“As They Were” Questionnaire on Family History

Image from Microsoft Office clipart.
Microsoft Office clipart.

Crissouli from As You Were has asked fellow bloggers to respond to this questionnaire. The objective is to use the variety of responses to help field questions from new or thinking-about-it genealogists. Crissouli does so much for others the least we can do is help out, so here’s my response. Why not help out with your own feedback?


1. What is the most important detail you want to find about your  ancestors?

Knowing about their daily lives in Australia and where they originated overseas. Obviously I need names and dates before I can go down this path, but it’s my ultimate goal for my ancestral families.

2. Do you buy certificates?

Absolutely!! I really don’t know how research can be done without certificates, either bought, borrowed or buried in archival sources. When our children were younger and the family budget was committed, I’d ask for them as Christmas, birthday, or Mother’s Day gifts.

3.  Do you belong to a paid subscription site, if so, which one/s?

Yes: Findmypast is my favourite but I also have Ancestry. I’ve used others in the past but not currently.

4. What has been your ‘best’ find?

The latest snippet of discovery? But if we’re talking about pivotal finds, then the church record for the marriage of my George Kunkel and Mary O’Brien. I posted about why it was so important here. Or perhaps actually finding Mary O’Brien from County Clare.

5. Who is your favourite ancestor and why?

Maybe the one who has been giving me the greatest challenge most recently.

6. What are you looking for on a regular basis?

Any little snippet of information that sheds light on my ancestor’s lives. And I’m still searching for some immigration records even after 27 years.

7. Do you belong to any genealogy group, or family history society?

Yes, currently Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory and the Toowoomba & Darling Downs Family History Society. I’ll rejoin the Genealogical Society of Queensland and the Queensland Family History Society when I return to Queensland to live. Societies have so much to offer the new, and continuing, researcher to expand their knowledge and skills.

8. Do you belong to any Facebook or other social media genealogy groups? Would you join if there was one available?

Yes, but I’m not as active as I could/should be. Geneabloggers is my main social media group.

9. Have you ever volunteered to transcribe, index etc.? Would you be interested in doing so?

Yes but not for a while. Time to start again?

10. What is your personal reason for being involved with genealogy/family history?

I started because I wanted to know where my German surname originated and who I inherited it from. What’s kept me going are curiosity and the ability to keep learning about people, history, society, and technology. I can get just as engaged in researching a friend’s family history as my own.

And, for what it’s worth, some general advice to budding researchers.

9 thoughts on ““As They Were” Questionnaire on Family History

  1. Thank you, Pauleen.. I appreciate your help as always. I feel so much better knowing that you are still looking at immigration records after 27 years…so, it’s not just me… 🙂
    My family are used to strange requests for gifts also…

    I would be apply to receive answers to these questions from anyone who s interested in sharing their experiences. I will collate them after a while, in the hope of helping newcomers to research and showing them that we all face similar problems and successes.

    Thank you for participating.


    1. You are very welcome Chris! Or in Swahili, Karibu sana 🙂 It will be interesting to read the genie collation…there must be a word for a genealogy smorgasbord.


  2. You’re quicker off the mark than me, Pauleen. I love finding out more about my online geneablogging mates as when we do meet we do as old friends, thank you for sharing.


    1. Totally agree Jill that we do indeed meet as friends when we finally see each other face to face…we share so much online. It’s been interesting to see that most people have had similar rationales for many of the questions on Chris’s survey.


  3. Enjoyed reading your responses Pauleen. Once again I’m reminded of our similarity in purpose, values, etc. Will never forget that you were the very first from the genea blogging community who actually left a comment on my blog. Until then I never knew that this whole cyber community existed and will always be grateful for all the time you spent reading, and responding, to my novice attempts to share my family’s stories.
    A lesson well learnt which I continuously try to emulate and thank Chris for this opportunity to have made my own small contribution in “passing it on”. Thankyou Pauleen.


    1. I agree Catherine -there’s a remarkable similarity of “purpose” among our community. Thank you for your so-kind comments on my initial comments on your blog….we all depend on those early engagements to keep our confidence up and remember those fondly who supported our early tottering steps. There’s a lot of “paying it forward” that goes on among us. This year my commenting has been below par as my reading has got waylaid by various commitments so I’m trying to pick up my game.


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