Genealogy & History News Genealogy and history news and product announcements for Australians Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:37:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Highlight: History of South Australia: Foundation to Jubilee Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:24:34 +0000 AU5027-2 History of South AustraliaTitle: History of South Australia: From its Foundation to the Year of its Jubilee
Author: Edwin Hodder
Media: 1 CD (2 vols, 812 pages)
Year: (1893) 2007
ISBN: 9781920978556
Item Code:
Price: AUD$27.50
Link to website

It was a lifelong wish of George Fife Angas’ (one of the founders of South Australia), that a history be written about his adopted homeland, South Australia. Sadly having died in 1879 he never saw that dream fulfilled, as it wasn’t until 1893 when Edwin Hodder wrote his book “The History of South Australia From its Foundation to the Year of its Jubilee with A Chronological Summary of all the Principal Events of Interest up to Date”. This two volume set containing over 800 pages, is primarily based on the papers of George Fife Angas.

Divided into sixteen chapters, the topics covered by this book include: early explorations; attempts to found a colony; the pioneer settlers; administrations of  Captain Hindmarsh, Colonel Gawler, Captain George Grey, Major Robe, Sir Henry Edward Fox Young, Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell, Sir Dominick Daly, Lieutenant-Colonel Hamley, Sir James Fergusson, Sir Anthony Musgrave, General Sir William F.D. Jervois and Sir William C.F. Robinson.

A special feature of this book is the ‘Chronological Summary of Events’. Events included have been chosen as they appear to ‘mark progressive stages in the development of the colony’. Starting with 28 December 1836 with the arrival of Governor Hindmarsh, and concluding on 7 November 1892 with Sir John Morphett’s death. This section alone is over 220 pages, and covers a whole range of topics, which include many appointments and deaths. It is guaranteed you’ll learn new facts about South Australia after reading this!

A few sample entries are below [but have been condensed for this extract]:

  • Oct 1837, arrival of the first Congregational minister
  • May 1838, first execution, the gallows was a tree on the parklands
  • Sep 1844, arrival of 200 German emigrants
  • Jun 1845, discovery of the Burra Burra mine
  • Jul 1847, £160,000 assigned for immigration purposes from England, at the rate of one per month
  • Jul 1848, four of the five bushrangers who escaped from Van Diemen’s Land apprehended on Kangaroo Island
  • Jan 1850, ‘Register’ issued as a daily newspaper
  • Nov 1855, first electric telegraph operational between the City and the Port
  • Feb 1861, £500 collected and sent to the sufferers in the great Indian famine
  • Dec 1871, thermometer 180F in the shade and 153F in the sun
  • Jan 1871, great damage done to the southern portion of the overland telegraph from extraordinarily high floods

The three images below are pages from the chronology, right click on each for a larger view.

sample page 147
sample page 147
sample page 187
sample page 187
sample page 193

sample page 193






For anyone who wants to know the history of South Australia, together with details of the people who made it happen, as well as oodles of anecdotal history – this is one to add to your collection.

This set of books has been digitised by Archive Digital Books Australasia, and is now available on CD-ROM.

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21 Things To Do On “Genealogy Day” 2015 Fri, 13 Mar 2015 02:15:04 +0000 genealogy-day

Did you know that there was such a thing as an official “Genealogy Day“? No? Well I did introduce it to our readers last year after I happened to come across it. But to be honest I’d forgotten about it. But I was looking over my old blog posts today, and noticed it.

Anyway, talk about amazing timing … Genealogy Day is held on the second Saturday of March, which is tomorrow, 14th March 2015!

Don’t believe me? Well, here you go …

Established in 1997 as part of Celebrate Your Name Week, Genealogy Day was created to inspire an interest on one’s family history.

Activities you could partake in for Genealogy Day range from a simple family tree, which is a great activity for children, to starting your own research for a larger project. A great starting point for genealogy is interviewing family and family friends, and making notes, then going from there. You’ll be amazed how quickly things can start to fall into place. If you want to try an activity with children, draw a tree and have them write the names of their family onto the braches and leaves, along with pictures.

It is no secret that genealogy or family history, is one of the fastest growing hobbies around. Everyone knows someone who’s doing it, if they aren’t themselves. It has finally become an accepted hobby, so it is nice to see it recognised with a Genealogy Day.

But what should one do on Genealogy Day? Last year I gave you 13 suggestions which were good ones. I have now added to this list taking the list to 21 suggestions.

1. Enter more names into your family tree. Do you have lots that you’ve found, but just have got around to entering into your genealogy program? Ok, well maybe that’s just me then.

2. If searching is more your thing, why not instead of heading to the usual sites you visit try a different one. MyHeritage and The Genealogist are two that have very different records to the others.

3. If it’s a nice day, take a trip to a cemetery (or two or three), and do the grave walk.

4. Visit a relative, and ask them a few questions about their past, and be sure to take notes, or record it  by audio or video.

5. Start (or continue) scanning your photos and documents. The pile will eventually go down, I promise.

6. Filing. I know it’s not a fun job, but it’s even less fun when you can’t find that record that you know you have … somewhere. So spend an hour and do a little filing. You’ll be thankful for it later.

7. Create a timeline of one of your ancestors, and see where you have gaps. It’s quite fascinating to see.

8. Find a comfy chair and read a genealogy magazine or two – or a genealogy book.

9. Watch a Google Hangout on Air, or listen to a Podcast.

10. Visit your local genealogy or historical society.

11. Explore the FamilySearch site beyond just the searching (check out the Wiki, the Photos, the Indexing, the Famiily Tree as so on).

12. Help someone with a query – RAOGK.

13. Do some transcribing. You might head to the Trove newspapers for that, or the NAA Soda site, FamilySearch Indexing or a number of others.

14. Start a genealogy blog.

15. If crafting is more your thing, create a heritage scrapbook page or two, showcasing your family history.

16. Create a catalogue of all books, CDs, programs, maps, microfiche etc. that you have that are genealogy-related.

17. Start (or continue) writing your own life history. Remember that is just as important as the long-ago past.

18. Sadly your photo collection hasn’t sorted itself, so why not get a start on it.

19. While we’re on the topic of photos, why not create show off your ancestors with a “photo wall”

20. If you are into social media, check out all the genealogy-related Facebook groups/pages there are now (4500 at last count). And if you are a tweeter, type #genealogy in the search box, and see what you come up with. It’s a great way to find new people to follow.

21. Go ahead and order that DNA kit that you’ve been wondering about for a while.

That’s just a few suggestions, and there’s literally hundred more that I could write, and I’m sure each of you will find your own way to celebrate. So Happy Genealogy Day for tomorrow. ;-)

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iFamily for Mac Fri, 13 Mar 2015 00:41:33 +0000  

logo - iFamily for Mac

Its no secret that the number of people swapping from PC to Mac is on the rise, and a number of those people are also into genealogy. iFamily for Mac is one of the growing number of programs that are available for genealogy Mac users.

iFamily for Mac is not a new program. In fact it is simply a renamed one, having periously been known as iFamily for Tiger and iFamily for Leopard. Obviously with the release of new operating systems, it made sense to change to name to a much better, and much more appropriate name, considering it now works with OSX systems beyond Leopard.

A portion of the description we have for iFamily for Mac says the following …

iFamily for Mac is a genealogy program for people who think differently. Whereas other genealogy software tends to emphasize the family unit, this software’s focus is on each individual person. This distinction is subtle and is a feature of iFamily for Mac. In iFamily you can see at a glance whether an individual has more than 2 parents or more than 1 spouse.

To visually give you an idea of what this program can do, have a look at this short video …

If you feel that you’d like to have a go at it youself, there is a free version that you can down download and try. The demo version of iFamily for Leopard lasts for 10 days and the only function that is unavailable is the export to Gedcom. The free version even lets you import a Gedcom file containing more than 100,000 people! Just head to to get started.

Visit the iFamily for Mac website

To place an order, click here

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The “Going In-Depth” Magazine Turns Two Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:35:43 +0000 Going In-Depth Magazine collection 530

Recently the team behind The In-Depth Genealogist (Terri, Jen and Shannon) had reason to celebrate, and not just because they were at RootsTech, but rather their online genealogy mag “Going In-Depth” has just had its second birthday.

If you’re not familiar with Going-In Depth, do yourself a favour and check it out, it is a wonderful genealogy magazine.

With noted authors from the US, Europe, the UK, and Australia the articles are varied and are good quality. It’s easy to see why their readership keeps growing worldwide.

It is issued monthly, this is a subscription mag. But so you know the type of magazine it is before parting with your hard-earned money, you can check out the first two issues online for free.
– February 2013 Issue (73 pages) – click here
– March 2013 Issue (70 pages) – click here

You can go to the shop section of their website, and download single issues, or you can subscribe for the iincredibly reasonable cost of US$35.00/year. Seriously that’s just over $2.00/issue! You can’t beat that for value.

I had the pleasure of meeting these ladies in person at RootsTech last month, and because I find it is always nice to put faces to names, I thought I would share Jill Ball’s (aka GeniAus) recent interview at RootsTech 2015 with The In-Depth Genealogist girls …

For more details on subscription, click here

logo - In-Depth GenealogistThese girls are totally up with social media, so you’ll always know what’s going on at IDG if you subscribe to their blog, and/or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.

And before I finish please let me say a BIG, BIG congratulations to the girls, and everyone involved with the magazine, on a successful two years. Putting together a magazine is no easy feat. And to do it every month, with quality content … you are to be applauded. We wish you MANY more issues to come.

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BillionGraves has March Madness Fri, 06 Mar 2015 02:30:05 +0000 With the seasons changing to from Winter to Spring in the northern hemisphere, and Summer to Autumn in the south – it’s a good time to get out and visit some cemeteries. (That is of course unless you’re in the parts of the US that are still snowed in). And BillionGraves gives you even more reasons to.

(click for a larger image)

(click for a larger image)

Throughout March they are holding their March Madness promotion. You can participate in two ways.

If you like checking out cemeteries, and a ‘drive’ for you, usually results in you ending up at a cemetery, be sure to take your phone or camera, and take photos of the headstones while you’re there, and then upload them to BillionGraves.

Alternatively you can participate from home but transcribing the photos that people have uploaded.

Top Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
Top Two: Portable Device Charger (a $25 value)*
Top Four: BillionGraves T-Shirt (a $15 value)*
Top Eight: BillionGraves Original Collectors Pin
Top 100: BillionGraves 1 Month BG+ Subscription**

Every photograph you take and upload, and every entry you transcribe all counts towards putting you in the prize draw. The more you do, the higher up on the bracket you’ll be! You won’t want to miss out on these awesome prizes!

Be sure to check the BillionGraves blog or BillionGraves March Madness page regularly to see where you are on the leaderboard.

*For international winners, due to shipping restraints by shipping providers, a gift card worth the same USD monetary value to the prize you have won will be sent to your BillionGraves registered email within 4-6 weeks of the close the competition.

**The 1 Month BG+ Subscription is in addition to those volunteers who upload more than 2500 photos and/or transcribe more than 500 records.


Just remember that every photograph you take, every entry transcribed is one that someone will be looking for. And someone on the other side of the world may well be photographing your great great grandma’s grave, which you’ve never seen, and was never likely to – but thanks to the BIllionGraves users you can now see it. So every little bit helps.

So take advantage of the change in the weather, visit a cemetery or two, and put yourself in the draw for some fabulous prizes!

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Findmypast – Free This Weekend (6-9 March) Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:10:09 +0000 FMP free weekend 2015


This coming weekend is a long weekend for a some Australian states (ACT, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria), and Findmypast are giving all of us FREE ACCESS all weekend (Friday to Monday) for ALL their historical records. All TWO BILLION of them!!

The press release states the following …

“Findmypast has announced that this weekend, they will be opening up their archives and giving unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world. That means that between midday on Friday, March 6th and midday on Monday, March 9th (GMT), absolutely everyone will have access to their comprehensive collections of historical records and innovative research tools, including:

  • Over 900 million census records from across the UK, USA and Ireland
  • Passenger lists for ships sailing to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA
  • Birth, marriage and death records dating back to the 18th century, and the largest online collection of UK parish records
  • The most comprehensive collection of UK military records anywhere online
  • The largest collection of Irish family history records available online
  • Historical newspapers from across the world, including more than 10 million British newspaper pages from as long ago as 1710
  • An easy to use online family tree builder which allows you to import and export your tree if you’ve built it elsewhere
  • Our automatic Hints feature, which automatically searches our records for you and suggests potential matches to the people you add to your family tree

As well as millions of other records that will give everyone the opportunity to explore their family history and bring their past to life.”

It’s not only new users who will be able to take their family history research further this weekend. Those with current Findmypast subscriptions (with an active Britain, Ireland, US & Canada or Australia & New Zealand subscription) will be able to access Findmypast’s historical World records during the free access weekend, and those with active World subscriptions will have an additional three days added on to their subscription.

Free access lasts from 12:00pm midday (GMT) on Friday 6th March 2015 until 11:59am (GMT) on Monday 9th March 2015. To access the records you will need to be signed in at Findmypast: you can register for free using your name, email address and country of residence.

Find out more at Findmypast’s dedicated Free Weekend page.


logo - FMP new

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National Library of Australia’s 2015 Community Heritage Grants Are Open Wed, 04 Mar 2015 01:43:37 +0000 NLA community grants 2015

The National Library of Australia (NLA) in Canberra is not only one of Australia’s mega-centre for treasures, it also plays an important part in helping conserve and preseve items in small collections through its Community Heritage Grants.

The NLA’s Community Heritage Grants program “provides grants of up to $15,000 to community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups. The grants are provided to assist with the preservation of locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible including artefacts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and audio visual material”.

Run annually since 1994, the program has awarded $5.3 million to community organisations throughout in the country.

The 2015 Community Heritage Grants round is now open with applications closing on 1 May 2015.

More Information
online: click here
phone: (02) 6262 1147

logo - NLA-1

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Pre-Order Your Unlock the Past Cruise T-shirt for the Baltic Cruise Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:04:20 +0000 Cruise-t-shirt-set 2 510

It’s that time again. Yes, there’s another Unlock the Past cruise not that far away, so it’s “cruise t-shirt” time again. These are not an item that we stock, so they’re not generally available. And we only order those that are required, so if you’d like to be seen sporting a snazzy (and exclusive, did I mention exclusive as you can’t get these anywhere else) Unlock the Past Cruise t-shirt send your order in now.

The 8th Unlock the Past cruise to the Baltic is now just over 4 months away, with the 9th Cruise (the Transatlantic) a few months after that. And if you have been on an Unlock the Past cruise in the past but didn’t get an order in, in time to grab one, now you can.

Wearing these shirts on a cruise (apart from being such an easy thing to wear) makes it a really easy way to help identify who is part of our genealogy group onboard. And as we’ve found from experience in the past, it also gets the other cruisers asking about it too.

As with the last cruise, we have eight colours to choose from, for both men and women, which include a bunch of bright colours as well as black and white, and we’ve also made the t-shirts not specific for any particular cruise.

The front is simply embroidered with the “Unlock the Past” logo, while the back has “Genealogy Cruising” and the Unlock the Past Cruises website printed on it.

The 8th Unlock the Past Cruise leaves Southampton, England on the 11th of July, which seems a while away, but I guarantee that the time will simply fly by. As these t-shirts have to made we need to leave enough time for our manufacturers to do so, while still leaving enough time for us to post them out to our customers prior to the next cruise … so please note the order cut-off date below.

Ladies t-shirts: available in 8 colours, and in sizes from 8-24, AUD$39.95
Mens t-shirts: available in 8 colours, and in sizes from S-5XL, AUD$39.95
Please note, we won’t have t-shirts available for sale on the ship, as we only order what is actually ordered.


the back of the cruise t-shirts

the back of the cruise t-shirts


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Four New Unlock the Past Guide Books Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:30:16 +0000 logo - Unlock the Past

I last wrote about two new Unlock the Past guide books that were released on 30 January 2015. Since then Unlock the Past have released four more new titles, and they have a HEAP more expected later in March.

So let me tell you about the wonderful new titles that have just been released …


UTP0425-2 500 Best Genealogy and Family History Tips500 BEST GENEALOGY AND FAMILY HISTORY TIPS
Thomas MacEntee
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0425

Printed Book: paperback, 72 pages, $19.50 more information
Ebook: download, $9.95 more information

500 Best Genealogy and Family History Tips’ could be be described as a ‘brain dump’ from Thomas MacEntee, a compilation of his many years of knowledge about genealogy and family history.

He’s extracted his favourite tips and tricks from over 85 presentations, 10 books and numerous articles. In addition, he’s reviewed the social media posts and conversations from Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to highlight those issues most important to today’s genealogists.

What will you find in this ‘best tips’ guide? Everything from practical ways to use Google, advice on protecting your privacy online, information about secret or little known resources for genealogy research and more. The best way to use this guide is to browse the table of contents to find a topic of interest. Also simply search the book when trying to find a solution to a problem, such as how to cite a source or locate an app to generate bibliographic information.


UTP0562-2 Buried Treasure English Parish ChestBURIED TREASURE: What’s in the English Parish Chest
Author: Janet Few
ISBN: 9781921956522
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0562

Printed Book: paperback, 60 pages, $15.00 more information
Ebook: download, $9.95 more information

‘Buried Treasure: What’s in the English Parish Chest’ examines all the records created by parish officials for the civil and religious administrations of the English parish, except the baptism, marriage and burial records described so well in the companion volume – Discover English Parish Registers.

Records surviving in the parish chest will often solve your brick wall problems, including: ‘Where did my ancestor come from before here?’ or “Who is the father of that illegitimate child?” In this detailed guide, family historian Paul Milner explains how and why the records were created, how changing laws affected who was and was not included, what the records look like and what information they contain. After showing examples of numerous records, the guide explains how and where to access the records (online, microfilm, originals or in print).

Here is a practical guide that will help family researchers solve their problems, and put them into historical context. This small volume is full of material for both the beginner and the experienced researcher. It is a well-illustrated guide to the contents of the English parish chest that allows any researcher to go way beyond the baptism, marriage and burial registers commonly used for parish research.


UTP0286-2 Down & Out in ScotlandDOWN AND OUT IN SCOTLAND: Researching Ancestral Crisis
Author: Chris Paton
ISBN: 9781921956980
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0286

Printed Book: paperback, 56 pages, $16.50 more information
Ebook: download, $7.95 more information

It is perhaps one of greatest truisms of family history research that we will often find that the lives of our ancestors were best documented when the chips were truly down.

There were many battles that our forebears fought for and against in Scotland, both on a personal level and a part of the society within which they lived. There were the laws of the local parish church and the punishments awaiting those who breached kirk discipline; the struggles to avoid poverty and the stigma of being a debtor; the darkest moments of the soul, from mental health issues and illness, to murder and suicide; and the dramatic moments of rebellion, when our forebears drew a line in the sand against a perceived tyranny or democratic deficit. Illness, death, bigamy, abandonment, accidents, eviction, ethnic cleansing – a dramatic range of challenges across a lifetime, and at times, outright tragedy. And close to each of them, a quill and ink.

But through all of these episodes, there is an even greater story that emerges, of how our ancestors overcame such struggles. In this Unlock the Past guide , genealogist Chris Paton goes in search of the records of ancestral hardship in Scotland, to allow us to truly understand the situations that our ancestors had to endure and overcome across the generations, to hep us become the very people who we are today.


UTP0261-2 Til Death Us Do Part‘TIL DEATH US DO PART: Causes of Death 1300-1948
Author: Janet Few
ISBN: 9781921956461
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0261

Printed Book: paperback, 28 pages, $10.00 more information
Ebook: download, $5.95 more information

The diseases and accidents of our ancestors are an integral part of our family history, and one thing that all but our most recent ancestors have in common, is that they are dead.

This booklet examines a wide variety of possible causes of death for our ancestors, describing their symptoms and prognoses. It also suggests records that may be used to provide information about how an ancestor died.

You’ll find a timeline is included which outlines some major British epidemics. In the absence of a definite cause of death for a particular individual, we can at least gain an impression of the major killers of their time.

We owe it to our ancestors to pay tribute not just to their lives, but also to their deaths.


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Inspiring Genealogy Blogs – February 2015 Sun, 01 Mar 2015 06:19:00 +0000 Inspiring Blogs 300The year has already hit full speed, as we’re now into March already, which no-one can explain how that happened.

During February I spent two weeks in Salt Lake City. Partly for the RootsTech/FGS 2015 Conferences and partly to spend some time after researching at the Family History Library (who would go all that way, and NOT research?).

Despite having been away, I’ve still been reading blog posts and articles etc., and have a wonderful array of topics covered yet again.

We have everything from: some analogies with genealogy, document analysis, the internet threatens our present-day history, an amazing find in an old diary, ethics comes into a couple of the posts, unexpected places for online information, Ancestry trees and a whole heap more!

As I mention every time, I find that reading blog posts helps me keep up with the latest news, products as well as what’s happening in general in the world of genealogy. And if you happen to already follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and to some extent Google+, you already know that I like to share with you the interesting things I read.

Genealogy and Algebra: Finding the Unknown
This was an article that appeared on the New Jersey Journal website. And I have to say that  the title of this post hooked me in. I’m no fan of algebra in any shape or form, but I am a genealogy tragic, so I had to read  what they were on about. And believe it or not, genealogy IS actually a lot like algebra. Read the full article to see how …

Analyzing Census Records: Context Matters!
Elizabeth Shown Mills writes about context in relation to census records, but in reality knowing the context for any timeframe matters. She says how the census record is a one-day snapshot of a family. But look further and you will glean far more from it. Read the full article …

Wring that Document Dry
How often you looked at a document and noted the names and dates. But totally skipped over other aspects of the document? The other bits can be just as important, so as Helen writes here on the GSQ blog “wring that document dry!”. Read the full article …

10 Unexpected Places to Find Family History Online
Heather Rojo of the Nutfield Genealogy blog starts off by saying “Genealogy research usually look online for the usual website for vital records, probate records … But what are the unusual places to look? Here is a list of places I’ve found very helpful” Trust me, this is full of great ideas.  Read the full article …

Copyright and the Genealogy Lecture
People attending conferences go to hear great lectures. However in doing so, some break the rules. Judy Russell (aka The Legal Genealogist) sets out the rules plainly for all attending a conference. Read the full article …

Our Present History Could Be Lost to Future Generations
We hear that we “need to record our own history”. But what form are we doing so. If it is in a digital form, do you think it will still be able to be read/viewed in 5-10 years time? What about 20-30 years time? Think about it. Technology is moving faster than we can imagine, so what form is going to suitable to record our present-day history, so that it is still accessible? Read the full article …

Finding Charlotte
If you were ever in doubt about the value of a diary as a source of information for genealogical research, have a read of this post by Marian. And while we’re on the subject of old diaries – remember that today’s happenings become tomorrows history. So why not record history as it happens, and in your own words by writing a diary! Read the full article …

Ethics, Genealogists and Conferences
Ethics, Generalogy and Conferences have been a theme for a number of posts over the past month, and I have decided to share Pauleen’s with you. She says … “Sometimes we need to be reminded that this genealogical passion of ours isn’t just about vacuuming up as many names, dates and data as we can track down, wherever we find them. We are also obligated to act responsibly, with respect for family (especially living family), ownership of information, and with accountability to those who share their expertise with us.” This really  is an excellent post, one that everyone should take a moment to read. Read the full article ….

Cambridgeshire Church Plague Graffiti Reveals ‘Heartbreaking’ Find
I had to include this one as I’ve never heard of church plague graffiti before, and found it fascinating. Sad, but fascinating. Read the full article …

Should You Copy Ancestry Trees to Your Tree?
Fran from the TravelGenee blog asks the question …”should you copy Ancestry trees to your tree?” For me personally there’s no question, it’s a straight out NO in bold and uppercase, and Fran agrees. Have a read of what she has to say about it. Read the full article …

Genealogy is Hacking
Tammy for the TreeLines blog makes a comparison between genealogy and hacking. This is not ‘hacking’ in the evil sense that most know it – but in the true computing sense of the word., meaning taking something and making it do what you want it to do. It is a really interest analogy. Read the full article …
Happy reading!!

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Australian Family Tree Connections – March 2015 Issue Out Now Sat, 28 Feb 2015 23:55:19 +0000 AFTC Magazine - March 2015 300March has arrived, and there sitting in our letterbox on Friday was the March 2015 edition of Australian Family Tree Connections magazine … just in time for some weekend reading.

Along with all the regular features such as:
– Area research
– Family histories
– Family reunions
– For sale
– Genealogy services
– Missing ancestors
– Missing relatives (living)
– Odds and ends
– One-Name studies
– Wanted
– Where to go
– Genealogy news
– Letters to the editor
– Resources (new publications)
– Surname register
– and What’s on this month (events) you’ll find that the March 2015 issue is packed with numerous articles and Can You Help? queries.

The featured articles in this issue include: The elusive Eluned Thomas, Miss Lillie Wilson, Ned Kelly and Constable Lonigan, Thomas Thynne or Thyne, Who were Mary Pichbeck’s parents?, Mary Jane Slater and Francis Bailey, Finding ancestors in New South Wales institutions, John Wooldridge, and John Cameron.

New on the Net section features news from numerous online data websites and together with their latest additions. While the Top Websites section features sites such as Irish Genealogical Research Society, Last Change to Read, Genuki: Wales, Wales Genealogy, How are We Related?, and a Relationship Chart.

Issued monthly this magazine is on sale at newsagents, and family history societies around Australia (price Aus $7.95, and price NZ $8.95). If you local newsagent doesn’t stock the magazine, you can buy it direct from Australian Family Tree Connections. Subscriptions and back issues can also be purchased directly through AFTC.

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International #MuseumWeek, 23-29 March 2015 Thu, 26 Feb 2015 03:35:42 +0000 logo - Museum Week 2015We’ve seen amazing impact that using social media to highlight historical items, collections, archives etc has. Putting it simply, it works. It makes people realise the types of records that exist, and where they are held.

In my opinion it is a fabulous way to highlight and create interest in these kind of organisations. Many who despite their amazing collection, just don’t get the attention they deserve.

Recently we had #MuseumSelfie Day which was a huge success with people from right around the world taking part, and snapping themselves at a museum. Now we have #MuseumWeek. This international event is being held from 23-29 March, and is open to all Museums, big and small, and gives them a chance to celebrate their culture and collections on Twitter.

7 Days. 7 Themes. 7 Hashtags. They #MuseumWeek are having a different ‘theme’ each day it’ll keep it interesting for everyone involved.

logo - Museum Week Days

So to the all the Museums out there, show us (the public) what you have, and take part in #MuseumWeek.

Registration is free, simple and quick! And you can sign up here. For more indepth info, check this out

To be involved simply register on their website, get yourself a Twitter account, follow @MuseumWeek, then spend some time checking out the cool items in your museums collection, so you’ll be ready and raring to go in time for #MuseumWeek!!

For us (the public, the non-museum-working folk) we can simply sit back and enjoy it by watching the hashtags. Use the #MuseumWeek one, but also use those for each day (those in the picture above), and see what the Museums themselves are tweeting. And to do this you don’t even need a Twitter account. Just go to, and type in #museumweek in the search bar at the top, and everything using that hashtag will come up! Simple!


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Help Save South Australian Graves Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:36:39 +0000 Saving Graves South Australia

I’ve written about the controversial issue of reusing of Australian graves in the past. Sadly, even in our large country this is not new.

It is a fact that cemeteries cost money to maintain, and that many are also filling up. So when leases expire, families are asked to pay to extend the lease or else the grave will be reused.

The group Saving Graves South Australia is on a mission to get the word out as far and wide as they can about the about the reusing of graves – in particular those of our Diggers from WW1 and WW2 which are also being reused – and in doing so they hope to get legislation changed.

To help with their cause, they have started a petition which says the following …

Leases are expiring on our Diggers’ graves and those graves will be reused if families don’t know about their expiry and/or cannot afford to renew leases. We need urgent action to prevent the graves from being reused. This affects soldiers who survived the war and returned home and later died from injuries unrelated to their military service, all others are protected by the Office of Australian War Graves. All South Australians whose grave or niche has an expired lease which has not been renewed after two years can have their site reused. This involves the ‘lift and deepen’ process whereby the human remains are excavated, placed in an ossuary, reburied deeper in the grave and a new burial is placed on top leaving no record of the earlier burial.

We need the support of as many people as possible to show the Government that we don’t want graves being reused in South Australia. Saving graves in South Australia is saving our heritage, culture and history. Cemeteries are sacred places where families can go to mourn and remember their loved ones as well as researching local and family history. What heritage are we leaving for future generations?

To sign their petition please go to:

And if you are on Facebook, you might like to join the following groups to keep up with the latest news:
Say NO to Reuse of Graves (South Australia)
Saving Graves South Australia
Saving Graves Victoria
Saving Graves New South Wales

A cemetery is not only a home for those that have died, it is a museum telling stories of a history, of a culture and showcasing glorious artefacts.  – Saving Graves New South Wales

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RootsTech 2015 Livestream Videos Online Now Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:10:35 +0000 logo - RootsTech 2015 600

logo - FGS 2015

The combined RootsTech/FGS 2015 Conference was truly a smorgasbord for attendees, with over 300 presentations on offer.

There were generally around 15-16 talks being held at any one time, it was impossible to get to every talk that you wanted to. So attendees had some hard choices to make.

Fortunately for many (both those who were there, and those who couldn’t attend), a few of these were live streamed and recorded, and are being put up the RootsTech website and you can view them for free. Seven are there already, with more to follow soon.

The listing for those recorded are as below …

Keynote Presentation (Dennis Brimhall, Mike Mallin, Tan Le)
30 Pieces of Tech I Can’t Live Without (D. Joshua Taylor)
You’ve Mastered the Census and Basic Search, What Next? (Karen Auman)
What’s New at FamilySearch (Devin Ashby)
Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy (Diahan Southard)

Keynote Presentation (D. Joshua Taylor, Laura W. Bush, Jenna Bush Hagar)
Innovator Summit Challenge Event
Building a Genealogy Research Toolbox (Thomas MacEntee)
Bring Your Ancestor Back to the Future (Anne Leishman)
The Write Stuff. Leaving a Recorded Legacy: Personal Histories, Journals, Diaries, and Letters (Valerie Elkins)

Keynote Presentation (A.J.. Jacobs, Donny Osmond)
Finding the Living among the Dead: Using the Internet to Find Your Living Cousins (Amy Archibald)
Family History on the Go Using Phones and Tablet Apps (Crystal Beutler)
Personal History Triage: How to Tell the Best Ten Stories of Your Life (Alison Taylor)
Finding Your Family on (Peter Drinkwater)


To give you a taster of the keynote presentations, here is small portion of Tan Le’s most evocative and incredible talk. One of Thursday Keynotes, Tan is a Vietnamese refugee who lives in Australia, and she is a “technology innovator, and founder and CEO of Emotiv Lifesciences”. At RootsTech she shared her memories of her family and strength of her grandmother.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to the talks as I was busy with our our stand, but Dick Eastman wrote the following about it …

“At the end of her talk, Tan Le received a standing ovation. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. “I cannot possibly describe this talk properly. You HAVE to watch the video when it appears soon on You won’t forget it any time soon.”

So sit back, and make yourself comfy and watch some awesome presentations by some of the big names in the genealogy world. And remember to check back to see when more are online.

Click here for the RootsTech Videos

And if you check out the FamilySearch You Tube channel, you’ll find other videos from RootsTech 2015 too.

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Who Do You Think You Are? US 2015 (Season 6) Thu, 05 Feb 2015 06:16:34 +0000 Logo - WDYTYA US

The American version of Who Do You Think You Are? is now into its 6th series, after making its debut on 5 March 2010, and in 2015 another eight celebs are taken on the journey of discovering thier roots.

With the new season due to start in the US on March here’s the lineup:
March 8 – Julie Chen (television personality, news anchor, and producer for CBS)
March 15 – Josh Groban (singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer)
March 22 – Angie Harmon (television and film actress and fashion model)
March 29 – Sean Hayes (actor, comedian, and producer)
April 5 – Tony Goldwyn (actor and director)
April 12 – America Ferrera (actress)
April 19 – Bill Paxton (actor and film director)
April 26 – Melissa Etheridge (rock singer, songwriter)

For more details on this series including a preview trailer, you can head to the TLC WDYTYA website. And you can ‘Like’ the Who Do You Think You Are? page on and follow @WDYTYA on Twitter.

So for those in the US, diary date it! March 8th, on TLC! For us here in Australia, we’ll eventually get to see it, and in the meantime can watch other various Who Do You Think You Are seasons that are airing at the moment.

Top L-R: Julie Chen, Josh Groban, Angie Harmon, Sean Hayes Bottom Row L-R: Tony Goldwyn, America Ferrera, Bill Paxton, Melissa Etheridge

Top Row L-R: Julie Chen, Josh Groban, Angie Harmon, Sean Hayes
Bottom Row L-R: Tony Goldwyn, America Ferrera, Bill Paxton, Melissa Etheridge

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FamilyTree Webinar’s 2015 Schedule Announced Thu, 05 Feb 2015 02:51:04 +0000 webinar worldWebinars are a fabulous way to learn, and the beauty of them is that you can do it from your own home, at your own time.

Firstly the defintion of webinar for those who may be unfamilar with the term is:

“a seminar conducted over the Internet”

So if you can’t, or simply don’t want to go to genealogy meetings that are held in your area, or your local group/s don’t cover topics of interest to you, use webinars to fill your knowledge gap.

FamilyTree Webinars have been holding webinars for a number of years now, and they have recently released their entire 2015 schedule of topics. There’s 58 online classes (or webinars) scheduled from leading educators in genealogy from around the world, and total about 87 hours of free genealogy education) on topics ranging from genealogy technology to in-depth research methodologies and evidence analysis.

Organised and run by Millennia Corporation, this is the company behind the popular genealogy program “Legacy Family Tree“. Now don’t be fooled into thinking that all of these webinars are just about the Legacy program, because they certainly aren’t.

The full year schedule is listed below, and I know that January has already been and gone, so obviously those webinars have been, but they are still available to view if those topics are of interest to you.

Some new features that FamilyTree Webinars have included in their 2015 series include:

  • Evening webinars! For those who work during the day to support their genealogy habits, they have scheduled at least one evening webinar per month.
  • Popular speaker and writer, Marian Pierre-Louis, will guest-host the evening webinars.
  • Beginners series. Accredited Genealogist, Peggy Lauitzen, will present a three-class series designed especially for beginners.
  • Researching with Karen! series. Submit your research problem to Karen for a chance to have personalised recommendations explained during the live webinar.
  • Subscribers-only bonus webinars. Another new membership benefit for Annual and monthly webinar subscribers – private bonus webinars presented by Thomas MacEntee and Judy Russell.
  • See which webinars you have registered for (another perk for webinar subscribers). Just login and the green checkmarks appear!


January 2015
Genealogy on the Go with iPads & Tablets by Lisa Louise Cooke. 7/1
Tracking Migration Using the Big 4 U.S. Record Sources by Mary Hill. 14/1
Expanding Your Research from a Single Fact by Marian Pierre-Louis. 16/1
My Genealogy DO-Over: A Year of Learning from Research Mistakes by Thomas MacEntee. 21/1
Getting Started in Scrapbooking by Susan Budge. 28/1

February 2015
Tracing the History of a Community by Kirsty Gray. 4/2
Step-by-Step: Finding Confederate Soldiers and Their Records by Mark Lowe. 6/2
Zigzagging through German Church Records by Jim Beidler. 11/2
Researching Your New Zealand Ancestors by Jan Gow. 18/2
Tap Into Your Iner Private Eye: 9 Strategies for Finding Living Relatives by Lisa Louise Cooke. 25/2

March 2015
Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. 4/3
Tools and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name by Geoff Rasmussen. 6/3
Crafting Ancestor Profiles from Start to Finish by Lisa Alzo. 11/3
Irish Genealogical Records in the 17th-19th centuries by Judy Wight. 18/3
Where Does It Say That? Learning to Love Indirect Evidence by Chris Staats. 25/3

April 2015
Genealogy 101, a 3-Session Course in Beginning Genealogy – Part 1 by Peggy Lauritzen. 1/4
American Revolution Genealogy by Beth Foulk. 8/4
Isn’t That Special: Hookers, Crooks, and Kooks by Jana Sloan Broglin. 10/4
Ten Genealogical Lessons I Learned the Hard Way by Warren Bittner. 15/4
D-I-V-O-R-C-E! by Judy Russell. 22/4
Using Legacy with Specialized Studies – Legacy is for more than your family history by Tessa Keough. 29/4

May 2015
Genealogy 101: A Three-Session Course in Beginning Genealogy, Part 2 by Peggy Lauritzen. 6/5
After You’re Gone: Future-Proofing Your Genealogy Research (subscribers-only bonus webinar) by Thomas MacEntee. 8/5
GenealogyBank: The Power of Finding Our Ancestor’s Stories by Tom Kemp. 13/5
Martha Benshura: Enemy Alien by Judy Russell. 20/5
Migration Patterns East of the Mississippi Prior to 1860 by Mary Hill. 27/5

June 2015
Genealogy 101: A Three-Session Course in Beginning Genealogy, Part 3 by Peggy Lauritzen. 3/6
Tips for Planning a Successful Seminar by Jana Sloan Broglin. 10/6
10 Tips for Using Legacy with Specialized Studies by Tessa Keough. 12/6

July 2015
The Secret Lives of Women: Research Female Ancestors Using the Sources They Left Behind by Gena Philibert-Ortega. 1/7
Pinning Your Family History by Thomas MacEntee. 8/7
Making a Federal Case Out of It (subscribers-only bonus webinar) by Judy Russell. 10/7
Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. 15/7
Have Swedish Roots and Don’t Know How to Get Started? by Kathy Meade. 22/7
Storyboard Your Family History by Lisa Alzo. 29/7

August 2015
What’s in a Name? Trouble! by Ron Arons. 5/8
Power Platting: Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions by Chris Staats. 12/8
Discovering Your Kentucky Ancestors by Mark Lowe. 19/8
Digital Family Reunions by Devin Ashby. 21/8
German Names and Naming Patterns by Jim Beidler. 26/8

September 2015
Break Down Brick Walls in Eastern European Research: Tips, Tools, and Tricks by Lisa Alzo. 2/9
Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online by Kathy Meade. 9/9
Genealogy Serendipity – Listening For Our Ancestors by Geoff Rasmussen. 11/9
Researching Your Dutch Ancestors by Yvette Hoitink. 16/9
Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales by Kirsty Gray. 23/9
Researching Your Ancestor in Periodicals by Gena Philibert-Ortega. 30/9

October 2015
Wearables and Genealogy: Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait by Thomas MacEntee. 7/10
Colonial Immigration: The English Pioneers of Early America by Beth Foulk. 14/10
Billions of Records, Billions of Stories by Devin Ashby. 16/10
What Happend to the State of Frankland (Using Tennessee’s Pre-Statehood Records) by Mark Lowe. 21/10
Complex Evidence: What Is It? How Does it Work? And Why Does it Matter? by Warren Bittner. 28/10

November 2015
Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. 4/11
Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard. 11/11
Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. 13/11
Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. 18/11

December 2015
Stories in Stone – Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. 2/12
Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. 9/12
Pointing Fingers at Your Siblings – Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. 16/12

Sign up for one or for all of them today (so you don’t forget later) and you will receive a reminder email both one day and one hour prior to the live event.
Click here to register for individual webinars
Click here to register for multiple webinars at once

Click here to see the list of past webinars by topic

Print the webinar brochure to share with your friends, genealogy society, or Family History Center.

If you find that you love the whole webinar experience and content, and want to “attend” a number you might be interested in a “ Membership“. All live webinars are free (excluding the members-only bonus webinars), and their recordings are free to watch for the next 7 days. If you missed a previous webinar you can now have access to the entire archives (almost 200 classes) and instructors’ handouts (more than 800 pages) through a monthly ($9.95/month) or annual webinar membership ($49.95/year). Click here for more information or to subscribe.

If you wish to watch the “webinar” live, you will need to work out the time in your own area in relation to when it is shown as being held in the US. To do this you can go to Time Converter website

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Unlock the Past Cruises Exhibits at RootsTech 2015 Tue, 03 Feb 2015 04:32:09 +0000 RootsTech 2013

RootsTech is easily the biggest genealogy event in the US, and with an estimated 10,000-15,000 people expected at this years event, it could possibly the largest in the world, with only UK’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live rivaling it.

RootsTech is organised by FamilySearch, and is held in Salt Lake City (the heart of genealogy), and this is one of those events that attracts people from all around the world (including Australia).

This years RootsTech is expected to be bigger than ever, as they are actually combining with the FGS Conference and holding two conferences (almost) simultaneously in the same venue. This allows delegates to attend the talks that are organised by RootsTech, or those put on by the Federation of Genealogical Studies (FGS). Between the two conferences there are a total of 326 talks scheduled over 4 days, and these cater from beginner level right through to advanced, so there really is something for everyone.

The Expo hall is being shared by both conferences, and to say it is enormous is an understatement. This year they even moved it to a larger part of The Salt Palace so they could accommodate more exhibitors. With one-on-one help, a scanning booth, the cyber cafe, the media hub,the demo theatre and that apart from the hundreds of exhibitors … there’s so much to see!!

You can get a little of the feel for it, by checking out the Expo Hall map.

I am pleased to say that Unlock the Past Cruises (our sister company) will flying the Australian flag, both figuratively and literally, as they’ll be there exhibiting. And I’ll be there helping out on the stand.

So next week I’ll be hopping on a plane for a very long flight over to SLC, to help out at the stand  So anyone who is coming to RootsTech/FGS please do stop by the Unlock the Past stand and say hello, I’d love to meet you. And by the way we do have some totally fabulous genealogy cruises for anyone that is interested.

Below are a few photos from when they exhibited at RootsTech in 2013 – the Aussie flag really was a hit, with many wanting their photo taken in front of it!

the Salt Palace where RootsTech is held is ENORMOUS!!

the Salt Palace where RootsTech is held is ENORMOUS!!

the team from Unlock the Past at RootsTech 2013: Alan Phillips, Helen Smith & Alona Tester

the team from Unlock the Past at RootsTech 2013: Alan Phillips, Helen Smith and Alona Tester

RootsTech 2013 NZSOG President, Michelle Patient and Alona Tester from Gould genealogy/Unlock the Past Cruises

NZSOG President, Michelle Patient and Alona Tester from Gould Genealogy/Unlock the Past Cruises

For more photos from RootsTech 2013, please check out my earlier posts:
Meeting the Suppliers at RootsTech 2013
A Few Highlights from the RootsTech Exhibitors

– 12-14 February 2015

– 11-14 February 2015

It’s not too late to book for either or both of these events. And it is truly a memorable experience that you won’t forget.

Knowing how chaotic travel, and exhibiting is, I think it’s safe to say there will bee less blog posts here for a bit, which are likely to be followed by lots of photos! But I’ll do my best and try to keep you all updated on Facebook shall blog when I get the chance.

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Inspiring Genealogy Blogs – December 2014 & January 2015 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 12:08:08 +0000 Inspiring Blogs 300The crazyness of the end of the year, followed by the Sampson Flat bushfire in the Adelaide Hills during early January has resulted in this Inspiring Genealogy Blogs being a two month collection again.

If you’re after some great reads, I do have a bumper collection for you this month. We have everything from: evidence, research logs, digital hoarding, Facebook and genealogy, handwriting, Find A Grave memorials, interview tips and questions, date mistakes, genealogy regrets, how to start your family history and mourning paintings … just to name a few!

As I mention each time, I find that reading blog posts helps me keep up with the latest news, products as well as what’s happening in general in the world of genealogy. And if you happen to already follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and to some extent Google+, you already know that I like to share with you the interesting things I read.

10 Steps for Starting Family History
We’ve been doing family history for years, so think back to when you started. What are the 10 things you should do first? Well here’s a really cool, easy-to-follow infographic showing you these 10 steps. Read the full article …

Strategic Planning for Genealogy Societies
This post which links to a podcast, delves into the topic of societies needing to come up with a plan on how to run their society, rather than simply continue “because we’ve always done it that way”.  Read the full article …

A Code of Conduct for Historians
“Historians should adhere to a rigorous code of professional practice if they are to avoid the kinds of careless mistakes that bring their professional integrity into question”  says Suzannah Lipscomb. This post was on the History Today website, and while it talks about historians, it is equally applicable for genealogists to. Read the full article …

Just Say No to Digital Hoarding
Are you a hoarder? No? Well are you a digital hoarder? You may not realize you are, but you probably are. Do you save every email, every digital photo, and every ebook that you can? What if you were to turn every digital item to a physical one … how much space do you think it would take up? A shelf full, room full, or even the whole house? Think about that before clogging up your computer with “every” piece of digital data you receive. Read the full article …

Handwriting vs typing: is the pen still mightier than the keyboard?
While this has nothing to do with genealogy, I still found it a very interesting read, particularly as researchers we are always reading (or should I say trying to read) old handwriting.
As sad as it is beyond writing memos and shopping lists, the art of writing seems to be largely dying. With the current generation learning to write and take notes on a computer, rather than even handwrite, the art of reading handwriting surely will be harder for them. Read the full article …

Spend the money
You’ve heard it before “spend the money, get the certificate” … but you still rely on the index as it has all the information you require (name and date). But what you don’t realise is that you’re missing out all a whole bunch of other details that the certificate is likely to contain.  Judy G. Russell proves this point when comparing the difference in three versions of the same US patent. Trust me it was worth the money to get the paid version. Read the full article …

Unusual Records of Death – Mourning Paintings
This was totally new to me, Mourning Paintings aren’t anything that I’d heard of before, so I was fascinated by Sheri’s post on them. Read the full article …

The Ins and Outs of Evidence for Genealogists — Part Two: Who are we trying to convince?
As always I find James Tanner’s  posts (aka Genealogy’s Star) a fascinating read. Discussing evidence, he delves into the “who are we trying to convince” question? Personally I believe you should have enough evidence to be able to convince anyone. Read the full article …

How do you record your research leads for follow up?
Sharon asked her readers how do they record their research leads, and shared the process on how she record hers! Which is impressive, to say the least! Read the full article …

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda: Genealogy Regrets
Diane Haddad from the Family Tree Magazine, share with us some of her “genealogy regrets”. Those thing we could have done, would have done, and should have done. We all have them … just see what you can do to limit or eliminate future regrets. Read the full article …

12 Kinds of Organizations Genealogists Should Follow on Facebook
Facebook has truly become a tool for genealogists. But are you using it to its full advantage? Diane shares with readers the 12 types of organisations that researchers should follow on Facebook to aid them with their search. Read the full article …

5 Reasons You Should Be Writing Your Family History
Writing you own family history … you know you should. “But where do I start? Besides I’m no writer?”  Many are completely overwhelmed by the size of the task. Too many times I’ve heard the words…”maybe some day.” Lynn from The Armchair Genealogist blog tells us WHY we need to get writing NOW! Read the full article …

How To Preserve Old Photos Without Losing Your Mind
Dick Eastman directs readers to an article written by  Chris Cummins who writes about task of “simplifying the overwhelming process of turning old family photos into an organized, safe and searchable digital archive with tips for how to preserve the film and paper originals.” Read the full article …

Understanding Dates: Five Common Mistakes to Avoid
As researchers we LOVE dates and we need to record them. Afterall it helps us pinpoint something in a person’s life. However sometimes interpreting the date can mislead us. MyHeritage have come up with the five of the most common mistakes that can occur in interpreting dates, together with suggestions as to how these mistakes can be avoided or corrected. Read the full article …

Does this couple in Missouri own your relatives on Find a Grave, too?
Heather from the Young and Savvy Genealogists blog  writes how about a stranger created a Find A Grave memorial for a close relative of hers, and the following issues  that created. Read the full article …

100+ Family Interview Questions
In this post Kimberley not only gives you over 100 fabulous questions that you can use as ideas for your family interview, but also a number of useful tips of how to get prepared for it as well. Read the full article …

Why Your Digital Photos Might Die Before Your Grandkids See Them
The title of this post really says it all. It is a reality that digital photos are likely to be “lost” on an old computer or are in a format that is unreadable in the future. Certainly it won’t be like you finding an actually shoebox of old photos – sadly, I do believe those days are gone. Read the full article …

Check Marks the Source
Valerie’s post came to my attention through doing the rounds of Facebook. And it’s easy to see why. After entering details into her program, she’s now decided to verify every piece of information, and she has a very simple and effective method to do so. Read the full article …

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New Books from Unlock the Past: Australian Nurses and Irish Research Online Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:35:31 +0000 logo - Unlock the Past

Unlock the Past have a huge list of guide books that are scheduled for this year, and they’ve started it off by releasing two new titles. Well, actually one brand new title, and one new edition of an earlier title.


Noeline J. Kyle, R. Lynette Russell and Jennifer Blundell
ISBN: 9781921956096
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0323

Printed Book: paperback, 76 pages, $17.00 more information
Ebook: download, coming soon

Nursing and midwifery have been the occupations of women for centuries and almost every one of us will find an ancestor who engaged in these traditional feminine pursuits.

This book, written by experts in nursing history, women’s history and family history, provides practical advice on how to research the lives of nurses and midwives, the hospitals they trained and worked in, and is a guide to the many public and private repositories where sources are found in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Nurses and midwives worked in hospitals, refuges, asylums, prisons, charitable institutions and were pioneers of bush nursing, established maternity hospitals and were often important health providers in small communities in past decades.

The records of their lives are found in a wide range of places, and as well as online and digitised records, this book also points the researcher toward the myriad of documentary and private records which are useful for writing their live


Chris Paton
ISBN: 9781921956928
Year: 2015
Item Code: UTP0282

Printed Book: paperback, 64 pages, $19.50 more information
Ebook: download, coming soon

There is a popular belief that Irish family history research is virtually impossible because ‘all the records were burned in the civil war’. But as Northern Irish born family historian Chris Paton demonstrates, the glass is most definitely half full rather than half empty when it comes to research in the Emerald Isle.

Many records still exist which can help with your ancestral pursuits, and for those unable to make their way to Ireland to carry out research, the internet is finally coming to the rescue, as more and more material is increasingly finding its way online by the day.

This revised and fully updated Unlock the Past guide explores the key repositories and records now available online, and will prove to you that if you have been put off with Irish research in the past, now is absolutely the time to take another look.


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Thousands of Newly Released Records Available at PROV Wed, 28 Jan 2015 06:03:15 +0000

map - VictoriaThe Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), one of the major archives offices in Victoria, holds a vast array of records created by Victorian Government departments and authorities including the State’s courts, local councils, schools, public hospitals and other public offices.

The records they hold date from the establishment of the Port Phillip District in the mid 1830s and continue right through to today. These include information relating to the administration of justice, immigration, health and welfare, land, education, Indigenous communities, planning, transport, and resource management.

As you can imagine, not all of the records they hold are open to the public, and that is the case with Section 9 records that are held at the Public Records Office Victoria.

Section 9 of the Public Records Act 1973 allows for the closure of “personal or private” records, and has the following description …

… this prevents the violation of personal privacy and covers such material as personnel records, medical records, police and prison records and case records concerning students, welfare recipients, children in government care or compensation claimants.

Records closed on grounds of personal privacy are generally closed for a period approximating a person’s lifetime.

When the calender turned over from 2014 to 2015, 1 January saw a number of Section 9 files passed the timeframe, and they are now open to the public.

There is a long list of collections that are now available. These records cover everything from Accident compensations, to Admission warrants for mental hospitals. There are Photographs and criminal offences of convicted persons and other criminal records, minute papers from places list the Dental Board of Victoria, the Pharmaceutical Board and the Public Transport Corporation. There are large number of Children’s Court Registers now available to view, as well as numerous hospital records. Even teacher records.

To view the full list click here.

logo - PROV

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Give A Little Back Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:43:28 +0000 Hands group

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”.- Aesop

That might seem an odd way to start a post on a genealogy blog, but it is one that I truly believe, and one that we can all use in any facets of our lives – including genealogy.

Think of how much we take for granted these days as a researcher. We log on, and we can search newspapers, we can search indexes, we can see original documents, even old photos of people and areas. Then there’s headstone photos and transcriptions … I could go on, but you get the idea.

I’m sure you can all relate to losing entire days just sitting, getting lost looking at data and records online. It’s phenomenal what you can find these days.

Just remember every entry, every photo, every document takes the work of someone to put it there. And while there are literally BILLIONS of records already available to search, there are many, many more just waiting to be indexed or transcribed. And that’s where you can help.

Call it crowdsourcing, volunteering or just helping out – it all means the same thing. And there are many places around the world that are calling out for volunteers for indexing, transcribing and photographing. And as the quote says “no matter how small, it is never wasted”. Or as I say, “every little bit helps”.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

So I ask you, can you spare an hour or two a month? Or maybe a week? If so, why not give back to genealogy community by being a volunteer transcriber or indexer. Or even a volunteer at your local society (you know they’re always after volunteers).

Below are a list of a number of organisations that are publicly asking for volunteers. Most have digital projects, so can be done from anywhere. A few though are requesting volunteers for onsite projects or services.



Carnamah Museum/State Library of WA ‘Virtual Volunteering’ – various documents

Genealogy SA – various projects

Griffith University ‘The Prosecution Project’ – court records

National Archives of Australia ‘arcHIVE’ – various documents

National Archives of Australia ‘SODA’ – various documents

Public Record Office Victoria – various documents

StateRecords NSW – various documents

State Library NSW ‘Our/Your War Story’ – WW1 diaries & rediscovering indigenous languages

State Library Queensland Pitch In! – various documents

State Library of South Australia ‘SA Memory’ – documents

Trove – newspapers

WikiTree Project Australia – various


The National Archives ‘Operation War Diary’ – WW1 diaries



United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – World Memory Project




FamilySearch Indexing

World Archives Project

WorldGenWeb Project


“When we plant a tree, we don’t plant it for ourselves but for our children.” –  The Reverend Mae “Mother” Wyatt

I know that this isn’t an exhaustive list, and that there are likely to be many more big and small crowdsourcing projects out there. And if you know of, or are involved in one that I haven’t mentioned, please feel free to leave a comment below, so others can see it.

To finish off, I want to point you to two articles that are worth reading.

The first from Dick Eastman of “Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter” is titled Digital Collections of Historic Newspaper Available on Veridian lists many newspaper sites from around the world that use specific software that allow for text correcting. Rather than list each individually above, I thought I’d just direct you to his post.

And Rose writes about Crowdsourcing text correction and transcription of digitised historic newspapers: a list of sites or her Views and News on Digital Libraries and Archives blog. She lists numerous newspaper sites worldwide that rely on crowdsourcing for text correction.

So if you can possibly spare a little time, why not help out, even in a small way.

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Gould Genealogy’s Australia Day Sale Thu, 22 Jan 2015 04:57:32 +0000 AustraliaDaySale2015

Archive Digital Books Australasia has digitised over 2000 titles that relate to Australian history and genealogy. As Australia Day is almost here, we’ve  decided to celebrate with some specials on a few of their titles.

So from now until the end of the month you can save $10 off each of the following titles.


Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time
This is one of my all-time favourite books, it is simply phenomenal in what it contains. Published in 1879, this two part book consists of 570 pages packed full of fascinating details. The ‘Men of the Time’ part of this book is a listing of biographies of men of note with connections to Australia. Giving information such as their full name, date and place of birth, and a history of their occupation/s and as to why they are ‘noted’ now. The entries vary in length from a paragraph to a few pages. This is very valuable information. An example of part of an entry is:

a page from the Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time

a page from the Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time

BENNETT, William Christopher, was born in Ireland in 1823. He was employed as a pupil on railway surveys in Ireland from 1840 to 1845; and assistant engineer in charge of drainage works in Ireland until 1852. During the next two years he was in France and in South America, where he relieved Lieutenant Strain and his missing party at no small personal risk, for which he received thanks of the United States Government. At the end of 1854 he proceeded to New South Wales, and for ten months was assistant surveyor in the Survey department. In April 1856 he was made assistant engineer to the Commission for the Sewerage and Water Supply of Sydney. From beginning of 1857 until September he was engaged in the Railway Department ….[continues on for quite a bit more]

The second part of this book is the Dictionary of Dates. This has a listing of topics (such as Aborigines, Adelaide, Aquatic, Australian Agricultural Co., Caterpillar Plague, Charitable Institutions, Church of England, Coal etc), then under each topic there is a listing of events in date order, that have happened relating to that topic.

To view a sample of this title click here
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0004 – $24.50, now $14.50


History of Australasia
How well do you know the history of Australia and New Zealand? David Blair gives readers details that I’m, sure your didn’t know about. Written in 1879, this 780 page book takes the history of both Australia and New Zealand ‘from the first dawn of discovery … to the establishment of self-government in the various colonies’ and ‘covers the settlement and history of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand, along with some information of Fiji and New Guinea’.

The intention of this large book was that it was the first one-volume history of Australasia. The history starts with the early navigators who found and mapped Australia, then moves on to the explorers of the inland. There are physical descriptions of both Australia and New Zealand, as well as details of climate, the natural production of the regions and animals and plant life. Aborigines, the discovery of gold (including the Ballarat rebellion), the governors of each colony, and the social history of each region are also covered, together with so much more.

Complimented with beautiful coloured maps included for each Australian colony, and New Zealand and numerous sketches included throughout, make this book a wonderful overall history of Australasia.
To view a sample of this title click here
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0035 – $24.50, now $14.50

map of Victoria in the History of Australasia

map of Victoria in the History of Australasia


Dictionary of Australian Biography
Percival Serle’s ‘Dictionary of Australian Biography’ which he wrote in 1949 includes over 1000 pages of biographies of Australians. These were men and women closely connected with Australia, and who died before the end of 1942.

The average length of each biography is about a page, and they can be roughly classified into the following

page from the Dictionary of Australian Biography

page from the Dictionary of Australian Biography

twelve groups:
– Army and Navy
– Artists, including architects, actors, and musicians
– Governors and administrators
– Lawyers
– Literary men and women
– Notorieties
– Pioneers, explorers, pastoralists, men of business
– Politicians
– Scholars, philosophers, clergymen
– Scientists, including physicians, surgeons, and engineers
– Social reformers, philanthropists, educationists
– Sporting men (cricketers and athletes)
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0052 – $29.50, now $19.50


Australian Handbook 1900
Part directory, part gazetteer and part almanac this ‘Australian Handbook’ covers the whole of Australia. The directory part is mainly concerned with giving an oversight of each Australian colony and is aimed more at the commercial sector.

It has very useful histories and maps of each colony as seen in the perspective of 1900. In its role as an almanac it contains extensive details of timetables and statistics such as:
– Calendar
– Police Courts

maps of Adelaide and South Australia that appear in the Australian Handbook 1900

maps of Adelaide and South Australia that appear in the Australian Handbook 1900

– Public Holidays in England
– Taxes
– Newspapers for Colonies as published in London
– Populations of Great Britain
– Railway Distances
– Comparative Statistics of the Australasia Colonies for 1897 and 1898

This Handbook is an immense reference book to the world of our ancestors over 100 years ago.
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0101-1900 – $27.50, now $17.50


Australasian Medical Directory Compendium 1
Australian Medical Directories contain useful information for social historians and those interested in medical history as well as those with ancestors within the medical profession.

There are several different publishers of medical directories throughout Australia’s history, including Bruck, Loxton and others.

They generally contain the following features:
– laws applicable to the medical profession
– a complete directory of medical associations and departments (giving names and addresses)
– a complete directory of registered doctors, surgeons etc listing their qualifications and past experience

page from Loxton's 1911 Medical Directory

page from Loxton’s 1911 Medical Directory

– obituaries
– relevant geographical information for the different states
– medical Acts
– statistics
– information and directories on several pacific islands and New Zealand
– lists of medical periodicals and
– much more

This set contains 8 medical directories including the 1883, 1886, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1911, 1915 Australasian directories and the 1903 New South Wales directory together on as single CD at a special discount price.

To view a sample of this title click here
For more details, or to order it click here
Item Code AU0121C-1, $49.50, now $39.50


Australia Day Sale CDs


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Learn Online From the Experts with Boot Camp! Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:12:58 +0000 newspaper-research-sq-large

The world is a connected place these days. We are able to keep in touch with family and friends in far away places. But look beyond that, and think of the whole internet as your learning place for genealogy.

Through social media, webinars and hangouts, these are tools that allow you to learn and interact with the best genealogy speakers around the world. And you can do this all from your own home.

Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers and Hack Genealogy fame, has created Boot Camp!

He, along with Liza Alzo have run numerous Boot Camps already in the US which have been very well received. Now he’s teaming up with Michelle Patient in New Zealand, and they’re running one that is not only at a time suitable for Australians and New Zealanders to participate, but also one that has content relevant for us in the south as well.

Scheduled for Saturday, 31 January 2015 (Australian time), this special Boot Camp will teach you:
– Which online newspaper resources are available for Australia, New Zealand and beyond including the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
– How to get the most out of newspaper articles and use the extracted information for research breakthroughs.
– Which tools work best for capturing both newspaper images and text.
– How to find unusual sections of newspapers for clues in finding ancestors.

You’ll receive over 3 hours of educational content, handouts and freebies for the low price of $12.95 USD! You’ll also receive access to the recorded versions of each webinar for up to one year!

Register by Monday, 26 January 2015 and receive over 23% off the registration price for a low $9.95 USD!

Space is limited and if you register, but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

For more information, and to register for Boot Camp click on this link.

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Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2015 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:51:54 +0000 top-100-genealogy-website-2015GenealogyInTime Magazine’s Annual Top 100 Genealogy Websites list for 2015 has just been released, and what an amazing list it is.

With many changes among the Top 100, including those in the Top 10, there are a number of new players making it into the list for the first time.

This list is purely based on Alexa rankings, so you know that it is comprehensive and without bias.

The following is taken from the GenealogyInTime Press Resease …

This year represents our fourth annual survey on the state of genealogy. We look at the following:
– Information and links to the Top 100 most popular genealogy websites from around the world.
– A discussion on the largest ancestral websites and what they have to offer.
– Pointers toward the most popular free genealogy websites to help you find your ancestors.
– A list of rising genealogy stars that are worth checking out. These are websites that have seen the largest increase in popularity over the past year.
– A discussion on the big three firms in genealogy and what they do.
– Estimates as to how much genealogy has grown over the past year.

To be on this list is an honour, and back in 2014 we made the list for the first time, and I am proud to say that Gould Genealogy made it on this list again … actually TWICE. Yes really, twice.

Last year we ranked #87, and we held our ground, and occupy this spot again this year, which is what you’ll see on the list.

87 Gould Genealogy blog Australia free 87

But as our blog website was listed with our main website, I queried with the team at GenealogyInTime asking which one was actually  ranked … and it turns out that BOTH were meant to be. So they’ve added the following note to the end of their article:

Addendum: Somehow our database merged information from the two different Gould Genealogy websites. The Gould Genealogy that you see in the Top 100 List at #87 is their free blog ( They also have another website ( that provides services. It would have ranked #68 on the list.

So to all the readers of our blog, and to our customers who browse and buy on our website, thankyou for visiting our sites. It is all of you who helped get us into this prestigious list.

You can find the full list of the Top 100 Genealogy Websites here.

logo - Genealogy in Time

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21 January is #MuseumSelfie Day Fri, 09 Jan 2015 04:14:27 +0000 If you work in a museum, or have been meaning to go and visit a musum (local or otherwise), now is your chance. Diary date January the 21st, as that is Museum Selfie Day and head along to a museum. #MuseumSelfie Day is a day when museum staff and visitors photograph themself at the museum and upload it to Twitter.

“Museum Selfie Day is a day in which many of the major museums of the world are encouraging their patrons not to actually look at the art, but to pose in front of itthen to share their oh-so-artful self portraits on Twitter with the hashtag #MuseumSelfie.”

Organised by MarDixon (the people also behind #AskACurator Day), they aim to not only get more people into the museums, while at the same time helping promote the collection their museum has.

“Each collection, each mission, each town/city/county/state/country is unique. What the public love about museums is their individuality so this is why are we trying to put a mass-market approach to solutions.

To be clear their definition of museum says that “the term Museum also also includes art galleries, national trust, estates, etc.”

I know other Twitter “Days” attract participation from organisations from around the globe, including many here in Australia. So let’s hope Aussie museum visitors and staff get on board with this one too.

The date for the world trending Day is 21 January, 2015.
Tweets by , and @MuseumSelfieDay
Instagram: MuseumSelfieDay

MuseumSelfie #19

Image via Acaudel on Twitter


Image via Museum of Fine Arts on Twitter

Image via Amy Freeborn on Twitter

Image via Amy Freeborn on Twitter

For some pictures from the 2014 #MuseumSefie Day click here, and even more here.

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