About Catherine June Barnes
15 Nov 2011
Investigating and researching my Family History has been a part of my life for over 30 years - sometimes it rumbled on in the background, but at other times it is my main interest, shoving even stitch to the side!
I enjoy research - finding out about people - what they did, where they lived, who their family was. There is nothing quite like finding that link that explains and verifies all.
I want more people to get involved - to find out and add to the pot! What a gift Geni is to us - a place to share a passion that those who are not immersed in it do not "get" - where else can you find such a playground?
I enjoy sharing what I have discovered with others - not only in connection with my own family history but to do with areas that interest me too - the Botanists, Pioneers, people of Hastings etc.the British settlers in South Africa, Rhodesia Pioneers - the list is endless. It pleases me so much when these little floating branches of family get connected to the big tree - all magic stuff.
I hope we can all carry on enjoying out mutual interest amicably. How it is presented isn't the BIG ISSUE - we need to work side by side with the following objectives -
- to further/expand our research - add sources and reasons for our conclusions
- share our findings with others by adding documents/images/sources if we have them
- collaborate with others - work side by side, make compromises where necessary. There are always 2 sides to everything and we need to work out how we can present both amicably to suit all.
I want to get on with the job in hand and make our trees as good and as clean as we can.
I want to build a community with a foundation of shared enthusiasms, with friendship at the top of the list.
I want to help as much as I can!
I want to be happy - and Family History makes me happy. Geni also makes me happy - most of the time!!
Much has been said recently about how to use the surname fileds in Geni Profiles. This is how I use them -
- I add a woman's married name in the surname field for all profiles EXCEPT for South African women of Dutch, German or French descent who married before 1800. For those women I add the married surname in the a.k.a. field and have the birth surname in both surname fields. This is also the process I follow when recording women who were married more than once.
- I remove all display names where they are not supplying a suffix (a suffix field to house these is planned), or similar additional information as these override the information entered and the name fields and distort preference displays.
- I suggest that people use their preferences to display names as they would like to see them - and have explained how the preferences are affected by the way fields are filled in on the South African Reference Centre project. I choose to view maiden names, but sometimes, for various reasons, choose to see them in parentheses after the married name.
Genealogically it is correct to use maiden names for women - and this is the only option available in most PAF programs. This is not disputed. Geni is a broader platform, catering for a wider range of users ranging from those with a casual interest to hobbyists and professional Genealogists. To do this they have added the surname field as well as the birth surname field. This is Geni-land and when in Rome ...
18 May 2011
My South African connection - explaining my roll as Curator connected to the S African tree!
My father was born in South Africa. His father, born in Scotland, married a 2nd Generation South African (her father was from England) who married a South African/Afrikaner girl - family of Knoesen.
(Through his maternal Grandmother my father's ancestry is connected to Bennett/Hungerford/Hitchcocke which is where I get connections to distant cousins all over the world!)
My mother was born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Her parents were both from families that had left South Africa after the Boer War in the early 1900's (Marais - French Huguenot ancestry and Jansen van Rensburg - Dutch/German - who knows!!! plus a lot more besides as the rolling stone gathered its moss.) Her ancestry is virtually pure South African.
I was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and came to Britain in 1975. I have a brother, an aunt and an uncle in South Africa, with a network of first cousins and an incredible number of people connected to me through the South African lines. My actual experience of South Africa amounts to 4 brief visits to that country.
I have also worked extensively on my husband's tree, hand in hand with my sister-in-law, Leith Woodall. Their tree is largely British, but with a marriage by the original Barnes settler into the Richter family in 1873 in South Africa - and through that connection links to other old Afrikaner families.
On the maternal side of my husband's family there are connections to the early British settlers (he was Scottish) - not one of the 1820 settlers but as part of the Military contingent.
What a tangled web!!
To summarise my areas of special genealogical interest are South Africa, Scotland and England.
I am very committed to Family History - I am a 100% person, quite obsessive and single minded. I devote a lot of my time to genealogy and I love Geni – my belief in it is reflected in my paying for my membership 5 years in advance! Yes it did save me a little cash too!
I think Geni a wonderful collaborative project which helps to extend an interest in genealogy to family members who would otherwise not show much interest. I have large chunks of people in my closer family who have used Geni as a way of keeping in touch with their distant (geographically speaking) relatives, whilst at the same time sharing the extended knowledge of their ancestors without having to do much about it!
Not everyone appreciates that they don't own their own genealogy or tree - that it is shared by many people and Geni helps implement this concept.
I started researching my ancestry 30 years ago, exploring ALL lines on both mine and my husband's tree - I owe this to my children - just as I taught them other things. It pleases me that the names of their ancestors are not strange to them. I have found that amongst my friends many don't know the full names of their grandparents let alone who their great-grand parents were!
It is very important for me to acknowledge that the people in my family tree contributed to who I am - that if just one was different then I would not be who I am. I try to be worthy of them – to imagine that they would be proud of me. I am humbled when I learn how hard their lives were - how they endured enormous struggles to improve their lives etc. If they hadn't done that then I wouldn't be as comfortable and privileged as I am. Their efforts need to be acknowledged and appreciated - people need to be more than just names and two or three dates!
I enjoy the challenges of sorting out “messes” on the tree – although I have been known to be quite frustrated when the same terrible muddles are made over and over again. Some sections of the South African tree have been “sorted” many times only to be messed up again not long afterwards. Doing this has given me the opportunity to become quite adept at sorting things out – but the good old “zombies” and ancient private profiles certainly make life difficult! Hopefully the Master Profiles will make an enormous difference to keeping the tree in order. I have welcomed the introduction of curators to Geni and now feel very priveleged to be one of their number.
I have made some wonderful friends through working on this tree – and know I will make more.
My personal genealogical interest stretches from England and Scotland to South Africa on my paternal line, and from Europe to South Africa on my Maternal line. Both ended up in the Rhodesias, finally ending up back in England. My husband’s tree has similar connections, with a diversion to Australia en route in his Maternal line. Which makes me a real hotch potch – a true Heinz 57!
With internet access to the census and other records so easily available now It may seem a little strange but way back in the late 80’s I set myself the task of transcribing the 1851 census returns for East Sussex and published 23 booklets of alphabetically arranged lists giving all the information available on the returns over a period of 9 years. The result was quite a bit of damage to my wrists and arms and I had to stop in 1994 – I worked at home on an Amstrad word processor in front of a microfilm of the returns and transcribed directly into a data base. How could we have envsioned the electronic marvels that have evolved since! At that time the only way of searching the returns was by going through microfilm manually – Indexes were invaluable, and an index that incorporated all information was a godsend!
My other passion is for textiles and this has been my main obsession for over 20 years now. I have also recently taken up gardening and this too promises to compete for my time. Family history has been, and will continue to be, the abiding interest - everything else seems to fit around it!