It’s 2024! Welcome to the New Year.


Just a quick update to share a few stories with you from our December giveaway.

Many entries came through, so a big thank you to everyone who sent in a story – especially pet stories. It’s certainly hard not to smile when looking at all those happy four-legged friends.

I wish you the very best for 2024, and hopefully, it’s a great year!

Jason Reeve
Head of Content & Community



Know Your Pet DNA – Winners

# 1 – Ruby’s Rescue, ‘River’.

When I was five I met River.

We rescued him just one day before his euthanization date. I remember bringing him home he was tiny and scared and I could see the fear in his eyes whenever we approached him.

It took time and patience to help River to grow into the loving, chubby pup he is today – but it was all worth it. Now, only one question remains what breed is he?

Because he was probably a stray, River is likely a mixed-bread dog. Looking into his face you can see the shape of a staffy, with the floppy ears of a kelpie, also characteristics of a German Pointer.

River is one big mystery and my whole family would love to know more!

– Ruby


#2 – Cheryl’s Cavoodle, ‘Buddy’.

Our beautiful Cavoodle Buddy was sold to us as a Cavoodle. We were told he would be a low-shedding dog due to his breed.

Buddy is definitely a high-shedding dog that does not resemble a Cavoodle at all, despite us being told his parentage. He looks and acts like a mini shop dog!!

We would love to find out if he really is a sheepdog. Perhaps a NPE was involved!

– Cheryl


Learn More: Would you like to know more about Ancestry Know Your Pet DNA? You can read more about it here.

AncestryDNA – Winners

#1 – Robyn’s Mystery

As an adopted person with a lot of mysteries on my birth father’s maternal line, I relied on DNA matches and Grouping using the Leeds Method to begin to sort a great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather.

I had two distinct Mystery Paternal groups and careful investigation elicited the names I needed.

I then followed up with census, BDM, burial, and newspaper reports for more evidence. I am confident that on the balance of probabilities I have solved two mysteries that no one else has ever had the answer to.

– Robyn

#2 – Catherine’s Breakthrough

I have established that my great-great-grandfather Conrad Deihl, who drowned in Wellington harbour in 1868, was born in Lymington, Hampshire in 1821.

His father was a soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. Joseph Diehl’s Chelsea pension record states he died in Wörrstadt in 1865 and DNA matches with my family have Diehl ancestors that also originate from this town in Germany. A second cousin has a 15cM match with the same family a generation further back.

There are no paper records that link Conrad Deihl in New Zealand to this family, but the DNA has provided the evidence.

– Catherine


Learn More: Would you like to know more about AncestryDNA? You can read more about it here.

Reclaiming the medals of a fallen hero.

I also wanted to share one final story from Jill that was particularly special.

Ancestry, for many years, has partnered with ‘Medals Gone Missing’ – a not-for-profit organisation that reunites lost military medals with the families of the soldier who was originally awarded those medals. Having worked closely with Medals Gone Missing for several years now, this story stood out as another example of the importance of family history, and the role it plays in reuniting the past with the present.

I was happy to provide Jill with a double pass to see ‘One Life‘, the story of another hero, this time from WW2.

My Great Uncle Roy Lawrence Fairlie died in France in World War I aged 20.

Whilst researching his army career online I found that his medals had been returned to the Defence Department, because his parents had moved address.

I was able to apply for them and now proudly display them in my home.

– Jill



Jason Reeve

As the 'Head of Content & Community' for in Australia and New Zealand, Jason is a passionate advocate for discovering, sharing, and preserving the history of land, people and families.

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