• Mel Hulbert

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2021

GeniAus aka Jill Ball invited all genealogy bloggers to participate in ‘Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2021’.

In what has at times been a challenging year, it’s good to reflect on all the positives the year held – a few I had forgotten about until now.

1. I got the most joy from…not having a rigid research plan. It was nice to follow leads, BSOs (bright shiny objects) and dive down rabbit holes!


2. The Covid situation gave me an opportunity to…go back and hunt down vital records that were not originally easy to locate when I first started on my family tree. I obtained many transcripts across many of my lines and have successfully found a number of missing marriages, births and deaths which is helping to complete the picture of my ancestors lives.


3. I managed to attend a face to face event at… absolutely nowhere! Hoping that will change in 2022.


4. My main focus this year was on…whatever research/ancestor took my fancy at the time!


5. A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was…I didn’t master any new technology as such but did setup a new computer.


6. A geneasurprise I received was…one of my 4x great grandfathers was very likely not my 4x great grandfather! Some research has suggested another alternative and explains why my ancestor Catherine Dutton/Sullivan was listed as adopted on one record. The research continues!


7. A Facebook Group that helped me was…I have so little time that I don’t dabble in Facebook.


8. My 2021 social media post that I was particularly proud of was…the choice is rather limited as various factors meant I didn’t make many family history posts in 2021. I hope to do better in 2022!

The post I most enjoyed was ‘52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - #9 ‘Disaster’ on my ancestor John Thorn whom I thoroughly enjoyed researching.


9. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was…I wrote in last year’s ‘Accentuate the Positive’ that I had just picked up a copy of the book ‘An Unbeaten Spirit’ that my cousin Glen had written on our O’Connor family. I have spent some time this year reading through it and learning more about my O’Connor ancestors and their fascinating lives.


10. I was impressed by…online conferences. I attended a few and while not quite the same as being there in person, I thought they worked well online and opened up new opportunities to attend conferences I couldn’t normally attend. 11. A great journal or newspaper article I found was…while I found a number of newspaper articles, one interesting record find was at the Tennessee State Library & Archives relating to my 4x great grandfather Hosea Stamps. I contacted the Library and they were extremely helpful, digitised the record for me, all 14 pages (it cost $10 USD) and they sent it to me within an hour of making payment – what fabulous service!


12. I got the most value from this subscription…both my Society of Australian Genealogists and Botany Bay Family History Society memberships. Lots of learning and connecting opportunities throughout the year!


13. I progressed my DNA research with…sorting out my matches on MyHertiage using their new coloured dots. I also ran the clusters tool and worked out which line most of my clusters represent. My goal is to figure out which line all the clusters represent.


14. I taught a genimate how to…use DNA to narrow down possible matches on their missing grandfather’s line.


15. A blog post that taught me something new was…I read numerous blog posts/newsletters and enjoy and learn something new from many of them so narrowing it down to one thing is difficult. Blogs/newsletters I frequently read are: GeniAus – Jill Ball, Diary of an Australian Genealogist & Shauna Hicks History Enterprises - Shauna Hicks, Genea-musings - Randy Seaver, The Legal Genealogist – Judy Russell, The DNA Geek – Leah Larkin, DNAeXplained – Roberta Estes, Genie1 & Genetic Genealogy – Louise Coakley, Diary of a Young Genealogist - Emily Peace, Segment-ology – Jim Bartlett and Amy Johnson Crow. 16. A DNA discovery I made was…I didn’t make any significant discoveries last year but worked my way through some more distant matches, confirming our most recent common ancestors and updated my notes on these matches. 17. A newly found family member shared….information and conclusions on which baptism is likely to be the correct one for my 4x great grandmother Elizabeth Morris. I agree with his conclusion which is logical and the evidence supports this. This family member and I met through Relatives at RootsTech in 2021. 18. I finally found ......... six feet under….a DNA match and I are trying to figure out precisely where we match – we know the line but cannot find our common ancestor. I have been locating marriage and death records for some ancestors where my initial searches had failed to find the records, in an effort to rule them in or out as a likely candidate for this common ancestor. I finally found Margaret Windle (born 1866). Margaret and what happened to her has eluded me for years. I took a gamble on a death record which didn’t have the correct information listed and this led to not only finding what happened to Margaret but also the sad (and unusual) story around it which I plan to write a blog post about.

19. I splashed out and purchased….transcripts for missing marriages, births/baptism and deaths/burials for many family lines.

20. Another positive I would like to share is…going back over past research. It’s surprising what you miss at the time, and coming back to a problem with fresh eyes more often than not, leads you to the solution!