Jill from Geniaus came up with a wonderful idea to celebrate the high points of 2012: Accentuate the Positive 2012 Geneameme, rather than concentrate on what we didn’t achieve during the year. So instead of feeling a bit depressed over all the things I didn’t quite manage to do this year, I get to feel a whole heap happier about all the cool stuff that happened!
An elusive ancestor I found was James Florey. Well, he’s not actually an ancestor, which I suspected but can now prove. He was the first husband of my 4 x great grandmother, Elizabeth Knott, and I couldn’t figure out what happened to him – it was as if he had abandoned his family and disappeared off the face of the earth. He hadn’t – he got transported to Australia for 10 years for sheep-stealing. Meanwhile, his wife found comfort in another’s arms, gave birth to my 3 x great grandfather (Henry Richard Florey/Pope), and eventually remarried. I have yet to find out what happened to James after he gained his Certificate of Freedom. Did he return to England, or stay in Australia?
A precious family photo I found was one that may be of my Nanna, Jean McGonnell, when she was young.
An ancestor’s grave I found was my great grandparents and grandparents’ final resting place in Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, NZ – thankfully with little damage from the earthquakes in 2011.
A newly found family member who shared a photo of my 3 x great grandfather (the previously mentioned Henry Richard Florey) and his family – I could finally put a face to the ancestor who has led me a merry dance through all sorts of records. Then, the wife of a fourth cousin sent me a family history of “our” Brosnahan family – amazing! And yet more family members contacted me with stories and photos, either through this blog or via my tree on Ancestry.
My 2012 blog post that I was particularly proud of was.. all the ones in February – I blogged every day that month.
My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was difficult to work out as my Stats plugin fell over and won’t play nice, but I think it was my post on James Brosnan’s will.
A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was Twitter. I love keeping up to date with genealogy news, and also with fellow IHGS students. I also joined a couple of groups on Facebook, and a Google+ community, and will see how those pan out over the next year.
A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was all of them! I had a busy year starting with WDYTYA? Live in February, then several weekend seminars at IHGS later in the year, and finally Celia Heritage’s one day workshop on Fleshing out Your Family Tree. I think the one where I learnt the most was the Military Records seminar at IHGS, given by Les Mitchinson, as this was an area I wasn’t familiar with.
A genealogy book that taught me something new was Helen Osborn’s Genealogy: Essential Research Methods.
A great repository/archive/library I visited was the Perth and Kinross Council Archive in the A K Bell Library in Perth, Scotland. I didn’t have much time there, unfortunately, but enough to find the burial records for my 3 x great grandparents, Michael Burke and Bridget Flynn, and take a quick look at some of the Perth valuation rolls.
A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Ciarán Ó Murchadha’s The Great Famine : Ireland’s Agony 1845-1852.
It was exciting to finally meet my IHGS tutor, Celia Heritage! Plus twitter pals and fellow IHGS students at Canterbury in October, and also my Temuka cousins at the beginning of the year in New Zealand.
A geneadventure I enjoyed was my trip to Temuka in January, meeting cousins and visiting the family farm, and places where my grandfather grew up in South Canterbury. Also the trip to Scotland in May to visit the areas connected with my Burke and Philp ancestors. And visiting Deptford, London, with my mother to see where her grandfather was born and raised.
Another positive I would like to share is I finally indexed my research notebooks! And it has already proven to be a worthwhile exercise. Who knows, maybe this year the data may find its way into Reunion? I also worked on my IHGS assignments, submitting two batches this year, and received some not-too-shabby marks in return.
Thanks to Jill for a great opportunity to share my year of family history research! You can read about the 2012 highlights of other geneabloggers through her Geniaus website.