Friday, November 28, 2014

Where GeniAus gets a chance to play Santa.

One of the nice perks of being a Rootstech Ambassador is that I get to give some lucky person a nice Christmas present

The kind folk at Rootstech have given me "One complimentary RootsTech 2015 3-day pass ($239 value) for one of your lucky subscribers." If you have already registered for Rootstech you can still enter this competition as I will supply a code to the winner and, if you have already registered, you will get a refund from Rootstech. If you haven't registered yet winning this competition might just change your mind about attending this premier event in Salt Lake City in February 2014.

This prize only covers your entry to the event, you will be responsible for all travel, accommodation and incidental expenses.

So what do you have to do to win this prize? 

You need to tell me in 50 words or less using as much Geneajargon as you can from my Geneadictionary why you are or why you would like to attend Rootstech 2015. Of course you could use newly created geneajargon that can be added to the Geneadictionary. As a condition of entry you give permission for your entry to be posted in the Geneadictionary.

Please email your entries to by midnight (GMT) Friday 12 December.

I look forward to reading your contributions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Trove Tuesday - Family Photos

I just came across this post from twelve months ago and as I liked the article so much I am reposting it.


This week finds me knee-deep in photos. My cousin lent me a small suitcase of photos belonging to her parents Thomas William Curry and Lillian Duncan who were my parents' siblings. In that case I have found many treasures.

I wondered what Trove had to say about family photos. The following is an article from the Australian Women's Weekly in 1971. You can view the article here

1971 '[No heading].', The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), 23 June, p. 32, viewed 26 November, 2013,

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Currys Downunder

My maiden name is Curry, I am descended from an Irish convict,  Patrick Curry, who was transported to the colony of New South Wales in 1825. In addition to collecting information on Paddy's descendants downunder I have gathered quite a few references to unrelated Currys.

Some Australian Currys 1970
Since joining The Surname Society recently I have registered a surname study for the Curry Surname in Australia. As I have never seriously undertaken a surname study before I am on my L plates, I have taken on board advice that has been shared in the Society's forums and information on the Guild of One-Name Studies site (I'm a member there too).

How will I go about this?

  • I have opened a new project in my Family Historian software into which I have imported my Australian Currys. Several Society members already use  Family Historian for their Surname studies so there is much help available.
  • I will add any new Curry references I fins to this project.
  • I have set up a Wordpress blog through which I will share Curry stories, trivia and news as wll as reports on my research. This blog which is currently private will be launched early in 2015.
  • I already have 8,000+ Curry references in an Excel spreadsheet. I am currently massaging this data so that I can use Colin's free XL to Ged utility to convert the data in the spreadsheet to a gedcom file that I can import into my Family Historian project.
  • I will set up a few Google alerts that will hopefully retrieve some Curry news from the web. I will have to put some thoughts into crafting these so that I don't get lots of news about Indian cuisine.
  • I will search the various databases at my disposal to find Currys.
  • I will see what Mr Google can find for me on the web.
  • I will promote my study on social media so that others will be aware of  the study. The hashtag will be #CurryAus and the URL of my blog will contain CurryAus.
  • I will use Evernote as a tool to keep track of the blog and its posts.
  • Apart from that I will just learn as I go.

If you have any Australian Currys in your tree or among your friends and neighbours I'd love to hear about them. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

GeniAus: GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 21 November 2014

Apologies for this late posting of the 9th edition of GAGs. I have been travelling and suffering from dodgy internet conections.  My friends on social media will understand the difficulties I am presently facing with an unreliable satellite connection.  Hopefully I will be back on track for next week's edition.

I present for you reading pleasure in no particular order some selections from my RSS feeds up to 21/11/2014.

1.A fine family home.

2. Some guidelines for public behaviour.

3. My Mum always made coconut ice for fetes and fairs.

4. Oyster Saloons in Austalia.

5. Georgie's is a new blog I am following.

6. Jenny reconnects with a cousin.

7.  My Dad was a DA man too.

8. I wonder if Alex is considering a one-name study?


10. Thanks for this blogging idea Alona.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Beaut software is even better

It's hard for me to contain my excitement when I find something fantastic but I have exercised considerable restraint while Beta testing Version 6 of Family Historian software. As a Beta tester I committed to keeping mum about the new version and its features but now that the developer Calico Pie has announced the product's imminent release and discussed some of its new features I feel I can open my mouth. Here is a snip from the company's recent newsletter:

Family Historian 6 is due for release on December 9th. It will be a big and exciting release, packed with enhancements and great new features. There are far too many features to cover in a single bulletin (and in any case, we want to keep some surprises for the day), but just to whet your appetites, we are including a sneak preview of a just a couple of new features below – Map Windows and Witnesses.

As a tester I can confirm that it is big and exciting. When  I moved over from The Master Genealogist to Family Historian a couple of years ago I was delighted with FH except on a couple of  counts. The major one being that I lost all the witnesses to events that I had created. There was a work around in version 5 of FH but I couldn't be bothered with it. 

I was delighted when I found that a witness function had been added to Version 6. During the testing I put this through its paces on a copy of my database and it worked a treat. Now I will be able to reinstate all the ministers/priests who BMDed family members, all the guests at various family events, godparents, bridesmaids and so on. Calico Pie suggest:"For example, you could use it to record the fact that a group of people all lived together, if you wanted to. The practical effect is to provide richer and more fleshed-out reports, and a richer experience when browsing, because witness details can be accessed when viewing an event from the point-of-view of any of the participants."
Jane Taubman teaching FH 2014

If you are into maps then the new mapping facility is fantastic. There aare some other new features that really struck a chord with me but I must keep them under wraps for the moment.

Santa Jill will be delivering my update by download as soon as the package is released on December 9. I just need to find out how to place an advance order!

You may know that I recently undertook two days of Family Historian training with Family Historian guru, Jane Taubman. Jane and I are intending to show off FH version 6 in a Google Hangout in early January. I will share details when I have a time and date.

BTW. The only perk I receive from Calico Pie is the opportunity to test and comment on the beta version of their new release. I just happen to lke their product.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Trove Tuesday - An Apple Tree

One of the first computer labs I managed in the mid eighties was one of Apple 11 computers in the days before I got hooked by the genealogy bug.

I found this article about an early genealogy database software on Trove and am wondering if any of my genimates used this Australian program to maintain their data.

1985 'Genealogy program for Apples.', The Canberra Times(ACT : 1926 - 1995), 30 September, p. 20, viewed 1 September, 2014,

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I just spent $AU9.35

Quite a few years ago I had a website called Too Hot to Handle: a cyberhome for Australian Currys.

It was a pretty ugly and basic site on which had over 8,000 references to Currys, not necessarily related to me, but who were descended from Australians who shared my maiden name - Curry. I took the site down about ten years ago but kept a copy of  the site and all associated files and spreadsheets.

My old website
I have always wanted to carry on with this surname study but felt that I could not undertake a worldwide study on Curry, a name that is relatively common. I joined the Guild of One-Name Studies thinking that I would register another less common name in my tree for a world wide study (and I might still do that) as I couldn't register my Curry interest with their current guidelines..

This week I learnt of the launch of the new Surname Society that had been mooted on social media, when I read their press release and visited their website I was impressed by how much work the committee had done prior to launching the Society. I like the way that the group is using social media and hangouts to connect with members around the globe and that its committtee is international.  When I saw the names behind the Society I knew that it was in good hands so tonight I coughed up  $AU9.35 or Five GBP to join. Within a minute I had received an activation code  to enter the Members' area on the site which I have yet to explore.

As the requirements to register a surname with this group are not as prescriptive as those of the Guild I think I will resurrect my Australian Curry study and register it with The Surname Society.

Friday, November 14, 2014

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 14 November 2014

For this 8th edition of GAGs I have decided to highlight posts around a particular theme so I have been ignoring  general topics. With Remembrance Day being celebrated this week I have chosen posts with a WW1 or military theme.

I have enjoyed the following and many other posts written with a commemorative theme over recent days. Presenting in no particular order some selections from my RSS feeds this week: 

1. Shauna 

2. Lenore

3. Clan MacFarlane

4. Pauleen 

5. IwiKiwi

6. Crissouli

7. Sharon

8. Thames New Zealand

9. Nola

11. Carnamah Historical Society

12. Canada Bay Connections

Thursday, November 13, 2014

From the Archives - Twitter Followers - Quality or Quantity?

From time to time I come across an old post and that I think is worth reposting. It's three and a half years since I wrote this. I now have 1,298 followers and I follow 693 tweeps.

Twitter Followers - Quality or Quantity?

I am sometimes disappointed when I see messages like " Just noticed we're on 995 followers. Can we break thru the barrier?" that was posted on behalf of a government organisation that I admire this morning.  Another Australian cultural institution this morning tweeted "Hip hip hooray for our 1000th (don't try to say that out loud) follower." Another Australian organisation recently gave a prize to their 1000th follower.

I realise that these places see Twitter as a marketing tool, and it is a valuable one, but who are they trying to reach? Everyone or those who are likely to benefit from their services via the information they post on Twitter?

I just wonder how adding more users like  Free Junk Car Removal Victoria Bc) or  ♥MyLipsSuxUDry♥  will benefit these organisations. 

A lot of individuals who have twitter accounts also blow their trumpets when they reach milestone numbers of followers. I hope that all of my followers gain some value from my tweets but I sincerely doubt that some do and I cannot fathom why they follow me.

I get a real buzz when someone from the worlds of genealogy, education, technology or libraries follows me. When someone I respect from these fields or a family member follows it is cause for a happy dance. 

I have amongst my followers a Mobile Mechanic from New Zealand (I'm not floating my car across the Tasman for a service), The unofficial biggest Broncos fan (I detest Rugby League), Leonor Brockmann whose image is a pair of silicon enhanced mammary glands,   a price comparison service for hotels,    Deals from San Francisco and  - 
we have over 1,000 Egg Donors and Surrogates available now. I am flummoxed as to what value these tweeps would get from following me and, as I am not interested in them or their services, I certainly won't be following them. Perhaps they share some of my interests but I doubt it.

I could not and would not shout for joy if and when I reach 500 Twitter followers as some of them are definitely not members of my intended target group. 

I'll back Quality over Quantity any time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

From the Archives: The Old School Tie

This post first appeared on the GeniAus Blog on 3 September 2010. The Sydney Grammar School and SCEGGS Darlinghurst links from 2010 are dead so these have been updated. In a recent project undertaken by a Society of which I am a member local school archives have been a source of much relevant information.

Having worked in and had my children educated at Independent Schools in Sydney I am aware of the amazing amount of information these schools have in their archives about alumni.

If you have an ancestor who attended such a school in Sydney or elsewhere it would be worthwhile approaching that institution to see if they have any photos on file of granny in the orchestra or great uncle playing cricket.Perhaps you might read your Dad's literary contributions in a school annual.

Sydney Grammar School on its Archives Page states:
Sources available to assist Old Boys, biographers and others interested in the school are: 
  • Registers (on disc and printed), 1835 +
  • Prize Lists, 1859 +
  • The Sydneian Magazine (indexed), 1875 +
  • Oral recordings
  • Photographs
  • Correspondence 
The SCEGGS, Darlinghurst Archives Page says:

The SCEGGS Darlinghurst Archives is responsible for the care of SCEGGS' records of permanent value. The Archives were established in 1983. Since then it has grown to include the School’s official records and publications, an extensive collection of photographs and school and student memorabilia including school uniforms. The Archives also hold some records from the SCEGGS Branch Schools....

Researchers who would like to use the Archives are asked to make an appointment with the archivist. Some records held in the Archives may have restricted access.

MLC School, Burwood  on its Archives Page states:

(The archive) includes an important collection of historic photographs, progressing through the years from an extraordinary picture taken of the first pupils and staff in January 1886.
All records, photographs and museum items are meticulously catalogued with the Australian Series System, and can be easily located by a number of computerised databases.

The air-conditioned room can be used for research by visitors, and photocopy facilities are available.

The Archives Page of St Ignatius College, Riverview states:

The purpose of Riverview Archives is to promote and share the rich heritage of the College and the Jesuit tradition with the students, the wider Riverview community and the general public.  

Just as a person can not function properly if they have lost their memory - neither can an organisation such as Riverview. Knowledge of where we have come from helps us to understand the present and gives us direction for the future.

The Archives is open by appointment only Monday to Thursday during term time.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Can you ever say you have finished your family history research?

Can you ever say you have finished your family history research?

Until I attended a talk yesterday on One-Name Studies, a discipline related to family history,  I would have said that there was no way one could answer YES to this question but I have been enlightened.

You see it's all to do with the Aims and Objectives (which I don't have) one has for one's research.

For years I have thought ill of people who have claimed to have finished their research, Mea Culpa. I had been judging them by my standards. Those folk who were objects of my derision may have had clearly defined aims and objectives that placed limits on the scope of the research they were undertaking and once these were achieved they could proudly boast that they had finished their family history research.

I will never be able to answer YES to the question. I have  been thinking about my primary aim and it is simple: to identify all people who are related to me by blood,  to collect every scrap of information about them that is presently available and to continue to collect new information as it becomes available. As a secondary aim  I collect similar information for my descendants' ancestors.

How would you answer the question? YES or NO

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Spring has sprung at Ancestry

For eight weeks my private tree on has been leafless. I had lamented on this state of affairs quite a while ago. I guess that the tree has realised that it is now spring in Austrlia because when I logged in today I discovered that my tree has sprouted a whole lot of new leaves.

I wonder what I will find!

Friday, November 7, 2014

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 7 November 2014

My time clock is still out of whack so this 7th edition of GAGs is coming to you on 7 November GMT. Reading blog posts has been an easy task this week as I have been on the road (as a passenger) so I have had plenty of time to keep up with blog reading. Sorry about the .uk URLs - that's what happens when one is in another country.

As previously stated the selections here are subject to my personal biases (
 I favour posts that contain original material) and I make no apology for that. 

Presenting in no particular order some selections from my RSS feeds this week: 

1. From Lorine in Canada, it's sad that people keep having to write on this subject but some people don't get it or they just don't care.

2. I was in Shropshire this week and I love a good book so had to include Via's post.

3. I breathe a sigh of relief every time Chris joins a GeniAus Hangout on Air because she is such good support. She doesn't blog uch about family history but she does write about her travels.

4. Thanks to Helen for notifying us of this new site which needs your help.

5. Sharon shares a new book that has a personal connection for her.

6. The first of a super series of Movember posts from Alona.

7. Nola is learning about blogging. Her course emphasises the importance of a blog's name. Does your blog have a unique and catchy title.?

8. Don't want to bore the socks off family members at holiday gatherings. Valerie's tips should help.

9. Deb writes about a letter carrier named Bussey, What a beaut name.

10. I couldn't make SAG's Lost in weekend so I was pleased to be able to read Lilian's account. Lilian does a great job of keeping the members of her Society informed.

NB I try to leave a comment on all the blogs I nominate but sometimes I don't quite get around to it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


As a loyal longtime subscriber to several online databases I get annoyed when these services offer free access to those who are not subscribers and nothing for their subscribers.

I have been known to ask on social media what these companies are doing for those who support them with their hard-earned dollars.

I was therefore delighted today to receive this message from Thank you for rewarding us.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Six Years and Going Strong

On Wednesday 5 November 2008 in my first post on this blog entitled : Why add yet another blog to the crowded blogisphere? I wrote:
"I thought I would like a place to share progress, reflections and resources as I solve  my genealogical jigsaw so here goes - another blog is born.

I've been researching the family on and off for the last 20 years and, with retirement looming, hope to finally get organised anad solve some of my mysteries."

The crowded blogisphere, was I kidding? I had been blogging in another realm for a few years in an area where blogging had taken of.There were very few geneablogs around when I penned my first post and I could count the number of Australian geneablogs on my  fingers. I now follow several hundred geneablogs and every week I come across a previously unknown (to me) blog. The growth over the past six years has been exponential.

With some of my geneablogging mates February 2014
So what have I done?

  • I have published about 2070 posts, reported on my progress, reflected on my practice and shared resources. 
  • I've also proffered an opinion or two.
  • I have solved a few small parts of my jigsaw but there is more to do.
  • I am slightly better organised than I was six years ago.
  • I have connected with previously unknown and lost cousins and shared stories and resources.
  • Through the world of geneablogging I have made several good friends and many great contacts.
  • I have learnt a lot about blogging, genealogy, technology and social media.
  • I have experimented with geneavlogging.
  • I have been blessed with many opportunities to share my skills and knowledge in lectures, workshops and journal articles.
  • A highlight was being appointed as an Official Blogger to the first and all subsequent Rootstech Conferences in Salt Lake City.
  • I have been honoured to be given some awards by fellow bloggers.
  • I have not been idle in retirement, I make not make much money but money could not buy the rewards I have reaped through my geneablogging habit.
  • I have started a few other blogs and let them languish but the GeniAus blog is here for the long haul.
I look forward to the next six years as I grow with GeniAus.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

College of Arms

The College of Arms is the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and much of the Commonwealth including Austalia and New Zealand. You can read all about their work here:


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