Happy New Year! Accentuate the positive

Balloons reading 2012

Thanks to Geniaus for this image

It’s 2013 at last! I can’t deny that (except on the genealogy front) 2012 was a rubbish year. So I was delighted to see Geniaus suggesting a new geneameme: Accentuate the Positive 2012. What better way to start the new year?

Here’s my contribution:

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was Griffith Owen or Owens, my great-grandfather. The family story was that his son, my grandfather, was from Anglesey, but it was Griffith who was born there. I finally tracked him down, via several howlingly bad census transcriptions (1901 and 1911), to Llanfaethlu, a dot on the map of that island. (See no 4)

My mother, with me at one week old

One week old

2.  A precious family photo I found was… Since my mother’s death I’ve had a look through some of the family photos she kept. The most precious to me is the ones my dad took of mum and me just after I was born and the ones from our first Christmas as a family. I’m planning to post some more of these in the next few days.

3.  An ancestor’s grave I found was Lucy Simpson’s. I didn’t see it myself, because it’s in the old family graveyard at Moyne Farm, but my generous cousin Wayne Morris sent me a recent photo of what remains of it. The headstone appears to have broken in two in the past few years.

Lucy was the first child of my 3x great grandparents, Sarah Marshall and John Simpson, both convicts. Thank you, Wayne!

Close-up of 1901 census

No, it’s not ‘Llanfentlily’

4.  An important vital record I found was the 1891 census record of my grandfather Richard aged 9, which gave me the names of his parents. It also showed that he was not born on Anglesey after all. It was his father Griffith who came from that beautiful island. Now where on earth, or Anglesey, was ‘Llanfentlily’ (1901 census) or ‘Llanfenthty’ (1911)? Time for a spot of palaeography and a map. (See no 1)

5.  A newly found family member who shared… who to choose from? The joy of social media is that cousins and their family members have been getting in touch this year and it’s always a joy to make contact and read about their stories if they want to share them. Thank you to Marty, Michael, Karen, Betty, Jim, Trina, Sharron, Gary, Dan, Therese, Wayne, Sandra, Michelle, Ken, Julie and Lee. And anyone I’ve missed because I didn’t know you were a rellie.

Nicholas Delaney's murder - Sydney Monitor, part 1

Murder trial reported

6.  A geneasurprise I received was finding out that my 3x great-grandfather, Nicholas Delaney, had probably been murdered. Since he was the one who started me on my addiction to interest in genealogy, it was a sad moment.

But being positive, it was a big discovery, and I was able to share it with my mum. And I blogged about it, adding to the information already out there in our book about Nicholas, A Rebel Hand: Nicholas Delaney of 1798. Yay for geneablogging! And thanks to Amy from Branches Leaves & Pollen, who started the Trove Tuesday meme.

7.   My 2012 blog post that I was particularly proud of was Back to Blog – death and renewal, because that was the post which got me back to blogging after my mother’s death. It’s positive because I got back in touch with my genea-pals after some weeks of silence and you were so kind and sent me such lovely messages. Thank you. The genealogy community can be wonderful.

Mary Maude Wilson, my great-grandmother, doing the wash

Mary on wash day

8.   My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was What did Mary do on Monday? Women’s work, inspired by Cassmob’s Family History Across the Seas Women’s History Month post in March. The idea was to honour a woman from our family tree by starting with a photograph and telling its story.

I chose Mary Maude Delaney, nee Wilson, my kindly great-grandmother, in an unusual, informal, photo of her, smiling while hanging out the washing. I wrote about washday in the times when everything was done by hand, a hated job. I learned a lot about the back-breaking business of doing the laundry while researching that post.

9.  A new piece of software I mastered was Evernote. I can’t pretend I’ve really mastered it, but I’m learning, and I use it all the time. I don’t know how I did without it (well, I do, I used lots of different files, folders, clipping programs…). I think it was Geniaus who alerted me to it, and I was hooked from the start.

10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was Twitter. Now 2012 was the year of Google+, and it is excellent for genealogy, but I confess I have more fun on Twitter. It’s also a great news feed, and alerts me to posts I might otherwise have missed.

The original geneameme has 20 positive points and so far I’ve written about the first 10. Because this is already a long post I’ll come back to the rest of them next time. Watch this space for more positivity…

And here it is!



 © Frances Owen and A Rebel Hand, 2010-2014

About rebelhand

A Rebel Hand is: about Nicholas Delaney, Irish rebel of 1798, transported as a convict to New South Wales, roadbuilder, innkeeper and farmer. My great-great-great grandfather. Other ancestors transported to Australia, like Sarah Marshall, John Simpson and James Thomas Richards, pop up as well. This blog's also about the historical background to their lives, in England, Ireland, and Australia. My respectable Welsh ancestors sometimes get a look in.
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26 Responses to Happy New Year! Accentuate the positive

  1. Pingback: Accentuate the Positive 2014 | A Rebel Hand

  2. Pingback: More positivity in 2012 (Accentuate the Positive part 2) | A Rebel Hand: Nicholas Delaney of 1798

  3. Crissouli says:

    As always Frances, you give great pleasure with your posts. I can only hope that 2013 is much kinder to you… I hope this helps… it is given with appreciation…


    • Crissouli says:

      Yet again, I clicked too soon… must be itchy fingers… I have nominated you for Blogger of the Year Award 2012.


      • rebelhand says:

        Chris, that’s wonderful! Thank you so much for the nomination and for your kind words. You and all the blogging community have been such a support and this starts 2013 on a high note. Thank you. (Feel like I’m at the Oscars now)


    • rebelhand says:

      I would love to express my appreciation on your blog, but for some weird reason I can’t comment on blogspot, so I’m very sorry about that.
      I’ve tried all sorts of ways round. Does anyone know a clever way of commenting that’s completely passed me by?


  4. Here’s another one, Frances, hope you don’t feel too swamped by ‘awards’. It’s fine to ‘pick and choose’ which ones you would like to do. I won’t be offended 🙂

    I would like to nominate you for the Blog of the Year award for 2012. All the details are here; http://blog.kyliesgenes.com/2013/01/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

    All the best, Kylie 🙂


  5. Catherine says:

    It’s always such a pleasure to read your Blog and this post is no exception. I’m also very appreciative of the interest you show in mine, and especially your responses to the comments I make on your posts. Therefore, it’s a delight to nominate you for the “Wonderful Team Member Readership Award” which you can read about on: http://caiteile.com/2013/01/03/wonderful-team-member-readership-award-nominations/ Wishing you every happiness for 2013 and lots more wonderful discoveries 🙂 … Cheerio


    • rebelhand says:

      Catherine, I’ve just realised I haven’t said thank you here, though we’ve talked on your blog. Not much of a reader, eh?…
      This is a wonderful honour. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


  6. Sharon says:

    I loved reading your Nicholas Delaney posts during the year. Looking forward to the second post of this geneameme.


  7. yship says:

    Love Geneabloggers. I’ve been on it just over three months. I received “An Early Christmas Gift” this year and it felt great to have a community of bloggers to share my post about that gift. I’m sure they will hear more about it later. :-).


  8. cassmob says:

    You’ve had an excellent year with your geneablog offset by personal sadness. We’re all pleased to see you back in action and isn’t it lovely that you’re finding some lovely photos like that tiny one week old, you. Thank you for your nod to me re the women’s work -that washday post was so interesting and certainly reminded me of Mondays in my childhood:-) Sooo much easier now.

    What a great discovery with the Anglesey census – I can even imagine how you pronounce Llanfaethlu.

    Look forward to the next 10 positives and also your blogging year in 2013…thanks for sharing with us all.


    • rebelhand says:

      Thank you, Pauleen. There are plenty of photos but when to find the time to go through them?
      As for mentioning you – credit where it’s due, and you inspired me as you often do.
      Here’s to 2013 and all our discoveries. May brick walls crumble and shy ancestors come out to play!


  9. Sandra says:

    Happy New Year. Thank you for your posts, i look forward to them and enjoy them all. 🙂


  10. sharnwhite says:

    I hope that 2013 will be a much better year for you. I have very much enjoyed your Rebel Hand posts and I’m looking forward to new posts this year..


  11. geniaus says:

    What a joy it was to find your post this morning. You have had a stunning geneayear.

    Thankyou for your post and highlighting the benefits of blogging and social media.

    I am also loving Evernote and usibg it daily for all sorts of things, I’m plrssed that you are similarly impressed.


    • rebelhand says:

      Thank you! And thanks, too, for helping me see that it’s been a good year. It’s such a great idea for a geneameme.

      It was you, on G+ I think, who first mentioned Evernote and I thought – if Geniaus is talking about it, it’s worth a look! I’ve hardly scratched the surface but love it and would encourage any other genies to give it a try.


  12. What a great year of research and discoveries!!


    • rebelhand says:

      Thanks, Kylie. I think this is why the positive meme works so well; we can underestimate ourselves, or remember the down side, more than we think about happy finds and good times.


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