Am pleased to have found a few moments to respond to Crissouli’s request to fill out a questionnaire which I hope will help others, as they continue with their search for Ancestors and the Ancestral Stories. Hopefully some reading this, who are also genealogy/ family history researchers, may find the time to join in. No time limit.
WANTED – A FEW MOMENTS OF YOUR TIME…
Working with family historians/genealogists daily, I see the same questions being asked on a regular basis. I often wonder what has led this or that person to researching their ancestry.
No prizes for answering the questions below… but it could be of interest to all of us who help others on a regular basis.
You may answer on your own blog, in the comments section below or on Facebook which will have a link to this blog.
Please let me know if you answer on your own blog, so I can keep a list for others to follow… no time limit…
1. What is the most important detail you want to find about your ancestors?
Their beliefs, activities and daily life, the times they lived in and especially what it is that they were passionate about.
2. Do you buy certificates?
Sure do… It’s absolutely essential to be clear when documenting the lives of our families and there is also a great deal of additional info on Certificates which can lead to even more discoveries e.g. my paternal grandparent’s marriage certificate had the name of his UK Army Regiment which enabled me to track him down and find a whole heap of additional living relatives in Canada… and what a joy that is.
3. Do you belong to a paid subscription site, if so, which one?
“Ancestry UK” and “Find My Past”
My subscription to Ancestry is via their UK site because it’s half the price for accessing exactly the same information through their Australian site. I find “Ancestry Family Tree Maker”, which synchs with my Ancestry Tree, to be most valuable in creating reports, on selected parts of my large tree, which I then either print out and “snail mail” or email direct to other family and genuine researchers. My Ancestry Tree is private, which enables me maintain it’s integrity and stop people “swiping” branches off my Tree and incorrectly grafting onto their own. Genuine researchers can always make a personal request and so we share, and share, alike.
“Find My Past” provides access to information not available on Ancestry and also serves as a double checking mechanism which I find invaluable.
4. What has been your ‘best’ find?
Oh… there are just so very many it’s impossible to select a “best“. However some of my research has led to amazing amounts of information which is valuable to many, apart from me. Here are a few examples which I hope will encourage many new researchers in their detective work.
Tracking down my paternal Grandfather, Henry Eden Crout jnr, and finding so many living relatives in Canada, connecting with them and forging great friendships is indeed a highlight. That came about through accessing his marriage certificate I found on “free BMD” then purchased, contacting his Army Regiment, accessing his Canadian Attestation papers for WW1 and once I knew where, in Canada, he lived I trawled the Internet and left a message of a Veteran’s Redevelopment Housing Estate Website and some 9 months later I got a reply. I’ve now found more “Canadian Cousins” than “you can shake a stick at” and am far happier than I can say
Finding all the children of my Irish 2x Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher, was another delight. Initially my problems were because she had been married before wedding my 2x Great Grandfather, Susan first married Edward Nicholls, had 3 children and was widowed when the youngest was just a baby. Much sorting and sifting, trips to Country Family History Centres, communicating with others and online research reaped a rich reward. What a joy to be contacted by a direct relation of Susan’s only son, who lives in Queensland and to be told what pleasure my research had given to her aging Grandfather. There was some sort of mixed up family story that he had been “on the run from the police” but my post “Of Scabs and Riots” showed that they had every reason to be very proud of our Andrew Rowen.
Another highlight, which I must mention, was being contacted by a woman in Queensland who had found my information about hubbie’s Grandmother on Ancestry. She was researching this Hembury family in support of a woman, here in Adelaide, who was writing a book on Nana’s family. They knew nothing about this branch of the family other than that which was published on my Ancestry Tree. Agreeing to see who else I could find was challenge but with a huge payout when so many of Nana’s living relatives joined us for the Hembury Family Reunion and Book Launch some 12 months later. What a joy!!!
5. Who is your favourite ancestor and why?
My Susan Kelleher… indeed she is. Well, that is apart from my darling mum, of course.
Susan is my 2x Great Grandmother who at the age of 18 arrived from County Clare, Ireland, on the “bride ship” the Nashwauk which was wrecked off the coast of South Australian, on 13 May 1855, just 40 miles from their destination of Port Adelaide. As a child I thrilled to the stories of the girls being carried ashore on the backs of the sailors and many holidays were spent in the vicinity of the Wreck Site and family photos taken around the “Nashwauk Anchor”. It is Susan who began my love of/ obsession with Family history and saving her daughter’s grave at Cheltenham Cemetery has led me to help others save the graves of their Ancestors as well. I “feel” Susan very close to me all the time and many with even a “touch of the Irish” know what I mean by this.
Next is my Marie…and I must mention her. Marie is my dad’s mother and she is the person who was “the wind beneath my wings” encouraging me to keep on keeping on, one tired step after another to eventually find dad’s childhood home in Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England and bring back the photos which delighted, and comforted, him in his declining years. I have a sense that Marie was pleased and also that she’s satisfied I’ve discovered where her errant husband disappeared to and that the family has finally become whole. Incidentally, when I asked June what our Grandfather would think of us tracking each other down, she said he would probably say… “Nosey little buggers…” but we sure are smiling with the happiness of it.
6. What are you looking for on a regular basis?
A number of things. Most important, to me, is finding the links to bring our estranged family back together again, particularly those of us who are still living. Then finding the family stories, understanding the period in which the Ancestors lived and trying to understand who they were as people, what motivated them and what it is they were passionate about.
From time to time there have been individuals I’m particularly curious about whom seem to have “fallen of the planet“, particularly female ancestors whom we know can be very difficult to track down. One such person is Rosa Patience Crout who was a first cousin to my Great Grandfather Henry Eden Crout snr. As well as being cousins, Rosa and Henry also married, I lost track of them and finally found Henry with a “visitor” and her child, Henry Eden Moody (whom ultimately became my Grandfather, Henry Eden Crout jnr), on a Census but his wife/ cousin Rosa Patience had disappeared, I could not find her anywhere and did “fret”. I wrote about the missing Rosa HERE but have not had a chance yet to write the follow-up story i.e. about 2 months ago, along with one of my Canadian cousins, I found Rosa had become Rose Crout and had ”married” another man. That made me SO happy but then Rosa (now Rose) has disappeared again. My newly discovered Canadian cousin Jane and I think Rosa may be a “serial bride”, for want of a better description, and we chuckle over the thought of it.
7. Do you belong to any genealogy group, or family history society?
For decades now, ever since I started researching my family, I’ve been a member of the “South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc” and also their Irish Group. I’d often thought about joining one, or maybe both, of the local Family History Groups nearby but kept thinking there was not much to be gained as none of my Ancestors ever lived here which has been the home of me, hubbie and our children, for the past 40 plus years. Then, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I discovered that the “Adelaide Northern Districts Family History Group” has not only local family history resources but a wide range of resources, on hand, and also internet access to even more… so I joined “lickety spit” and have discovered a great group of people with the same interests. Why John even taught me how to say “Portsmouth”, where many of my dad’s Ancestors lived for generations, with the correct Hampshire accent. He delights in giving me a little “test” each time we meet up. I found much to be gained, apart from accessing resources, when joining a local Family History/Genealogy Group.
Twenty years ago I joined the South Australian “Irish Australian Association” and spent many happy hours banging on the “Bodhran” and tweeting on the “Tin Whistle” in their Celtic Music Group… not to mention singing songs, rhymes, ditties and having conversations in “the Irish” in their Irish Language classes and attending a number of “Language Summer Schools” interstate and making a whole heap of other wonderful friends. So, an obsession with Family History can indeed lead to other friendship groups, is what I’ve found.
8. Do you belong to any Facebook or other social media genealogy groups? Would you join if there was one available?
Oh yes… and maybe too many I’m thinking and may need to begin to “cull”. As well as membership in many “groups” I’m also an Administrator for two small “dedicated” and “secret” groups which is an effective tool sharing research information with just a few. I’m also a Joint Administrator for another far more demanding “group“. Thank heavens for having loyal people working with you because this one I’d certainly not be able to manage on my own.
As well as having a Facebook page “South Australia matters”, which is lots of fun, includes genealogy and family history but much more also. In addition, I’ve “liked” very many Genealogy Facebook pages which was a bit over-whelming initially but once you learn how to “manage” them it’s a breeze and so much valuable information comes to you via these “pages”.
Facebook is a comfortable place for me, probably because many, many years ago my eldest Grandson who was then 11 years old said, ”Mamo, you have to go on Facebook” and there and then he set me up. Sometimes I think that now he’s older her may regret this action… So, it’s been my children, and grandchildren, who introduced me to the joy of Facebooking, showed me the pitfalls, advised where I’ve “gone wrong”, and all the rest of it… including ways to maintain security without falling for the endless “scare campaigns” which appear from time to time. My personal page is deliberately small and is where I enjoy to meet with family and close friends and especially delight in seeing photos of the “littlies” as they grow up and get to hear of their achievements which I’d miss out on without the wonder that is Facebook. I do understand, however, that Facebook is not a “comfortable place” for others.
Worth mentioning also is that I use “Twitter” for accessing, and sharing, information on a whole range of topics which are of interest. Some happen to be genealogical / historical, in nature, some are not. Twitter is not a place where I go to socialise.
Finally, another valuable source of online information, which I enjoy, are the Internet Newspapers to which I’ve subscribed. One example is our Jill Ball’s ” Australian Genealogist Daily” but I also subscribe to a range of others whose content is not focussed on geneaology.
9. Have you ever volunteered to transcribe, index etc.? Would you be interested in doing so?
No, although I certainly admire, and appreciate, the work of people who donate their own valuable time to do this transcribing for others and try always to show my appreciation. I have some information which I’m thinking the Clare Roots Society, or maybe some other similar Group, would appreciate but am not sure how to go about it. Maybe this post will result in contact from someone advising how best I can do this.
10. What is your personal reason for being involved with genealogy/family history?
For me it’s about knowing who you are, where you come from and what the forces are that shaped you. Also it has a lot to do with the fact that, after my Nana died, mum split from her very large family which has left me with a childhood longing to “reconnect” with the lost ”rellies”. I was only 6 at the time and have very fond memories but, as an adult, understand exactly why mum made that very difficult decision.
After decades of research, clarifying the truth in the many “family stories” and especially debunking the nonsense with “verifiable” information, I then needed to find a way to pass this information on. I believe that I owe this to my Ancestors. Many of their other descendants I don’t know and there are others I rarely meet up with nowadays so, once again, it was my children who showed me the way forward… i.e. “blogging”. It took a while for me to work out the “blogging platform” which best suits me but it was well worth all the time and tryouts.
Well there you have it and hope it’s helpful to others…
Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel