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-ADCOCK back together?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I have written before about how my hobbies and activities can keep me away from constant grazing and have the added benefit of helping my mental and emotional fitness. For mental agility my genealogy research beats anything else I do, including puzzles and reading. And the family history demands have risen a notch as I have become involved in organising a family reunion to be held in May.

First, the family in question. The get-together will be descendants in this part of the world of Edward Bloy Shalders (1794-1887) and Mary Womack (1797-1867) who lived in Norwich, Norfolk. Of their ten children who survived childhood, three and possibly four, left for Victoria, Australia in the mid Nineteenth Century, one, my 2X great grandmother, left with her husband and children later in the century for northern England, first Manchester and then Newcastle on Tyne where this family settled.

In the intervening years the English family lost all knowledge of the branches in Australia; three years ago I was an only child, brought to NZ in my teens, parents deceased and, as
far as I was aware, with no blood relatives in this part of the world. How wrong can you be?

Three years ago a man living in Brisbane contacted me via Ancestry because my great grandmother's name was exactly the same as that of a younger woman in his family. One
thing led to another. We met him briefly in Brisbane, the next year he drove all the way to Ararat in Victoria (He is an amputee with major health problems so this was a huge thing he did for us.), then introduced us family members with an interest in genealogy. They in turn drove us around significant sites and took us to visit older family members. The latter were spookily similar to those older relatives I remember from my English childhood. And we all got on so well! We met again when we visited Peter's nephew and his young family near Geelong. A promised meeting of half a dozen interested people for lunch in my cousin's house turned out to be an impromptu gathering of over 30 at the local hall. Despite the lack of planning a good time was had by all! And we bonded more than ever in

Then, about six weeks ago, another family member from a line none of us knew of contacted me - again, thanks to Ancestry! He expressed a desire to meet us, then the others and before we knew it a PLAN was born for a meet-and-greet for all interested. Four of us have contacted people through phone calls, emails, snail mail, word of mouth and notices on boards and in papers. How many will turn up?

It's a mystery! But the hall will cope, and the dinner at night can be booked near the time.

How will we know where we all fit in without a mental family tree of the whole kit and caboodle and a permanent voice recording of, "And who was your ancestor?" - Answer: a)
coloured ribbons for each family branch. I've managed to get 3 coloured boas for the 3 of us, each from different branches, doing the main organisation. Will the Australian border security let me through with them? Feathers!!
Will just have to see. b)Wall charts of the descendants of each Bloy Shalders line c) A brief introduction of the Family Tree (I seem to have been elected to do this) followed by some words from representatives of each line. I have to do double duty here as I am the solitary representative Down Under of one branch. Reminds me of a ditty from childhood: "I'm a lonely little petunia in an onion patch," which you can hear here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=

But I don't think there'll be much boo-hooing now, I think I'll be laughing all day in reality!

What about the rest of the day? Displays of documents, photographs, stories, which I have yet to write. Exchange of addresses and information, orders for copies of anything. LUNCH: we've asked for a small plate as we don't want anyone trapped in the kitchen all day .Photographs of the whole group, of different family lines, of the meeting. I would dearly like to recreate a photograph of the Shalders sisters in Norwich, with 4 women from different lines. I think it would be fun, but we might have trouble maintaining the
required seriousness of expression!

And a couple of us think we will launch a quarterly newsletter so that there is a printed copy of facts that can be documented, material that is supposition and what is known to be incorrect. On-line material can be very helpful but also very misleading. One error copied, one caveat about authenticity ignored and before you know it misinformation is rife. Distribution can be electronic or postal, and it will be a way to involve those unable to physically attend the reunion as well as a record for those who are present. And it should help in future to unite the family from all parts of the world. If any readers have BLOY/SHALDERS/WOMACK (or,in Melbourne, ADCOCK) as part of their family tree do get in touch!! All this is a result of synchronicity: Steven has the technical knowledge and experience in publishing and a visual imagination; I am a trained historian and work more in words.
I think we will make a great editorial team and I'm sure there will be many interested in contributing and supporting the venture.

DINNER in the evening for those who can attend at the local RSL - more photographs, more talk!

After these events on the Saturday we expect fewer people on Sunday. But for those who do stay there will be the opportunity to visit some relevant sites - unfortunately, these tend to be mainly cemeteries! - in the area, or to gather in small groups informally.

About five weeks to go and lots of computer time, phone calls, emails and thinking to put in. So here's to a few weeks of no grazing time, I'm sure I won't regret it and hope there's nothing like this unfortunate organiser's experience:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NAVYMOM133
    Hi Reunion Girl !!! emoticon

    Oh my goodness, you must be having a grand time! I looked for a feather boa goodie but no such luck! Here's hoping you are having a terrific time with family old and new. I am looking forward to hearing about your trip!

    Plugging along, did well last week but folded on the weekend a little. Exercised though. Trying to be a rock this week, hoping to grasp that true strength I had before.

    Enjoy yourselves!! Best to Peter.
    emoticon Melly
    1833 days ago
    Very awesome!!
    1860 days ago
    This is fascinating ! I am so pleased for you and what a tremendous opportunity .I hope you will share with us about the reunion !
    1861 days ago
    What a gift of connections! I was blessed with an uncle who could tell you more than you could ever want to know about who is and who was who in a number of family strands. He traced one line to Abraham Lincoln's mother!
    1862 days ago
    This is so interesting. My son has been doing some genealogy and my cousin has also. I look forward to reading their results. emoticon
    1862 days ago
  • PCOH051610
    Wow, that is really interesting, isn't it? Most Newfoundlanders have their ancestry linked back to England as well as this was a large fishing colony. I think it is amazing that you've found family members after all of this time AND you have so much in common.

    I hope you thoroughly enjoy all if the preparations over the next few weeks. emoticon
    1865 days ago
    Very Cool!!
    1865 days ago
    that is amazing! enjoy the preparation, the event and the family glow afterwards....

    1866 days ago
    What a WONDERFUL blog! I love it!! And what a GREAT experience you are having. emoticon I hope you have a LOT of fun planning this wonderful family reunion and even meeting more people. I love genealogy work myself so I can really appreciate what you are doing. God bless you with all your preparations and everything. Love, Chelsea emoticon
    1866 days ago
  • TERESA159
    Way cool! I want to get into genealogy. Do you recommend Ancestry? My mom had started it and used Family Tree but then she passed away, I got her computer and haven't lifted a finger to continue her work. It's time.
    You are going to be quite the busy girl but how amazing will it be to meet all those relatives you didn't know where so close?

    P.S. I did listen to the song, how funny. Surprised I didn't already know it, we had quite an extensive record collection growing up.
    1866 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/17/2013 8:31:36 PM
    emoticon Penny
    1866 days ago
    This is absolutely fascinating and amazing to me!
    1866 days ago
    How incredibly awesome!! It makes me wish I was related (and had deep pockets) so I could jump on a plane and join you. I'd definitely want to be in that picture! You've made such a great plan. What a blessing to find family to be so like-minded and to so readily work on this large project project together. Way to go, Penny!!

    Please do post pictures, especially of the 4 sisters remake. :)

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1866 days ago
  • GLORYB83
    What a great thing is being done for your family! Someone in my family began to look into our family genealogy a few years ago and made a big book about it and I have one of those books. Another family member has a site on Face Book where we all 'get together' and find out more info.

    I began a family reunion 3 years ago but on a smaller scale, just for the children & extended families of me, my 4 sisters and our 2 brothers. Over 70 attended that first year and we were so pleased! Now a different family member takes on this reunion each year and it is truly awesome to see and visit with members that live far away and that we don't see during the year!

    Kudos to you for getting this going!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1866 days ago
    What an awesome story!! Thanks for sharing this with us and I can't wait to see photos and hear more stories after the reunion!!
    1866 days ago
    Wow, that is amazing! Not only the tree and the connections you've found, but organizing a get together with all those people!

    It'll be a fabulous event, though, I'm sure of that!
    1866 days ago
    Whoa-oh!! What a great news!! You must be surprised when your cousin contacted you three years ago. But want a great surprised. Your family get together sounds so fun. I am sure, you'll be a good coodinater for your family. Good luck and Enjoy your family reunion. emoticon
    1866 days ago
    so wonderful. It would scare me to have to something like this. Would love to go to one though. I have also been working on my family history for about 16 years.

    1866 days ago
    How wonderful for you xx well,done . Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon
    1867 days ago
    Awesome...go you....it will be amazing
    1867 days ago
    1867 days ago
    I adore digging up "dead rellies" as they're affectionately known on Genes Reunited (the first site I used) and thanks to Ancestry I too have found and been in regular contact with some distant cousins, second cousins etc and we've pooled our info.
    Research certainly does take some twists and turns and I've also traced back the lines for DH and found some "unsavoury characters" much to his dismay emoticon

    And yes! it certainly keeps the grey cells functioning emoticon

    Just think where all this might take you, have fun!

    Have a great day today emoticon
    1867 days ago
    I have always wanted to dig deep into the deeper roots our family... to take it farther than anyone else has... so bravo you for finding your family roots.
    I hope that everything will work out and you will continue to grow and find all the family members who need to be found. You never know you my find someone who thinks he/she is the end of her family line.
    I have a friend who my family has adopted and as a result my step mother who love to dig and scrap and find family connection, found a line of his family that is vibrant and thrivng and only lives a few hours from him. He has begun meeting them.

    You have fun... never doubt the reasons you are doing anythng that has a purpose to you... because you will never know what will come of it.
    1867 days ago
  • ZRIE014
    remember that this is the first day of the rest of your life
    1867 days ago
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