Discovering Links: A Bunch of “General” Sites...

What do vintage adverts, old maps, stock photos, military acronyms and rescued heirlooms have in common? They have made it on to my second “Discovering Links” post. It is these “General” links that I’ve decided to share with you. Why “General” you may ask? Well, simply because they are either about a topic as opposed to a place, or they don’t fit into any ‘one’ specific country category … so they get filed into general (well in my world they do anyway). I hope you find the following links of interest.  === GENERAL LINKS === Military Acronyms #1 and Military Acronyms #2 When I was doing some research for my Anzac Day post and reading through a bunch of military records, I needed some help with the military acronyms. Afterall they pretty much write in acronym, so to make sens of anything you need to decode what they’re on about. Anyway I found the above two sites of use, so noted them, and though I’d share them with you. Letters From the Past This is one seriously fascinating site. If you love history and have a spare day (or even just an afternoon), log on to Letters from the Past and have a read of the fascinating letters that people from history has written. The earliest letter in this collection is dated 1660, with the last being the late 1800s. Each letter has been scanned, as well as transcribed. There are details of holidays, of court cases, family details, and anything else you can think of that would be written in letters. There’s over 160 of them listed so far, with more being added regularly. Like I said, you’ll find it fascinating reading. Vintage Ad Browser Do you love...

A List of Dont’s for Women on Bicycles Circa 1895...

The humble bicycle played an important part in women’s history, helping to redefine conventions of femininity during the women’s rights movements of the late 19th century: “As women learned to ride bicycles they not only gained physical mobility that broadened their horizons beyond the neighborhoods in which they lived, they discovered a new-found sense of freedom of movement, a freedom previously circumscribed by the cumbersome fashions of the Victorian era as well as by Victorian sensibilities.” But who would have thought that bike riding was such a drama for a woman back in the day. I do believe this list of 41 “dont’s” which was originally published by the New York World in 1895, would encourage most women to even forget about heading out for a ride … but then again, maybe that was the idea! It’s not known whether the author/s were male or female, but either way this list has to be read to be believed. Don’t be a fright. Don’t faint on the road. Don’t wear a man’s cap. Don’t wear tight garters. Don’t forget your toolbag Don’t attempt a “century.” Don’t coast. It is dangerous. Don’t boast of your long rides. Don’t criticize people’s “legs.” Don’t wear loud hued leggings. Don’t cultivate a “bicycle face.” Don’t refuse assistance up a hill. Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit. Don’t neglect a “light’s out” cry. Don’t wear jewelry while on a tour. Don’t race. Leave that to the scorchers. Don’t wear laced boots. They are tiresome. Don’t imagine everybody is looking at you. Don’t go to church in your bicycle costume. Don’t wear a garden party hat with bloomers. Don’t contest the right of way with cable cars. Don’t chew gum. Exercise your jaws in private. Don’t wear...

How the South Australian BDM Registrar Could Make More Money & Make Everyone Happy...

Most of my family (distant family that is), who packed up their bags, farewelled their families, and set out for a new life in Australia back in the 1800s ended up in South Australia. Now many would say this is a good thing … which in some ways it is, because with my ancestors being here means I ended up here, and do love little ‘ol South Australia, so I’m thankful for that. And it also means I don’t have to research every other state of Australia either, which is a plus. But the downside comes when it comes to getting certificates. I do like to get certificates. You know, the PROPER ones, not just the transcripts. But to buy the South Australian ones you really need to win lotto or rob a bank – neither of which are likely for me. So I simply save up my dollars bit-by-bit and birthday money (tip: money is always a great present for a genealogist, as you can never have too many certificates!) and buy them when I can. But to buy the three certificates (birth, death and marriage) for one person you’re suddenly up for about $150 when you add in the postage. While I buy certificates when I can, I know myself as well as plenty of others who would buy more of them if they cost less. I don’t know why the South Australian Registrar charges what they do. But I do think they should take a long hard look at what the Queensland BDM Registrar have done. Because it works, and everyone is happy. They are in the process of digitising their ‘historical’ BDM certificates and making them available as instant downloads. So not only are they...

Let Me Tell You a Secret …...

As part of my job (and for those that don’t know, I do work in a genealogy business), I have to keep up-to-date with the latest happenings in the genealogy world – yes I know life is tough eh! So that involves lots of reading blogs, emails, genie magazines etc. But honestly if you want to keep up with the latest genealogy news yourself, here’s my secret. Simply follow the newsbreakers. These are the people who blog about something 5 minutes after it’s been announced. So if you’d like to keep “up with the genealogy news” here’s some of the “Newsbreakers” that I follow: Anglo-Celtic Connections http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com John D. Reid from Canada makes mention of all things UK and Canadian related. British and Irish Genealogy http://bi-gen.blogspot.com/ Mick Southwick BI-Gen blog is useful for more UK related happenings. British GENES http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk Chris Paton’s British GENES blog is one to follow for any Britain, Irish and Scottish genealogy related news. Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter http://blog.eogn.com/ Dick Eastman’s Newsletter is probably the best known, and gives readers all sorts of news, reviews, hints and tips. Grow Your Own Family Tree http://growyourownfamilytree.wordpress.com/ Alan Stewart’s blog gives readers UK and Ireland family history news. GeneaPress www.geneapress.com If there’s a press release about something genealogy related, GeneaPress knows about it.                                                                                                                                                     And while these aren’t Newsbreakers as such, I’d be lost without them as they extremely useful tools, so they are worthy of a mention … Cyndi’s List http://www.cyndislist.com/mailinglist/ I have subscribed to Cyndi’s mailing list as she an email of all the new links that she’s added on each day. I find this is a great way to keep up with new websites. Google Alerts http://www.google.com/alerts What can I say? Google Alerts are awesome....

Obituaries Really ARE Genealogy Gold!...

I recently read  Kenneth Marks’ 30 Reasons Why Searching for Obituaries is Like Finding Gold post, and I have to agree. If you are lucky enough to find an obit for your reli, they usually contain a whole host of information. Just check out this one that is on my great great grandpa Robert McCullough. When I saw “accident” written on his death certificate you could feel that there was a story to it. So off to Trove I went, and I found his obituary in The Advertiser, on 13 October 1931. This 19 line obituary, though short in comparison to many, still contains a wealth of information: – It names him as the Rev. R. McCullough, so tells you he was in the ministry – It says he was found on the road alongside his bike, so he was out bike riding – We know when and where the accident occurred, 18 September 1931 at Western-Flat Road – We know he wasn’t is a good way, so was taken to the Mount Barker Hospital unconscious – Then it tells us that he came to Australia from Ireland almost 52 years ago, so emigration would have been around 1879 – And he’d been a minister that whole time – As it mentions his wife and children, we know he was married and had a family – It tells us that his wife died in 1923 – It says that he had two sons, one of whom died in WW1 – And it lists his daughters with their married surname, and place of residence Can you believe you can get all of that from 19 lines! That’s what I call “Genealogy Gold”. While Robert McCullough’s obituary was good, I’ve never...

Discover Local History Using Facebook...

I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like sitting down with an old photo album and flipping through the pages, wondering about people, the places, and life as it was back then … reminiscing. And any historian and/or genealogist know that learning about the history of a region where your family (be it YOUR own family, or the generations before you), is such an important aspect of it research. But just how do you find out the history and people of a town or area? Well until relatively recently there’s been two options. Firstly look around to see what books have been produced on the area and try to track them down, either through libraries, or secondhand bookstores), or secondly visit (or write if you’re not local) the genealogy or historical groups that are in the region. These are usually a goldmine of information, and are ALWAYS a good source of records. A third option, and is one that we all love, is to search old newspapers. And for us here in Australia that means going to Trove! But now there’s a new way to at least enhance your knowledge of the area, and that is by following a Facebook page that is dedicated to the local history of the town or area you’re interested in. The concept of starting a Facebook page for someone to share their photos and knowledge of a town, while inviting others to contribute seems to have really boomed in the past year or so. Facebook now has over 1.15  users globally, and almost 700 million of them log on daily (and yes, I’m one of those 700 million), so creating a Facebook page or group really does potentially give you a global audience. Setting up...

Use Social Media to your (Genealogy) Advantage...

Are you using social media to your (genealogy) advantage? A few of you might be, but I reckon the majority of you aren’t, and I’m here to tell you just how you can be using Facebook for far more than keeping up with what your family and friends are doing. These days there are literally hundreds of social media sites around, if you don’t believe me check out Wikipedia. To get just a little what I want to cover are the big ones that fall under the title of ‘Social Media Networking’ – you know, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and I’ll throw in YouTube as well, because it is useful. —————————————————————————————- FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/ Facebook tends to be a love it or hate it type site, with a large portion of those who hate it being because privacy concerns. Trust me all of that is customisable, so you can control who sees what, but that’s not what this post is about. Here, I am going to be talking about Facebook pages and Facebook groups. There are literally thousands of organisations, meaning museums, societies, genie group, town history pages, one name groups, family group of ..[so and so]…, genealogy help groups for a country, for a state, user groups for genealogy software out there. There are even pages for military history battalions, and pages/groups for cemeteries as well … the list simply goes on. Now to cater for those who may not be a user of Facebook (or not a regular one) once you have created an account, to keep up with the news that each of these pages sends out on their Facebook page, you simply need to click on the “LIKE” button on their page. This will allow their...

Australian History – the Bits You Didn’t Know About...

I think I’d be pretty right in saying that as far as Australian history that is taught in schools pretty much covers the convicts, the explorers, and the wars. And while each are fascinating in their own right, I have found other bits of Australian history that also deserve to be known. Now I can’t speak for the current generation, but I know they certainly weren’t in the syllabus when I was at school. So get comfy, grab a coffee, and take a little look into Australia’s history, and discover the bits that you didn’t know about. And at the end, see how many of these fascinating facts you actually already knew about. ====================== The 1800s  ====================== 1803 – Australia’s First Newspaper The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser was the first newspaper to be printed in Australia. It ran from 5 March 1803 until 20 October 1842. It was an official publication of the government of New South Wales, and was authorised by Governor King and printed by George Howe. ====================== The 1830s  ====================== 1838 – Pre-paid Postage The Colonial Postmaster-General of New South Wales, James Raymond introduced the world’s first pre-paid postal system, using pre-stamped sheets as envelopes. Who knew pre-paid envelopes started way back then? ====================== The 1850s  ====================== 1856 – Refrigerator Now this was a surprise too, not the fact that it was invented, but the fact it was so early. James Harrison, who was born in Dunbartonshire, Scotland in about 1816, was the son of a fisherman. James was apprenticed to a printer at Glasgow where he managed to attend the Evening College and later the Glasgow Mechanics’ Institution, where he specialised in chemistry. Harrison’s greatest achievement and much of his financial failure stemmed...

21 ANZAC Day Facts

ANZAC Day is upon us again, so I thought I’d share some interesting and often unknown facts about ANZACS and ANZAC Day, so others will understand why we honour this national day. The ANZACs were all volunteers. April 25, Anzac Day, was the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. 25 April, was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916. The first dawn service on an ANZAC Day was in 1923. AIF is an abbreviation for Australian Imperial Force. There is no town called “Gallipoli”. It is the name of an area. Visitors to Gallipoli usually stay at nearby towns – like Ecubeat. ANZAC Day was not a public holiday in New Zealand until 1921. ANZAC Day was not a public holiday in Australia until 1921. However it was not observed uniformly in all the states. The Gallipoli Peninsula is very near the famous ancient city of Troy. The term ANZAC is protected under Australian law. More than 11,000 ANZACs died at Gallipoli and more than 23,500 were wounded. Services are held at dawn because in battle, dawn was the best time to attack the enemy. Soldiers would wake in the dark so at the first signs of light they were alert and awake. The original Anzac biscuit was known as an Anzac wafer or tile and was part of the rations given to the ANZAC soldiers during World War I. They were included instead of bread because they had a much longer shelf life. Anzac biscuits were created by wives of soldier’s who wanted to bake healthy goodies for their men. They lacked egg and milk, so kept for a long time and didn’t spoil during transport. The Poppy as a...

Tips for Geneablogger Writers and Readers...

Tips for Geneablogger Writers and Readers … actually should be called Tips for Every Reader or Writer of Blogs, as it is actually for everyone who reads and/or writes blog posts, which obviously includes those in the geneablogger scene, but this goes far beyond just them. From my two or so years that I’ve now been blogging, through my various blogs, these are tips that I have picked up along the way. You may agree with some, and not others. And others may have more tips to add. By all means feel free to do so. FOR WRITERS Tip 1. Allow comments on your blog. Yes you will get spam, but wouldn’t you like to know that someone enjoyed your post so much they wanted to comment on it. Or if someone has googled and has come up with the name of your great grandpa who you wrote a post about a year ago, and they wanted to get in touch with you – don’t make it hard for them to do so. It’s off putting. Tip 2. If you use photographs on your blog, label them. By labelling them, I don’t mean caption them (though you need to do that too). I mean the title you give your photos, rather than the P1200983 that your digital camera, or scanner automatically names it as. If you have scanned a picture of your grandma’s and grandpa’s wedding back in the 1940s, don’t just leave it as the default name, name it as “wedding of Annie Smith and Alf Harford 1941”. When people Google for the name, your picture will come up. Trust me you will get new contacts through this. Tip 3. Put share buttons on your blog. People do...