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.