Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 in review - Accentuate the Positive

As 2014 draws to a close, it seems an opportune time to reflect on the year’s blogging successes. Jill Ball from the GeniAus blog invited us Geneabloggers to ‘Accentuate the Positive’ by answering a selection of specific questions, so here goes: 

An elusive ancestor I found residing in Melbourne, Australia in 1860 was my third-great-grandfather John Radcliffe, who I had long been searching for.  With the help of my third cousin, who is a regular reader here, it was truly wonderful to finally track him down.  I wrote about the search for John and his eventual discovery last March. 

A precious family photo I found was one of my granda Kevin Wynne making his First Holy Communion, in about 1916. I didn’t ‘find’ this photo exactly, but, learning of my genealogy addiction, my Aunt Anne kindly shared it with me. Precious, wasn’t he?
Kevin Wynne, First Holy Communion (c. 1916)

An ancestor's grave I found belonged to my great-grandparents Patrick Wynne (1868-1937) and Teresa (Carroll) Wynne (1888-1958). They were both buried in Ashburton Roman Catholic Cemetery, in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Some lovely ‘Carroll cousins’ I met via this blog visited their grave and sent me this photograph. Sadly, the grave is looking a little neglected now. Thank you again, Brian, Rosemary and Rosalie. 

Patrick Wynne and Teresa (Carroll) Wynne
Wynne grave, Ashburton RC Cemetery, Gosforth

An important vital record I found received came courtesy of my first cousin, Aileen.  It is the memorial card for the aforementioned Patrick Wynne, who died in Newcastle on 21 December 1937. Aileen got the original memorial from Pat Fagan, Patrick’s niece.

Patrick Wynne (1868 - 1937)
Patrick Wynne, Memorial Card, 1937

A newly found family member shared many amazing photographs!  In truth, this year, quite a number of previously unknown family members contacted me through my blog. Many shared their family photos and stories with me. As well as the Carroll descendants in Newcastle, I ‘met’ my Wynne cousins in England and New Zealand and a Mahon descendant in Dublin. Coming from a family who saved relatively little in the way of family memorabilia, the shared photos are just priceless and have already featured in numerous blog posts here. In addition, a newly discovered Byrne cousin in England helped confirm a photo I found in the British Mariner Records was indeed taken of my maternal great-granduncle, Benjamin Byrne

My 2014 blog post that I was particularly proud of was ‘An Open letter to GG-Grandfather, John Wynne.’ At least, it was the most fun to write and I am still hopeful he will send a reply, someday soon. 

My 2014 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was entitled ‘Horses and Mischief’. It was my first Sepia Saturday post and received 22 comments – the most comments any post has received so far. Again, thanks are due to my ‘Carroll cousins’ for giving me the photos used in this post. 

A genea-surprise I received was a letter written by a relative in Ireland to my Great-Grandaunt Mary (Wynne) Finnegan in Colorado. My third cousin Phyllis, Mary’s great-granddaughter, sent me a copy of the letter, which had been written in the last decade of the nineteenth century, shortly after Mary immigrated to the United States. I was able to identify the sender as Kate Tucker, Mary’s maternal aunt.  Kate was also my great-great-grandaunt. A lovely-genea-surprise! 

Seems the Black Raven Genealogy blog helped me learn a lot about my ancestors in the year. Here’s to 2015! 

Happy New Year!

© 2014 Black Raven Genealogy


  1. Happy New Year, Dara! I've really enjoyed reading your blog posts. I wish you and your family all the best in 2015.

  2. I'm sorry that I missed Jill's positive meme. It's good to look back to see that we accomplished more than we might have thought. Surely 2015 will bring more accomplishments. Happy New Year, Dara!

  3. What a lovely year you have had - it's great meeting new relatives isn't it?

  4. Thank you Jennifer, Wendy and Alex for the good wishes.

  5. Here's to another lively, engaging year full of genealogy discoveries, Dara. Wishing you the best yet in 2015!

  6. Dara, sounds like you have a very productive genealogy year! The Holy Communion picture is adorable. You are fortunate to have many relatives lending a hand. Happy new year!

  7. You had a great year! Also, I love, love, love how your surname categories are set up! I'm all about surnames and have a surname specific page, but I may be stealing your category idea too.

  8. Dara I hadn't read your blog before but obviously I'm going to have to remedy that! What great family support you're getting.

  9. Thanks all and best wishes for 2015, and thank you Cassmob for adding me to your followings.

  10. Wonderful post and what a great year you had. All the best in 2015 (excellent blog by the way!).

  11. Wishing you a happy new year Dara. Congratulations on those wonderful finds, may they keep coming!

  12. Happy New Year to you, Ellie, and I'm looking forward to reading about your discoveries too!

  13. Dara, I've just come across this bit of blog posting - it is 'interesting how Wynnes and Carrolls ended up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

    On my father's side of 'my' family tree I also have many historic ties with the North-East of England.

    p.s. A belated Happy New Year for 2015!

    1. Thanks Larry, Teresa Wynne followed her older Carroll siblings (and half-siblings) to Newcastle. At that time Patrick was attempting to establish a new home for the family in Australia. Then, when the Titanic sank, Teresa refused to take the boys on the boat, so Patrick had to return to England.


I look forward to reading your comments, even more especially if you're related to someone mentioned in this post.

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