Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2023

27 December 2023

I invite you to take part in this activity by responding to the following statements/questions, several of which are new, 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, please email Jill Ball your responses and she will post them here on her GeniAus blog.

Once you have done so, please share your post’s link in a comment on Jill’s original post or email to Jill will sometime in mid-January, share a list of links to your responses on the GeniAus blog.

Remember to Accentuate the Positive 

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

1. On revisiting some old research, I found …

As my research dates to the late 1970s, some of my Queensland State Archives citations are very out of date. It has been relatively easy to look up the old reference and get the new citation number, or even a digital number. The other discovery was that I had not always noted the full reference, and that took a bit longer to tidy up. Note full citations as you go is a good practice.

2. In 2023 I hooked up with a new (to me) living cousin …

No living cousin but I decided to go to RootsTech 2023 and met a number of people I had only known via email or Zoom. So much nicer meeting people in person and sharing a drink/dinner with them.

Meeting Nathan Dylan Goodwin at RootsTech 2023

3. I’m pleased I replaced a tool I had been using with  …

Zotero. This is an app that allows you to capture a reference from Trove including the link and full text. It can also be used with websites, archive catalogues and other online resources such as FindAGrave or Ancestry public family trees.

4. My sledgehammer did great work on this brick wall …

My brick walls are still standing, and a Y DNA discovery would help enormously. Too many unknown fathers in my dad’s side of the family tree. I am part of the Wikitree/Family Tree DNA project for Northern Ireland and Islandmagee so I hope something will turn up and smash those brickwalls in 2024.

5. I was pleased that I finally read … …

My personal challenge is to try and read a book a week or at least 52 books a year. I usually manage this so picking one from my pile of must reads is a challenge. One that surprised me was The Invisible History of the Human Race: how DNA and history shape our identities and our futures by Christine Keneally. No spoilers but this book covered a range of areas that I wasn’t expecting including a history of family history. Well worth a read.

6. I enjoyed my geneajourney to …

The FamilySearch library in Salt Lake City. As part of my trek to RootsTech, a visit to the library was a must and I spent the entire time on the floor with all the books. Many of these are not yet digitised and I was amazed at how many books there were on Islandmagee in County Antrim. Definitely need to allow more time there on my next visit, hopefully 2025.

7. In 2023 I finally met …

The newest twig on my family tree – my first grandchild Theodor. I had to travel to Sweden to meet him and have a good cuddle. I was lucky to stay with them over Christmas and New Year. I also wanted a white Christmas, but it was not to be. Snowed before and after I left. Still cold and frosty and I just loved the squirrels playing in the yard. They live in a forest area not suburbia and the bird life was also wonderful.

First cuddles

8. I was the recipient of genearosity from …

The Bribie family history community is always giving me new tips to pass on in my classes and talks. We can’t read everything so that helps. I also love the feedback they give me and news of any successes they have after a class. Plus, some give/loan me books to read.

9.  I am pleased that I am a member of …

Bribie Family History Association – it is a great group of people who meet monthly to listen to guest speakers. We have lunch afterwards and often catch up at other events around the Island as we all have similar interests and belong to groups such as the local historical society.

10. I made a new DNA discovery  …

In 2023 I spent time working on Mum’s DNA and confirming the paper trails on her side of the family. The strange part is that I am still to discover Mum’s Welsh connection. That is a puzzle going forward into 2024. On Dad’s side I am still waiting for a closer Y match although it is now confirmed that we do have a connection to Islandmagee in County Antrim, Ireland.

11.  An informative journal or newspaper article I found was …

I like reading the professional journal of the Association of Professional Genealogists. There are always interesting articles and the issue I found of most interest was where they focused on what members did during Covid. Helen Smith had an article in that edition which gave the view from Australia. Also, how Covic impact them and/or their businesses. The interesting fact was the rise of Zoom and other webinar platforms to keep our connections during isolation.

12.  A newspaper archive (Trove?) helped me …

Way too many to list – funeral notices are my favourite when they list all the children especially married names of daughters and where they live.  Even just the name of a town is a clue to be followed up with electoral rolls.

13.  I enjoyed my wander around … cemetery

I conducted a walk around the Bribie Memorial Gardens for the local historical society. There are a lot of military plaques, fishing and golfing tributes and other connections to the Island’s history. Many people come here to retire but they have led interesting lives elsewhere. So much history.

First Avenue, Bribie Island – because we are a sand island, having a cemetery is not possible.

14. AI was a mystery to me but I learnt  …

A bit about it by attending the opening ceremony of National Family History Month where Andrew Redfern and Hamish Maxwell Stewart gave interesting insights into how you could use it for family history. I loved the way Hamish showed what our convict ancestors might have looked like using descendant photos and convict physical details such as hair and eye colour.

15. The best value I got for my genealogy dollars was … 

By killing off some of my main line ancestors in England. The new cheaper digital service allowed me to apply for copies and for about $20 I bought four death images. So much quicker and cheaper than waiting for certificates. Also tempting to say I will get that, and that and that. When it is more expensive, I think twice but not if it is cheaper and a bargain. That also applies to my book buying!

16.  It felt good to contribute to  …

National Family History Month in August. I gave several talks both in person and online and it is a great way to learn and enjoy meeting others. I am also the tech girl for Bribie Family History Association, so I have to get there early and set up the laptop and projector and make sure it all works for the guest speaker. Always a nervous time until it is up and running.

17. It was wonderful to catch up with genimates …

History Queensland meetings are held twice a year and attract quite a few members from various parts of southeast Queensland due to the tyranny of distance. There is morning tea on arrival, the meeting and reports from members, then lunch and afterwards a guest speaker. The meeting is also held on Zoom for those who want to attend but can’t in person.

18. I wouldn’t be without this technology …

Electricity – after the storm and you have lost power and fumbled around looking for a candle or a battery torch, you realise just how reliant we are on electricity for everything. As the hours pass and you can’t recharge your phone, and the freezer starts to melt it is totally obvious that we need electricity. After that the internet and again if our provider is offline or there is something wrong with the modem, we experience withdrawal.

19. I wrote …

I haven’t done much blogging (did covid kill off blogging or did we just get weary) but I do like participating in Jill Ball’s annual geneameme. I love reading all the responses and see what everyone else has done and find out what books I should put on my list to read. We are a very diverse mob.

 19. I got a thrill from opening someone’s eyes to the joy of genealogy …

There are usually first timers or newbies at my talks and afterwards they come up and say how much they enjoyed the session. I always share my slides with attendees so that they can go home and try the URLs for themselves and to refer to the talk later.

20. Another positive I would like to share is …

Being able to expand my family trees back to beyond the 1800s thanks to the incredible work done by FamilySearch, Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage, The Genealogist, British Newspaper Archive, Trove and our own state archives and libraries for our research here in Australia. Every month we are treated to more and more records online, either indexed, digitised or both. I would never have thought/imagined family history research would end up so accessible when I started out in 1977. Thank you everyone.

Please share this invitation far and wide in your social media channels.

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  1. What a fabulous year for you. Meeting your grandson must have the absolute highlight.
    I’m so pleased that you got to Rootstech and met so many genies in person, it’s an event that we need to experience at least once.

    Geneablogging has suffered a decline in recent years but it’s great to see stalwarts like you still blogging occasionally. I believe that is still still a worthy platform for sharing news and stories.

    You’ve inspired me to read Christine Keneally’s book, apply for some UK death images and think about citation.

    Thanks for your support of the geneameme, there have been some wonderful responses so far – I hope more join after the Christmas rush.

  2. Thanks Jill. The geneameme is a great way to pick up new ideas for our own research.

  3. My blogging has slowed down due to complex brick wall bashing. I’ve rewritten stories again and again this past year and they keep changing weekly with info being tracked down by a wider field of people. I love collaboration.

  4. You had a great year. Top of the list has to be meeting your grandson, who is absolutely adorable. Glad you also enjoyed your first trip to Salt Lake for RootsTech and had some time to spend in the FamilySearch Library.

  5. The increase in resources available to us online is amazing. I heartily concur in giving thanks for the incredible work done by FamilySearch, Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage, The Genealogist, British Newspaper Archive, Trove and our own state archives and libraries for our research here in Australia..

  6. Attending RootsTech would have been so fab. And of course meeting your grandson. What a joy grandchildren are to be sure. Thank you for all that you do to support family historians Shauna. You are an absolute treasure.

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