Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dear Ancestor

I found this poem on Cyndy's Genealogy Pages, a TNG site

Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest
neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiselled out
on polished, marbeled stone.

It reaches out to all who care.
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist.
You died and I was born.

Yet each of us are cells of you
in flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our heart contracts and beats a pulse
entirely not our own.

Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
one hundred years ago.
Spreads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.

I wonder as you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot
and come to visit you.

Author Unknown

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I found this poem on an Australian Family Site, Relatively Known, and thought I would share it:

Many many years ago
When I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow
Who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter
Who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her,
And soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother,
For she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matters worse,
Although it brought me joy,
I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle,
Though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle,
Then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter
Who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son,
Who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson,
For he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother
And it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife,
She is my grandma too.

If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.
For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother,
I am my own grandpa.

-- Anonymous

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Web Searches

Genealogists, have you ever wondered what happens when you submit a search for your ancestors to a search engine?

This video from Google Search Engineer Matt Cutts explains the process when you do a web search on Google.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tierneys on Parade - My Irish Heritage

Denis Tierney (1811-1894) from Roscrea, Tipperary, Ireland and his bride, Eliza D'Arcy (1816-1858) emigrated on the ship "China" to Sydney in 1839 where Denis, a carpenter, worked for Sir William Macleay on Elizabeth Bay House.

Denis and Eliza soon moved to the Williams River area and were founding settlers in the town of Dungog. Denis worked there as a carpenter and undertaker. Dennis probably put his talents to work on the construction of the family home that is still standing in Mackey Street today.

When Eliza, aged 42, died in 1858 the Maitland Mercury reported - ' Death. At Dungog, on the 26th inst., after an illness of four weeks, Mrs. D. Tierney, leaving a husband and four children to lament their loss.'

Denis, who lived till he was 83 lead a busy life. He was was active in the rifle club and was, for many years, starter for the race club.

Only two of the four Tierney children had a long life. Daughters Jane and Eliza both died of tuberculosis whilst in their twenties. My great-grandfather, John D'arcy Tierney and his sister, Mary both married and had families.

Although I have travelled to Denis' birthplace,Roscrea, Tipperary, and Eliza's birthplace, Templemore, Tipperary, I have not yet found any Irish cousins. Hopefully one day I will be able to locate someone who shares my Tierney heritage.

This precis of my Tierney family's history has been prepared for the 3rd Annual St. Patrick's Day parade, the 18th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture,

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I continue very slowly to check and edit the records on my TNG family site http://www.geniaus.net

Unless I make a huge raft of changes to the database I upload an update about oncer per month. The report from my latest update tells me that I have:

People: 7281
Families: 2280
Sources: 76
Media: 51
Notes: 4592
Places: 1439

I am not trying to grow the number of individuals but rather to verify sources and add more information about those who are in my files. I am also slowly scanning old family photos and documents.

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will my website.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Give Their Face A Place - Ethel at Elsinore

My grandmother Ethel Jane Pusell had a new house in which to raise her family. When my grandfather, Frank Duncan, returned from the WWI he was able, through the Soldiers Settlement Scheme, to gain a grant of Crown land on which he built a house for his bride, Ethel.

In this first photo from the 1920s Ethel is pictured with one of the five daughters she had with Frank. I think it may be my mother.

The 32,000 acres of land on which the simple timber house was built on the property "Elsinore" was 40 miles west of Cobar NSW. In 2010 this is a remote area, nearly 90 years ago it was extremely remote. Cobar, the nearest town, was a long carriage ride over rutted, red, dusty roads. Sydney and the coast was 700 km away. Life was tough, there were droughts, bushfires and loneliness.

My grandmother never complained about her lot in life; the stories she told of her early life were laced with the good humour with which she would have faced life at "Elsinore".

This post was prepared for: Smile for the Camera, 21st Edition -Give Their Face A Place - Women's History Month


Two of my favourite Web2.0 applications are Delicious and Twitter. I use Delicious to bookmark,tag,save and share websites (http://delicious.com/geniaus) and Twitter to share snippets of news,info and web links (http://twitter.com/geniaus).

A new tool, Packrati.us, promises to "follow your twitter feed, and whenever one of your tweets contains URLs, we add them to your delicious.com bookmarks. Optionally, bookmark URLs in @replies to you."

I am going to try out this tool and hope that it adds some valuable links that I may otherwise have missed to my Delicious account.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How the web works

Many genealogists use web applications on a daily basis and are not bothered with how it works but there are also curious creatures who want to know how communications happen over the internet.

I recently came across this short slideshow from the BBC, How the Web Works, that graphically demonstrates how a message gets from one computer to another. If you want to gain an understanding of this subject this is a good place to start.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

City of Sydney Library Event

Elders: Telling Your Story

11 March 2010 – 1 April 2010 Thursday 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Learn the ancient art of storytelling with John Hockney.

This exciting course runs over 4 weeks, two hours per week. The course explores the experiences of Sydney's older community - uncovering life stories, as well as guiding you to develop the skills to shape a narrative.

John Hockney is an accredited member of the Australian Storytelling Guild and a member of the Oral History Association of NSW. He has facilitated the telling of personal stories in two publications and in many nations.

Light refreshments provided.

Proudly supported by the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) and the City of Sydney Library for Harmony Month & Seniors Week.

Thursday 11, 18, 25 March &
Thursday 1 April
10.00am - 12.00pm

Waterloo Library
Telephone: 9288 5688
Email: jhockney@tpg.com.au for further information or pick up a flier at your local branch

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thinkspace - Adult learners

Genealogists in Sydney, these courses at The Powerhouse Museum may help you with your use of computers and technology.

Thinkspace - Adult learners

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