As a new year rolls around, it is always a time to reflect on the year just gone. Thanks to a challenge set by Jill Ball of GenieAus fame, I responded to her Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2021, completing various statements in relation to my family history journey in 2021.  Thanks Jill for the opportunity to reflect.

Making the most of more time at home

I got the most joy from sharing my research and findings with my family members, particularly my parents.

The COVID situation gave me an opportunity to undertake as many online courses as possible and upskill using many excellent webinars from the State Library, NSW State Archives, Society of Australian Genealogists, and various other groups across the world.

I managed to attend a face to face event at Parramatta Female Factory where I toured the site and started searching for Margaret Humphreys, my 3rd great grandmother who I discovered was at the factory several times.

Parramatta Female Factory 1818 Sign
Advertisement for The Outcasts TV series with Dr William Redfern

Social Media and Surprises

My main focus this year was on broadening my DNA matches through further testing and uploading to the various sites.

A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was storytelling using powerpoint including developing scripts and creating bespoke graphics to accompany my stories.

A geneasurprise I received was information regarding an ABC TV series, The Outcasts made in the 1960’s concerning my 4th great uncle, Dr William Redfern.

A Facebook Group that helped me was Redfern Family History, a group established by myself and my second cousin to connect relations and share information. 84 members and still growing!

Books, Journals, Subscriptions and more

My 2021 social media post that I was particularly proud of was sharing my entry in the Croker Prize about Elenor McGuinn (a great grand-aunt) and her long journey home.

A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Elizabeth and Elizabeth by Sue Williams, particularly as my 4th great uncle, Dr William Redfern was mentioned several times.

I was impressed by the quality and range of courses organised by the Society of Australian Genealogists. Such great value.

A great journal or newspaper article I found was Two Hundred Years: a week by week historical countdown to Australia’s Bicentennial. Not only does it deal with specific individuals and events but also allows the building of context around ancestors.

I got the most value from my subscription to Ancestry including the iphone widget which reminded me of births, deaths and marriages of my ancestors throughout the year.

Book Cover of Elizabeth and Elizabeth with Woman overlooking country scene
Y-DNA Haplogroup with badge

DNA Research and Discoveries

I progressed my DNA research by testing my Y-DNA, first to 111 markers and then upgrading to BIG-Y with some relevationary results.

I taught a genimate how to optimise their blog for search engines.

A webinar that taught me something new was the Australian Joint Copying Project Webinar hosted by State Library, NSW. It was so good that I watched it twice.

A DNA discovery I made was how to start painting my chromosomes to further refine my various lines.

Sharing the Positivity

A newly found family member shared copies of the pages from the front of the family bible.

I finally found the final resting place of my 2nd cousins, 3x removed in Kensal Green Cemetery in London, England.

I splashed out and purchased the updated, newly released version of the Joan Reese Index of the Colonial Secretary’s Papers (1826-1996) and already it’s born fruit.

Another positive I would like to share is the collegiality I have experienced with fellow genealogists and family members.  Connecting with others and sharing research tips and assisting others has really been an unexpected (and very welcome result).

And now, onwards to 2022. I wonder what exciting discoveries will be made during the year.

Memorial with cross in Kensal Green Cemetery