Back on 4 December 2009 I wrote a blog titled Serendipity or Advertising Your Ancestors which described how various ‘relatives’ had contacted me after reading something that I had written. This is a follow up to that blog and it confirms that it pays to advertise your genealogy research interests.
Since then I have written many blogs on a range of topics using my own families to either tell their stories or to highlight how I have found information on them. To inspire others to have the same success, I will highlight two of my magic moments over the last few months.
Most recently, on 24 April 2010, I wrote about Tasman Jarvis – An Original ANZAC and this led to a distant relative adding a very moving comment to the blog. Her comments made me very pleased and proud that I had told Tasman’s story as my tribute to ANZAC Day. She wrote:
As an English woman having only lived in Australia since 1985, ANZAC day has never meant anything to me as in England we always remembered those lost in the War, on the 11th November. In the last two days I have discovered that I have dozens of relatives living in Tasmania all descendants of Sophia and James Gunyon, who were transported to Tasmania in 1828. I have only to-day, 30th April discovered that a very distant cousin of mine, Tasman Jarvis was killed at Lone Pine, Gallipoli. ANZAC day will never be the same for me from now onwards. Thank you for your interesting and moving page. I feel very emotional to know about Tasman Jarvis and his family and hope that one day I might meet some of their descendants. Sophia Gunyon was the sister of my ggggrandfather John Robinson of England.
Letters Home – My Irish Families was written on 6 March 2010 as part of my contribution to the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, 18th edition. In this blog I wrote about the few surviving letters between my gg grandmother Maria Jeffers and her family back home in Ireland. This has been hugely successful. I have been contacted by my Gunderson cousins who I hadn’t heard from in years and we have exchanged information on our families and updated that branch of the family. One of them wrote the following comments:
Thanks Shauna for this great information on our mutual grandmother Maria Jeffers. We are the mirror counterparts of two trees – the Johnstons and the Gundersons. I must start following your advice and record all my mother’s ’stories’ for future generations. Hope to stay in touch and share more of our family history.
Even more exciting I was contacted by a direct descendant of Maria’s brother James who she was corresponding with in the early 1900s. His excitement at finding my blog on the internet is obvious in his comments:
I have some goose pimples running along my back at the moment. 10 Years ago I went to Portadown to find some family heritage. I took my father Kerry. Story is My great grandfather’s name is James Jeffers. We went to the church where he was married and it seems his father was Isaac and his mother was Harriet.
I am blown away!!!! I was reading the rest of your Blog talking about Albert. My Grandfather Albert was from Tandragee, His mother died and his father remarried. His Father James Died. The Albert in your letter is My Grandfather.He had an older brother Moses who was about 10 years older.
Can you please send me your contact details it would be great to talk to you.
I have been trying to find the Jeffers family in Ireland and through my blog I discover that they are now in Sydney! I was only in Sydney a few weeks ago. How good would it have been to meet in person and swap information? For now we will get to know each other through email and telephone but I really would have liked to have seen his face when he receives copies of those family letters mentioning his own direct ancestors.
There are many places to post blogs and it is not necessary to have your own website. I encourage everyone to think about blogging their family stories and don’t forget to let others know your success stories!