A little about me.

I am based in Brisbane, Australia.  My personal family history research started as a hobby over 30 years ago, eventually becoming an avid family historian.  Locating and researching our ancestors from England, Scotland, Ireland & parts of  Europe who immigrated to Australia, USA & Canada – some less willing than others! – and finding their place in history. 

With the advent of easily accessible DNA testing for family history, I first tested in 2014.  I’ve since tested with two companies and uploaded my data to multiple sites, creating a spreadsheet for chromosome mapping.  I keep up to date with genetic genealogy and find it an invaluable tool in those brick walls, verifying the paper trail, finding new lines & pushing back another generation – and uncovering family secrets.

The website name FindingMyFoote is a play on the idiom to ‘find one’s feet’ to ‘find your feet’ i.e finding my feet.  A  significant brick wall was the one of a great grandfather who supposedly drowned in a flooded Condamine River, the tale of his disappearance became a ghost story my great grandmother would repeat to her grandchildren.  False information was recorded on documents, unintentionally and intentionally, but I found his birth name, why he ‘disappeared’, his new life and his death.  While at the same sorting out and establishing all the myriad of associated families and finding a convict great great grandfather – an ancestor with something of a Dickensian tale.  In 1836 the year before Oliver Twist was published, as a London orphan aged 15, he was picked up for lugging around 5 shillings worth of iron, tried at the Old Bailey and transported to Australia.  I had found my Foote.

For several years I’ve been researching the name Foote, and it’s family branches to create a dedicated Foote name study dating back to 1600, an ongoing project.

I belong to various genealogical associations including the Society of Australian Genealogists, having also completed their Certificate in Genealogical Research and Diploma in Family Historical Studies and as such am included on their website’s listing of available professional genealogists.

I’m an avid reader of non-fiction and have always had a wide ranging interest in history and science.  I’ve taken several  short courses for fun, including, The Scientific Revolution (University of Groningen); Working Lives in the Factories and Mills (University of Strathclyde);  Archaeology: from Dig to Lab and Beyond (University of Reading); Beyond the Ballot: Women’s Rights and Suffrage from 1866 to Today (Royal Holloway, University of London); Peterloo to the Pankhursts: Radicalism and Reform in the 19th Century (Royal Holloway, University of London); Early Modern Scottish Paleography (University of Glasgow); Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism (University of Exeter); England in the Time of King Richard III (University of Leicester); European Empires: An Introduction, 1400 – 1522 (University of Newcastle, Australia); Exploring Stone Age Archaeology: The Mysteries of Star Carr (University of York); Extinctions: Past and Present (University of Cape Town); Irish 101 (Dublin City University), Learning from the Past (University of Nottingham).

Karen       (Email: findingmyfoote @ gmail dot com)