Thursday, January 7, 2016

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2015

Each year Jill Ball invites us to take part in this activity by responding to the following statements/questions in a blog post. You can write as much or as little as you want or just answer a few questions and
once you have done so please share your post's link with Jill via email to I did this exercise last year and thoroughly enjoyed it - it is well worth doing.
Remember to accentuate the positive.

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was - not as much progress here as I would like, as the year contained several distractions and major events.  My geneaprogress for 2015 was more finding out details about existing family members - which is all progress.

2.  A precious family photo I found was - Lots of them!!  Several bundles and some framed as well.  After my mother passed earlier in 2015 my sister and I have spent time clearing out the family home.  While coming to the conclusion that my parents were HOARDERS, we found quite a few treasures, many of which we had no idea existed or had been kept.  Many I'm sure my parents had no memory of keeping either!

3.  An ancestor's grave I found was - I found a few of these thanks to new content on Ancestry, although I am still working out why some of them highlighted as little green leaves in my tree and others didn't - and some that were missed were very obvious.  The key is to keep looking.

4.  An important vital record I found was - an article in Trove about the divorce of my great-grandfather James Nicholas Clark and his first wife Eliza (Hawley).  While I already knew they had divorced the article gave extra detail about the reasons their marriage broke down.  Perhaps not a vital record, but one I was very glad to find.

5.  A newly found family member shared - notes on common ancestors.  I keep basic trees on several sites - Ancestry, FamilySearch, My Heritage, etc mainly as 'cousin bait' to make contact with others researching in the same tree so we can share information - and every now and then I strike it lucky.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was - while clearing out an old tin trunk out in the shed I found a little bundle containing all the cards my parents received when I was born, along with my baby wrist band from hospital.  Inside the same trunk was my baby book - complete with notes and photos.  Treasure!

7.   My 2015 blog post that I was particularly proud of was - my tribute to my mother after she passed away in May.  It was quite sudden but followed a long illness,
and she has been a huge influence on my life and the person that I am.

8.   My 2015 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was - a link to a 17th century animation of London. 
Six students from De Montfort University have created a three-minute 3D representation of 17th century London, as it existed before The Great Fire of 1666.

9.  A new piece of software I mastered was - my new laptop.  Windows 10 has been quite an adjustment and not always a happy one, especially when treasured and familiar old software decided that this upgrade it just couldn't cope with.

10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was - google.  Never underestimate the power of doodling around on Google - you never know what you might find.

11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was -
The 14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry in Canberra last March.  I attended the conference and had a few extra days looking around Canberra, and had a great time.  I learnt so much, caught up with geneafriends, visited the War Memorial and the National Library, wonderful!

12. I am proud of the presentation I gave at/to - Library patrons at Echuca during Family History Month in August.  I have done these for several years now and greatly enjoy them.

13. A journal/magazine article I had published was - not yet!

14. I taught a friend how to - download her family tree from Ancestry.

15. A genealogy book that taught me something new was - Pinning your family history by Thomas MacEntee.

16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was - the National Library in Canberra!  I spent a whole day there, looked around, did some research and chatted to the library staff - librarians on holiday always seem to find a new library to visit.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was - as above - Pinning your family history.

18. It was exciting to finally meet - everyone at the Canberra Congress, many of whom stayed in the same hotel a short walk from the convention centre - so there was always others to eat with, walk with, share notes with and chat to in passing.

19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was - did I mention the Canberra Congress?? 

20. Another positive I would like to share is ... Treasures hidden away in dark corners.  As mentioned above, I have been clearing out the family home - a work in progress throughout the yearHidden amongst the junk were treasures - photos, my grandmother's diaries, letters written by my father to my mother just before they married, travel notebooks kept by my mother, all my old school reports from my first year at primary school, my father's old income certificates back to 1955, show ribbons won by my father for his Merino sheep back in the 50's and 60's, family ornaments - all this stuff!!  I am SO glad my sister and I have them, but kept cursing our parents for not producing all this when they were alive and we could ask about them!

Also exciting is the upcoming Unlock the Past cruise from Auckland to Fremantle in February - I am booked, my packing list started, and the list of speakers looks great.  The countdown app on my phone tells me I have 42 days left until I fly out.


  1. Victoria, thanks for your contribution and congratulations on your progress in a very trying year.

  2. Thanks Jill. I'm hoping for a slightly quieter and less stressful year this year - finger's crossed!

  3. Have a wonderful time on the cruise!

    1. Thanks Alex. This will be my second UTP cruise and I have been looking forward to it for a while. It will probably feature in my 2016 Accentuate the Positive Geneameme!

  4. So sorry to read about the loss of your mother.

    Very happy for you that your family end to hoard things.

    1. Thanks Sharon. While delighted with some of the hoarding (not the junk - 3 trailer loads to the tip and counting) I just wish we had known about this stuff while my parents were alive to talk about them.