Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2017...

The end of 2017 has arrived, and as this will be my last post for the year it’s the perfect time to take a look back over what I’ve accomplished genealogy-wise during the past 12 months. Personally I wouldn’t say I’ve done a lot, which is why I love GeniAus (aka Jill Ball’s) Accentuate the Positive Geneameme.  Not only is it a wonderful way to review your past year of genealogy, but it’s done in way so that you don’t focus on the ‘I didn’t get to do this … or look for that’, but rather focus on what you DID do. Previously Jill has used the following words as an intro to the Accentuate the Positive Geneameme, which explains it well: “I feel that a lot of my geneablogging friends are too hard on themselves; several have reported on their successes this year but quite a number have lamented that they haven’t achieved as much as they set out to do or that they haven’t blogged with the frequency they envisaged.  I invite you to take part in this activity by responding to the following statements/questions in a blog post. Write as much or as little as you want. Once you have done so please share your post’s link in a comment on this post or to me via social media.” As this applies to research that I’ve done in 2017, and life has been rather busy with little research done throughout the year, my responses are less than I’d like, but still some is better than none. Accentuate the Positive 1.  An elusive ancestor I found was … This would have to be my (yet-to-be-100%-proven-but-95%-sure) convict , William Cosgrove. ‘My’ William Cosgrove turns up in Adelaide, South Australia, and...

A Review of 2017 and my Top 5 Posts for the Year...

As the end of 2017 draws near, I like to take a few moments to look back over what I’ve written throughout the year, and remember. For Australia Day I wrote about one of my emigrating families, I wrote a few more Trove Tuesday posts, I took you with me to various events like RootsTech in the US, a number of events held during the South Australian History Festival, Unlock the Past’s Researching Abroad Roadshow, and even on my holiday to Finland, that was fun wasn’t it! I’ve told you about two awesome events that are happening next year … Congress, the big genie conference in Sydney, and the next genealogy cruise, which is an Alaskan one, which will be totally incredible with the scenery, and also the conference (the speakers on it are AMAZING)! I wrote about the amazing story of Mr Lonetester’s great grandpa for Anzac Day, and updated my list of Australian history and genealogy groups on Facebook several times, which grew exponentially over the year. I wrote about copyright, and blog tips and issues, as well as research practice, and what DNA proved for me. And I even made some confessions, including the bright shiny objects (BSOs). Remembrance Day was a post highlighting the honour boards for the men who made “the ultimate sacrifice” from my home town. For something totally different, I wrote about the origins of the top hat, shampoo, and even barber poles. I discovered convict wine (yes, truly). During the year I took part in some blog challenges and geneameme’s, like Genealogy Close Calls from Nutfield Genealogy, and the Five Faves Geneameme from Geniaus, and my own Ancestral Places Geneameme., and the National Family History Month blog challenge. I was honoured to have been nominated in the...

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Genealogy-Style...

The items on a genealogists Christmas wishlist tend to be a little different to everyone else’s, and this is reflected in a number of variants of the “Twas the Night Before Christmas poem, and a few other genealogy-related Christmas poems. Enjoy! A GENEALOGIST’S CHRISTMAS EVE (Author Unknown) ‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse. The dining room table with clutter was spread With pedigree charts and with letters which said: “Too bad about the data for which you wrote. It sank in a storm on an ill-fated boat.” Stacks of old copies of wills and of such Were proof that my work had become much too much. Our children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads. And I at my table was ready to drop From work on my album with photos to crop. Christmas was here, and of such was my lot That presents and goodies and toys I’d forgot. Had I not been so busy with grandparents’ wills, I’d not have forgotten to shop for such thrills. While others had bought gifts that would bring Christmas cheer, I’d spent time researching those birthdates and years. While I was thus musing about my sad plight, A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a fright. Away to the window I flew in a flash, Tore open the drapes and I yanked up the sash. When what to my nearsighted eyes should appear, But an overstuffed sleigh and eight small reindeer. Up to the housetop the reindeer they flew With a sleigh full of toys, and ol’ Santa Claus, too. And then in a twinkling, I heard on...

Introducing “Blog Caroling”...

I was introduced to a new term a couple of days ago, and that is “Blog Caroling”. If you’re like me and hadn’t heard it before, it is where you blog about your fav Christmas carols, an apparently well-known geneablogger, footnoteMaven (aka fM) has made an annual tradition of it and welcomes everyone to join in. As part of her intro to it footnoteMaven writes … From the comfort of my blog, with Hot Toddy in hand, my flannel jammies and furry slippers on, I will blog my favorite Christmas Carol on Friday, December 22, on this blog and Facebook. So my fellow GeneaBloggers, I challenge each of you to blog or post to Facebook your favorite Christmas Carol – Blog Caroling. Blog Caroling is posting the lyrics, youtube video, etc. of your favorite Christmas carol on your blog. So Blog Carol by Friday 22 December (US time), which of course is Saturday 23 December (Australian time), and post a note in the comments on her original post. So Blog Caroling … I do love Christmas carols. Though I’m not one to put them on about 6 weeks before Christmas. About 1-2 weeks before is enough.  Fortunately I don’t work in a shopping centre where they do that, as seriously I would be “so over” carols that you just don’t want to hear them anymore. Anyway I just wanted to share my favourite Christmas carol with you. It is performed by a capella group Pentatonix and I think they do a simply amazing version of “Little Drummer Boy”.   But another seriously awesome one is the “Angels We Have Heard on High” by The Piano Guys. I hope you enjoy my carols. Are you into Christmas carols? Do you have a...

The Heirloom Geneameme

It’s geneameme time, but I can’t take any credit for this one as it began by me sharing post from The Family Curator blog, on “Top 5 Family Heirlooms They Actually Want to Inherit” … if you haven’t read it, take a moment to do so, as it’s a great post. Anyway a comment on that from fellow geneablogger Jen of the Conversations with Grandma blog said … “An idea for a Geneameme Alona? “Five heirlooms in my family”? Or similar.” So wallah … we have a new geneameme. For the “Heirloom Geneameme” simply pick 5 of your family heirlooms, and write a post about them. Sounds easy? I found it harder than I expected. Well firstly let’s define what an heirloom is. The dictionary says it’s “a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations.” Now those who’ve been following me for a while, will know that one side of my family are hoarders. But in the good ‘everything is an heirloom sense’, not in the ‘junk piled to the ceiling sense’, so we have a house FULL of heirlooms. The other side  of my family … well, we have a couple of photos. Anyway having so many, certainly makes it challenging to choose … and I changed my mind about fifty two times (before, during and even after writing this). But here are five of my family’s heirlooms (in no particular order) … RANDELL FAMILY BIBLE This bible was owned by my great grandparents Ella Alice Sinkinson and John Beavis ‘JB’ Randell who married in 1899. It is huge, it is heavy (I’d guess about 15kgs), and is starting to fall apart … so great care is needed when handling it. The publication date of...

Give a Little This Christmas...

Every year we spend who knows how much on ‘stuff’. Stuff for ourselves during the year, and stuff for friends and family at birthdays and Christmas time. I’m not saying this is wrong, or even useless … but maybe you could consider giving one extra gift this year. At just $25 it’s not expensive, and you can help change someone’s life. Kiva is a non-profit site that offers microloans to people. Someone might need money to help put a roof on their house, to buy a cow or chicken, or seeds so they can plant and get food, money so they can get supplies for their shop, or even just get clean water … all things we take for granted. But it means the world to people elsewhere. Your $25 goes towards what they need. I was introduced to Kiva through fellow Aussie genealogist, Judy Webster, who created the Kiva group “Genealogists for Families“. Judy has continued her father’s tradition of lending money to hard-working people who want support but not handouts. Your $25 can be loaned over and over again, and as it is repaid, it does more good than a one-time donation to charity. Judy created this group in September 2011, has since then it has continually grown. Currently the Genealogists for Families group has 351 members (made up of geneapeeps from all around the world) who have collectively supplied loans to 9455 people. Impressive isn’t it! Here’s some other impressive figures … But it’s not so much the amount lent, or even the numbers of those lent to … but rather the fact that these people have then been able to continue on with life a little easier thanks to the loan. So while you’re out and...

Trove – Eight Years of Incredible Discoveries...

Eight years ago, the way of historical and genealogical research in Australia changed forever. Trove went live. Created by the National Library of Australia, the Trove website is a portal to their absolutely incredible collection of records. By “absolutely incredible”, I’m talking millions of records. But not “just” millions. How about 554,000,000 of them? That’s right, over HALF A BILLION of them in fact! All online and all free to search. So how lucky are we? There’s no doubt that Trove is Australia’s number 1 website for research. If it’s not yours, it should be! So go and bookmark it www.trove.nla.gov.au now. If you’re not familiar with Trove, take a quick look at the videos below that give you a quick overview, of what it is, and the different facets to it. So you’ll find photos, journals and articles, archived websites, government gazettes, music, sound and video recordings, diaries and letters, maps and books, even vintage issues of the Women’s Weekly magazine. They all make up the phenomenal collection of Australian history that the National Library of Australian (NLA) looks after. For more a detailed analysis on using Trove and all it’s facets, check out Shauna Hicks’ “Trove: Discover Genealogy Treasure in the National Library of Australia“. However what most researchers (myself included) head to Trove for, is their historical newspaper collection. And why wouldn’t we, they are so fun. And with over 200 million pages of old newspaper online already – there are so many stories just waiting to be found. The blog theme “Trove Tuesday” was started back in 2012 by Amy Houston of the Branches Leaves and Pollen blog, [note, I know the link has changed, but I still wanted to give her the credit], and through its creation, has...

21 Signs That Your Partner Isn’t Into Genealogy as Much as You...

While I know of a few couples who both research their family history, I believe that most of us have non-genie partners. Putting it simply, our partners have to put up with a lot. Our excitement at finding something. Our frustration at not! Our telling the latest story about great aunt so-and-so who went to jail. The detours we make them take so we can visit a cemetery on the way … and so on. While they may not understand us, or want to do research themselves, we should be thankful for our non-genie partners as they accept us as we are. While I’m sure it’s obvious enough, here’s a list of 21 signs to show that your partner just isn’t into genealogy as much as you. They believe that your dining table is to be used as a dining table, not your genealogy storage desk For a day outing they suggest going to the zoo, where as you’d suggest going to the archives The places they suggest for a holiday include camping, resorts or theme parks, rather than ancestral towns and cemeteries They simply don’t share your excitement at finding your great great grandpa’s immigration record Or that someone has contacted you via DNA connection, which shows you have a whole new branch to explore To them an ‘old photo’ is an old photo. To you it’s a mystery to discover (the who, when, where, and why) They don’t understand your complete horror when they throw out photos and documents!! They don’t understand the phrases “download a Gedcom” or “upload raw data” For a present they give you a CD and box of chocolates, when you’ve been hanging out to get another DNA kit, and the brand new...

I’ve Got Nothing to Write About!...

Let me guess … you had an idea that it’d be great to start a genealogy blog and write stories about your family history to make sure they get recorded. But you’re not doing a lot of research, and aren’t inspired, and now you’re finding that “I have nothing to write about” and it all seems too hard! Am I right? For those of you who are at this point of genealogy blogging (or even those who are yet to start), this one is for you. Here’s a bunch of suggestions to get you back blogging, without a whole lot of effort. There’s  whole group of ‘day related’ theme posts (I’ll mention more of them later), but let me start with WORDLESS WEDNESDAY. Keep a post short and simple by starting with an old photo. Pop it on your blog, and caption it you choose, but you don’t need a whole blog post about it. That’s the whole idea of Wordless Wednesday. Short and sweet. And you’re recording a piece of history. START SMALL If you’re wanting to write about your family or ancestors, don’t aim to write entire life stories of them (well not in one post anyway). Break it down into stories. A place they used to visit, a job they did, pets they owned, when they bought a new car, a voyage they took, an heirloom of theirs you have – and what the story behind it is … and so on. So many ideas. So many great stories waiting to be told. GENEAMEMES You all know what a meme is?  Well a geneameme is a genealogy themed one, and there’s been a number that have done the rounds over the years, but anyone can pick up and do...

Get Ready for the Congress 2018 Experience...

Ok, so who’s ready for Congress 2018? – You’ve registered as a delegate – booked your accommodation – sorted our your travel to get there – got your tree all up-to-date, and on appropriate devices (just in case you get time to research, or even better, find a ‘cousin’ there) – you’ve got (and packed) your geniecards (I know you won’t forget those) – and now you are eagerly counting down the days … (there’s 118 days for those who were wondering) If you’ve done all of that, awesome! I love that you’re so organised, and so excited about it, but seriously you don’t need to read on, as this is really for those who haven’t booked and are still ‘thinking about it’. Let me tell you that Congress is not “just an event”. Personally I would call it more of an experience. I have been to RootsTech in the US (the world’s biggest genie event), and that for sure is experience, not that Congress is on the same scale, but still. There’s far more to it than just going to some talks. There’s the whole social aspect of it, either as organised ones or spontaneous catchups with a few people. Expect to meet a heap of new people, all who whole LOVE genealogy as much as you do. So trust me you’ll make a heap of new friends. And if you’ve been doing genealogy a while, you’ll catch up with others you’ve met before, or maybe just on social media. You can also check out what’s for sale from the bunch of vendors who will be there, and of course you’ll be learning from many of the world’s best speakers. You will be on a high the whole...