Geni Turns 10: Congrats to the Winner of Our Geni Pro Giveaway!

Posted February 21, 2017 by Amanda | One Comment

Last month, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Geni’s launch by announcing a chance for one lucky user to win a free year of Geni Pro. For a chance to win, people were asked to answer one question – “What first sparked your interest in genealogy?”

We received many great responses from the community and a winner was randomly chosen from our list of valid entries sent to us via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Winner of Win 1-year (2)

Today we’re excited to congratulate Howard Lesser for winning a free 1-year subscription of Geni Pro!

Howard submitted his story of when he was first inspired to research his grandfather’s family in Czechoslovakia.

Read more about it below:

“At the 1992 U.S. dedication of a Torah scroll adopted from a Czechoslovakia synagogue near my grandfather’s home town, the donor memorialized a Jewish family from the town that had perished in the Holocaust. That family had the identical surname as my grandfather, and because of Czech familianten laws, I was convinced they were relatives. Thanks to and other online sources, my relentless search confirmed many years later that we were indeed related — 2nd cousins, twice removed and 3rd cousins, once removed. In 2014 I downloaded my great-grandfather’s birth records online, and last summer, I visited the home of the Holocaust cousins in the Czech Republic and also visited homes of my grandfather, great-grandfather, 2x, 3x, 4x, and 5x great-grandparents in surrounding Czech towns. I am hooked for life on continuing this fascinating search for ancestors.”

We heard many interesting stories from people eager to share what first sparked their interests in genealogy. We thought we’d share a few more of them below:

“Plain and simple my dad sparked my interest in genealogy….. before he passed away he started his side of my family tree. I have carried that torch on by filling my mom side of the family tree through written records from a family member that was in my mom’s possession from 1980 and then of all things prayer cards and funeral notices helped me round out her side of the family tree really well.”

- Laurel

“A very old photo that have been in the family for a long time, but no-one knows who’s in the picture :)

- Bengt

“The sister of my grandmother escaped to Canada in 1926, when I was told about it, I was curious to build my family tree!”

- Tetiana

“Old letters which I found after the death of my grandmother. I found my grandmother’s sister and now I have a big family :) This is the best thing on the World! My family tree. Thanks GENI”

- Liliana

“A question about an elementary class family tree project turned into a lifelong search with my mom to find out who we are, and who they were. We discovered an entire family we never knew we had, and continue branching out and making amazing memories together.”

- Rachael

“This is what sparked my interest in genealogy:

When the family discovered that our Finnish ancestor (granddad’s dad) wasn’t family at all. The church books gave us a completely unknown name listed as granddad’s dad! After quite some detective work we discovered the unknown family in Sweden, and that granddad had a half-brother that looked exactly like him! Sadly granddad had passed away 4-5 years earlier and never got to know this part of his family. I still wonder why my great grandmother never said anything, even when granddad went to Finland looking for family clues. Possibly because my granddad was born outside marriage and that was a huge shame in the early 1900s, but still …”

- Nina

Congratulations, Howard! We hope you enjoy your Geni Pro subscription.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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  • Alan Braverman

    Happy 10th anniversary, Geni!