Reflections of past two years

I am surprised that it has been over 2 years since I last wrote on this blog. The highlight for 2016 for me was working with the Barbados and Friends Association (Reading) on their Heritage Project: The Story so far: a celebration Barbadian settlement in Reading. We hosted workshops where people from the local Bajan community brought artefacts and were invited to talk about their experiences of Barbados, and their settlement, education and employment in Reading. The project ended with a Cultural Extravaganza and a display of artefacts in Reading Museum.

Over the past two years I had lost the energy and enthusiasm in pursuing my personal and Caribbean research. I put off giving talks and writing articles and didn’t undertake any family history. Even so, I continued to play and active role in the Berkshire Family History Society as a volunteer on the committee on the Computer branch and gave a couple of talks to several branches. I took the opportunity on further price drops and sales  for DNA tests to take further autosomal tests with AncestryDNA and 23&me. These haven’t really added much to my knowledge but have different sets of matches which I will follow up. 

23 and Me tests for Neanderthal variants

23 and Me. Neanderthal variants

Lastly, I wrote an article “Genealogy and Family History in the Caribbean: An Archivists Toolkit”, in Decolonizing the Caribbean Record. An Archives Reader, ed Jeannette A Bastian, John A Aarons and Stanley H Griffin, Litwin Books, 2018, pp785-799.

Decolonizing the Caribbean Record. An Archives Reader

Decolonizing the Caribbean Record. An Archives Reader

I initially thought that the ennui was due to a couple of events which caused me to reassess what I thought I knew about myself, but these didn’t occur until the end of 2017, so I am unsure what happened for me to feel the way that I did.

I still feel listless but this year I am going to be more positive and rekindle my Caribbean and genealogical research. I don’t know what sources to look at to help me unblock my Grannum wall and so I’ll park that for now. Instead, I’m going to research the Barbadian families Grannum’s married into: Mary Elizabeth Armstrong Jordan, Elizabeth Redman, Catherine Devonish, and Anne Mullins – maybe I’ll find links to early settlers; I’m also going to restart researching my mother’s ancestry.

To start the ball-rolling I’ve been asked to give a talk to the Caribbean Family History Group in Solihull on my Barbadian research in March. 

3 responses to “Reflections of past two years

  1. I think most of us doing family search go through low / slow periods where things seem to come to a grinding halt. I’ve found that the best way to get moving again is when I’ve connected with others who are actually interested in the research and family stories. This happened during the past year through connections made through DNA matches when I discovered family members and stories new to me.
    I came to your site while looking for information on an Ancestor, Clarence Webster, from Barbados, who died at Ypres, during World War 1. Thanks for this site and the information contained within.

  2. Hi Jim, he is remembered here
    and his Canadian service record is here

    RIP Clarence Webster

    • Deborah,
      I really appreciate you sending me this information. I’ve spent the last hour reading through the various documents and even with scant information about his death, it really helps to build a story and a better understanding of Clarence and I can only imagine what his family must have been going through wondering if he was still alive, a prisoner or Killed in action.
      Thank you.
      Best regards,
      Jim Webster

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