Accentuate the Positive 2013 Geneameme

Here are my responses to the end of year challenge posted by Jill Ball (GeniAus)

An elusive ancestor I found a snippet about was my great grandfather Arthur William ROBERTS. I never met him as he died before my mother was born. Details about his early life are undeniably hard to find/hard to pin down so he certainly fits the definition of ‘elusive’. Last year I managed to find his address in London just before he married Ellen Louisa BENNETT and they emigrated to Australia in 1889. This year I searched through land selection files at PROV and found many details about Arthur and Ellen and their family’s housing and farming activities as very early settlers in Monbulk, Victoria. Unfortunately there were no clues about his date and place of birth.

Elizabeth LATTER nee SMITHA number of precious family photos were shared at the LATTER family reunion at Elaine and Morrisons on the 23rd March, 2013, including this one of my great great grandmother Elizabeth LATTER (nee SMITH) . My heartfelt thanks go to those family members who so generously shared their family photographs with us all.

An ancestor’s grave I found was…
One of my father’s cousins had arranged last year for the LATTER graves in Morrisons Cemetery to be restored. They were rededicated during the family reunion in March.

A newly found family member who shared
After having grown up knowing almost nothing about my father’s family and having my only avenue of research being the purchase of certificates, it has been wonderful to have been contacted by some of his cousins who have been willing and able to share not only photos but also some of the stories that have been passed down about the family since the gold mining days in Morrisons.

My 2013 blog post that I was particularly proud of was…
Trove Tuesday: Solving the Mystery of That Photo – almost! both because it was my first blog post and because it explained how I used Trove to identify the family significance of a rather blurry photo of a group of people at a picnic on a beach in 1870. That first blog post had its genesis in February when Jill Ball, Sharon Fritz, Linda Elliot and many others on the 3rd Unlock the Past genealogy cruise were very persuasive about the benefits of both reading and writing genealogy blogs.

A new piece of software I mastered was…
Evernote stands out. It is a fabulous tool for genealogy! I use it for writing notes during webinars and seminars, planning presentations, clipping sections of web pages and lots more. The ability to tag articles and to search using tags is very helpful.

A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was…
The two most obvious for me this year have been Feedly and Facebook. Feedly is very useful as an organiser of the many blogs that I now follow. Without it I would have no hope of keeping up! Facebook is a mixed blessing. It is great for keeping up with friends and family but can be a big time waster. I have found the ‘Technology for Genealogy’ and ‘The Organized Genealogist’ groups have been the most useful to me this year.

A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was…
I think the term ‘lifetime learner’ applies to most genealogists, including me. There is always something new to learn! This year I have made the most of many learning opportunities. Some of the sources I have found most interesting/useful are:
Podcasts: Genies Down Under and The National Archives
Webinars: Legacy Family Tree, Southern California Genealogical Society (Jamboree Extension Series), Utah Genealogical Association (Virtual Chapter), RootsTech (online)
GSV: Thursday talks and all day seminars – always something more to learn
3rd Unlock the Past genealogy cruise: This was immersion learning. Lots of choices of interesting sessions every day. I can’t remember how many sessions there were but I went to lots of them, and learned something from each one. I must be a glutton for punishment as I am looking forward to doing the same on the next cruise!
SLV: Family History Feast – as wonderful in 2013 as it was in 2012
Hangouts on Air: My initial thoughts about these were that they demonstrate to us just how much we still need to learn about handling the technology. Persistence and familiarity have made a difference over time and gradually the genealogy has become more of the focus. It will be interesting to follow the progress of HOAs next year.

I taught a friend how to use Trove to not only find newspaper articles about an ancestor but to correct the OCR text and save it, the article and its source citation.

A genealogy book that taught me something new was…
Dolly’s Creek: An Archaeology of a Victorian Goldfields Community by Susan Lawrence helped me understand more about the living and working practices and conditions of my ancestors who were part of that community from the 1850s

A great repository/archive/library I visited was PROV (Public Record Office of Victoria)

A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Inside History magazine

It was exciting to finally meet…
• My first grandson in June
• Lots of fellow genealogists on the 3rd Unlock the Past genealogy cruise in February

A geneadventure I enjoyed was…
Helping organise a very enjoyable family reunion where I met lots of previously unknown relatives, scanned family photos and shared stories, visited family graves and the old family home at Morrisons and the nearby Dolly’s Creek sluice mining area.
The following day, I was able to join the local historical society on a guided walk around more mining areas in Morrisons. Some mine shafts and other remnants are still visible if you know where to look!

Another positive I would like to share is my thanks for all the useful information, advice, support and encouragement that my new virtual friends in the online genealogy community have so willingly shared with me. I hope one day to be able to return the favour!

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