Accentuate the Positive 2019

GeniAus has once again challenged us to think positively about what we achieved in our family history during 2019.

Here are my responses to her questions (unnumbered since it was being temperamental)

Glasgow Evening News, March 26, 1888, page 3.

* An elusive ancestor I found was: a link to my David Callaghan’s parents, thanks to a DNA match and correspondence with the owner of the tree.

* A surprising newspaper article I found was my great-grandfather’s letter to the editor detailing his days in jail due to not vaccinating my grandmother, Catherine McCorkindale.

* A geneajourney I took was to visit Backrow farmhouse at Bothkennar, Scotland, home for many years to my Sim family. I’d seen it from the road several times and always wanted to “walk the property”…many thanks for the kindness of the current residents.

* I located an important record at the National Records Office of Scotland with the clues from cousins and help from genimates: the (non)vaccination record for my grandmother, Catherine McCorkindale and her younger siblings.

* Newly found family members were discovered and shared stories, photos, and documents (Kunkel, Melvin, McCorkindale, Callaghan).

Backrow farmhouse

* A geneasurprise I received was thanks to @HistoryLady2013 who found a reference to my great-grandfather’s imprisonment due to not vaccinating his children…it confirmed oral history and the date led me to the newspaper story! Thanks Sylvia!

* My 2019 social media posts that I was particularly proud of were the story of little Lizzie Brophy; the courage of my Callaghan ancestors at sea; and Finding the Fass in Bavarian Newspapers.

* I met new genimates at DNA Down Under (and had tons of laughs), and renewed some friendships-at-a-distance at RootsTech London. I also got to meet new cousins in Edinburgh.

* A new piece of technology or skill I mastered played with was DNA Painter.

* I joined (finally) the Irish Family History Society while at RootsTech London.

The stables courtyard at Backrow.

* Genealogy education sessions and events from which I learnt something new was Waves in Time 2019 on the Sunshine Coast, DNA Down Under, and RootsTech London.

* A blog post that taught me something new was this post on Kissing Cousins: Marital Dispensations, Consanguinity, Affinity.

* A DNA discovery I made was a connection to my Callaghan ancestors from Wexford.

* I helped a genimate (cousin) to navigate through the starting phases of their research and got them addicted to family history.

* A brick wall I demolished was …”wishin’ and hopin’”…..

* A great site I visited often was the Irish Genealogy page…it has been pure gold for Irish research.

* Three new genealogy/history books I enjoyed were “On Chapel Sands” recommended by my friend FamilyTreeFrog; “Downsizing with Family History in Mind” by Devon Noel Lee and Andrew Lee; and “The Exile Breed” by Charles Egan.

* It was exciting to finally meet the knowledgeable and delightful Blaine Bettinger in Queensland and Sydney, and Sylvia Valentine who helped me with my vaccination discoveries.

* I am excited for 2020 because there’s always something new to learn that will stretch (or boggle!) my mind…and who knows, maybe break down my Sherry/McSherry/McSharry brick wall.

* Another positive I would like to share is …my A to Z series 2019 which documented some of my early days as a young woman in Papua New Guinea. I hope it will be something my descendants might be pleased to discover on Pandora one day. I’m always pleased, too, when cousins tell me how much they still get from my Kunkel family history.

Thanks GeniAus for making us all reflect and perhaps realise we’ve achieved more than we thought.

Accentuate the Positive 2017

Family History

Opportunities for positivity

Once again Aussie Geneablogger extraordinaire, GeniAus, has offered us her traditional New Year challenge “Accentuate the Positive” from our research over the past year. This is my response.

  1. An elusive ancestor previously unknown relative I found was my mother’s cousin, Hugh Moran.
  2.  A great newspaper article I found was Hugh Moran’s personal descriptions of life in Prisoner of War camps in Italy and Germany during WWII.

    3.  A geneajourney I took was a revisit of Murphy’s Creek and perambulations on the Darling Downs. Also, my first trip to the Gold Coast since 1992, to attend the excellent Footsteps in Time Conference.

    4.  An important record I found was a mudmap of the Oughton Cottages in Courtown, Gorey where my Callaghan ancestors lived. It was hiding among the newly released 1847 Quarto books from Griffith’s Valuation and enabled me to track the homes of my ancestors.

    5.  A newly found recently-reconnected family member shared the christening gown worn by my grandmother and all her siblings c1870-1890. Such a treasure to see and hold. Another treasure was receiving a modern photo of Hugh Moran (see above). Another cousin regularly sends me family photos from her heritage collection. Some cousins have also very generously shared their DNA with me, enabling me to pin down new connections – with more to be unravelled.

    6.  A geneasurprise I received was a phone call from my 2nd cousin who I hadn’t seen since we were pre-teens. We’ve loved reconnecting and I’m grateful she found me, and that we live relatively close by!

    7.   My 2017 blog posts that I was particularly proud of were: the stories I’ve wanted to tell about my father’s life and work; and uncovering the war-time experiences of Hugh Moran.

    8.   I made a new geminate, Katherine R Willson, when we shared an Uber with her and the Legal Genealogist en route to the Post-Roots Tech bloggers’ gathering in February. We had an absolute hoot in the car. She has a heart that encompasses so many.

  3. 9.  A new piece of technology I used was Graphing DNA using Excel tools shared by Shelley from Twigs of Yore. I can see the usefulness of it and will learn more from Shelley during her presentation at Congress 2018. Meanwhile I’ll keep plugging away at my DNA matches and genealogy software.

    10. I joined the Caloundra Family History Research Group and re-joined the Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ) where I started my research back in 1986.

    11. Genealogy events from which I learnt something new was Footsteps in Time and the Unlock the Past Roadshow in Brisbane.

    12. A blog post that taught me something new – so many offer new insights, it’s difficult to single out just one.

    13. A DNA discovery I made was confirmation of the suspected link to the Reddan family of Gortnaglough, Broadford, Clare.

    14. Along with geminate Fran aka the TravelGenee, we taught Caloundra genimates the practical basics of how DNA testing works and how it might help them.

    15. A brick wall is still standing – My truly elusive ancestor, James McSharry aka Sherry continues to defeat me. So far, DNA hasn’t solved this dilemma as I’d hoped it would.

    16. A great site I visited was the Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques Facebook page – I use it constantly to (try to) learn.

    17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Looking Over My Shoulder by Patrick O’Brien about the O’Brien family from Carrownakilly, near Killaloe in East Co Clare.

    poster-147876118. It was exciting to finally meet Dirk Weissleder and learn more about German research and new collaborations.

    19. I am excited for 2018 because there are going to be so many learning opportunities at Congress 2018 and an opportunity to meet “old” genimates and make new friends.

    20. Another positive I would like to share is that I participated in various blog memes, gave presentations through the year, and helped friends begin their family research.

Thanks GeniAus for the chance to reflect positively on our achievements over the year.