Re-writing my WHEWAY study

In 2013, I completed the Diploma in Family Historical Studies through the Society of Australian Genealogists. We were required to write a thesis on around 30,000 words on a topic that would be valuable for genealogy. Our own family was a suitable topic. For several reasons, I chose my father’s family and tied it to the study of nature vs nurture.

At the time, I was quite happy with my thesis.  I did, however, find myself constrained by both word and time limits. I was working full time when I was doing this course, so I was, in the end, just grateful that I completed it.

Having re-read it recently, I found many issues I would like to explore further – as well as a few errors and miscalculations I would like to correct. And to be able to do it with the luxury of taking the time I need will be exciting!

So, here is the introduction to A Family Line: A study of a branch of the Wheway family in Australia

Introduction

In 2013, I completed the Diploma in Family Historical Studies through the Society of Australian Genealogists. We were required to write a thesis of around 30,000 words on a topic that would be valuable for genealogy. Our own family was a suitable topic. For several reasons, I chose my father’s family and tied it to the study of nature vs nurture.

At the time, I was quite happy with my thesis.  I did, however, find myself constrained by both word and time limits. I was working full time when I was doing this course, so I was, in the end, just grateful that I completed it.

Having re-read it recently, I found many issues I would like to explore further – as well as a few errors and miscalculations I would like to correct. And to be able to do it with the luxury of taking the time I need will be exciting!

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When, where and to whom a person is born are significant influences on their life, what they will do and who they will become. In 1913, Ackerman quite correctly stated:”… peoples are a reflection of the locality in which they are born … geographical position, climate, landscape … are all woven into the fabric of the     peoples”[1].

While these environmental factors are certainly important and not to be discounted, what Ackerman failed to consider was both nature and nurture. Although many consider environment to be an extension of nurture, academics such as Professor Stephanie Short from the University of Sydney consider these to be separate elements[2].  All three of these components must be measured when considering what makes a person who they are, what they do and, ultimately, who they become.

So, I started at the beginning – with the ‘bones’ so to speak. It was only then that I realised how many of the ‘bones’ were missing! The arduous and expensive task of obtaining certificates and transcriptions began in earnest. What breeders my ancestors were! But with obtaining these certificates I began to see the commonalities in their causes of death that have carried though into the generation before mine. And others that the current generation need to know about – such as diabetes and heart attack.

This work will be Part One. I would prefer to concentrate on the generations that not only have they passed but their children have passed. I don’t want it to take too long, or lack detail, by adding every generation.

[1][1] J. ACKERMAN, Australia from a women’s point of view, Cassell and Company Limited, London, 1913, p.35

[2] Professor S. SHORT, ‘Discussions about approach to thesis’. Interview with the author, Woy Woy, New South Wales, Australia, 2012.

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