Well, I am just so very surprised and absolutely delighted to receive the Ancestor Approved Award from Aillin over at the Australian Genealogy Journeys blog. Thank you Aillin. I am very honoured to receive it.
I have seen these Awards on other blogs but never thought for one minute that I would ever get one. I’m not sure I deserve it after being absent from this blog for such a very long time (although it wasn’t my fault, it was the terrible internet connection problems I was having).
This Award was originally created by Leslie Ann Ballou of Ancestors Live Here and she asks two things of those that receive it. She asks that the recipients of the Award should write ten surprising, humbling or enlightening aspects of their research and also asks that we then pass this on to ten other researchers whose family history blogs are doing their ancestors proud.
This has certainly made me think about what to write for the ten surprising, enlightening and humbling aspects of my own research!! I have already written on the blog about various things that have surprised me or enlightened me although I’m not sure about writing about anything that was humbling.
I’m going to try to add things here that I have not written about on the blog yet and just hope I don’t ramble too much!!
Ten aspects in my research that have Surprised, Humbled and Enlightened Me!!
1. I have been humbled, surprised and enlightened by my fellow genealogists (whether they are related or friends or even complete strangers to me) who have helped me over the years, with sharing information, photos (which I just so love), searching for things for me and all sorts of other things too many to mention here. I appreciate it so much and it’s nice to be able to thank them here.
2. A few years ago I was extremely surprised to receive an email from a gentleman (Derek) who had found a message and my email address on a mailing list where I had posted it 5 years before he found it!! He was hoping I was using the same email address and it was just great as we are cousins. I’ve posted messages to so many mailing lists over the years so I have to keep the email address, just in case …
3. I am humbled by the kindness of a complete stranger in New Zealand who had agreed to take some gravestone pics of my other half Paul’s great uncle Joseph (b. 1882) and Joseph’s family. What was also surprising is that she also went to the trouble of finding their death records and sent us copies of the death certificates for great uncle Joseph, his wife Elizabeth and their son William. We can’t thank her enough for going to all that trouble for us.
4. I am enlightened by the great amount of information that was on those death certificates from New Zealand. So much more than our own (in the UK) certificates show. They gave details of when they travelled to New Zealand, how many children they had, how many were living, their ages and so much much more.
5. And while we are on the subject of New Zealand, I was so very surprised to find that my other half Paul’s great uncle Joseph’s brother Frederick (b. 1870) and his family also travelled to New Zealand, but the most surprising thing is that once there, having travelled all that way from the UK, Joseph and Frederick went their separate ways! And seemingly never had any more contact with each other!!
6. And regarding my other half Paul’s family, when Paul had turned 60 years old I was surprised to discover that he had a younger brother Nicholas John, born in 1949 but who very sadly died four days later. Nicholas was never mentioned again by his parents. We have now been searching for the burial place of Nicholas for ages without any luck so far. It would be so nice for someone in the family to be able to pay their respects and leave him some flowers. I find this so sad.
7. I am very humbled by my 6 x great grandmother Elizabeth (nee Shirley) Read (1713 – 1786). I much admire her as I think she must have been an incredibly strong woman because she gave birth to 20 (and very possibly 21) children between 1735 and 1755. This is at a time when there would not have been much or any medication and certainly none of the modern comforts we have these days like electricity and running water and so on that would be handy to have when giving birth/having so many children. Fifteen of those children luckily survived to adulthood. I just think she was a wonderful woman and it must have been so incredibly difficult for her at times.
8. I was much enlightened by the wonderful Rose Family Tree book that I came across a few years ago whilst visiting an ancestor’s home (and which I have mentioned in the blog). It was a complete surprise and we videoed(?) it all. It gave completely detailed information of my ancestors, and included their dates of birth and death which is a terrific addition to have along with baptismal and burial dates. It also gave details that so and so was the fourth daughter of so and so, or that someone was the only child or only son etc., and then gave details of who they married and who the parents were of the spouses and where they lived. To me, coming across this wonderful family tree is a real gem – I’m still amazed that I actually saw it and recorded everything in it!!
9. I am surprised and very intrigued as to why my paternal 2 x great grandfather Joel Mann gives different details about him, his wife and children in all the Censuses they appear in!! I know it is the same family because for the Head and his wife although the names change a little or just show initials in some cases, the place of birth and ages for Joel and his wife Hannah are consistent throughout the Censuses and also for about thirty years or so, they lived at the same address. Sometimes, where initials have been used, these have been reversed! I wonder what that was all about!!?
10. Many years ago, whilst researching my Reads in Oxfordshire, I became aware that there were other Reads there whom I affectionately call the Rich Reads. I was surprised to find that this particular group of Reads were incredibly rich, titled and have quite a history which is really fascinating. But even more surprising, is that wherever they are, so are my Reads. It became obvious through my research that there must be a connection between them, but it has proved extremely difficult to find that connection. I am now back to my 10th x great grandfather Read and trying to find his marriage – which from other details seems to point to the connection between my Reads and the Rich Reads. It’s not wishful thinking to try to be connected to the Rich Reads. I have done an incredible amount of research of both groups of Reads and there are just too many what I call “little coincidences” that show they more than likely are the same family. But as we serious genealogists realise, it has to be proved. So proving it is what I am trying to do and so far has taken a few years to do.
Goodness, if you have worked your way through reading that list of ten aspects of surprises, enlightenment and humbleness in my research, please now have a look at the blogs of the ten researchers I am happy to pass this Ancestor Approved Award on to. Whilst choosing the ten, it has been very difficult to make the choice as there are just so many wonderful, interesting, fascinating blogs to see. So I decided to choose blogs that don’t appear to have received an Award yet. This is no disrespect to those of you who already have awards – it’s just so difficult to choose.
Ten Researchers Whose Blogs Are Doing Their Ancestors Proud!
(in blog name alphabetical order)
1. A Geek Girl Does Genealogy – The Geek Girl
2. Blundering Blindly Backwards – Rebecca
3. But Now I’m Found – Jennifer
4. Diary of a Mad Genealogist – Jen
5. Forgotten Old Photos – Far Side of Fifty
6. Gems of the Past – Joan
7. Heirlooms Reunited – ToddHouse
8. It’s All Relative – Laura
9. Wishful Linking Family History Blog – Maria
10. Yesterday’s Girl – (Sorry, I don’t know a name to show here)!
Please visit these blogs, I’m sure you will find them as interesting as I do. Thanks again so much to Aillin for giving me the wonderful Ancestor Approved Award – I can’t stop smiling!! ;-)