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Accentuate The Positive Geneameme

December 30, 2020

I love a geneameme and I particularly enjoyed this one set by geneablogger friend Jill Ball, known as Geniaus. This Accentuate The Positive geneameme encourages genealogists and family historians to look at the positives in their world of genealogy during 2020. I’m sure many would agree that 2020 has been a very difficult year, so I think it’s a great idea to seek out those positives that we did have.

If you would like to participate in this Geneameme, visit Jill’s blog for the details, at the above link. Say hello while you’re there. Jill would love that.

The pandemic, though of course dreadful, has made it possible for my genealogy life to be very positive, due to not being able to work and being self isolated. This geneameme has made me stop and think about that, with appreciation. The prompts in each point, appear in italics,

1. An elusive ancestor I found was William MORISON, who I knew was born in 1822, in Glenshiel, but that was about all I knew of him. I was quite sure he had emigrated to Australia, but hadn’t been able to find any trace of him. Because I had more time for family research during 2020, and with the help of two other researchers, I was able to track him down to the Royal Park Asylum in Melbourne, Victoria, and start to build a picture of his life.

2. A great newspaper article I found concerned my great great great grandparents, George LOWE and Hanorah AHERN of Hobart, Tasmania. They were selling all their household belongings in September 1835, before moving to Sydney, NSW. This newspaper article included a wonderful list of their household items, that were to be auctioned.

3. A genealogy journey I planned, but didn’t take was to Beechworth, Victoria, to see the grave of my great great grandmother Janet McEWAN/McQUEEN, maiden name YOUNG.

4. I located an important record for my great great great grandfather William MORISON of Glenshiel, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland. He was a victim of the crime of forgery in 1835. The trial papers contained many details, and a signed statement from him.

5. A newly found family member shared information about my great great great grandfather, Thomas McEwan who was in the military in Jamaica. This ancestor had been very elusive to me, until this researcher made contact through the blog.

6. A geneasurprise I received was….There we’re many of them, but I never failed to be surprised when family members, usually distant and unknown, contacted me after reading family stories on the blog. I feel very fortunate to have made many great family connections through the blog.

7. My 2020 social media post that I was particularly proud of was a post that I published about our convict, my great great great grandmother Hanorah Ahern. What pleased me about with this article, was the amount of information about her life, that I was able to find on trove. After starting her life in Australia as a convict, she managed to turn things around, and live a very successful life, mostly in Hobart, Tasmania.

8. I made a new genimate, a family member and fellow researcher, who collaborated with me on research into my Morison family of Glenshiel, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland and later of Heathcote, Victoria, Australia. i was able to progress this research much more quickly than i would have expected, by collaborating.

9. A new piece of technogy or skill I mastered was to learn the Legacy Family Tree program in more depth. I have been using it for two years but until now, have only used the basics. I found there is so much more to this program and now feel more confident using it.

10. I joined the #ANZAncestrytime team, which was created this year by a group of highly respected genies, to facilitate discussion about genealogy and family history, on Twitter, every Tuesday night. Much to my surprise I was invited to be a moderator for the discussion, on alternating nights. This has become a highlight of 2020. I have made many new friends in genealogy by being included in the team.

11. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was each of the many virtual conferences that I attended during the year. These conferences were the highlight of 2020 for me, and I learnt something new in each of them, particularly in the area of scottish research.

12. A blog post that taught me something new was definitely more than one post as I constantly learn so much from the posts of other bloggers. The weekly posts, written by official #ANZAncestryTime blogger Sue Wyatt of Oer The Seas We Go, summarise the weekly discussion sessions and contain a huge amount of information shared by genies during the Twitter discussion

A DNA discovery I made was that there was no Welsh ancestry showing in my ethnicity. I don’t know much about DNA, but this confuses me as my great great grandparents John TAYLOR and Martha LLOYD came to Australia from Wales. I expected to have a reasonably high percentage of Welsh ancestry. I’m sure there is an answer to this mystery, but so far, I don’t know what it is.

14. I taught a genimate to get started with her family history journey, and gave advice on how to use family history software, Family Tree Maker. she is making great progress with her research, and has well and truly been bitten by the genealogy bug.

15. A brick wall I demolished was… This year I didn’t break through any brick walls. Actually I didn’t spend time trying. My research focus for this year was to write up the stories of my ancestors using the information gathered over many years.

16. A great site I visited was Find My Past. Of course, this site isn’t new to me, but this was the first year that I had taken out a subscription. In previous years I would spend free access weekends, frantically searching for information. I spent huge chunks of time during the year researching Find My Past in order to build on my stories.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was…. I didn’t read any new genealogy books in 2020 but I did re-read an old favourite, The Highland Clearances by John Prebble. It’s been many years, since I first read this book, but i enjoyed it every bit as much as the first time. It also fit in perfectly with my 2020 Scottish theme.

18. Zoom gave me the opportunity to increase my knowledge of Scottish research, due to the many virtual conferences which I attended during the year, particularly the Scottish Indexes sessions.

19. I am excited for 2021 because there is always so much more to learn. I have no doubt the new year will open up many more learning experiences. Already I’ve been notified of virtual conferences that are to be held, and which I’m very much looking forward to attending. I’m specially looking forward to attending RootsTech virtual conference in February.

20. Another positive I would like to share is my experience of the #52ancestors challenge. During the year, I published a blog post about one of my ancestors, every week during the year, using a weekly prompt. This entailed writing up a story about the lives of each ancestor, from my research notes. I had been promising myself for years that I would write these stories, but hadn’t yet gotten around to it, which is why I joined the 52 ancestors challenge

Thanks to all fellow researchers and family members who made contact with me during 2020. Thanks to all who very generously shared information were willing to collaborate.

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

From → family history

  1. A very productive year 🙂

  2. Thanks for rising to the challenge, Jennifer. You’ve had some challenges this year but have still made great strides with your research. I was thrilled that you joined the #AnzAncestryTime team – they are a good mob. Thanks so much for your support.

  3. Dara permalink

    Isn’t it surprising how great 2020 really was… for genealogy anyway. Happy New Year!

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