Twile: A Different Way to Show Off Your Family Tree...

Let me introduce you to Twile. This is something I’ve been playing with recently, but it has actually been around for a year or two now, so some of you may already know how fun it is. First up let me just say that Twile is a website that allows you to display your family and milestones as a timeline … and, not only that, it is totally FREE. As it offers timelines, don’t expect a traditional tree-type chart from them. The timelines are created by using data that you either you enter, or a gedcom file you upload. To add to this, you can also add photos, milestones, and historical events which everyone in your family can view and contribute to. At RootsTech 2016 Twile won both the People’s Choice Award as well as the Innovator Showdown, so it’s certainly grabbed people’s attention. And the claims that it “makes genealogy more engaging” is true. Apart from a graphical timeline of your own tree, they can create a statistics infographic based on your family. Now this is truly cool, and here’s mine …   To get this simply upload your gedcom (or link to an online tree) – if you hadn’t already got one there for your timeline, wait a few mins … and wallah, it’s there in your inbox!! Go ahead and try it for yourself http://ww.twile.com/numbers, and if you have Irish ancestry, there’s a special green infographic for you here https://twile.com/numbers/irish. So if you’re looking for a novel way to show off your tree, or a way to get your family interested in family history, why not try Twile? It could just be the thing you’ve been looking...

So. Much. More. Research. To. Do!...

It is said that ‘genealogy never ends’. You get one generation back, then you suddenly double the number of people to research on the following one. Not to mention following the the siblings, and the side branches as well. So it’s true … it doesn’t. And anyone who says it does, should take part in this “Ancestor Tally” or “Ancestor Tracking” geneameme which I’ve seen on a few blogs now (Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches, and Michael Dyer’s Family Sleuther), so I thought I’d play along and see what my 15 or so years of on-off research shows. In short it shows that I need to spend a whole lot more time researching! So the idea is to count up the number of direct line ancestors you can identify going back10 generations (starting from yourself). So I sat down, printed out a 10 generation ancestral  chart (4 pages so it wasn’t too bad), counted them up generation by generation … and wallah … I have the numbers, which I then also converted to percentages. As you can see from the numbers I’m not doing too bad till I reach my the 7th generations (4x great grandparents). Part of that is probably due to the fact that I just haven’t entered some info (I really find the search more interesting than the entering, do others find that too?), but it does also highlight that a LOT more research is still to be done. It’ll happen bit-by-bit. Another name here, another date there, or something verified so I can add it in. We all know it’s a slow process. That’s just the way of proper genealogy.  GenerationRelationshipNo. in GenIdentified% 1Self11100% 2Parents22100% 3Grandparents44100% 4Great Grandparents88100% 52x Great Grandparents1616100% 63x Great Grandparents322681% 74x...

25 Ways You Can Present and Share Your Family History...

Let’s say for instance that you’ve started your family history. In fact, you’ve probably been doing it a while. Possibly even years. So now you’ve got all this family information … why not do something useful and creative with it? I’m sure many of you will say ” but none of my family are interested”. I know, I’ve heard that many, many times. And my answer to that, is that it is then your job to MAKE THEM interested. Don’t just tell them the facts (the names and dates) or give them a huge pile of papers, their eyes will glaze over, and you will have put them off family history forever. So it’s a case of getting creative in HOW you present your family history. There are many, many different ways of ‘presenting’ and sharing your research, and it really comes down to whatever works for you. It might be with just your immediate family, or it might be with the whole world. It’s entirely up to you as to who you share it with, and how you share it. Here are 25 ideas on different ways you can present and share your family history. 1. BLOG Blogging is one of the easiest ways to be able to share your research with the world. It’s free, you can do it when you want to, and you can do it from home. You’ve done the research, so why not tell your family (and the wider world) the stories of your ancestors. Tell them about the goldrush, the war heroes, the Depression, the struggles, life on the land, migrating or moving house, the stories of family heirlooms, family pets etc. It’s all history, and you could tell it. It’s a...

Just Playing Along …...

When I got home from work today and logged on to Facebook, I noticed that my feed was full of 5 generation colour charts. Wondering what all this was, I discovered that my geniemate J. Paul Hawthorne started the trend by posting a picture of his chart saying … “A little visual I created in Excel. 5 Generation chart of my direct ancestors birth state — starting with me. A good way to visualize migration patterns.” Obviously this piqued everyone’s interest, as they decided to play along too – as did I. Creating a chart in Excel that covers 5 generations (starting with yourself), and then putting the birthplace (state or country) in each box for your ancestors, colouring each place a different colour. It does make for interesting viewing. Here’s mine … Go ahead, do yours. You’ll find it really...

Show Off Your Family Tree the ‘Elijahtree’ Way...

“Turn your family history into a beautiful piece of artwork with Elijahtree. Let your family tree speak for itself.” This is the tagline that Elijahtree has on their site, and personally I think it is just perfect for them. Afterall, you simply won’t find another place that will show off your family tree quite like they do. Using the names of your own family, Molly (the mastermind of Elijahtree), creates a ‘tree’ with a trunk, branches and swirls. And to say it looks stunning is an understatement. I first met Molly back at the RootsTech conference in 2013, and it was there that I fell in love with her trees. Returning to the US for RootsTech in 2015, I found Elijahtree amongst the hundreds of exhibitors, and gave Molly a copy of my tree (gedcom file), and from that she worked her magic to create the tree above. Elijahtree normally send the tree out to customers complete (meaning with frame), however as sending to Australia from the US was going to be absolutely ridiculous in price, I was sent the print of the tree and got it framed locally by Ladywood Frames & Crafts (www.ladywoodframes.com.au), who I have used before, and who do amazing work. For more information and examples by Elijahtree, be sure to checkout their website:...

Origins … Where Are You From?...

What are your origins? Where are you from? These are questions that are common amongst us genie-folk. And when asked, you know that they aren’t looking for the town where you grew up (well, not usually anyway), but rather where do your roots lie. My origins are mostly English, with a little Irish, a touch of European, and one branch from Finland … all of this heritage is what makes me, ME!! At our shop at work  (Gould Genealogy & History) we have had a big family tree chart of our family up on display. However since our move to a smaller shop in January this year it has remained rolled up, awaiting inspiration on just where we can actually fit it. Well this week, I moved some things around, and up went our family tree chart again. YAY! I must say that after not having seen the chart since January, it was very cool to see it again. And one thing that really struck me was the little map up the top which shows the “places of origin of our ancestors”, and noted just visually useful it is. So standing on a chair, I whipped out my trusty little Flip-Pal scanner (where  would I be without it?), and scanned the map so I could put it here, to show you just how cool adding family names to a map can make your family history. This chart (and map) were created by my dad quite a number of years ago, and while it doesn’t cover every line of my family (by a long way), it is still a great chart. In fact it mostly only follows a few lines on dad’s side of the family, so I’m thinking in all...