Sunday, November 30, 2008

All I want for Christmas is....

..... a subscription to Ancestors Magazine from The National Archives in the UK. The informative articles in this magazine are relevant to the many Australians who have UK heritage. Best value appears to be the 24 month subscription.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What's on in Sydney

SAG - The Society of Australian Genealogists has a program of seminars and courses open to both members and non-members of the society. Prior bookings are necessary for these fee-paying activities. Details can be found here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What were they listening to when you were born?

The #1 song on this date in history site allows one to search by date for and listen to Billboard's #1 song on a specific date in history back to the 1890's. In order to hear the songs one needs to have iTunes installed on the computer.

I found that searching for songs for dates such as children's births, weddings etc.triggered my memories for the times these events occured. When I was married the #1 was "American Woman/ No Sugar Tonight" by The Guess Who and when I was born the #1 was "Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend)" by Vaughn Monroe.

What songs were at number 1 on important dates in your family history?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Online Magazine for those with Scottish interests

The Discover My Past Scotland publication is available now. This is the only available geneaological and historical reference resource dedicated to Scotland and its people.

For information on subscriptions go to Discover My Past. This is not a free resource.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gould Genealogy Newsletter

South Australian firm Gould Genealogy has been supplying resources to the Genealogy community for over 30 years. My experience in purchasing goods online from Gould has been positive. I keep in touch with their new products and specials by subscribing to their newsletter.

As an individual I cannot purchase all of the resources that they promote. When I find something of interest I note the details and then find a library that holds or is ordering the resource. An email subscription to this newletter can provide valuable leads.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Date for the diary - Penrith NSW

2009 Makings of a City History Conference: Convicts and Culture

Penrith City Library will hold its 8th Annual History Conference on Saturday14 March 2009.

Enquiries: Vanessa Stockford on 02 47328040 or email: Alison Spencer on 02 47327687 or email:

Sunday 15 March 2009, 10 am - 4 pm Penrith City Library, 601 High Street Penrith Entry fee - gold coin.

Enquiries: Lorraine Stacker on 02 47327886 or email: Judy McLeod on 02 47331631 or email:

Friday, November 21, 2008


Twitterfeed is a service that sends a notification or feed to one's Twitter account when one makes a blog post. I've set twitterfeed up so my blog feeds shouln now appear on my Twitter Account.


I got my hands on an ASUS Eee PC last year in the first week they were available in Australia. I took it on a trip to Canada and loved it. It was lightweight and fitted in my handbag, I was able to use it to connect to wireless networks in hotels and airports and keep in contact with family and the world by email and Skype. I won't be carrying a brick of a laptop on travels any more.

I upgraded a few months ago to an Eee PC 900 that runs Windows. This netbook has also had a trip to the US and Canada.

But what of genealogy? A month ago I installed my genealogy software, The Master Genealogist, onto the Eee PC and it is working a treat. I am about to set off on a trip to the country and will be able to take my database with me on the Netbook. As protection I have emailed the latest backup of my project to myself at Gmail so that, if I have a problem on the road, I can retrieve my data.

Previously, when travelling, I had The Pocket Genealogist software on my PDA but I found the tiny screen size meant lots of scrolling. Now I need only one program and one device and I don't have to bother about synching data.

Since the EeePC was developed many other netbooks have come on the market; ACER, HP and Dell now all have similar machines. These inexpensive computers are perfect for genealogists on the move.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Site Traffic

I wonder if anyone will actually read my blog and if they will find some of the snippets useful or at least interesting. Instead of installing a simple Hit Counter I decided to add Google Analytics code to the blog to keep track of how many visits I get, where they come from geographically and from where they were referred.

I have just taken a look at my first Analytics report (for the past three days) and have discovered my 8 visitors have been referred from Google,, and one from a genealogical society. I have nominated my blog to a couple of directories and put it out on Twitter so it will be interesting to see if the readership grows over the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Australian Newspapers Beta

The National Library of Australia has embraced the 21st Century. I was thrilled to see early issues of the Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser as part of Australian Newspapers Beta an online archive of early Australian newspapers.

A search of the archive produced a number of references to my Tierney ancestors from Dungog, NSW. The information contained in these articles that I was able to read online adds some colour to the genealogical data I have on these ancestors.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I have been using Twitter , a microblogging tool, for a few months to keep up with colleagues in my industry. I wonder if it could be useful tool for genealogists.

I am not the only person thinking about this as I just came across this article :How To Get Started As A Genealogist On Twitter. An earlier article is entitled : Can Genealogists Use Twitter?

As a result I've set up a Twitter account with a widget on this blog so that all my Twitter posts will be replicated here. Genealogists, especially those iin Australia, are encouraged to follow itgeniaus.

I'll have to wait and see if this is a valuable tool or a fun experiment.

Libraries Australia

Chasing an elusive an out-of print book? Looking for a book to assist with yout research?

Libraries Australia lets you discover what's in Australian libraries. You can find it, borrow it, copy it or buy it. Using this search tool that lists over 42 million items held in most Australian academic, research, national, state, public and special libraries, one can identify work relevant to one's research. Many of these items will be available on intlibrary catalogueserlbrary loan from your local library.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Are you a Greenie Genie?

I am trying to cut down on paper use in everyday life. I store all of my documents and photos on a hard drive and back them up to DVD. I never print emails and don't even have a printer installed on my little Eee PC. My calendar and contacts are online and synched between a couple of devices.

But what of my Genealogy hobby? I have a bookshelf full of folders with bits of paper I have collected over the years and I am wondering how much of this stuff is essential. I must go through the folders and prune down the contents. I will keep primary documents and copies of certificates but will scan anything else I need to keep.

In the future:

* When visiting repositories I will eschew the photocopiers and microfilm printers. I will use a USB flash drive to save data where possible on reader/printers, I will use the digital camera I have in my handbag to take digital images (on a high resolution) of book and journal pages and microfilm printer screens.
* I will resist printing out reports that others send me. I do find it hard to transcribe details and continually change windows when transcribing details from databases on one computer. I now set up two laptops and use one for viewing/browsing and one for data entry.
* I won't print off hard copy backups of genealogy reports. I will save these to an offsite location. An easy way to do this is to attach documents to an email and send them to a web-based email account like Gmail.

Maybe I'll even save a tree. I'm interested in tips from Greenie Genies


There is a plethora of resources for genealogists on Youtube. As well as video tutorials on using common sotftware there is a range of videos targeted to genealogists. The following video by Robert Ragan of "Treasure Maps How-to Genealogy" explains how to install the Google Toolbar and use it to advantage.

Why We Shoot Home Videos

I have an RSS subscripion to "Pogue's Post" because of my professional interest in IT. David Pogue's recent NY Times article "Why We Shoot Home Videos" is interesting reading for those genealogists who have a fetish for family photography and videos.

Well written genealogy reports enhance credibility

In her genealogy column in the Las Vegas Sun, Stefani Evans writes that "Grammatical errors cast doubt on one’s expertise" . I have always believed in the 'halo effect' and when selecting candidates for job interviews am biased towards those with good oral presentation skills.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Static email addresses

Have you ever posted a message to an online list like Rootsweb Mailing Lists? Since posting that message have you changed your email address? Can you remember all of the postings you have made over a number of years?

I have been frustrated, when replying to old messages on lists, to have my emails returned because the listers address is not valid. The lister and I may have lost an opportunity to make a valuable connection.

I now use a Gmail account as my contact when posting to lists so that, if I change Internet Provider (and associated email address), I have a static address that will move with me and that I can have forever. Other established providers are Hotmail and Yahoo. An additional benefit is that these accounts can be accessed via the web from any computer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Local Library supports Family History

Good on you, Hornsby Library.

Hornsby Council will host a history talk titled ‘Finding your ancestors in Australia’ at Hornsby Library on Saturday 22 November from 10.30am to 1pm.

The talk will be presented by family historian Peter Booth and will provide advice on how to research and trace your Australian ancestors using the internet, convict and early settler records, cemetery records and electoral rolls.

The cost of the talk is $10. Details here

Genes Reunited - Good value for $19.95

I've had a subscription to Genes Reunited since 2004. For only $19.95 per annum I have been put in contact with around 200 persons on three continents who have links to my tree. The security on the site appears to be excellent with one's personal details kept private. Subscribers are able to control how much or little information they share with others. I am once again renewing my subscription and look forward to meeting more distant cousins over the coming year.

A highlight was linking up wiht my husband's Gowans cousins in the UK. We have visited twice and been able to view their extensive collection of family memorabilia.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Master Genealogist

After using a couple of other programs to record my family history I moved to The Master Genealogist by Wholly Genes software around 1997. I have regularly upgraded the program and am now using version 7.03. The program is quite intuitive and easy to use out of the box. I have still not fully explored all of its functions but am pleased that, when I want to do something new, I have a powerful product that will probably do the job for me.

There is is plenty of online help for users. Wholly Genes sponsors user forums and Rootsweb hosts a mailing list. There are a number of user groups including one in Sydney that meets at The Society of Australian Genealogists and has an online Yahoo group. In the future I hope to join one of the annual genealogy cruises hosted by Wholly Genes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dutch Immigrants to Australia

I just found some emigration details for Dutch relatives who came to Australia on this site from National Archives in Holland - From the Netherlands to Australia 1946-1991

Library Thing

Library Thing is one of my favourite social networking sites where I keep a log of all the books I have read. The tag genealogy has been used 25,705 times by 2,176 users to describe relevant books on the LT database - it's a good place to go to find book details.


I have been using Delicious to save and tag my bookmarks for a couple of years both in my personal and professional life. I find it very useful for keeping track of family history links. I recently set up a separate Delicious account just for my genealogy links. Geniaus' Delicious Links . Updates will be posted to this blog via an RSS Feed.

Why add yet another blog to the crowded blogosphere?

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 and solve some of my mysteries.


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