What a year – and what a lot I’ve learned in this first full year of blogging.
When I started this blog in November 2010 I knew I wanted to talk about topics related to the life of my great-great-great grandfather, Nicholas Delaney. But I didn’t want to just repeat what is already in the book my mother and I wrote about him, A Rebel Hand: Nicholas Delaney of 1798: From Ireland to Australia.
That wouldn’t inspire me, and if I’m not excited about what I’m writing about it won’t be interesting to anyone else – especially those who have read the book and won’t want repetition.
So I decided to expand on topics in the book, and write around the history and the family events I knew about as well as exploring new angles. More of this soon.
I was hugely lucky this year because BBC TV showed two programmes which couldn’t be closer to Nicholas’s story and the lives of the people he knew.
On Australia Day (January 26) they screened The Father of Australia, a drama-documentary about Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who Nicholas worked for as a road gang overseer and who mentions Nicholas in his diaries.
I knew about a few people on Facebook, like Irish Wattle, but it was only when I started looking at other genealogy blogs (and there’s no better place to start than Geneabloggers) and adding to my Facebook contacts that I realised how many others there were with vast experience to inspire me.
Some of my most popular posts have been the ones about Nicholas’s trial, about 1798 and his work building the infrastructure of early Sydney. But one was completely unpredictable – the discovery that my 3xgreat grandmother on another branch of the family tree is said to be a famous ghost. What can I learn from this?
So, that’s enough looking back, what about 2012? Unlike many more experienced genealogy bloggers I’m not going to make any resolutions, since so much of what happened last year was a pleasant surprise.
Instead I’ll promise myself to keep my mind as open as my eyes and continue to ask –
More Irish history? More about the early days of colonial Australia? Or something completely different? What would you like to see here in 2012? I’d love to hear from you.
And a happy New Year to you and yours!