Monday, January 24, 2022

Accentuate the Positive - Better late than never

I am late to my own challenge! Having been inspired by the resilience and positivity displayed in posts from a bunch of amazing genimates I thought it time to reflect on my 2021. 

1. As a compulsive volunteerer finding the courage to say no to invitations and requests thus giving me time to do my own thing has given great joy. As an amateur I don't set myself lofty goals, I love having the flexibility to follow whims at my leisure. Practising Genealogy without guilt is liberating. 

My geneagoal for 2022 "Have fun and find stuff" will provide continuing joy.

2. The Covid situation gave me an opportunity to engage in many online learning activities from overseas like Rootstech, THE Genealogy Show, and the Scottish Indexes conferences at little or no cost. I was exposed to a host of international speakers that may never visit Australia to present at face-to-face events. 

3. I managed to attend a few-face to-face events at our local family history group of which I am the President. We managed a few events early in 2021 and once again at the end of the year after lockdown. You can't beat connecting with people in person.

4. My main focus this year was on nothing in particular. I don't have any rigid goals; my aim was to enjoy my research, further my knowledge and share some ancestors stories. Genies just want to have fun.

5. A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was Airtable, a very easy to use relational database that has the look and feel of a spreadsheet. I can't say that I've mastered this platform but I've used it for a number of tasks including the management of my DNA kits and connections.

6. A geneasurprise I received was on Roberts side of the family when I connected via DNA with a young genealogist in the UK who is a Ball descendant. Robert was thrilled when this new connection shared a family report written by her grandmother and a copy of the first photo we have seen of  James Ball, Roberts 2xgreat grandfather. 

7.  A Facebook Group that helped me was each of those that provided me with an answer at the point of need. When I need an answer immediately I often find guidance in Facebook groups or on YouTube.

8. My 2021 social media post that I was particularly proud of was the series of posts I managed to complete for  the 2021 #AtoZChallenge where I wrote about two of my passions, books and family history. It was a trip down memory lane where I revisited some of those books that have enriched my genealogy experience.

9.  A new (to me) genealogy/history book I enjoyed was With hearts and hands and voices : the centenary history of the Sacred Heart Parish, Hamilton 1884-1984. It wasn't a great book but it gave me
something I had been seeking for years, a photo of my 3 x great uncle and pioneer priest, Michael Harrington Ryan.

10. I was impressed by the way so many genies have used zoom to be connected, educated entertained.  It is so inspiring to see how people who had not been previously familiar with  technology embraced online learning. 

11.  A great journal or newspaper article I found was a range of short articles I found on British Newspaper Archive. When I researched my 10 convict ancestors 30+ years ago finding information on them in newspapers of the day was a daunting task I didn't undertake. As I was preparing a talk on resources for Australian convicts in 2021 I easily found mention of seven of my ancestors in newspapers of the day. My favourite was the report of John Tucker's unsuccessful attempt to break out of Ayslesbury gaol.  

12. I got the most value from several subscriptions, I am in the fortunate position to have subs to the Big Three subscription databases. I like Ancestry for its synching with RootsMagic; MyHeritage for exploring DNA matches and FindMyPast for newspapers. That's a mean question, it's like asking who is your favourite child.

13. I progressed my DNA research by attending Veronica Williams' Analysing your DNA Results using chromosome analysis course at the SAG, I was certainly challenged by the content and, as a result, I have taken the plunge and have started using GDAT to analyse my  matches. Once I get a handle on this I will start using GDAT  for the other kits I manage.

14. I taught several genimates to use various software packages, applications and databases in online presentations, group sessions and one-on-one zoom calls.

15.  A blog post that taught me something new were several from Carmel Galvin. Her series on the AJCP on the for the 2021 #AtoZChallenge is an excellent learning resource. Her Use your voice for family stories made me look at the Blogger Android app again. I have used that app to compose this post.

16. A DNA discovery I made was an answer to problem a relative seeking an unknown sibling sought help for ten years ago. Sadly I found the answer via DNA just 2 months after this relative passed away. I was able to confirm with a descendant of the sibling from a document I held that DNA doesn't lie.

17. A newly found family member (a descendant of the unknown sibling mentioned above) shared details of his family line. This traditional data is so useful for identifying DNA matches.

18. I finally found James Gowans aka James the Clock, one of my favourite ancestors,  here six feet under in Stirling, Scotland by doing a simple search on FindaGrave. An added bonus was that James was resting not alone but with several other family members under a handsome monument that memorialised even more family members. Task for 2022 - search 
FindaGrave for all family members I haven't yet killed off or buried.

19. Because I haven't been able to spend my travel budget I
 splashed out and purchased  a new, comfortable office chair, a sub to Airtable and most recently a new smartphone on which I am voice typing this post.  This phone has such a good camera that it may make the camera I bought last year obsolete. Although I have three different scanners I am finding this phone useful for scanning on the run; I won't need to pack my Flip-Pal in my gadget bag any longer.

20. Another positive I would like to share is that I am continually blown over by the genearosity of those in the genealogy community. I especially thank those who have invested time in responding to this geneameme; I am inspired by your progress and achievements. 


Lilian's Tree said...

Thanks, Jill, I enjoyed reading your answers.

Shauna Hicks said...

Thanks Jill. So many inspiring suggestions in the various posts.

Linda Stufflebean said...

Thanks, Jill, for the challenge. You had a productive POSITIVE year. :)

GeniAus said...

And back at you three for supporting the geneamem.

Anne Young said...

Congratulations on another year of genealogical joy and discoveries

Sharon said...

Do you prefer Airtable to the Genealogical DNA Analysis Took for managing your DNA kits? Or do they have different purposes? What are your other uses for Airtable?

GeniAus said...

Sharon - I'll answer this in a blog post on this blog shortly.

crgalvin said...

Wow, always busy you do achieve so much. BTW thanks for the mention.

GeniAus said...

Carmel, I appreciate your guidance.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Jill what a great fun year you had. I am impressed by your continuing to explore new technology in Airtable and GDAT which I haven't even thought about doing yet. Always so much to do and learn isn't there?


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