Genealogists spend a lot of time alone, whether online looking at digital records, in repositories scrolling through microfilmed documents or in their attics sifting through family papers and photos. But genealogy at its most productive and enjoyable is a collaborative undertaking. The past couple of weeks have led to exciting discoveries thanks to the “global village” of researchers who are helping me.
Scott (South Africa) once again rode to the rescue as he did earlier in the year. Although several books and online family trees listed a specific marriage date and place for Philippus Andries MINNAAR and Helena Dorothea STEYN, my husband’s 2x great-grandparents, I couldn’t find a record for them in the microfilmed church register for that time and place. In response to my e-mailed plea, Scott located the source in a short time and sent me a copy.
Christine (England), married to my husband’s second cousin once removed, recently found the blog and is proving a bountiful source of information about the QUESNELL family in South Africa and related families.
Martin (Portugal) nearly a decade ago on RootsWeb offered a transcription of a journal written by a British soldier during his 1901 voyage from the U. K. to the Anglo-Boer War only a few months before Arthur Henry POOLE, my husband’s grandfather, made the same journey. I found the message several months ago, but his e-mail address was no longer valid and extensive searching failed to find a new one. A recent online search found him, and he sent a copy of the journal as soon as he received my request.
Brett (South Africa) read my initial forum posting on the Anglo-Boer War site in which I requested the above journal and outlined what I knew about A. H. POOLE from his British Army service record. He drew upon his knowledge of the military to offer possible scenarios for military careers in South Africa and then recommended someone to research the records in the military archives.
Audrey (South Africa), the researcher recommended by Brett, will soon go to the South African Defense Force Archives to obtain A. H. POOLE’s military service record. In the meantime, she’s been kind enough to keep me posted with the information she’s been able to gather in phone conversations with archives personnel.
William (Southeast Asia), my husband’s younger cousin, keeps adding details to the POOLE family history, his most recent e-mail telling of the family’s residence in Cape Town, which no one has ever mentioned before, and his grandfather’s participation in shooting competitions at the Bisley Union Club in Bloemfontein.
I’ll be writing more about some of these discoveries in future posts. Let me emphasize that the above persons are just the ones who’ve contributed to breakthroughs in the last couple of weeks. The entire list of persons who have generously provided their time, expertise and knowledge of my husband’s family history since the inception of this blog would run to several pages, and I’ll acknowledge them in future posts.