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The Day Queen Elizabeth Visited My Home Town

I was shocked when I heard that Queen Elizabeth had died, even though it had become clear that she was becoming very frail. Since then, I’ve been glued to the television into the early hours of the morning following all the traditions and pomp and ceremony.

The news made me think about when the Queen and Prince Phillip, came to my hometown of Shepparton on 4 March 1954. I have no memory of her visit, as I was born just a few weeks earlier.

According to reports in the local paper, it was a beautiful autumn day and large crowds lined the streets, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Royal couple. The Queen’s Coronation had only been nine months earlier, which I’m sure would have added to the excitement.

Over 9000 schoolchildren waving flags lined the streets along with members of the 59th Battalion and school cadets. After driving through the streets and happily waving to the crowds, the Royal entourage drove to the Deakin Reserve, the local sports ground to greet more locals, school children and dignitaries.

Words from The Queen “My beloved late father and my mother had been looking forward with great interest to visiting the Goulburn Valley, the products of which are so well known in England … To those of you who are present and to all those who have not been able to come here today, I send my warmest good wishes,”

The following description of the Queen’s outfit appeared in the Shepparton News:
“Her Majesty wore a Hartnell green paper shantung coat, over an orchid pink floral frock patterned with a deep blue convolvulus flower design. The coat featured soft revers and elbow-length sleeves with a knife-pleated skirt”.

A rose garden was created and cairn erected in Monash Park, Welsford Street Shepparton, commemorate The Royal visit.

The Visit of Her Most Gracious Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II

On 5-3-1954

Is Commemorated By This

Rose Garden

The Gift Of The

Women Of Shepparton

source:
Shepparton News, 5 March 1954, Page 1

Monument.org.au

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com

National Family History Month Week 3 #NFHM2022

Alexander Daw from Family Tree Frog blog has challenged bloggers to participate in a bloggers challenge to celebrate National Family History Month. Alex provided prompts that have been very thought provoking.

Week 3

The prompt for week 3 is to share your tips for smashing your brick walls. I’m very late with my week 3 post but, I suppose it’s better late than never, as the saying goes.

Brick Walls

A brick wall occurs when you can’t find any further information about an ancestor that you have been researching. Brick walls are very frustrating, but they don’t have to mean that you will never find further information about your family member. I am no expert at smashing through brick walls but listed below are a few steps I take when faced with a brick wall.

Review all information collected about the person who is your brick wall. Re-read your certificates and documents. It’s possible that you missed a snippet of information that will open up your research. This has happened to me quite a few times.

Information about your ancestor may have been unavailable when you were researching, due to privacy reasons. As the years go by, you may find the information is released.


Check F.A.Ns -friends and neighbours of your ancestor. You may be surprised at what you will find by doing this. For example: if your ancestor isn’t with their family at the time of the census, the first thing to do would be to check if there has been a death. If not, perhaps they are staying with a family member, friend or neighbour.

Perhaps there have been books written about the area where your ancestor lived, which would give context to the life of your family.

The local family history society for the area of your ancestor may have further information. Even if they don’t have information about your ancestor, it’s possible they will have information about the area that will provide a better understanding of the life your family lived.

I have to say that the above suggestions don’t always produce the desired result. I published a post a while ago, about my family members who seem destined to be my permanent brick walls. Click here if you would like to read about them.

I’d love to hear about your brick walls and your successes breaking through them. Leave me a comment and I promise to reply.

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com

#NationalFamilyHistoryMonth Week 2: Norfolk Island

Alexander Daw from Family Tree Frog blog has challenged bloggers to participate in a bloggers challenge to celebrate National Family History Month. As I can’t resist a challenge, and even though August is a busy month for me, I have decided to dive in and have a go.

I managed to get my post up for week 1, just one day late. Unfortunately I haven’t been so organised for week 2. We are in the middle of moving house and have been distracted. I am writing this post on my iPhone, in my lounge room, surrounded by boxes, as I wait for the furniture removalist. Todays is our official moving day.

The challenge is to post on a family history theme, each week in August. Alex has suggested four weekly topics which I intend to follow.

Week 2: Travel

This topic is certainly appropriate for me, for Family History Month. On July 31, I arrived on Norfolk Island to attend the AFFHO 2022 Congress, beginning in 1 August. This was a perfect way to kick off Family History Month.

Image: sag.org.au

I have no family history at all on Norfolk Island, but I have always wanted to visit, as I have long been fascinated in the islands history. The opportunity to attend congress in this place of incredible history was too good to pass up.

There were so many highlights that I could go on for ever about my time on Norfolk Island, and possibly bore you to tears. However I’ve chosen just a few highlights, with perhaps more to come later.

Norfolk Island Museum

Norfolk Island has an amazing museum and our guide, a descendant of a Pitcairn Island settler, was incredibly knowledgeable about the island and it’s history. The museum is located in the World Heritage listed area of Kingston, where there are also ruins of early buildings to be seen.

Norfolk Island Museum in the old Pier Store

Our tour of the museum gave us information about the Polynesians who were the original settlers, the convict history, and the Bounty Mutineers who arrived in 1856. The museum houses many displays of early island life and its history.

Ruins of the gaol at Norfolk Island. The New Gaol housed convicts who resisted the penal colony’s harsh discipline, and who were sentenced to working on chain gangs, to solitary confinement, or to death. Other prisoners were housed in the Prisoners’ Barracks.
Ruins at Kingston

Cemetery

The Norfolk Island cemetery, situated on a hill, looking out to sea, contains graves that are over 200 years old. Wandering through the cemetery on a wet, windy day was very atmospheric, as I read the gravestones of settlers and military from so long ago. As part of congress we were given a tour of the cemetery, highlighting particular graves which gave a great understanding of life on Norfolk Island since settlement.

There are also graves of the Bounty mutineers who moved from Pitcairn Island to Norfolk Island in 1856.

Looking out to sea from the Norfolk Island Cemetery

Many of the headstones feature a huge amount of detail include causes of death such as drownings, accidents and executions, giving an insight into the brutal days of convict settlement, The grave below toll my eye with its interesting embellishments.

Beaches

It’s impossible to talk about Norfolk Island without mentioning it’s beautiful coastline with its pristine beaches.

There will be more coming about the sessions attended

For more information on the history of Norfolk Island: wikipedia.org and Pitcairners.org

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com

National Family History Month Week 1 #NFHM2022

Alexander Daw from Family Tree Frog blog has challenged bloggers to participate in a bloggers challenge to celebrate National Family History Month. As I can’t resist a challenge, and even though August is a busy month for me, I have decided to dive in and have a go.

The challenge is to post on a family history theme, each week in August. Alex has suggested four weekly topics which I intend to follow.

Week 1

The theme for the first week is August, which can also mean respected or impressive. Who do you think is the most respected or impressive member of your family tree and why?

Many of the people in my family, though mostly very ordinary people, are impressive to me, but for different reasons

John TAYLOR and Martha LLOYD – left their life in Haverfordwest, Wales, and made the long voyage across the seas, not knowing what their life would be like. To add to the complications of their voyage, they had a toddler and a baby travelling with them. Their courage has given me, and my family, the opportunity to have awesome lives in Australia

Previous posts that I have written about John and Martha:
John Taylor and Martha Lloyd
Children of John Taylor and Martha Lloyd

Thomas WATERS, my 2x great grandfather faced many challenges in trying to make a new life for himself and his family in Australia. At the time of his marriage, in 1857, to Elizabeth Ann COX/COCK, he was living in South Australia.

In 1859 the couple decided to travel to Melbourne to make a new start. When Thomas wasn’t able to leave his work as expected, arrangements were made for his wife to go on ahead with the children, and another couple.

The second child George Burton, was just nine months old. The couple arranged to meet in Melbourne when Thomas arrived. When he arrived at the station, he found his wife in distress, with baby George, dangerously ill, and with no money, after spending the last of it, on consulting a doctor.

The child died, and Thomas used the last of his money to bury him and to purchase a ticket for his wife and son to travel by coach to Kyneton. He found someone to pay his wife’s coach fare, but he himself had to walk to Kyneton.

After arrival in Kyneton, the struggles continued, as Thomas tried to find work to earn enough money to feed and clothe his children. Thomas wrote a Letter to his family in Bedfordshire, England outlining his difficulties in more detail.

I can only feel total respect and admiration for Thomas as he faced life’s difficulties head on. Thomas wrote a series of letters home, where it was obvious that he was also feeling extremely homesick and sad, at being away from his family.

These stories are just two stories from my family history. I feel a that I owe a huge debt to those who made the decision to leave their homes and families, on the other side of the world, in the search for a better life. They made that decision, not knowing what the long journey would be like, and also not knowing what was waiting for them in the new land. For that I owe them a huge thank you on behalf of myself and my family. The priveleged and happy lives that we live today are due to the sacrifices that they made.

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com

Life Of A Genie Update

I find it hard to believe that I haven’t done a Life Of a Genie Update since January, but it’s true. I had intended to do an update each month, but as usual life and lack of time have gotten in the way. Anyway better late than never.

When I wrote my last update in January, I was spending all my spare genie time, writing and finalising drafts for the April A to Z Challenge. It was a busy time, making it busier when I broke my right arm in March. This really slowed me down, but I managed to get all 26 posts ready to go on April 1.

During the year, I have spent many hours indexing Crown Counsel Proceedure Books for Scottish Indexes I had to give that up when I broke my arm, and have really missed it. Even though my arm is almost mended, I’m still not able to type with any speed, so am not quite ready to get back to indexing, but it won’t be long.

After the A-Z Challenge finished, I took a break, and haven’t really done much in family history or genealogy. There has been a lot going on in my life, the main thing being the sale of our house and preparing to move, so I felt the need to take a short break. About a year ago, I semi retired and have been working only one day each week, however after my arm healed I went back to working full time most weeks. This is due to a covid outbreak keeping us short staffed. This is temporary, and it won’t be too long until I get back to the semi retirement that I loved, and that gave me more precious time for family history/genealogy.

#ANZAncestryTime

Our monthly #ANZAncestryTime discussions on Twitter are going well. Some of the topics recently have been:

State Records and Archives
Family Search
Writing Family Stories
Genealogy Conferences

Recent posts

Following are links to a few recent posts:

William Waters 1824 – 1886
Australia’s Largest Civilian Maritime Disaster
The Family Histories Podcast featuring Jill Ball
“Merry” Month Of May Meme: My New Normal

What’s Coming Up?

Image: Australian Federation of Family History Organisations

The most exciting thing on my radar just now, is attending the History in Paradise AFFHO 2022 Conference on Norfolk Island in August. After the conference, I will be going to the Sunshine Coast to spend a week with my son and my grandsons. I haven’t seen them for three years, due to covid, so you could imagine the excitement this is causing.

August is Family History Month, and to celebrate I have committed to a Family History Month Challenge which has been organised by Alex from Family Tree Frog The challenge is to publish four weekly posts during August. Alex has provided optional prompts. I will be away for the first two weeks of August, so will have to be organised for a change, and have my posts done early.

Coming up on the blog: a series on the Waters family. Over the past few months I have been collaborating with fellow Waters family researcher Mary, which has resulted in new information that I’m looking forward to sharing.

*Please Note:
Our Twitter discussions for #ANZAncestryTime are held monthly on the third Tuesday at 7pm AEST or 9pm NZST. We would love you to join us for learning, sharing and fun.

Links to our #ANZAncestryTime official blogger where you can find summaries of our discussions.

@2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com

William Waters 1824 – 1886

This is another in a series of posts about the Waters family. William WATERS, my second great granduncle, was born in 1824 in Dunton, Bedfordshire, the eldest of nine children, born to parents, Thomas WATERS and Ann IZZARD. Thomas and Ann were my 3x great grandparents.

1841 Census

When the 1841 census was taken, William who was 17 years old, was at his father’s house on Newton Bury farm, with his parents and siblings. The family name was transcribed on the census, as Waden.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5548.jpg

1848 – Marriage to Emma Brown

William married Emma Brown on 10 October 1848 at Dunton. William was aged 24, and Emma was 21, at the time of their marriage. Their first child, William Charles was born on 21 April 1850.

Emma died on 5 February 1851, when her son was almost 10 months old.

1851 Census

When the 1851 census was taken, William was staying with his brother Thomas, who was at the time, a publican in London. The Census was held on 30 March, just a few weeks after the death of his wife Emma. William’s son, William, was staying with his aunt Edith Burton and her family, in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

1856 – Marriage to Sarah Whitamore

Five years later, on 3 June 1856, William married Sarah Whitamore, at the Newington Parish Church in Surrey. William and Sarah had ten children between the years of 1857 and 1880:

Arthur George born about 1857
Edgar born about 1858
Isabel Margaret born 22 July 1861
Octavious born about 1862
Thomas born about 1867
David born 21 September 1869
Frederick born 4 December 1872
Alfred born 10 March 1876
Mary Ann born 9 September 1877
Eliza born 8 August 1880

1861 Census

At the time of the 1861 census, William and family were living at The Cottage, a property close to his parents at Newtonbury farm.

1864 – Inheritance

In 1864, William inherited 200 pounds from his father’s will.

1871 Census

The 1871 Census has William and his family living in a cottage, not numbered at Dunton, Bedfordshire. Dunton is in the Superintendant’s district of Biggleswade, in the Registrar’s sub-district of Potton, the enumeration district number 18.

The description of the enumeration district, as written by the census enumerator, Mr. Walter J. Arnold: Dunton Parish, (the whole of Dunton Village, Newton, Millo, The Lodge Farm and cottage.

Present on the night, were William and his wife Sarah, and also six of their children.

1881 Census

The 1881 census shows William still living in the cottage at Dunton, Bedfordshire, with his wife and seven of their children.

Death of William Waters

William Waters died on December 1886 at Dunton.

#Please Note: This is only an outline of the story of William. I’m sure there is much more to add to his story.

sources:
Ancestry.com. 1841 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010. Class: HO107; Piece: 2; Book: 14; Civil Parish: Dunton; County: Bedfordshire; Enumeration District: 15b; Folio: 3; Page: 2; Line: 11; GSU roll: 241190
Ancestry.com. 1851 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Class: HO107; Piece: 1563; Folio: 220; Page: 21; GSU roll: 174796
Ancestry.com. 1861 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Class: RG 9; Piece: 995; Folio: 124; Page: 13; GSU roll: 542733
Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1881 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Class: RG11; Piece: 1628; Folio: 82; Page: 13; GSU roll: 1341389


©2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com

State Records and Archives #ANZAncestryTime

The recent topic for #ANZAncestryTime, was State Records and Archives. In case you haven’t caught up with it yet, #ANZAncestryTime is the genealogy/familyhistory discussion session, which is held on Twitter. I’m very happy to be one of the moderators, and look forward to our sessions, on the third Tuesday night each month, at 7pm AEST or 9pm NZST

We usually ask four questions on a topic. Below, are the questions with my thoughts on each.

Most of my family history is in Victoria, which is where I live. Our state records office is the Public Records Office of Victoria, better known as PROV. It is located in Melbourne, about two hours from my home. Because of the travel distance, I don’t get there as often as I’d like.

If I’m going to PROV, I like to make the most of a visit and spend the day there. I keep a PROV list in my Legacy family history software, of records that I’d like to see on my next visit.

PROV have a large amount of their records digitised, which makes accessing them from home possible. Because of this my PROV to-do list is much shorter than it was when I first started researching my family history.

As a young researcher I would take along a notebook and pencil, but these days it’s just the iPad and mobile phone for photos.

I’m quite addicted to Inquest files because of the information that they can contain. Other than details of the death, Inquests usually have witness statements, which can often be from family members.

I’ve also obtained many wills, divorce records and land records. PROV is a great place to find passenger records also. Most of these records are now available online. When I first started visiting PROV, we would have to order photocopies and wait for them to be mailed. Today, we can just take photos with our phone, so there is no waiting time for delivery of records.

My most unforgettable find was contained in an inquest file. The inquest was for the murder of a very distant relative, a ten year old girl. Her murderer was found at the scene, after taking his own life. The item that shocked me was contained in a suicide letter that he had written.

When I first saw the file, it was obvious that it had never been opened. As I opened the tightly folded suicide letter, brown flakes of what I though was dirt, fell from the creases onto the desk. The archivist saw this, came over to take a look and told me that they were flakes of dried blood.

I can still remember how sad I felt and how real this made the crime and the people seem. Suddenly this event became more than names and dates on a page

Images: #ANZAncestryTime

@2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com

Australia’s Largest Civilian Maritime Disaster

One of the joys of blogging is being contact with cousins from all over the world who are researching the people who are in my family tree. This has happened many times during the years that I’ve been blogging. Recently I was overjoyed to be contacted by Mary, a cousin who is also researching the Waters family. Thomas Waters is my 2x great grandfather.

We have been going back and forth sharing information for a few months now. I must say that Mary has shared much more information than I have been able to share. Being from England, Mary is closely related to the English generations of my Waters family. Mary has been collaborating with Graham Revill, a family researcher who I was in contact with many years ago. Unfortunately, we lost contact when my email address was changed due to moving cities. Graham helped me out with Waters family research, in the early years of my research. I remember visiting him at his home in England in 2004, where he generously made us a lovely lunch and shared his Waters family research with me.

The Cataraqui

Recently, Mary shared information about The Cataraqui that I hadn’t come across previously. The SS Catataqui was involved in Australia’s largest civilian maritime disaster, when it struck a reef on the west coast of King Island, killing 399 people. The tragic shipwreck occurred at 4.30 am on 4 August 1845. More about the shipwreck: https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/cataraqui-shipwreck

The scene of The Cataraqui shipwreck disaster with Cataraqui Point in the distance

Amongst the passengers who died, were William IZZARD and his family. William was the brother of my 3X great grandmother Ann IZZARD. Travelling with William, and also deceased, were his wife Sarah, and their four children

Izzard Family

William Izard, age 33
Sarah Izard, age 32
Ann, Izard,age 10
John Izard, age 5
David Izard, age 3
Henry Izard, age 1

The above passengers were uncle, aunt, niece and nephews of my 2X great grandfather Thomas WATERS, who was born in Bedfordshire, England and came to Australia in about 1854.

The Voyage

The Carataqui was an 815 tonne, 73 metre long barque built in Canada and brought to Canada with the intention of transporting immigrants to Australia.

On 20 April 1845, The Cataraqui left Liverpool, England, bound for Port Phillip, Australia, with Captain Christopher Findlay at the helm. Many of the 411 passengers on board were British and Irish assisted emigrants.

Surviving the Wreck

One passenger, Solomon BROWN, survived the shipwreck, along with several of the crew. They had little food and water and sheltered overnight under a wet blanket from the ship. The next day, they were discovered by David HOWIE, a former convict, after he saw the wreckage. He wasn’t able to help them leave the island as his boat had also been wrecked. Five weeks later they were rescued by a passing ship that took them to Melbourne.

Cast iron tablet erected on King Island as a memorial to the victims of the Cataraqui shipwreck.


Image: http://www.nma.gov.au
Memorial on King Island to commemorate Australia’s worst civil maritime disaster

#Please note: My records show Izzard spelt with two ‘Zs’. The ships passenger listed the name with
two ‘Z’s.

In The News

from: The Leeds Intelligencer, February 1846.
LOSS OF THE CATARAQUI EMIGRANT SHIP
FOUR HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN LIVES LOST

sources:
https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/cataraqui-shipwreck
http://ccd185.magix.net/public/passengers/cataraqui.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataraqui_(ship)
https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=cataraqui%20175th%20commemoration
https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/1250345 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/228062572
The Leeds Intelligencer, February 1846

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com




The Family Histories Podcast featuring Jill Ball

A few days ago, I discovered a new family history podcast. I’m a bit late coming to the The Family Histories Podcast as it’s now in it’s third season. I was drawn to check it out, when I saw on Twitter, that geniemate Jill, from Geniaus blog, was being interviewed on Episode 5 of Series 3. Her episode was named The Priest. I was quite interested to hear Jill’s story.

I really enjoyed hearing Jill talk about how she came to be hooked on family history and her experiences of researching her family history. Jill introduced us to her 3X great uncle, priest, Michael Harrington Ryan. I found his story and Jill’s experiences in researching his life, to be more than interesting.

I first came across Jill many years ago, on Twitter, and immediately was drawn to her Twitter account and her blog. Jill is an enormous supporter of bloggers. We have met a few times at conferences, and I’ve found her to be just as supportive in person. As a former librarian, Jill, like me, has a passion for books and we’ve swapped book recommendations many times over the years. During the podcast she talked about her reasons for blogging, and this caused me to think about my reasons for blogging, which I haven’t given much thought to lately. I suspect there could be a post coming up on the subject.

Jill’s mention of The Australian Joint Copying Project, reminded me that I had intended to use the site to search for my Australian family, but as yet hadn’t got around to it. This is now at the top of my ‘to do’ list.

At the end of the podcast, Jill was asked to talk about her brick wall. I’m always interested to hear about the brick walls of others, as I have plenty of my own and can identify with the difficulties they present. Jill’s brickwall was a story of thorough research and frustration, which most family historians can understand. I always listen to brickwall conversations carefully as there is usually something to learn. Selfishly, I also hope that the brick walls solved by others help me to solve my own brick walls.

Over the next few days, I plan go back to the start of season one and listen to all episodes of this most interesting podcast.


“The Family Histories Podcast aims to be a positive, conversational, fun show about family history and our family historians – the often unsung heroes tirelessly breathing life back into our collective social history.
https://familyhistoriespodcast.com/

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved jonesfamilyhistory.wordpress.com

“Merry” Month Of May Meme: My New Normal

image: cassmobfamilyhistory.com

Pauleen from Cassmob recently posted the 2022 edition of her Merry Month of May Meme: The New Normal. Being very partial to a meme, here I am finally, and very late, contributing my thoughts. This meme asks questions about our experiences living in the new normal world, post pandemic.

Has your day-to-day life returned to how it/you functioned previously? Not really. I’m still working, though less than pre-covid. Post covid, we have no desire to jump on a plane for overseas travel. I even hesitate about interstate travel, though I’m prepared to bite the bullet and do it. In July I’m planning on visiting Norfolk Island and Queensland. I’m a bit nervous about the flights, but trying to be brave.

If your “new normal” is different from your “old normal”, can you share some of the ways it’s changed. I think the biggest difference in our post normal life is that we tend to avoid crowded areas and rarely eat out these days. If we do, we choose quieter places and times, and don’t stay any longer than necessary. We are still wearing masks and probably will be, far into the future. We are staying much closer to home in this new normal life. Pre-covid, I was very needle phobic and would do anything to avoid an injection. Now that I’ve had numerous covid vaccinations and boosters, I’m getting a bit better.

Do you think these will be long-term changes for you? I’m fairly sure these will be long term changes, however I’m prepared to get out of my comfort zone when necessary.

What personal benefits have you gained from the change of pace and experiences in the past two years? I’ve loved the way life has slowed down and become more simple. I spent the first year of the pandemic, digitising my paper files and photos. There was no way this would have been done, if I hadn’t been on covid leave. I have also had more time for family history research and writing my family stories.

Do you think the disadvantages have outweighed the benefits for you and/or family and friends? I have been very fortunate. A disadvantage for me was the loss of income, due to not being able to work for the first year of covid, until vaccinated. The biggest disadvantage was not being able to see my three grandsons, who live in Queensland. I visited them in November 2019, just before the pandemic struck, and haven’t seen them since. It’s an understatement to say that I’m looking forward to seeing them in June.

What do you value most about your new normal? I am extremely grateful to have avoided coming down with covid so far. I really love having more time now for the things I love most. Top of that list is genealogy. Covid has given me a renewed sense of purpose with my family history, due to the Zoom meetings I have been able to attend, and also due to having more time.

What do you consider have been the main influences: covid infection, restrictions and isolation, other health issues, changing inter-personal interactions? Due to my partner’s immunity issue, we made the decision not to work, and to self isolate, during covid. When we first made that decision, we thought it would be for just a few weeks, but we ended up being on leave for an entire year until we were vaccinated.

What is your view of in-person meetings (social or genealogy) and do you love or hate zoom meetings? One of the highlights of of the pandemic have been the many Zoom meetings that I’ve attended. I really hope that online seminars continue as they make it possible for me to attend meetings from anywhere in the world. Being from regional Victoria, it’s not always possible for me to attend in person meetings. Having said that, there is nothing like in person meetings. Catching up with genie friends is a highlight on genie conferences and seminars. I’m still a little nervous about sitting in a crowded room at a conference.

What was the main activity and/or person that supported you through the unpredictable times? Definitely family history. I was able to interact with other lovers of family history during Zoom meetings and on Social Media. This was the cause of me getting my slowly waning mojo back, and lead to my old enthusiasm returning. I am just as passionate today, after reconnecting, as I was in the early days.

Has your community developed a new normal or just returned to the old one? What differences do you see, if any? It seems that many have reverted to the old way of life, but I have noticed there are many who are still being cautious by wearing masks and social distancing. My local coffee shop put in a take away coffee window during covid. This very quickly became popular and now seems to have become part of our culture. Most community events were cancelled and many haven’t as yet returned. I am on a local community committee. Our meetings were only online during the worst of covid. They have now returned to face to face for those who feel comfortable, others are able to participate on Zoom . I really appreciate having that option.

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