Tag Archives: Macdonald

#AncestorChallenge2018 – Quarter 1 Roundup

Being a little behind the times (yes, as usual 🙄), we were already midway through January before I stumbled across the #AncestorChallenge2018 hashtag while meandering the Twitterverse.

Used with the kind permission of David Allen Lambert. Follow him on Twitter at @DLGenealogist or his blog, thepastfinder.wordpress.com.

The challenge resonated on many levels. Firstly, it’s true that memories and stories quickly begin to fade, unless they’re recorded. Secondly, a tweet is a whole lot more manageable than an entire blog post, right? That’s not to say that the challenge excludes blog posts – quite the contrary – but it doesn’t dictate the format or medium or length for the content of the tweet (or what it links to), and there’s a freedom in that. Thirdly, the challenge could just help move my research (and organisation of it) forward, baby steps at a time. And, by the end of it all, I’d have 52 ancestral tidbits “published”, in a manner of speaking – more than I would have otherwise. So I decided to take up the challenge.

To stick to it, though, I needed a plan and so I chose to pick an event from an ancestor’s life that fell during the week scheduled for each of my tweets (not that I’ve managed to tweet on the scheduled day every time, or even in the appropriate week, but, as “they” say, better late than never!)

However, it occurred to me that many friends and family members aren’t Tweeple and, furthermore, my #AncestorChallenge2018 tweets could end up sandwiched in a mini-melee of other, unrelated tweets, so I figured a quarterly roundup of them in a blog post was the way to go and, voilà, a new blog post (or four) was born 🙂

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5


Week 6


Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12


Week 13

And, so, there you have it: my #AncestorChallenge2018 tweets for January to March 2018. Until next quarter…

Where You Get Your Chin From

A year ago to the day, while visiting my parents for Christmas, I’m sitting in my mother’s study. I’m fixated on her laptop monitor, trying to make sense of and keep up with the military jargon flying back and forth on the Great War Forum in response to a question I’d asked about my great grandfather, Lachlan Macdonald, who lost his life in that horrific conflict.

My mother, sitting beside me, is intently studying old family photographs with her mini magnifying glass, looking every bit the family historian. Out of the easy, companionable silence, she suddenly exclaims, “That’s where you get your chin from!” I look across at her, not computing. “Huh?” She looks up, taps a photograph with her magnifying glass and says again, “That’s where you get your chin from!”

The photograph in which my mother found my chin! Great Grandmother, Christina Cameron, is the woman seated on the right of the picture. Her brother and my great grand uncle, Murdo Cameron, is the man seated on the left of the picture.

I lean across, looking at the photograph. It’s true: my great grandmother, Christina Macdonald née Cameron, has the same dent in her chin, slightly off centre, like the indentation left by a finger in clay. I look at my mother and check out her chin. The dent is missing. “It must have skipped a generation, then!”

It’s strange, you know, that I never questioned where it came from, that dent. I remember it causing one of a number of insecurities when I was younger but it never occurred to me that it may be an “heirloom”, especially since it was missing in both my parents. Now it represents a family fingerprint, a part of my inheritance, a connection with my Cameron past, with my great grandmother, character that she was. In the same photograph, it’s clear that my great grand uncle, Murdo Cameron, carried the same mark. My grandmother carried it, to a slightly lesser degree. My uncle carries it.

So what about you? Where do you get your chin from? Or your toes? What about your mouth, your eyes, your ears? What are your family fingerprints? Did they skip a generation or two?

In celebration of family and the ties that bind us together