Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Returning to action...

Sometimes life throws you a curveball, sometimes it throws several. I have been absent from here for too long but now it is time to make a return to my genealogical efforts. In a nutshell, I stopped updating this blog some months ago due to a series of family issues and a(n as yet unresolved) health issue. My mother moved house and is now five minutes away as opposed to being seven hours away. This coincided with a visit from my sister who lives on the other side of the country and, well, this blog got pushed aside while I reconnected with my family. At around the same time I received some troublesome results from a blood test and my health became my number one priority. Then I guess I hit a brick-wall - not a genealogical brick-wall, more a motivational one. 8^/

Anyhow, family matters have settled down somewhat and while my health is still a bit of an issue I am starting to get back into the swing of things. Of course it doesn't hurt that I now have a new project to keep me interested. I am currently planning (with my father) a Bannister family reunion which will be held in March next year. We are inviting our immediate family, and all the cousins, aunts and uncles we can contact. We expect about 50 or 60 people to turn up and I am really looking forward to catching up with everyone.

We have come up with a few ideas for things to do at the reunion:

  • A family reunion guest book: Dad wants everyone to sign a guest book, which is a good idea, but I think we can make it better with a little effort. Instead of an actual guest book, I will print out some template pages with spaces for names, signatures and a short message. Then I want to photograph everyone who attends. After the reunion I plan to scan in all the signed sheets and paste in the photos, as well as a small family tree (parents, spouse + children where appropriate) and print out copies of the reunion guest book for anyone who wants. I think this will make a nice keepsake.
  • Custom placemats: We will gather lot of old family photos, newspaper clippings, and maybe even some old parish registers and other old documents, print them out and laminate them. These can then be put on the tables to be used as placemats. A few years ago my father and I were invited to a function at the Hazelwood-Churchill Football Club where they printed copies of old newspaper clipping about the club and used them as placemats. This was a good way of stimulating discussion as people read their placemats and shared the stories with others on the table. We just need to choose which photos/documents to use - I have way too many to pick from!
  • Slideshow: We will borrow a projector and create a slideshow of old photos and documents. This can be left playing all night and will be easy enough to put together.
  • Unidentified photos: I want to print out old photos we have with unidentified faces, pin these photos on a noticeboard and ask guests to identify the people they know. I am sure this will generate some intense discussion as people try to remember the names of the faces in the photos and it will help fill in some gaps in my records.
  • Photo sharing: We will be contacting all invitees to ask them to bring along any scanned photos/documents they have, along with blank USB sticks. I will have a computer (or two) set up in a corner where people can copy photos.
I also plan on asking invitees to bring along any documents (birth/marriage/death certificates, etc) so I can scan copies. Hopefully this will help me flesh out my own document collection.

In the interim I will be reviewing my family tree and looking for any interesting stories I can pull out. I am not sure if I will try to compile the information into a book, but that is also an option. I guess I have my work cut out for me. ;^)


  1. Great to see you blogging again.

  2. Glad you are feeling better. Good luck with the family reunion! It will be fun and worthwhile.