Kerry Farmer of the Family History Research blog has nominated me for the Ancestor Approved Award, thank you Kerry. Kerry is an Australian genealogist and an instructor for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Her courses “Research: Australian and New Zealand Ancestors” and “Australia: Birth, Death and Marriage” both begin on 7 February 2011.
The Ancestor Approved Award was created by Leslie Ann Ballou of the Ancestors Live Here blog who asks two things of those who receive the award:
1. Write ten aspects of their research that surprised, humbled, or enlightened them.
2. Pass the award along to ten other researchers whose family history blogs are making their ancestors proud.
In no particular order, here are the ten surprising, humbling or enlightening aspects of my research:
1. A surprise in my research was the fact that there was not much emigration in my family. A couple of people from some branches immigrated to places such as Canada, United States, Australia and South Africa and a few were Huguenots. There was a little migration between Ireland, England and Scotland. Once settled they did not really move around much. Most of my direct ancestors stayed in the country in which they were born.
2. There have been a few surprises in my research. One involved my Toppin family. While doing a small cluster research project on the family I discovered a murder in one of the collateral lines. The only records of the murder were the death certificate and a few newspaper articles. He had married a Catholic girl and her brothers were accused of committing the crime. It was soon discovered that someone else committed the murder and had run away to the United States.
3. An aspect of my research that has humbled me was discovering how many men in the family were involved with the military. Service to country was very important. There are many generations of military service in all branches of my family. I have family who served with the British military in India and during the Revolutionary war in the United States. Several branches fought in the battle of Waterloo and another was involved in the Charge of the Light Brigade. In the First World War I have three Great Uncles who fought – two with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and one as an ANZAC.
4. One part of my research that enlightened me was the discovery of a notation in the Register of Corrected Entries for a divorce. It was attached to the registration of the first marriage of my 2x Great Grandfather. This started me on the search for his divorce record. I knew he had married my 2x Great Grandmother in 1876 so the search began at that time and went backwards. After much emailing and searching the information to get a copy of the divorce record was found. It was ordered through the National Archives of Scotland and when it arrived it was very enlightening. There were 71 pages of witness statements including private investigators. There is a blog post coming on this story so keep watching this space.
5. When a copy of a death registration for my 3x Great Grandfather provided a place of death as the asylum of Royal Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow Scotland I was enlightened to find out that he had been admitted due to mental illness. The surprise came when the admission papers were found and it said the first sign of metal illness had appeared eleven years previously in Indiana USA. I knew that the family had been to New York and that they had returned to Scotland. It was twenty years after they had returned to Scotland that he had been in Indiana.
6. A humbling moment was the birth of my 2x Great Grandfather’s twin daughters and the death of one a month later. It is not known if the surviving daughter knew she was a twin.
7. A surprise came from a search of Manchester newspapers and finding the sale of the bakery and fixtures of my 3x Great Grandfather. The sale was due to bankruptcy and he died several years later in much reduced circumstances.
8. I am surprised by how well my some of my ancestors can hide from me and the unusual places some ancestors are found.
9. It is humbling to know that however much things change, they still remain the same. How we accomplish things in our daily life may be different than how our ancestors did it but the things we do are the same. We work to support ourselves and our family. We are trying to improve our lot in life and find happiness and satisfaction in our everyday life.
10. It is enlightening to know that there is always something new to find out about my family everyday.
Here are ten blogs written by other researchers whose ancestors would be proud of their accomplishments. Some of these bloggers are not writing about their ancestors in particular but they are honouring someone’s ancestors. Some may already have this award.
1. Brenda Dougall Merriman
2. Chris Paton: Walking in Eternity
3. Calgary Public Library Community Heritage and Family History
4. Fur Trade Family History
5. Genealogy New Zealand
6. Prairie History Blog
7. The Empire Called and I Answered
8. This Intrepid Band
9. Veterans of Southwestern Ontario
10. Irish Family History
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