Posted by Nick Cifuentes on December 9, 2011 in Contest

The official grand prizewinner of the Follow Your Roots: Visit Europe contest, sponsored by and, was announced on December 9th following a weeklong judging round. Kyle Moore of Bloomsberg, PA was named the winner with his entry “Ida Marta – The Strength to Make a Better Life.”

Kyle’s winning submission includes a photo of his great-great-grandmother shortly after she arrived in New York from her homeland of Hungary. Kyle’s entry included a touching description of her perseverance through hard times to follow the American Dream. Kyle’s full entry is below:

Ida Marta – The Strength to Make a Better Life
Ida Marta, my great-great-grandmother, arrived in Ellis Island in 1910, emigrating from a small Hungarian village with $28 in hand. This picture of her was taken shortly after she arrived in New York. She raised a family of six children, despite her husband dying in the influenza epidemic of 1918, and managed to live into her eighties.

Her ability to persevere through times of trial and triumph, in Hungary as well as America, has given me strength to draw from and use in my own battles in life. She was the first generation to immigrate to America and was very significant in helping me follow my roots back to Europe. I was able to locate the small farming village in Northeast Hungary where she was born and was amazed by the lengths she had to go through to give herself and her family a better life.

Even if you did not have a chance to enter the contest or were not one of our finalists, exploring your homeland has never been easier with, which offers a wide array of information on the European countries as well as a Journey Planner to help you plan your trip.

And of course, offers an array of tools to track down long-lost family members, trace family lineage, genealogy research etc. A special thanks to all who participated!


  1. Merrie

    My family was from Hungary too and has introduced me to relatives across the world we did not know existed. I can now correspond with family in Israel and Hungary. Unlike yours, my great grandmother died and left 4 children in an orphanage in NY. Their journey become mine as I used this site to solve mysteries of our family. It has been a blessing to my mother. Yes, their strength gives us our foundation. Best to you in your journey.

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