There was much to share in the ‘Pains and Gains’ reports which commence our sessions. Margaret Boyle began by updating us on finding news of her mother, who had left her family during the war when Marg was a toddler. Marg kept us spellbound describing her joy at being able to share stories about her mother with a surviving half-sister discovered following a DNA test.
Other reports also featured ‘connections’ – whether with others working on the same families; with family historians when visiting local historical societies; or with Facebook user group members discussing issues of interest. Barry O’Connor finally got to look at the rate records at Swan Hill and discovered the facts about the actual land holdings of his Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother O’Connor. He also managed to track down some possible information on where his parents first met.
Our Family Story topic for sharing after the coffee break was ‘A sense of place’. Members shared stories of places important in the lives of their forebears, including Deniliquin, Echuca, Kilmore, Scotland, including the Isle of Skye, the beautiful highland valley of Glenesk, Portree and more; the #3 and #69 tram routes in Melbourne, even ships traversing the high seas. Stories featured included the lives of farmers, crofters, sheep stud owners, blacksmiths, ships doctors, hotel keepers, stone masons, mariners, those in the Flinders Lane rag trade and more.
The list of Topics for 2022 was distributed . The topic for our next class on March 24 is ‘Hunch’. The brief – ‘Sometimes when researching we find ‘a black hole’, however have a fairly strong hunch about a possible resolution of the problem. Our dilemma - we don’t want to record it if the evidence isn’t strong enough. Describe a fairly strong hunch you continue to have during your research. Who does it involve, why do you think it might apply; what is stopping you from including it in your family tree. (If you have resolved a hunch, you could describe this instead.)’