Congratulations to the winners! Thank you for entering and sharing your stories.
As a family history artist I draw much of my inspiration from my ancestry DNA test results and my personal family history. There is so much power and beauty in getting to know our ancestors and ourselves. For the past 2 years I have been committed to changing the way we think and interact with family history. Family history has many stereotypes and I want to break them all. Winning a trip to the homeland of my ancestors would be a huge inspiration for my art but also would allow me to share the exciting and vivacious nature of family history.
I am dreaming and planning to visit Cádiz Spain. I want to study the traditional folk art and folk clothing of Cadiz to incorporate authenticity into my paintings. I want to sit in the churches where my great grandmothers were christened and worshiped. I want to visit the gravestones of my family members and sketch the quiet beauty of cemetery. I have made connections with living relatives that I hope to record and document oral family histories. Winning this contest would change my work, my life and the lives of my family for years to come. Thank you for your consideration. #dnagetawaycontest
"Fine gold and riches and tapestries
Lined the castle corridors…
Where one ancestor’s life was spent
On England’s northeastern shores.
A life of privilege, wealth and fame
Had this Duke of Northumberland,
But are the stories all so true,
Does the evidence all stand?
Yet another father in a copper mine
Worked hard there to survive
On the southwest shores on Cornwall’s cliffs
A very different place and time…
Unlike the Duke, this miner’s life
Was poor and not so kind—
His stories buried in a mine,
Which I would like to find…
One a duke, one destitute
Yet little did they know
That one day their two lines would meet,
And together they would grow.
One story rich—a fantasy
Of wealth and prosperity
Another story lesser known
I’d like to learn from Ancestry.
What was it like on the northern shore
To live there like a king?
I’d like to go to Northumberland
And learn that part of me…
Then to the south on Cornwall’s cliffs
There’s so much yet unknown
Names to find and stories there
Of families not yet known.
Gold and copper; rich and poor
Two very different lives
But each a strand in my tapestry
How did it all arrive?
My DNA—it’s who I am—
My family to be found
From the northern shores of Northumberland
To Cornwall’s mines profound.
These people’s lives are not their own,
They’ve made me who I am
The traits, the genes, the stories, too
I’d like to learn from them.
One life rich, the other poor
Myself, now in between
A family rich—not with gold
But in a land that’s free.
My roots are deep, my branches wide
Through my own family tree
Where I’m discovering who I am
Through my own ancestry.
#DNAGetawayContest and @AncestryUS"