It has been a brilliant week for doing my family history and writing. With no family around there is an amazing amount of time.
Although it would have been nice to have some family for Christmas but perhaps next year will be the White Christmas I have promised myself for the last three years.
If you are looking for an easy New Year resolution, why not adopt the good practice of doing genealogy back ups on the first day of the month. That's easy to remember and you can set calendar reminders as well. Nothing worse than losing your genealogy database.
Jill Ball (aka GeniAus) issued her annual Accentuate the Positive Geneameme. You can read my response for 2021 here.
Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks has come up very quickly. There are weekly themes which are broad enough to have an examply somewhere in the family tree. At first I thought I would do the ones I know most about. But then I am not really progressing my research or analysing why I can't find anything on someone. So more distant direct ancestors are the target if I can find one that fits the theme. One a week for the next year.
Mum's great grandfather
Trying to connect all those DNA cousin matches is daunting. But when you think we have 8 great grandparents for 2nd cousin matches, 16 great great grandparents for 3rd cousin matches, 32 great great great grandparents for 4th cousins and 64 great great great great grandparents for 5th cousins.
If each ancester was one of ten children (as most of mine seem to be, especially on Mum's side) then the numbers start to be enormous. For maximum benefit we should be trying to trace down all those lines to the present to connect up with DNA testers.
I have done that on most of my mother's family lines as way back in the beginning (1977) I had the idea to trace all living descendants of my emigrant ancestors. The problem lies in the fact that I have not kept up with descendants since about 2000. So I am missing the modern generation. So a bit of back tracking is necessary but my DNA is not so confusing now.
Also tracing Dad's biological family put a spanner in his cousin lines so I have spent quite a bit of time this week working on all the Cleaves descendants in Australia. I'm surprised at how many Cleaves families came out from Somersetshire, England and Wales. It has paid off as I have recognised some of the surnames in my matches.
For those who might be looking at 6th cousins, that is 128 great great great great great grandparents!
It is how you search that often changes the result from 'can't find' to success.
I have previously tried to find William and Hannah Cleaves/Cleves in the 1841 census. They were in the 1851 census so it was more than likely a spelling variant that was the problem.
This time I searched for Hannah (more uncommon than William) left the surname blank, searched in the county of Somersetshire and used Littleton as a keyword (the place where they lived). The surname was indexed as Clears. How easy in hindsight. Looking at the snippet it is easy to see how hard the indexers job was.
|1841 census via The Genealogist|
Writing Family Stories
This week was a marathon effort with the Spencer Family from Cosby, Leicestershire. The trouble is every time I show it to Max, he suggests adding something else. The never ending family history is true. Before I do a final 'nice' print job, I am going to send out ecopies or print copies spiral bound for the older generation and will seek feedback or photos. Then I will incorporate and finish. Who believes that?
What's Coming Up?
January is traditionally a quiet month with most societies closed. Given I have four talks in February I can imagine that time will be spent preparing those talks.
|Bribie with the Glass Houses in the background|
Also I am doing a term on English Genealogy at Bribie U3A so that's nine classes to prepare. So far I have set up the Powerpoint template and mapped out what each week will cover. I also have a session on student brickwalls and one has already been submitted by an experienced researcher. She has clearly defined what the issues are, what she has done and ends with 'help'.
Of course I also want to keep pushing on with the writing up my narrative family histories for each emigrant ancestor. Plus decluttering the remaining paper files and folders.
And then again there is my part time job, if I want to get paid and meet contract obligations. Minor detail.
2022 hasn't even started and already I think I may have overcommitted myself yet again. But I always get to the end of the year and think, that was a wonderful year.
Have fun researching if you get the chance this coming week.
Happy New Year for 2022 and let's all try and stay safe and well in this challening time. I hope to see you some time this coming year.