Jill Ball has set a January challenge on GeniAus for a yearly blog to Accentuate the Positive. This is my 2021 effort reflecting on my 2020 year. The challenge has 20 set points to cover.
Remember to Accentuate the Positive
An elusive ancestor I found was – Someone I had been searching many years for, an adopted baby. I finally cracked the mystery and managed to track who she had married, when she died and what children she had.
A great newspaper article I found was – A Funeral notice confirming the above adopted out baby was brought up by her biological paternal grandmother as her own child. A death certificate has since confirmed that.
A geneajourney I took was – an Unlock the Past cruise from Adelaide to Tasmania. Well – almost. We cruisers did get to see Kangaroo Island before turning back before reaching Hobart. This was a disappointment, but we still managed to get almost the whole conference program covered. Well done to the UTP Crew for urgent alternative arrangements.
I located an important record – the marriage certificate of the mystery adopted out baby noting that she was well aware of exactly who her parents were by the time she married.
A family member shared – a different surname for an elusive 1861 birth in our joint trees. When I traced that name further, I found that the mother had admitted herself to the Benevolent Asylum in Sydney under a different surname as her husband was in jail (under that same surname which was his middle name) for forgery! All this was previously unknown to the descendants!
A genea surprise I received was – how rewarding the position of being the GSQ Blog Co-ordinator is. From initially getting the story & images, to uploading them into the best presentation possible and communicating with our bloggers – it has all been a task I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. The wide range of topics covered by our bloggers makes the job really interesting and I always look forward to doing that initial proof-read and thinking ‘this is another fabulous blog’. I publish our weekly blogs on the GSQ Facebook site each Monday if possible, so hope you’ve liked the Page and will follow us there or on our GSQ webpage.
My 2019 social media post that I was particularly proud of was – the story of John Irvine from what could have been Mary Irvine’s recollection of the event. Her brother John’s suicide in her home must have had a profound effect on Mary and was a particularly hard blog to compose.
I made a new geneamate – via emails as the couple live in London. I helped them researching their family which turned out to not be part of mine! It was a rewarding process with teaching them along the way how to determine why a particular person is or is not their ancestor.
A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was – resetting my second laptop to factory settings and restoring all programs and files. This task was undertaken with much trepidation, but the backup plan was the computer man, who, at the end of the day I didn’t need. Go the Grey Nomad you’re never too old to learn!
I joined – Zoom and realised how great Zoom / GoToWebinar meetings are! I have thrown myself into this new challenge wholeheartedly and run a fortnightly group for GSQ members. We have a great time while learning about different aspects of genealogy.
A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was – our GSQ Exploring Irish Ancestry Annual Seminar. It is hard to say which of the six presentations I learnt the most from, with a line-up of Jennifer Harrison, Pauline Cass, Cathie Sherwood, Helen Smith, Chris Paton & John Grenham. All these presenters’ talks were jam packed with information.
A blog post that taught me something new was – by Helen Smith, one of our regular GSQ Bloggers. The blog was titled When did he find out? Did he ever find out? Helen explained the different stages of Queensland official BMD certificates through the years progressing to today’s digital copies of the original source document, and why it’s important to update them.
A DNA discovery I made was – one I’m still working on. It involves the generaions in the missing register/s period in my County Down Irish family. Having also taken a 23&Me test recently I am amazed at how many of the physical character section that correctly identifies certain aspects of my appearance (isn’t everone’s big toe the longest or your ring finger being longer than your index finger? Ha ha ha)
I taught a geneamates how to – do several processes via our Zoom meetings which have had a topic each time. Sometimes it’s simple things like folder set ups, how to scan & save, copyright laws, getting started small with writing, footnotes v endnotes. All attendees then discuss how they do the process and what they’ve learnt from the session.
A brick wall I demolished was – who that adopted out relation really was.
A great site I visited was – a physical site, the reconstruction of the Mawson Hut in central Hobart. Thankfully, prior to the UTP cruise I visited Tasmania for three weeks and initially spent three days in Hobart. I loved the historical information on the explanatory boards in the different sections of this hut. The original occupants in the Antartic would have written home to their loved ones to keep in touch, how interesting it would be to have an ancestor telling that tale?
A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was – Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The essential genealogical guide to early modern Ulster, 1600–1800 by William J. Roulston. I also have William’s new book waiting for when I finish the other one, the new book is ‘Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland’.
It was exciting to finally meet – my genea friends again on that shortened UTP cruise in March from Adelaide, South Australia.
I am excited for 2021 because – there’s another great conference coming up in March FHDU 2021, and this time it’s on the Sunshine Coast which is not too far from home. Additionally, I hope to continue writing my family stories through to book format.
Another positive I would like to share is – What a fabulous hobby genealogy is to have during a lockdown! This stage of the process was not a problem for me as I have been continually busy and finally got to complete a 12-year project of writing the stories behind my paternal great-grandmother’s line.
 After 1850 the Sydney Benevolent Asylum was run as a place of refuge for women, married and unmarried during their confinement.
 An Australian term meaning a retired person who spends their time travelling, typically in a caravan or motorhome. I’m not doing that much these days but still love travelling in any form.