I would like to express my appreciation for the generous nomination put forward for the Ancestor Approved Award, by Lisa Wallen Logsden. This award was initiated by Leslie Ann Ballou as a way of recognising the research and effort that is the backbone of genealogical blogging. Thankyou for the nomination. It is much appreciated to know that others take the time to enjoy what one writes about the lives of ancestors and their stories.
As a recipient of this award I must undertake to write ten things which surprise, humble and enlighten me in the course of my genealogical research and I will also enjoy passing on this award to ten genealogy bloggers whose anecdotes I have enjoyed reading.
Surprised: This one is easy as I am constantly surprised and amazed by many things on my journey in family history research.
1. I am surprised by the generosity of everyone involved in family history research. The time they give freely, the information they are only too happy to share and the friendliness of everyone is amazing.
2. I have been quite surprised by many of my discoveries. Surname variations has been a source of intriguing surprise to me, as I researched my family tree. The varied range of reasons for surname changes has been surprising, amusing and informative.
3. Thinking that I was a late generation Australian, I was extremely surprised to discover that I had convict roots, and even more astonished to find myself putting five convict ancestors on my tree.
4. I have been surprised by my new passionate interest in world history, which arose from connecting forebears to the historical times in which they lived. The desire to understand how and where they lived, what they did for a living and why they lived where they did or immigrated has made me so much more informed and connected to, not only my own history but to history itself. Alfred the Great suddenly becomes much more of a 'real' character when one discovers that he is a direct ancestor of your husband. The highland clearances in Scotland are substantially more relevant when one has a great great grandfather who arrived in Australia as a result of this huge movement of people to the other side of the world.
5. I have been very much surprised, amused ( and occasionally shocked) when family stories which have been handed down through generations of family unquestioned, turn out to be elaborate fabrications, invented to cover a multitude of sins, crimes and misdemeanors. Some of these discoveries, surprisingly make the best topics to write about.
Enlightened: My research has inevitably enlightened me in many ways.
6. I have developed a greater capacity for reasoning and logical thinking, necessary when ciphering through the many or few clues left behind by ancestors, in order to find and identify them.
7. I have learned to be patient and thorough in my research. There is no such thing as an 'instant' family tree.
8. Enlightenment comes with learning. I have been fortunate to have learned so much about people, both ordinary and extraordinary, about how people lived and worked throughout different historical periods,. I have learned how to decipher old handwriting and about naming patterns in different cultures. I have been educated in how to use libraries and archives, Most satisfyingly.. I have finally learned that even the most practised archivist can also rewind the micro-fiche machine the wrong way! It is not just me.
Humbled: researching my family history and writing bout my journey and my ancestors' many and varied stories has definitely made me feel more humbled.
9. I have been humbled by the beautiful comments left by complete strangers who have taken the time to read my blogs. Not only does this feedback encourage me to keep going, but I am constantly amazed at the emotions that other feel about the stories of my ancestors. I am truly humbled and touched by this generosity on the part of others.
10. I have been absolutely humbled by the lives of my ancestors themselves. Many of their stories involve tremendous courage, hardship, sadness, determination, perseverance, positivity and selflessness. Nothing happens in my life, that I cannot look to a forebear to for encouragement, strength or resolve. I believe that one needs to look backwards in order to move forward and in looking backward to my ancestors and through telling their stories I could not possibly feel other than humbled and unpretentious.
The blogs which I have nominated to receive this award are as follows:
- A Light that Shines Again
- Candle in the Window
- All in the family
- The Tree of Me
- Heritage Happens
- The Turning of Generations
- The Professional Descendant
- ABT UNK