Friday, 23 November 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 47 - Thankful

Once upon a time those researching information about their family history did not have access to the many resources now available to researchers via the Internet. Much of the information required was available on microfilm or microfiche and, of course, in books. It therefore could take a great deal of time to locate even relatively basic information.

Sarah Guest was born on Norfolk Island on 1 May 1792. On 12 September 1808 she married Thomas William Birch at St David's Church in Hobart. Sarah and Thomas had seven children and then Thomas died 1 December 1821. I was unable to locate any information about Sarah's death. It was a mystery. I did realise that she may have remarried, especially as Sarah was 29 when Thomas died, but I did not have the time to travel into the city to spend hours investigating microform records for possible information about Sarah.

Some years later, when working in a library, I came across a series of books with the title - Genealogical Research Directory. These volumes, published annually, contained the names of people being researched with the name of the researcher. You could therefore look up the name of someone on your family tree to see if they appeared in the book and, if so, who was researching that person.
Among the many names I discovered the name of Sarah Birch. I contacted the researcher and discovered that Sarah was also her great (x3) grandmother but she was was not related to Thomas. Her great (x3) grandfather was Edmund Irton Hodgson. We exchanged the family tree information that we each had for Sarah and I could now complete Sarah's life story. On 29 November 1823 Sarah had married Edmund Hodgson and she and Edmund had six children. Sarah died in Hobart on 31 March 1868 aged 75.

Needless to say, over the years I have been able to add the flesh to Sarah's story, especially via newspaper articles in Trove and other sources. However I am very thankful that many years ago the Genealogical Research Directory existed to assist family history researchers connect with others researching the same family member.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful find - Information seems to come to us of its own accord at times