Sunday, 3 November 2019

New personal blog challenge & Other News - Genealogy Notes 16 Sep - 31 Oct 2019

Six weeks since my last post. Numerous tests, three operations and now into a weekly chemotherapy routine and a new look. Fortunately the future looks positive although the path there is long and tough. I'm still managing to do most things although I do seem to be sleeping more.

Thanks to everyone who have sent virtual cards, hugs and kisses and to all those who have visited and left chocolates, flowers, books, tea towels, procrastinator pencils, a worry doll and crystals. You have all made the last two months much easier.


I haven't written anything but as my treatment will span 12 months, I have given a lot of thought to a new personal challenge. For years I have been gradually reducing my paper research, scanning photos and certificates, writing draft family histories and organising my digital records. But always in fits and starts because I get bored or something else hijacks my priorities.

My illness has made me focus again on what happens to my research in future - no one in the family wants it. Therefore I need to get it all into a more manageable and accessible format. Books, magazines, paper files, photographs, albums, memorabilia, erecords, emails, digital family histories and of course the genealogy database.

To keep me on track over the next 12 months, the plan is to do a monthly blog on my progress with the end goal that all my research will be in a more portable format to pass onto others. How hard can that be? First task - to think up a catchy title for the blog challenge.


It's been a good chance to catch up with my backlog of genealogy print and ejournals and the pile of must read novels and other genealogy or local history books. The big challenge is not to fall asleep reading!


Webinars/videos are also a great way to learn more. Check out the RootsTech 2019 Salt Lake City sessions, do a search of YouTube for 2019 London RootsTech, or the regular FamilySearch monthly webinars and also some free ones on Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Of course, these just encourage me to do more research at a time when I am trying to finalise and tidy up, not create new records.

Herbert William White
from Pitton & Farley, Wiltshire
As part of my cleaning up paper files, I am discovering new resources online. Thanks to Ancestry's Wiltshire parish records I've managed to get digital copies of many of my baptisms, marriages and burials. I've even pushed back a few lines another couple of generations. It is amazing how many ways Forder can be spelt/indexed - but when you look at the handwriting from the 1700s it is not surprising that the indexers couldn't identify the surname.

And why did I start with the letter F? I randomly opened a filing cabinet drawer and pulled a file out without looking. This way there is an element of surprise and it won't be easy to see how much has been done or still to go. Whereas with A to Z it would be a negative until after I passed the half way mark in the alphabet. Although some letters do have more family names than others.


I had to cancel my presentation to the Genealogical Society of Queensland DNA Group but I managed to do a small talk on Ancestry matches to the Bribie Island DNA for Genealogists Group at the Library.

There are also a few talks booked for next year that I am looking forward to.

I am still tutoring my U3A class for Writing Family History every Tuesday fortnight but I have had to give up tutoring the Advanced Family History class as it clashes with the weekly chemo. Still the class will be back next year, something else to look forward to.

What's Coming Up

In some ways getting sick at the end of a year is not too bad as the genealogy world slows down in December and January and by February I should be past all the hard yards. Diary should now go back to a regular fortnightly blog post and I'm hoping for another couple of Trove Tuesday blog posts before the end of 2019.

Until next time, happy searching.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

New Victorian resources, DNA reports & other news - Genealogy Notes 15 Aug - 15 Sep

DNA Down Under memorabilia
I had a fantastic time during National Family History Month and had every intention of doing a report at the end of August.

However bad news on the medical front hijacked me to doctors, specialists and surgeons. This Wednesday I'm heading off to hospital for breast cancer surgery and if hugs and kisses (both physical and virtual) could cure cancer, I wouldn't need surgery. Everyone has been fabulous and offered help and support. With luck it has been caught early enough but I will know more after surgery.


The Geelong Heritage Centre Archives catalogue includes over 46,000 records and can now be searched online for the very first time by visiting

The Archives are a unique recorded history of Geelong and surrounding areas (stretching from Portarlington to Lorne, Belmont to Lara, Geelong to Meredith and everywhere in between). There are collections of public and private records, newspapers, maps, plans, photographs, and catalogues and indexes.

When I lived in Melbourne I had the opportunity to research there a few times in the old facilities. Now they have much more luxurious premises and an online catalogue to search before you visit.


I managed to write three blog posts about DNA Down Under. Read about the Brisbane event here, Part 1 of the Sydney 3 day event here and Part 2 here
Another souvenir!

It was absolutely fabulous and I learnt so much. To distract myself, I have been having an intensive look at Dad's biological family and its amazing how time flies when you start chromosome mapping.


The State Library of New South Wales blog post When NED Rode Into Town attracted my attention. Of course we all think of Ned Kelly but not in this instance. Below is a brief abstract of the post and for more details click on the link to the blog post.

The national, state and territory libraries joined forces to launch one giant national digital collection of Australian publications. It’s called National edeposit – or NED for short.

By ‘Australian publications’ we’re talking books, journals, magazines, music, pamphlets, newsletters, novels, children’s stories, self-published poetry anthologies, maps, government reports. You name it, regardless of where it was published in this vast continent, NED will have it.

NED is a website. It’s a system and a service, connecting a network of publishers and libraries.

Publishers go to the NED website to deposit and describe their electronic publications using a simple tool, choosing where and how they want them to be accessed. For the rest of us, these publications show up through the national discovery service, Trove.

The queue to registration at Brisbane DNA Down Under

During August I did eight talks for Moreton Region Libraries on English Genealogy and Irish Genealogy Resources Online. Both presentations are on my the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

I also did a DNA presentation on the search for my father's biological family to the Bribie Island Library DNA Genealogists group.

Victorian Resources

Still in Victoria, one of the main reasons I maintain my membership of the Genealogical Society of Victoria is so that I can access their Cemeteries Database and GIN (Genealogical Index of Names) online at home. I was interested to see this update from last November (sometimes it takes me a while to catch up with news).

GSV has been transcribing cemetery records since the 1950s and although there are now online websites for cemeteries (with many including photographs), some of those early headstone have disappeared or become illegible or even destroyed by vandals.

So make sure you try this database. You can search for free but if you want access to the information you need to be a member or pay a fee. Here are the additions.

Recently added to Cemeteries Database:
Trafalgar cemetery transcriptions 1886 -1996. 2nd ed
Trafalgar cemetery headstones 1882-1979
Voters’ roll for the… District of Epping, for the year ending July 1870
Steiglitz old & new cemetery register & headstone transcriptions 1854-1997
Mornington cemetery headstones 4/1/1861 to 18/2/1985
Orbost cemetery headstones 5.4.1882 to 12.8.1982
Winchelsea cemetery register and headstones 1858-1981
Yalca North cemetery headstones 1/10/1895 to 26/5/1977
Goroke cemetery register and headstones 14/3/1890 – 13/9/1982
Gormandale cemetery headstones 8/11/1895 to 13/7/1982
Guildford cemetery records 1871-1st Nov 1998
Ashens cemetery headstones 1890-1908; includes some Ebenzer Mission cemetery headstones
Flinders (Cerberus Naval Base) Boot Hill Naval cemetery records 7 June 1925 to 11 February 1980
Goroke private cemeteries: ‘Pleasant Banks’ station cemetery 1866-1893 & ‘Mortat’ private cemetery 1850-1877
Crib Point cemetery tombstones
Mulwala cemetery NSW: register and headstones 7/4/1853 – 22/5/1991
Bridgewater cemetery headstones 1863-1984
Coburg Pine Ridge cemetery register 1864-1996

Added to Genealogical Name Index & LINX Australia
Baptisms 1869 to 1900 at Bendigo St Paul’s Church of England (part complete)
Voters’ roll for the… Shire of Gisborne for the year ending October 1884: Borough Riding.

What's Coming Up?

My last talk for the year is another DNA presentation on how I have searched for my father's biological family and this time it is for the Genealogical Society of Queensland DNA Group. I still have some question marks around my research so it will be good to test out my theories with such a knowledgeable group of people. Plus some  of the newer members may benefit from my own experiences on this unexpected DNA journey.

There are my two U3A courses - Advanced Family History and Writing Family History - for 4th term and I am still working on the programs. This will also depend on my physical health as well but I am hoping that it will be business as usual, or almost.

Until next time, have a wonderful time researching your ancestors.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

NFHM, DNA DownUnder and other news - Genealogy Notes 1-14 Aug 2019

August is always a fantastic month in Australia - lots of genealogy events to mark the end of winter, not that we have had much up here but our friends down south have certainly seen a bit of snow and cold times.

National Family History Month (NFHM)

It's National Family History Month with lots of genealogy and family history events in Australia this month. I've been giving talks around various Moreton Region Libraries and there have been wonderful attendees with lots of questions. My presentations on some of my favourite English and Irish genealogy resources are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

Check out the NFHM website for any events still to come in your area. Also don't forget that DNA DownUnder is still touring with events in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. I went to the Brisbane seminar and you can read my report on it here. In just under two weeks I will be in Sydney for the 3 day event.

There are genealogy bargains out there this month. Queensland Family History Society is offering a special membership price that includes access to MyHeritage at home plus other benefits and resources on offer to their members. The Society's open day is on 24 August from 10am to 3pm with displays by the special interest groups and volunteers to answer your questions. Something for everyone. More information on their website.


FindMyPast have added some more Scottish newspapers - two new titles for the Moray area, the Forres News and Advertiser; the Northern Scot and Moray & Nairn Express; the Renfrewshire Independent 1858-1877 and the Devon Valley Tribune (Clackmannanshire) 1890s to 1950s. I'm particularly interested in the Moray area.

FamilySearch added Toowoomba, Queensland prison index which is also available via Queensland State Archives. Having the index in a bigger, more widely searched database might mean more people discovering a criminal ancestor. My GG Grandmother is in that index.


We had another meeting of the Bribie Island Library DNA Genealogists Group and I gave a presentation on how I am tracing my biological grandfather's family.

As I mentioned above, my presentations Irish Genealogy Resources Online and English Genealogy Resources Online are on my website, go to the Resources page and scroll down to Presentations. There is only one more talk for Moreton Libraries and that is the Strathpine Library just before I leave for Sydney.

By the end of August I will need a holiday. At least I will have more time to watch the local bird life from my office window (which sadly does not move around as much as my other geneacolleagues). Still, a bird in the hand.....

What's Coming Up

I have missed a few of my U3A classes due to the talks and travel but next week we are having another look at Sources & Citations. After Sydney I will be reporting on my DNA adventures to both my U3A class and the Bribie Island Library DNA Genealogists Group. Maybe September will be busy too!

Enjoy the rest of National Family History Month and I hope you make some exciting discoveries. Until next time