It’s OK to Take a Break!

I’ve been blogging for a number of years now, and I’ve not been one to ever ‘set a schedule’ for posts, but rather I just tend to blog when the mood and time allows.

In saying that, I do follow a number of bloggers who do post regularly (ie. every day, or every week), and while I envy them for having the time to do so, it’s just not for me.

For those who’ve followed me for a while, yes, I have been very quiet for the past few months as it’s been chaotic to say the least, and during that time blogging was something that pretty much dropped off the radar for sanity reasons. However, hopefully life is getting back to some form of normality, and that includes getting back to blogging.

I know of other bloggers who have had blogging breaks for various reasons, and don’t beat yourself up about it, it is OK to have a break.

Life does take over, or sometimes the enthusiasm isn’t there, or the time to even do family history. So just like a holiday, take a break. Take some time to chill, recharge, and come back when you’re ready.



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 Rockstar Genealogists list again, and somehow even made it into the Top 5 in the Aus/NZ list. Thank to everyone who voted.

So while I’m looking back at past posts, I thought I’d see what my top posts from the year. Note, technically the top looked at posts are ones I’ve written earlier, but I decided this list will the top looked at posts that I wrote during the year.  … I was going to do Top 5, but when I saw No. 6, I needed to include it. So here goes …

6. About Me 
Coming in at number 6 is my About Me page. Yes, really. Which proves that a lot of people do actually look at it. In fact earlier this year I wrote about how important it is to have an About Me page. You can read that here.

5. Emigration from England to South Australia in the 1800s
Number 5 give details of the rules for free emigration to South Australia. What age, what occupations, who was allowed to come? This was an eye opener.

4. Update 4: Facebook for Australian History and Genealogy
Update 4 of my Facebook for Australia History and Genealogy was popular. And anyone who is on Facebook and has Australian ancestors, should be using Facebook to advantage. There are over 1000 Facebook groups and pages just one Australian history and genealogy. And found them and put them all in an easy to find list that you can download for free.

3. Facebook vs Blogging: The Pros and Cons
Coming in at number 3, this was an interesting one as it started as idea from comments seen on other FB pages, and while it was written earlier in the year it is still a popular post.

2. 21 Signs that Your Partner Isn’t Into Genealogy As much as You
Making number 2 on the list is one of my humour posts. I need to do these every now and then. Thanks to inspiration from Mr Lonetester who was reading an article in his magazine (non-genealogy-related) which was a similar title, I adapted it, and wallah … came up with the following.

1. Are Your A Genealogist of a Family Historian
And the top looked at post that I wrote in 2017 is … Are You a Genealogist or a Family Historian? I’m rather surprised about this one, but it is another one showing my quirky humour. And while I love the post, it seems that others do too. So what type of family historian are you?

2017 has been a fun year of blogging, with a huge variety of topics covered. And I’m sure that 2018 will be just as awesome. So join me as we discover more history along the way.

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.

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.

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 any anytime they wish! The meme consists of a set of questions, which you then answer, and pop it all on your blog. Again, another simple way to share some history, and have a great post. While you can simply Google “geneameme” and you’ll come up with 1000s, here are links to those on Jill Ball’s Geniaus blog, and those on my own blog as well.

Why not write the details about an ancestor you’re looking for, and share the process as you go? Or if you’re just getting started with a new genealogy program (online or offline), share what you like (or don’t like) about it. Bought a new book to help with your research? Why not write a little review about it … or a website you’ve found awesome. Or a new trick on how to do something, which brings up different results. What about a visit to a library or archive? All of these would make great posts.

Do you have older family members still around? Parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles? Why not interview them and ask them questions about the past – either generally or on a particular topic. I was fortunate that someone interviewed my grandparents about their time in WW2. My grandpa went off to war in Egypt and elsewhere, while my grandma stayed home and helped run the farm with the other family members. But so many details came out of that, that I never knew and would never find in a history book. Of course with interviews you will need to ask their permission to record it (and publish it), if that’s what you wish to do.

I’ve used “on this day” posts from time to time. And they add something a little different too. Sometimes I use a specific day, the date my grandparents were married, and write about their wedding. Or the date a ship arrived in Australia, with details of my immigrating ancestors, and a little about the voyage. Or the date someone died, and a little about them. Another tack for “on this day” posts is to write about something that happened “on this day in history”, and I find this site great for that, and they have LOTS of Australian history events as well. Or “Days of the Year” is an great one too … I keep meaning to share my grandma’s recipes on “Recipe Day”.

If you’re stuck for prompts, the Geneabloggers TRIBE site is THE place to look.

They have Daily Prompts such as those below, but be sure to go to their site for mode details on each of these:

Sunday Prompts: Black Sheep Sunday, Census Sunday, Church Record Sunday, Sentimental Sunday, Sunday’s Obituary
Monday Prompts: Amanuensis Monday, Madness Monday, Mappy Monday, Maritime Monday,
Matrilineal Monday, Military Monday, Motivation Monday, Mystery Monday
Tuesday Prompts: Talented Tuesday, Tombstone Tuesday, Travel Tuesday, Tuesday’s Tip
Wednesday Prompts: Wedding Wednesday, Wednesday’s Child, Wisdom Wednesday, Wishful Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, Workday Wednesday
Thursday Prompts: Thankful Thursday, Those Places Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Thriller Thursday, Treasure Chest Thursday
Friday Prompts: Family Friends Friday, Family Recipe Friday, Follow Friday, Friend of Friends Friday, Friday’s Faces from the Past, Friday Funny, Funeral Card Friday
Saturday Prompts: Shopping Saturday, Sibling Saturday, Society Saturday, Sorting Saturday, Sports Center Saturday, Surname Saturday, Sympathy Saturday

NOTE: One omission that I would like to add in to the above Daily Prompt, is “TROVE TUESDAY”. This is a popular one among Australian geneabloggers, as we simply go to Trove (the Australian historical newspapers site), find a cool article, (it can be about your family, or just something else in history) … and you share it on our blog.

The Calendar of Ideas is rather like the “on this day” link above, in that it is a recording of things that happened ‘on this day in history’, but this one is more US-centric which is fair enough, since that’s where it’s created.

If you’re looking for some ‘regularity’ to your posts you might like to take up a blog challenge. There are numerous “52 Week” challenges, so choose one that looks good to you, and just one post a week. You can find a post to a bunch of these and the “Family History Through the Alphabet” blog challenge too here.


So now you’ll never be stuck for ideas again. And in fact I reckon you’ll have SO MANY ideas that you’ll need more time to blog! Well that’s what I find anyway.

Happy geneablogging!

A Look Back Over 6 Years of Blogging

October 3rd is my 6 year blogiversary. Sometimes I can’t believe that it’s gone that quick, and other times, it seems forever. Anyway 6 years on, and I’m still blogging, and I still love it.

For this post, I thought I’d take a little look back at some of my favourite posts. I do write on a number of different topics, so I’ve groups them into various categories, and have chosen six from each. This post took a lot longer to compile that I expected, partly because I relooked at each and every post I’d written which was a very interesting exercise, but also because it was so hard choosing which ones to include. I would have loved that list more …

Anzac Day Blog Challenge: He Was Proud to be Australian
– Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: P is for … Charlotte PHILLIPS
– Trove Tuesday: The Saddest News of All
Diaries, and the Stories They Can Tell!
A Wedding in the Midst of War
– Looking Back: Photos of My Grandmas

– Ten, Eleven, Twelve Commandments of Genealogy
– 13 Signs You Have Genealogy OCD
– Favourite Family Tree Quotes
– All I Want For Christmas Is A New Surname
– Genealogy, As the World Sees It
– Are You a Genealogist or a Family Historian?

History Meets Street Art in Adelaide
History Under Your Feet
Australian History – the Bits You Didn’t Know About
– Trove Tuesday: 1 March 1954, The Day the Earth Shook South Australia
– A List of Don’ts for Women on Bicycles Circa 1895
– Australia Day, 26 January … or is it May or July?

Australian Government Gazettes – Have You Discovered Them?
– Australian Birth, Death and Marriage Records
– Finding Genealogy Evidence in the Most Unlikely Place
– Obituaries Really ARE Genealogy Gold!
– Trove Tuesday: Deaths of South Australian Pioneers
– South Australia’s First Motor Car and Early Registrations

– 20 Tips for Genealogists
27 Golden Rules of Genealogy
– 50 Genealogy Blogs You Need to Read
– Societies Need to Adapt, or They Will Die
– The Importance of a Catalogue
– It Pays to Read the Ts&Cs

– Tips for Geneablogger Writers and Readers
– Use Social Media to your (Genealogy) Advantage
– Facebook vs Mailing Lists
Tips for Genealogy Bloggers
– 17 Websites to Find Photos for Your Blog
– Do You Have an “About Me” Page on Your Blog?

and just a few more that are worthy of a mention:
– Arrggh, the Power is Out Again!!
– More Free Websites for South Australia Genealogy and History
Family Tree Photo Wall Part 2: Almost Done
DNA Testing and Bullying

Thanks to my readers to taking the time to read my posts. While I do write for me, simply because I enjoy writing, it is always nice to know that I have readers, and I hope you find them useful, and interesting.

Anyway happy reading, and now on with the next 6 years of blogging.