Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ancestor Approved Award

Thank you very much Kerry Farmer at Family History Research for nominating my blog, Australian Genealogy Journeys, for the Ancestor Approved Award. I am very honoured to receive this nomination. 
This Award was created by Leslie Ann Ballou at Ancestors Live Here and asks two things of those who receive it:
  1. They should write 10 surprising, humbling, or enlightening aspects of their research
  2. Pass the award on to 10 other researchers whose family history blogs are doing their ancestors proud.
10 surprising, humbling or enlightening aspects of my family history research
  1. I was surprised to learn that my 4th Great Grandfather, Charles Preston, aged 33, and his  son Charles, aged 10, died of Cholera during a Cholera epidemic in Oxford in 1832
  2. I was surprised to learn that my 4th Great Grandmother, Ann Peacock (nee Pettit) died when she was struck by lightning while sitting at the window of her cottage in Fyfield, Essex, England in July 1801. She left behind a husband, Peter Peacock, and nine children. Her father, Francis Pettit, and mother, Sarah Pettit (nee Bright), both died in the December that same year. 
  3. I was very surprised to learn that a first cousin (Emma Pickis Kefford) of my 3rd Great Grandmother, Catherine Helen Atkinson (nee Pickis), was married to the leader of a religious sect in 19th Century Melbourne, James Cowley Morgan Fisher. Fisher was known as the Nunawading Messiah
  4. I was humbled to learn about the poverty my Irish ancestors had to endure during the Great Famine. My 3rd Great Grandmother, Ann Hehir (nee McMahon) and my 3rd Great Grandfather, Edmund Joyce, are thought to have died during the famine. 
  5. I was humbled to learn that two siblings (Sophia Preston and Elizabeth Preston) of my 3rd Great Grandmother, Amelia Preston, were living in a Workhouse in Oxford when the 1841 Census of England was taken. The Preston children were orphans at that time, their father Charles Preston having died of Cholera in 1832 and their mother Elizabeth Preston (nee Heading) dying in 1836. 
  6. I am always humbled to know that my ancestors were willing to undertake a possibly perilous sea voyage to the other side of the world in order to seek a better life for themselves and their families in far off Australia. 
  7. I was surprised to learn that the ancestry of my 4th Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Preston (nee Heading) might link into landed gentry families.This was certainly something I was not expecting as most of my ancestors have very humble origins. Elizabeth's ancestry possibly links my tree to that of Jane Austen. However, preliminary research also appears to link her family to Stephen Gascoigne of Barbados, an agent for the Royal Africa Company (slave traders) in the 17th Century. I was extremely humbled to learn this kind of information about my ancestors. 
  8. I am humbled and enlightened to learn about my pioneering female ancestors. For example, my 3rd Great Grandmother, Catherine Joyce (nee Guinane), came to Australia from Ireland as a widow in 1855 with five of her children (another daughter had immigrated to Australia in 1853). Catherine died in 1903 at the age of 93 years. Thousands of people living in Australia today are descendants of this pioneering woman. 
  9. I was surprised and very saddened to learn that my 4th Great Grandmother, Eleanor (Ellen) Atkinson (nee Crisp) drowned at Alnmouth, Northumberland, England in 1864. An inquest returned the verdict that Ellen had drowned herself 'whilst labouring under a fit of temporary insanity'. The Newcastle Courant, Friday 26 February 1864, stated that Ellen had been distressed because she had not received any letters from her three sons in Australia. This aspect of the story was particularly saddening for me. One of her sons in Australia was my 3rd Great Grandfather, James Atkinson. 
  10. I was surprised to learn that I might have Spanish ancestry. The family story, which needs to be verified (if it ever can be!), is that either a Fullerton (Fullard/Folliard) or Dunne from County Kildare, Ireland was a soldier in the 'Spanish War' (The Peninsular War?) where he met and married a Spanish girl. The timeframe suits this story as my 3rd Great Grandmother Mary Dunne and 3rd Great Grandfather William Fullerton were born c1813-1815. Also, many Irish men at that time were soldiers in the British Army. Many members of the Fullerton family have a 'Spanish look'. 

10 other researchers whose blogs are doing their family proud
I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Ancestor Approved Award (with an emphasis on Australian, UK and Irish genealogy blogs). 
  1. Sharn's Genealogy Jottings 
  2. Bobby Family Tree
  3. My Family Research
  4. Western District Victoria Family Tree
  5. The Empire Called and I Answered
  6. So That's Where I Get It From 
  7. Anglers Rest
  8. Irish Genealogy News
  9. Grow Your Own Family Tree
  10. Cork Genealogist
Many other great genealogy blogs (particularly Australian genealogy blogs) have been nominated by Geniaus, Kerry at Family History Research and Pauleen at Family History Across the Seas

Copyright © 2011 Australian Genealogy Journeys.


  1. I have hit a brick wall with an Atkinson in my tree - Elizabeth Atkinson, b. 1743, married Valentine White. It would be interesting if she turned up amongst your Atkinson's.

  2. Big shoutout to Aillin for nominating my blog Thankyou.

  3. Congrats on the award, your ten things are very interesting! I love reading people's stories!!!

    Kylie :-)

  4. Thank you for nominating the Anglers Rest blog.


Your comments are appreciated. Thanks.

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