January 1st, 2013
Good geneafriend Geniaus has thrown down another geneameme challenge to get us all thinking right at the start of 2013. As usual I can’t resist so here are my responses to her Accentuate the Positive 2012 geneameme. All contributions will be collated so if you also take on this challenge let Geniaus know too.
Remember to accentuate the positive – please delete the statements that are not relevant to your situation.
1. An elusive ancestor I found was – this year I haven’t progressed backwards but I have discovered more on a lot of my ancestors through Trove – digitised newspapers are allowing us to find more easily all sorts of information about their daily lives. Looking forward to more of that in 2013.
2. A precious family photo I found was - in the packing up of my house prior to relocating to Queensland I ‘rediscovered’ an early photo album of my paternal grandmother who had always claimed there were no photos. This turned up when we cleaned up after she died so none of the photos are named or dated. When I unpack in mid January I’m keeping this album out to see if I can identify any of the photos.
3. An ancestor’s grave I found was – again no new graves but I revisited a number of family graves in Toowong cemetery during a visit to Brisbane. We spent a good few hours weeding and tidying up as sadly it didn’t look like anyone had been there since our last visit a few years ago.
4. An important vital record I found was - I decided to buy some English death certificates on my partner’s Spencer family as we were wondering about family health issues and to our surprise his great great grandmother died of diabetes – so that answered the question was there anyone in the family with diabetes?
5. A newly found family member who shared – since our move to Bribie Island we have discovered that Max’s maternal relatives also have a history with this area and so far the information has been over the phone. But we are planning trips to Bundaberg and Brisbane to talk to his two remaining aunts (one’s 102 and the other 87, the oldest and the youngest) to see what more they can tell us.
6. A geneasurprise I received was – after joining the Guild of One Name Studies I was very pleased to be welcomed into the Guild by Queensland contact Helen Smith who also gave me a copy of Seven Pillars of Wisdon: The Art of One Name Studies. This was unexpected and Helen’s advice on setting up my one name study has been invaluable.
7. My 2012 blog post that I was particularly proud of was – it’s not so much one post but all the posts that I do on genealogy events that I attend. Not everyone can get to some of these so I try and give a detailed account so that others can follow up on the links and learn from the speakers just like I do. These types of posts are always widely read and are mostly found in Diary of an Australian Genealogist although sometimes I do an overview and post it in this blog.
8. My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was – just looking at some of the statistics I would have to say the Deniliquin Genealogy Muster over three days in October. This was an inaugural event (and I’m pleased to say it will happen again in 2014). While it attracted a lot of people from nearby areas Deniliquin is not the easiest of places to get to so I think a lot of readers used my daily blogs to attend virtually!
9. A new piece of software I mastered was – I really got into using the iPad I finally purchased and it was fantastic for our house hunting but I’ve also downloaded a lot of genealogy books for reading without having to carry the weight around! That’s probably more hardware than software but still a challenge for me.
10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was – I always like Twitter as genealogy news spreads around the world so quickly but sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything!
11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was - I usually manage to learn something new from every event I attend but I think my vote would have to go to the Deniliquin genealogy muster as they had speakers from both NSW and Victorian State Libraries and State Archives which was a fantastic grouping of knowledge in one weekend.
12. I am proud of the presentation I gave at/to – I’m usually pleased with most of my presentations but this time I will nominate the three talks I gave to the Ulladulla Milton Family History Society. This is only a very small group and they don’t get the opportunity to have many visiting speakers so I’m happy to say that most of them left that day with their minds in overdrive.
13. A journal/magazine article I had published was - this is a toss up as I’ve done some articles for Inside History Magazine during the year but perhaps more demanding is the monthly series I’m doing in Irish Lives Remembered on Missing Loved Ones Downunder. Meeting deadlines has been a bit tight given all our travel in the last few months.
14. I taught a friend how to – I showed Max how to use my iPad and now we fight over it! Probably not so much an issue now that we have bought a new house but when we were looking it was a race to see who would get into bed first with the iPad! Laptops just don’t have that portability and ease of use in bed. Still I do prefer my books!
15. A genealogy book that taught me something new was – another tough one but I will go with Chris Paton’s Irish Family History Resources Online. I love anything that gives me more insight into Irish records and one day I’m going to find my families.
16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was – this was more a case of revisiting although I hadn’t been in the Society of Australian Genealogists new premises before. They have such a great collection of printed material which is often overlooked for what’s online.
17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was – so many but I have to say that the ever expanding range of books from Unlock the Past are definitely worth looking at. There’s almost something for everyone and more titles in production.
18. It was exciting to finally meet - attending so many genealogy events I’m lucky to meet lots of interesting speakers but I think the impromptu dinner I had with some New Zealand friends and David Holman in Adelaide during the AFFHO Congress was the most exciting. What he had on his iPad really amazed me (and was key in my purchase of one, see 9 above) but David is also Chairman of the UK Federation of Family History Societies and he’s from Cornwall another one of my primary interests.
19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was – I love them all but the Adelaide AFFHO Congress was perhaps the best as it brought together many friends and colleagues from all over Australia and New Zealand plus so many good speakers and talks. Can’t wait now for the 2015 Congress in Canberra
20. Another positive I would like to share is – I know that 2013 is going to be another exciting year for genealogy with lots of great events organised by societies, archives and libraries so make sure you plan to attend at least one thing! This is where I will put in a plug for National Family History Week in August 2013 and as the new national co-ordinator I’ve put forward some suggestions for putting even more oomph into the event. Here’s my article in the AFFHO December newsletter and all feedback is most welcome. Don’t forget to Like the NFHW Facebook page too!
Well that brings me to the end of this geneameme and as usual I’ve thought of even more things as I’ve made my way through the questions. Can’t wait to see what Geniaus comes up with next!