Saturday, January 11, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2019

I always have fun with lists of questions for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, but I have to admit I've never heard of the word "geneameme" before.

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along; cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!):

(1) Jill Ball reconstituted her "Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2019" on 30 December 2019 and invited readers to participate.  

(2) This week, let's contribute our answers to her questions about our genealogy accomplishments in 2019.  Copy the questions below and add your own responses.

(3) Share your responses on your own blog, in comments on this blog, or on Facebook.  Please leave a comment on this post so readers can find your post, and please let Jill know about your efforts by e-mailing her at

Here are mine.

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was:

I did not discover the names of any unknown ancestors in 2019.

2.  A great newspaper article I found was:

I found several interesting newspaper articles about my cousin Sam Brainin on, including one about a bad car accident he was in as a child.

3.  A geneajourney I took was:

I took three geneajourneys, to RootsTech, the Ohio Genealogical Society conference, and the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy.

4.  I located an important record:

Yes!  I found the passenger list for my great-great-grandmother Ruchel Dwoire (Jaffe) Brainin immigrating to the Untied States with four of her children.

5.  A newly found family member shared:

A cousin I discovered through a DNA match shared lots of information on his branch of the family, plus a photograph of my great-great-grandparents Gershon Itzhak Nowicki and Dube (Yelsky) Nowicki from about 1915, while they were still in Russia.

6.  A geneasurprise I received was:

When I posted a family photograph that I love but didn't know who was in it, one of my cousins recognized her grandmother and grandaunt, which was totally unexpected.  Plus the photo is probably of her father's bris!

7.  My 2019 social media post that I was particularly proud of was:

I am glad I took the time to write up all my family connections in "Now That's What I Call a Blended Family!"  It takes a genealogist to keep track of a family as complicated as mine.

8.  I made a new genimate who:

I've gotten to be friends with someone who comes regularly to the African American Special Interest Group at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon.  We're even working toether on a few genealogy projects.

9.  A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was:

Well, not quite mastered, but for the first time I was the speaker for a Webinar, and I did all the computer stuff for it.

10.  I joined:

Well, I rejoined the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon.

11.  A genealogy education session or event from which I learnt something new was:

I always learn something from every conference and Webinar, but one of the standouts last year was Judy Baston's presentation on the Vilna Ghetto Library, which I attended at the IAJGS conference.  It was fascinating to see the kinds of documentation that have survived.

12.  A blog post that taught me something new was:

Jennifer Mendelsohn's "No, You Don't Really Have 7,900 4th Cousins:  Some DNA Basics for Those with Jewish Heritage" has incredibly useful information on how to work around the overabundance of matches that endogamy produces.

13.  A DNA discovery I made was:

For the first time, a DNA match connected me with someone on the Jewish side of my family I was able to place in my family tree immediately but didn't know already.

14.  I taught a genimate how to:

I did 25 presentations at conferences and genealogical societies, in addition to my volunteer work at the Gresham Family History Center and "Helping Hands" sessions for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon.  I think I taught several "genimates" how to do a lot of things.

15.  A brick wall I demolished was:

I had been looking for my great-great-grandmother's arrival into this country for about 20 years (see #4).

16.  A great site I visited was:

"Old Photographs of African Americans" is a site that displays unidentified photographs for free.  People have been able to find their relatives' photos, which is wonderful.

17.  A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was:

I found a copy of London:  Then and Now by Diane Burstein at a thrift store, and it was a bargain.

18.  It was exciting to finally meet:

Like Randy, I also can't think of someone new and exciting I met in 2019.  I'm sure there was someone, but my memory is blanking.

19.  I am excited for 2020 because:

I am really looking forward to working more on figuring out who my paternal great-grandfather Mr. X was.

20.  Another positive I would like to share is:

I'm always excited about a new year of opportunities to learn about and share genealogy!


  1. We both found passenger list for family last year. Congratulations.

  2. Interesting answers Janice. Good luck in your continued search for family.

  3. You've been quite busy! My favorites of your answers were to 5 and 6 because you not only connected with new cousins, but photos were shared and questions answered. I only wish I would meet some of those cousins in my family.

    1. I rarely find relatives who have family information I don't already know about, much less ones who have photos to share. This was a major surprise and a very nice one.

  4. Thanks for your post Janice. Sorry I didn't get to meet you at Rootstech but pleased I know a little abut you now.I'm adding a link to your post here:

    1. Thank you, Jill! It was an intereesting exercise to think over what I accomplished in 2019.


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