Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2017

2 January 2018

For the 6th consecutive year Jill Ball is asking bloggers to contribute to this  challenge. As a regular participant it is an interesting exercise as I usually find that I have done more than I think during the year.

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

Once you have done so please share your post’s link in a comment on Jill’s challenge or by email to In January, Jill will compile a list of links to all contributions on her blog.

Remember to Accentuate the Positive
(Please delete the items that are not relevant to your situation.)

1. An elusive ancestor I found was – no new discovery but I am being swamped with DNA results looking for my paternal grandfather whose identity is unknown.

2. A great newspaper article I found was – a report on the death of my great grandfather Thomas Price who fell off a bridge on his way to work. This should have been easy as I had the date and place but the death was reported under the name William Price! No wonder I couldn’t find it and I wrote about solving the mystery as a Trove Tuesday post Why you can’t find someone?

3. A geneajourney I took was to Papua New Guinea on the Unlock the Past cruise. My grandfather Henry Price and his brother Les were part of the Kennedy Regiment in Townsville who went to Thursday Island and New Guinea as part of the initial response to the outbreak of World War One. Henry’s son Gordon also saw service in New Guinea during World War Two so it was good to have finally gone to this part of the world. Read my report on the trip here.

Part of display at Massim Museum Alotau, author photo

Part of display at Massim Museum Alotau, author photo

4. An important record I found was that my great great grandmother’s sister Clara Stanley Bishop formerly Davis nee Carnegie adopted two children and I obtained their birth certificates. I only made this discovery because I gave a talk on the family to the local historical society and said that Clara had no children to Ned Bishop. Someone said what about their daughter? I knew Clara was too old at the time of her 2nd marriage, so a bit of investigating turned up the adoptions.

5. A newly found family member shared a photograph of my great great great grandmother Sarah Fegan nee Cane. It really does pay to contact cousins a few times removed.

6. A geneasurprise I received was – probably already covered by Nos 4 and 5.

7. My 2017 blog post that I was particularly proud of was mentioned in No 2 but I will also say the Ancestral Places Geneameme as this showed that a number of bloggers are all related by place, not something that is immediately obvious.

8. I made a new genimate – Louise Coakley (Using DNA for Genealogy and Family History Research in Australia and New Zealand on Facebook). We finally met in person in Townsville when we both gave presentations to the North Queensland Family History Association. Her knowledge of all things DNA is just amazing.

9. A new piece of technology I mastered –  not quite mastered but I am trying to understand Gedmatch and analysing DNA results.

10. I joined Bribie U3A as a tutor taking two terms of advanced family history and met some very enthusiastic people and even helped to break down some brick walls.

11. A genealogy event from which I learnt something new was the NSW & ACT Family History Association annual conference in Orange, NSW. The theme was recording, telling and preserving your family stories. Read my report about it here.

Exhibitors everywhere, Orange NSW, Sep 2017

Exhibitors everywhere, Orange NSW, Sep 2017

12. A blog post that taught me something new was – just about any blog post explaining DNA and how to analyse and use results. I find there is something to learn from most blog posts or they at least get you thinking about different ways of doing things.

13. A DNA discovery I made was that I have a lot of results that don’t match my known families. I need to discover what they all have in common and  if I can narrow it down further.

14. I taught a genimate how to search Google more effectively – my U3A classes show people how to search for the same thing but in different ways and how results can vary. Using maps and images can also return some interesting clues.

15. A brick wall I demolished was – none of mine but two U3A students broke down their brick walls last term which was really good and they have already requested we keep the brick wall component in next term.

16. A great site I visited was – wow so many these days on line but the Biographical Database of Australia is very useful for early NSW and not too many people seem to know about it. Free to search and the annual subscription is reasonable especially if you have lots of convicts.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Men and a River: Richmond River District 1828-1895 by Louise Tiffany Daley published in 1968. Not a new book but one very relevant to my own research and with lots of local history that helps to put my family into the context of the times. It has extensive notes, a bibliography and an index which is unusual for the 1960s but a must read for anyone interested in the Richmond River district. I picked it up at the Orange conference mentioned in No 11 so remember to have a look at the second hand books too.

18. It was exciting to finally meet Denise Coakley as per No 8. Attending seminars in person is a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with others.

Local publications often have information not found elsewhere, Townsville seminar Sep 2017

Local publications often have information not found elsewhere, Townsville seminar Sep 2017

19. I am excited for 2018 because the Bridging the Past & Future Congress is on in Sydney in March with a great program and over four days lots of time to catch up with friends and check out exhibitor stalls. I’m also going on the Unlock the Past cruise to Alaska which has great speakers and its a place I have been wanting to see for ages.

20. Another positive I would like to share is that I learn lots of new things from reading genealogy journals from societies that I am a member of or that I subscribe to. The articles often suggest places to research or have ideas on how to arrange or organise your family history and some of this type of advice is not easily found online. Take the time to read about how to do research, not just constantly search for new information (although that is also tempting). Happy researching in 2018.

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  1. Thanks Chris. Happy 2018!

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