great-grandfather was not wearing a military uniform, but a prisoner of war uniform. I looked up further and discovered that he was taken prisoner of war during the First World War…Thank you for developing this tool.”

Dust off that family photo of an ancestor in uniform and use MyHeritage’s photo tools to colorize and enhance the images, and see if new details emerge that you may have overlooked when viewing the original photo.

Military Records

If you don’t have a photo, maybe you have an incredible story that was passed down to you? Maybe you found a marvelous historical record, or maybe you discovered a war medal or honor bestowed on your relative?

If you haven’t had the opportunity to find one yet, now is the perfect time. Our extensive military record collections consist of 683 collections and a combined 67 million records from all over the world. Our collections include draft, enlistment, and service records, pension records, and military awards.

Through military records, you can learn about the role your ancestors had in making history. These documents may contain information on where your ancestor served, what rank they rose to, and what they did during their service. Military records are also unique in that they may contain information on your ancestor’s appearance and physique — their height, eye color, and hair color, for example.

Story Submissions

Even if you don’t have a photo or military record, your ancestor’s story matters. You are welcome to submit the story as is, without any supplemental materials. Whatever way you choose to tell your ancestors’ stories is entirely up to you, and all story submissions will be considered. 

To enter, share the story on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #MyMilitaryHeritage and make sure to follow and tag our social channel. You can also submit your entry via email by sending it to

Instagram LIVE

On November 9th, join us for a special Instagram Live with Thomas MacEntee from Genealogy Bargains, where he’ll share more tips for searching military records as well as some of the amazing military story submissions we’ve received so far. We will also be announcing a bonus winner LIVE, so make sure to submit your entry as early as possible and join us by following the MyHeritage Instagram account.

In these challenging times, let us take comfort in the stories of our brave ancestors. May their acts of courage and resilience inspire us with hope for a better tomorrow.


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  • Kathryn Schultz

    November 8, 2020

    I am writing to tell about the sacrifices and sufferings about two separate sides of my family during the Revolutionary War. On my father’s side, my paternal GGGGgrandfather Elisha Clayton from Monmouth Co., New Jersey, along with two of his brothers, were captured by the British and held in the Sugar House Prison on Manhattan for months. His twin, Elijah, a tailor, was forced to sew British redcoats until he escaped. Elisha and their other brother, Noah, were eventually exchanged.

    On my mother’s Southern side, my GGGGGgrandfather, Rogert Wilson, Sr. of Mecklenburg Co., North Carolina and his son, Robert, Jr., my GGGGgrandfather, were captured taking supplies to Charleston, South Carolina and were held there till they managed to escape.
    Subnitted by Kathryn S. Schultz

  • Valerie Robertson

    November 8, 2020

    My father in law, John William Robertson, aka Jack, like his father served in WW2. HIs father also serviced in WW1. Jack was stationed on three Canadian destroyers and served for the entire war at sea. One of his boats was targeted and torpedoed while he was on board. He was especially at risk during attacks at sea, because he shovelled coal to keep the motors running in the belly of the ship where most of the torpedoes were aimed.
    He travelled the dangerous Mirmansk run in the Atlantic ocean between Canada and Russia, supplying the Russians with war needs. As a long term naval veteran he was chosen to meet Queen Elizabeth II as Canada’s naval representative for WW2. He was presented with a medal by the Queen and permitted to use the title distinguished after his name. He later became a deputy fire chief of Calgary AB and upon his death all flags in the city were lowered to half mast in honour of his death.

  • Lynda Weinrib

    November 8, 2020

    In 1915, my grandfather took my grandmother and their two daughters, by horse and buggy, from their home in Vienna to “the small ship”, where he went with them to the “big ship” before returning. Grandma and the girls came to Toronto and he was supposed to join them in two months but, while on the boat WW1 was declared. And, on the way home, Grandpa was captured by the Cossacks and given the choice to fight or die. He fought. About seven years later, Grandma had a store and worked to support her girls (including the one she found out she was pregnant with on the “big boat”) when a neighbour came in to ask her her first name and her husband’s first name. Then she showed her an add in the paper for her. Grandpa (after the turmoil of fighting in the war) forgot where in Canada she had gone and was advertising in the paper in Canada for her. Bottom line, he moved to Canada to be with his family.

  • Barbara E Ryan

    November 9, 2020

    Military story: Shuebal Bumpus was a fifer in the Revolutionary War although just in his mid teens

  • John Clahane

    November 11, 2020

    As a veteran myself it is important to honor veterans world wide, i was disappointed that you only called out the UK and USA memorial days. Thank you for everyone who has served, lest we forget.

  • Helen Paizes

    November 11, 2020

    Both my parents served in the allied army, in the Middle East. My mother enlisted in Cyprus then under British rule, my father from South Africa. I have never met my father he deserted us (My mother older brother and me) I was two weeks old my brother was three, when my mother last saw him. I have an idea of what he looks like from war photos. My mother left behind many photos of her time there, she has been gone for almost 17years.He may still be alive. There is no love from my brother and me for the British, they destroyed my maternal country (CYPRUS) they have done even worse to the country of my birth and where I still live (South Africa) Surely being a British citizen when she enlisted she should have been entitled to a war veterans grant. My brother and I started working by the age of 10 and thirteen respectively to help with finances. She died a pauper, had it not been for my husband giving her groceries she would have starved.

  • LH

    Lloyd Hunt

    November 11, 2020

    Last Remembrance Day – here was a family mystery that I cracked which had troubled us since 1918 and how military records from more than one country cracked a big mystery.

    Our Irish-Baltic Noble family lost complete track of our great great uncle Leslie Maunsel Hunt born in Castlecomer, Ireland

    It came to our attention that he was part of a small contingent of our family that had moved to South Africa and subsequently found that he had died in service in 1918 while fighting for them. We ordered the military records.

    1) they said he had a daughter Erie Pfeilitzer Hunt.
    2) it said that his mother was Emily Foote
    3) they said that his wife’s maiden name was Aileen Vivienne Pope.

    Dead end.

    On November 11, 2018 – 100 years of Remembrance Days later, I was looking in South African records for another line of my family, the Phillips and found my great great aunt and her husband. I dallied om those records and was about to close the window and saw this which made me jump out of my seat.

    Here was a marriage for an Eric Phfeilitzer Hunt. Unlike other soundex opportunities on google it had never come up for Pfeilitzer – since the PHF doesn’t exist. I opened the record to find that his name had been originally written by Eric as Eric Pfeilitzer Hunt – but it had been crossed out by another hand – the pastor – who rewrote it incorrectly as noted above and they all had to initial.

    But here I found Eric’s father of course Leslie Maunsel Hunt and that his mother was actually not a Pope but a Court.

    And to note finally that Leslie’s mother’s name was actually Foott – a completely different, easy to find and distinctive (Cork, Ireland name) from Foote.

    It did add a new name – that Eric’s (NOT Erie) had a wife named Margaret Colenbrander.

    But how to put this all together.

    Well, it was November 11 and was independently researching my Phillips casualties in Australia and New Zealand. I came across one record with substantial detail – but again stumbled on a Court casualty and his records and will and disposition. Well who was the one who completed the form, none other than Aileen Vivien Pope (nee Court) formerly Hunt.

    With that information, I stumbled on a Colenbrander South Africa site who had Eric and Margaret and their two daughters, their husbands and grandchildren. Included was their daughter Margaret Lillian Hunt who married a Price and a Barnard. So I found the Barnard obituary and found out that he was the head of tennis for South Africa for 20 years and his second wife Margie was a great female tennis player 1960 to 1964 and Sports Illustrated had featured her and her doubles partner as the new breed of both pretty and athletic tennis players who were taking the sport by storm – the article was called “Women of the World – Rejoice” lol.

    The obituary noted that Barnard had tickets at Wimbledon centre court for a couple of decades and I had to remark that our family remembered watching the classic on TV and noting a very tall South African who towered over everyone – not realizing that the pretty woman beside him was the object of our mystery.

    Of her first husband, I found his grave in Alberta, Canada and having noticed that he lived in two different cities where I had also lived at the same time. The rest of that story remains private.

    We are not quite done. I have a Facebook friend living in England with an equally complicated background as ours and some relationships like de Vere and Maunsell. So in the Court record, it noted that the mother of the fallen soldier was a McClintock. Remembering that was her maiden name was that – I contacted her.

    Wouldn’t you know – she had been looking for decades for her close cousin Aileen who she had not known had moved from Australia to South Africa (most of our family migration was the other way).

    Like so many other brick walls military records do play an important role in piecing the story together. I have a fourth great grandfather for whom it would take a book to describe how that all played out.

    Once you get into that world, it is important to note that records can be very accurate or riddled with errors and it really takes a story board approach to figure out which is which.

    War also takes so many people all over the world. Always begin with a huge scope and allow it to narrow – like all my successful research efforts personally and professionally in another field – start wide and spiral inward to the core – which shows that my Baltic German prevails in logic but my Irish prevails in story bringing the mix together.

    This is also always why I work with social milieu – that what you find may help others and then when you put it all again – you will find again more on your side – actually the story above is just a microcosm

    In the end, we honour Leslie Maunsell Hunt and his family and the tradition of military figures from the de Veres from the 1100s and the von Pfeilitzer gennant Franck family beginning in the 1200s. And those finding the new cousins that emerge from him are in many different countries today – from Russia to British Colombia Canada taking the Western route and covering the equator to the northern hinterland in between.

  • Elio Culot

    November 18, 2020

    My father in law (who died in 1943 in Africa) was figthing against the Allied.
    He also served in the Italian Army during the 1st WW and was awarded some silver medals.
    I may send you some stories I have been told about him.
    May I contribute and submit them?

    • E


      November 25, 2020

      Hi Elio,

      You can send us your story at !

      Best, Esther / MyHeritage Team

  • Igor Brikez

    November 28, 2020

    This is an exciting journey through the history of your family!