Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Accentuate the Positive 2015 Geneameme

Once again Geniaus has invited family historians to reflect on their past year’s achievement through her Accentuate the Positive Geneameme.  Here’s my reflection on what I have achieved genealogy-wise in 2015.

An elusive ancestor I found was . . . where my 3rd great grandfather, John William Rae, was born.  His marriage certificate, death certificate & his son’s (my direct ancestor’s) birth certificate simply stated his birthplace as Ireland.  I took ordering birth certificates for all of his children but, just as I’d hoped, it listed his birthplace on his first child’s birth certificate – Belfast, Ireland.  Now if only I could find his immigration record!

A precious family photo I found was
the same as A geneasurprise I received.  I visited my paternal grandmother this year to see what she could tell me about where her Rae ancestors were from.  While she firmly believed that they were from Ireland, she wasn’t able to help me any further.  She gave me many of her photos during this visit but the real surprise came a few months later.  My father had been to visit her & gave me a photo from her.  This was a photo of her on her wedding day.  Standing on one side of her was her paternal grandmother, Emma Guyatt, & on the other side was her new husband’s paternal grandmother, Catherine Curran.  As part of UTAS’s Introduction to Family History course, I researched Catherine & her teaching career last year which makes me treasure this photo all the more.

An ancestor's grave I found was also another geneasurprise I received.  I don’t really use Facebook for genealogy, but someone I know told me to have a look at the Family History Group of Bathurst’s Facebook page as there were some Curran graves on there that had been restored.  I was hugely surprised to find that they were the graves of my 3rd great grandparents!

A newly found family member shared
a photo of a ring that was passed down to him & which apparently belonged to my 4th great grandfather, Carl Heinrich Vonthien.

A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was pretty much everything I watched / attended but the AFFHO Congress in Canberra really stood out.  I still need to catch up on the speaker’s papers!

While I don’t think I’ve achieved much in my own personal genealogy research over the past year, I do feel like I have contributed to the genealogy community by volunteering to help transcribe records online.  This year I took part in FamilySearch’s Worldwide Indexing Event again.  I also helped to index / transcribe the WW1 Nominal Roll for the Australian War Memorial.  The Prosecution Project is something else that I’m involved in, entering data from historical court records.  While I have helped transcribe records for Ancestry & FreeBMD before, they were quite onerous.  The Prosecution Project & the WW1 Nominal Roll were straightforward, making it easier to transcribe greater amounts of information.  Hopefully I’ve been able to ‘pay it forward’ in a small way during 2015. 


  1. Yoy've had a bonzer especially considering your work commitments. Thanks for participating in this challenge.

  2. I hadn't heard of the Prosecution Project before. That sounds really interesting.

    1. The Prosecution Project is interesting & it's also pretty easy to help out with. It's been featured in Inside History magazine a few times as well.