Jill Ball, who blogs as GeniAus (http://geniaus.blogspot.com), encourages us to look back on our family history research in 2020 and Accentuate the Positive. She gives 20 prompts; here’s my response:

  1. An elusive ancestor I found was: I followed my tree further back and found some new Huguenot ancestors: My gunpowder-manufacturing Huguenot forebears. I also made some progress on my husband’s tree through DNA and detective work. I wrote about this at Following the clues.
  2. A great collection of newspaper articles I found documented my great grandmother’s social life through the 1919 Spanish flu epidemic. She coached debutantes for their coming-out balls. Although a Victory Ball in Sydney was cancelled because of the pandemic, balls in Adelaide continued. It seems risky behaviour. I think they didn’t wear masks: A masked ball.
  3. A geneajourney I planned but didn’t take was : I had hoped to visit Mildura, Wentworth, and Renmark, the district where my Cudmore and Gunn forebears lived. My 3rd great grandmother, for example, died near Renmark and the plaque from her grave seems to be on display at “Olivewood”, the Chaffey Brothers historic homestead-museum, at Renmark.: Margaret Gunn (1819 – 1863).
  4. I located an important record with the release of new German records, the civil registration death record for my great grandfather Fritz Hermann Boltz, 1879-1954.
  5. A newly found family member shared … I often receive comments about my online research journal from fellow family historians and occasionally connect with new cousins. I enjoy the feedback and it’s always a pleasure to make a new connection.
  6. A geneasurprise I received was the digitisation of my 4th great grandfather Rowland Mainwaring’s publications. I have yet to explore these fully but I have started to research his naval career at Midshipman Rowland Mainwaring.
  7. My 2020 social media post that I was particularly proud of was completing my write-up of our 2019 trip to the UK: UK trip 2019
  8. I made a new genimate who worked with me to solve a paternity mystery for a cousin’s DNA: Using the What Are the Odds Tool version 2.
  9. A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was the What Are The Odds tool version 2.
  10. I joined two surname related groups: the Clan Gunn and the Clann Caomhánach (Cavenagh).
  11. A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was a presentation on Deductive Chromosome Mapping by Blaine Bettinger. I could not wait to try the technique: DNA Technique: Deductive Chromosome Mapping.
  12. Blog posts that taught me something new were by Roberta Estes and by Debbie Kennett on small DNA matches; I applied the analysis to my own and my parents’ DNA matches: Small matches in AncestryDNA.
  13. A DNA discovery I made was a connection to Greg’s Darby forebears which helped to confirm his great grandfather’s, Henry Sullivan’s, birth mother and her father: Following the Clues.
  14. I taught a genimate how to… My most popular posts are those in which I explain DNA techniques. In 2020 my three most popular posts were on using the What Are the Odds Tool, Deductive Chromosome Mapping, and how to use the book-making tool provided by MyCanvas.
  15. A brick wall I demolished was the birth mother of Henry Sullivan. I have been working on this since we first started our family history research but DNA has made the difference and confirmed my hypothesis: Poor Little Chap.
  16. A great site I visited was the Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland at https://irishdeedsindex.net/ I have yet to write up some of my findings at that site though I used it when researching my Grueber gunpowder-manufacturing Huguenot forebears.
  17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Mark Bostridge’s biography of Florence Nightingale.
  18. Zoom gave me an opportunity to watch some interesting presentations, in particular the National Library of Australia’s presentation on the Australian Joint Copying Project: What does the AJCP Mean to YOU!!
  19. I am excited for 2021 because – there is always more family history to research. I have so many projects in progress and far too many tabs open in my browser.
  20. Another positive I would like to share is: my father and I have been working for some years on a biography of my 3rd great grandmother, Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny nee Dana. It’s nearly finished and we are just about to publish it.

In 2020 I have published 103 posts so far (I expect it will be 105 by the end of the year: this post and one about the new book).

My family tree at ancestry.com has 11,214 people; 2,338 images; 328 stories; 17,736 records attached. In March, it was 10,481 people.

My tree completeness to 10 generations (my childrens’ 7th great grandparents) remains at 34%, as I reported in March earlier this year, though I know the names and some other details of 2 more of their fourth great grandparents. I also know about 46 more of their 8th to 13th great grandparents, but that is a small fraction of their forbears that far back. There’s lots more research to do.

Direct ancestors whose names I know are coloured; blanks represent those whose names are unknown to me.
Tree created using DNAPainter.

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