Monday, January 14, 2013

Family History Blogging - A Good Thing!

This weekend I received some priceless photographs. They are digitalized. They are not worth millions of dollars but they are priceless to me. Firstly, Gerald Griffiths emailed me some.

Who is Gerald Griffiths?

Gerald is the nephew of my Great Grandfather Harold Griffiths. I've never met him and until just a few weeks ago I didn't know he existed. I started this blog back in June 2012. I haven't been incredibly consistent due to other pressures, such as attempting to write a novel and Holidays etc.

But I kept the blog.

My Great Aunt Ruth Griffiths-Salmon connected me with Gerald. For many months Ruth had mentioned that we had extended family members who lived in Australia. Due to my blog, which Ruth has contributed to, my aunt knew that I would love to connect with Gerald. Gerald has published his own family history book in memory of his mother.

Without the blog Ruth and I may never have connected and the facebook conversations that are now so dear to me would not have taken place. Without the blog I would not have met Gerald over Facebook. I would not have connected with that side of the family at all.

Without the blog there would be no pictures from Gerald.

My Uncle Glyn and Aunt Norma have also been following my blog. They sent me pictures over the weekend as well. We met up with them over Christmas while my parents and brothers were in town. Norma mentioned the photographs of family that they kept and I asked for them. My Aunt, being the amazing lady that she is, has kindly begun to scan and send them to me via email.

Glyn and Norma know I love the family photographs because of the blog.

My friend Bill West is a proponent of publicly blogging the family research he discovers and the family tree. This is one of the reasons why I concur with him. It's important and it connects! There are exceptions. When I know that my blog will affect or concern those still alive I give them a chance to read the blog and make changes. They also have permission to ask me to edit any previous blog post that I've written if they notice changes that need to be made.

My Mum and Dad brought an envelope full of photographs and birth/death certificates when they visited me this past December. They said that I could keep them. They know I will look after them and that they are priceless to me. They know because despite living in Bulgaria, the best part of two continents and one ocean away; they read my blog.

The point is, blogging family history is a good thing.

And now to the grand finale; my photographs!

[Below my Great Grandfather Harold Griffiths and my great grandmother Annie Simpkins Griffiths]

[Below my Grandfather (Grampy) Idris Davies with my Grandmother (Grammy) Iris Davies and my Aunt Norma Davies]

[Below my Dad with my Grampy and Grammy Davies]

[Below my Grampy Idris Davies standing by the grave of Iris Davies. This is particularly dear to me because we did not think we had a picture of this and now here it is! Since both Idris and Iris were buried in Zimbabwe you can imagine the difficulty of getting back there at this time to search for their graves to take a photograph of it]

[Below my Great Grandfather Harold Griffiths is on the right. Then from left to right are: Ernest, Rees(Rhys) and Will.]

[Below - I believe this is Ernest, brother of Great Grandfather Harold]

[Below - I believe this is Morgan Griffiths, another of my Great Grandfather Harold's brothers and Gerald's father.]

[Below - Front left and right are my Great Great Grandfather Thomas Griffiths and his wife my Great Great Grandma Elizabeth Emanuel Griffiths. I believe Gerald said the man in the middle is Morgan on his wedding day. This photograph is another that is really important to me because I had begun to doubt I might find another picture of my Great Great Grandparents.]

These pictures will no doubt be presented again as I write about each of my ancestors in greater detail. I think this all goes to show, there are always family members or artifacts, or letters or photographs just waiting to be discovered.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Family Story

For Christmas 2012 I wanted to do something special for my Dad. I had spent alot of time during the year researching the life of his Mum and writing a series on my blog called "The Grandma I Never Knew." In fact, that particular research has been the main emphasis of this particular genealogy blog for the past year. As I talked with my wife about Christmas presents we decided to put together a 'family book' that contained the photographs I had collected of my Dad's Mum and collected the research into one piece.

I am sure many family genealogists would like to produce a book of some kind to keep a hard copy of the information. Here's just one very simple way you can do it.

Here are some of the pages:

This was the front cover, as designed by my beautiful wife.

This is an example of one of the pages with a picture of my grandma's family. Below are a few more.

I think my favourite is the one which contains the hymn 'Whispering Hope' that my Grandma used to love to sing.

In the coming year I hope to add a couple of pages as I find out new information and to add iris' husband Idris' story to it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Motivation Monday - Genealogy goals for 2013

I think it will be a good thing for me to post my genealogy goals for the new year. My hope is it will help keep me accountable. So here goes:

1) I wish to write 24 genealogy posts in 2013.This means two a month. My aim is to post every other Friday starting Friday 11th January.

2) This past year I 'completed' a series on Iris Davies Nee Griffiths. My Grandma on the paternal side. I say completed loosely, for there will always be stories to add. In the coming year I wish to complete a similar series on my Grandad Idris Davies while adding to the ones I've created about Iris.

3) I will compile the stories about Idris into a family history book for my Dad. This past year I did the same thing for Iris and a blog will soon be forthcoming about that.

4) I will try and discover when my great grandad George Ernest Hilton was in the British Navy. I've already posted some leads but so far there are no hard facts just rumors passed on down through the family line.

5) Read Gerald Griffiths book. Gerald is a descendant of my Great Grandad Harold Griffiths brother. He's recently created a biography of his life for his Children. He sent me a copy and I am sure there are things in there that may relate to my great grandfather Harold or his parents.

6) I will try and locate the Umtali newspaper articles about my dad and his life saving procedure the day after he was born.

7) I will scan and upload to the cloud all family photo's and documents that I have in my possession.

And that already looks like quite alot. I am really excited about the additional interviews that I will have to conduct to learn about my Grandad Idris and I am sure I will discover alot of stories I am currently unaware of!