Transfer Camera Photos to Your Device By Wifi. EyeFi It!...

This is a post that is nothing to do with genealogy or family history. Nothing to with local history. Not even history related. Instead it’s of those those “hey, let me tell you about the cool thing I’ve found” posts, that I wanted to write about. A few of you may have heard of the Mobi EyeFi card, but I bet most haven’t. I first heard of the EyeFi Cards a few years ago, and got into using it for my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner. Now I have the newer version and I use it in my camera. And by camera, I mean proper one, not my smartphone. I thought the Eye-Fi cards were better known that I found when I went to buy my new one. While I’m sure of the bigger name camera stores have them, there isn’t any near me anymore as they do seem to be a dying breed. So I tried a number of electrical stores, but none of those had even heard of it. So I ended purchasing one from eBay instead. But look around and you’ll find them. The idea of the EyeFi card, is that firstly they are like any SD card. They slot into your camera or scanner and store your photos or scans. But here’s the BUT … they also link in with your computer or other device and transfer those images wirelessly without you having to manually take the card out, slot it in, load them up and copy them off. I shouldn’t complain about having to do that, but apparently I am getting lazy, so I love the idea of the Eye-Fi cards. While my camera is an ‘auto-everything-point-and-shoot’ one, it takes better pictures than my phone, so...

Anecdotes, BDMs, Obits and Adverts – What Are These Records?...

I have come across an incredible source of information relevant to my research. One that includes local town news choc full of anecdotes relating to the locals, mentions of births, deaths, marriages and obituaries, and a heap of adverts from the local area. So just what are these records? Church Journals! Really? You bet. Let me give you some examples. Here is a page from the “Local News” section (also called “Editorial Notes”, “Miscellaneous” or “Church News” in various editions) … So you’ll see from this one page of Local News we learn of several people’s  health troubles, several people moving, the introduction of some of the new equipment in the district, election chances, local meetings, a new business venture, a prize a local business won, and a bunch more. And that’s just a page from ONE journal! You’ll also find some marriage and death notices (sorry no births afterall. But how do you write BDMs without births? DMs just doesn’t make sense) … And of course the obituaries which are just awesome! As well as anniversaries … And other newsworthy events, like town sports news and this brave deed! There’s also general history on the church, town and pioneers … And if all that wasn’t fabulous enough, then there’s the adverts. Many from local businesses – others from Adelaide. Here’s just a few examples of them. So you see, there is potentially so much you can find in Church Journals. And while my family were heavily involved in the church scene, many other researchers would say their family wasn’t, so wouldn’t think to look in Church Journals. So I hope this has opened your eyes to the possibilities of what could be out there. If you are fortunate...

Australia’s Biggest Ever Bank Robbery!...

So just when did Australia’s biggest bank robbery occur? Where did it happen? How did it happen? Who was involved? And what was the outcome and ramifications of the robbery? Can you answer any of these questions? I know I sure couldn’t. But you’ll find answers to all of these and many more in Carol Baxter’s book “Breaking the Bank“. I have recently finished reading this book, and like her other titles, it is a true page turner. As with her other titles, this is none-fiction true story is written in the style of a novel. She makes you ‘feel’ the happenings through her words, and she educates you on an amazing part of Australia’s history while doing so. I’m not going to answer the questions above … so this probably isn’t considered a “book review” as such, so I’m not sure if it qualifies for the “Australian Womens Writers Challenge“, however it is a book written by a female Australian author … so it still may. Instead of answering the questions above, I’m going to suggest you either buy or borrow a copy of the book, and read it for yourself. And while I know it is incredibly clichè to say that you won’t be disappointed, but I do truly believe that. Enjoy!! Book Details Title: Breaking the Bank: An Extraordinary Colonial Robbery Author: Carol Baxter ISBN: 9781741754490 Year: 2008 Available from: Carol’s website, and Allen & Unwin’s...

Book Review: Black Widow, Australia’s First Female Serial Killer...

On rare occasions I have done the odd book review, and as I’ve just finished reading Carol Baxter’s “Black Widow: The True Story of Australia’s First Female Serial Killer” (… and wow what a read!), here’s one more for you. Written in Carol’s usual style of “true crime” written as if it was a novel, it is rivetting and most certainly a page turner. The story follows Louisa Collins, mother of seven. Was she really a husband killer? Inquests, trials, hung juries, it’s all here in this book, and it is all TRUE history! If you live crime or thriller novels, and history this is a must for you. Readers are taken into Sydney as it was 1888, and Carol sets the scene beautifully, with little tidbits adding in detail. With details from newspapers, autopsies, trials and so on … the words written are the words the people actually said! You can’t get better than that for a true crime thriller.                         To read more about this title, or to order it,  head on over to Carol’s website www.carolbaxter.com I’m not a prolific reader, of books anyway (blogs and magazines, yes! which doesn’t leave so much time for books). But earlier this year I decided that I wanted to take part in the Australian Women Writers Challenge for 2015, which means reading books written by Australian women authors (fiction or non-fiction) and reviewing it. Sadly it is now September and this is my first one – still, one is better than none. For more about the Challenge, click...

Reality is Stranger than Fiction...

I don’t often do book reviews, but I wanted to share something about this one with you. Having just finished reading Carol Baxter’s book “The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable: A True Tale of Passion, Poison and Pursuit” it leaves me without a doubt that reality most certainly can be far stranger than fiction. A Sydneysider, Carol Baxter is an internationally acclaimed author who has made her mark in the literary world with her unique genre – one I’m not even sure of the title of – but it is  true history written like a novel. Based on what I’ve read I would she’s mastered it. Carol doesn’t write a novel adding in some historical references as some do, but rather the entire story she tells is based on history. As historians we are used to reading documents with names, dates and places, and other tidbits. But to be able to takes those details and transform them into a story is nothing short of skill. And for that I truly admire Carol. In Carol’s own words … “Like Dr Who, I hunt ordinary individuals who unwittingly had such an extraordinary impact on their world that the consequences changed the course of history, then I tell their true stories as true-crime thrillers.” I read this book for two reasons. Firstly I had heard that it was a really good read, and secondly I wanted to see how she manages to write history as gripping as fiction and was hoping to pick up some tips on that. I’m not going to go into the story at all, instead I’ll just let  you read the back cover spiel (as below), but let me tell you there are so many twists that...

Want to Read a REAL Thriller? Then Read this Shipboard Diary …...

The year is 1838, and James Bell a young man from Scotland has said goodbye to his family and the love of his life, and has made his way to Southampton to embark on the voyage of a lifetime. He was one of more than 90 passengers who boarded the “Planter” ship on 23 November 1838, all eager to reach their new homeland South Australia in a few short months. Little did they know what was in store. And if it wasn’t for James Bell writing in his diary, we wouldn’t have known what would have happened on the one of the most adventurous, tragic, exciting, and exhausting voyages ever. Sound intriguing? It is … Titled “A Journey To Australia: A Journal by James Bell“, the book is the diary of a guy who migrated to South Australia in 1839, and in my opinion it’s is just as exciting as any thriller book I’ve read. I would go as far to say that it is one of the most AMAZING books I’ve ever read in my life. In fact I wrote about this title a little while ago when I actually discovered that Mr Lonetester’s 3x great grandparents were on this voyage. Anyway I’ve now finished this book, and what can I say, but WOW!!! It is truly phenomenal, and yet this is no work of fiction. James Bell was one of the passengers on the voyage of the “Planter”, and fortunately for us he was well-educated, and decided to record his voyage. The voyage was long (six-months-long), and tumultuous in every way possible, and James recorded what turned out the be a voyage from hell. He wrote about the condition, the drunken parties, the captain’s “incompetence”, the women...

Genealogy Serendipity … It Happens!...

The dictionary defines serendipity as “the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident”, therefore I would think that genealogy serendipity could be defined as “finding genealogical information by accident” … right? I have read of this happening to others, and through their words could even feel their excitement. Even the happy dancing bit! But seriously this is one of those “it’ll-never-ever-ever-happen-to-me-in-a-million-years” things, which I was cool with, and life goes on. But apparently today was out to prove me wrong. So let me take you through my serendipity moment. One of the many tasks my job entails is typing up all the new titles on to our work  website (www.gould.com.au). This is cool, because it means I get to see every new product that gets added on which helps we with advising customer who have queries etc. Today I was working my way though a pile of new titles that one of my supplier had sent me. They actually send me titles they think would be something we’d like. Some make it online. Some don’t. Anyway one that I came across was a book titled  “A Voyage to Australia: Private Journal of James Bell”. Shipboard diaries aren’t the world best sellers, so I hummed and haared about whether to add this one or not. But it looked interesting so I added it on. The book is the diary written by James Bell and records life onboard the ‘Plantar’ ship which left London in November 1838 and arrived in South Australia in May 1839. The reason for the almost six-month journey partly due to the captain’s incompetence, together with other misadventures such which included much of the crew being lost, as were some passengers and most of the livestock. A...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: R is for … Reference Books and Rainbows...

Behind every researcher there is a great big, huge, pile of reference books that they constantly use to help them along the way. This pile of reference books can start right from the beginning when you are an amateur researcher, and continues right through to the professionals. And just to be clear, I’m not confining this habit of collecting reference books just to family history researchers … but shall go as far as saying that it encompasses ALL researchers, in ALL fields. So for R my post in the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge R is for REFERENCE BOOKS Now to bring this topic back to genealogy … well, I for one know that I would be lost without my reference books. These aren’t books that you read from cover to cover, but they are there waiting to be grabbed off the shelf every so often to answer that question that has just arisen. What parish is that place in? Were they in Australia that early? What on earth is that occupation? Was that place under German rule at that time?  Who were the kings of Scotland? Where is that place? How did that town get its name? You know the norm for a genealogist … Anyway I do find reference books (and CDs for that matter) invaluable, but rather than ramble on about how useful they are, as I’m pretty sure I’d be preaching to the converted, I’ve decided to list my top 6 reference books (yep, for this post, I’m excluding the reference CDs, and it’d be just WAAAY too hard to choose), so books only it is. These are the ones that I grab off my shelf the most (in alphabetical order): 1. Australian Biographical...

Ten, Eleven, Twelve Commandments of Genealogy...

As I was packing my bags, getting ready for the Queensland Expo next week, I picked up my all-time fav genealogy book “The Zen of Genealogy” and wondered if I’d have another read of it on the flight up. In short the answer was yes … so it’s going in the suitcase. After a flick through it again, I rediscovered the list of Ten, Eleven, make that Twelve Commandments of Genealogy liste, and decided I wanted to share them with you. I have not copied the descriptive paragraphs that each of these have under them, but rather if you want more, you should grab yourself a copy of the book. 1. Thou shalt start with thyself and worketh thy way backwards. 2. Thou shalt never leap back a couple of generations just because it sound-eth like fun. 3. Thou shalt take a class, yea verily, and thus shalt thou learn from experts. 4. Join-eth thine local genealogical society, go-eth to meetings and ask-eth questions of the nice people there. 5. Thou shalt keep a research log. 6. Thou shalt cite thy sources or blush in everlasting chagrin. 7. Thou shalt not accept any information uncritically just because you find it in books or on the Internet. 8. Thou shalt regard all family legends with the same skepticism as in the Seventh Commandment. 9. Thou shalt respect the privacy of all living persons, and publish nothing concerning others without their permission. 10. Thou shalt treat research facilities, materials and tools with care, knowing that thousands of future researchers will need to use these very same facilities, materials and tools after you, and one them might be me. 11. Thou shalt bookmark the following web site www.cyndislist.com 12. Be nice to...

Great Genealogy Books – in my opinion!...

2012 is the National Year of Reading here in Australia, so I thought I’d share with you some of my great genealogy books. Yes it’s is true that I work for a genealogy store, and I am one of their best customers (*giggle*) but in this case I’ve opted to go with titles that I’ve bought elsewhere that we don’t sell at Gould Genealogy & History. So here’s snippets of five titles that I believe are great genealogy books. 1. THE ZEN OF GENEALOGY: The Lighter Side of Genealogy – Beth Maltbie Uyehara This has to be one of my all-time fave genealogy books. It is not a how-to book, or even a book choc full of websites saying where to look. But rather as the subtitle suggests it is a look at the ‘Lighter Side of Genealogy’, and is totally hilarious from start to finish, but it really does have useful, practical advice throughout. From genealogy yoga, to seeing how fast your relis run when you mention the word ‘fascinating’, to the genealogy Olympics, and a confession from a geneaholic, and how a non-g (ie. non genealogy spouse) puts up with us, and our insatiable need to find more … and so much more. Here’s some snippets. … Plow Pose. Posture: Position a tall stack of index books on a library table. Crouch in front of the stack. Action: Make a fist of your left hand, with the index finger pointed. Slowly run the extended finger down page after page of the first book. Close book, set aside and repeat with next book. Plow through the whole stack, the drag the stack in front of you again and repeat. Continue until the library closes. Mantra: (Repeat silently) Where?...