Jan 1, 2015

Posted | 4 Comments

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2014

Each year geneafriend GeniAus invites bloggers to participate in her Accentuate the Positive aspects of our family history research for the year. See her original invitation here

Anyone can take part in this activity by responding to the following statements/questions in a blog post. Write as much or as little as you want or just answer a few questions.

Once you have done so please share your post’s link in a comment on Jill’s original post or via email to Jillballau@gmail.com. Jill will then do a compilation of responses so that we can all share each other’s successes.

Remember to accentuate the positive 
Please delete the items that are not relevant to your situation.

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was – confirmation that John Carnegie was indeed a merchant seaman thanks to Findmypast and there is even a notation that might be US, to perhaps explain why a Scottish seaman had an American colours tattoo, not to mention some of those other tattoos he had.

2.  A precious family photo I found was – more a rediscovery of older family photos when I put together a Powerpoint presentation of photos to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday.

3.  An ancestor’s grave I found was – the only cemetery I visited in 2014 was on Norfolk Island and none of our ancestors died there, but it is such an historic cemetery it is easy to spend a few hours there.

4.  An important vital record I found was – this could easily have been No 2 but I am listing it here as it was so exciting – an image of my GGG grandfather who emigrated from Norway to Minnesota in the USA in 1850. It was an image from a book that someone had uploaded to Ancestry.

5.  A newly found family member shared – also connected to No 4, more information on my Norwegian ancestors in the US

6.  A geneasurprise I received was – a copy of Deirdre Irwin’s family history They Dreamed of Gold: A pioneer Keegan family in Australia, Deirdre was on the Unlock the Past cruise and also went to the Norfolk Island conference. No relation to me but I love reading other family histories and to see how they have done it.

7.   My 2014 blog post that I was particularly proud of was – my personal genealogy blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 where I looked at specific records and used examples from my own families. A number of relatives contacted me and provided extra information in many cases.

8.   My 2014 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was – my posts on and during National Family History Month and it is great to see so many people helping me to promote this event every August. A close contender has been my interviews with AFFHO Congress 2015 speakers on SHHE Genie Rambles.

9.  A new piece of software I mastered was – doing a webinar during National Family History Month for MyHeritage one of the major sponsors of NFHM

10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was – I started Pinterest boards for NFHM, my own Diary of an Australian Genealogist blog and one for my one name study on Burstow. It was more interesting than I expected and nice to seeing others use my pins on their own boards. See my boards here.UTP Cruise Oct 2014 Research help session

11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was – a tough one but I think Carole Riley’s presentation on the use of Evernote on the Unlock the Past cruise in October showed me that its uses are almost infinite. Plus I always learn from others when trying to assist them with their brick wall queries.

12. I am proud of the presentation I gave at/to – I am always proud of all my talks and in 2014 there were 45 talks! Looking at the list I think my To Blog or Not to Blog talk for the Inverell Family History Society was the one I am most proud of. It was a totally new talk and trying to show people the joys of blogging and just how easy it really is.

13. A journal/magazine article I had published was – another tough one, I enjoyed my series of articles for Irish Lives Remembered and I am proud of my series of articles on collecting archives in Inside History magazine.

14. I taught a friend how to – I have introduced a number of people to social media such as Twitter, Pinterest and blogging. I think people often just need a quick demo to see the benefits and a bit of practice and then it gets easier.

15. A genealogy book that taught me something new wasUnlock the Past is continually bringing out new titles and Neil Smith’s War on the Veldt had new information on the Boer War. Two of Mum’s uncles fought in South Africa so I try to find out more about their time over there.

16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was – the National Archives in Canberra, they hosted the launch of National Family History Month and it was a great opportunity to visit their exhibition areas

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was – I enjoyed reading Nathan Dylan Goodwin‘s genealogical crime mysteries, Hiding the Past and The Lost Ancestor. Good holiday reading.

18. It was exciting to finally meet – Deirdre Irwin, we often meet people through social media but it is also good to meet them in person and share conference time with them. See also No 19.Kingston Norfolk Island

19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was – the genealogy and history conference on Norfolk Island run by Unlock the Past. It was our second trip there and a few of my geneafriends were also on the trip so good to catch up with them as well. The February genealogy cruise was also good as I finally met Kirsty Gray and Thomas MacEntee as well as seeing Chris Paton again plus other speakers and geneafriends.

20. Another positive I would like to share is – knowing that 2015 is going to be another great year for genealogy in Australia starting with the AFFHO Congress in March in Canberra. If you can’t get there, don’t forget to follow us on social media for all the latest news.

Well that is my Accentuate the Positive Geneameme for 2014. It was a fantastic year and it really is exciting to see so many great events happening in person and online!



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  1. Wow – what a year. You demonstrate such a commitment to learning and sharing – you are in inspiration.

  2. It was a fantastic year Shauna and thanks for all your help in making it so for all of us.

  3. You’ve had a huge geneayear Shauna, and another big one coming up. Finding that photo of your ancestor must have been super exciting.

  4. Shauna Hicks says:

    Thanks Alex, Jill and Pauleen for your comments, hope to catch up with all of you sometime in 2015

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