Sunday, February 15, 2009

The best of 2008: 100 Years in America iGene Awards

It's that time of year again...time for the second annual Academy of Genealogy and Family History iGene Awards at the Carnival of Genealogy! Chosen by the author from the blog articles published over the past year, I have awarded "prizes" for the following categories:

Best Picture - Best old family photo that appeared on this blog
Best Screen Play - The family story that would make the best movie
Best Documentary - The best informational article about a place, thing, or event involving my family's history
Best Biography - The best biographical article
Best Comedy - The best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video
Special Mention - Other articles of note

Accompanying me for the big event is one of the inspirations for this blog and (as you'll soon see) the star of several 100 Years in America iGene award winners. We'll arrive in a Flying Cloud, of course. (Hint: He's the little boy in A little boy, a big ship, and a brand new world and one of the stars of both The love fine cars: it’s in the genes and one of 2007's best articles: A ring, yellow roses & a Flying Cloud.)
Now, without any further delay, are the 100 Years in America iGene Awards for best articles of 2008.
(Drumroll, please...)

Best Picture Award

"Wow! I'm really impressed with the collection of old and new photos and maps you have acquired. Terrific article Lisa!" ~ Jasia, Creative Gene

"Lisa writes about her experiences finding family photographs and sharing them with her extended family." ~ Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, Best of the Genea-Blogs June 8-14, 2008

The award for best picture goes to not one, but a series of pictures. My collection of family photographs includes several early 20th-century images of the little Catholic church in Legrad, Croatia where my ancestors worshiped for many generations. After viewing my images online, a resident of Legrad sent me some beautiful photographs of the church. Visit Međimurje: Meeting place of rivers and cultures to view these images along with some other past and present photographs of Legrad. You and also read more about the story of my contact with this generous photographer (a possible distant cousin) at my article within footnoteMaven's Friday from the Collectors series: The Gift of the Photograph: Uniting Families With Their History. A few beautiful images of the church's interior at Easter time can also be viewed at Happy Easter from Croatia.

Best Picture Runner-up
"Amazing photographs - and the perfect poem to illuminate them." ~ Lidian, The Virtual Dime Museum

These photographs are very close to my heart: they show the home of my great-grandmother's family in northern Hungary. "Keepers of the absent": the homes of our ancestors features the house in Korlát, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Hungary on the land owned by my Németh side of the family for four generations. The pictures were taken on a trip by my great-aunt Helen in 1975, and I have been unable to determine if the house is still standing at this time, but would love to go for a visit and find out someday.

Best Screen Play Award
Shared by:

"Lisa tells the story, with images of many documents, of a baby named Lajos that emigrated to America in 1907, and she wondered if he made it to America. Donna Pointkouski helped her out by finding the Passenger Arrival list and he's on it. Share Lisa's joy, and documentation." ~ Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, Best of the Genea-Blogs February 24 - March 1, 2008

The 100 Years in America prize for best screen play goes to the story of the early married life of my great-grandparents István and Maria (Németh) Tóth. After their marriage in Hungary, four children were born on that side of the Atlantic during a time when Istvan traveled back and forth to America, I assume working to evaluate and then settle in to a new life while traveling back to check on his family. Maria finally made the trip by herself in 1907, accompanied by her four young children. One of them, a baby named Lajos, was unknown to current generations of our family. Read A little boy, a big ship, and a brand new world and On babies and trans-Atlantic crossings for Maria's story thus far (there is so much more to tell). My discovery of baby Lajos' presence in the family is detailed at Lajos long forgotten: an immigrant baby’s story and Update on Lajos: his arrival at Ellis Island.

Best Documentary Award
"Wonderful post - and the photos are absolutely great. What a beautiful place to call home!" ~ Lidian, The Virtual Dime Museum
"Your blending of the old and new photographs really bring your story alive. I enjoyed it very much." ~ Janice Brown, Cow Hampshire

Winning awards for both Best Picture and Best Documentary, this article tells the story of the history of the Drava River basin in northern Croatia. The Međimurje area, which was home to my ancestors and remains home to many distant cousins today, has a long and fascinating history. On the crossroads betweens many cultures, and lying today on the border of Croatia and Hungary, it's story is long and winding, like the rivers that have shaped the lives of its people.

Best Documentary Runners-up (#1)
"This is a fascinating post explaining the Slavic names in her family and their English/US equivalents. In addition, Lisa explains some of the difficulties of finding records for these types of names - they used diminutives too!" ~ Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, Best of the Genea-blogs Sep 14-20, 2008
"What a wonderful look at given names and their variants, Lisa!" ~ Steve Danko, Steve's Genealogy Blog
In my family, Ilona, Etelka, Ferencz, Istvan and little Pista immigrated to America and became Helen, Ethel, Frank, Steve and little Stephen. How beautiful their Slavic variants sounded to me when I first discovered them on birth certificates, passenger lists and naturalization papers! In this article I introduced readers to Croatian and Hungarian monikers: naming traditions and some interesting name stories from my own family tree.

Best Documentary Runners-up (#2)

Shared by:

"Lisa at 100 Years in America tells us how to Take a trip back in time using historical maps. This site was new to me, so thanks a bunch, Lisa!" ~ Donna Pointkouski, What's Past is Prologue, Donna's Picks Week of March 30, 2008

"Lisa, thank you so much for posting about this - just my thing! I love maps of just about anywhere, but NYC and NJ maps are right up there among my favorites." ~ Lidian, The Virtual Dime Museum

Long a map lover, I took a little trip into topography with these articles. Focusing on various map resources for the genealogist (or anyone with a general interest in maps), I've "traveled" throughout the United States, Europe and beyond through maps. As stated by Lord Chesterfield in the 18th-century, "The world can doubtless never be well known by theory: practice is absolutely necessary; but surely it is of great use to a young man, before he sets out for that country, full of mazes, windings, and turnings, to have at least a general map of it, made by some experienced traveler.”

Best Biography Award

The view from my corner of the world

"That was absolutely lovely - as well as insightful. I enjoyed reading about your childhood and your insight into how it shaped you and your world view. I am so glad you shared!" ~ Terry Snyder, Desktop Genealogist

"Wow! As the son of immigrant parents, that quote from Adam Gopnik really hit home. I feel the same way. Thanks for sharing! Well written as always!" ~ Ivan Curkovic,

Part biography of a beloved red Volvo, part autobiography of the author (that's me), this article is a reminiscense of my days in Switzerland as a young girl and the story of the red Volvo that accompanied me from that childhood home to succeeding homes in the United States. I usually focus this blog on earlier generations, but I couldn't help sharing this story of one the most beloved "family members" in my memory: my red Volvo. (Readers might also enjoy To be the quiet little girl at the table once again, another look at my childhood that made its way into this family history blog.)

Best Comedy Award

"I loved this article! Being Motor City born and raised, I take my automobiles seriously." ~ Jasia, Creative Gene

"Lisa, what a parade of cars. Enjoyed your article so much." ~ Terry Thornton, Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi
What does DNA have to do with automobiles? My conclusion in the case of the Toth family is: a lot. This story stars a Reo Flying Cloud circa 1920s, a 1947 black Fleetwood Cadillac, a 1956 pink convertible Cadillac, and a telling document that linked one additional generation to the car-lovers and clinched my hunch that the love of fine cars has to be a hereditary trait within this branch of my family.

Special Mentions
"The Smithsonian article is a keeper, and Lisa's story is great." ~ Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, Best of the Genea-Blogs December 30, 2007 - January 5, 2008
My celebration of the new year 2008 made me wonder how my ancestors greeted the new year 1908 one hundred years before. Reading Smithsonian Magazine's January 2008 article 1908: The Year That Changed Everything inspired further nostalgia and I dug into my research and discovered the whereabouts of my family members at that time.

"Lisa provides a 'Carnival' post of responses to her challenge. There are many excellent posts on this list! Well done, Lisa." ~ Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings, Best of the Genea-Blogs January 13-19, 2008
"Thanks, Lisa, for a beautiful album of family "snapshots" of the year 1908." ~ Terry Thornton, Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi
Where was your family in 1908? inspired much introspection on the part of other family historians. I compiled all of their articles into one large "album". The result: a look back at the world one hundred years ago through the eyes of the ancestors of many a family historian.

Special thanks to Jasia of Creative Gene for hosting the iGene Awards at the Carnival of Genealogy. Also, thank you to footnoteMaven for a the awards poster and a little inspiration in my presentation. See you at next year's event!


  1. Baš mi je drago što su se opet na blogu našle fotografije Legrada

  2. Zlatko -

    Hvala lijepa na vaš komentar. Cijenim vaše fotografije puno.

    [Thank you very much for your comment. I appreciate your photographs very much.]


  3. I like the way you presented this! Excellent!

  4. Lisa,
    I love your much work too!
    I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award..
    You can pick it up at my blog..

    I really enjoy your blog friend!

  5. Lisa,

    I awarded you with the Kreativ Blogger Award. You can pick up your award at I hope you are enjoying your transfer to Legacy! Did you get the standard version or deluxe?

  6. Thanks very much to all of you for reading and commenting. I appreciate you taking the time to stop and revisit the best of 2008 here at 100 Years in America.

    Thanks, also for the "awards". Creativity is something that I value very much!


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