Jill Ball alias Geniaus has issued a challenge to other genealogists to share their positive genealogical experiences in 2012.

Here is Mad About Genealogy’s response Smile

1. An elusive ancestor I found ….. not so much elusive as waiting in the wings, I had been promising myself for ages that I would get round to finding out more about Enoch Willis who left Stanford in the Vale, Berkshire and emigrated to Dunedin, NZ. 2012 was Enoch’s year and whilst I have more to research on his children I have found out quite a lot about him already. Using the UK Newspaper collection on FindMyPast and the NZ Papers Past websites has been a great help. Hope Enoch didn’t disturb too many people when he and his wife got very drunk in Stanford and then roamed around the village in the early hours of one Saturday night in 1871 !!

2. A precious family photo I found …. photos of Albert & Gilbert Diddams which I found via Ancestry. They were put online by Antonia Parker. Not many of my ancestors seemed to have the spare shillings to have a photo taken so any images are always precious.

3. An ancestor’s grave I found….. my 2nd great Grandmother’s place of burial was found via DeceasedOnline. Caroline Cannon nee’ Warren was buried in the Cheshunt Burial Ground in 1894, she was only 59 years old and died of liver cancer.

4. An important vital record I found was ….. the christening of Susannah Sarah Clark , this lead me to her parents, her siblings and their families. I now just need the christening of William Clark who according to the 1841 census was born somewhere other than Middlesex around 1775, he died before the 1851 census when he would have been asked exactly which parish he was born in. Sad smile

 5. A newly found family member who shared … Maree Anderson has been so generous with information about Richard Elliott who emigrated to Australia leaving behind in Berkshire a rumour that my father’s family had someone who went to the antipodes !!

6. A geneasurprise I received ….. being awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the NZSG for commitment to the Bay of Islands branch.

7. My 2012 blog post that I was particularly proud of was ….. starting to put family history lessons onto  As always I was surprised by what knowledge I had accumulated over the years and also humbled by the fact that there is so much more to learn.

8. My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was ….  Putting Your Family History Online For Free. Not sure why, but can only think that genealogists like the idea of publishing their research online and doing it for nothing!!

9. A new piece of software I mastered was …….. no new software this year, but I am still battling to find how I can solve Microsoft error 8024402f !!!!! I’ve tried everything that is recommended online and still it stops me doing updates. Some say it just disappears overnight so here’s hoping!!

10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was …. I’m still very much a novice with regards to social media, but I do my best on Twitter, Google Plus & Facebook.

11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was…. Rootstech and National Archives UK Podcast series. Sigh … so much to learn and so little time.

12. I am proud of the presentations I gave at ……. Bay of Islands NZSG branch. Didn’t do too many presentations in 2012, but have some great booking in 2013. Always good to talk to family historians.

13. A journal/magazine article I had published was ….. concentrated on my website so no journal/magazine writing in 2012.

14. I taught a friend how to ….. research her family history online by using lots of Google tricks and the wonderful and ever expanding Google Books.

15. A genealogy book that taught me something new was …. not a true genealogy book, but re-reading Peter Laslett’s book “The World We Have Lost – further explored” gave valuable insight into ancestors lives. If you haven’t read this book, then beg, borrow, steal a copy and enjoy the world of historical population studies.

16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was ….. British Library, I got to spend 2 fabulous days reading books and pamphlets which just aren’t available elsewhere. Good tip is to be there at least half an hour before it opens to get a seat and then don’t leave that seat vacant for the rest of the day. No seat ticket = no books.

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was …. “The Victorian Celebration of Death” by James Stevens Curl. Published in 2000 I now have my own copy and it is THE book for understand the Victorians attitude to death. London cemeteries being a side interest of mind that goes hand in hand with genealogy.

18. It was exciting to meet ….. the team who run the Sandwich, Kent Archives. They were so welcoming and helpful and allowed me to handle documents hundreds of years old once they were satisfied that I knew what I was about. Will be back to visit them in May this year. Genealogy has some wonderfully knowledgeable volunteers.

19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was ….. a 10 week trip to England, luck enough to be going back again this year and hope to visited the Berkshire Record Office and the Museum of English Rural Life Open-mouthed smile

20. Another positive I would like to share is ….. that I feel lucky to have ‘found’ genealogy when you could handle documents at record offices and feel the dust of ages on your fingers and lucky that I am now able to sit at home and have scans of the same documents at a press of a button. I have experienced the best of both worlds.

Speak Your Mind