Monday, March 14, 2011

Sharon Brennan

Our next post is from another New South Welshman and  an old mate of mine. I first met Sharon Brennan  when I conducted an internet workshop in Coffs Harbour for teacher librarians many moons ago. Since then we have kept in contact via various online tools. Not only is Sharon a connected teacher librarian she is also a committed family historian who uses a range of 21st century tools to enhance her research.

Sharon is the author of two family history books:
Crossing the seas to build a future : twelve generations of the Seabrook family 2005

Date 11 March 2011

Name Sharon Brennan (Moore)

Hometown Wallangarra, Queensland

Are you a hobbyist or professional genealogist? Hobbyist

What is your day job? Teacher Librarian

How long have you been chasing ancestors? Since I was 10

How did you get hooked on genealogy? My aunt began researching when I was 10 years old and each time I saw her she'd fill me in on her latest finds. After I married, my husband and I walked through the local cemetery and found 2 baby girls who shared his surname. Of course I wanted to know who they belonged to. We purchased their death certificates and off I went on a journey that is still going today.

What are your areas of expertise in genealogy?  I have never really given this some thought. Can persistence and perseverance be called areas of expertise? I love the challenge and the hunt. Years of researching has given me the skills I think to know where to go to next and how to fill in the story. I enjoy internet research.

Please outline your involvement in Genealogy Societies and Groups I have at various times been a member of the following societies and groups:

Bourke Family History Society
Armidale Family History Group
Tamworth and District Family History Group
Coffs Harbour District Family History Society
Newcastle Family History Society
Society of Australian Genealogists

What are the lands of your ancestors? Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, England and Scotland. My husband adds German to our children's ancestry.

What Family Names are you Researching? Agnew, Allsop, Birt, Brennan, Cleary, Davenport, Dawson, Fleming, Flynn, Giles, Glock, Halloran/O'Halloran, Hannah, Harrison, Henry, Hope, Kerr, Key, Lagan, Lee/Ley, McColm, McElwee, McInerney, Merchant, Milroy, Moore, Mylan/Moylan, Odgen, Perrott/Parrot, Prince, Ryan, Scheef, Seabrook, Smail, Spatch/Spetch, Squires, Tobin, Waters, White.

Who is your favourite ancestor? Why? It's difficult to choose a favourite ancestor, but I think I would have to choose Dr William Lee Dawson, my great great grandfather. He was born in 1817 in Ireland and studied in Dublin to become a doctor. He worked as a surgeon on a packet ship around the Carribean and then came to Hobart Town as the surgeon aboard the Mooltan which arrived in 1854.
I am very grateful to have the following documents that belonged to him:
* a sheet of paper detailing his birth in 1817
* copies of many certificates pertaining to his medical studies
* a diary written by him while he was a surgeon sailing to the Carribean and then again to Hobart Town
* his notebooks which contained notes of the day to day running of his life as a country doctor
* a large portrait of him in his uniform (found in the back of a cow shed)
* his surgeon's amputation saw

After writing all this I think of others who perhaps should have been mentioned.
e.g. My gggg grandmother Hanorah Flynn who came to Ausralia in 1826 with a young family to join her convict husband Patrick. What courage that must have taken!

What ancestral city or town would you like to visit? Why? Last year I went to Ireland and Britain and managed to visit a few places where ancestors lived. I can't wait to go back to Bellaghy (in the heart of IRA territory during the Troubles) and Ballymoney both in Northern Ireland, Dublin and London and Cork and Cootehill and Stranraer and and and........

What is your favourite resource for genealogy? At the moment it is the internet as I really don't have time to visit because I live too far away from archives and repositories. I quite like Ancestry but don't like the family trees full of errors.

Do you keep your genealogy files on paper? Yes

Do you keep your genealogy files on a computer? Yes

What genealogy software do you use to record your family tree? Reunion for Mac but am seriously looking at The Next Generation. Perhaps that's a Christmas holiday job.

Do you have your tree posted on the internet? No

What Social Networking Sites do you use for genealogy? Ancestry, Facebook, GenealogyWise, LinkedIn, Twitter

Do you have a blog? Yes

What are your blogs' URLs?

What are your Other Hobbies, Activities, Interests? Is there really time for anything else?????

What is your favourite lesiure time activity apart from genealogy? Reading

What is your favourite (non-genealogy) book? I've had to think too long for this question so there mustn't be a favourite. I read lots of books for my day job as a teacher librarian.

1 comment:

  1. I had hoped to get this to Jill before my post but I was too late. I had been thinking about places I would like to visit when I came across this quote in the book I am currently reading.

    "All I knew, sitting there, was that some long-dead Mary Bailey (insert your ancestor's name here) or other had finally found a descendant to go home for her."

    Helene Hanff - The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street