466RE: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] No responses from list
- Nov 6, 2006I'm sure it must get frustrating to both see the small number of posts to
this forum, and to not get any "hits" on your surname. Even though the web
page speaks to the "many" who do genealogy research for St. Helena
ancestors, we are comparatively few.
And of those with whom I am better acquainted, almost all of them have
researched THEIR ancestors, but have not undertaken comprehensive research
for non-related persons. That's changing a bit with contributions like the
1881 British census, and some other work that is now available on the
I started researching my St. Helena ancestry in about 1992, and gave up at
that point because it was so overwhelming, and the proportion of effort to
results was so dismal.
I do read the posts, and I check my database to see if I have any mention of
the surnames in question. Usually, I don't. My St. Helena folks came to
Martha's Vineyard, MA in the mid-1800's, so I have no information at all
about Saints after that date.
If you've not already consulted the Parish records for your ancestor's
I mentioned the South Africa repository for St. Helena Parish records in a
message I wrote yesterday. Since you know your person of interest's birth
year, the archivists there may be willing to undertake a search of the
records for 1890 only, for a single surname. I don't know, as I've never had
occasion to use them myself.
Or, again, since you are willing to start with a single record [if it
exists] you could take the route of mailing to the St. Helena archivist, and
asking for the same service.
For the most part, genealogy of St. Helena has to be done the "old-fashioned
way." The amazing transformation of genealogy research in general - as more
and more primary data is available on line, and search capabilities save
hours of shuffling through microfilm - has not created a revolution in the
research of St. Helena ancestry. Again, as others have noted, we are very
few. St. Helena is a tiny, remote place; and if it were not for Napolean's
confinement there, most folks would never have heard of the place.
We're sort of like a family with a member who has a disorder that is so
rare, that it is an "orphan disease." And as such, no one every chooses the
put their resources into finding a cure.
Gee, wasn't I optimistic here? I'm sure you feel quite encouraged by now.
I think it is quite acceptable to re-post an unanswered query at intervals,
in case someone new may be reading, or may have expanded their research to
now cover your surname of interest. By regular intervals, I'm thinking
something like every 3 months. It does get tiresome to read the same query,
posted over and over again at short intervals [every two weeks] and I think
one runs the risk of being ignored altogether in that case.
I hope you are able to find your HOPKINS ancestress, and go on to discover
more about your ancestry.
RE: "I am sure that there are many who read the posts as I do. However,
there has been no info forthcoming about my surname interest. I read in
the hope that someone will have info for me and do not want to take the
risk of repeating info on the list."
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