Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2017

Jill who blogs at GeniAus has once again encouraged us to blog our genealogical positives for 2017, so here goes:

An elusive ancestor I found was:

My paternal Great Grandmother, Calogeria Virciglio in Sutera Sicily.

A geneajourney I took was:

In early January 2017 I attended the funeral of the man who was the husband of the evacuee my Grandmother had with her during the Second World War. At that moment the relationship that had existed between that family and mine that had begun in 1942 or thereabout ended, some 75 years later. It was fascinating to hear from his family of his early life and I was deeply saddened at his passing. The poignant thing in this is that out of the tragic event of war something lovely and positive can exist.

Before making the journey home we drove across Surrey to meet with the lady who had been a school friend of my late Mum’s. She was able to tell me some stories of their childhood antics, before and after Mum had Polio.

Despite the day being tinged with sadness, it was a day to remember.

An important record I found was:

My paternal Grandmother was the youngest of four; a son and two other daughters. The eldest daughter married in Sutera and had her two children there. Her husband migrated to the United States and when settled called for Rosanna Licata, his wife to join him with their daughters. Rosanna did and was accompanied by her sister, Concetta. On the passenger list, it stated that Rosanna was joining her husband and Concetta was joining her brother.

The death records in Sutera show a page and a half about the death of Rosanna a year later in 1922. From reading the record is perhaps suggested that she had died in Sutera. Was she visiting? Had things not worked out in the United States? Where was her husband?

I did a search for Rosanna’s husband in the United States; the chances were, if she had died with two children he would remarry. By doing this search I could also confirm if the husband had returned to Sicily also. I found the Naturalisation record for Rosanna’s husband, naming his second wife, his two children by Rosanna and a son from his second marriage. Also noted was the statement that Rosanna had died in New York. I checked the New York death indexes and sure enough found the death for Rosanna. I went back to the Sutera record to see if I had misread the record, but no. It did not definitively say she had died in the US, although it did confirm where she had lived. So I put this down to the parish priest simply keeping track of his former flock!

A newly found family member shared:

A chance posting in an Italian Facebook Group led to a conversation with someone who resides in France but has connections to Sutera. We relied very heavily on Google translator, but it was suggested that I message someone who was researching the same surname in Sutera as me. I reached out them and 4 hours later heard back, they were indeed researching the same surname in the same place as me, and also researching the same family.

A new piece of technology I mastered was:

TNG. In the early part of 2017 I joined the Members Website Project (MWP) for my One-Name Studies. The MWP exists for those members with a registered study. The site is on the Guild servers and in the event that I am no longer able to continue with the study the site will be preserved and passed along should anyone want to register the surname in the future. I had always loved the look of TNG sites, in fact this one is one of my favourites – The site for the Howes One-Name Study which has over 125,000 individuals with the surname Howes & House which is a registered variant.

I would not say that I have mastered TNG, but I am getting more familiar with it as time goes on.

A genealogy event from which I learnt something new was:

Actually there was quite a few, but I am going to chat about two. Firstly in April I attended the Guild of One-Name conference. The key speaker was from P & O Archives and the senior curator gave a fascinating talk on the heritage collection. Then in July, Tessa Keough attended and presented at Southern California Genealogical Society, Jamboree. One of her presentations was recorded and I was delighted to be able to hear that.

Even if when we attend sessions where we learn nothing specifically relevant to our own research we can hear, listen and reflect on the presentations and that can often trigger an idea for our own research. In Tessa’s talk for example she talked about Nebraska Land Grant’s I don’t have any ancestors in Nebraska, but it did prompt me to consider about land and property to the Italian families that left Sutera and settled in Alabama and Louisiana. I thoroughly enjoyed Tessa’s presentation, so much so I heard it again the following day and added a few more thoughts to my notebook.

I taught a genimate how to:

I wrote an article about a year ago for the Journal of One-Name Studies in which I talked about Facebook groups and pages, the differences between the two and why have them for a One-Name study. As a result of that article I had emails from about six Guild members who wanted some assistance.

A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was

The Family Guide to DNA Testing  & Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger

I am excited for 2018 because:

I am still here and the fact that I almost was not, has had a profound effect on me and my outlook on life.

I have a huge amount of work to achieve in 2018 and I look forward to crossing those things off on my to do list and sharing in posts in the future.

Another positive I would like to share is …

Whatever specific projects we consider to undertake, such as a DNA study or a One-Name (Surname) Study or One-Place Study just do it! We only live once. So whatever you are considering doing, undertaking a larger & wider project, exploring DNA, researching in a country where English is not the native language just go for it.

The genealogical community is a collaborative, helpful, friendly and knowledgeable one. Help is only one email or comment away.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
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2 Responses to Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2017

  1. GeniAus says:

    Thanks for your post Julie and congratulations on a rewarding year. I also love TNG – which I have been using for several years. Although I am still a beginner my site has brought me valuable connections.


    • Thanks Jill. There is something very “clean” and visually pleasing with TNG sites and I am very glad that I opted to use the software to do so and the fact that the Guild of One-Name Studies offers this to members is a real bonus – my studies will live on when I have joined my ancestors.


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