Friday 31 December 2021

Brickwalls tumble, smart searching & other news: My week in genealogy 25 -31 December 2021

 It has been a brilliant week for doing my family history and writing. With no family around there is an amazing amount of time. 

Although it would have been nice to have some family for Christmas but perhaps next year will be the White Christmas I have promised myself for the last three years. 

Back Ups

If you are looking for an easy New Year resolution, why not adopt the good practice of doing genealogy back ups on the first day of the month. That's easy to remember and you can set calendar reminders as well. Nothing worse than losing your genealogy database. 


Jill Ball (aka GeniAus) issued her annual Accentuate the Positive Geneameme. You can read my response for 2021 here.

Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks has come up very quickly. There are weekly themes which are broad enough to have an examply somewhere in the family tree. At first I thought I would do the ones I know most about. But then I am not really progressing my research or analysing why I can't find anything on someone. So more distant direct ancestors are the target if I can find one that fits the theme. One a week for the next year. 

Thomas Price
Mum's great grandfather
Week 1 is Foundations and my choice is Thomas Price from Wednesbury, Staffordshire. He (and his wife Elizabeth Pollard/Judge) were the foundation of Mum's Price family here in Australia.


Trying to connect all those DNA cousin matches is daunting. But when you think we have 8 great grandparents for 2nd cousin matches, 16 great great grandparents for 3rd cousin matches, 32 great great great grandparents for 4th cousins and 64 great great great great grandparents for 5th cousins. 

If each ancester was one of ten children (as most of mine seem to be, especially on Mum's side) then the numbers start to be enormous. For maximum benefit we should be trying to trace down all those lines to the present to connect up with DNA testers. 

I have done that on most of my mother's family lines as way back in the beginning (1977) I had the idea to trace all living descendants of my emigrant ancestors. The problem lies in the fact that I have not kept up with descendants since about 2000. So I am missing the modern generation. So a bit of back tracking is necessary but my DNA is not so confusing now. 

Also tracing Dad's biological family put a spanner in his cousin lines so I have spent quite a bit of time this week working on all the Cleaves descendants in Australia. I'm surprised at how many Cleaves families came out from Somersetshire, England and Wales. It has paid off as I have recognised some of the surnames in my matches. 

For those who might be looking at 6th cousins, that is 128 great great great great great grandparents!

Searching Tips

It is how you search that often changes the result from 'can't find' to success. 

I have previously tried to find William and Hannah Cleaves/Cleves in the 1841 census. They were in the 1851 census so it was more than likely a spelling variant that was the problem. 

This time I searched for Hannah (more uncommon than William) left the surname blank, searched in the county of Somersetshire and used Littleton as a keyword (the place where they lived).  The surname was indexed as Clears. How easy in hindsight. Looking at the snippet it is easy to see how hard the indexers job was. 

1841 census via The Genealogist

Writing Family Stories

This week was a marathon effort with the Spencer Family from Cosby, Leicestershire. The trouble is every time I show it to Max, he suggests adding something else. The never ending family history is true. Before I do a final 'nice' print job, I am going to send out ecopies or print copies spiral bound for the older generation and will seek feedback or photos. Then I will incorporate and finish. Who believes that?

What's Coming Up?

January is traditionally a quiet month with most societies closed. Given I have four talks in February I can imagine that time will be spent preparing those talks. 

Bribie with the Glass Houses in the background

Also I am doing a term on English Genealogy at Bribie U3A so that's nine classes to prepare. So far I have set up the Powerpoint template and mapped out what each week will cover. I also have a session on student brickwalls and one has already been submitted by an experienced researcher.  She has clearly defined what the issues are, what she has done and ends with 'help'.

Of course I also want to keep pushing on with the writing up my narrative family histories for each emigrant ancestor. Plus decluttering the remaining paper files and folders.

And then again there is my part time job, if I want to get paid and meet contract obligations. Minor detail.  

2022 hasn't even started and already I think I may have overcommitted myself yet again. But I always get to the end of the year and think, that was a wonderful year.

Have fun researching if you get the chance this coming week. 

Happy New Year for 2022 and let's all try and stay safe and well in this challening time. I hope to see you some time this coming year. 


Thursday 23 December 2021

Family Memories, Holidays & Other News: My Week in Genealogy 14-21 December 2021

Learning to surf at
the Gold Coast early 1960s

This week my little brother spent three days with us. We talked a little about past family holidays and it is not surprising I think that he has some memories that I don't have and vice versa. We looked at family photos and remembered when they were taken and recalled fun times. 

Where have six decades gone? Without the images (which I have scanned) there is nothing to remind others of what we were like as children. 


Jill Ball's (aka @geniaus) annual Accentuate the Positive meme is coming up and I am a regular contributor. It is a chance to think over the year on all the advances in our family history research. We do much more than we ever think, although our families would possibly say we never get off the computer. 

Anyone can join in the fun. Just follow Jill's directions.


I have just purchased a series of ebooks - the Ela of Salisbury Mysteries by J G Lewis. Ela was a real person who lived 1187-1261 which makes it more interesting I think. My White ancestors were from Wiltshire just near Salisbury (although I haven't traced them back to 1200s which is when these books are set). I loved the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters and others have given the Ela series a good review. More Christmas reading!

My brother is a fan of Jo Nesbo so he brought up some of his collection for me, also to read over Christmas. Almost hoping for a lockdown so I can just curl up and read through the holidays.


I managed to upload my two sessions for RootsTech 2022 in time. Good that is out of the way.

James Carnegie 1906
Still working my way through sessions from The Genealogy Show Winter Event before access expires on 2 January 2022. Then the rest of the sessions from the Virtual Genealogy Association conference from November, expiring in March. If I can do both before the end of the year I will start 2022 fresh.

But not for long. The 15th free Scottish Genealogy Indexes conference is on 15 January 2022. I have registered as I enjoy the differenct aspects of Scottish research and I am determined to advance my Carnegie and Ferrier lines. They haven't really moved in decades.

New Resources

One of the reasons I take so long with my family history drafts is that I recheck the big subscription sites and find new resources. This week I had major discoveries in Findmypast crosschecking some Hampshire families. There are 342 Hampshire record sets - how do we ever finish anything. Needless to say I had a few fantastic hours following up these new records. 

For example, Pragnell is a relatively uncommon name but when I search for it in Findmypast in Hampshire, England there are 10, 265 results without surname variants. When I put in Robert with variants there are still 188 results. Using date or category filters helps to narrow that down but I am still really surprised at the number of Pragnell results. 

The family were from West Tytherley in Hampshire and the records go way back. I popped over to Ancestry just to see if anyone was doing the same tree and there was - they had taken the Robert Pragnell/Mary Olding line back to 1610 in West Tytherley and cited sources. A couple of generations further back than me so now I have to cross check their research with the parish records. 

We absolutely have to review our research and use all the major websites as so much gets added over time.

What's Coming Up

Some talk preparation as I have accepted quite a few talks in the first few months of 2022. See the Events page of my website for details. This was in anticipation of my trip to Sweden in May/June which I'm still wondering if I will get there. Omicron seems to be throwing its weight around in Europe at present so more wait and see before I book.

Writing Family Stories

It has been a hard slog but I have finished Max's Spencer Family History in time for Christmas. I can always add things later and even just this morning Max was pointing out new photos and information that he would like included. Minor amendments but once it goes to the printer in January for wider distribution to family members, all changes will be held over for a second edition. 

I am continuing with my draft family histories for my own family lines. I need to pick one and finish it instead of going between the four histories. 

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas holiday with family and friends. This is my favourite photo of my son at Christmas, about 30 years ago!

My next Diary update will be just before New Year.

Stay safe and take care.


Wednesday 15 December 2021

Christmas Hampers, new genealogy resources & other news: My week in genealogy 6 - 13 December 2021

 What a fantastic week I have had. So many good things happening and not just that I have been visiting local markets and buying my first ever baby type things for my grandson's arrival in the New Year. Being practical I have bought bibs and face washers with Australian animals and birds on them. As my new darling will be in Sweden, chances are he is not going to see a kangaroo or kookaburra anytime soon.

My son showing me what I am missing!

However I am somewhat jealous as they are having the White Christmas that I have been trying to have for the last three years. Hopefully I will get there for 2024 Yule Time in Sweden.


Having pledged to do this Diary every week (and struggling somewhat but then again it is that time of the year for parties), I have signed up to do 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks with Amy Johnson Crow. Why? At the end of the year I will have a short biography of 52 of my ancestors. A chance to focus on them as individuals not just within a family group. It may not be all direct ancestors as I have some fascinating siblings on family lines. Wish me luck. Two blogs a week, worthwhile if I can sustain the passion!

Bribie Genealogy

Our last Monday night for the year was good. After my demonstration of how I identified matches with different strategies we sat around talking. It is good to hear what others are doing and to help those who have questions. 

No more Bribie Genealogy now until February 2022. Sounds a long way away but 4 February will be here in no time with the festive season in between.

Books & Journals

My reading has mostly been online journals. All too often I download the journals from my genealogy society memberships with a promise to read it later. Have been binging on Genealogical Society of Queensland, Genealogy SA and Queensland Family History Society. This has been fantastic but my list of things to investigate only continues to grow. Not a bad thing as I am finding more on my families. 

Christmas Parties

This week I went to two - Bribie Island Historical Society where I won a bottle of wine in the raffle and at the Caloundra Family History Research party I won one of their Christmas hampers. For someone who seldom wins anything, it was a very big week.


This week my webinar viewing includes talks from The Genealogy Show Winter Event and I am still watching some from the Virtual Genealogy Association conference back in November. I have discovered that some sessions I can watch and scan photos at the same time. Double bonus. It depends on how good the handout is whether I can watch and not take notes all the time.

RootsTech 2022 registration is now open and it is free.  Start planning to keep the dates free.

New Resources

The number of records added by the big subscription sites and FamilySearch continue to stagger me. For example, FamilySearch added 4 million new, free, English records for Berkshire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Northumberland and Wiltshire. Mum's grandfather Herbert William White was from Wiltshire so I will be checking the new records out. Plus there were collections added for various South American countries and USA states.

Herbert William White on left with his family

Ancestry keeps sending me new matches and family hints and that can change my day's plans. I particularly like the photo hints. This is where someone in the larger family tree puts up a photo of one of my ancestors siblings. 

I don't have many photos so even if it is just a great uncle or whatever I have an idea of what my person possibly looked like. I still live in hope that someone else out there does have photos of them but until then, I enjoy these match ups.

This week's example is Thomas Isaac Cleaves 1828-1908 - there is a fantastic photo of him on Ancestry and he is my 1st cousin 5x removed. Yes that is distant but we do have DNA matches.

What's Coming Up?

It is a bit hard to avoid Christmas and New Year but we will be having a quiet time again. With family interstate and overseas we are not risking sudden border closures. Luckily we have our own swimming pool and lush tropical gardens so we can pretend to be in a swish resort. At least until one of us has to get up and get the drinks or cook dinner.

Our local bird life keep us amused too

Writing Family Stories

Last week I wrote that I was finalising the Spencer Family History as a Christmas present. I haven't had as much time as I expected plus I started asking questions. 

For example, Max's aunt Veronica - all we knew about her was that she was born and died. There was no marriage and I wanted to know more about her.

 Purchasing the death certificate revealed that she died in Goodna Mental Hospital (formerly Woogaroo Asylum) in 1933 aged 32 years. From the cause of death it looks like she may have had epilepsy. 

Goodna has a closed access period of 100 years so I won't be able to access her file until 2034, only 12 years away. 

I don't know when she was admitted or why. The answer to those questions are hidden in the closed register of admissions. I suspect she didn't have a happy life but at least we know a little more about her than just a couple of dates.

The family history looks like being an epresent now but they can provide me with feedback and point out anything unclear. The main thing is that we continue to keep writing our family stories and sharing them with others. 

There should be one more Diary post before Christmas. Until then stay safe and well and try and find a little time for genealogy.


Tuesday 7 December 2021

More online geneafeasting, Gift ideas & Other news: My Week in Genealogy 29 Nov - 5 Dec 2021

Weeks are flying past or is it more that Christmas is fast approaching. I have been visiting the local markets for hand crafted gifts and to support local businesses. There are more tourists on the Island and more stalls to make the most of the holiday crowds. My other preoccupation is geneafeasting on so many good webinars and online conferences. I am a member of quite a few societies and there has been so much that I want to watch/listen to.

Bribie Genealogy 

Bribie RSL 

Our last Friday meeting of 2021 at the Bribie RSL was a big success with a number of us having lunch afterwards. We had our usual meeting bits and pieces and instead of a guest speaker, I gave them my Christmas genealogy quiz. Lots of fun and they can do some of the activities over December and January. Our next Friday meeting is in February which seems a long way off.

Our final Monday night meeting is this coming week and we are looking at different ways to approaching DNA matches. A useful and practical end to what has been a busy first year for our group.


This weekend has been very busy with THE Genealogy Show Winter Event on Friday and Saturday. I gave a talk on Australian asylum records and we have 30 days to watch all the presentations we couldn't watch live over the weekend. 

On the Sunday I was registered for the Scottish Indexes Conference which I love and not just because it is free to register. Lots of good speakers and topics. Handouts are also available online.

RootsTech 2022 has accepted two sessions from me. I am busily trying to get them down to 20 minutes each. Then I have to record them and send them off before 17 December. Plus do a handout which is the  easiest way to give attendees the URLs.

Genealogy Society Memberships

Genealogical Society of Queensland's mission -
love the concept of enriching
In my introduction I mentioned all the exciting things I have been watching and that's mostly due to my memberships. These give me access to society resources online and thanks to covid, access to some subscription sites. 

While preparing for my talk for Bribie Genealogy I had occasion to visit my Genealogical Society of Queensland members only area. I will admit it has been a while, but I was surprised to see what is now on offer to members. Some subscription sites can only be accessed in person at the Society's research rooms. 

From home I can currently access MyHeritage, The Genealogist, Roots Ireland, Irish Ancestors by John Grenham and the Biographical Database of Australia. There are limited 'virtual seats' but it is possible to gain access and research. 

If you are not a member of a genealogy/family history society, membership is a perfect Christmas gift. Just let the gift giver know which society you would like to join. Then enjoy 2022 exploring what's online in your pyjamas. No selfies! 

My son - will his son look like this?

We have now had the Gender Reveal Zoom party and I will be a first time grandmother to a baby boy. 

Odd thinking that he will have 25% of my genes. 

I have upgraded by brother's Y DNA with FamilyTree DNA to 111 markers as I have had a few closer matches in recent weeks. Stay tuned.

What's Coming Up?

Apart from the last meeting of Bribie Genealogy I have no more talks for 2021. 

My calendar for 2022 is looking busy and I have agreed to do three terms of genealogy topics at Bribie U3A. Plus Bribie Genealogy will be back on a monthly basis from February. A trip to Sweden is still on the calendar, covid permitting this year. I really want that white Christmas I have been promising myself for the last two years. With the added attraction of a grandchild now, it may even be more than one trip. 

There are some interesting conferences coming up in 2022 which will be in person, covid permitting. Let's all hope that the world starts to return to  more or less normal again. 

Writing Family Stories

I am in the final check stages for the Joseph Spencer family of Cosby, Leicestershire family history that is going out as a Christmas present (via Express Post at this point). At least in a Word document we can add in extra bits and pieces, especially if family members ask us to provide more information.

Have another good week of genealogy research, if you get the time. I will probably just work on talks or written histories but you never know when a rabbit hole will appear.

Stay safe and well.


Monday 29 November 2021

Rootstech 2022, Winter Genealogy & More Newspapers in Trove: My Week in Genealogy 21 - 28 November 2021

 Wow there is so much happening at the moment I'm finding it hard to keep up with webinars and conferences. A weekend away at Tin Can Bay was good and took me away from the study desk.


This is a Twitter event by @ANZAncestryTime held every Tuesday night at 6pm Brisbane time (just adjust the time to your time zone). Topics vary each week and attendees answer questions posed by the hosts for the night. It is a great way to pick up some new tips and resources. If you miss a night you can go back and see the night's summary done by @tasteach. Remember to use the hash tag #ANZAncestryTime so that eveyone else can see your responses. The hour goes very quickly.

Association of Professional Genealogists Australia & New Zealand Chapter

Hosted the last Zoom meeting of APG ANZ for 2021 where we discussed what it is like being a genealogy speaker downunder as compared to the US and the UK. 

The impact of Covid and the rise of Zoom has also changed the way society meetings and conferences are managed. 

I also have arranged for a members badge  based on our logo for in person events which will come back some day.

 Bribie Genealogy 

Time was spent on preparing for the December meeting on Friday 3 December where I will be conducting a Christmas genealogy quiz on family history basics. I have also drawn up a list of 31 things to do over the Christmas New Year break before we meet again in February. 

At our last Monday night meeting of the year on 6 December, David Barnes and myself are showing members different ways of identifying DNA matches. 


Looking forward to THE Genealogy Show Winter Event this coming weekend 3-5 December. Talking on asylums in Australia and will be doing a live chat on Saturday morning. Not sure how that goes but the talk is prerecorded and loaded along with the handout. So I can just sit back and enjoy the weekend. We have 30 days to then watch all the presentations. It is not too late to buy a ticket.

The Scottish Indexes next conference is on 5 December and I have registered for that too. I love these conferences and get so much out of them. Plus they are free and watchable in our time. 

DNA Update

Totally surprised to see someone two steps away from my brother's Y DNA in Family Tree DNA during the week. It fits with my theory of Dad's father, although still all circumstantial bits of evidence. At least they are all pointing in the same direction.

I have been sent the first photograph of my grandchild due next year. Technology has come a long way since I had my son. His ultrasound was not all that recognisable whereas this image is amazing for the first trimester. 

The Zoom gender reveal party is on 4 December. They are in Sweden, her parents are in New Zealand and the Netherlands and we are in Australia. A multiglobal family. 


Going on holidays with someone who is a late riser is always difficult for me as I am an early riser. What can I do without making a noise before they wake up? Happy to say that I managed to catch up with my ejournals and emagazines. The latest issues of Who Do You Think You Are and Family Tree Magazine gave me lots of ideas to follow up. Do you know that you may be able to get them through the eresources of your local library? Worth a look and some libraries also have the print magazines for loan. 

SA Genealogy Nov 2021 journal, a couple of back issues of Generation from Genealogical Society of Queensland journals and ditto for the Queensland Family Historian from the Queensland Family History Society. Perhaps I need to get away more! 

RootsTech 2022

I'm excited to have been appointed a RootsTech 2022 influencer. This is the first time for me. 

Two of my speaking proposals were accepted and I have been busy reading forms and contracts. Also there are specific instructions for recording so I will have to practice with the unfamiliar technology. 

Registrations have now opened and you can sign up now for free.

This reminds me that there are still a few talks from last year on my must watch list. 

Writing My Family Histories

The focus this week was on Max's Spencer family as he wants to give it as a Christmas present for his son. I had a draft to start with and this week's just been filling out different sections and making it more clear who is who in the tree. There is a strong military presence so I am adding an appendix of those who served in the various wars both in the UK and Australia. Learning quite a bit about British military records which will be useful.

What's Coming Up?

After this weekend there are no more talks or meetings until the New Year. This will give me even more time to work on those family history drafts. It would be really good to start 2022 with a few of them printed and spiral bound. From there I could PDF and place them on my website. 

I'm going to miss online conferences but there is still plenty of presentations to watch on Legacy Family Tree Webinars and lots of genealogy tutorials on You Tube. 

The following week I will be attending the Caloundra Family History Research Christmas party which is always good fun. 

What's New

Trove enews in November was all about Western Australia. It is free to subscribe and a quick way to find out what's new in Trove. Check out all the new newspaper titles coming and thanks to the various partners who are making it happen. The WA and SA newspapers are of most interest to me. 

          Western Australia

  • The amateur sports gazette (1934-1935) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • Daily News (1951-1955) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • Dalgety's review: a weekly record of pastoral, agricultural, commercial and general information (1926-1948) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • Freelance (1924-1925) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • Perth Daily Telegraph (1922) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • Sports News (1953) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • Social wealth: an exposition of the natural laws governing the production and distribution of wealth (1934) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • The Sruss-Sruss (1931-1932) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • The standard: a church paper for the Diocese of Perth, W.A (1882-1886) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • Suburban Life (1939) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • Victoria Park News (1949-1950) [State Library of Western Australia]
  • W.A. shipping and commercial news: pastoral, agricultural and mining gazette (1922-1923) [State Library of Western Australia]

Enjoy your genealogy week and stay safe and well. 


Saturday 20 November 2021

Exciting Progress, online events & what's coming up: My Week in Genealogy 13-20 Nov 2021

This is the first week of my new weekly genealogy progress diary. Yes I am doing my own genealogy. And I am having lots of fun and learning heaps. 

Honour Roll Peachester 

Events in Person

This is certainly something I have missed over the last two years. Yesterday I attended the History Queensland meeting at Peachester. Niles Elvery from Queensland State Archives did a talk on Peachester school which was a good summary of education records in general. 

Each of the member society present gave a quick catch up of their activities over the last six months. We had a wonderful morning tea, lunch and tour of the Peachester Heritage Centre. And we could catch up with people we hadn't seen except via Zoom for ages. It was really good.

Online conferences

Last weekend I spoke at the Virtual Genealogy Association annual conference. I didn't watch any live sessions due to the time difference. I also registed for the FHS Really Useful Family History Show and again because of time differences, I opted to watch after. Therefore this week I have steadily been making my way through the FHS webinars and classes as the link expires this week. Sometimes it is hard to watch everything before links expire. The VGA has given us until March which is not so hectic. 

One of the good things about webinars is that you can pause and then on a different screen call up a website and do some searches or whatever to follow up on what the speaker is saying. Of course, this makes for longer viewing but can be worthwhile when you discover new things. The FHS only cost me $20AU and that is excellent value when there were more than 20 speakers/talks on a range of topics.  So much to learn or is that remember?

My last talk for the year is on asylum records in Australia at THE Genealogy Show Winter Event 3-4 December 2021. 

Writing My Family Histories

With my new dedicated focus, I now have Cornish, Scots and Irish draft family histories drafted with images, citations and list of contents and illustrations. The indexing will happen after I am satisfied with the text. 

Mum's Price and White families are almost complete and I spend a lot of time trying to find my great grandfathers Thomas Price and Herbert William White nieces and nephews in the 1939 Register. 

Finding people can be an issue when handwriting is faint, poor or both. Robert James White was finally located under Robert F White - and I won't tell you how many Robert Whites were in Wiltshire in 1939!

The concentrated writing has made me realise that I have more on some lines and less on other family lines. This of course has led to more research to balance up each family history as I want them to be of interest to anyone descended from the same immigrant couple. 


One reason I am making some good writing progress is that I am not tutoring at U3A this term. However, with the goal to have all my family histories done by the new year, what will I do next year? So I have agreed to go back to tutoring and will do Advanced English genealogy in Term 1, Advanced Scottish genealogy in Term 3 and Advanced Australian genealogy in Term 4. That should be fun and keep me busy and learning new things at the same time.

Overseas Tripping

I can hear some of you saying 'what about Term 2'? My son lives in Sweden and I will finally be a grandmother in early 2022. The plan is to visit them and also do some tripping around England, Ireland or Scotland depending on how Covid shapes up in 2022. It is hard to plan now with all the uncertainty around this Fourth Wave in Europe but I will map out some travel plans with different scenarios and then see how 2022 unfolds. 


There have been lots of invitations to speak next year and so far there are all in the first few months as my travel plans are so uncertain. Some in person, some hybrid and some simply Zoom. At least Covid has changed how we interact online and given us so many more options to hear speakers without expensive or time consuming travel. Check out the Events page of my website for dates and places and remember I update as invitations come in.

Big events include two talks for RootsTech 2022, the AFFHO Congress on Norfolk Island, and two presentations for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. All very exciting plus talks to some of my favourite societies in Australia.

Thomas Price

What's New in My Family History

There is so much new I don't know where to begin. What I have noticed that revisiting some websites to check sources for my written histories, I have found new information and photographs that weren't there the last time. So  review and revisit. 

The most exciting find was the burial of my 8 times great grandmother Agnes Leach in Scotland. She was indexed under her maiden name of Mitchell and not her married name although she was described as the widow of Alexander Leach. In 1779 in Maryton, Angus, Scotland. Amazing. One of the places on my 2022 trip wish list.

The most frustrating is tracing my Price family. My great grandfather Thomas Price was the grandson of Henry Price, a coal miner who died in a mining accident in 1840. Just before the census. Henry's wife Elizabeth Peploe died before the 1851 census so I don't know where she was from either. They had nine children and trying to find common names in Staffordshire is not easy.

DNA Update

Just this week someone has turned up matching my brother's Y DNA and just 2 steps away and living in Scotland. That is a close match and the paternal country of origin is Scotland. One of the surnames the person is researching is similar to an American DNA match which is 4 steps away. Both surnames are similar to the surname I suspect is Dad's father's name. Getting closer I feel but definitely not straight forward. 

Takeaway tips

Don't give up 

Keep searching - new resources all the time

Register for overseas conferences - great value - some may even be free

Remember Australian online events may also be free or cheap

Review and revisit your research - maybe declutter

Write those family stories now - dedicate time

Saturday 13 November 2021

Webinars, Virtual Conferences & Family Discoveries: Australian & New Zealand Genealogy News October/November 2021


Diary is changing again. That doesn't mean that I am again getting out more in person to genealogy events but it does signify that I am looking to record more of my own family history. Over the last few months I have had more opportunity to do my own research (what a luxury) and I am finding more things that I want to share with other researchers. 

Sometimes I do that on Twitter or Facebook but it is not always easy to find things again on social media. Another place I am talking about my genealogy finds and tips is at the two monthly meetings of Bribie Genealogy which are not recorded. By putting these finds in a blog post I can use Google to help me find topics of interest. 

The aim will be a weekly summary of what I have been researching, any tips or tricks and of course, any success stories. This is partly possible as we are entering the quiet part of the genealogy world in Australia as everything slows down for Christmas/New Year and the January holiday period. 

Future Proofing Your Research

I have written quite a bit about my own attempts at this on my website blog and I am still on my mission to downsize and make my research more accessible online.

This is definitely at the forefront of my mind as I have been asked to assess a donation of records to the Genealogical Society of Queensland. It is five large archive boxes of research in no particular order. Societies cannot take large collections of manuscript material, especially if there is no order or easy access. 

By doing my own downsizing and writing up my research I hope to avoid this situation and to give copies of my digital research to multiple groups/people or make it freely available online. The trick is to do all of that before it is too late. 

In a dedicated push over the last few weeks I have been simply writing up my family history from my folders and database. Looking up and adding citations and wondering why didn't I do that 20 something years ago! 

Basically ending up with an outline of the family back home and the family and their descendants here in Australia. 

All similar formats at this stage but I have one draft for each immigrant couple. Now to add photos, edit, polish up and add anything else that should be in the history. There is a definite sense of satisfaction in looking at the printed copies and I can visualise the images and flow of the text. Now to keep the focus and go from draft to final.

The binders are slowly disappearing!

Binders are slowly disappearing!

New Resources

In October FamilySearch added electoral rolls 1865 to 1957 for New Zealand. Over 900,000 names and one of my grandfather's brothers, Thomas Price, spent time there with his family. Another item on the follow up list.

In October Findmypast expanded their exclusive collection of Catholic parish registers with over 100,000 records covering 59 parishes across Cornwall, Devon & Dorset.  Published online for the first time in association with Diocese of Plymouth, this valuable new resource spans 1781-1921 and includes;

  • Over 55,000 baptisms
  • Over 16,000 marriages
  • Over 15,000 burials
  • Over 15,000 congregational records

Each record includes both a transcript and scanned colour image of the original document. How good is that!

Webinars and Virtual Conferences

FamilySearch run free monthly webinars on a whole range of topics including how to use the various resources within FamilySearch, European, plus a range of topics on British Isles, Asia, US and Canada genealogy. Check out what is on in November here. Scotland is definitely the focus this month and even within a country grouping you can find generic topics such as Organising Your Genealogy which is in the US section. I tend to learn something new from each webinar.

For example I registered for the latest Scottish Indexes Conference which are run regularly and are free. As a result of revisiting some of my Scottish research and following up tips from different speakers I found the burial record of my 8th great grandmother. Just because it is a Scottish Indexes conference doesn't mean that it is all about Scotland, I have heard Welsh and DNA talks. Check out the programs, there may just be a talk that will solve your brick wall.  The last Scottish Indexes Conference is on 5 December 2021, details on the home page.

What's Coming Up?

At the time of writing this post I am at the Virtual Genealogical Association annual conference, virtual of course, and I have just presented a talk on the Australian gold rushes and how miners from all over the world flocked here in the 1850s. I have until March to watch all the other speakers and there is a wide range of topics.

My last presentation for 2021 is at THE Genealogy Show Winter Event in December and I will be talking about asylum records in Australia. Live on stage in a virtual world. 

I have just added my 2022 presentations to the Events page of my website. There is a gap around May/June as I am hoping to go to Sweden and see my first grandchild. 

Perhaps a spot of research in the UK while I am over there. No firm plans yet as the Queensland border has yet to come down and governments are still sorting out their restrictions, I will wait a bit longer before finalising anything.

Good luck with your own research. Stay safe and well. Until next time.

Saturday 2 October 2021

A Geneafeast of Conferences & Other News: Australia and New Zealand Genealogy News September 2021

What a wonderful month for even more virtual genealogy events. 

One weekend I was trying to watch three different events and I didn't want to miss any of the talks. Luckily most events now record and allow you to watch over the next week or so.

Plus it is now spring time down under and there are flowers everywhere. 

My favourite double hibiscus. It keeps flowering all year.


Now reading the final (5th) volume of Conn Iggulden historical saga on the family history of Genghis Khan through to his grandson Kublai Khan. A great read and hard to put down at times. It was a hard life for their women and children and I especially found the details around camp life interesting. 

Bribie Genealogy

September saw us permitted to meet in person again which was good. David Barnes shared at the Friday meeting how he organises his family history records and at the Monday night he walked us through the Tier One level of Gedmatch for DNA results. 

Good to see everyone in person again and some of us even shared a lunch.


The NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies conference With Conviction was virtual but hosted by Port Macquarie. There were some interesting talks and I really liked Michelle Patient's Celebrating Cousins and Cate Pearce's Using DNA for Aboriginal Family History. In the virtual goody bag, you could download handouts provided by speakers, a digital copy of Traces magazine and other useful leaflets and forms. Next year will be in the Maitland/Newcastle area and I really hope to make this one in person. Although I have been to Newcastle many times, I never knew that it was the home of Dad's biological families. Will also spend additional time for family research and see what more I can learn.

The Professional Historians Association Queensland conference also went virtual and I missed a weekend stay in Brisbane. All the papers were interesting and stimulating and it was not surprising to me to see that so many professional historians now use genealogy resources. Probably because there is so much more online now.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars declared it Webtember with free webinars throughout the month. Some great sessions were on offer. Personally I have a subscription as it is such a good learning resource and not that expensive. Makes a good birthday/Christmas present each year if the family are looking to buy you something. 

Finally I went to the Irish Lives Female Finds virtual conference hosted by the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Society, Canada. Don't you just love the capability of Zoom. Sessions were recorded so I didn't have to stay up all night. The Irish DNA talks were related to my own family research on Islandmagee, Antrim and I won one of the lucky door prizes, a year's full subscription to MyHeritage.

New Resources

It was exciting to see the list below of new digitised newspapers at Findmypast, especially if you have London ancestors. Every time I see these updates I want to do new searches but I try to limit it to a couple of times a year. Below is the notice in the Leicester Chronicle on 31 January 1846 reporting on the death of Paul Spencer's first wife. Elizabeth was only 24 years old, and it also gave her father's name. So much information can be discovered in newspapers.

  • Chelsea & Pimlico Advertiser covering 1860-1863 and 1865-1866
  • East London Advertiser covering 1862-1866
  • Kingsland Times and General Advertiser covering 1860 and 1862-1863
  • West London Times covering 1860-1861, 1863-1864 and 1866-1867
  • Westminster Times covering 1863

While additional pages have been added to the following titles:

  • Albion from 1852
  • Birkenhead News from 1914
  • British Banner from 1850-1851, 1854 and 1856
  • Croydon Times from 1934-1947, 1950 and 1952-1961
  • Daily Director and Entr’acte from 1860
  • Daily News (London) from 1922-1923, 1925 and 1927
  • Limerick Reporter from 1849
  • Liverpool Daily Post from 1858-1859
  • Morning Herald (London) from 1808
  • Sheffield Independent from 1929


As we come up to the end of the year I only have three more talks - all virtual even though two of those talks are in Australia. All talks are listed on the Events page of my website. 

What's Coming Up

At the October evening meeting of Bribie Genealogy I am doing a presentation Downsize and Pass On Your Family Research based on my own experiences of trying to downsize 45 years of personal genealogy. 

I first started the project two years ago and progress is not as fast as I expected. Time is not always our friend, even in lockdowns. Making decisions and simply sorting papers and digitising photos takes time.

My other task is to follow up all the tips I wrote down during all those September webinars. Perhaps I won't watch so many in October? 

Take care and stay safe and happy researching. 

Saturday 4 September 2021

National Family History Month & Other News: Australia & New Zealand Genealogy August 2021

 Wow what a fantastic month for genealogy. So many great events and with so many virtual, it was easy to attend events without travel costs. National Family History Month (NFHM) is over but with ongoing lockdowns and nowhere to travel to, we still have plenty of time for family history.


First pair of shoes, still in the wardrobe!

I managed to do two blogs during August. First there was Genealife in Lock Down and I followed that up with Tossing Out the Binders which was the result of last year's lock downs. Both are on the blog page of my website. 

When I look around at everything still in my study, I don't think I am doing too well with this downsizing project. Plus there are the memorabilia you don't know what to do with - do I take photos of Mum and Dad's 21st keys and then toss the originals? What about Mum's wedding dress? 

Every time I open the study wardrobe, my first pair of shoes are there on the shelf Why can't I toss?

But when I look at my achievements, I realise how far I have come in what is basically a very slow process when you have 44 years of research to downsize.  


Weeding the bookshelves is part of the overall project and many books have been given away or put aside to give to others. It's not a rash decision in that the piles stay there for a week or so to allow me to change my mind. There is also a small pile that I want to read or read again before making a decision. Of course, at the end I will have to go into my LibraryThing account and update my books and shelving locations. 

Does anyone else pick up a book and wonder why they bought it? Or believe the price they paid for it? Why have I got so many unread books? 

Bribie Genealogy

Both of our August meetings were cancelled due to Covid lockdown and we managed to Zoom the Friday meeting with Helen Smith who spoke about doing DNA plans for research. Sadly there was no lunch post meeting which is always a fun time with our guest speakers. For context on a segment later in this post, Bribie Genealogy does not have a physical home but we have free use of a room at the local RSL for our monthly meetings, complete with wifi. We don't have subscriptions or a journal/newsletter and we usually send out slides from presentations to members, or Zoom recordings if no physical meeting. So we are a virtual society with physical meetings when we can.

Fingers crossed that the September meetings go ahead.


Who was my Dad's father?
Excited to learn that I have a 2nd cousin on Dad's side and it looks like my hypothesis and prime suspect might be correct. Although I would like to see more matches on that family line. Interestingly they share more DNA with me than my brother. It is good to do the comparisons.

New Resources

My main source for what's new or new to me this month has been all the webinars or Zoom meetings that I have attended. I always try to learn at least one new thing from a talk but lately I am ending up with a page of 'must follow up' notes. 

For example, Fiona Brooker gave a good talk on the 1939 Register (UK) and that made me realise I have not gone looking for any descendants of common ancestors for most of Mum's families. No doubt that would help with DNA matches too.


My advanced Irish genealogy course continued via Zoom as Bribie U3A never opened up for third term due to Covid restrictions. Not quite the same as in person, round the table but certainly better than nothing. The other plus is that I can record the sessions and attendees can play them back and do their own searches at the same time.

My talk at the opening event of NFHM is still on the Webinars page until the end of September if you want to watch. It was looking at the future of genealogy post Covid and what role societies might have. It certainly caused a lot of discussion on the night and afterwards I suspect. I loved this comment from a New Zealand person: I was most impressed with Shauna's presentation (clever intelligent Lady) even more so, with how Bribie local Genealogy Societies and how they cope without a main Genealogy Society or base.

Mum's teenage diary 
I gave a Zoom presentation to Caloundra Family History Research on using diaries and letters for family history which was well received. Although I do like travelling to their meetings as their afternoon teas are pretty good but Covid put an end to that. The slides are on the Resources page of my website.

My last talk was a tips and tricks Zoom session on how to use Australian archives which I offered as part of NFHM. Attendees got the recording afterwards so that they could just relax during the talk.

What's Coming Up

The Association of Professional Genealogists conference is virtual over three months so that more people can attend and I have enjoyed the first two days. 

Another Zoom session, this time with Family History ACT on Writing and Sharing Family Stories which is a four speaker seminar. My session is on blogging family stories but other sessions are on charts as stories, doing a book using Family Tree Maker software and what is involved in self publishing and how to set up your manuscript. 

The Professional Historians Association Queensland conference has moved to virtual but that will occupy me over a weekend. The part I really miss is catching up with people in person and I was looking forward to a couple of nights in Brisbane. 

Similarly I am attending the NSW & ACT conference in Port Macquarie via Zoom instead of the long drive down. They decided early on to be a virtual event which proved to be the right decision given NSW's current Covid situation. 

I know a few family history people out there that still do not want to learn to Zoom or attend live webinars. However, I honestly don't think life is going back to how it was before. We have to adjust to the changing times and take advantage of technology as now is, in some ways, another boom time for genealogy. Attending overseas conferences has never been easier or cheaper. Try it and you won't be sorry for learning yet another techno skill.

Until next time, happy searching. Stay safe and well.

Friday 6 August 2021

Australian Convicts, NFHM, New Resources & Other News : Australia and New Zealand Genealogy July 2021

At the end of July we went back to covid lock down which means more genealogy time in August which is National Family History Month in Australia and New Zealand. 

Check out all the events, most of them virtual. Remember too that there are excellent prizes to win from the various sponsors.

This is a round up of news in July which was a busy month. Also a disappointing month as the AFFHO Congress on Norfolk Island was postponed to 2022 due to Covid uncertainties. Many people couldn't attend and even some who still wanted to holiday found themselves unable to get there. Cancelled holidays, closed borders, masks and vaccinations. My second jab is in mid August. 


I haven't been blogging except for Diary but I am pledging to change this. For NFHM in August there is a blogging challenge - Genealife in Lock Down. Plenty to talk about there. Also I have collected some nice Trove articles and a Trove Tuesday blog is long overdue. 

Books & Magazines

I have genealogy magazines and journals stacked everywhere, some going back decades. Last year I gave away lots at my U3A genealogy sessions after flicking through them for anything relevant. I started that up again with the intention of sharing with my U3A students again but so far third term has not started due to Covid. In some instances I have digital copies of the magazines so no need to keep the paper copies. 

Bribie Genealogy

Pumicestone Passage
and theGlass House Mountains
Our July meeting was impacted by the snap Covid lockdown but our guest speakers Eric and Rosemary Kopittke agreed to speak via Zoom. Rosemary on Scottish Resources and Eric talking about walking in the steps of our ancestors. Both talks were excellent and it was just a shame we couldn't share lunch with them. 

As I write this, we are back in lockdown so we will miss having our August speaker Helen Smith in person. Helen is no stranger to Zoom so we will still go ahead but without lunch. 

Our  Monday night meeting is also cancelled so we postponed David Barnes and his session on Gedmatch to later and we will just have a Zoom chat session. 

New Resources 

There has been an update to the Biographical Database of Australia :
  • convicts in 1840s Victoria 
  • 21st Regiment soldier profiles 1833-1840 many in WA & TAS 
  • registers of convict deaths 1828-1879 & permissions to marry 1826-1851 (NSW, Norfolk Is & early Vic & QLD) 
  • 1830s notices re escaped convicts & Sydney City burials 1832-1856 
  • Coroners Inquests 1834-1859 (NSW + some QLD & VIC) 
  • Criminal Court records 1788-1833 (NSW + some TAS, QLD & Norfolk Is) 
  • NSW probate Index 1790-1876 (+ early TAS, QLD & VIC) 
  • a remarkable record of 17,000 people leaving Sydney by ship 1816-1825 
  • colonists & Aboriginal people mentioned in the Sydney Gazette 1803-1807 
  • index of NSW people mentioned in UK Colonial Office letters by historian Mathilde Deane.
Whenever I have a convict query, this is one of my favourite websites so fantastic it is still being added to from time to time. 


My photo collage in the PHAQ newsletter
Attended the Professional Historians Association Queensland AGM via Zoom and it was good to see people and to catch up on what some of the North Queensland members have been doing. 

For their newsletter a while back, I was asked for a photo collage. Since doing the collage, I have also thought it would be a good idea to do some on my ancestors. But it is not as easy as it looks. 

I spent a good couple of days watching webinars from The Genealogy Show in June before they were taken down. So many good speakers and talks and lots of ideas to follow up. Next year I won't leave it to the last minute! 

I have to do the same with the Family History Down Under 2021 conference as well before that is taken down in another month. Time flies and I don't think I am the only one who still has RootsTech 2021 webinars to watch either.


I spent time working on my talk for the opening of NFHM in August which will be a virtual event. My aim is to get a discussion going on the future of genealogy and what we want from our societies. Another talk in NFHM is for Caloundra Family History Research is on Diaries & Letters for Family History and it is a Zoom session. 

To be part of NFHM I decided to run my own Zoom event of Tips & Tricks with Shauna Hicks which is free. I have also booked to attend other virtual sessions so don't forget to check out the NFHM events page. More events could be added during the month as well.

To see where I am speaking during the year, check out the Events page of my website.

What's Coming Up?

Hopefully an end to Covid lock downs! Apart from that we do have NFHM and more time to spend on genealogy at home in August. Make the most of the free events and have a wonderful NFHM.

Take care and stay safe everyone.

Until next time