Genealogists on Twitter profile
Tell us a bit about your genealogy/family history journey
I have been researching my own and my husband’s family history since the early 1990’s. I first DNA tested (autosomal) in 2013 and soon realized what an effective addition DNA testing is to the genealogist’s toolbox.
I have always been a hobby genealogist. Initially, family history research was fitted in where possible alongside raising a family and full-time work. More recently, I have had more time to spend on research. I divide my time between three broad areas of focus: Trying to break down brick walls to further develop our family trees, particular in relation to the gaps back to 4th Great Grandparent level; digging deeper into the lives of some of our relatives in order to better understand the context of their lives and writing up biological narratives about them; and documenting evidence I find about enslaved people associated with my slaveholder ancestors using The Beyond Kin Project methodology ( https://beyondkin.org/ )
Across my husband and my family trees, my research focus is geographically spread. It predominantly takes me to the United Kingdom, United States of America, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland.
I started my Blog in 2020 and write predominantly for myself (to keep memories, thoughts, musings and findings in one place) and for family. The blog is public on the off chance that something in it may interest someone else with common research interests.
Favorite food or beverage
I drink too much coffee. There is no food in particular that I get especially excited about. I am vegetarian by choice and gluten free by necessity (coeliacs disease).
Surnames of interest
Brown, Dearman, Ratty, Freeman, Farebrother, Pond, Pratt, Hicks, Chesser, Ray/Rea, Wilson, Stone, Lang, Congleton, Chapman, Waldron, Darcy, Callinan, Lane, Greek, Veale, Hindle, Barnes, Coop, Large, Allen, White, Parsons, Pointer, Blythe
If you could meet one person from your family tree that died before you were born, who would it be and why?
There are lots of people in my family tree I would like to talk to if I could, predominantly those for whom I have difficulty finding information. One such person is Redden Congleton. I would like to ask him just when and where (precisely) he was born, who his parents were, what his wife Eliza’s family name was and what interesting stories he has to tell about himself and his relatives. I can find very little information about him and what I can find is contradictory e.g., born North Carolina in 1834 (1860 census); in 1817 (1880 census); in 1823 (1900 census).
Genealogy pet peeve
People who are never satisfied e.g., tree too big, tree too small, tree private, tree not evidenced well enough …; database doesn’t have this or that tool …; etc. etc. I think we just need to get on with it and make the most of what we do have available.
Favorite place where you’ve traveled
Living in New Zealand, I am a long way from anywhere. I was born in England so I am always pleased to return there. My paternal ancestry is US-based. I have only managed to travel there once (2015) and would like to go again. I felt a very special connection to Tennessee.
From a genealogy/family history research perspective, what would you have done differently?
If I could have done things differently, I would have started my family history research sooner. I will need to live to be at least 500 years old, plus some, to investigate everything I want to investigate.
What are you currently working on and what’s next?
I am currently working behind a brick wall with DNA matching, family trees and documentary evidence to try to figure out the parentage of the aforementioned Redden Congleton (2nd Great Grandfather). The answer lies somewhere in North Carolina (Pitt County or Beaufort County) amongst a tangled mess of intermarriage between 4 or 5 families and the likelihood of over-inflated cM values shared with some of my DNA matches as a consequence of those intermarriages..
In addition, to my own research, I have an ongoing commitment as a volunteer Admin at Ancestorian.com. Also, I am currently helping a couple of people to interpret, and use, their DNA in their search for a missing parent and I have recently volunteered to help index newspapers for the Tennessee Genealogy Indexing project.
Next? … Not sure … I have a number of narratives half written and a long list of things on my ‘To do’ list to investigate.