Sunday, May 21, 2017

101 Reasons to attend #congress_2018 - The Legal Genealogist

Of all the genealogy speakers I have heard here and overseas there is just a handful whom I hold in the very highest regard.

One of those who is relatively new on the speaking circuit (I first heard her keynote at Rootstech 2014) is my genimate Judy G Russell aka The Legal Genealogist. I have since met Judy in person several times and have found her to be a warrm, generous and knowledgeable soul who is a great storyteller.

I was privileged to interview Judy with my genimate Sharn White at Rootstech 2016. You can view the interview below.

In 2016 Judy made a trip downunder as a presenter with Unlock the Past, she made several new genimates and (I think) was besotted by our country, its natural beauty and wildlife. Judy generously shared this photo taken with a new Aussie pal in 2016.

Judy G Russell and Friend - Cudlee Creek 2016
I was privileged to hear Judy speak (and have dinner with she and some genimates) when she was in Sydney on that 2016 tour and she was inspirational. I can't wait to hear her again at Congress.

You need no other reason to attend Congress than to hear Judy G Russell present.

101 Reasons to Attend #congress_2018

When I was in at SAG the other day I was chatting with a couple of the bods there and they indicated  (probably because they know I am a loudmouth) that I could assist in promoting the 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Darling Harbour, Sydney next year.

I jump at any opportunity to promote genealogy downunder and my beautiful city of Sydney so I will use my blog and other social media to share my enthusiasm for Congress. I have only attended the last two Congresses in Adelaide and Canberra (real work previously got in the way) and have found them to be energizing and enriching education events. Since Thursday I have been ruminating on how I can spread the word and decided on a series of blog posts which I will share on social media (it would be helpful if you could share them too and use the hashtag #Congress_2018). I decided on 101 Reasons to Attend #congress_2018  as the header for this topic. I don't know if I'll manage 101 but  I'll give it a shot.

Over the past few years we have witnessed the rise and rise of Facebook as a communication channel for Genealogy so I  have set up a (Unofficial) Facebook Group for Genimates at #Congress_2018. The main purpose of this page will be to connect and communicate with genies who may be interested in attending or hearing about Congress. It will be a place where we can share Congress related news and ask and answer those questions no-one else has yet asked.

If you can suggest a reason to attend Congress please send me a few lines of text (and maybe a pic or two) and I will turn it into a guest post in this series.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Five Faves Geneameme

In a blog post this week Meg Carney blogging on the QSQ blog wrote about five books she has found useful in her research. She said "I have read many books in my search for information about my ancestors and the history of the times in which they lived. However, there are some that stand out and that I have found myself referring to again and again.  Here are 5 of those books."

I love bookish posts and was going to include Meg's post in this week's edition of GeniAus Gems but it gave me an idea for a Geneameme so I am singling Meg's post out for mention here.

As good little genies we all recognise the value of moving away from the keyboard and consulting print resources. I love to know what books other genies cherish,  Meg's list demonstrates that older publications along with new titles are all useful.

Herewith I announce the Five Faves Geneameme.

To participate in this meme simply pen a blog post sharing details of five books written by others you have found most useful in your geneactivities. Use the above graphic to decorate your post if you wish. Please let me know via a comment on this post or via another form of social media when your post is done and I will add it to a compilation that I will publish on this blog in early June.  

And Meg, if you read this, thanks for giving me this idea.

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 19 May 2017

It's dilemma time. This week has delivered a rich collection of blog posts to my RSS Feed. My issue is - do I add them all to this post or will I be selective?

I have decided to go down Ruthless Road. When I started this series of posts I planned to share 10-12 posts each week so, although I have read much of value this week, I will stick to my guns.. It would be easy to share a long list but I will go through what I have saved and select those Gems that shone most brightly for me.  

1. I have to start with Alex's rallying post which resonated with a large number of commenters.

2. Grave advice from Amy.

3. I always took our wireless for granted.

4. News of a valuable resource from Pauleen.

5. An admission from Alona.

6. I admire Shelly's patience and skill.

7. Sharon had a catchy headline.

8. Barb raises a grave issue.

9. Carmel generously shares her slides.

10. A geneajaunt for tweedheadsgirl.

11. He wanted to be first!

12. Facebook's plans.

PS I am always on the lookout for words for the geneadictionary like this one from Andrew.

I'm also excited to be presenting a blogging session at #congress_2018

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Cat's out of the Bag - #congress_2018

When I was introduced prior to giving my talk at The Society of Australian Genealogists today the person who introduced me announced to the attendees that I would be presenting two sessions at the 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry (known as Congress in the geniworld downunder).

I thought we were not supposed to spill the beans until May 31st but I was given the nod to share news of my participation. I am so excited to be part of this event that is being held in our beautiful city of Sydney. I am keen to show my genimates our town and to meet up with folk who are Congress novices.

My presentation proposals that were accepted are:

1. Beaut Blogs: Ideas for Tarting up your Geneablogs
2. Managing Frugally: Free Tools for Genies and Family History Groups

I have ideas for these topics but am interested in hearing if you have suggestions of any must be included ideas or tools I should include in my presentations.

I heard at the Society today that there is one more keynote to be announced later this week - I wonder who it will be? An Englishman, An American? An Aussie? Girl or Boy?

The remainder of the presenters have been been notified but I have only heard so far that Shauna Hicks is on the program. I can't wait to see who else will be presenting.

Will I be seeing you at Congress? Earlybird Registrations open on May 31st - watch the Congress website for details.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trove Tuesday - Fiji Wedding

I spent last Saturday attending a family wedding in Fiji. When you read this post I will be winging my way home after this celebration. For this week's post I turned to Trove to find some Fiji wedding stories.

1872 'FIJI.', Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 - 1954), 22 June, p. 16. , viewed 10 May 2017,
1912 'A FIJI WEDDING.', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 19 September, p. 9. (FINAL EXTRA), viewed 10 May 2017,
1937 'WEDDING IN FIJI.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 9 June, p. 6. , viewed 10 May 2017,
1989 'Comedians choose Fiji for wedding', The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), 22 December, p. 2. , viewed 10 May 2017,

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ethics, etiquette and all that stuff

I've had my head down during the past week preparing  a talk I am giving at The Society of Australian Genealogists on Thursday next week in Sydney.

It looks like it's going to be an intimate gathering as only 8 people have registered so far for the event. There is usually quite a healthy rollup when I give a presentation so I am quite surprised.

I was hoping that more people would be interested in this topic. Perhaps Sydney genies are all polite, kindly, thoughtful, law abiding folk who do not need some crazy lady telling them how to Do the Right Thing. Perhaps they are a bunch of researchers who are so busy hunting down ancestors that they do not think of the consequences of their actions. Maybe their geneabudgets are exhausted and they can't afford another event.

If you want to discuss how to deal with secrets that you encounter around Adoption, Crime, DNA Discoveries, Illegitimacy or Sex or if you need to make sure you are being a well-mannered and responsible genie this event may just be of assistance to you.

In everything we do in life it is important to reflect on and evaluate our actions. This talk will give you an opportunity to reflect on your practices in the geneaworld.

SAG members and guests can book for this session via this link:


Friday, May 12, 2017

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 12 May 2017

When this post is published I will be enjoying the tropical sunshine on a resort island in Fiji. One of the younguns in our family is to be married there on Saturday and Mr GeniAus and I are joining them for the ceremony and celebrations. We look forward to catching up with members of the extended family and swapping stories etc.

The posts I have selected were published prior to 9:00pm Sydney time on Wednesday 10 May. I hope to keep up with my blog reading if the island's internet connection allows it.

I have another eclectic mix for you this week that starts off with some biographical posts from two of my favourite bloggers Pauleen and Michelle. These girls know how to spin a yarn.

1. From Pauleen

2. From Michelle

3. James on storage

4. Congrats to Jennie who is up o number 40 in this series.

5. Do you have any twice over ancestors? Susan does.

6. Linda reflects on that challenge.

7. Pauline is partial to fuschias and so am I.

8. I drove over this bridge every day for five years but never saw it from this angle.

9. The title of this post drew me in.

10. Sandra states her intentions. Do you?

11. I enjoyed many of those books too Jenny.

12. Now it's time for me to head to bed and read for an hour.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I'm done with disks

The decluttering is progressing in my geneacave.

On the weekend I spent several hours making sure that the contents of my collection of backup CDs and DVDs had been transferred to my portable hard drives. I must have purchased my first portable hard drive about 2007 as that was the latest date I had on one of my disc backups.

It was quite a trip down memory lane as the disks held copies of the many websites I maintained in the early 2000's. There were a few files that I couldn't recover and some just required a file extension to be added to make them readable.

As I love to have stationery and supplies I find myself left with a collection of blank CDs and DVDs that probably cost me a pretty penny. I kept half a dozen of each (they may come in handy one day) and disposed of the rest.

New disks - going, going, gone
I feel like quite a dinosaur as I have moved from 5inch floppies to zip disks and the 3in hard disks to CDs, DVDs and thumb drives for storage. I wonder what will replace my now portable hard drives. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

DNA Blogs

As I try to get serious about DNA I realise that, as well as keeping up with news that is shared via social media channels, I must read more in-depth articles.

I find a lot of helpful tidbits and interesting conversations in the few DNA groups I have joined on Facebook.I can read monographs and journals but I want to keep up with the latest findings. The best place to find more current detailed information and opinions are in the blogs written by leading genetic genealogists.

A search on the ISOGG wiki (another beaut resource) returns a long list of genetic genealogy blogs but which should a DNA beginner from downunder follow?

I have created a DNA folder in my RSS reader Inoreader. Listed in the image below are the blogs I am currently following.

Do you see any glaring omissions?

Friday, May 5, 2017

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 5 May 2017

Congratulations to my genimates who completed the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. You have helped raise the profile of Australian Geneablogging.

The big news on the geneablogging scene this week was Thomas MacEntee's announcement that he will no longer be maintaining the Geneabloggers site. There has been some lively discussion on Thomas' decision on Facebook and other social media. I see this as a commercial decision on Thomas' part. Thomas has done a great job in bringing the geneablogging community together over the past eight years but, as a professional who needs to make a living, Thomas must do what is best for him.

The Geneabloggers brand has allowed Thomas to build up a reputation and following in the geneaworld. He probably realises that, for him, devoting time to Geneabloggers will not grow his business. He is now turning his attention to other areas including DNA - an area that is growing and may provide more commercial opportunities for him. I don't think Facebook and other social media will replace geneablogging but I do feel there will be less growth in the blogging arena as people become more comfortable in using other forms of social media for communication. 

For me blogging is a convenient, dynamic platform for sharing news, opinions and stories. I'm with James Tanner on this one

Long live geneablogging.

Following for your enjoyment are some of the blog posts that resonated with me this week.

The 116th story in Philip's amazing Great War series.

Thanks for the reminder Shauna.

Great to see Brett returning to research.

A common problem.

Kylie speaks out for cemeteries.

Victorian esources.

A book review from Liz aka Infolass.

Irish woes.


Some Gedmatch tips.

I almost thought I was there, thanks Debbie.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Superseded storage

The cleanup at our home,Welwel, is progressing quite nicely.

All of my genealogy files, folders, books and photos have been moved and are shelved in our new home.  Today finds me back in my old geneacave going through more stuff. I have spent the day going through my collection of portable hard drives that have capacities ranging from 80gig to 4tb. Before I toss the old bulky models I have been going through their contents to see if I have neglected to transfer any files (that I may never need) whenI have upgraded over the years. I am cleaning all files off the old drives and then Mr GeniAus will give them the hammer treatment.

On the left of the above image is one of my earlier models which stored 80gig with its power source and on the right is one of my two 4tb portable models. This portable black drive travels everywhere with me while its blue mate stays at home.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Are you following @Congress_2018

I was surprised, when I looked at Twitter today to find that there are only five people (including Alona from @GouldGenealogy me) following Tweets from the Congress organisers.

In case you had missed it the the Twitter hashtag for Congress 2018 (The 15th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry. 9 - 12 March 2018 ) is #congress_2018 and the Twitter handle is @congress_2018.

If you have a Twitter account how about showing your support for Congress?

Trove Tuesday - Local Zoo

It appears that there was once a zoo very close to our new home. Since doing some investigating I have discovered that the old zoo site now houses a caravan park. Naturally I turned to Trove to learn more about this site. 

ON the waterfront at Carey
Bay, "Bimbimbie"--a place
of many birds--is being developed
into a miniature zoo by its owner,
Mr. Brown.
"Two years ago my doctor told
me that unless I gave up heavy
work I wouldn't live 12 months.
I came out here, and plan within
10 years to develop a zoo that the
district will be proud of," said
Mr. Brown.
He has many birds in modern
cages, constructed so that people
can move among them. Water sprays
keep the birds cool in hot weather.
A large duck pond enables the
public to view the swans and ducks
at close range.
Natural conditions of birds have
been studied by Mr. Brown. He is
developing his zoo along these lines,
and has had remarkable results in
breeding birds and animals which
normally do not breed in captivity.
Most of the big birds and animals
have been named after children who
frequent the zoo. There is "Joey"
the emu, "James" and "Sheila" the
kangaroos, and "Percy" the duck.
"Percy" is a popular identity. re-
ferred to as the "talking duck." He
can quack "hullo," and when re-
quested bows courteously. "Percy"
has no objection to children nursing
A variety of pheasants have been
bred by Mr. Brown, who has also
been successful in breeding scrub tur-
keys. A peculiar feature about the
male scrub turkey is that, after allow-
ing the female bird to build the large
mound of earth, 5ft. high, in which
she lays the eggs he keeps her off
the mound. If the monund is dis-
turbed, he promptly scratches the
dirt and sticks back into original
One of Mr. Brown's peacocks can
display a 6ft. span of bright colours.
Authorities have said it is one of
the finest peacoks they have seen
Some of the birds and animals were
given to Mr. Brown by people who
appreciated his hobby and desire to
establish a zoo.
Snake Got Away
A friend ill the country recently
sent him a 12ft. carpet snake. but it
escaped when children left the cage
door open.
"Bimbimbie" is visited by people
from Newcastle district and travel-
lers. At holiday times nearly a hun-
dred people have been on the prop-
erty at the same time.
"I plan to build a jetty and a picnic
shelter, surrounded by lawns and
shrubs, on the 95ft. frontage to the
Lake, with the cages and animal
enclosures sheltered by trees, and sur-
rounded by gardens," said Mr. Brown.
A large aquarium, with a "harbour"
bridge across it, will be built on a
space already allocated. Material has
arrived for a monkey carge, and steps
have been taken to secure a strip
of timbered country for use as a
koala enclosure.
"Many people have offered to assist
by providing birds and animals. and
I hope to import some. If I can set
tile foundation for a zoo in this dis-
trict. and give pleasure to the people,
I will be happy," said Mr. Brown.
1946 'LAKE SANCTUARY FOR BIRDS, ANIMALS', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , 19 January, p. 5. , viewed 02 May 2017,

1948 'CAREY BAY ZOO', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , 23 March, p. 4. , viewed 02 May 2017,
1951 'OBITUARY', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , 20 February, p. 4. , viewed 02 May 2017,
1953 'Social Calendar', The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), 27 May, p. 10. , viewed 02 May 2017,

1953 'MONKEY BITES BOY'S FINGER', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , 25 August, p. 2. , viewed 02 May 2017,

1954 'To-day's Topics', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , 20 December, p. 2. , viewed 02 May 2017,
1954 'To-day's Topics', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , 16 January, p. 2. , viewed 02 May 2017,


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