Leaving Comments on a Blogger Blog

Has anyone else had issues leaving comments on someone’s Blogger blog, or is just me?

I’m of the opinion that blogging is a two way thing. Someone writes something cool and interesting, you read it, and if you like you should leave a comment acknowledging it, or share it on social media.  So when I read blogs, I do like to comment.

However some people who use Blogger have theirs set up differently, so that unfortunately won’t allow me to do so.

As these bloggers probably aren’t aware that they’re missing out on potential comments, I thought I would highlight it here.

Example 1.
This seems to be the standard set of options which it allows you to sign into to leave a comment. However I don’t use LiveJournal, TypePad or OpenID. I have no idea what AIM is, but it doesn’t seem to be anything I can use. And yes, I do have a WordPress blog, but I have a WordPress.org not a WordPress.com one, so I don’t have a WordPress account. So none of these options work for me. I will admit that on rare occasions I have used ‘Unknown’ and just typed my name in as part of the comment, but it’s not ideal by any means.

Blogger comment screenshot #1

Example 2.
This is actually a different issue I have with some Blogger blogs. you’ll see that there is no dropdown list, but rather simply a box to type. However comments based on your Google+ account. Now I manage four Google+ accounts, and it seems to be permanently preferrenced to my work ones. As yet I haven’t yet figured out how to change it, although I’m familiar enough with swapping between accounts themselves on Google+. So again, I don’t tend to leave comments on Blogger posts that only have this option.

Blogger comment screenshot #2

Example 3.
The image below is what I like to see on a Blogger blog. You’ll see that there’s two extra options here: Name/URL and Anonymous. The Name/URL is the option I need, and use whenever I can. I don’t have to log in to anything, I can simply add in my name, email and website. Easy. And I gather it’s an option on Blogger (just don’t ask me where). But no doubt there would be advice on where to check these on.

Blogger comment screenshot #3

This isn’t meant as a criticism to bloggers who use Blogger, but rather as general feedback and information on how others find using their site for commenting.

And hopefully it might encourage a few more to go for Example 3, so more people can leave comments.

10 Inspiring Genealogists From 2016

The year is almost over and as I’m not one for resolutions I’m not going to write about what I plan to do in 2017. And I’m also not going to write about what I ‘should’ have done this year either, but rather I’m writing about those who inspire me. Everyone has people they look up to and admire. Those whose talks you enjoy listening to, articles you read, or who give great advice,  and in essence – inspire you.

So as the year comes to a close I’m taking a moment to look back and see who from the genealogy-world who inspired me throughout the year.

Amy Johnson Crow – Amy Johnson Crow
I’m a newbie follower of Amy’s, but I’m a total convert. Her blog posts are a pure learning experience, both in terms of content and in the presentation style. With her 31 Days to Better Genealogy, along with Top Tips, and 5 Sources… and so on, take a moment to check out her blog and see what you can learn from it.

Cyndi Ingle – Cyndi’s List
I am a regular user of Cyndi’s List, and as such I am always amazed at what I find on there, and that simply due to the hard work of Cyndi Ingle, who without her, Cyndi’s List wouldn’t even exist. Her dedication to keeping her site up to date with new links, and fixing broken ones, has made Cyndi’s List one of the top tools for any researcher around the world. And is a credit to her and her character.

Helen V. Smith – From Helen V. Smith’s Keyboard
With Helen’s knowledge and enthusiasm, how could anyone not be inspired? Despite being a fellow Aussie, I haven’t had much of chance to hear her this year as we live in different states, but without a doubt I always learn so much from her when I do. And she had an ability to convey her topic in such a casual, easy to understand way. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, do so!

Judy G. Russell – The Legal Genealogist
Really, is there anyone that Judy doesn’t inspire? The fact that you need to get to her talks early as they book out speaks for itself. Anyway through her talks and blogs I have learned a lot, and am on my way to be a better genealogist as a result of her knowledge.

Katherine Willson – Social Media Genealogy
Katherine is one of my social media geneafriends, and while I’m yet to meet her in person, she is the person behind the incredible Genealogy on Facebook list, which at present lists just over 10,000 Groups and Pages. I know, phenomenal right! While I had been creating my own small batches of Australian Facebook links, and have submitted a heap to her to add, I was then inspired to create one big PDF version of it, along the lines of what she does for hers, but just Australia-only for mine. So she was my inspiration.

Kerry Scott – Clue Wagon
I’ve been a follower of Kerry’s now for a number of years. And have loved every one of her posts. With opinionated posts mixed with common sense and humour, she is an incredible writer. I totally admire her style, and look forward to future posts. If you’ve not come across her blog yet, I suggest setting aside a day, as once you go there you’ll want to read them all!

Thomas MacEntee – GeneaBloggers and Hack Genealogy
Well what can I say? Thomas is a leader in the genealogy + technology + business industry. And he’s making it work for him, while simultaneously inspiring others along the way. In just a few short years he’s created a community of thousands of followers, and gives tips, shares special offers and deals, and holds online workshops, and is always happy to give advice. A true inspiration.

Also not forgetting …
Chris Paton (British GENES) and Gail Dever (Genealogy à la carte) who I’m in total awe of for their ability to get and share the genealogy world’s news so quickly. But I, along with the rest of their followers, are grateful that they do.

And lastly …
the followers on my Gumeracha Past and Present Facebook Page who inspire me to continue to discover and share more about this little town with them!

Also worth a mention …
While I haven’t had the privilege of listening to any of Paul Milner or David Rencher’s talks this year, I did the year before and was totally inspired. So I’m hoping to catch some of their talks again at RootsTech in 2017.


So thankyou to each and every one of you for inspiring me in various ways throughout 2016, whether you knew it or not. There are others I haven’t mentioned of course, including my readers, who also inspire me to continue writing.

2017 is bound to be another exciting year, with genealogy trips planned, genealogy research planned, more blogging (of course), a big new worldwide project (more on that later) that I’m working on, and who knows what else. Roll on 2017!

NOTE: while I know many would have mentioned their ancestors as being their inspiration, and yes they are inspiring in their own way, I feel it is others who inspire me to tell the stories of my ancestors.

The Australian Expo 2016: Geneabloggers and Sore Feet!

It’s been a few weeks since Unlock the Past’s Australian History & Genealogy Expo, so I apologise for the lateness of this, but I’ve been playing catch up ever since.

Anyway back on October the 7th and 8th, I was involved with Unlock the Past’s Australian Expo. This was South Australia’s first major genealogy event for a number of years, and it was the biggest genealogy event in Australia for 2016.

As part of the organising committee it meant I was up at crazy hours all week getting things ready, not to mention getting to the venue by 6am on Friday morning ready to start setting up.

Held in the sports centre at Immanuel College, Novar Gardens, it was a good venue – not too far from the city, not too far from the beach, and quite a lot of parking onsite … and Adelaide even put on awesome weather just for the event (unlike the torrential downpours it had in the weeks leading up to it).

oh boy there's a whole lot of set up to do!

6.00am Friday – oh boy there’s a whole lot of set up to do!

getting there ...

8.00am Friday – getting there …

10.00am and it's all go ...

10.00am Friday – and it’s all go … and my feet were killing me already!

As I was there as an exhibitor (on the Gould Genealogy/Unlock the Past stand) it meant that I didn’t get to go to any of the talks which is a shame as there were a heap of fabulous talks … and from reports from those who did go, found them awesome! But that’s the life of an exhibitor. Instead myself and co-workers were kept busy super on our stand.

So as I can’t report on the the various talks, or event other exhibitors as unfortunately I barely saw them, I shall tell you about the geneabloggers.

I did manage a 5 minute break at Saturday lunchtime, and we got as many of the geneabloggers there as we could for a group photo. Nine made it, and four didn’t unfortunately (five if you count Alan Phillips, who blogs for Unlock the Past, but still doesn’t count himself as a blogger), but it was a nice bunch of bloggers there. It was awesome to have our blogger beads and ribbons – which was a new thing for some. And I must send a huge thankyou to Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers who supplied us with official “Geneablogger” ribbons.

geneabloggers at the Expo L-R: Kylie Willison, Jenni Gay, Lee-Ann Hamilton, Lilian Magill, Helen Smith, Shauna Hicks, Alona Tester, Fran Kitto, and Eric Kopittke

the geneabloggers at the Expo L-R: Kylie Willison, Jenni Gay, Lee-Ann Hamilton, Lilian Magill, Helen Smith, Shauna Hicks, Alona Tester, Fran Kitto, and Eric Kopittke
missing from photo: Lyn Hudson-Williamson, Jane, Tiphanee Athans, and Lyndal Simmonds

Anyway I’ve put links to each blogger’s site below, so you can go check their site’s out for yourself, and I know some of them have already reported on the Expo so have a read. Everyone experiences different things, so it’s really interesting to read them all.

Branches of Time (Tiphanee)
Diary of an Australian Genealogist (Shauna)
From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard (Helen)
GenieJen (Jenni)
Genxalogy (Jane)
German Family Matters (Eric)
Kylie’s Genes (Kylie)
Lilian’s Tree (Lilian)
Lonetester HQ (Alona, me!)
Lyn’s Genealogy (Lyn) – new site coming soon
Pear Tree Cottage (Lee-Anne)
Thorntree Genealogy (Lyndal)
TravelGenee (Fran)

Ready for day 2: genealogy, coffee and friends ...

Ready for day 2: genealogy, coffee and friends …
L-R: Helen Smith, Lilian Magill, Fran Kitto and Lee-Ann Hamilton

myself with Jane who missed the geneablogger photo

myself with Jane who missed the geneablogger photo

selfie with geneablogger, Lyn who missed the group photo

selfie with geneablogger, Lyn who missed the group photo


conference bling – blogger beads, lanyard, name tag, and ribbons!

The Expo wrapped up around 4.00pm on Saturday, and I needed to sit!! Having been on my feet for the greater part of two days they were killing me. However it wasn’t over yet, as there was packup to do … so after a couple more hours or packing up we were done! And on Sunday … I did NOTHING!!! After so much preparation in the weeks leading up it to, I needed to do nothing, and simply just veg.

6.00pm Saturday - nearly all packed up

6.00pm Saturday – nearly all packed up

Anyway from reports back from the 700+ people who attended, plus the 100+ exhibitors … overall it went well, the speakers were great, the exhibitors have given positive feedback too. So in general terms its a thumbs-up. And while (with my organising hat on),  there’s certainly things we’d do different if we ever get to doing one again, but overall it was a worthwhile experience for so many, including so many who travelled from interstate or overseas.

So the Expo came, and the Expo went, there was lots of learning, there was catchups with friends who don’t see each other often, there was new discoveries made there as well.

And one last mention … I must say that I was SOO excited to meet 14 year old Georgia who came to the event with her mum, and was most likely the youngest researcher there. She’s already hooked on genealogy and her mum was buying her Christmas presents, and she described our Gould Genealogy stand as a “candy store”. That’s how I feel working there, so I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.


Back with my organiser hat on … and BIG, BIG thankyou to everyone who made it happen: the speakers, the exhibitors, the volunteers, the school, the food and coffee vans (trust me everyone was thankful for them) … everyone played their part … not forgetting those who came … it certainly wouldn’t have been the same without you!

And for a heap more Expo photos, please head on over to Unlock the Past’s Flickr album.

The “When I Was Young” Geneameme Collection

It was early April when I introduced the world to my “When I Was Young” Geneameme. I had a lot of fun creating it, and even more fun answering the questions, though a few of them did stretch the brain cells at times.

Some of those who participated were wanting to read the posts by others who took part, so I agreed to do a “Collection” post … listing all that I know of who took part in the geneameme … so here you are.

? – Andersonology

Alex Daw – Family Tree Frog

Alona Tester – Lonetester HQ

Anna Matthews – Tripping Over My Roots

Bill West – West in New England

Carmel Galvin – Earlier Years

Carrie Smith – Under the Nut Tree

Charles Hansen – Mikkel’s Hus

Chris Goopy – That Moment in Time

Daniel Dillman – Indiana Dillmans

Dorene – Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay

Fran Kitto – TravelGenee

Jennifer Jones – Tracking Down the Family

Jill Ball – Geniaus

Kerryn Taylor – AncestorChasing

Lauren Waters – Original Kin

Linda Stufflebean – Empty Branches on the Family Tree

Lois Willis – Lois Willis Genealogy & Family History

Melody Lassalle – Research Journal Genealogy Blog

Nancy Hurley – Indiana Ties

Pam Carter – My Maine Ancestry

Pauleen Cass – Family History Across the Seas

Randy Seaver – Geneamusings

Sharon Fritz – Strong Foundations

Susi – Ancestor Seekers by the Root Bound

Susi (Susan C. Jones) Pentico – GenealogyWise

Thankyou to everyone who took part … I hope you all found it a useful way to record a little of your history, and had fund doing it as well.

If you know of others I’ve missed, please message me, or leave a comment below, and I’ll add it in.