On the first day of a new decade, let me wish you all
Happy New Year … Blwyddyn Newydd Dda … Athbhliain Shona
As a new year begins, many of us will be making resolutions for the 12 months ahead. Eat less; exercise more; learn a language; change jobs; give up smoking are all popular options.
I’m starting 2020 with some very different resolutions. They’re designed to bring some new focus to bear on my one name genealogy research project about the Heenan surname.
Resolution #1: Share The Heenans’ Stories
Since I started the Heenan one name study in 2018 I’ve accumulated thousands of records. Census records; birth and marriage certificates; obituaries; photographs. I wouldn’t like to estimate just how many files are stored on my laptop.
As important as these documents are, what I’m really interested in are the people behind all the records.
There are now more than 2,000 individuals with the Heenan surname in my database. It’s time to bring them alive. My plan in 2020 is to write more stories about these individuals. They are not necessarily famous – in fact most of them are not. But they all have an interesting story to tell.
Resolution #2: Share Knowledge
Genealogy and family history research can be frustrating. There are always blind alleys, dead ends and unsolved mysteries.
Trying to tackle these on your own is hard work. It’s so much easier – and more fun – if you can collaborate and share information.
Since starting this blog I’ve discovered other people around the world who have a Heenan in their family. They’ve been very generous in sharing information about their family members. One researcher in New Zealand put me on a trail to a booklet published about the family of Dennis Heenan who was one of the early settlers in Dunedin. Another gave me photographs of descendants of John Heenan, a tailor in London in the early 1800s. Through contacts on Wikitree I’m adding to my knowledge about a family from Ireland who were involved in a notorious mass murder in Ontario.
The plan is to ask for your help to unlock some of the dead ends. I’ll be sharing what I know about certain individuals and then asking you to help me fill in some missing pieces.
What Does This Mean For You?
In essence what this means is that you can expect to see many more articles on this blog. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them and sharing your Heenan stories.