Accentuate the Positive 2020

In a year that’s been unusual to say the least, it’s great that GeniAus has once again challenged us to reflect on our positive achievements.

  1. Elusive ancestral information which continues to elude me is the birthplace of my James Sherry aka McSharry. However, thanks to the joys of networking, I was contacted by the descendant of Jack Bishop who I’d written about this year. I’d been wanting to find this “missing” Kunkel descendant for many years.


  1. A great newspaper article I found was a word-of-mouth story from my grandsons’ other family about their lives on lighthouses.


  1. Luckily the geneajourney I planned most recently was to Scotland, which I was able to do late 2019. Although Queensland has been blessed with minimal covid-19 problems, and I could have driven to some ancestral places and cemeteries in central Queensland, the family history societies were closed so that jaunt has been deferred. The best geneajourney of 2020 was visiting our Darwin family for Christmas – the blessings of two covid-free zones.


  1. I located important records of my mother’s relating to her service during World War II,  as well as some personal letters, among her belongings.


  1. A newly found family member shared the story of her father (see #1 above)


  1. A geneasurprise I received was some previously unseen photos from my mother’s early days. I was much less pleasantly surprised (read aghast) that Family Search has included full BDM certificate information up to the 1980s among their collection – probably in compliance with data collection permissions but is it ethical to make living people’s information so easily obtainable? I think not, certainly it’s something that responsible family historians avoid doing when documenting such information in a public forum.


  1. My 2020 social media posts that I was particularly proud of were the stories of the Battle of Brisbane on Thanksgiving Day 1942 and Brisbane during the War. I was also pleased that Randy Seaver from GeneaMusings supported my Crazy Month of May Pandemic Experiences Meme so we could share some of our experiences. I wonder how different our responses would be now? I was also pleased to finally post a synopsis story of one of the Dorfprozelten immigrant families, the Hennig or Henny family from Dungog, on my other blog.


  1. My genimates are part of my world and I appreciate learning more about them and their lives via blogs and other social media. Over the years some have become good friends even though we’re separated by distance and only meet in person infrequently – even more infrequently in 2020.
    Some of the bloggers at RootsTech 2017. So many friends among this group.
  1. New pieces of technology or skill I mastered were Zoom and TweetDeck, not to mention doing two online how-to sessions on blogging via Zoom with genimate Alex from Family Tree Frog. Thanks to Alex for inviting me to be her blogging buddy online.


  1. I joined in many learning sessions via Zoom from family history groups around the world. What an amazing opportunity!


  1. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was ….too many to recall…I need to do a review. Also tweets in #ANZAncestryTime were often informative and thought-provoking.


  1. Blog posts that I enjoyed were Judith’s posts about Queensland towns… Love in a little black diary. And of course, there are many from others as well.


  1. A DNA discovery I made was – still trying to untangle the mystery of matches to my McSherry family and how they fit in.


  1. I taught genimates the benefits of blogging along with long-term geminate Alex from Family Tree Frog as part of the QFHS webinar series. I also participated in GSQ’s Irish seminar, a couple of presentations to Caloundra Family History Society and one for Lake Macquarie Family History Group.
© Pauleen Cass
  1. A brick wall still standing is my Sherry/McSherry/McSharry one. I’ve finally started entering every single document and reference I’ve found on the family as a timeline.


  1. Great sites I visited were a whole array of museums and libraries in Ireland, some of which I hadn’t known existed. I found some fascinating journal articles on the site of the Irish Labour History Society.


  1. A genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Downsizing with Family History in Mind…”all” I have to do is implement the recommendations. I also gained a good insight for my blog posts about US-Australian conflicts in Brisbane during WWII:  “The Battle of Brisbane” and “Meet me at Lennons”. I have far too many “serious” books I really need to finish after only dabbling in them up to my knees. I’ve also spent a LOT of time reading mostly trivial crime novels (my other addiction), notching up 241 books in 2020.


  1. Zoom gave me an opportunity to attend classes from far afield at minimal cost. Such great opportunities. Also, to stay in touch with genimates whom I haven’t seen for ages, as well as new cousins in the UK.


  1. I am excited for 2021 because with a little luck there’ll be an opportunity to revisit Queensland State Archives, and follow up some sources I’ve listed. I’m hoping we will continue to see online seminars that can be attended from around the world, including RootsTech Connect. I’m also planning on getting my own research more organised and devoting more time to writing it up.

  1. Another positive I would like to share is being one of the hosts of the weekly twitter-fest, ANZ Ancestry Time, along with mates Sharn from Family History 4U and Fran from Travelgenee as well as a great team. Each week’s topic has generated interesting conversations and the hour has passed in a wink. Sue Wyatt condenses our tweets into her blog which is a useful reference tool. Don’t forget you can join us whether you’re Up Over or Down Under.

While I still feel that there’s so much I didn’t achieve during 2020 in terms of research, there’s still plenty to be positive about. If I just stopped reading so many novels I’d get so much more done.

8 thoughts on “Accentuate the Positive 2020

  1. Thanks so much for your support of the geneameme Pauleen.

    It has been an interesting year, so what if you have longstanding brick walls – they are there to both annoy and motivate us. Your year was similar to mine – it gave us a chance to communicate, dabble in research, engage in lots of online learning, do lots of reading and become Zoom Queens.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great response Pauleen and I’m another who is horrified that those records are on familysearch. Ancestry also had numerous USA Year Books of many in my age-bracket at one stage, although I’m not sure if they still have them. Yes, Zoom is the biggest boon of 2020!


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