Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Do Not Disturb - I'm counting relatives

I like to look over statistics of my family research activities. It's a sign of achievement and I like to check how many are lost in the event of a computer or software package breakdown. Believe me there's been two this year and I think I contained the losses to about 50 people (at the cost of a new software update and a new computer). So as at today I have 6147 people in the tree.

Don't get me wrong I don't just collect names for the sake of collecting. I believe that if you research up-and-down and across a family you find much more and reap the benefits.

·         Breakthroughs eg when you find brother John was staying with widowed sister Sue and her family

·         Insight into family trades, names, movements

·         DNA spinoffs hopefully

So this year has seen me put some 1000 extra people on my tree bringing the total to 6147. I also discovered it was necessary to expand the tree when my husband and I did a DNA test. My fourth cousins or closer matches have grown from 49 to 70 in a few months. I'd like to think some of this has come from my expansion in the tree but I've had very little success there. Indeed it's from the popularity of DNA testing. I suspect, judging from the people saying they have bought testing kits for Christmas on various DNA facebook sites there should be an expanded “number of cousins” in about a month or so. So here's hoping for a decent match.

To continue my statistics -My DNA test showed 58% Great Britain and Scotland, 34% Irish and 8% other the regions including 4% Europe East 2% Iberian Peninsula and 1% Scandinavian.

I suspect that with my high percentage of Irish origins I will have to make researching Irish records my New Years Resolution. Also my Family Tree Maker program records my To Do list –yikes. I've got 83 look up's and tasks and they're only the ones I've written down.

My statistics will not include how many hours spent at my computer. It’s off the Richter scale. However I'm pleased that my blog has hit 60 posts and is had more than 6100 hits.

So as at the end of this month I have a tree spanning back 26 generations with two 22nd times great-grandfathers and one 22nd times great grandmother

de Stradlegh, Walter
22nd great grandfather
de Somerville, Robert

22nd great grandfather
de Moiz, Isilia
1128 AD
22nd great grandmother

It is on the Strelley side and they're pretty well documented due to land entitlements and inheritances.

I'm also pretty proud of the fact that I've found

·         14/16 second great grandparents

·         27/32 three times great grandparents.

·         38/64 four times great grandparents

·         27/128 five times great-grandparents dating back to early 1700s

·         And all the Great greats up to the 22x mentioned above.


Meanwhile it is 207 days until we board the Pacific Aria for a cruise around New Guinea including Milne Bay war sites. Over in New Guinea they happen to be celebrating the 75th anniversary of WWII next year. As well as the anniversary, the cruise also doubles as a genealogy conference with Unlock the Past so we get a holiday, hopefully learn a bit during the sailing days, and see some sites

Steve’s dad saw during his stint in New Guinea.

If you are looking for a worthwhile project you might like to go to the
Imperial War Museum’s Lives of World War One site and remember a loved one or two from England’s WWI. I’ve uploaded several stories and remembering 40.

Happy New Year to all my fellow researchers and readers. Here’s to a great year searching for stories.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Making The Most Of Christmas

It's Christmas time..... a time when we catch up with old relatives, long lost cousins, aunts and in-laws.

It’s the perfect opportunity to seek out those who can contribute to your genealogy bucket list for 2017. Perhaps you will be in contact with the oldest members of the family, those who have incredible memories of things past or the  holders  of the "family valuables" and by that  mean the photos and the memorabilia. This is your annual opportunity to engage people in conversation about visiting family townships, graves etc. Don't be put off by those rolling their eyes and running a mile from you.

I took some photos of my Grandfather when I visited my Aunt and she recounted his death (several times LOL)
Here's a few tips on how to gain interest and information.

  • Seek out the oldest relatives.
  • Talk about family traditions. How did they come about?
  • Ask who was here in the past. 
  • Take along a  piece of memorabilia to share/get the conversation started.
  • Bring a plate of something grandma used to make or use her old tablecloths, bowls etc. That might get the memories working.
  • Engage the cousins, auntie's and uncles. It may jog their memories, remind them of facts, fire up their interest.
  • Ask people to update your tree with births, deaths and marriages.
  • Make up bonbons with family history facts or questions inside.
  • Laminate some placemats with fun questions such as "Who is the practical joker of the family?" "Who got into the most trouble?"
  • Pull out the old photo albums.
  • Take a pen and paper handy write everything down and check the facts with some others who were on the conversation.

To all my readers- Many thanks for your interest and Merry Christmas. Plenty more family stories, World War One stories and hints to come next year. Feel free to comment or contact me with any special requests.

Enjoy Christmas as a special family time and have a Happy New Year. What are your 2017 family history resolutions?

Robyn xx