Quite a range of activities kept members busy over the last month including - reviewing and organizing older files; trying to overcome a brickwall in finding letters of administration for an estate; receiving and following up contact from two DNA matches; joining Benalla Family Research group; experiencing the joys of My Heritage reports feature, but also the pitfalls of its constant matching requests; finding family photos to include in a memorial for a loved 103 year old aunt who died recently. One report resulted in empathising chuckles - it described difficulties in working on their family tree caused by accidentally pouring water into their laptop!
‘I wish I’d known’ proved to be a varied and interesting topic for the month as members talked about who they wished to meet and the questions they would like to ask this particular ancestor. Some of these ancestors long gone included a half-brother never known and his sad isolation from his father and second family; a godfather only known from childhood days and the wish to understand his link to the family; a gg grandfather to discover details which would help solve the mysteries of the family line; a set of grandparents who had had a particularly rich civic and personal life; and the search to fill in the gaps in of a grandmother’s life story. One member shared fascinating snippets about a parent’s family friend, having discovered she was a talented artist who may not have had descendants to recognise her special abilities and skills. Another wanted to talk to a gg grandfather to identify an unmarked photo, possibly the only one known of this ancestor who emigrated as part of the Scottish Clearances. The full detail of these fascinating stories can be read at u3abenalla.weebly.com/family-stories/category/i-wish-id-known .
The topic for our family research meeting on Thursday 26 August from 1 to 4pm is ‘A Family Secret’. The brief: Have you come across, or do you suspect, a family secret or two in your tree? Write about a family secret you don’t mind sharing with others.
Bev Lee and Wendy Sturgess