Pains and gains were interesting – from a wife’s perspective with ongoing research; difficulty in finding out any information about the person for today’s topic; making contact with relatives about family secrets; updating the Monaro Pioneers website about a particular family line; the technique of identifying some common abbreviations used for Christian names which opened up a new avenue of research; to hitting "another dead end" and the use of earlier family connections to further research.
Before getting a cuppa participants were asked to look around their room and choose a family photo to talk about. This threw up some wonderful photos and fascinating stories. They included inter alia a personal wedding photo, a five generations photo (pictured), a photo of a grandfather during World War 1, an aunt’s 70th birthday, a 1941 photo kept by a father during World War 2 and an extremely old photo of an ancestor’s sister.
During the session the dilemma and ethics of sharing information on public forums was discussed. Some of the stories potentially had sensitivities and implications for other possible (unknown) readers. Decisions needed to be made by some class members about what to include in, and indeed whether to include, stories for the website. References on ethical dilemmas were previewed which provide some guidance - Genealogy 101: Ethics for the Genealogist (blog post) and National Geneological Society – Guidelines for Sharing with Others.
Our new attendee Helen then outlined how direct family links to Benalla discovered during recent family research have made her feel that her move to Strathbogie many years ago and subsequent move to Benalla were preordained.
Next month’s topic is: ‘Memories Treasure Chest’ - Create or draw upon a ‘Memories Treasure Chest’ (box, shelf, drawer, old suitcase etc) containing objects and artefacts relating to your family history. Capture the story of two ancestors using items such as maps, menus, theatre programs, an old report card, vials of perfume, a garment, treasured photographs, a souvenir, an expired passport or other object/s. Tell the story of each ancestor and item(s) chosen for them in no more than 250 words per ancestor.
Wendy Sturgess and Bev Lee