Accentuate the Positive 2012 Geneameme

Accentuate the Positive 2012 Geneameme

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Jill over at the Geniaus blog started this GeneaMeme.  I thought that I would joy in the fun and highlight my genea year.


From Jill:

On a whim this morning I decided to throw together a Geneameme in which you can share the positive results of your Genea Activities in 2012.

I invite you to take part in this activity by responding to the following statements/questions in a blog post. Write as much or as little as you want. Once you have done so please share your post’s link in a comment on this post or to me via social media. I will, in due course post a list of links to your contributions on this blog.


Remember to accentuate the positive – Mel’s responses…

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was… Anna Jacinta (de Mello) Pacheco.  My search for her baptismal and marriage certificates started some time in the late 1990s.  Then my arthritis got bad and I was unable to use a microfilm reader.  I gave up the search.   It’s been 10+ years since I stopped searching for her.  Two weeks ago, I found out the records I need are online.  I started searching and by the end of the weekend I found her baptismal certificate in Achada, Nordeste, Sao Miguel Island.  I can finally add a real birth date to her family group sheet.

2.  A precious family photo I found was…The family of Francisco Pacheco and Alexandria de Caires.  I’ve been working with my cousin, Teresa, on this line.  Through a network of cousins she was sent a photo of the family.  I believe it is from about 1905.  I’d never seen my gr gr aunt, Alexandria, before, so I was pleased to put her name and face together.

3.  An ancestor’s grave I found was…John Joseph Jones.  The Calvary Cemetery records went online last week at John died in the 1870s in San Francisco.  Obituaries in the Daily Alta for that era are very brief.  They usually don’t give the cemetery.  I was able to find his index card which lead me to the original register page.

4.  An important vital record I found was…Margaret (Jackson) Fafri’s third marriage–a marriage I didn’t know about it.  This little bit of information helped me find her in the 1940 census because she was listed under ex number three’s surname and not her maiden name or the other married names that I knew her by.

5.  A newly found family member who shared…A cousin related to my Burke gr gr Uncle contacted me through my blog.  I never knew much about John J. Burke except for the fact that he died in the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco.  Now, I know he had a brother, Daniel, who was an optician.  This lead me back to his parents.  My grandmother lead me to believe John was a rough character, a boxer mixed up in gambling.  But, it looks like John may have been been an ordinary office clerk after all.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was…A cousin sent me a monetary donation to help me continue my efforts.  It was much appreciated!

7.   My 2012 blog post that I was particularly proud of was…My Relatives at Work…I created this photographic series for Labor Day showing my relatives at work.  It was fun to put together.  I didn’t realize I had this many work related photographs to share.

8.   My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was…The Mystery of Jerome Cady was a post I wrote for an elderly friend in hopes of getting ideas on how to find her ancestors.  The post generated suggestions and discussion on my blog and a couple of forums I belong to.  I still haven’t found her ancestors, but I have some ideas now.

9.  A new piece of software I mastered was…RootsMagic 5…I got it for my birthday in January 2012.  So naturally, they upgraded to RootsMagic 6 this year.  It always seems when I finally get the latest version, there’s another latest version soon after.  Sigh…

10. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was…Google+.  I’ve found that it has put me in touch with the genea community in ways that Facebook and Twitter never did.

11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was N/A

12. I am proud of the presentation I gave at/to N/A

13. A journal/magazine article I had published was…I don’t write for journals, but I do write for a website called Squidoo.  This article was part of a member challenge to write about something we have expertise in.  I wrote about Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy.

14. I taught a friend how to…Start her family tree.  I gave her tips on how to start and links to websites where she could look up information.

15. A genealogy book that taught me something new was N/A

16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was N/A

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was…The Everything Family Christmas Book.  I especially appreciated the section that showed how Americans by decade celebrated Christmas, what the popular presents were, and what those presents cost.

18. It was exciting to finally meet…Ron and Sri, my cousins from Hawaii.  We met online and have been exchanging information on the Portuguese of Kauai for about 8-10 years.  They ended up in my neighborhood and surprised me while I was walking the dog.

19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was…Exploring San Francisco newspapers that have been digitized.  Through these newspapers I’ve learn some incredible things I would not have known otherwise.  I’ve learned that my gr gr gr aunt on the French side was abandoned by her husband in San Francisco in the early 1880s, another relative was under suspicion for killing her disabled husband, and John Joseph Jones listed above really was from Wales.  Newspapers have filled the gaps that the earthquake and fire left in public records for San Francisco.

20. Another positive I would like to share is…I found that despite the fact that I have not worked with Azorean church records in 10 years that I have not forgotten how to read them.  I taught myself enough Portuguese to make sense of the records in the mid 1990s.  10 years ago, I was completely intimidate by the marriage records which are long and can sometimes contain confusing language about consanguinity.  When I opened those records this week, I found that I could read them better than I did 10 years ago.  I think the work I did last year translating French records help immensely.  There are so many similarities between the languages with word roots.  And, let’s face it, the wording in vital records doesn’t change a whole lot.  Once you get the pattern down it’s much easier.

Thanks to Jill for this fun challenge!  And, Happy New Year to all!

2 thoughts on “Accentuate the Positive 2012 Geneameme

  1. Thanks, Mel, for taking up the Geneameme challenge.
    I particularly enjoyed readiing about your triumphs as your ancestry is so different from mine. I’m thrilled to have a response from the US.
    My vote also goes to Google+ I agree that it has been a wonderful social media tool for genealogy networking.

  2. I enjoyed reading about your achievements – and I have made a note of your links in case I am asked to recommend Web sites about Portuguese Hawaiian genealogy.

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