08 July 2011

Family reunion contest: Winners named

When you read about contests, what do you do? Do you think you'll never win and forget about it?

What if the grand prize is a free family reunion?

For one lucky winner, her entry means she will soon meet with a cousin from Denmark, while two runners-up also received recognition for connections to family in South Africa and Norway.

MyHeritage.com and Family Tree Magazine partnered for the free family reunion contest in June.

Winners were recently named in a post on the Family Tree Magazine blog.

Patricia Skubis was the grand prize winner of the free family reunion. Her long-lost Danish relative Tage will travel to the United States so they can meet in person for the first time.

She will also receive a year-long VIP membership to Family Tree Magazine and a three-year Premium-Plus subscription with MyHeritage.com.

Skubis' Danish family immigrated to the US in 1888, while another branch had settled in Australia in 1873. Skubis made contact nearly three decades ago with someone from the down-under branch, but they couldn't find the connection.

 However, that was then, and today we have the power of technology.

There will be more detailed coverage in a future issue of the magazine, but here's some of it.

In March 2011, a Danish family researching THYGESEN posted information on MyHeritage.com and Skubis received a Smart Match notice. She wasn't sure about it because the parents' names were the same, but not the children. She asked for more details and was then able to confirm the match.

I went online to the Danish Church Records [on the Danish archives’ website] and found Tyge Jørgensen’s children between Neils Madsen Thygesen, born in 1794, and my great-great-grandfather Martin, born in 1805. What a great surprise I received when I found that the next son after Neils was Peder Andersen Thygesen, the great-great-grandfather of Alison Rogers.

Tage and I are fourth cousins once removed. Our great-great-grandfathers, along with Alison’s, were brothers.
Runners-up were Linda Mehlinger and Pam Ingermanson, who will each receive a digital subscription to Family Tree Magazine and a three-year Premium-plus subscription on MyHeritage.com. Read some details at the link above about a Zulu warrior pulling five schoolgirls in a rickshaw and Norwegians in Idaho and Ohio.

According to Diane Haddad of Family Tree Magazine:
Thank you to everyone who entered this contest. Both our team at Family Tree Magazine and our contest partners MyHeritage.com were touched by your stories of reconnecting with family, and we're impressed by your diligent research. You’re truly an inspiration to your fellow family historians!
The next time you read about a family reunion contest, what will YOU do?

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