Accentuate the Positive 

Each year, Jill Ball challenges us to write an  Accentuate the Positive Geneameme, inspiring us reflect on the previous year. Initially I found my mind blank but by mid January I began to reflect and found that there were more positives than I imagined.

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was my son-in-law’s First Fleet, Norfolk Island and Van Dieman’s Land ancestry – he’s now joined the Fellowship of First Fleeters.

2.  A great newspaper article I re-found was an article about my McKenzie ancestors departing IsleOrnsay at Isle of Skye to sail for Australia in 1837 on the William Nicol.

3.  A geneajourney I took was – an eleven week odyssey across Europe, UK, Ireland and Singapore – visiting lots of ancestral places and the Clan McDonald Castle & Museum at Armadale on the Isle of Skye was amazing. Being there, and travelling in Glen Coe somehow connected me to my Clan McDonald ancestry.

4.  I located an important record – with the help of a Scottish researcher I received the details of my Paisley Renfrewshire 3x great grandmother’s court record.

5.  A newly found family member on the Cloake line of my Barden family shared information on ancestral branches that I had previously regarded as being in the “too hard basket” and that led me to understand the basis of a whole cluster of Maryland USA DNA matches and from there to the Brattle ancestral line of my Barden family.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was meeting my French cousin Muriel who is a John Small Mary Parker First Fleet descendant. IMG_2990

7.   My 2019 social media post that I was particularly proud of was Discovering my mtdna – Scottish Irish or Viking ? – I concluded that not only was my direct maternal line Scottish as anticipated but also likely Viking. Researching and writing the post helped me expand my understanding of mtdna.

8.   I made several new genimates who are mtdna matches with me on my Isle of Skye McLean line.

9.  A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was using Mind Maps eg FreeMind for Genealogy – really good for laying out a plan for brickwall or planning a book on my Barden family. Ann McLean v1

10. I joined Academia which is very interesting for more academic history sources

11. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was – I’ve been doing on-line MOOC courses with Future Learn including Scottish Highland Clans, Researching Your Family Tree, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites, Lancaster Castle, Walter Scott, England in the Time of Richard III. All of these gave me perspectives on the times of my ancestors and husband’s ancestors.

12. A blog post that taught me something new was – I am a big fan of Roberta Estes’ blog DNAeXplained and Kitty Cooper’s DNA blog posts – especially her Great New DNA Tools in 2019.

13. A DNA discovery I made was – discovering a Dering match for my husband which helped to confirm my husband’s Byam – Dering – Mathew ancestry and ancestors such as Mary Boleyn,  and Rollo the Viking – blog post.

14. I taught a genimate how to use DNAGEDCom and DNA Painter. Also I gave my introductory presentations on DNA to four groups and helped people to decide whether DNA was for them or not.

U3A FFF Nov 2019 DNA V.0

15. A brick wall I demolished was – not quite demolished but my McLean direct maternal line has definitely got a few cracks and bricks loosened, along with understanding the associated Inner and Outer Hebrides connections.

16. A great site I visited was my cousin Brian Harris’s new blog. – From Prisons and Poorhouses – also TheWeald.

17. A new genealogy/history book author I enjoyed was Con Igguilden with his historical fiction series on Saint Dunstan and the War of the Roses.

18. It was exciting to finally meet Brooke Alan Smith a John Small Mary Parker First Fleeter cousin – then discovering we may also share a McCosker connection as well.

19. I am excited for 2020 because I want to focus on writing a personal book on my research notes on Barden family.

20. A positive I would like to share is that although I am mostly electronic,  I decided to set up a suite of mini paper files for the various ancestral lines of myself, my husband and my son-in-law. I file my doodles and rough paper notes in these files  and make a note of what I have found and thoughts on what I should do next.

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