Happy New Year!
Once again Jill Ball at GeniAus has inspired us to look back on the positive things that have happened in our genealogy journeys during the year that’s gone. I took part in the previous two and find it an uplifting experience.
Here’s my positive genealogy year 2014:
An elusive ancestor I found was
Jenkin JONES, born about 1791 in Llandysul, Cardiaganshire (now Ceredigion). Otherwise known as Jinkin Jones (1841 census) or Jenkins Jones. And probably lurking in the records as Jenkin Johns, somewhere. He’s one of my 3x great grandfathers, on my father’s mother’s side.
An ancestor’s grave I found was
… not an ancestor’s grave. It belonged to someone with the right name, Sarah DAVIES, same as my Welsh grandmother’s mother. It was in the right place, the graveyard of the little chapel where many of my family members are buried. She’d even lived in the right house, the 1881 Wales census shows.
But she was the wrong person, and it took finding this headstone to bring me the sudden revelation that either this Sarah Davies had two husbands (my great grandfather, Rhys LLOYD, and William James) or I’d been pursuing someone who is possibly a relative, but not an ancestor. Curses! But also yay! Because now I could stop wasting time on her and find the right Sarah Davies.
An important vital record I found was
The record of the marriage of Elizabeth JONES to John LLOYD (Rhys’s father), which, with the 1841 census record I mentioned, helped me to get on the right track for my Jones ancestors. There are also two witnesses who may provide leads.
Looking for a Jones in Wales? Needle, haystack?
A newly found family member shared
Her excitement at contacting relatives descended from Nicholas DELANEY by starting up a Facebook group for us cousins. It was great to meet some new rellies as well as catching up with the ones I’d met on my own page. Thanks, Cat!
A geneasurprise I received was
Finding out that my HARRINGTON ancestors (Rebecca, Thomas and Julia) from Hackney in East London were involved in what became a Victorian scandal, commented on around the world and mentioned in Parliament. I’m writing a series of posts about the whole story at the moment. Warning: will contain scenes of a gory nature.
My 2014 blog post that I was particularly proud of was
Introducing the Shoestring Genealogist, a new idea for my blog. I know I’m not the only genealogist who has trouble finding the extra cash for my pash. And I love passing on good news and helpful tips – the genealogy community thrives on collaborating and sharing, after all.
So I started a series of occasional posts to let people know about any offers going: cut-price subscriptions, freebies, that sort of thing. I don’t grudge paying for sites like Ancestry and Findmypast; it’s just that without special offers I wouldn’t be able to justify subscribing. Not when bills are so high (looking at the radiator, which I’m snuggled up next to).
It was a new development which gave me a boost just when I needed it, and I hope it’s helpful for other people as well.
My 2014 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was
Her grave was vandalised in May this year, along with many others in the cemetery. This horrifying incident rightly hit the headlines and social media and the vandals were caught. Apart from the damage they caused, this was appalling behaviour and no way to treat our ancestors.
Our much-missed Aussie genealogist friend, the late Catherine Crout-Habel, was passionate about protecting ancestral graves. Her daughter is carrying on her blog, and her memory. Thanks, Kirrily.
A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was
Twitter. I love the fact that I can whizz through tweets and see what’s going on, though the ‘new’ Twitter is bulkier, with its emphasis on images.
Time’s short at the moment, so I appreciate being able to see what my top tweeps are up to in a few minutes. Though it’s easy to spend hours
playing researching there…
A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was
Who Do You Think You Are? Live. It was a chance to put faces to names as well as to learn. Education and fun – perfect.
A great repository/archive/library I visited was
The British Library in London. This year I went to an exhibition on the Georgians, which was enlightening as well as fun. I’ve been learning a lot about the eighteenth century this year, which is why…
A new history book I enjoyed was
Behind Closed Doors, by Amanda Vickery. I love social history and finding out about everyday life in my ancestors’ days, and Amanda’s book is meticulously researched as well as entertaining.
I’m also hugely enjoying Jerry White’s London in the Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing. They’re both big reads, but crammed with treasures from the archives. Real treats for social historians.
It was exciting to finally meet
Two Aussie geneabloggers I’ve enjoyed talking to online: Helen Smith, of From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard, and Rosemary Kopittke. I met them at Who Do You Think You Are? Live at Olympia in London. Aussie mates won’t be surprised that this was at the Unlock the Past stand, where I also chatted to Alan Phillips and was tickled to learn that he’s Alona Tester‘s dad.
I also went to a seminar by Cassie Mercer of Inside History fame. She had to hurry off so we didn’t get the chance to chat, but it was great to meet her at last. Cassie encouraged me and my mum greatly when we were starting out in online genealogy.
What a day!
Another positive I would like to share is
That although I’ve had less time for genealogy this year, thanks to my lovely new job and also taking my creative writing a step further, I’ve made some big steps and laid the groundwork for future research when I’ve more time.
And the brilliant genealogy community is thriving out there, full of friendship, facts and fun. So here’s to 2015, and here’s to the people who never forget lang syne!