"MyHeritage has helped build bridges in my family" Leigh Toselli, Johannesburg

Listening to family stories as a child sparked Leigh Toselli’s interest in exploring her past.

During the Victorian era, her grandfather’s family spread their wings, emigrating to South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Using MyHeritage, she has managed to piece together her family history puzzle, connecting the dots among every corner of the globe. The South African fashion stylist has uncovered fascinating information about her family history, intriguing her husband, parents and three sons with her discoveries.

Many of her ancestors were settlers in one way or another. Her paternal great-great-great-grandfather arrived in South Africa with the Burne Settlers. On her maternal grandmother’s line, Leigh discovered ancestors guillotined in the French Revolution.

There have been many additional benefits from her research as Leigh has reconnected to newly-discovered cousins across the globe. She has uncovered a forgotten side of the family through old photos and, by sharing their lives via their family site on MyHeritage, making contact with distant family members has been very special. Sharing information with new-found relatives has created new bonds.

Leigh discovered that her great-grandmother’s maiden name was a very unusual French surname – La Reservee. A Smart Match showed a connection that revealed relatives living nearby. A rendezvous was arranged at the organic market where Leigh’s parents sell hand-crafted rocking horses.

“We’d been buying organic vegetables from her for years without knowing our connection. I found the experience startling. Not only was my grandmother her father’s aunt, but we’d been bumping shoulders for years!”

While Smart Matching constantly finds Leigh new relations all over the world, her favorite feature at MyHeritage is the ability to upload and preserve old photos, so they can be shared with future generations.

“I love the fact that we now have an archive where we can check on all the family photos and names, and don’t have to rely on fading memories.”

There have been many additional benefits from her research as Leigh has reconnected to newly-discovered cousins across the globe. She has uncovered a forgotten side of the family through old photos and, by sharing their lives via their family site on MyHeritage, making contact with distant family members has been very special. Sharing information with new-found relatives has created new bonds.

Leigh discovered that her great-grandmother’s maiden name was a very unusual French surname – La Reservee. A Smart Match showed a connection that revealed relatives living nearby. A rendezvous was arranged at the organic market where Leigh’s parents sell hand-crafted rocking horses.

“We’d been buying organic vegetables from her for years without knowing our connection. I found the experience startling. Not only was my grandmother her father’s aunt, but we’d been bumping shoulders for years!”

While Smart Matching constantly finds Leigh new relations all over the world, her favorite feature at MyHeritage is the ability to upload and preserve old photos, so they can be shared with future generations.

“I love the fact that we now have an archive where we can check on all the family photos and names, and don’t have to rely on fading memories.”


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