Many years ago Jill Ball set a January challenge on GeniAus for a yearly blog to Accentuate the Positive – 2021 and this one in January 2022 is my 4th yearly effort. The challenge has 20 set points to cover, however I have used a few challenge points from past years to replace those that haven’t fitted my year. I encourage readers to check back next week for Pauline’s challenge.
I got the most joy from – In 2021 I was asked to try and help two different GSQ members with their research. This was an enjoyable hunt resulting in new confirmed ancestors for both persons.
The Covid situation gave me an opportunity to – Continue running the GSQ Wednesday morning Zoom group. The members are such a lovely helpful lot, it’s great to be part of it.
I managed to attend a face to face event at – Our Zoom group Christmas breakup party at a local cafe. We had a lovely time with non-stop chatter and the odd game organised by Co-convenor Pauline.
My main focus this year was on – downsizing my commitments so that I could spend more time writing another of my family stories. I have now started on my second book.
A genea surprise I received was – from a US friend who had helped me considerably with my research into one of the Powell siblings of my g-g-g-grandfather who emigrated to USA in 1835. Janie wrote ‘We just arrived home this afternoon and I could not believe the remarkable beauty of your book, not to mention its meticulous research! I am overwhelmed you sent me a copy, as it is one of the most exquisite volumes I have ever seen. Needless to say, this level of appreciation brought me to tears.
A Facebook Group that helped me was – Our own GSQ Facebook Page. Catherine, who is the Editor puts so much effort into finding great posts which often lead to new webpages or discoveries.
My 2021 social media post that I was particularly proud of was – Precious items evoke precious memories. Published on 30 May 2021. A story of my past passion for restoring family heirloom furniture, the whole process in each piece brought its own special memories.
Two new genealogy/history books I enjoyed were – William J. Roulston’s ‘Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland’ and also in kindle format his previous book ‘Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The essential genealogical guide to early modern Ulster, 1600-1800’. Both these books are chock a block with handy links, reference files and information with many notes made to be included in my 2022 two Irish presentations.
I was impressed by – FHDU 2021 Online conference. Sadly, the live event was cancelled and substituted with a vast array of interesting presentations. These talks were available for a number of months afterwards which gave me the ability to view all the ones I wished to. This was a great bonus because if the event was live, I would have missed out on several clashing presentations.
A great newspaper article I found was – From the Downpatrick Recorder notating a public entertainment by Consistency Lodge in Killyleagh, Co Down. It seems my g-g-grandfather James Irvine chaired the event.
I got the most value from these subscriptions – FindMyPast. This is my ‘go to’ site for everything, their indexing and transcriptions are mostly accurate, record sets are very easy to zone into, and the wild-card abilities a great bonus, as is the additional address field. Similarly with TheGenealogist which has to be my favourite site for land-records and all things Non-Conformists as my Powell-Davies line is particularly strong in that respect.
I taught several geneamates how to – research Irish records online more effectively with most participants amazed by exactly what is available. It’s planned that I can present this popular presentation again in June.
A blog post that taught me something new was – Jill Ball’s GSQ Blog of 21 February titled Browse, Buy or Borrow? This covered many avenues to help in your search for an elusive book, be it to buy a copy, borrow a copy for find it on the internet with the ability to browse its pages. This is a blog worth bookmarking! https://gsq-blog.gsq.org.au/browse-buy-or-borrow/
I joined – the Devon Family History Society, a very active UK group of helpful folk ably guided by Chairman and friend, Janet Few. http://www.devonfhs.org.uk/ The organisation’s members area has many records that may not be available elsewhere.
A great site I visited was – familysearch.org I found so many new avenues to search through while preparing for my GSQ September Saturday morning presentation on the site. This was just after their ‘new look’ was introduced.
I splashed out and purchased/arranged – The printing of several beautifully produced books of my first story, that of the Powell-Davies family as gifts for our family members. My daughter Joanne, edited and arranged the book after many sessions deciding on styles, covers, binding etc. To be able to finally publish this book after 12+ years of intensive research into just one set of my great-great-grandparents, was a memorable occasion.
Another positive I would like to share is – how wonderful it is to fully utilise Zoom and in the process be able to help others on their genealogy journey.
I located an important record – At the Excelsior Library in Charters Towers where the helpful archivist, Michael Brumby, uncovered a map of the period showing the numbered individual town blocks but the water meter man’s detailed records notating details from my friends g-grandfathers homesite.
A family member shared – an invitation to the memorial service for my cousin’s ashes scattering at sea by the Surf Life Saving Club he was president of for a record-breaking number of years. It was a truly beautiful experience and family history in the making.
I am excited for 2022 because – 2021 has taught me many lessons, some after difficulties with processes, but there is always a solution. Having down-sized my volunteering roles, I am looking forward to having more time to write my family history and in that process do more of my own research.
 FindMyPast.com.au Newspapers. Ireland. Downpatrick Recorder Sat 11 Apr 1874 p2 James Irvine
 Source: The Meter Reader. Charters Towers Water Works Board. Charters Towers Archives. (200092 Bookshelf). Archivist: Michael Brumby