In honor of Father’s Day, MyHeritage asked you to share photos of your family patriarch enhanced with our brand-new Photo Enhancer tool as part of our #DadInFocus Father’s Day photo contest. We saw so many wonderful entries — images of the beloved men in your families made crystal clear. Many of the contestants wrote about how moving and transformative it was to see these images in such sharp focus for the first time.
Before we announce our runners-up and winners, we want to thank each and every one of you for sharing your photos and your stories with us.
Here are some of the entries that we thought deserved an honorable mention:
Mijn vader in kleur na al die jaren! Mei 1943 stond op de foto. Ik had deze alleen in Zwart/Wit, maar door de techniek van @MyHeritageNL @MyHeritage zie ik het nu voor het eerst in kleur! #DadInFocus #vaderdag #DADSDAY pic.twitter.com/mMlw7FrvK8
— Peter Vos [VOSbeeld] (@vosbeeld) June 21, 2020
Peter Vos writes that this photo of his father was taken in May 1943, and he is very excited to see it in color thanks to MyHeritage’s photo colorization and enhancement tools. We’re especially struck by the details in this photo — the red brick, the shadows, the greenery behind the house.
Thank you @MyHChiefGen and team at @MyHeritage Color. The online app brought my grandfather who I never knew back to my family in color for Father’s Day 2020 – my family sends their thanks! #FathersDay #Genealogy #MyHeritageColor https://t.co/H3juSGfy95 pic.twitter.com/RgpWNtndYj
— David Allen Lambert (@DLGenealogist) June 21, 2020
David Allen Lambert met his grandfather in color for the first time for Father’s Day this year. He says he never knew his grandfather and that his family sends their thanks. We love how the colorized, enhanced version brings out the soft, thoughtful expression in his grandfather’s eyes.
This entry came to us from Michael Johne via Facebook and Instagram. The photo features his great-great-grandparents, Friedrich August Hensel (1870–1939) and Minna Pauline Hultsch (1875–1950) from eastern Germany. The photo enhancement really brings out their features, emphasizing their somewhat amused expressions.
This lovely photo features Susan McCullough’s Polish grandparents, who immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Such cute kids, and we love the detail on the mother’s dress!
Since it isn’t Father’s Day in Sweden, Swedish users were invited to share enhanced photos of their families. This user shared these stunning photos taken in the 1920s in the U.S.:
View this post on Instagram
@myheritage_sverige har en fantastisk funktion där man kan både färglägga och förbättra bilder. Har testat på bilder från vårt gamla släktalbum och det är hur coolt som helst. Bilderna är tagna på 20-talet i USA där mormor föddes. 1920-talet alltså #familjenifokus #myheritage #genealogy #släktforskning
That last one looks like a great party! Note that the U.S. flag in the photo only has 48 stars on it. The last two were added in 1959 and 1960!
We also got this beautiful entry from Ricco Kopatz of Germany:
Ricco says the photo depicts his great-great-grandparents at their 50th wedding anniversary, which took place on September 18, 1952, in Grossenwiehe. “I am very happy that the colorizing and photo enhancement brought life into the image and the life of my great-great-grandparents,” Ricco wrote to us. “When I look at the picture, I think it was taken just last year or so. This was also confirmed by my grandfather (86) and his sisters (78 and 99), who last saw their grandparents from the picture over 60 years ago.”
The 3 winning entries include:
- Margaret Johnson from Canada, who shared this incredible photo of the grandfather she never met — and it came with an even more incredible story:
— MaighreadMcKeigh (@MinaMcKay79) June 22, 2020
Our minds were blown, too! We contacted Margaret to ask for more information, and she told us that she had started searching for information on her grandfather around 9 years ago. She had no information to go on other than his name, and though she found a Vernon Smyth in death records on another site, there was no way to know if he was the right one. “So for 9 years, I didn’t know, until I took a DNA test,” she wrote. “That test showed a cousin I was related to. I didn’t know who our common ancestor was, but her grandfather had a funny name: Peter P Peters.”
Margaret searched for her grandfather on MyHeritage and found the same death record she’d found before — but this one was more complete and had his parents’ names: Clarence Peters and Rose Wiest. So she searched for Clarence Peters, and found a census record that showed that Clarence was the son of a Peter P Peters. That showed that the Vernon in the death record was indeed her grandfather!
“I entered the new information into my online family tree,” she went on. “I discovered Vernon listed on other people’s trees, and those details included his burial place — which happened to be about 20 minutes from my home. I was able to visit his grave for the first time in my life.” She also was able to contact a first cousin of her dad’s, who sent her photos of Vernon — including the one she Tweeted in the contest.
“He was 19, and it was his mother’s second wedding in 1947,” she wrote about the photo. “Sadly, he died of throat cancer in 1983, age 55, before we had the chance to find each other. But thanks to my research, I found out so much about him, including living relatives!”
“I’m so grateful to MyHeritage for this photo service,” she added. “It really brings my grandfather to life. Now I can see that I have his nose and my brother has his mouth. You can’t put a price on that.”
Absolutely amazing. We are so delighted that we were able to help Margaret achieve this discovery and not only learn more information about her grandfather and contact his living relatives, but also see his face in such sharp focus. Congratulations, Margaret! We hope your free subscription will help you make more incredible discoveries like this.
- Yvonne Lascelles from Great Britain, who sent us this incredible transformation from a barely-discernible image into a sharp depiction of her grandfather:
“Only one grainy bit of a photo exists for granddad James Fairfield,” she wrote to us. “Loved by all the family and forgotten by technology… until now. Thank you.”
When we contacted Yvonne, she told us a little more about her grandfather: “My granddad loved the grandchildren and was a real wee Irish storyteller… he had the kids convinced a donkey lived down the end of the garden but was very shy… he said it only came out when it was quiet. My sister said she waited 7 years and never saw it!”
Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing your entry and this adorable anecdote about your grandfather. Congratulations!
- Irene Strodel from Germany, who shared this special photo of her relatives taken around 1914:
“How long did they have to sit still for the scene to be captured?” Irene wonders. “And how often do we today take snapshots we may never look at, just because we can…?”
Indeed, the scarcity of photos like this from over 100 years ago is part of what makes them so precious. Thank you, Irene, for sharing this family treasure with us, and congratulations!
Yvonne, Margaret, and Irene will all receive a free one-year Complete subscription to MyHeritage, which will provide them with full access to all MyHeritage advanced tools and features, our 12.4 billion historical records, and of course, unlimited photo enhancement and colorization! We hope this will help them make new and exciting discoveries about their family history.
Just because the contest is over, doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the Photo Enhancer and see your own ancestors brought into sharp focus before your eyes! Try out the MyHeritage Photo Enhancer today.
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Source: My Heritage