This Time I’m an Ambassador...

I’ve been to many genealogy events over the years. Local South Australian ones, big Australian ones, and even bigger International ones, and while I’ve written about many of them over the years, I’ve never taken on the role of “Official Blogger”, or the more recent term of “Official Ambassador”… at least until now. Unlock the Past’s “Researching Abroad Roadshow” is coming up in August 2017, and I’m excited to say that I will be an Official Ambassador (ie. Official Blogger) for the event. I will be going to the Adelaide leg of their tour (23-24 August), and will get to hear both Chris Paton (from Scotland) and Dirk Weissleder (from Germany) speak, together with other guest presenters on DNA, as well as British Isles and European resources that are available to use locally. I have met Chris a number of times over the years, and he’s one of the funniest and easiest people to listen and learn from, and his knowledge of Irish and Scottish research and records is incredible. While I haven’t heard Dirk speak, he was a speaker at RootsTech earlier this year, so I managed to meet him there, and I look forward to catching up again, and learning how to to go about researching Mr Lonetester’s German roots. It’s always been one of those “I’ll get to it sometime” branches. Anyway going to an event is not only inspiring, and a way to learn and get totally enthused, but you also get a vibe from meeting others who love genealogy just as much as you do! So they totally understand. As an Ambassador I’ll be reporting about how it all went in due course. But why not come along anyway. The Roadshow will be visiting Auckland,...

Cemetery Day, 18 June 2017...

Today is “Cemetery Day”. A day to commemorate and share our love of cemeteries, and our loved ones who have passed. I’ve had the opportunity to visit numerous cemeteries as I’ve travelled. I mean, why go to the tourist sites, when you can visit your great great grandparents grave, eh? That’s so much more interesting. So here’s a collection of just a few of them for you, for #CemeteryDay. I’ll start off with one that’s close to my heart, and that is one of my little brother, whom I never knew. Now for some others more distant … firstly here’s some from Scotland. I don’t have relatives here, but the cemetery was gorgeous. In 2014 when visiting England, we (my family and I)  went to a number of towns our ancestors came from, so here’s some photos of those cemeteries. And when I visited Finland, naturally I visited the cemetery there too … and found some relis! And one last photo … the Helsinki cemetery is incredible. So quiet, so picturesque it was very “park like”, so here’s a ‘general’ photo of the cemetery, though it really doesn’t do it justice at all. So till next year, that’s my collection of a few of my cemetery...

Introducing #CemeteryDay...

I’m a follower of the “Days of the Year” website. For those who aren’t familiar with this site, here’s what their About page says: “Days Of The Year aims to bring all of the world’s weird, funny, wonderful and bizarre holidays under one roof, and to create the ultimate guide to celebrating each and every day.” Scroll on through and you’ll find some weird ones like False Teeth Day (9 March), Pecan Day (25 March), International Axe Throwing Day (13 June), Lamington Day (21 July), Save Your Photos Day (last Saturday in September) or Name Your PC Day (20 November) and literally hundreds, if not thousands more. I tend to use the site to see if there’s any “Days” that are coming up that I could use as a blog idea. For Recipe Day (or even Biscuit Day) I’ve thought of popping up my grandma’s fav Rock Bun recipe, Wedding Day I could find some old wedding pics, Grandparents Day should be easy enough to come up with something, Old Stuff Day (2 March) sounds like a fun one … and so on. And for those who are genealogically-minded pop these on your calendar: – Genealogy Day (2nd Saturday in March) – Ancestor Appreciation Day (27 September) Anyway I have some cemetery photos I’ve been wanting so share, so I was looking on their site for for any listing of “Cemetery Day”, “Headstone Day”, “Gravesite Day” or even a “Taphophilia Day”. But as there doesn’t seem to be any, so in lieu of any official “Day”, I’ve decided to make this coming Sunday 18 June “Cemetery Day”. I’ve come up with some ways that those who wish to take part in Cemetery Day can do so: – visit a cemetery...

They Died in the Asylum

Parkside Lunatic Asylum is the original name for the building that was subsequently renamed to Parkside Mental Hospital, then Glenside Hospital and more recently Glenside Health Services. Situated on Fullarton Road at Glenside, it is in one of Adelaide’s leafy eastern suburbs and is by outwards appearance, a magnificent place. But the asylum was far from that for the inmates at the asylum, and sadly for so many it was their last home. The Parkside Lunatic Asylum was opened in 1870 initially housing men, but by the 1880s men, women and children were being housed there. It housed not only those suffering from mental illness, but also people with intellectual disabilities and medical conditions like epilepsy. While browsing around on Trove, I found this article in the Adelaide Advertiser, 14 January 1910, and was saddened by the fact that there was so many who even in a six month period, died without family nearby. LUNATIC ASYLUM. Return of persons who have died in the Lunatic Asylum during the half-year ended December 31 whose relatives are unknown or reside outside the State:  – Margaret Sinnott (81), died July 3 last, the cause of death being cardiac disease and senile decay – Wilhelm Heinrich Dittich (71), July 5, pulmonary disease and cardiac failure – Judy (aboriginal female), (60), July 10, gastritis and cardiac failure – Guiseppe Castagneth (58), August 8, apoplexy and cerebral disease – Rosalie Russell (63), August 20, hepatic disease and ascites – Theodosia Byrne (78), August 20, apoplexy and senile decay – Sarah Jane Hayes (35), August 29, phthisis and exhaustion – Bridget (alias Annie) Evans, (42), August 29, suicide by hanging – William Conway (36) September 1, general paralysis and apoplexy – Dora Knout (80), September 2 cardiac disease and senile decay – William Carruthers (75), September 5, diarrhoea and senile decay – Thomas...

Five Faves Geneameme

It was a few weeks ago that Jill Ball (aka GeniAus) put the word out on her latest genealogy blog challenge, the “Five Faves Geneameme“. She writes … “To participate in this meme simply pen a blog post sharing details of five books written by others you have found most useful in your geneactivities. Use the above graphic to decorate your post if you wish. Please let me know via a comment on this post or via another form of social media when your post is done and I will add it to a compilation that I will publish on this blog in early June.”   May was a busy month for me, so it didn’t happen. But I’ve decided to take up the challenge, albeit a little late. But better late than never. I am a booklover. I love books and I love libraries, not to mention secondhand bookshops too. And I will confess I’ve never got into the whole ebook thing. I much prefer a paper book to read. Anyway others who’ve already taken up the challenge found narrowing it down to “just” five titles is really hard. While I don’ t have 1000s of books like some do, my collection would be in the 100s, and they range from reference books (reading old handwriting, lists of old diseases etc), battalion histories, family histories, histories of towns and counties, books with transcripts, royalty, heraldry, placename books, books of old maps and more … including diaries! So thinking about those that I use the most … here’s my list: BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF SOUTH AUSTRALIANS 1836-1885 Compiled by the South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Anyone who is researching ancestors in South Australia prior to 1885 NEEDS to use...

South Australia’s History Festival 2017 in Review...

Well May came, and May went … and to say it flew by is an understatement. So that means bye, bye to South Australia’s History Festival for another year. As far as attending events, I did better this year than I have in the past, as I planned ahead and made sure I booked into things early, and I even managed to get a little time off to go to some but I had to stop looking at the program, as I was just getting annoyed at all the awesome things on, that I couldn’t get to. Anyway I promised a mini review of the events I went to, so here goes … Friday 5 May 2017 & Saturday 6 May 2017 Exploring & Writing Family & Local History seminar organised by Unlock the Past This seminar was organised by my work, so I was partly working at the event (manning the Gould Genealogy display tables). But as our tables were in the same room the talks, I got to hear them too. There was 16 talks packed into 2 days, so it was pretty full on, but the talks were great, and much was learned. There was a great turnout for the event with a number coming from country South Australia, and even a few from interstate. I’m not going to write a review of each talk, but there was many great points gained from them. House history, maps, DNA, writing your history, oral history, photos, black sheep and so much more was covered. As a bonus I got to catch up with two fellow geneabloggers, and that’s a real treat as there doesn’t seem to be too many of us in South Australia. Monday 8 May 2017 Meet...

Blog Tips – the Collection...

Blogging is an amazing way to be able to share and communicate with others. You can tell stories, show photos, give facts … and more. And it seems that genealogy blogging (aka geneablogging) keeps growing in popularity as people understand what a blog is, and realise the usefulness of them, and decide to make the leap into the exciting world of blogging. But it’s not simply a case of sign up for a free Blogger or WordPress account, and get writing. Ok, technically you can, but there’s some things that you can do to make you blog a “great blog”, rather than “just a blog”. Over the past few years I’ve written a few posts with tips on blogging which are useful for the general blogger as well the geneablogger. So for ease of use, I’ve compiled them together for you: – Tips for Geneablogger Writers and Readers – Tips for Genealogy Bloggers – 17 Websites to Find Photos for Your Blog – Leaving Comments on a Blogger Blog – Facebook vs Blogging: The Pros and Cons I’m no professional blogger, and don’t claim to be. I’m simply just someone who enjoys writing and and reading blogs. And during that time I’ve seen what makes a good blog, and what doesn’t. So to all those who blog (particularly my geneablogging friends), keep on blogging. Remember every post you write, you are recording (and sharing)...

Those BSOs Make it Hard to Focus...

As researchers we want to find out everything possibly can, about every member of our family. Right? I’m sure I’m close anyway. While family might say we’re nosy, we tend to prefer the term detective or record keepers. Tracing your family history is a good thing, however you DO NEED TO BE FOCUSSED. Because when you’re not and want to find EVERYTHING at once, it becomes so overwhelming. I know, I’ve been there, so I can truthfully speak from experience. And despite me knowing this, I can feel myself edging towards it again. Why, because of BSOs (yes, those bright shiny objects). You know the ones that distract you, and your suddenly are off chasing someone else. Needless to say that I have a few of these at the moment. I haven’t actually been doing any real solid research for a couple of years, instead I tend to pick up a branch, family, or ancestor and follow them for a bit. I have done that with Charlotte Phillips (one of my fav’s), and also my great grandpa, Otto Winter. However a new and “reasonably-likely-but-yet-to-be-proven” convict has taken my attention recently (you’ll probably read about him in due course), and last week Trove had the most incredible article on my great grandpa going to prison (a family story that wasn’t passed down, well not to me anyway). Again that’s another story, but it needs a little more research first before I share it with the world. And did I mention that I’m completely fascinated by the Adelaide Arcade now? I did a ghost tour there recently, and I am totally in love with that place, and have big long post planned. But seriously the history in that building is phenomenal....

Blogger Recognition Award...

I got a huge surprise when I found out that Barb from the Decluttering The Stuff blog had nominated me for a Blogger Recognition Award. To say I was blow away is an understatement. Thankyou Barb, I’m truly honoured. So to accept the Award, there are some ‘Rules’: – I must thank the Blogger who nominated me and provide a link to their blog. – I must write a post to show the award. – I must write a brief story on how my blog started. – I must give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. – I must select 15 bloggers to pass this award on to. – I must comment on each of their blogs to let them know they have been nominated for this award and provide a link to this post. So a brief history of how I started … well I started genealogy blogging for work back in 2009, but was finding I was wanting to write more about my own family, and experiences in genealogy, and having my own works far better than mixing it with my work one. So in 2011 Lonetester HQ was born, and I’ve been writing ever since. Two pieces of advice … hmm narrowing it down to two, that’s hard, so I’m going to make it five. – Write in your own “voice”, then it sound like you. – Have share buttons. Never underestimate the usefulness of them. If someone can’t share your post easily, they won’t. – Photos. They are important as people do like graphics (ie. Instagram, Pinterest and a decent portion of Facebook). – Have categories. As your blog grows add categories, and file them into them, because it’s ridiculously hard to find something on someone’s blog if it’s just one l-o-n-g...

Society of Australian Genealogists …. the Beginnings...

Most Aussies who’ve been doing genealogy for a little while will be familiar with the major genealogical societies in each state: QFHS, GSQ, AIGS, GSV, WAGS, GSNT, GST, SAGHS, HAGSOC and SAG. Today’s story focusses on the Society of Australian Genealogists in Sydney, which we commonly refer to as SAG. While recently browsing on Trove (as you do on cold, almost-winter evenings), I came across the following article which tells of the beginnings of the Society … So as you can see the Society of Australian Genealogists was formed way back in 1932. This made me go looking to see when the other state societies were formed, and here’s what I found: 1941 – Genealogical Society of Victoria 1964 – Heraldry & Genealogical Society of Canberra (also now known as Family History ACT) 1973 – South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society (also now known as GenealogySA) 1973 – Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies 1978 – Genealogical Society of Queensland 1979 – Queensland Family History Society 1979 – Western Australian Genealogical Society 1980 – Genealogical Society of Tasmania (now known as Tasmanian FHS) 1981 – Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory A snippet from the above 1932 article states… “Mr. H. J. Rumsey, said he was convinced that no country had more complete records from the time of its occupation by civilised people than Australia. Mr. Rumsey indicated the various sources of information available for research work, both in Australia and Great Britain … To help one another in genealogical study, Mr. Rumsey advocated the use of a card index system, so that members could be supplied with standard cards to record their investigation. Ultimately, he said, it was to be hoped that a genealogical reference library of their own...