My Genealogy

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's Saturday Night - time for some Genealogy Fun

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

Here's mine

My father's 62 years old (born 3 Dec 1946)
62 div 4 = 15.69 = 16

Ahnentafel position 16 occupied by my great-great-grandpa Carmelo Franciscus Marianus Barbara

Some facts:
- His nickname was "La Karm"
- He was born in Zurrieq, Malta, where his father married on his return from Bone,Algeria
- He died on the 15 Jul 1942 at 80 years of age, just one month before the Convoy of St Marija berthed in Valletta with much needed food supplies for the starving island. It must not be nice to die in such situations.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Genealogy Art

Here are some genealogy-inspired art : basically its binary form and the heterosexual nature of reproduction which bears the next generation. Males are represented in blue, females in red.

The first is Banner, one that would flutter on the battle standard's lance ahead of a knightly regiment formation. In reality, one could put the emblem of his ancestors in place of each square.

Next is an inverted tree-like structure titled Invasion as it looks like an alien invasion.

This one, titled Son, looks like a solar depiction, with rays coming forth from the center - the individual whose ancestors ring around him with their parents right behind them.

This one, titled Related depicts individuals with their own aura of ancestry around them and how they share them with other individuals. Time is along the z-axis here, with the older invidiuals and their ancestors faded into the background.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Last 5 : A Visualisation

Here's a picture I made to demonstrate who are the five targets I wish to reach by next year to mark the Decade Milestone.

Along the bottom are the dates of birth of that generation, fanning out in semi-circles.
I also coloured it into three: the innermost semi-circle refers to those whom I have met in person, the middle semi-circle refers to those whose records can be acquired from the Public Registry, the outer white section refers to those ancestors whose records can only be acquired from their respective parish records.

As can now be clearly seen, the original six targets where evenly split between my paternal and maternal sides. Having found my maternal grandmother's maternal grandmother, Catherine Aquilina, we stand at 3-2.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

One Down, Five To Go!

As I had listed in Decade Milestone , I have six great-great-great-grandmothers that I want to find by next year in time for the 10th anniversary of the beginning of my genealogical research.

I am happy to say that Target 6 has been found: Gratia Pisano from B'Kara.

Daughter of Joseph Pisani and Catherine Aquilina she was born on the 6th day of February 1854 with her given names being Gratia, Anna, Maria, Helena and her godparents being Michael and Gratia Micallef.

The archpriest of B'Kara is an acquaintance of mine (he was parish priest of my town, Zabbar) and he was kind enough to answer my request by email. Moreover, he also satisfied my second request: that of finding her parents' marriage.

Joseph Pisano son of Michael Pisano and Rosa wed Catherine Aquilina, daughter of Lawrence Aquilina and Maria Micallef, on 14th January 1805.

1805? The date looks strange... would they have a child 49 years into their marriage?? Also, I had erroneously looked up the B'Kara parish records in the years 1843 to 1845, and found no birth to a Joseph Pisano.

For now I will guess that the correct date of the marriage is 1850, not 1805 - whilst awaiting confirmation from the parish priest.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Future Genealogy: leaving a history to your children

No one can negate that genealogy is about family history, it's about the family. An extended family that transcends generations. It's about going back to meet the families which were instrumental in us becoming ourselves.

A major emotional aspect of genealogy is about being able to read, learn, think, about how our ancestors lived their own lives, their births, their marriages, their deaths... we can read hand-written records penned by people who lived, saw, talked to, our ancestors... how many a times did we feel like our ancestors were talking down to us across the generations? Or rather, how many times did we wish they could talk back and answer our questions? Instead, we try to search for hints and clues, newspaper reports, passport requests, memoirs, heirlooms, to try and find answers to our questions.

We cannot help facilitate this anymore than we can bring the dead back. But there's one thing we can do, make it easier for our future generations. Starting from your children. How many times did you wish to tell them a story, or explain a decision, or narrate an episode of your life? Think about old grandad telling stories to his grandchildren. But what if we will not be around when they are of age? What if we forget these episodes by the time we come to narrate them?

With these in mind, here's what I did about it: I made a couple of gmail accounts, one for each child of mine. Occasionally I write them an email, addressing them as adults, but talking about what is going on right now. Sometimes I include pictures, or attachments (such as the result of my son's first banging on the keyboard) to help the story. Now it will be my prerogative as to when to give them the password to the email account. I plan to give it to them on their 21st and 18th birthday respectively (there's a three year gap between them). Hoping that I'll still be alive by then. If not, I plan to leave hints as to the password, or leave it with a trustworthy relative.

I can send them an email from home while they are asleep, in breaks at work, from my mobile while travelling... anywhere.

I encourage you to take on this idea, and you too help your future generations know more about you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2nd cousins on 2nd cousins

The photo above shows Nathan and Jerome, second cousins, on their respective grandparents, Marthese and Paul, who are themselves second cousins. Karmenu Barbara, paternal grandfather to Nathan, and Catherine Micallef nee Barbara, maternal grandmother to Jerome, are siblings (brother and sister).
On the other hand, Marthese Barbara nee Vassallo, wife of Karmenu and paternal grandmother to Nathan is the niece of Teresa Micallef, shown on the far right in the picture below dated 1908. Her sister Grace, shown in the below photo to the left of the said Teresa, is the paternal grandmother of Paul Micallef, husband to the above Catherine, and maternal grandfather to Jerome.