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2011 – Genealogical Year in Review

December 30, 2011

At  GeneaBloggers the question was asked on Open Thread Thursday – What Are Your Genealogy Goals and Resolutions for 2012?

I had been planning on blogging about this topic early in the New Year, but first to get my head clear, I need to blog about what I accomplished in regard to genealogy in 2011.

January 2011 seems a long, long time ago in some ways, but also, as usual, I’m wondering where that year went to.  I’d been involved with researching my family history for many years, when circumstances in my life changed 5 years ago, involving a move to a new city where I was to make a new start. The research was packed away for a few years until hopefully some sort of equilibrium came back into my life.  Finally in January 2011, I decided it was time to get back to it. Social media  Facebook  and   Twitter were a big part of the fitness side of my life and I wondered if the Genealogy community had kept up with all the changes.

What a surprise it was to find not only had Genealogists kept up but they were treading new paths in social media and not playing catch up at all. It’s been a beautiful thing to meet so many people in cyber space with the same interests in family history and genealogy that I have.  I treasure their friendships very much.

I’m pleased to say that starting this little blog is one of the highlights of 2011 for me.  There is still much work to do before it looks or reads the way I want it, but that belongs on the 2012 to-do list. The 31 blog posts made,  have helped me focus on the work that I did on the family history many years ago, and also on the mountain of work still to be done. The most pleasing aspect of the blog is the number of 2nd and 3rd cousins who have contacted me, on both the maternal and paternal lines of my family. Many of those keep regular contact, and during the year I have been fortunate enough to meet some of them in person. One of the highlights was meeting my Dad’s 2nd cousin who is the image of my Dad. I was not expecting that.

This year I also started the Certificate of Genealogical Research, which is a pre-requisite to study the Diploma in Family Historical Studies.  I’m about 80 percent sure that I will go on to do the Diploma but that decision is also on the to-do list for 2012

In September,  Australian Family Tree Connections magazine published my article about my GG Grandfather, Joseph Henry JONES. Not only did they publish it, but it was mentioned on the front cover. This is the first article that I’ve had published and it gave me a huge feeling of satisfaction, and even a little confidence to keep submitting further articles for publication.

This year has also been a huge year of  catching up with my non fiction historical reading.  I’ve been frantically trying to catch up on the years I’ve missed, while out of Genealogy especially in regard to reading.  Hoping now that I’ve retained most of the facts that have been taken in over the year.

A huge highlight for me was being involved with Genealogists for Families’ project  and Kiva    This has been hugely rewarding and I’m planning on continuing and increasing that involvement in 2012. For anyone who would like to make a difference to less fortunate families by making small micro loans, I recommend that you check out our team. We have now made well over 200 loans and this figure is steadily increasing.

The  Unlock the Past Victorian Expo was a two day family history event I attended in Geelong. This was my first series of seminars since my return to family history research. And of course, once again I was hooked. Like a sponge, I just wanted to soak up as much information as was available.

In November, it was time for a holiday so off I went on the  Unlock the Past History and Genealogy Cruise.  The seminars on the cruise were themed Scottish and Irish. This was a memorable highlight for the knowledge gained at the seminars, and also for beautiful friends that I made.  I have no doubt, that I have made friends for life with my room-mate Val, and my gym buddy on the ship, Sue.    We are already talking about an annual get-together. This is a very exciting and an unexpected highlight of the cruise. In genealogy, the highlight of the cruise for me was the seminars presented by Scottish and Irish research expert Chris Paton.  This area of research was a bit of a blank for me, so it was great to hear Chris talk on many different areas of Scottish and Irish research. Since then, I’ve spent many hours picking up my research into my maternal line which is Scottish. I’d been a bit frightened of it previously, due to lack of knowledge, but now looking forward to getting into it more in 2012. I’ve also read most of the books Chris has written on the subject to try to build on that knowledge.

In between all of this there have been hours of research done on my TAYLOR/JONES families with a huge amount of new information added.

However, my GGG Grandfather,  the elusive JOHN TAYLOR of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales is still out there somewhere hiding from me. I know that one day when I’m not expecting it, I will pick up his trail again. Hoping that day is sooner rather that later.  He has probably been my genealogical frustration of 2012.

When I look back on the year of 2011,  I realise that even though I can’t devote a huge amount of time to genealogy at the moment, due to work, I have actually done much more than I ever thought I’d be able to manage with my time constraints.  All those short time blocks have added up and given great results.

So these are my accomplishements for 2011 in genealogy. Next post will be my goals and resolutions for 2012

  1. So pleased that you returned to genealogy, Jennifer. The Australian genie community has been enriched by your contributions. T H A N K S

  2. Jen, I’m glad that you are enjoying your involvement with the Genealogists for Families project. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts and emails, and I hope we can meet in person during 2012.

  3. I hope so too Judy. Was hoping to get to Congress but not sure now due to work. But will be doing my best to make it.

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