Geneatrippin’ in 2017...

2016 has been a quiet travel year for me, and that’s partly because of a busy work year, but also partly as I’m already planning two big trips in 2017. UNITED STATES First up in February I’ll be packing my cases with all my winter woollies and heading to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA for RootsTech again. I went to RootsTech in 2013 and 2015 and totally LOVED it each time. For those who are unfamiliar with what RootsTech is, it is the world’s largest genealogy conference, with about 25,000 people attending. Held over 4 days, it really is non-stop genealogy the entire time. With so many talks to go to, an exhibition hall the size of several football fields – with hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of exhibitors, and then there’s the after-hours socialising – catching up with geniemates for dinner or drinks etc. (or even breakfast if you’re at the same hotel). It’s exhausting, but totally exhilarating, and I can’t wait! Any family historian will know that Salt Lake City is the Mecca of genealogy as it’s where the Family History Library is, so I’ve timed my visit to arrive a few days early, to get some research time in as well. I mean why would you travel nearly 15,000 kilometers (9000 miles) and NOT go there, right?   FINLAND My second big trip in 2017 is one that I’ve been wanting to do for so many years I still can’t believe that I’ve actually booked. For this one I’ll pack my bags, spend about 40 hours flying (that’s the not-fun bit), and end up at Helsinki, Finland for two weeks in their Summer time. Regular readers of my blog will know that I have Finnish connections...

One More Picture Added to the Wall...

Some of you may remember that about three years ago I decided to create my Family Tree Photo Wall. This started as a result of having a bunch of family photos, and deciding to put them in an order that made sense to anyone looking it. So I chose to do a butterfly (also known as bow-tie) style tree going direct line back five generations on both mine and Mr Lonetester’s sides of the family. Out of a possible 62 photos (31 on each side of the family), there were only 10 that I was missing photos for … so that wasn’t too bad. However I had an exciting day, as today I was able to add one more photo in – one of my great great grandma Hedvig/Hedvik Karolina Winblad/Vinblad. Born in Mäntsälä in Finland in 1856, she married my great great grandpa Otto Edvard Winter in 1875, and they had six children, my great grandpa (Otto Rafael Winter being their third). Hedvig Karolina Winter died in Helsinki, Finland in 1934, and I was fortunate enough to visit the Helsinki Cemetery in 2015, and saw her’s a few other family members graves. As for my Family Tree Photo Wall, I have no doubt that in time I’ll fill a few more of the nine photo gaps that I still don’t have. Maybe not all … but some. If you’d like to see the process I took to create my Photo Wall, have a look at my earlier posts: Family Tree Photo Wall Part 1: Getting Started Family Tree Photo Wall Part 2: Almost...

It Took 113 Years

Previously I wrote about my day in Finland in an overview form, but reality I glossed over the best parts because I was saving it for this post. First off, let me start by telling you my connection to this country comes through my great grandfather, Otto Rafael Winter who was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1880. The third of six children, he was the son of a cigar factory worker, and in 1902, 22 year old Otto left Finland to become a seaman. After sailing around the world for five years or so, he jumped ship in Queensland (Australia), and over the course of the next few years he made his way down to Sydney, before making his was to Adelaide, which my home city. It is here that he met the love of his life, Irene Daley. And it is here where they settled. I won’t go into detail about his life as I’ve written about him before, but needless to say that while he did write to his family back home, he never actually saw them again. So now on with my story … Sunday, 19 July 2015 Sunday, 19 July 2015 is one of those dates for me. You know the ones I mean. A day when something significant happens (good or bad), but either way it is memorable, and that date just sticks with you. This date was significant for me, because I FINALLY got to Finland. To say that this has been on my bucket list forever is an understatement. So just to get there was exciting. But while we (my parents and I) were there, we also met a number of relatives – the living ones as well as the dead, walked...

Origins … Where Are You From?...

What are your origins? Where are you from? These are questions that are common amongst us genie-folk. And when asked, you know that they aren’t looking for the town where you grew up (well, not usually anyway), but rather where do your roots lie. My origins are mostly English, with a little Irish, a touch of European, and one branch from Finland … all of this heritage is what makes me, ME!! At our shop at work  (Gould Genealogy & History) we have had a big family tree chart of our family up on display. However since our move to a smaller shop in January this year it has remained rolled up, awaiting inspiration on just where we can actually fit it. Well this week, I moved some things around, and up went our family tree chart again. YAY! I must say that after not having seen the chart since January, it was very cool to see it again. And one thing that really struck me was the little map up the top which shows the “places of origin of our ancestors”, and noted just visually useful it is. So standing on a chair, I whipped out my trusty little Flip-Pal scanner (where  would I be without it?), and scanned the map so I could put it here, to show you just how cool adding family names to a map can make your family history. This chart (and map) were created by my dad quite a number of years ago, and while it doesn’t cover every line of my family (by a long way), it is still a great chart. In fact it mostly only follows a few lines on dad’s side of the family, so I’m thinking in all...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: F is for Finland and Football...

This week’s letter in the ‘Family History Through the Alphabet’ Challenge is F … and immediately I thought of FINLAND, and then FOOTBALL. And as I couldn’t decide between them, I have decided to do both. F is for FINLAND I’ve written before about my Great Grandpa Otto Winter, who was born in Finland, and jumped ship in Australia – so I won’t repeat it here. Even though I’m only 1/8th Finnish, I have taken a real interest in my Finnish heritage – maybe because it is something completely different from Australian and English research? Who knows. First up let me tell you that this tiny country, which is way, way up near the top of the northern hemisphere has been such an interesting one to learn about. I won’t go into details about everything I have learned, but I will start off by showing you the size of Finland in relation to Australia. It’s only about 1/2 the size of South Australia. Anyway researching my Finnish heritage has led me to join a Family History Group or “sukuseura” as it is called in Finnish, and to discover and keep in contact with some reli’s from over there, which is simply awesome. Another big plus for Finland, is the Helsinki City Archives, who I must say are simply THE BEST!! I wrote to them asking if they happened to have any records relating to ‘Otto Winter’ and crossed my fingers hoping for something. Little did I expect what I got – which was fat a A4 size envelope packed with photocopies of all sorts. And by all sorts I mean all sorts … plans of the houses that Otto grew up in, an old map of the city of...