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466RE: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] No responses from list

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  • Christine Adams
    Nov 6, 2006
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      I'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
      baptism -

      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.

      Christine Adams

      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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