Facebook for Australian History and Genealogy...

Since releasing my first big list of Australian history and genealogy links on Facebook in September 2016, I’ve continued to find more, and more, and periodically do updates. So what started out as a list of a few hundred links, has grown to over also 1450 links (as at 15 June 2019). That’s 53 pages worth of Australian history and genealogy links … just on Facebook. With this update, there has been additions as well as some updated links to most categories – Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Also additions to Norfolk Island, commercial & researchers, convicts, DNA, ethnic, there’s a HUGE lot of additions to the families category, a few more added to genealogy bloggers, and military. And we have a new category … Podcasts! DOWNLOAD HERE This is an ongoing project which will be updated periodically, so if you have any links you’d like added, please either send an email to  alona @ lonetester.com (without the spaces), or message me on my Lonetester Facebook page. ————– And I can’t mention genealogy on Facebook without making reference to two other incredible lists: – Katherine Willson’s worldwide Genealogy on Facebook list is enormous, and now has over 13,200 links. – Gail Dever’s Facebook for Canadian Genealogy extensive list is a must for everyone with Canadian...

The Stories of the 19 Crimes Convicts...

19 Crimes. You’ve heard of the wine. Seen it in the bottle shops, and possibly even enjoyed a bottle (or two). And maybe even read my earlier blog posts about them. So what is it you like about the 19 Crimes wine that you like? Is it the corks (or lids for the bottles that are available in Australia), each which lists a transportable crime? Is it the wine itself? Or is it the convicts? For me it was the convicts. But hey, I’m a genealogist, with a love of history and convicts, so OF COURSE I was going to love these!! But, do you know the stories of those that feature on the 19 Crimes wine labels? No? They were real people, each who had their lives changed by being transported to Australia for their crime. So let me tell you a little of their stories. —————————————————— Hugh Brophy (1829-1919) (Cabernet Sauvignon) Crime: treason and felony Sentence: 10 years Ship & Departure date: 10 October 1867, Hougoumont Sent to: Fremantle Prison, Fremantle, Western Australia Hugh Brophy was a leading Fenian and staunch supporter of Irish independence. He was convicted for his part in a plot to overthrow the perceived tyranny of the British and was sentenced to penal servitude, however this changed to transportation for life to Australia. Despite many of the Fenians having received long sentences in exile, there was a huge outcry in England, Ireland, and also in Western Australia about imprisoning and transporting them. So much so, that Queen Victoria decreed some of the Fenians should be pardoned. Instructions dated 26th March 1869 were sent from England, and granted 34 civilian Fenians the benefit of the royal clemency “without delay”. “They were assembled as soon as...

No Liars, No Dirty Faces, and Other Library Rules...

Library rules were simple back in the day. If you take look at current library rules, they’re kind of what you’d expect. Very long and very detailed. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, they’re just covering their bases. But back the 1900s (actual date unknown), the Hyde Institute Library in Hertfordshire, England, created a list of just 12 simple rule … and very wise ones at that! What we do know, is that the first newspaper account of this list that I found was is in The Observer, London, England, Sunday 27 April 1930, p18. But it was so good, that it was picked up by the Australian newspapers, and reproduced in the Northern Territory Times, 12 August 1930, p6, as well as  Brisbane’s Sunday Mail, 11 January 1931, p15 as well as Melbourne’s Advocate, Tuesday 23 March 1939, p16 to mention a few. Incidentally while looking on Trove for “Library Rules”, I found a great article that was printed in the Geraldton Guardian, Tuesday, 4 November 1914, p4, which I’ve added in below. I especially like the “Don’t grumble. You are borrowing, and getting interest for nothing”. So true. Libraries are free, and they provide an incredible service to the community. Respect the staff and library volunteers, not to mention the books and other items the library has and allows the public to use....

Introducing “Six Feet Under Downunder”- Australian Cemetery and Burial Records Online...

In between trips, blogging and presentations, my geniemate GeniAus (aka Jill Ball) has managed to begin a new project (and website) …. “Six Feet Under Downunder“, which is a listing of Australian burial and cremation records online … and she’s asking for your help! But first here’s her explanation of how it came about …. While preparing for my Six Feet Under Downunder webinar over the past few days I realised that there is no one site that lists all the wonderful resources in Australia that index the names of the deceased resting in cemeteries and crematoria around Australia. It would have helped me no end in my preparation if there was a meta site that links to such resources. Of course I decided to create such a site. I must be mad but I hope that the many generous genies around Australia who know of such indexes of  memorials, headstones and burial sites will share them with me so they can be loaded on the site. I will initially only link to free sites that are available online, sites that one can visit via the internet. So Aussie geniefriends, please visit her website, click on the various state links. These link to Google Doc pages with lists of cemeteries. If you know of other FREE sites, that are not yet listed, please send her an email with details, 6feetunderdownunder@gmail.com, and she’ll get it added. The more comprehensive this is, the more useful it is. And I can see this being an incredible resource for those searching for Australian...

South Australia’s History Festival 2019 – Let the Fun Begin!!...

May is the month that all South Australian history-lovers and genealogists look forward to, as it is South Australia’s History Festival, which really is just a month-long history-fest! And this year we get a whole month PLUS a few days, as the History Festival kicks off this coming weekend, (Saturday 27 April) with the Open Doors weekend which gives you a choice of 50 places to check out. This is then followed by over 700 events from 400 organisers held all over the State throughout May. Every year is BIG, but even before this one has begun, the organisers have announced that this year’s history month is offically the BIGGEST EVER. South Australia’s History Festival is presented by the History Trust of South Australia, and began its life as South Australia’s History Week back in 2004, and changed to a month-long event in 2011, and what a great move that’s been. Though seriously a month STILL isn’t long enough to cram in all the events I want to get to, but I won’t complain, as I know we’re very lucky. Anyway the program that is jam-packed with events, covering all corners of the State, and there’s oodles for the genealogy and history buff to enjoy, and even those not so much into history as well. There are tours galore (bus tours, guided walking tours, self-guided tours, even ghost tours), open days, seminars, displays, workshops, exhibitions, book launches, workshops, treasure hunts and so much more … even an escape room! This year I’ve booked in for 10 events, and am looking forward to those. I have some archive tours, a few talks, a day seminar, a book launch, an escape room, and a treasure hunt too. As I’ll be cramming...

Anzac Day: A Message from the Battlefield...

For Anzac Day this year I’m focussing on Ypres, a city in Belgium that’s on the French border. A prosperous place that in 1914 had a population of around 18,000 people. Just for reference, Ypres is the Belgian version of the name, while the Australian Diggers knew it as as “Wipers”. And nowadays it is often known by it’s Dutch version, “Ieper”, which is pronounced as “ee-per”. From November 1914 through until November 1917 Ypres was devastated by war and as you would expect, deserted by its inhabitants. Over that 4 year period, there were over 38,000 Australians who were killed or wounded in the Ypres battles, while the total number of casualties for all sides climbed into the many hundreds of thousands. Captain Frank Hurley was an Australian official military photographer who was in Ypres during 1918 and captured many unforgettable images of the destruction and the lives of the Australian soldiers during the Third Battle of Ypres (also known as the Battle of Passchendaele). The photograph at the top of this post is one of his very well-known ones. The State Library of New South Wales has a large collection of his war photographs (and diaries) online, so if you’re interested feel free to click here to view them. Anyway this year I’m remembering my great grandpa, Otto Rafael Winter. I have written about him before, including his service with the Australian military, but this time I’m highlighting a family heirloom. The postcard pictured below is one of the very few heirlooms that exist from my Winter family, and it’s a postcard that Otto sent from Ypres, Belgium (one of the places he was deployed to) to his parents-in-law, John and Margaret Daley, in South Australia. The postcard itself...

DNA Down Under is Coming!!...

Have you taken a DNA test, and apart from seeing your ethnicity estimates, you wonder what’s next? Have you tried to get in contact with a ‘DNA match’ and not got a response? Have you found ‘surprise matches’ and are unsure what to do about that. Or maybe you haven’t even taken a test, and wonder what all the fuss is about? Or you’ve heard about DNA tests being used by authorities to catch criminals and it’s made you wary. All of these aspects and plenty more will covered at Unlock the Past’s upcoming event “DNA Down Under“. Blaine Bettinger, author of the best selling book “The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy”, heads a lineup of world-class genetic genealogists, who are touring Australia during August 2019, holding 1-day seminars in most cities, and culminating in a 3-day DNA-fest in Sydney. The dates: Brisbane – Wed 14 Aug Perth – Sat 17 Aug Adelaide – Tue 20 Aug Melbourne – Fri 23 Aug Canberra – Mon 26 Aug Sydney – Thu-Sat 29-31 Aug The speakers: These speakers will take your understanding of DNA to the next level, no matter what level you’re currently at. The team brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in family history and in particular DNA and its usefulness as yet another tool to help you in your research: – Brad Argent – Blaine Bettinger – Fiona Brooker – Louise Coakley – Gail Edwards – Kerry Farmer – Mike Murray – Michelle Patient – Jason Reeve – Helen Smith For more on the speakers, click here. The options: Book for a 1-day event in your own city, or head to Sydney for a 3-day DNA-fest. … OR do ‘DNA to the MAX and book...

Women Who Changed the World...

While much of the world is seen as a ‘man’s world’, there’s no doubt that women have had a huge influence in just every field in history, you just don’t tend to hear about it. I could have written about queens, warriors, suffragettes, and other well-known females who did make an influence on the world, however for this article I have opted for female inventors – most of who you won’t have heard of before – but whose inventions are largely everyday items, and in doing so have helped change the world we live in. __________________________ Caller ID and Call Waiting Can’t say I’d thought about someone ‘inventing’ caller ID and caller waiting, but obviously someone did, and that was Dr Shirley Ann Jackson. It was her research from the 1970s that was responsible for it, and her breakthroughs in telecommunications also enabled others to invent the portable fax, fibre optic cables and solar cells. Car Heater In 1893 Margaret A. Wilcox invented the first car heater, which directed air from over the engine to warm the chilly toes of the upper class 19th century motorists. You’ll now think of this every time you turn on the car heater, while also being incredibly thankful as you thaw out on those cold mornings. Central Heating Back in 1919, Alice Parker invented a system of gas-powered central heating. While her design was never built, it was the first time an inventor had conceived of using natural gas to heat a home, and inspired the future central heating systems. Chocolate Chip Cookies Ruth Wakefield and her husband bought an old toll house outside of Boston with her husband. They converted the toll house into an inn with a restaurant. One day in 1930,...

Nail Your Irish Genealogy Research With These Sources...

St Patrick’s Day. It’s always a day to make you think of all things Irish, wear green wigs, drink green beer and for those who research your family history, a day to think of the Irish ancestors. This year I’m giving you tips on where to look for the ultimate advice and links for Irish research. CYNDI’S LIST – free www.cyndislist.com/uk/irl Cyndi’s List is one of the ultimate research sites. However it’s not a place to type in name and see what comes up, as it is a website of websites. Think of it as a giant yellow pages of genealogy websites – every country, and every topic to do with genealogy, all nicely categorised. For Ireland there’s almost 4300 links, making it the ultimate portal for Irish genealogy links. And they are nicely divided into topics and counties, making your search a whole lot easier. FAMILYSEARCH – free www.familysearch.org While there’s not a whole lot of Irish records on FamilySearch itself, the site is still incredibly useful, as they have a number of tutorial videos to watch – all free. From introducing key websites, to highlighting various records. it’s  great way to learn about Irish genealogy and the records involved. GENUKI – free www.genuki.org.uk This is a site that I find not many people know about, yet it has a HUGE amount of information. Again, it’s not a ‘type-a-name-in’ website, but one with a lot of information and links giving you further places to look. FINDMYPAST IRELAND – $$ www.findmypast.ie Findmypast Ireland is a pay site, but it also the online data site with the most Irish records – over 195 million of them! From directories to BDM records, from military to catholic records, from family histories to...

25 Ways to Take Part in “Genealogy Day”...

Saturday the 9th of March 2019 is an important day for us genies. Why? Because it is GENEALOGY DAY. No I did not make it up. There really, really is an official “Genealogy Day” and it’s held on the second Saturday of March each year! Don’t believe me? Well, here you go … Genealogy Day was created in 2013, by Christ Church, United Presbyterian and Methodist in Limerick, Ireland to help celebrate the church’s 200th anniversary. For this day, Christ Church brought together local family history records not only from its own combined churches, but also from the area’s Church of Ireland parishes, including the Religious Society if Friends in Ireland (Quaker) and the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). The people in attendance could then use the amassed marriage and baptism records dating back to the early 1800s, such as Limerick Methodist Registers and Limerick Presbyterian Registers, to find out about their great-great-grandparents. The idea proved so popular that the day was repeated for the next two consecutive years and has inspired many people to take a look into their family tree to find out a bit more about where they come from. It is no secret that genealogy or family history, is one of the fastest growing hobbies around. Everyone knows someone who’s doing it, if they aren’t themselves. With the massof genealogy records going online, combined with DNA testing and genealogy on TV, doing your family history has finally become an accepted hobby. Dare I say, it’s even becoming cool!! So it is nice to see it recognised with it’s own actual “Day“. But what are some suggestions for Genealogy Day? Well for me it’s not a case where do I start, but rather where do I stop. I’ve...

Women’s History Month Blog Challenge...

March is Women’s History Month in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. So fellow genealogists, historians and bloggers, join with me in participating in Women’s History Month by highlighting some of the incredible women from history. You may like to choose an ancestor or two to write about. Or maybe a female who has made an impact in your local area, or maybe even any of the inspiring women from history around the globe. The choice is yours, take your pick. One thing does seem to be a recurring trait – and that is that women’s history doesn’t get written about nearly enough. They were often the backbone of not only a family, but society itself. They lived, they worked, they got into trouble, they struggled, they triumphed, they were inspirational. Every woman has a story. They helped make history! So let’s do what we can to recount some of their stories and make sure they are not forgotten. For more about Women’s History Month, be sure to check out their website, and also Wikipedia. #WomensHistoryMonth...

RootsTech 2019 From Home – #NotAtRootsTech...

Next week the genealogy world converges on Salt Lake City, Utah in preparation for the world’s biggest genealogy conference, RootsTech 2019, which runs from Wednesday 27 February through until Saturday 2 March 2019. With an expected attendance of around 25,000 people coming from 37 different countries, there’s 300 classes on offer, and over 200 exhibitors to check out – RootsTech really is something else, and nothing I’ve been to compares. Sadly, I’m not going this year. I did make it in 2013, 2015 and 2017 (you can read about them here), and considering my first time was a “once-in-a-lifetime-bucket-list-thing”, I can’t believe I’ve made it there three times already. Anyway, this year I’ll be a part of the #NotAtRootsTech crowd. And while I know it won’t be the same, I’m determined to still make the most of it, and ‘participate’ from home. At least when I’m not working anyway. So how can I (and you) participate in RootsTech when we’re not at RootsTech? There are a few options. WATCH THE LIVESTREAM LIVE Firstly, you can watch the Livestream Live. There’s 22 presentations being livestreamed, but if you’re on Australia, you;’ll need to be dedicated as due to the time difference the streams start at 3.30am (Sydney time) and go through till around lunchtime. Here’s a link to the list of livestream talks with both the US time, and the Australian time for each, and click here for more details on each of the talks. It is expected (although not 100% guaranteed as I can’t find it written anywhere) that these talks will all be available to watch later in the video archive. WATCH RECORDED CLASSES The RootsTech website lists the following classes as being recorded (but not live streamed). they say...