Thursday, 2 May 2013

Let's start at the very beginning

Growing up, one of our family’s possessions was the family Bible. It sat in the corner of the lounge-room, underneath all the other Bibles, and was largely ignored by all and sundry. In 1989,  my year 8 English teacher set a unit of work which may have been around biographies or some similar theme. We had to create a family tree and there were some turn-of-the-century diary entries or some-such I remember having to respond to (made up ones, of course). Being something of a nerd, I unearthed the family Bible and turned it into a tree. Yes, mine was the most detailed of anybody’s in the class. However, the truly important thing about the moment was that for me it sparked an interest in my family history. I longed to know the details about the people whose names I could see.
Time passed, as it does when you are a teenager, and before I knew it I was 18 and at uni. As an Arts student it is fair to say I had a little time on my hands, so I enrolled in a course at the WEA run by local geneaology legend Graham Jaunay of Proformat. Thus began my research in earnest.
Ever since then I have continued to chip away at my research as time permits. My focus is somewhat broader than most: I am trying to find out everything I can about my ancestry, on each line. Since my children were born I have expanded that to include their ancestry as well. I have pored over microfiche, rummaged in dusty shelves, trekked through muddy cemeteries, spent holidays photographing odd and obscure locations, and met distant relatives who have become collaborators and friends. It has been incredibly rewarding but there is still so much of the journey to go.
I have recently made the decision to begin a blog for three reasons: one is that I feel I need to record something of the research process. So often I have to work away at a connection, finally make the breakthrough, and then (because I now know what I’m looking for) find all sorts of other evidence which makes the discovery seem far less exciting or unlikely than it was. I want a forum for sharing my discoveries with people who will understand why they have been so exciting or, to steal a cliché from the news, ‘game-changing’. I also have taken to ‘googling’ ancestors and descendants of theirs who I think may be able to assist in my research, and I’m conscious that my own genealogical footprint is so easy to miss, which could be depriving me of valuable contacts.
So, here I am. Prepare to be bored. ;)

Yep, it's all your fault!


  1. Just found your blog because you followed me on Twitter.So pleased I decided to see who's followed me lately. I just wrote a post about new blogs which I will amend to add yours - hope it brings some new readers your way. I'm already hooked. Congratulations and welcome to the Blogisphere.

  2. Thanks Jill! :) I also appreciate the re-tweet.