Welcome to my story in genealogy. This’ll hopefully be one of many blog posts you’ll see today sporting this hashtag. If you’re wondering what I’m on about, see this:
So sit back and read on…
So how did I start?
Well it had been 5 days since my granduncle passed away and a load of thoughts went rushing through my head about how much I really knew about my family and funnily enough I didn’t really know much other than my grandfather (who would unfortunately pass away later that year…) who was still alive and talking a little bit about my dad’s parents (names and little family stories) and I began to ask my mum & dad more and more about their families, some things they could answer and some they could not and on that night, January 7th 2017 – I began a family tree that I thought I would lose interest in after a week or so but the thirst for more knowledge did last, although all I knew how to do was just do a basic family tree online.
Then we went to visit my dad’s cousin and I showed her what I had done on the family tree and she was impressed & she actually had quite a lot of information that advanced my further up my family tree and that’s when she brought up about using a website [irishgenealogy.ie] that could give you images of birth entries older than 100 years ago, marriages older than 75 years & deaths older than 50 years. I was silly enough to dismiss the idea and quickly retracted the statement about a week later!
Then I began thinking what other sources I could find information in… Newspapers, trade directories, naturalisation forms, baptisms, court documents, wills. The list goes on! And spread out over 2018 & up to June 2019 I had done a lot of my research and built it up into a monster of a tree.
After showing my uncle countless updates about my tree, he then saw that I had a niche for family history and then suggested that I do a genealogy blog. Again I was silly enough to dismiss it because then I started questioning about how to do it, I decided to give it a go and on June 18th 2019, only a matter of days after my Junior Cert – that’s when “Daniel’s Genealogy” was born! I started my blog on Instagram and slowly accumulated followers and was surprised that people were interested in a 15 year old (at the time) that is really into genealogy & that he had started his journey at age 13. Then about a week or so later I called my uncle again and told him about all the positive feedback I was getting for doing it & then he said that I should start my own website. Yet again (you’re starting to see a pattern here aren’t you?) I dismissed the idea and then started it and I honestly have enjoyed it.
Then I chose to expand my online presence to Twitter and boy, was I welcomed with open arms by the genealogy community on there. I loved (and of course I still do) the amount of support and tips I was getting from the community and I have doubted myself a few times about doing it but I’m glad I didn’t stop because after all, patience and determination are the No. 1 requirements to do anything you want in life and thankfully I found plenty of it to do this and I’m honestly proud of myself that I saw it through.
My favourite discovery/part in genealogy
For this I’m going to say my favourite discovery. So to give you a bit of context – I’m referring to my great grandfather Pax Whelan [see here for blog post about him] and I was struggling to find his parent’s marriage certificate. I was looking for a Brigid Whelan (neé Carey) and Patrick Whelan [needle in a haystack, I know!] and couldn’t find them after a number of attempts. So I reached out to a cousin and asked her did she know anything about Brigid or Patrick and there was one thing that she said that blew it wide open – Brigid married before [and I know it’s not too WOW! factor but for me it was as this sort of thing never happened!] She mentioned his surname was Draper and found her first marriage to a John Draper [1850s-1887] and they had a son together before John died. Which then led me to find Brigid and Patrick’s marriage cert and the reason why? Instead of going by Carey – her maiden name, she registered herself as Brigid Draper and then in brackets under that it said “neé Carey”. I had found them!
And finally, where do I hope to see the genealogy world/community/industry in the future?
Now, I have thought about this quite a bit. I hope to see things like the software we use to stay up to date and current, I hope to help others in their endeavours and build more connections. I hope, most importantly to see more young people joining me and other young genealogists on social media, getting out there making themselves a part of this absolutely wonderful and welcoming community and for those who are able, help young genealogists grow their presence [and I’m not saying do something enormous, a little mention in a Follow Friday goes a long way – believe me!] On top of this? Honestly, to just enjoy the hobby [not saying we don’t already!], share our stories and preserve them for future generations to cherish like we do of those we came before us.
Now that I’ve told my story, what is yours? [I will do a blog post with links to as many people’s stories as possible which’ll go here]