|Morning Star by Jon Barlow Hudson in Brisbane City Botanic Gardens|
It's that time of year for reflection on what has been achieved in terms of family history for 2015. Jill Ball of Geniaus encourages us to accentuate the positive, so here goes.
1. An elusive ancestor I found was...
This was just another amazing year for finding ancestors I didn't expect to find. To try and cut a long story short...my great-grandfather had sisters Clara Rebecca Smith (nee Conner) and Harriet Rowland (nee Conner) who I have blogged about before - here. The year before last I was delighted to be contacted by a descendant of Harriet's (who I had previously thought was childless) and this year I managed to make contact with a new descendant of Clara's. This was particularly exciting given that Clara Rebecca's daughter, Daisy Clara was born out of wedlock and adopted by the Sutherland family. In April I found someone on Ancestry who seemed to be a descendant of a Daisy Clara Sutherland so I gave it a shot and bingo....he was her grandson. So I feel like I have tied up some loose ends there. She had a most interesting life and Chris was able to share some photos as well so I am very pleased.
2. A precious family photo I found was....
Well I actually found this photo in a book as per my blog post here. But then that photo really led me to this photo which I found today on Picture Queensland. This photo is of shops in Sandgate Road Albion - the original ones before Art Deco flats were added in the 1930s. My husband's great-great-grandfather was a butcher called Thomas Daw and he owned one of these shops together with a Mr Slack. I must do the heritage trail in Albion as described here.
3. An ancestor's grave I found was
Hmmm...I haven't done much here I confess. I would like to follow up a few leads though e.g. where Daisy Sutherland is buried and where Edward Conner is buried too.
4. An important vital record I found was
Oh dear....I haven't found any of these.
5. A newly found family member shared
See Point 1. Chris has shared all sorts of photos and information about Daisy which is just wonderful. I really must do a blog post about this (with his permission of course)
6. A geneasurprise I received was
An email from State Library of Queensland asking if they could preserve my blog on Pandora as per this blog post.
7. My 2015 blog post that I was particularly proud of was
The Spring Clean Your Blog post which seems to be a popular meme now.
8. My 2015 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was
Well, funnily enough, the blogpost that received most page views this year was my Resolutions, Reflections and Requiem blog post on 4 January! You can see it here.
9. A new piece of software I mastered was
Coggle - a mind-mapping tool which was great for planning research.
10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was
I think this was the year I mastered (at long last) Google Hangouts - hoorah!
11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was
There were so many but perhaps the course that I learned most from was the one completed through the University of Tasmania. It made me really think about how I plan and conduct my research. You can read about my results here.
12. I am proud of the presentation I gave as part of the
Geneagala Hangout on Air as part of National Family History Month on WWI resources. You can see it here. You can see my contribution at 2 hours 10 minutes. Of course if I look at it now, I think I could have done a lot better but at least I gave it a go and I think anyone watching did get something out of it.
13. A journal/magazine article I had published was
Cough cough....I need to do some work in this area.
14. I taught a friend how to
Use the WWI App that we developed at work.
15. A genealogy book that taught me something new was
Oh goodness ! There have been so many. But maybe the one I found most useful this year was Copyright Essentials from the Australian Copyright Council which I borrowed from my local library. I would, however, also like to buy/see Historians and Copyright from the Council.
16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was
The Noel Butlin archives which I talked about in this blog post here.
17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was
I really loved discovering Brisbane Art Deco and learning about Brisbane's built environment as written about here.
18. It was exciting to finally meet
All the fellow bloggers at the AFFHO congress and be presented with my blogger beads in Canberra.
19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was
Undoubtedly, going to Congress in Canberra was fantastic as per here.
20. Another positive I would like to share is ...
Being asked to join the team that is delivering a beginner's course this year at QFHS.
Last but not least, I would like to pay special tribute to my colleagues at both the Society and also at my workplace who have been so patient with me this year.
Working as the Coordinator of the WWI project at Moreton Bay Region Libraries for the first nine months of the year was a huge learning curve for me and somewhat all consuming. I was enormously encouraged by everyone's passion for making sure that every aspect of the project was "just right" and going above and beyond the call of duty.
Towards the end of 2015 my family was knocked sideways by the short illness and death of my father's partner, Jennifer Taylor. Anyone who knew Jim and Jen as a couple would know what a marvelous partnership they made and what a difficult time this must be for my father. My workplace has been unfailingly generous with providing leave for me, at what is traditionally a very busy time in libraries. I also had to abandon my duties as Library Assistant at QFHS at very short notice and I am grateful for fellow library assistants' understanding when they were left in the lurch. Readers of this blog will no doubt have noticed that it also came to a grinding halt. Please accept my apologies particularly if you were looking for the weekly calendar of genealogy activities in the Brisbane area.
It is difficult for me to articulate properly what a special place Jennifer occupied in our family and I am conscious that we only knew her for a fraction of her very full and active life. Speaking in family history terms, she was my "step-mother" but from the outset she opened her home to me and our family. She encouraged me in all my endeavours (academic and professional), although I confess my passion for blogging was the source of great mystery to her. As a fellow "only child", she gave me the best gift of all - a relationship with her own children, who I now consider brother and sister. My children might have called her "Jen", but she was in very real terms one of the two grandmothers that watched over their childhood with a kindly eye (my own mother having died when they were very young). Jen was always interested to know what Bel and Cas were up to and actively witnessed and encouraged them in their various interests and pursuits, be it swimming, dancing, horse riding, art, rowing, soccer or travel. She was the epitome of generosity, a charming raconteur and a mentor to many who were fortunate enough to have her as a teacher. Most precious of all to me, though, was her obvious deep affection for my father. And it is the loss of this that gives us most grief.
Jen's passion (apart from her family) was architecture and its history. She leaves behind a worthy legacy in her many publications and the successful careers of her students.
She will be much missed by the architectural community, her family and friends. A more comprehensive obituary can be found here.
Vale Jennifer Evelyn Taylor (nee Bogle)