Saturday, 14 July 2012

Brick Wall? No, just a give way sign

WOW! I cant believe it. I knocked down a brick wall that has been blocking me for the past 30 years.. and the solution was so easy, I cant believe I didn't try it earlier. The Scenario is this: My Grandfather Len, Two sisters - Beatrice and Florence, One brother Ernest, and a step sister, Elizabeth (daughter of Mary). 

 My GF Len, always knew there was some mystery surrounding his birth, but never really knew what. He has asked the question of who his "real" parents were, and the response "no need to worry, you are a True Holford". As Len clearly has the family looks, this statement appeared to be true. Len was very close to Florence (who was 15 years his senior and the youngest of his siblings) so naturally, we surmised that perhaps Florence was really his mother. This was "fed" by the fact that Len received quite a reasonable inheritance when Floreid and her husband Andrew passed.

 I searched and searched to no avail. NO listing for Len Holford, nor Len Rooney (Florence's married name), nor any other listing with Holford and variants in the mother (Beatrice, Florence, etc). Then last week, a suggestion in a course I am currently enrolled in (Australian BDM by National Institute of Genealogical Studies) said "I have been known to only enter a Christian name" so I thought why not, give it a go, and bugger me there he was! Len Fitzgerald.. same date he was born, different location to what we had been told, mother: Elizabeth Annie Fitzgerald - his step sister!

 Now why did we not try this earlier? partly because Elizabeth was always known as Holford, she was not a very attractive young lady and yet Ernest was quite handsome, plus they were related. Not by blood of course, but still.. So people, if you have that elusive one and you think you have tried everything, try the Christian name only. :)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Yesterday I was up bright and early, I had two important things to achieve, the first - submit a batch of indexing to Family-search, the 2nd, start my genealogy course. The first was easy as I had downloaded my batches over the weekend, just had to check and submit. The target for Family-search was 5million names indexed for the day. The incredible news (although the figures are not yet final) is a group of around 450000 of us indexed and arbitrated OVER 10 MILLION RECORDS in 1 X 24 hour period. What an amazing achievement. All these records go on the Family Search website managed by LDS) and are FREE to search. The second task turned out a little more fiddly. I jumped on-line, checked my emails and there was an email from the institute saying I was ready to rock n roll. Logged into the site and ..nothing.. my course wasn't there. As the time was a little after 7, it was after 5pm in Toronto, so no point trying to contact them now. I flicked off an email explaning my dilemma anyway..and lo and behold a few minutes later I received a reply telling me it was still 1st July there, so I had to wait a little longer. (Cant fault their customer service it is brilliant). Waiting patiently until I finished work, I zoomed home and jumped on the pc and YES! I was on a winner. Now, if I was to be totally honest my initial impression could have been better, and I know the course is "on-line" but I feel the course material is not presented in a professional manner. There are additional pdf amendment to the materials from 2011 - come on get with it - we are now half way through 2012, surely somebody could have made the necessary adjustments to the original documentation by now? I also noticed there were a number of spelling mistakes within Module 1. I don't believe this is acceptable when the material is coming from an education institution and backed by a University. Having said that, I flew through the reading material and completed my assignment in record time. I did learn some very important data regarding to the settlement in Australia and the time frames, as well as the process for the church parish records. I know I am going to learn a tremendous amount.