If you are thinking about doing your DNA, Jim suggests googling "Geneology" for a list of commercial companies to find one to suit your needs. As happens, a relevant media story was published in thime for Jim's talk. Beethoven's hair has been DNA tested - go to 'Beethoven's DNA from a tuft of hair reveals new insights into his health and family' and 'Beethoven's DNA reveals surprises'.
Highlights during our ‘Pains and Gains’ segment in March included Mal’s having connected with a cousin in Mt. Gambier he has not seen since 1993. As a surprise for her, he has extracted her family history from his tree and put it into a special booklet which he had printed by Benalla Printing. Malcolm is also investigating relative Ted Lloyd who, family lore tells, made Ned Kelly’s armour.
Barry reported that the Arthur Baird project, which he and other members of the Benalla Family Research Group have been working on for over four years, is now out for public comment. The project will be totally funded by surplus grant monies from an arts grant. Comment can be made on this link: https://haveyoursay.benalla.vic.gov.au/proposed-arthur-baird-sculpture Full details of Arthur and his family history can be found in a copy of the book ‘Benalla’s Fourth Famous Son’, attached to the above link.
Deb was excited to find some shipping records that have provided a number of pieces for her family ‘jigsaw’. She has been able to use these records to connect and confirm some of the dates in the family history. Deb also shared the story of her ancestor Bridget Cain, a child of the famine era who endured workhouses as an orphan, arriving in Australia as one of the Irish famine orphan girls sent out under the Earl Grey Sponsorship Scheme.
Jane reported that planning is well advanced for Heritage Week 3rd to 7th May. The Benalla Family Research Group will make presentations at the Benalla aged care facilities during this week. Jane also gave details of a considerable library of documents from the Thorburn family, which contains some significant shipping documents from Newcastle Harbour, which has recently been offered to the group.
Wendy has now located some DNA evidence confirming the identity of her Father-in-law and Great-great-grandmother, providing a sense of closure about an apparent ‘black hole’ in her research and family secret.
Stories were shared on our March theme ‘Her Story’, stories about mothers, grand or great grandmothers and aunts. New member Susan shared her first story, writing about her grandmother Gertrude Mavis Lewis nee Harvey “Thoughtful, considerate, kind, loyal, emotional, cherished, my grandmother overcame many challenges, was resilient and is always remembered with love.” You can read shared stories by clicking on this link - https://u3abenalla.weebly.com/family-stories
April’s topics – ‘The Anzacs’ and other histories of war…. Briefly survey the four ‘grandparental’ sides of your family reflecting upon their involvement in theatres of war over time. Focus on a particular ancestor in a particular war sharing with us your understanding of his or her experience of war. (Feel free to adapt the question wording to apply to the story you discovered.)
Alternate topic - “Where did I come from…Why am I like I am’ (following on from Jim Burnell’s talk) Do you have a trait which you’ve found (or are still looking to find) among your ancestors? What is the trait? Describe whether and how you discovered them in your family history journey, how this made you feel. It’s fine to describe it in a general sense… eg. someone who ‘was good with their hands’; ‘interested in social justice’; was ‘entrepreneurial’. If you have had a DNA test, did this throw any light on this trait?
Barry O’Connor, Jane Rushworth and Bev Lee