Ancestor Approved Award
I was delighted to be nominated for the Ancestor Approved Award from Pauleen at ‘Family history across the seas‘.
I have been busy preparing for an engagement party, worrying about weather and tidiness – but then came horrifying tales of the floods. How could I worry about rain at the party, when others were struggling with the loss of lives and possessions? Likewise, when I consider the difficulties and personal tragedies faced by some of my ancestors, it puts into perspective my own concerns.
This Award was created by Leslie Ann Ballou at Ancestors Live Here and asks two things of those who receive it:
- They should write 10 surprising, humbling, or enlightening aspects of their research
- Pass the award on to 10 other researchers whose family history blogs are doing their ancestors proud.
So here are my 10 surprising, humbling or enlightening findings, in no particular order of importance:
- I am humbled by the difficulties faced by immigrant ancestors, like David and Jane MOORE and their three small children, who were shipwrecked when the “Sacramento” was wrecked at Point Lonsdale, Victoria, in 1853. They were rescued, but their possessions were lost. Our ancestors faced incredible difficulties leaving their families and settling so far away.
- I am humbled by the personal sacrifice of the many young men who ‘did their duty’ and fought in the various wars overseas. Whether they died overseas or returned to deal with their memories of war, they were willing to ‘do their bit’.
- I was surprised and enlightened when I found (via the internet) the relative in England who held a letter from 1903, which detailed how the ancestor I’d long been searching for had also lived under another alias.
- I was surprised by the number of ancestors who committed bigamy (or else had more than one partner at the same time, with children, and without marrying either partner). It was enlightening to read the detailed report of the Old Bailey Trial of my 4g.grandfather, Thomas MILLS, who married 3 times and was sentenced to transportation for 7 years for bigamy.
- I was surprised by the number of my ancestors who went bankrupt, and enlightened by reading the detailed accounts of their debts and possessions.
- Searching the births and then the deaths indexes for NSW, I was humbled and saddened to discover that Thomas and Ann ETHERINGTON lost 9 children in 20 years – one daughter reached 18 years, the rest did not survive to double digits. Then Thomas died, and Ann lived another 30 years as a widow.
- I am enlightened and fascinated when interviewing elderly relatives, with the details of early lives. For example, an elderly relative spoke of her grandfather’s car and how he would chain a log to the back of his car, to function as a break when he drove down the long slope from Armidale to Tamworth.
- I was enlightened by 2 reported desertions from the army of an ancestor, William Joseph ETHERINGTON. Orphaned at aged 7, he travelled with his brother to Victoria and enlisted as a drummer boy. When the regiment was to leave Victoria, he deserted and was recaptured. He deserted again in New Zealand 2 years later, trying to get back to Victoria. Police gazettes gave detailed physical descriptions at the time of each desertion, so now I even know how much he grew in those 2 years.
- I was surprised to discover that my ancestor, James BOND (with a son Felix), belonged to the BOND family whose motto was ‘The world is not enough’.
- I have been surprised to discover several family members who were not the child of their commonly believed ‘parents’.
Our ancestors are not just names and dates, but were real people, and we understand them better when we consider how we would cope with some of the events in their lives.
And now to nominate 10 other researchers whose blogs are doing their family proud: (I’m sure some of these would have been nominated before.)
- Shauna Hicks at http://www.shaunahicks.com.au/shhe-genie-rambles/ (Someone else has probably already nominated Shauna, as she does so much for family history in Australia)
- Australian Genealogy Journeys at http://ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com/
- Lyn Dear at http://genealogy-new-zealand.blogspot.com/
- Carol Baxter at http://www.carolbaxter.com/blog/
- Family History South Australia at http://familyhistorysa.blogspot.com/
- Kylie Willison at http://kyliewillison.blogspot.com/
- Kirsty Wilkinson at http://professionaldescendant.blogspot.com/
- Blair Archival Research at The Passionate Genealogist
- London Roots Research at http://londonrootsresearch.blogspot.com/
- Amanda Epperson at http://scottishemigration.blogspot.com/