Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2019

Jill Bill from GeniAus once again invites us to reflect on our genealogical achievements for the year.  

Here are the questions and I just know that my account of 2019 will not be a fabulous one but, if anything, it inspires me to greater heights in 2020:

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was 

2.  A great newspaper article I found was about John Patrick or "Jack" McLoughlin, my mother's uncle,  in this blog post here.

3.  A geneajourney I took was to Melbourne.  I confess the trip to Melbourne was mostly about catching up with dear friends, going to a musical and doing a sewing workshop but I managed to convince a friend/chauffeur to detour while getting croissants one morning to have a look at an ancestor's house in Napier Street Fitzroy.  Who knows if it really was his house - numbers may have changed in the street - but I was just excited to be in the street where he used to live.  I wrote about Peter Sinclair in this and other blog posts.  I did try to go and see the Parliamentary Library where he used to work while I was there too but it was shut unexpectedly the day I was there...sigh.

4.  I located an important record 

5.  A newly found family member shared some information about the Stores family - Ross Miller from Wellington NZ.  Thank you Ross.  

6.  A geneasurprise I received was

7.   My 2019 social media post that I was particularly proud of was my Sepia Saturday post on 5th October because I found out a whole stack of stuff just from looking more closely at a photo featuring a speedboat called Kookaburra.

8.   I made a new genimate who

9.  A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was - well I learned lots of technology/skills this year but they were work-related - sigh....lots of finance-related stuff.  

10. I joined Genealogy Sunshine Coast - ostensibly to help research the genealogy of John "Jack" Howard, a Rugby Wallaby player who was apparently born in Nambour or Maryborough circa 1914 and died as a POW in WWII but I have made no progress due to lack of time.

11. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was the Boolarong Press session at Waves in Time.  I learned that a timeline helps you identify a jumping-off point, to read other biographies and to draw characteristics of a person effectively, you need to find examples of them demonstrating those characteristics.  I learned the following associated costs with publishing a family history:

Manuscript appraisal $600 - $800
Editing $70-$85 ph
Typesetting and cover design $2k
Printing 100 copies $5-$10 per book

and got these great tips for marketing materials (there were probably more but this is all I could scribble down):
  • Bookmarks
  • Banner
  • Business cards
  • Flyers
  • Launch
  • Website
  • Social media
  • Press release

And there were good examples of these at stands in the fair outside featuring family history societies, publishers, authors and suppliers of genealogical resources e.g. software and books.

Oh and I almost forgot (how could I forget?)...we hosted a fantastic Writer's Block seminar with Kristina Olsson on how to write memoirs.  I just came across my notes from that.  Kristina was just lovely.  So generous.  If you haven't read her book Boy, Lost - you really must....very affecting.  In her handouts, she gave us extracts from memoirs that she had loved/thought worthy of sharing....Lucky by Alice Sebold, Liar's Club by Mary Karr, The Art of Time in Memoir by Sven Birkerts, Tracks by Robyn Davidson, My Place by Sally Morgan, Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje and Family Romance: A Love Story by John Lanchester.  Now I have a great stack of TBR!

These are the statement/questions Kristina suggested you consider:

Finish this sentence: this is a book about...

Who are the main characters?
Where is it set?
Whose story is it?
Who is telling it?
What is the timeline?
Why do you want to write it?
Where do you fit in the story?

12. A blog post that taught me something new was   - I have been way too boring and not reading enough blog posts.

13. A DNA discovery I made was

14. I taught a genimate how to...well, while I didn't teach a genimate anything but I did run an introductory Trove class at my library in March which was fun.

15. A brick wall I demolished was 

16. A great site I visited was

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons by Laura Cumming. 

This was my review (full disclosure- when my parents and I lived in Edinburgh when I was very young, Laura's and my parents met.  Laura, her brother Timothy and I went to kindergarten together.  Laura and I met again when we were ten and became pen-friends for a while.  I remember our time together in Scotland very fondly) :

As a family historian and infrequent contributor to the blog Sepia Saturday, the premise of this book intrigued me. And there was an Australian connection too; always a bonus.
The author's professional background as an art critic helps her address her perceived bias when it comes to judging ancestors' motives or attitudes as the story of her mother's "adoption" develops. As well as employing traditional family historian methods of research (looking up census records, parish records, reading newspapers and local histories), Cumming studies, and I mean really studies, the tiny photos in her mother's snapshot album. She looks at the poses, the arrangements and the attitudes of those photographed and, from time to time, very helpfully, compares them to her analysis of family portraits in art e.g. Degas and Ghirlandaio. She views and most importantly re-views them in the light of new information. She thinks about the photographer, who controls the framing and why the photo is taken, as well as the attitude of their subjects all in the context of the time. There are some lovely thoughtful lines in this book. I particularly liked "...perhaps experience develops into memory like a photograph, its latent imprint invisible to us until gradually fixed by conversation." I polished this book off in a day and am now compelled to pass it on to my father. He demonstrated great maturity and restraint in not snatching it out of my hands yesterday when I showed it to him. My only regrets as far as this book are concerned are that the images aren't clearer, that we live so far away from the places and the people concerned and that my mother didn't get to read it.

18. It was exciting to finally meet - again my life is pretty dull atm.

19. I am excited about 2020 because I really hope to get more time to do Family History, get out on research trips and meet more cousins.  I have signed up to watch Legacy webinars if nothing else!

20. Another positive I would like to share is because we didn't get to do an Accentuate the Positive Geneameme for 2018, I did finally finish my Diploma of Family History through the University of Tasmania.  It was well worth attending Graduation in person just before Christmas.  I received a beautiful certificate and may even have inspired my daughter to go back to study.  We had a beautiful 4-day weekend in Tassie soaking up the sights and the history.  So much fun!

Why don't you join us in reflecting on your geneyear?  Link your blog post here.


Congratulations on earning your diploma. I think you'll love the Legacy webinars. I've subscribed for several years and love being able to visit their online library to pick out past webinars I've missed.
GeniAus said…
Alex, It's a wonder you were able to achieve anything this year with work and study but once again you pulled the rabbit out of the hat. Thanks so much fro sharing your reflections with us.
Seeds to Tree said…
Your information from the writer's workshop was so interesting. And your book list sounds great too. Congrats on your diploma!
GeniAus said…
BTW. I just started reading From Chapel Sands last night. Now I know of your connection tht reading will be more special.
Bobbie Edes said…
Hi to my fellow GSQ/QFHS Facebook co-ordinator! Point 9 needs to be amended as you absolutely blitzed the job and find so many interesting posts to share that it certainly makes my job of looking after the GSQ Facebook page so much easier. You've been an inspiration, and now that you have the most adorable grandson, there's an even better reason to keep at the challenge of family history.
Bobbie Edes said…
Hi to my fellow GSQ/QFHS Facebook co-ordinator! Point 9 needs to be amended as you absolutely blitzed the job and find so many interesting posts to share that it certainly makes my job of looking after the GSQ Facebook page so much easier. You've been an inspiration, and now that you have the most adorable grandson, there's an even better reason to keep at the challenge of family history.

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