World War I and the Wellington Quarries

It’s so long since I wrote my monthly post for the Worldwide Genealogy blog that I’m a day late…oops. This blog is a great international collaboration initiated by Julie Goucher from Anglers Rest and participated in by family historians from around the world. If you haven’t ever visited it, why not do so, as it’s got such interesting and varied stories. And while you’re there, sign up for future posts or add it to your RSS feeds.

I decided to make this month’s topic the story of the Wellington Quarries in Arras, northern France. The Kiwi tunnellers were heavily involved with this, so I’m hoping this will be of Trans-Tasman interest.

 

Spring cleaning my blogs

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jacqueline_Logan_-_Make-up_Instructions_3.jpg Image from Wikimedia Commons.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Jacqueline_Logan_-_Make-up_Instructions_3.jpg Image from Wikimedia Commons.

 

The other day Luvvie Alex from Family Tree Frog suggested we tweak our blog this weekend.  Geniaus also thinks it’s time for a mini-makeover. Don’t they know it’s not spring yet? So why are we spring-cleaning our blogs?

At first it all seemed too anxiety-provoking but I’ve been tweaking away today. It’s a bit like going to the day spa…you feel so good you think it will be Elle Macpherson you see in the mirror, but nada, not so.

Some months ago I removed all the old awards and many of the themes and memes images. I don’t need them – they show in my “memes and themes” category anyway.

What’s survived the cull?

  • Kiva Genealogists for Families link – because it’s important!
  • The Translation icon so my posts can be read by non-English readers especially anyone interested in my German research
  • The link to my own Beyond the Internet series from 2012
  • The blogroll with links to my other blogs
  • The much appreciated Inside History “Top 50” badges from 2012 and 2013 and the Family History Magazine badge 2012
  • My comments image because the exchange between reader and writer is part of the fun
  • The Geneabloggers badge – go team!
  • The flag image as a ready-reckoner for me to see where my readers originate

What’s changed?

  • removed the tag cloud on this blog because it was cluttered but left it on my East Clare blog so people can easily see names and places.
  • changed the Categories from a list to a drop-down menu to declutter the space
  • the search facility on the side bar is gone – there’s already a search option on the top right
  • removed the blog links icon as I have a page for these links anyway
  • resized some of the images so they take up less space and for consistency
  • cleaner social media buttons at the bottom of each post (thanks Geniaus for provoking me into finding what was under my nose!)
  • Drop down menu on my Resources tab for blog links, online and offline resources, and a link which gives all my Beyond the Internet topics
  • Resequenced the tabs on the pages menu (below the image).

Ambivalence

red question markThe main thing I’m ambivalent about is removing the break-down of categories. Will people even notice the option is there with the new drop-down box? What do you think?

Overall

Generally I’m happy with my blog theme. I previewed quite a few WP templates and none suited my purposes as well.

The images roll over randomly so it doesn’t get boring in that regard and I can always add more.

In the past I’ve changed the background to cleaner, easier to read colours.

The blog has lots of pages so since first posting this I’ve modified the resources to be a drop down menu. I’ve also managed to prioritise them differently so overall it looks less cluttered.

And, yes, my blog links need to be updated…so if you think I’ve forgotten you by mistake, please send me a comment.

Okay, deep breath! I’ll be brave and ask what you think of my mini-makeover?

Thinking about linking – thanks to Geniaus

Once again blogger extraordinaire, Jill aka Geniaus, has challenged us to think about our blogging practice, and especially the use of hyperlinks. I only read Jill’s post about hyperlinking a few days ago and I’ve been reflecting on my practice ever since.

So what are my strategies – always assuming I’m not rushing, or distracted, and forget.

Referencing other posts

If I mention something about another person’s post I’ll link the actual story, after all that story is their copyright property and I’m recommending it to the reader as something useful or interesting, or both, to read.

If it’s a comment about a blogger or website in general, I link to their overall blog page or website. What to do with an example as above? If I’m going to mention Geniaus closely followed by a specific reference which will take you to the same site, I don’t link twice….it seems repetitious, but in this case I’ve linked to the post, and to Jill’s Google+ page.

This is not unlike using footnotes in a written document, though these may still be necessary in some cases.

Copyright images

Sometimes I want the reader to be able to see an image I found but it’s copyrighted. One way to deal with this is to hyperlink to the page where I found it. A good example is the gravestones on the Australian Cemeteries Index pages, which refer to East Clare people I’m talking about in my posts.

Prior history

We all know our readers join us over time. Sometimes it’s worth referring to an earlier post which the reader may not have seen when it was published or have forgotten (just imagine!). Or you may have more than one blog and want to cross-refer to a story.

Vernacular expressions

I’m sure I’m as guilty as the next person of occasionally taking some phrases for granted, but I do try to link to the more peculiar ones. Of course Aussies grow up watching American and British TV programs so we understand a variety of expressions. But who would have thought that “boiled sweets” would have caused as much confusion as it did in Susan’s post about her father on her Family History Fun blog?

Places

Strangely I’m a little more ambivalent about this. Sometimes it’s useful to hyperlink if there’s a particular aspect of a place that could be clarified by the link eg Charters Tower’s mining history. In other cases I’m not sure it’s necessary. If I don’t know where Chicago is, or much about it, it may not affect how I appreciate Kristin’s family stories on Finding Eliza.

On the other hand, perhaps I should be linking to information about specific places in my East Clare blog – or get permission to use a map which shows East Clare and its key towns. I think I’ll use the relevant Clare Library page for the parish, eg O’Brien’s Bridge, as it lists all available resources on their site. Thank heavens I don’t have too many posts which need additions.

How do you think about linking in your blog posts?

Just cruisin’ – genealogy at sea

Some of you may have missed the post I submitted (late) as my February contribution to the new Worldwide Genealogy blog. It offered my perspective on the pros and cons of genealogy cruising.

You can read it here or find “genealogy cruising” in the left hand sidebar.

While you’re over there visiting, why not have a look at the diverse posts being submitted by genealogists from all over the world. It’s great to have so many different stories and approaches all in one place. This innovation was the brainchild of Julie Goucher from Angler’s Rest.

A certain lack of wisdom?

I have launched yet another blog…not quite sure why when I can’t keep up with all those I have. However gearing up for all the One Place Study enthusiasms which will occur on the Unlock the Past Cruise next week, I thought I should get started.

As you know I’ve had an interest in the emigrants from East County Clare in Ireland for quite some time. I’d shelved them for a while but my ancestors are nudging me with discoveries and serendipity so it didn’t seem wise to ignore them.

The new blog is called East Clare Emigrants (click to migrate there), and hopefully will be on interest to anyone with east Clare ancestry, wherever their relatives settled. I’m thinking this would be an ideal opportunity for guest posts from those who “fit the bill” of East Clare roots but who may not have a blog of their own.

So that’s my Australia Day innovation for 2014.

By the way, the collation of all the Oz Day geneameme responses will be posted tomorrow. And later tonight I hope to complete my Sepia Saturday entry….whew, who said it was a holiday today!

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2013

Once again Jill aka GeniAus has posed another end-of-year geneameme for us. She thinks we’re too tough on ourselves and need to reflect on the positives we’ve achieved in 2013 rather than all the things we wished we’d accomplished. So here’s my response.

2013

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was – no new ones this year but I’ve learned a little more about some like when and how the Dorfprozelten emigrants left Bavaria…but not my George Kunkel (so unusual..not)

2.  A precious family photo I found was not for me, but for Prue from Becoming Prue when I posted a photo of Erle Victor Weis for Remembrance Day – it turned out he was Prue’s 1st cousin, twice removed…talk about coincidences! I also saw photos of some of the early Dorfprozelten descendants at the Zöller/Zeller reunion at Highfields. During my mother’s move mid-year I was given a prayer book which was a gift to my grandmother shortly before she emigrated.

3.  An ancestor’s grave I found was… no new ones this year. I do need to try to find where in Glasgow my great-grandfather Duncan McCorkindale is buried.

4.  An important vital record I found came from a blog reader who shared a brilliant resource he’d acquired in Ireland which I’d never seen despite several visits to local archives etc etc. Not precisely a vital record, but even better given its contextual value in the beginning of the Famine years and shortly after the parish records commence. I’m still waiting on some “copyright” clearances to see if I can disclose more about this wonderful document from Kilseily parish, County Clare. I am indebted to my reader, Morgan, for sharing it with me. Truly an Irish research pot of gold!

Image from Shutterstock.com

Image from Shutterstock.com

5.  A newly found family member who shared: a 4th cousin from my 3xgreat grandmother’s first marriage to Georg Ulrich. In 2012 I traced the family in the US census records, recently Tom commented on my blog and said “your history is part of my history which has been lost”. During last night’s hangout a few of those online mentioned how much pleasure it gave them when they helped someone. I’m so pleased that Tom and I have connected up across the miles. I just wish I could find my George Kunkel’s brother as well - Philip Joseph Kunkel (bapt 17 October 1840) who reputedly also went to “America” (any relatives out there? Anywhere?)

6.  A geneasurprise I received came from a blog reader who shared a brilliant resource he’d acquired in Ireland, yet I’d never unearthed. (See #4) I was over the moon and doing a family history happy jig.

7.   My 2013 blog posts that I was particularly proud of was the Fab Feb Photo Collage series invented by Julie Goucher (she’s a busy woman!) Not only did I enjoy sharing my own 7xUP series with the blogosphere but also rather enjoyed re-reading it myself last night <smile> I’ve also started writing up posts for Julie’s Book of Me series, though I’m rather behind with topics. I also completed the A to Z April challenge for the second time in 2013. This year it was a tour around Oz, with Aussie colloquialisms, which I posted to my Tropical Territory blog. It was a voyage of discovery for me too as I met other bloggers whose interests don’t even include family history – can you imagine?

8.   My 2013 blog posts that received a large number of hits or comments were the two I wrote when our lovely furry friend, Springer, disappeared back in March and then was restored to us on Anzac Day Eve. I was so thankful for the support my friends gave me. I also ventured into the the Sepia Saturday themes this year and got lots of support from fellow Sepians – what a great group they are!

9.  A new piece of software I “mastered” was Google hangouts and Win 8. I’m using Evernote but I wouldn’t like to say I’ve mastered it either.

10. A social media tool I “enjoyed” using for genealogy was Google Hangouts…slowly feeling more comfortable with it and the opportunity to chat with like-minded people around the world.

11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was the Geniaus Community Hangouts. A bit of a drought locally this year.

12. I am proud of the presentation I gave in Darwin during Seniors Month on blogging. People went away clearer about its purpose but only a handful expressed a real on-going interest and one potential blogger. I am also thrilled to have been selected to present a few other papers but as yet they’re still not publicised.

13. A journal/magazine article I had published was: nada, but this blog did make the Inside History Top 50 again in 2013 – thanks Jill Ball and Inside History, another happy dance <smile>.

14. I taught a friend how to…<mind blank>…I shared lots of stuff and discoveries on the blog but person-to-person, does that count? Blogging friends certainly taught me lots over the year!

15. A genealogy history book that has already taught me something new is one of my Christmas presents (yes I’m already into it!), Sending Out Ireland’s Poor by Gerard Moran. I think it’s going to offer lots of learning.

16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was the Anglican Archives in Brisbane (currently residing at Bowen Hills, not far from the Exhibition Grounds. A fantastic resource!

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Not the Same Sky by Evelyn Conlon. I was especially interested in the idea that the immigrants silenced thoughts, and mentions, of “home”. Why not read Carole Riley’s review?

18. It was exciting to meet County Clare Facebook coordinator extraordinaire, Chris Goopy, again for a lovely long chat in Brisbane. I’m also looking forward six weeks to when I meet some fellow fanatics genealogists, great bloggers and excellent presenters on the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise in southern Australia.

19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was…well it was indirect but I unearthed lots of interesting family bits and pieces when I helped my mother move to a retirement home. Meeting an enthusiastic bunch of Zeller descendants at their reunion was also great fun, mitigated by the recent death of the man who’d done so much to bring them together, Paul Davis.

20. Another positive I would like to share is the growth in interest by the Dorfprozelten descendants, many of whom are beavering away at their own families; building networks; sharing a Zöller family reunion, and establishing a facebook group for the Dorfprozelten Descendants.

21. I’m thrilled to be one of the Official Bloggers for the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise, and look forward to sharing some of the excitement with you via my blog posts. Just imagine 245 enthusiasts in one place listening to great talks…woohoo!

This year was more about my living relatives: spending a holiday in Africa with two of our adult daughters, several trips to Brisbane including helping Mum move, and other family engagements. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the living take precedence over the long-gone ancestors.

I expect I’ll be doing a more critical review of my year before the year is out but thank you Jill, for encouraging us to be more affirmative in how we view what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months.

Happy 4th Blogiversary to me!

Today marks the 4th anniversary of my adventure into the blogosphere. It was a very tentative experiment at first, arising from my lack of knowledge of webpage design. Once I learned about the Geneabloggers community, I was no longer comparatively isolated in Australia’s Top End.

Image from Shutterstock.

Image from Shutterstock.

Little did I know how many doors blogging would open, how many wonderful people would visit my site, and how many fantastic friends I’d make along the way, many (most?) of whom I’ve never met. I’ve also discovered distant relatives, and fellow descendants from the homes of my ancestors.

My blog page on Dorfprozelten is the single biggest drawcard on the blog and has helped connect up different family members –sometimes I feel like a match-maker <smile>. It’s been so popular that I eventually opened another blog called From Dorfprozelten to Australia and also a facebook page for the Dorfprozelten Diaspora.

THANK YOU!!

I just want to say a very sincere thank you to all those 99,600+ visitors to my blog who’ve come to read one or more of my 553 posts. Thank you to my fellow geneabloggers who’ve provided so much support and encouragement along the way. Thank you also to the new family members I’ve met and those who share a common ancestry or place of origin with me.

presentTREATS

I have two books which I’m going to offer as blogiversary gifts. We’re downsizing our library and while these books are good second hand ones, they’re ones I can force myself to live without. Sadly they will only be able to be sent to the Australian contingent as my postage costs would be astronomical elsewhere. If you’d like to be in the draw, why not mention it when you comment and Mr Cassmob will do a random draw of the names on New Year’s Eve.

Scan to the bottom of the page to see which books they are.

GENEAMEME ALERT

And don’t forget to drop by later, as I’m brewing up another geneameme just in case you get bored after all the Christmas rush.

Curiosity killed the genealogist?

And a question to satisfy my curiosity, my ClustrMaps profile tells me there have been visits this morning and this afternoon to my blog from:

7:11 : Adelaide, AU; 6:59 : Vancouver, CA; 6:46 : Melbourne, AU; 5:37 : Baulkham Hills, AU; 5:17 : Sydney, AU; 4:58 : South Australia, AU; 4:42 : Turramurra, AU; 3:55 : Brisbane, AU; 3:38 : Mumbai, IN; 3:35: Caboolture, AU

12:25 : Los Angeles, California, US; 12:15 : Hebron, Connecticut, US; 12:08 : Adelaide, AU; 11:58 : United States, US; 11:46 : Brisbane, AU; 10:57 : Ashfield, AU; 10:19 : Castle Hill, AU; 10:16 : Eastwood, AU; 10:03 : Mountain View, California, US; 9:39 : Milton Keynes, GB

Were you one of them?

 DSC_0639

DSC_0636

The focus of this book is Sydney -so may be of great interest to a Sydneysider.

Monday Mentions and hangouts abound

 

The world is your family tree oyster with blogging. Edited image from Office Clip Art.

Share your discoveries on your blog.

Genealogy Down Under live discussions were launched by Geniaus’s in her inaugural Hangout on Air (we should have had a glass of champers Jill). And some related blog posts from Geniaus (Jill), Anglers Rest (Julie), and My Genealogy Adventures (Tanya)

You can also read about the new Society of One Place Studies and watch their first hangout.

Looking for Christmas ideas, or just wanting to let your family come to grips with their family tree, have a look at  Lone Tester’s (Alona) photographic family tree wall.

Western Districts Families blogger Merron, talks about how she’s been using Facebook to attract past and current residents of Hamilton, Victoria. A great idea if you have a particular interest in an area and want to promote it.

Looking for photography tips. How about this blog?

This is a link to a reconstruction of London as it was 400 years ago. Several bloggers mentioned this including British Genes which has the full story linked.

The InDepth Genealogist recommends MakeUseOf, which looks like a site I need to explore.

Whispering Gums on Jane Austen and Politics. Yes it is about literature but have you considered novels might add context to your family stories?

Genealogy’s Star, James Tanner, always offers a smorgasbord of food for thought: An Overview of Genealogy, Part 4. And what about those “I agree” statements we all click on? And importantly “the essence of genealogical research”. Or using “New technology to use historic maps”.  Or What is Research? “Comparing legal research with genealogical research”. My list of saved posts includes so many of Genealogy’s Star’s post. If you don’t already follow this blog add it to your “must read” list. James always gives us something to think about.

Marian’s Roots and Rambles offers advice to budding bloggers on choosing a blog name. I wonder how many of us considered all these points.

Do you have family across the ditch? Inside History reminds us of the wonderful Papers Past website for NZ (their equivalent of Trove). And another post from Inside History where SLNSW’s Margot Riley dates a family photo. See how it’s done. And for a touch of history interspersed with levity, they’ve also recommended “Girt, an unauthorised history of Australia” with its play on our national anthem. I am finding it very funny and tongue in cheek though the history may need some closer inspection.

And for those of us with Scottish ancestry, you may find Chris Paton’s post on pre-1841 census listings to be enlightening. This won’t give you the actual records but will ensure you know what’s available.

And my own addition to the above listing, why not check out the Historical Tax Rolls on ScotlandsPlaces. I found some interesting family snippets among these.

Ethics and all the Rs

Some weeks ago, Geneablogger guru Thomas MacEntee posted on a comment he was asked at a lecture: “Do we have the right to do genealogy?” Instantly my mental knee bounced forward and I responded with “Definitely! Why is it different from any other hobby or sport which comes with risks and benefits?

With a little more pondering I could see the question had more nuances than at first appeared. My initial post was written, atypically, on the i-Pad and, mercifully for the first time, disappeared…my mistake, oops. Events of the day overtook it and I never did get back to it, concluding that it was old news.

Still the topic continues to haunt me along with related posts, and so, for better or worse, you get my reflections. For me the issues of rights to research can never be considered without the dual aspects of responsibility and respect.

Image created in Microsoft Office Word.

Image created in Microsoft Office Word.

RIGHTS

Each of us inevitably interacts with forms, paperwork and government legislation. We know our vital records disappear into the government’s maw of data. We also personally protect our biographical data carefully in this day of identity theft.

I think our ancestors were equally aware of the collection of personal information of this sort. This is why I don’t think they’d be too distressed to find that we may be able to collect this data. Their astonishment would probably be reserved for the reality that we can actually find all those personal needles in the data haystack after so many years. Little could they imagine our digital era with all its options.

Knowing who we are across time is something that tugs at mind and heart for many of us, and it’s not unreasonable to want to know who those ancestors were who contributed to our make-up. Perhaps society’s greater understanding of the impact of social and family influences, not to mention the essential significance of DNA on our biology, contributes to our expectation that we have a right to know who, and what, lies in our ancestry. We also place such emphasis on surnames as they relate to identity, and our paternity, that our name also defines our very selves. So to raise another vexed question, why are women expected to forgo their individual identities when they marry? Why can’t we all be Scottish and use both surnames?

So far, so good. For me, this collection of biographical data and identification of ancestors is our genealogy. There may be skeletons in the closet which our ancestors would prefer we didn’t know about but they were likely well known in their community at the time, or at least by a handful of people. My great-grandfather could hardly be too horrified that I could learn about his run-in with the law: after all it was splashed across the pages of the newspapers for months.

I can, however, readily imagine their astonishment that we can identify illegitimacies, “early” marriages, separations, bigamy or divorce with comparative ease but I suspect their greater astonishment would be that we care about it at all, along with a small gasp of horror that we are unearthing their long-buried information “skeletons”.

RESPONSIBILITIES & RESPECT

Along with the sometimes scandalous biographical data, those who are dedicated to their family’s more textured history pursue information about day-to-day lives and wider social context.

It might be easy to get caught up in the collection of myriad data but we are dealing with peoples’ lives and their stories. We have dual responsibilities: to treat their stories with respect rather than salaciousness, and to consider those descendants whose personal fabric may be threatened by the revelation of not-so-pleasant secrets.

Are we picking out only the scandalous, gossipy bits which reflect poorly on our ancestors? Or are we revealing them as human beings with weaknesses and strengths much like our own? Have we weighed up any potential bias in the family stories we are told in oral history?

Much depends on our approach and I’m grateful that I’ve only rarely come across a family historian who is focused on the scandals and negative gossip above all. We owe it to our ancestors to be generous with their faults and apply the “do unto others…” rule.

As to those family members still living, where do our obligations lie?

As family historians we have a key responsibility to record the family story and the details we find with accuracy and careful consideration, so others can come behind and see why we’ve reached our conclusions. Does that mean we always have the right to burst open secrets that we come across?

I believe not, and it comes to a question of ethics. Inevitably we learn things that many people do not know. My view is that if we don’t have proof we shouldn’t publicise what we find, or state clearly that it’s anecdotal. Equally we should keep a confidential record of what we’ve been told and by whom. Some of this will hinge on whether the information is in the public record but we must be conscious that we are dealing with people’s lives, both the living and the dead so I will not alter my data, but I may choose not to publicise it if it will have a detrimental effect on a living person. Changing social values may make once-was-scandalous into something that’s now acceptable.

RESEARCH & REVELATIONS

I’ll give you a couple of examples from my own research.

The official birth records revealed that my grandfather’s sister had two illegitimate children. One died in a “baby farm” and one was put into an orphanage. I traced the children of the latter person purely based on surname (luckily an unusual one, and also luckily it had never been changed). At the time I published the family history I asked the family if they wanted to be identified in the story. Every one of them agreed, somewhat to my surprise, and they were very happy that they and their father had been acknowledged as family members. An inclusive outcome.

A related discovery came with the release of the orphanage records by Queensland State Archives, and online at that. I knew the family had desperately wanted to know their grandfather’s name and it was clearly documented in the records. This was some years later, after my book had been published, and I was ambivalent as to whether to pass the information on. My further research revealed that the father still had descendants in a small rural town in Queensland.  What impact would it have if I revealed the name? Eventually I contacted the daughter with whom I’d had the most contact and passed on the name without any further details. My rationale was that the information was actually available on the internet, with some careful searching, so it was “out there” for anyone to see. I’m still not entirely sure that was the correct decision though the daughter was relieved to finally know more of her ancestry.

RESPECT FOR RESEARCH

Apart from the elements of respect I’ve mentioned above, there’s another about which I have a habit of beating the drum and it’s another case of “do unto others”. Sharing with fellow researchers can be a wonderfully collaborative process. It can also be frustrating and disrespectful. Do you acknowledge where you get your information or photographs from? Another person or indeed an official record? Have you got permission to share someone’s photos with the wider world? Is it subject to copyright?

Apart from the bread and butter biographical data, most research information is gleaned by the researcher’s determination and expertise. If someone has shared information with you, it should be acknowledged and cited. In the wider world failure to do so is called plagiarism.

INCLUSIVE/EXCLUSIVE

This is a debate that’s also been raging over the geneablogging community in recent weeks. Should genealogy be the preserve of every “Tom, Dick or Harry” or should it be reserved only for those with qualifications, training and expertise?

I feel equally strongly about this question. We should all have the opportunity to research our families and document their stories. However this comes with the responsibilities mentioned above to do careful, well-documented research. We can’t/shouldn’t just opt for a family anecdote that’s disproved by the records but which we like better. We need to move beyond the internet as our research progresses to learn more and compare sources. We can’t happily rely on Ancestry’s “you don’t need to know what you’re looking for” motto and just pluck “leaves” willy-nilly for our family tree.

Perhaps this is the ground-zero of the debate: that there’s far too much lack of understanding that research information does not drop like ripe fruit from a genealogy orchard somewhere. This seems to be correlated with a similar lack of understanding that it requires the researcher to get down and dirty among the records, and to pursue the leads themselves. Professionalism does not, in my opinion, require some alphabet soup behind your name. It comes from one’s approach to the research, integrity of the researcher and their data, and acknowledgement of sources.

I opt for inclusive, but I’m also something of a fanatic about integrity and rigorous research.

REFLECTIONS

Many of us are beavering away at Angler’s Rest’s Book of Me, Written by You, either privately or publicly. Julie has inspired us to document our own stories so they can be passed down to our descendants. She’s come up with some great prompts (and we’re only up to week 9), that hadn’t occurred to me previously, even though I’ve been following this obsession of mine for yonks. No doubt she’ll have some more curved balls for us in the coming weeks.

BUT….we all happily assume that by pursuing our family trees, telling the family stories, and now documenting our own, that our descendants will be as thrilled as we would be if we’d inherited similar information from our ancestors.

Is that the case and does it matter?

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure my children rarely dabble in my blogs. They’re at that stage of life when career and families are all-consuming. Will they care in the future? Is my obsession actually counter-productive? Have I absorbed all the potential research oxygen? Do they assume I’ll have done it all, leaving no questions unanswered?

I think these are pertinent questions because it may affect how we approach our research. Would I stop if I thought no one would care in the years to come? Probably not, but that may be a reflection of my own obsession with the process and the findings.

I’ll leave you with Neil Diamond’s “Morningside” with its refrain “for my children”, which always calls these thoughts to mind. (If you don’t know this song you can listen to it here)

Apologies for this long-winded post, but I hope it provides some food for thought or discussion. If you agree or disagree why not leave a comment?

Follow Friday: Informative and inspiring posts

As you know I’ve been out of the loop for the past six weeks or so, in fact 2013 has been quite disruptive in terms of blog reading. Even more so in terms of commenting so I’m frantically trying to catch up. So please forgive me if you haven’t seen me visit, I may have been one of those “ghost” visitors who read but don’t comment.

You may have been doing better than I have, but these are just some of the posts I’ve found interesting. There’ll be more to come as I nibble my way through the pile.

Angler’s Rest’s Remembrance Day Photo Collage not to mention Julie’s block buster success with the Book of Me, Written by You which has taken off like a rocket with genies and writers alike. You can write publicly, you can write privately, on paper or computer….and while the series has reached Prompt 7, you can still join in and start writing….I have.

Jill Ball on the 18th Annual Computer Conference for Seniors and an intriguing post on “journaling” for your family history: innovative and challenging ideas, thanks Jill!

Judy Webster from Queensland Genealogy on the new options for BDM searching in Queensland (great news!)

Isn’t this a gorgeous garden by Gigi Thibodeau of Magpie’s Fancy, complete with gardening tips.

The Armchair Genealogist brings us Four Steps to a Family history Timeline.

Julie from Angler’s Rest on the Inclusive vs Exclusive Genealogy debate. And also the Right to do Genealogy debate (I wrote my own post on this while on holiday and lost it to the iPad….ooops)

Researching Limerick from Crissouli at As They Were. Also her tip about the new Destination Australia site.

Good links and tips from Aillin at Australian Genealogy Journeys about Autosomal DNA and from Olive Tree Genealogy on Understanding your DNA results.

GeneaMusings gives up info on what databases Mocavo searches.

Thomas MacEntee on backing up your genealogy data and a link on how to opt out of Google’s use of your name and photo with ads. Have you added Thomas’s Hack Genealogy blog to your reading list?

How about Kerryn’s post on Generationism – have you got all the current Gens sorted in your head? Kerryn discovered she was a Generation Jones. I’m relieved to discover I’m a still a ridgey-didge Baby Boomer. Also intrigued that GenY covers such a broad span.

Helen from Helen V Smith’s Keyboard reminds us that it’s time to think out our genealogy Christmas gifts. But if you want a non-genie present, how about this dreamcatcher from Molly Moo –I thought it was really cute.

For the Queenslanders: John Oxley Library’s Indigenous Languages Map and Company Records at QSA (I’ll be checking these out)

And if you have Donegal ancestors, how about the Atlas of County Donegal  as mentioned by Irish Genealogy News or Gould Genealogy’s recommendation of the Biographical Database of Australia.

And an older post, contemplating the topic of Historians Ask: Who is our audience? from Stumbling through the Past.

And thanks to links on others’ blogs I’ve found some more free clip art or stock photography at rf123 and FreeDigitalPhotos.