Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Founders of New Jersey,USA in my Family Tree

Genealogical research leads us down many different paths, as I imagine most of you would agree. As a person who grew up in the Southern United States, Virginia to be exact, learning I had northern ancestors was a big surprise!  Steeped in Virginia history and desiring to be a “Southern Belle” limited my vision greatly! I was sixty years old when I started my genealogical research, I will soon be 67.  What a  lot I have learned!

I had traced ancestors who had participated in the American Revolutionary War, making me eligible for membership in the DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution. I had also traced ancestors to the Mayflower and to Jamestown, making me eligible for several more historically based societies. I have to say, Virginians are generally very aware of their family roots, and these three societies, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the Jamestown Society, and the DAR were the ones to establish your pedigree! But as I continued my research, I realized that members of my family were some of the first settlers of many eventual states of America who had their own societies. Of course, that is logical, people here in the very beginning intermarried and spread all across this great country.

You can imagine my surprise when I found many paternal ancestors from New Jersey-- even fighters for the Union in the American Civil War! As it turns out, my maiden name Youngblood came from a branch of that family who had settled in New Jersey! As I traced them back, it included the Spear/Spier/Speers as well. In the late 1600's, my Speers married a Vreeland from the Netherlands. The Vreelands were well documented back to where they left the Netherlands and settled first in New Amsterdam (New York), then in New Jersey.  It was my seventh great grandparents, Hartman Mickelson/Michielse Vreeland, 1651-1707,  and Maritje Braecke, 1652-1724 who caught my attention.

Hartman Mickelson/Michielse Vreeland,  my 7th great-grandfather, was famous in his own little world. He was one of the founders of the State of New Jersey! In fact, he is credited with being “the first white man to settle in what is now the city of Passaic“, New Jersey. He actually purchased the land from the Lenni Lenape Tribe of the Algonquin nation of Indians-- an island in the Passaic River, now part of Acquackanonk Park where he settled. In Passaic there is a plaque honoring Hartman and thanks to the Passaic County Historical Society, I can now see it and learn about my  grandfather.

“This tablet is erected to the memory of Hartman Michielse.
The first white man to set foot in this county,
who on April 4, 1678, settled on this spot then known as
Meneheniki Island, which he then purchased from the Indians.”

Isn’t that amazing! The blood of a true pioneer runs through my veins, and my sister and brothers’ veins, my children and grandchildren and cousins! Wow! Hartman’s father, Michael Jansen Vreeland was born in Zeeland, Netherlands in 1610 and died in Bergen, New Jersey, in the American Colonies in 1663. Hartman himself was born 1651 in New Amsterdam, New York and died in Bergen, NJ in 1707. He was a wealthy man as was his wife, Maritje Braecke, 1652-1724.  He and Maritje had 13 children together! He was a skilled wheelwright, a man who made wooden wheels for carts and carriages, although his wealth was inherited according to The History and Genealogy of the Vreeland Family, 1999, by Nicholas Vreeland.

I’ve learned that since I am a direct descendant of one of the citizens of New Jersey who settled there before 1702, I am eligible to become a member of the “Descendants of Founders of New Jersey"!  Evelyn Ogden, PhD, has provided a revised and updated book published in 2011 titled  Founders of New Jersey, Brief Biographies by Descendants. It is available to be downloaded as a pdf at this link.   Biographies are included for  the people listed below, of whom, I am pretty sure I am related to six or seven more families! That’s what happens when your family is present at the beginning of settlements and the population is limited.
Biographical entries include:

DAVID ACKERMAN (1653 – 1710/24)
THOMAS ALGER (16XX – 1687)
OBADIAH AYERS (1636 – 1694)
JOHN BISHOP SR. (1621-1684)
ROBERT BOND (1596 – 1677)
RICHARD BORDEN (1595/6 – 1671)
JAMES BOWNE (1636 – 1695)
GEORGE BROWN ( 16XX -1717/8)
JAMES BROWN (1656-1715/6)
MATTHEW CAMFIELD (1604 – 1673)
CALEB CARMAN (1644/5 – 1693)
ROBERT CARR (1614 – 1681)
RICHARD CLARK (C. 1613 – 1697)
WILLIAM CLAYTON (1632 – 1689)
FRANCIS COLLINS (1635 – 1720)
JOHN CONGER (C 1645-1712)
THOMAS COX (1620 – 1681)
JASPER CRANE (1605 – 1681)
DAVID DEMAREST (1620 – 1693)
ROBERT DENNIS (C. 1619 – 1683+)
DANIEL DOD (C.1649 – 1701+)
SAMUEL DOTY (1643 – 1715)
GAVINE DRUMMOND (1659 – 1724)
JONATHAN DUNHAM (1639/40 – 1702)
NICHOLAS DUPUI (1634-1691) JOSHUA ELY (16XX– 1702)
DAVID FALCONER (1630-1713)
EDWARD FITZ-RANDOLPH (C.1607 – 1675/6)
THOMAS FRENCH (1639 – 1699)
HANNAH FULLER (1636 – AFT.1686)
THOMAS HAND (C. 1646-1714)
JOHN HAVENS (C. 1635 – C. 1687)
REV. OBADIAH HOLMES (1606/7 – 1682)
HENRY JAQUES (C. 1618-1687)
JEFFERY JONES (C.1643 – 1717)
ISAAC KINGSLAND (1648 – 1698)
HENRY LYON ( 16XX – 1703)
SAMUEL MARSH (C.1620 – 1683)
SAMUEL MOORE (C.1630 – 1688)
JOHN OGDEN (1609 – 1682)
GEORGE PACK (C. 1634-1704)
JOHN PIKE (1613 – 1689/90)
ELIZABETH POWELL (1677 – 1714)
BENJAMIN PRICE (1621-1712)
JOHN READING (1657-1717)
WALTER REEVE (1650/57 – 1698)
EDWARD RIGGS (C. 1614 – 1668)
JOHN SCHENCK (1670-1753)
THOMAS SCHOOLEY (1650 – 1724)
GILES SLOCUM (C. 1623 – 1681)
JOHN SOMERS (1623/24-1723)
JAMES STEELMAN (JONS MANSSON) (1660/70 – 1734/35)
ROBERT STILES (1655-1728)
RICHARD STOUT (C. 1615 – C. 1705)
MARTIN TICHENOR (C.1615 – 1681)
ROBERT TREAT (1622/24 – 1710)
CORNELIS VAN VOORST (C. 1580 – 1638)
JOHN WARD ( – 1684)
JOHN WARD (C. 1625 – 1694)
THOMAS WARNE (C. 1652 – 1722)
JOHN WINANS (WYNANTS) (1640 – 1694)
BARNABAS WINES (1628 – 1715)
WILLIAM WOOLMAN (C.1625 – 1692)
ROBERT ZANE (1642-1694)

For those who like to see the relationship charts, this shows my descendancy from Hartman Vreeland:

Hartman Vreeland (1651 – 1707)
is your 7th great grandfather

son of Hartman Vreeland

son of Dirck Vreeland

daughter of Dirck Vreeland

son of Metje Vreeland

son of Jacob Speer

daughter of Edwin Speer

son of Clara B. Spear

son of Edwin Spear Youngblood

You are the daughter of Cecil Hogue Youngblood

I am looking forward to seeing if you have recognized some of your own ancestors on this list!  Until we meet again, Helen

Monday, 25 January 2016

Researching Eastern European Ancestors: A Plea for Help

My mother's father was born in what is now Zamosty, Ukraine. In 1888, the time of Gustav Lange's birth, Zamosty was part of the Volhynia region of Tsarist Russia. His family apparently moved to Lutsk when he was a young boy as his father died there about 1905.

Zmosty, Ukraine; courtesy of Google Maps

Mom's mother was born in Alberta, Canada, in 1894, though my Schalin great grandparents had immigrated for religious reasons from the Tutschin area of the Volhynia region the year previously. Both of my mother's parents considered themselves German but we have no idea from where in Germany the Lange and Schalin families originated.

Thanks to the work of the late Lucille Marion (Fillenberg) Effa, we know a great deal about the history of the Schalin family. Lucille traced back to my four times great grandfather, Marcin Schalin, who was born in what is now Poland in about 1770. However, we knew very little about my maternal grandfather's Lange family.

All we knew were the names of his parents, the fact that his father died early, and that eventually most of his younger siblings immigrated to Canada after World War II. My mother knew the names of her aunts and uncles but had not met most of them. In fact, the names she gave me did not match up to the one photograph of Grandpa Lange's family taken before my grandfather left for Canada. There was an extra woman in the photograph, who I assume was a sister I do not know about.

My grandfather's mother and siblings. He is second from the right;
personal collection

Before my mother died, she graciously took an AncestryDNA test. When the results came back, she had three shared matches, which were my two brothers and me. She was tickled to learn we were in fact her children! Her ethnicity was 64 percent Eastern European, 26 percent Great British, and 3 percent Irish, which surprised all of us as we expected her to be mostly all Eastern European. Most of her matches were predicted to be distant cousins, which did me little good as we knew so little about most of her family.

Richard Lange family at their home in Canada.
This photograph was taken during a 1949 trip
to Canada to visit relatives; personal collection

I would check her DNA results every four to six months. Eventually a familiar name appeared as a possible fourth cousin. Mom's mother's parents had immigrated with a large group of people and settled in the Leduc area south Edmonton. Their descendants intermarried frequently so I knew many of the names of these families. The only connection I could discover was a by-marriage one, which certainly did not account for a fourth cousin match. I contacted the DNA match and he generously provided me with what he knew about his family history. We determined there must have been a Klapstein-Schalin marriage in Europe previous to our families' known history. I did learn that one of the Klapsteins was a professional football player (American style), which Mom enjoyed knowing as she was a big fan of the sport. Later another possible fourth cousin appeared in her results. He was the great grandson of Ludwig Schalin, my mother's grand uncle. So far all of Mom's DNA matches were on her Schalin side. Not really surprising as I knew much more about that side of her family tree, but not helpful in learning more about her Lange family.

Then I was contacted by a granddaughter of another grand uncle, Friedrich Lange. She did not know much about her grandfather's family either. Her father was still alive so she promised to ask him questions and she sent me several wonderful photographs.

Friedrich Lange family; courtesy of Gabriele Breier

A few weeks ago a potential second cousin match appeared in Mom's results. He had seven people in his family tree. I sent him a message and had just about given up hearing from him when my phone rang a few days ago. Caller ID identified the call was coming from Edmonton. An elderly gentlemen introduced himself and explained he was calling because of my message about our DNA connection.

We had a lovely conversation and determined that he was indeed my Mom's second cousin. His grandmother and Mom's paternal grandmother, Caroline Ludwig, were sisters! In fact, one of my grandfather's brothers paid for Mr. Lade to come to Canada after World War II and he and his father had visited the Lange family in Lutsk when he was a boy. So I finally have some new information about my Lange line. It's very exciting and I wish my mother were still alive. She would have been thrilled.

Lutsk Old Town; photograph courtesy of Wikipedia

The point of all this you ask. Well, I believe it's obvious I need to stop putting off learning how to research Eastern European ancestors so that is my genealogy goal for 2016. If you have any tips or pointers, please pass them along. Thank you.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Get Blogging!

As Worldwide Genealogy has just turned two, it is time to take stock.  Thanks to my co-authors this blog is still going strong.  The total number of page views currently stands at 170,000, which attests to a real audience.  At the end of 2014, the blog had attracted 38,000 page views.  Posts published in 2015 have attracted 41,000 views. Posts published in 2014 were also viewed a further 91,000 times during 2015.

The original objective was a daily post achieved by each of the 31 authors committing to post on a particular day of the month.  In 2015 most authors followed a bi-monthly posting schedule, with a few sticking with the original monthly schedule.  This change allowed 41 authors to contribute from the UK, USA, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany and Australia.  216 posts were published in 2014, but the number of posts dropped to 159 in 2015.  I wonder if the less frequent schedule is harder to keep to.  

Collaboration has certainly helped Worldwide Genealogy build an audience, but now is not the time to be complacent.  Reasons commonly given for bloggers giving up include lack of:
  • commitment - making time 
  • patience - not expecting instant results like a large audience or profit 
  • persistence - most bloggers give up too soon 
  • writing skills - requires practice
  • passion for the blog topic - motivation

Passion for genealogy certainly is not lacking for this blog's authors.  Posts cover a variety of genealogy-related topics.  The most popular posts include discussions of technology, tools, resources, research methods and telling of family tales:
Digital preservation, or why I worry about Evernote
Using Time Lines as a Family History Writing Tool
My three Rs of Genealogy
Criteria for Assessing the Quality of Genealogy Websites and Online Data
Use FreeBMD postems to find new relatives
A Transcription Toolbox
Why the Genealogy Do-Over is not for me
Al Capone’s bullet proof car and my great-uncle
Saying Goodbye Too Soon

For anyone who would like to join in, the resource links in Want To Be A Geneablogger? are a good starting point.

Get Blogging!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The War of 1812 Can Be Your Friend

The United States wasn't the only country that was affected by the War of 1812.
If it weren't for the War of 1812 Pensions many wouldn't know maiden names for their female ancestor, nor marriages among many other beautiful treasures that can be found in the War of 1812 Pension Files.I support the Preserve the War of 1812 Pensions Project because I think everyone that has a story needs to have that story heard and found. Believe me there are a lot of stories in those files.
This day, however, I am going to share another reason why I am grateful for the War of 1812.It was a source for one of my Hero's ancestor coming to the New World. William Stephen Sackley left England in the Service of His Majesty King George III to fight wars on other Lands' soil. In 1814, according to his Land Petition or later called a Land Warrant, he was in Canada in 1814 to fight for Canada's rights as their British Colony.This gave me fruit for thought looking at the war from a Canadian Perspective. Of course, they were the only representation of England at America's back door and so they would be considered a threat from a military way of thinking.There were those in power however, who thought of it as a opportunity to grab Canada as their own land if they won the war with England.The Canadians, on the other hand, didn't have any desire at that time to be "liberated" from Britain nor to be a part of America, which some Canadians had fled when the American Revolution was fought. Reading many sites about the Canadian Perspective of the War of 1812, I developed a great respect for their side of the story. This site has a nice write up and video "A Canadian Perspective on the War of 1812". The War of 1812 Overview is a place to learn from too.
Going back to why I, an 8 generation American girl, would be researching a Canadian Perspective, since I don't have any Canadian ancestors.
The Hero's (my special guy) ancestor John Sackley appeared on his pedigree chart as just a name. Nothing was known about him other than his siblings names from a note in a cousin's baby book.
Permission to use From Barbara Bonner.

As we started researching, we found from Census records he was from Canada West. Nice, but when I first started researching this, Canada was an huge unknown for me... My neighboring country and I knew more about Mexico (and no ancestors from here) than Canada, crazy right. Why hadn't I paid more attention in World History, for that matter American History. John became my brick wall in my research until I turned my attention to his siblings. His sister married a prominent man who founded a town in Indiana, and they mentioned her name as his wife and her father's name in passing. Now, I had John's father's name William Sackley. My first thought was to grab a William Sackley listed on the IGI who was born in Nova Scotia...wrong, not old enough... Another sibling, as a pioneer of a Nebraska township, had his biography written up in a history book of Nebraska. It gave when the family came to America, and the place that they came from in Canada...Napean, Carlton, Quebec,which now gave me a place to focus on. However, it wasn't until I found my wonderful Gene-Friend Lorine McGinnis Schulze's Blog The Olive Tree Genealogy which led me to her unbelievable website The Olive Tree Genealogy that is one of the most helpful resource guides for Early American, and Canadian research I have found. Ship Passenger lists, Censuses, Immigration, Land records,Canadian Census links to name a few things that you can find here. Through her links, I was able to order the Land Records which lead me find William Stephen Sackley (he went by Stephen until he came to America) and it in turn gave me the information on his service in the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot, in the English Military. The following is what I have gleaned from Canadian sites, and Researching the 37th Regiment.
I admit I am just starting here, but it was an awesome exercise in finding my Hero's ancestor's story. I know he joined the military during the Napoleon War, which for him extended to the War of 1812 between America and England. At the end of the War he found himself in Canada, a brand new country (for him), with an opportunity to stay and own land.Apparently he thought that was the best idea, for he stayed.
This has been my, so far, findings...What the British government offered what was described as very favorable conditions. Each private was to receive 100 acres, a sergeant, 200 acres, a Lieutenant, 400, a captain, 800;  and a colonel, 1000 acres.  The land was distributed through a "Land Petition" initiated by an ex-soldier, which would be converted to a "Land Warrant" after a certain amount of time. They would also receive their army pension (officers were placed on half-pay) as well as rations for the first 12 months. Each family was to receive a shovel, ax, hoe, scythe, knife, hammer, kettle, bed tick and blanket, hand saw, 12 panes of glass, one pound of putty for glazing and twelve pounds of nails (in three sizes). The community itself would receive two sets of carpenters’ tools. For the sake of protection and militia duties, muskets and ammunition were retained by the ex-soldiers. In addition clergyman and schoolteacher were to be dispatched. (4.)
A few 37th Regiment men can be found in the Richmond Military Settlement at Carlton. The 37th was in garrison in Canada from 1814-1825.  Many of these men took land grants in the settlement of Goulbourn near Richmond. The 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment had its beginnings in 1702 and continued until 1881
In the Land Records, Stephen is shown as having been granted 100 acres in Goulbourn and being part of the 37th Regiment.  The 100 acres shows he was a private according to the amount allotted.  He is shown in the 1st Carleton Regiment 1828 Militia Muster Roll, as Stephen Sackley age 35 having serving previously in the 37th Reg't.

Scrapbook page I created with what I have found. 

My next step is to see if I can obtain his English Military Records that hopefully will help be back to England.
Thanks for listening to my journey to Canada and hope your New Year of 2016 will find you breaking through brick walls. My journey was not an overnight one, it took many years to get here...

1. National Army Museum, 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot., 7 July 2014, Online, 2 March     2015, .
2. Wikipedia, Results of the War of 1812, 19 January 2016, Online, 11 November 2014,
3. FamilySearch Wiki, Canada in the War of 1812, 30 January 2015, Online, 6 July 2015,
4. Ron Dale and Wes Cross, The Regiments of the Richmond Military Settlement, The 37th, 99th and    100th Regiments, April 2008, 2 January 2014, Online, 5 May 2013,

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

New Year - New Plans

Does the start of a New Year make you think about planning for the year ahead?

At the end of 2014 Thomas MacEntee introduced his Genealogy Do Over . 
I had every intention of getting this done last year
I made a start, but life just seemed to get in the way as it so often does, now to put that plan into action.

I decided a few weeks into the year, in 2015, that my first goal was going to take much longer than I anticipated. 
I visited the US in February 2015, attending the Rootstech/FGS conference in Salt Lake City, and in April 2015 I also spent a day at WDYTYA Live in Birmingham.
I regularly participate in genealogy hangouts, have my own blogs, a "day job", and run my family home. Ultimately something had to go, getting organized took a back seat. 

So this year I am continuing with my organization plans and hoping to implement some of the things I learnt last year. This applies to both my genealogy and my work files. Along the way I will be blogging about my progress and sharing things that I have found useful on either of my 2 blogs.

I have never been the most organized person and I have tried out a few systems with the aim of getting more organized. 

The above graphic shows some of the things I have had to consider under the overall "umbrella" of organisation. 
I have tried using both Evernote and One Note to aid organization, but at present, I am not exactly sure how I am going to make best use of their capabilities.

That being said, this Saturday I am going to the Genealogy Clutter Buster Mini Boot Camp
I am sure Lisa Alzo will have plenty of advice here. 
If you have been unable to sign up for this, both sessions quickly sold out, I am sure Thomas MacEntee will have it available after the event.

Hopefully I have finally hit on a system that works for me with what I am proposing to do.
This month I am concentrating on planning.

Have you made your own plans for 2016?

January is the month for Planning!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Family Oral History Project - Kick in the Butt

Happy New Year to All! Yes it is time to reflect on the year past and plan for the coming year!


It is hard to believe that it is two years since my first post on the Worldwide Genealogy - A Genealogy Collaboration Blog. My involvement with this project has encouraged me to broaden my horizons, to look at my research from a different perspective and to delve into areas that were once foreign to me.

Each blog has pushed me to find something new and interesting to share with our members and readers.  I must admit sometimes this has been a little stressful due to other commitments, however, I always feel a sense of accomplishment once the blog is posted. Of course the bonus is the supportive and informative feedback that I have received from the group and readers. Last year, due to moving house, a family reunion and family illness I missed a couple of blogs, so this year I would like to plan ahead and develop a theme for my 2016 blogs.  

Plan: Development of an Oral History Plan for our Family History

We have all wished we had taken more time to sit and talk to our elders, to capture their stories, experiences and perspectives on their lives and the times they lived in.  Often, we leave this until it is to late and the memories are lost for ever.

Over recent months when I spending time with my mother, I have noticed that she is starting to lose and confuse her memories.  Unfortunately, she had a fall on New Year's Eve while visiting me and has been in hospital for a week.  Each time I visit her, I find she is spending a lot of time recalling memories from her childhood and teenage years.  I am taking this as a sign, or a kick in the "butt" to put a concerted effort into starting to record an oral history for our family.

With this in mind, I started to do a little research on Oral History Collection.  Another Reality Check!

I realised if I was going to do this properly, it wasn't just a matter of sitting down with family members, sticking a microphone in front of them and asking a few questions.  There are so many things to consider.

For example:
can of worms
  • What equipment will I use?
  • Recording of interviews? - should they be audio, by video or both?
  • How will I store/archive the digital files
  • How do I approach the family members I wish to interview?
  • How do I make them feel comfortable with being interviewed?
  • What questions should I ask?
  • What are my ethical responsibilities?
  • What new and exciting apps/programs are now available for recording and storage of oral histories?
You would have to agree I have opened a "can of worms" and that these questions cannot be covered adequately in the space of one blog, so I have decided to follow a theme for my 2016 blogs on Worldwide Genealogy - A Genealogy Collaboration Blog, with each post for this year looking at different aspects of putting together our family "Oral History Project".  

Watch this space! I am looking forward to sharing my learning experience with you all and look forward to your feedback and advice 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

My genealogy education plan for 2016

Happy New Year, everybody!

My year is off to a great start, as I will be flying to Salt Lake City the day after tomorrow to attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy next week. What a wonderful way to start the year! It will be my first genealogy institute. If you're there too, please come and introduce yourself.

I will be participating in the Advanced Evidence Practicum, where a different genealogist will throw a case at us every day, which we will attempt to solve. The next day, we will discuss and compare our methods and outcomes, and learn how the original researcher solved the problem. The practicum is unlike any type of education I can get in Europe, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, educational opportunities in the Netherlands are limited. Most genealogical lectures and workshops are aimed at the beginner or intermediate level. There are online courses from overseas institutes like Boston University in the US or the University of Strathclyde, but they are intensive, expensive and are not specialized in the Netherlands, where I do most of my research. Still, good methodology is pretty universal, so that would be a good choice, but I can't afford to spend that much time and money while building my business.

So I'm relying mostly on self-study. I attend webinars, read lots of books and have several dozens of subscriptions to journals and magazines. I don't limit myself to pure genealogical literature but am also a member of several historical societies which have nice journals that explain the local circumstances.

View of New Amsterdam (now: New York City), by Johannes Vingboons, about 1674
This year, I will focus on learning more about New Netherland research, researching Dutch immigrants who settled in North America in the 17th century with a focus of finding their place of origin and parents in Dutch records. I love doing these projects; the puzzles are so interesting! Unlike British Colonial lines, often there hasn't been much original research done in records in the country of origin, so there are great opportunities for discoveries. For the dozen or so New Netherland projects I did for clients so far, I managed to find the immigrant ancestor in Dutch records in each case. It's wonderful to see how the skills that I built doing other types of projects translate so well to New Netherland projects.

My intention is to learn more about New Netherland research by:
  • Reading the books about New Netherland and the Dutch West India Company in my own library. I purchased several books over the couple of years that I haven't read cover-to-cover yet. Mostly, I've just searched the index for specific names. 
  • Listening to all the "New Netherland Praatjes" podcast by the New Netherland institute. 
  • Reading the old issues of "New Netherland Connections," a magazine that existed between 1996 and 2010. These are available online at the American Ancestors website, which I can access as a member of the NEHGS. 
  • Reading case studies involving New Netherland families in the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record.
  • Doing more New Netherland projects for clients. 
  • Creating my own research guide for New Netherland research. I think systematically going through all the sources will help me with my own understanding, and might help others too. 
How do you educate yourself? Any plans to visit institutes?

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Two Years Down the Track

Reflection is so important to me as as a family historian and lifelong learner. For the past few years I have published the Accentuate the Positive Geneameme, a tool genies can use to reflect on the things they have achieved. You can access it and join in here.

In my first post on this blog two years ago I  introduced myself. Things have remained very much the same in my Geneaworld although I have picked up a couple of extra volunteering activities.

I am sorry that when travelling I have missed a couple of monthly posts to this blog - I will endeavour to correct this in 2016 when I already have about four months of overseas travel planned. I may rejig some of my old personal blog posts and reblog them here.

The work I have done with another local family historian and our local studies librarian to establish the Hornsby Shire Family History Group makes me feel so proud. In just 11 months we have grown to have over 70 members and have exhibited at various community events.

Jennie Fairs from The Surname Society approached me last year and asked me, as a genie who trips about, to write a regular column for their newsletter, The Surname Scribbler. I was honoured to be asked and appreciate the opportunity it gives me to reflect on my geneactivities. Although my columns are fluffy the bulk of the articles are most informative and instructive. It is worth the modest membership fee to receive copies of this epublication (it's cheaper than many commercially produced publications).

You might note that I use a bit of geneajargon in my writing. I have always been fascinated by jargon and made up words so in August 2014 I started the Geneadictionary blog, a lighthearted publication, in which I share words I find and those that my Genimates find for me. Although it doesn't have a massive readership I enjoy putting this blog together. While I had been dabbling with Wordpress for a few years I had never blogged with it seriously. I now use Wordpress for Hornsby Shire Family History Group website and my  surname study blog CurryAus.

I continue to be involved in Rootstech, the greatest Geneaevent on Earth, and will be an Ambassador and Presenter again in 2016. I wonder which of my fellow bloggers I will meet there this year.

Have you reflected on your geneactivities lately?