Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun. Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week’s mission was:
1) What was you very “Best Genealogy Day Ever?” It might be the day you solved a thorny research problem, or spent the day at a repository and came away with more records than you could imagine, or the day you met a cousin or visited an ancestral home.
2) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post. Be sure to drop a comment to this post if you write your own blog post and link to it.
My best genealogy day ever would probably have to be the day I attended the Russell family reunion in 2001 at Buninyong.
Most of my research up until then had been in libraries, and the Public Record Office, and I had just started researching on the internet 2 years before.
The Russell family reunion was a reunion of the descendants of Garrett John Russell, my 3x great grandfather.
Garrett was born in Cork, Ireland and was baptised in a Catholic Church. At some stage he converted to the Episcoplian church, and later was ordained a minister. Garrett married Susan Greene in 1839, and they had 8 children in Ireland, until Garrett accepted a position as incumbent of the Holy Trinity Church at Buninyong. The family migrated to Australia in 1856, when the youngest child Francis was just a baby. The eldest son didn’t join the family in Australia, as he had joined the Army.
The Russell family reunion was a reunion of Garrett’s descendants, and was held at the Holy Trinity Church at Buninyong, where Garrett had been incumbent. The vicarage where the family had lived is next door to the church. One of the highlights of the reunion were viewing the original parish registers for the church, where I was able to take down the details of family members who were baptised there, which included my great grandmother Henrietta Louisa Russell. The other highlight was visiting the Buninyong cemetery, and seeing the grave of Garrett, his wife Susan, his daughter Susanna and his mother. I didn’t have a camera at the time, but I later obtained a copy of the headstone from Carol’s Headstone Photos
The reunion was organised by my 2nd cousin once removed, Nandina Morris (nee Johnson). Nandina also produced a family history book for the event, called Russellchild: Their Story. I bought a copy of this book at the reunion, and this book provided me with information about the family that I was able to use to point me to original records to add to my family tree.