Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2019

2 January 2020

Each year since 2012 (except for 2018) Jill Ball invites the genealogy community to 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 and complete as many statements as you wish. If you wish to take part and don’t have a blog email Jill your responses and she will post them on her GeniAus blog.

Once you have done so please share your post’s link in a comment on Jill’s post or to Jill via email to She will, in January, compile a list of links to your contributions here 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 – my father’s biological family (not totally proved but lots of DNA connections)

2.  A great newspaper article I found was – lots of interesting articles about my new family and one funeral in memorian that is simply signed Kathleen. Is this my grandmother? Does it link to my new relatives?

3.  A geneajourney I took was – to Sydney for DNA Down Under to spend 3 days with the awesome Blaine Bettinger (The Genetic Genealogist) and to learn more about DNA.

4.  I locate an important record – lots on my new paternal families and using these documents to help confirm the DNA connections.

5.  A newly found family member shared – met my new cousin Rose at the Brisbane DNA Down Under. We are definitely related by DNA.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was – there have been so many as I am researching a whole new line – my paternal grandfather on Dad’s side

7.   My 2019 social media post that I was particularly proud of was – Preparing Your Family History Records for Hand Over in the Future. This struck a chord with many people and received various comments and people keep telling me they are following my progress. By publicly stating my 2020 genealogy blog challenge I have really committed myself to doing it.

8.   I made a new genimate who – I shared a room with Dot (a cousin of Kerry Farmer’s) for Sydney DNA Down Under and we had a wonderful three days and are still in touch. Sharing accommodation cuts down costs if you want to attend interstate genealogy events.

9.  A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was – DNA Painter – what else? Actually I have learnt a lot of new DNA research techniques in the pursuit of my father’s family in the last 12 months.

10. I joined – I maintained all of my genealogy society subscriptions and I had planned to join Caloundra Family History Research in their new financial year – but I got sick and was out of action for a few months. So now on the to do list for 2020-2021.

11. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was – all the DNA events I went to in Brisbane, on Bribie Island and in the 3 day Sydney event with lots of new tips from Blaine Bettinger.

12. A blog post that taught me something new was – there are so many but if I have to choose I would say many of Judy Russell’s The Legal Genealogist‘s blog posts. Although often US focused, there are many that apply to all aspects of genealogy.

13. A DNA discovery I made was – lots of DNA connections to my paternal grandfather’s family (although his actual identity is not known but only a few suspects)

14. I taught a genimate how to – I tutor an advanced genealogy class at Bribie U3A and I continually show them how to make the most of archive catalogues online both in Australia and overseas. Plus we cover a wide range of topics throughout the year.

15. A brick wall I demolished was – at the risk of sounding like a broken record, my father’s biological paternal family. It is really good to know where his paternal ancestors come from and I have more Irish, Welsh and new English counties to research in 2020.

16. A great site I visited was – Wayne Shepheard’s Mother Nature’s Tests which talks about the climate our ancestors would have lived in and what disasters (floods/storms/famines) they might have experienced.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was – linked to the above is Wayne Shepheard’s book Mother Nature’s Tests which gives more scientific detail and examples. I purchased my copy from Gould Genealogy and History as it was published by Unlock the Past in 2018.

18. It was exciting to finally meet – it has to be Blaine Bettinger in Sydney although we did briefly chat in Seattle, USA when I was on the Unlock the Past Alaska cruise in 2018.

19. I am excited for 2020 because – I am booked to go on the final Unlock the Past genealogy cruise which is from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and then to a number of ports in Tasmania. Also the NSW/ACT annual genealogy conference is in Newcastle in 2020 and that is where Dad’s family were originally before the Queensland move. The theme is Riding the Waves of History. I’m hoping to attend.

20. Another positive I would like to share is … that there is a great genealogy community out there willing to share their knowledge through blogs, presentations and conferences so in 2020, read blogs and attend genealogy events near you. For example, History Queensland and Caloundra Family History Research hosted the biannual Queensland conference which was another great opportunity to learn and meet new geneamates.

Most local genealogical societies have regular guest speakers and education programs – seek them out and join if you are not already a member.

Happy and healthy 2020 to all.

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  1. Thanks Shauna, In spite of the challenges you faced you have had a super succesful year. You are an inspiration.

  2. Congratulations, Shauna, on your DNA breakthroughs and all the DNA-related research events you’ve attended. It’s an area in which I know the basics, but need to learn more myself.

  3. Thanks Shauna. Inspires me to get on with my genealogy projects for 2020. I am looking forward to keeping up with your blogs.

  4. Thanks Jill. Family history research is a wonderful distraction. Hours can go by without realising it.

  5. Thanks Linda. DNA is a wonderful new tool but you still have to do all the regular research to make the pieces fit.

  6. Thanks Dot. Look forward to hearing more about your 2020 project.

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