Sunday, 22 July 2007

In the beginning

NALIL began on 18 November 2000 when Bob Kane from New Zealand set up an email distribution list among 26 people sharing an interest in a small part of North Antrim.

Bob would receive a message from one of the List members and then circulate the missive using the Bcc function of his emailing program. In 2002 Norman Parkes, from Northern Ireland, took over the administration of the List, and nurtured its growth so that when I - Jennie Fairs, Australia - took over as the List administrator in 2004, membership numbered more than 60.

For some, just receiving a daily dose of NALIL has forged great friendships. Borrowing words from our List archives, “besides genealogy, we have told jokes, shared teaching and travel experiences, family pride stories, medical problems, political observations,” and “recently our pets”.

We are not a Rootsweb or similar type List: “we share, relish, enjoy, waffle and banter … the same as how we see our North Antrim relatives having done …” Some of us have even been fortunate enough to actually “walk the walk” in North Antrim, meeting up with distant family and friends as well as our resident North Antrim members.

Over time, we have benefited enormously from the generous time and effort that some list members have given to various projects – the largest being the transcription of the old burying ground of Billy Parish Church by John A I McCurdy, Shane McCurdy and Norman Parkes.

So as a collection of people – with many personalities and varied interests – we have been lucky to listen and learn from each other and now we hope to share some of our stories through the pages of this blog.

Jennie Fairs
NALIL admin