Friday, September 19, 2014


One Lovely Blog Award

I have been nominated for the ONE LOVELY BLOG award by the very talented Debra Watkins of the Pocket Full of Family Memories blog. Thank you Debra for taking the time to read my blog FamilyHistory4u and for deeming it worthy of this award. I am most grateful and at the same time humbled. I must recommend that if you haven't yet read Debra's  blog to visit via the above link. I am certain you will enjoy her fascinating stories and her beautifully presented blog.
It is always rewarding to know that other writers appreciate one's writing and for that reason, awards such as this are a wonderful way in which to show our appreciation as bloggers for the effort that others put into their blogs. It is also an excellent opportunity to share and showcase other blogs that we enjoy reading and follow ourselves.  

Here are the Rules for The One Lovely Blog Award.

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to that blog.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire, or as many as you can think of.
4. Contact your bloggers to let them know you have tagged them for The One Lovely Blog Award.

Image Sharn White ©

 Seven Things about Me

1. I Love to Write

Since I was a child I have loved to write. When other children in my school classes were groaning at the thought of writing an essay, or composition as we then called the stories we wrote, I was already far away in my own world of  imaginative thoughts. I wrote fictional stories and poetry mainly, but also kept diaries from a young age. Unfortunately, I no longer still have any of these childhood anecdotes, as my mother, who had early Alzheimer's Disease (in her 40's) threw them away, unaware of what she was doing. My mother was my inspiration when it came to writing. She impressed upon me her own love of writing and language, as well as her creative imagination. I wrote stories in my spare time and filled note books, complete with illustrations. Drawing and painting were my next great love. My mother was my greatest fan when it came to my stories, often contributing with her own ingenious ideas for plots. Together we fashioned some fabulous fictional characters and colluded over melodramatic and marvelous story lines. It is my passion for writing that enticed me into blogging in 2009. 
My beautiful mother was my inspiration. Image SharnWhite ©

2. I am a History Fan!

My father was a keen history buff and I feel certain I inherited his infectious passion for history. My favourite school subjects were Ancient History and Art History and I have continued that love of the past into my adult life. I have studied Ancient History at university and I am currently studying a history degree through a university, off campus,(although I may end up holding a record for the world's oldest university student at the rate I am going...) I especially enjoy Australian Colonial history and in particular Convict history, possibly because this ties in well with my family history. I am quite fascinated by Medieval history as well and have a large and ever growing collection of medieval history books. I love nothing more than to trace my family back to the Middle Ages and beyond. I suppose really I am curious about anything from the past.

3. Genealogy is an Obsession of Mine

I have more than one hobby so it is difficult to find enough time to research my family history. Many late nights are the result of limited time, but I delight in following clues and unearthing ancestors. Whenever I find new forebears, it is never enough to just know their names and dates of birth, death and marriages. I am compelled to research the places where they lived and to place their lives within the historical context of the times in which they lived. These diversions often mean that instead of finding ancestors, I am off researching in depth things or places that related to the life of an ancestor, such as a heritage listed water mill in Lincolnshire, UK, a butter factory in Cooroy, Queensland,  an old house that was once a hospital  operated by a nursing great great great aunt, an 1870's rail carriage built by a great great grandfather, a family sheep farm and the graves of ancestors. Family history connects us individually to our collective world history and it is that aspect which makes history become personal and relevant. Although family history digs up the past, one of the most exciting aspects of it is connecting with and meeting new relatives in the present. Through my family history, I have many new cousins, both near and far who have become my best friends. Last but not by any means least, the genealogy community is a generous and very friendly place to be a part of. I have made some exceptionally good friends through  associating with generous and caring people worldwide who share my passion for family history.

4. I Have Lyme Disease

This is not an aspect of my life, that I find easy to speak about, however, with recent controversy raising its head yet again in Australia, regarding the existence of Lyme Disease, I feel it is now time for me to speak about my own experience.  Far from being in any way  'poor me' related, my comments are my way of raising awareness about the existence of this debilitating Tick born illness. I hope also, to show, that despite handicaps in life, one can still achieve, maybe not every goal but many. I have been listening to the 'Lyme Disease does not exist in Australia'  argument for 21 years since I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease (with a positive Western Blot test which had been sent to the USA). I spent two months in intensive care and a year in and out of hospital, so desperately ill that I wasn't expected to survive. I wrote letters to my children, expecting not to see them grow up. When I became ill, I presented with encephalitis, myocarditis, neurological problems, partial paralysis, swollen joints, breathlessness to the point that I couldn't walk, and many other symptoms. Lyme Disease is often referred to as The Great Imitator! It is not a pleasant disease. What makes it more difficult to deal with is the lack of help available for sufferers in Australia. 

I spent five years in total, bedridden, on oxygen unable to walk. With the help of two exceptional doctors who believed in Lyme Disease, and who were willing to experiment with unconventional treatments, I began to slowly improve. I was unable to have the recommended anti-biotic treatment for Lyme Disease as I had anapylactic reactions to all anti-biotics. Before my diagnosis I spent a long time being taken to many specialists whose reactions to my symptoms included (quote) "You are obviously a frustrated housewife. Go home and quit your bitching".  It was a frustrating time, not just medically, but for my family as well. The youngest of my four children was only three years old and the eldest eleven. They had to do without my mothering significantly, for seven years, I was fortunate that I had and still have an amazing and supportive husband and the most courageous and resilient children any mother could be fortunate enough to be blessed with. Well, apart from one inventive child who decided that cooking mince with banana sauce could be a regular contribution! 

I find it most concerning to see that little has changed regarding medical opinions in the 21 years since my diagnosis. I have lost friends to Lyme Disease in that time because they were denied medical treatment. Many doctors who might be tempted to treat the disease feel they must refuse, because of the risk of being struck off the medial register. These days I am, for the most part, well,  and I maintain the attitude that Lyme Disease will not stop me from doing the things I most love. I travel, although I often end up spending weeks if not months bedridden with fatigue, arthritis, severe vertigo and neurological symptoms when I return. My Lyme Disease riddled immune system has caused  my body to attack my own organs. So I am missing a few - but nothing so far that will deter me from living life to the fullest. I suffer, as do many Lyme patients, from dyslexia so it may seem strange that I have chosen to follow my passion for writing combined with history in my blogging. My blogs may not be published as often as I would wish but when one has to edit every word  because each one is completely jumbled or missing the first letter, writing  anything is time consuming. Writing, for anyone with Lyme Disease, is a mammoth task. Writing, for me is made more complicated by the fact that my blogs are always very wordy. Despite this, I love blogging and I am most honoured that my blog posts are enjoyed by others and my hope is that everyone who reads post this might make just one other person aware of Lyme Disease. AND I AM EXTREMELY GRATEFUL TO MY FRIENDS WHO KINDLY EDIT MY POSTS... WITHOUT THEM I WOULD NOT HAVE A 'ONE LOVELY BLOG' AT ALL.

5. I Love Books

You might notice that I didn't say 'reading'. My zeal for reading closely matches my enthusiasm for family history and history however, I said books because I am a collector as well as a reader of books. I suspect that I will never have time in my lifetime to read the many books I have. I have bookshelves groaning under the descriptive weight of my bounteous books, and tsundokus (a wonderful Japanese word for piles of unread books) reposing by my bed. I cannot walk past a book store. I love the smell of books, the touch of the paper and the allurement of the covers. Sometimes one simply does have to choose a book by its cover! My largest collection by far, is of history books but I collect children's classics, books about places and gardens and architecture and antiqarian books that take my fancy.

Image available under Creative Commons License ©©
6. I could not live without Social Media!

Social Media, in my opinion, is the best thing invented, in my father's words, 'since sliced bread'. Every day, on Facebook I am able to 'talk' to my family and friends who live far away from me. I am constantly moved by the kind gestures I see posted, and the positivity that is spread around the world. Just this week I joined a group of people posting 'happy flowers', (a picture of a flower each day simply to spread good cheer). There are of course, negative aspects of all social media but I try to overlook negativity. For me, the positives far outweigh any antagonism. I keep in touch with events occurring in the world and in the genealogy community as they happen, via Twitter. I find this a wonderfully informative media platform. I choose wisely whom I follow and the resources available through this social medium are boundless. Google Plus is another of my favourite social media platforms, although I have yet to make the quantum leap into the world of Google Hangouts. I will get there, Jill Ball! Google Plus introduced me to an annual event called the Google Plus Photographic Walk. This increasingly popular gathering was launched in 2011. I attended the very first Google Plus Walk in Sydney and proudly donned my Google T-Shirt to walk around the city  of Sydney in a groups, photographing buildings, the Botanic Gardens, the  beautiful Harbour among other things, whilst receiving helpful tips about photography on the way. Eager photographers use everything from a smart phone to expensive cameras but all are welcome. In 2012 I completed the Google Plus walk in Adelaide since I was attending  the 13 th Genealogy and Heraldry Congress there at the time. On both walks I was accompanied by my geni friend Carole Riley who is as keen a photographer as I am. 

7.  I am a Keen Photographer! (see above).

Pauleen Cass, who was on the 4th Unlock The Past Cruise in February this year with myself and about 200 other genealogy and history buffs, will attest to my obsession for taking photographs (which possibly equally matches her own enthusiam). An example of our collective craziness when it comes to snapping photos, was while walking the foreshore of Hobart. Suddenly we both stopped and with a simultaneous  'oh look!' from both of us, we headed wordlessly across the street. I turned to Pauleen and asked, " Are you heading toward the boats or that seagull in the puddle?"  "Seagull" was her quick reply.... Well, it was a great reflection photo! We could easily have missed our cruise ship so distracted were we then by some crab pots.....

My Seagull Photograph,Image Sharn White ©


There are far more than fifteen blogs which I admire and some of those have already been nominated for The One Lovely Blog Award. Here are my nominations:

    The following quote is an example of Jacqi Steven's engaging style of writing, which makes her blog so easy and enjoyable to read, " There are two kinds of genealogical research: the reasonably exhaustive search and the wild goose chase. Sometimes, you can't know which one is which until it is all over." 

    Helen's blog posts are always well researched and brimming with fascinating information. A must read. 

    I have followed Nancy Marguerite Anderson's captivating Hudson's Bay Fur trade blog for some years. Nancy began writing about her ancestor Alexander Caulfield Anderson and his expeditions but her blog has evolved and in it she describes the lives of many people, places and events  connected to the fur trade in Canada. This blog is well worth reading.

4. Andrea's Ancestors - If you are interested in some fascinating information about DNA, then this is here well researched and  comprehensively written blog for you. 

An interesting blog about the lives of 89 men listed on the town of Newquay War Memorial in Cornwall. Of you have an interest in WW1 then you will enjoy reading this well researched blog.

    Anne Young has written about many topics on her family history blog. Her lovely style of writing and her excellent pictures demonstrate how to research your family history. A great read.

Titles like 'Nan's lemon Butter' and 'Granite Town - Links with Sydney Harbour Bridge won't disappoint when you read Diane Hewson's well researched and entertaining blog. This is a blog I have followed for some time and I highly recommend it. 

    Catherine Crout-Habel, founder of this blog, passed away in July of this year.  Catherine has been sorely missed in the genealogy community. Catherine's daughter, Kirrily is continuing in her mother's footsteps with her own unique voice. I would like to wish Kirrily well and to honour her mother with The One Lovely Blog Award.

    Frances Owen's blog,  began as the tracing of her ancestor convict, Nicholas Delaney. This has been one of my favourite blogs for some years. Frances has since broadened her always fascinating blog to include a wider range of genealogy topics. A must read!

    A beautifully presented and very informative blog, especially if you have New Zealand ancestors as I do. Whether you have NZ ancestry or not, this blog is well researched and well worth reading. 
     I discovered Pat Spears genealogy blog when looking for tips on how to research my Swiss ancestors, although this is just one interesting topic that this resourceful blogger covers. Pat writes her blog to share her family stories, successes, techniques and to share resources with others. 

     This blog is an excellent resource if you have Scottish or irish ancestors. Although it often focuses on American Scots-Irish, there are some really interesting information which might assist you in your search for Scottish and Irish forebears.

      Donna is a professional genealogist specialising in Irish ancestry. Her blog is a must read for those with Irish ancestors.

      Maria Northcote's blog is another I have followed for a long time. Maria's eye catching titles and well research blogs are always a great read.

    Another blog on my list of favourites is Jackie Van Bergen's extremely well researched and well written and informative blog. A recommended and always interesting read. 

I know I have left out some of my very favourite blogs, however, some have been nominated by others and limiting my nominations to 15 was a difficult task. Thankyou again Debra for thinking enough of my blog to nominate me for this lovely award which I very much appreciate. 
I will notify these 15 blog owners as soon as possible.


  1. Thanks Sharn for your kind comments about my blog - much appreciated

  2. Thanks so much, Sharn. I've dropped off the radar a little lately - too involved in our Society's WWI books. Launched the first, but still two to go. Am determined to revive my blog asap.
    Keep up the great work.

  3. I always enjoy your posts my friend but this may be your best ever. Truly a "guts move" to come out and share the horrors of Lyme Disease to enlighten the rest of us. Like you I treasure that seagull moment....and the buildings, and the boats get the picture. Thanks also for introducing me to some new blogs.

  4. Thanks Sharn for sharing about Lyme Disease as just recently I saw a program on TV where someone was trying to get recognition of it as existing in this country so obviously you are not alone. It must be incredibly hard to have something that does not have the total support of the medical world behind it so speaking out might help to change all that (slowly). Looking forward to catching up on Norfolk Island next month.

  5. Thank you Sharn for sharing such personal details. Until last month, I hadn't hear of Lyme disease but have heard it mentioned 3 times in the last month.
    We have a lot in common as it seems that many family historians do!
    Love your sea gull photos!

  6. Thank you so much for your lovely words, Sharn! I'm very honoured. And belated congratulations on your well-deserved Rockstar Genealogist status.
    I agree, it was courageous of you to talk about Lyme Disease. I was always afraid of it when walking in the Scottish Highlands, where there are ticks a-plenty. Vile things.
    I've got many of the same passions as you have. And I love the new word you've taught me - 'tsundoku'. Like a tsunami of books. I can completely relate to that...

  7. Thank you Sharn for your nomination and encouragement on Mum's blog. This may be just the nice time I need to find my voice.

    As I read your post I marvelled at how much you write like my Mum and how many shared obsessions you had - no wonder you found each other online.

    Thank you for sharing you experiences about Lyme disease - never gave I heard of a battle like yours that has gone so long. I'm sure that you sharing will change many people's lives.

  8. Thanks for your kind nomination, I have finally finished my response.
    and please let me add, I always enjoy reading your posts.

  9. Thanks! Terribly informative article. Or dog was simply diagnosed with cancer, and we're extremely making an attempt to clean up her diet and find her healthy. See more at homemade dog treats

  10. Better late than never - just found your kind nomination and comments on my 89WW1 Heroes blog. Thanks so much, I really do appreciate it, even if I clearly need to check my notifications more frequently :)

  11. Your blog is wonderful, I am waiting for your next classes