Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Reader Geneameme - Responses

As I am still travelling around the US after the recent Rootstech Conference I have to rely on hotel internet connections so I may not be able to post links to Reader Geneameme responses promptly. I will, however, do my best.

Pauleen Cass from Australia's Northern Territory was the first to respond to the meme challenge followed by Julie Goucher from the UK. Thanks for getting the ball rolling.

Following is the list of links to responses; I will continue to add to this as I find more contributions.

Anglers Rest - Julie Goucher
Australian Genealogy Journeys - Aillin O'Brien
Diary of an Australian Genealogist - Shauna Hicks
Family History Across the Seas - Pauleen Cass
Genealogically Speaking - Caitlin ( video response on Youtube)
Genealogy Leftovers - Judy Webster
Geniaus - Jill Ball
Leading through Linda's Tree - Linda Ottery
Luvvie's Musings - Alex Daw
Tracking Down the Family - Jennifer Jones

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Reader GeneaMeme

It's National Year of Reading in Australia - time to post a GeneaReader meme.

I am always interested to see what the people profiled on GeniMates answer to the question "What is your favourite (non genealogy book)? As books are an essential tool for the genealogist I thought it would be fun to find out about your reading habits and experiences.

I invite anyone with an interest in genealogy or reading to participate. If you don't have a blog and wish to participate you can send your responses to me in an email and I will pop them into a post on my blog. Please let me know when you participate by a comment on this post or by email and I'll collate a list of responses.
It would be appreciated if genealogists would let the meme run its course before copying and republishing it with alterations and amendments.

The Reader GeneaMeme

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item 

Which of these apply to you? reading

  1. Have you written any books? 
  2. Have you published any books?
  3. Can you recommend an inspiring biography?
  4. Do you keep a reading log? If yes, in what format?
  5. Are you a buyer or a borrower of books?
  6. Where do you get reading recommendations?
  7. What is the one genealogy reference book you can't do without?
  8. Do you hoard books or do you discard them when you have finished?
  9. How many books are in your genealogy library?
  10. What's your favourite genealogy magazine or journal?
  11. Where are the bookshelves in your house?
  12. Do you read e-books? How?
  13. How many library cards do you have?
  14. What was the last genealogy title you read?
  15. What is your favourite bookshop?
  16. Do you have a traditional printed encyclopaedia in your house?  
  17. Who are the authors in your family tree and what have they written?
  18. Who is your favourite author?
  19. Where do you buy books?
  20. Can you nominate a must-read fiction title?
  21. How many books are in your personal library?
  22. What is your dictionary of choice?
  23. Where do your read?
  24. What was your favourite childhood book?
  25. Do you have anything else to say about books and reading?

Links to Responses to the Reader Geneameme  See what other genealogists have to say about books and reading.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

People that you meet - 3

I just came across this draft post from the recent Rootstech Conference that I had neglected to publish. It contains photos of more of the amazing people  I met there.
Familysearch CEO, Dennis Brimhall and Geniaus

Daniel Horowitz

Janet Hovorka

Dusty Rhoades, Geniaus and Valerie Elkins

Michelle Goodrum and Geniaus

Barbara Renick and Barry Ewell

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sharing Congress Excitement

A number of the people with whom I communicate on various social media are starting to share their excitement about attending this event which is only held once every three years in Australia.

Some like me are first time attendees while others including Judy Webster from Queensland have attended nearly all of the twelve previous Congresses that have been held at various cities around Australia.

I have noticed Cassie Mercer from Inside History Magazine and Alona Tester from Gould Genealogy tweeting about Congress. Earlier today on Twitter I proposed that when tweeting about Congress we should use a hashtag. Alona Tester was online at the time and we entered into a conversation on this topic. We agreed that we would use #AFFHO12 whenever we posted tweets about Congress. Hopefully other genealogists and sponsors who are attending the Congress will also use this hashtag so that posts can be easily identified.

I have put a note on the Australian Genealogy group on Facebook asking the 700+ members there if anyone  is attending Congress. Hopefully some of the people in that group are heading to Adelaide and will share their excitement in their Facebook genealogy groups.

There are a number of Australian genealogists using Google Plus. Another first time attendee, Liz Pidgeon (aka @infolass) has used that medium to indicate that she will be attending Congress.

If you are attending Congress please let me know - I'd love to catch up with you there. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Do you know Alice Owen?

L-R James Ball, Daphne Gillespie, Eliza Anne Gowans, Alice Owen (great friend of Eliza), Merle Gillespie, Mervyn Faunt
I should imagine from looking at this photo that it was taken at a function in Sydney in the late 40s. It may have been at the wedding of Merle and Merv Faunt at All Saints Church, Petersham in June 1948.

Who is Alice?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Genealogy Cards for Congress

My New (Business) Genealogy Cards | lonetester genealogy news

From Alona Tester comes this great idea for Congress.

Congress provides an opportunity to meet new people - be prepared with cards to swap your contact details.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Packing for Congress

As a newbie I am not sure what I should pack for Congress in Adelaide. 

Tourist sites tell me that the weather in Adelaide will be mild in late March so I won't need my thermal underwear or my sundresses. As conference venue airconditioning can be unreliable I will be dressing in layers and wearing flat comfortable shoes.

I'll need some cash for those vendors who may not offer credit facilities in the trade fair/exhibit hall as I am sure there will be lots of goodies for sale. As always there will be a bottle of water in my conference bag and maybe some healthy snacks. 

As I have no ancestors from South Australia I won't be visiting any repositories for research so I won't need to worry about that side of things. I have revised the list of gear that I took to Rootstech for this Adelaide trip. This is what I will be taking:

Netbook and USB wireless connection 

*Galaxy Tab another option for connecting, tweeting and blogging from the conference.

* Small portable hard drive on which I have all my family history data. One never knows when one will meet a cousin.

Digital camera, SD cards, 2 batteries, charger - This Official Blogger wants to take lots of happy snaps for the blog. I will back up any notes taken to this device.

2 Thumb/Flash drives  Just in case

Mobile phone and charger

Pencil case with pencils, sharpener and pens

* Spiral bound notebook (If all else fails write it down)

Business cards 

All of this will probably be packed in a bright bag that will stand out in the crowd.

Of course I will be taking Mr Geniaus to act as chauffeur. I hope he can amuse himself for a few days in Adelaide.

I am wondering if there is anything else I need to take.

Monday, February 13, 2012

An Encore for the Official Blogger

A little while after I registered for the The 13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry  I asked if there was a Social Media Policy for the Conference and if there would be any Official Bloggers at the conference.

Since then I have had an ongoing conversation by email with Joan Matthews, Deputy Chairperson of the Conference Organising Committee. Just prior to Rootstech I had a message from Joan welcoming me "aboard as an Official "Blogger" I see that my role has been announced in the latest edition of the Conference Newsletter so I can come out of the closet and start talking about the Conference on this blog.

I am very excited to be attending my first Congress as I have heard lots about this event from my geneablogging friends who will attend; these include Judy Webster, Shauna Hicks, Helen V Smith, Alona Tester and  Kerry Farmer. I am particularly excited to be meeting Seonaid Harvey Lewis who will be travelling from New Zealand for the event.

I note from the Conference website that it is not too late to register for the event so if you have been vacillating about making a decision why not go to   register and join us in Adelaide on 28th March for four days of fun.

Your defining television programs... - ABC New South Wales - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Reading through this list of TV shows reminded me that I should make a note in my database of the shows enjoyed by family members.

My grandmother, Ethel Jane Pusell liked Bonanza and Days of our lives. My Dad, Allan John Curry loved Four Corners, The Flintstones and Top Cat.

What shows did your parents and grandparents watch?

Your defining television programs... - ABC New South Wales - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC):

'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Do you know Eileen and Pat Redding? 1945

This snap in my Dad's album simply says Eileen and Pat Redding, 1945.  They look like a mother and daughter to me.

As my Dad lived in Canowindra, NSW I am thinking that the Reddings may have some connection with that town or perhaps Eileen is Eileen Ursula Redding who, according to the electoral rolls on Ancestry, resided at Pacific Highway, Hornsby near my Dad's Aunt and Uncle Percy and Mary MacDonnell.

I'm hoping that one day a Redding descendant happens across this post and contacts me.

The People that you meet - 2

More snaps of the people I met at Rootstech. The best thing about going to Rootstech is meeting one's old genimates and making new ones.

Dear Myrtle and Geniaus (Right)

Steve Morse and Dan Lynch (right)

Nancy Shively (standing) Amy Coffin (Front)

Curt Witcher

Nick Barratt and Geniaus

Caroline Pointer

Friday, February 10, 2012


It's never too late to join in.

If you have a spare few minutes and need a break from ancestor hunting how about responding to one of these  geneamemes.

Please let me know if you take up my challenge so I can add your post to my lists of links.

99 Things Genealogy Meme - Aussie Style

Watch out for the new Reader GeneaMeme to be posted on the Geniaus blog on February 27.

The People that you meet - 1

Many of my Aussie genimates follow a number of genealogy blogs from the US. At the recent Rootstech Conference I got to meet a number of the people who write or are mentioned in these blogs.

Renee Zamora

Allison Dolan

The Ancestry Insider

Torill Johanasen (Norway) Paul Nauta

Randy Seaver

Sue Maxwell

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Converted at Rootstech

Straight after Rootstech Mr Geniaus and I boarded a plane for Florida and headed for a cruise ship and warmer climes. I am blogging from somewhere near the Cuban coast where the temperature is a pleasant 26 degrees centigrade

Mr Geniaus at work
Rootstech 2012 was an amazing experience so much so that my non-genealogist husband has agreed to return for Rootstech 2013 and to set aside more time for research in the Family History Library. I think he has caught the genealogist bug. He spent hours at the Library scanning reels of microfilm looking for evidence of his English ancestors in small villages. He was frustrated that he was unable to knock down a brick wall that may connect us with descendants of James Gowans, the Scottish clockmaker, in New York. There is evidence on the US 1900 census that Mira/Maria Gowans lived on 261 West 20th Street, New York, New York and after that we cannot find a trace of her. 

At Rootstech Mr Geniaus had access some of the best genealogists in the US and he asked each of them for guidance with his problem but despite following their advice his searches brought no results.

Unlike me Mr Geniaus likes to plan far ahead so we already agreed that we will stay on after Rootstech and spend a week researching in the Family History Library and we'll include in our itinerary New York where there is a copy of Maria's mother's probate file from 1902 held in the Surrogate's Court. Perhaps this will hold a clue to Maria's whereabouts after 1902!

I think I have a family history convert!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Do you know Keith McDean?

Taken at the same time and place, The Police Depot in Sydney in 1947, as the photo of my father in my In the Force post  is this snap of another young Police Officer, Keith McDean. Perhaps the photo is in Dad's collection because Keith joined the force at the same time as Dad in 1947.

I can only find mention of one Keith McDean in Australia on Ancestry. I wonder if this is Keith William McDean?

Hopefully one day this post will reach one of Keith's descendants.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My foray into film at Rootstech

Having just watched my first attempt at a video interview I have learnt that I need to sit on my hands and stop pulling faces. Sitting still is not one of my strong points.

At the Rootstech conference the Official Bloggers were given an opportunity to book a slot in a glass enclosed studio in the middle of the exhibition hall where we could interview vendors, celebrities and ordinary people just like me. There was a very helpful technician on hand to man the cameras and audio equipment.

During last year's conference I was just too nervous to try interviewing anyone but this year I was feeling a little more bold and confident so I gave it a go. As my first victim I selected Darrin Lythgoe, the developer of the TNG genealogy software. Darrin had been very helpful to me last year when I was having trouble upgrading from one version of TNG to the next and I knew that he would be a kind and supportive interview subject ..... and he was.

The video is available on Youtube and right below this paragraph. Be gentle with the hand waving interviewer.

An American Home

A highlight of visiting any foreign country is being able to meet, chat and get to know the natives. Attending the Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City has given Mr Geniaus and I and opportunity to meet US citizens from many states. That they share my passion for family history has been icing on the cake. The networking component of events such as Rootstech cannot be underrated.

Mexican Feast
An invitation to visit a home in a foreign place where one can interact with people and their friends in their own environment offers a great cultural opportunity. On Saturday night, with around fifty other bloggers and genealogy enthusiasts, Mr Geniaus and I experienced the hospitality of Janet Hovorka, the Chart Chick, and her husband in their family home around 40 minutes outside Salt Lake City. We were treated to a Mexican feast and some very pretty sweet delicacies.

Janet's local friends in genealogy provided transport for us to the venue. We thank Luana Darby who chauffeured  bloggers Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Alzo, myself and Mr Geniaus to and from the party. At the party we got to have some extended conversations with people we had met at the conference and some we had not managed to meet. This event afforded us all a perfect way to wind down after the hecticity of Rootstech.

Our thanks go out to the Hovorka Family for this fantastic evening.

Birthday Greetings

At a Rootstech after party I attended last evening at the home of the Chart Chick, Janet Hovorka, we sang happy birthday for the 5th of Febrary to Rootstech Official Blogger, Lisa-Louise Cooke.  Thomas MacEntee lead the partygoers in a rendition of "Happy Birthday".

The Birthday Girl

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Learning from the Experts at Rootstech

Although he doesn't do genealogy Mr Geniaus is tapping the brains of the many expert genealogists who are at the conference. Here he is deep in conversation in the Media Hub (Official Bloggers' Hangout) with Dear Myrtle.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Geneabloggers Blogtalk Radio

While most of the Americans at Rootstech's "Friday night at the Library" watched the "Who do you think you are?" TV show at 7:00 pm this evening. I took the option of attending the broadcast of the first birthday show of Geneabloggers Blogtalk Radio.

Instead of watching the show at my kitchen table at lunchtime on Saturday in Sydney I joined Thomas MacEntee, co-host, Dear Myrtle, and a couple of other lucky genealogists in a glass enclosed conference room in The Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

During the show I was busy Tweeting, writing on the chatboard, taking photos and, on a cue from Myrt, presenting Thomas with a 'surprise' birthday cake. I promised the people on the chatboard that I would post a few photos to this blog but, as it is easier to upload a set of photos to Facebook, I created a Public Photo Album that you can access here.

I really did interview Nick Barratt... Rootstech today.

Some people on Twitter  asked me if I interviewed him personally or via a link.  It was in person and here's a photo to prove it.

Genealogy 2.0 Session at Rootstech

On with the show

In full flight

Audrey Collins
Amy Coffin

Jill Ball
Listening is thirsty work

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rootstech - First Day

What a hectic day!  

7:00 am I just got into the breakfast room at The Radisson  before a big queue built up. As I had left Mr Geniaus asleep I shared a table with fellow Android enthusiast Linda McCauley whom I had not previously met.
Paul Nauta showing the ropes to Nancy Shively and Lynn Palermo
7:30 am Met Paul Nauta from Familysearch for a tour of the exhibition hall before the crowds surged in. Strolled past Thomas MacEntee who was busy organising geneabling for the geneabloggers at Rootstech.

Thomas the blingmaster
Putting finishing touches to the interview rooms and the media hub where Official Bloggers hang out
Play area in the exhibit hall

8:15 am Ushered to front seats for the opening ceremony. I enjoyed Jay Verkler's look into the future but feel that this opening lacked some of the pizaaz of the 2011 Opening keynote.

10:00 am Settled down in the media hub to go over my slides for this afternoon's presentation. Didn't get a lot done because I was so busy meeting online genimates; meeting these folk is just like catching up with friends one knows in 'real life'. I was particularly excited to meet Bart Brenner as I like his approach to genealogy.

Geniaus chatting with the new CEO of Familysearch, Dennis Brimhall, the outgoing CEO Jay Verkler and Randy Seaver
11:00 am I skipped the second session so I could concentrate on my slides and then prepare for my first video interview with Darrin Lythgoe developer of TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding).

12:00 pm I don't think I bungled the interview with Darrin. We'll see when I get the file which I'll probably post on Youtube.

I got conscientious after lunch and attended two sessions before mine. I attended the first session on Using Android Devices for Genealogy and Family History with David Lifferth. I was pleased that he and his co-presenter took a different approach to this topic than that I had planned.

I made a poor choice with my next session The Powers of Evernote: Photos, URL's, Censuses, Geo-location, and Stories I should have taken note of the Beginner status of this session as I didn't learn anything new about Evernote, The presenters Tevya Washburn and Kurt Francom were very enthusiastic and offered further help to those present. As the room was so crowded and I was sandwiched between two portly gentlemen I was unable to take notes, photos or tweet from this session.

4:00 pm was tummy butterflies time for me as my session approached. Thankfully much of the crowd from the previous session filed out of the room so I was able to cool down before taking the stage. I was buoyed by a number of greetings I received from Australian genies via various social media, it also was good to have the support of Jan Gow from New Zealand and Mr Geniaus in the audience, thank you. I think my presentation went well. Even my harshest critic, Mr Geniaus, said it was okay. Others said I was cute and funny while others said they learnt something. Thanks to the audience especially my breakfast mate, Linda McCauley, who contributed valuable insights to the conversation.

Tweets that I came across included:

 Janell Vasquez 

Apps give the ability for you to share very easily into a lot of programs - blog, email fb, g+, more  

 Cheri Daniels 

  girls know all about furlongs! :-) 
 Janell Vasquez 

Oooh, I didn't know librarything has an Android app, I'll have to check that out  
 Janell Vasquez 

There is a difference between apps and widgets, just ask , but don't argue with her about it! 
 Janell Vasquez 

Tablets have some limitations, you may not want to write you're whole personal history on your tablet :/  
 Janell Vasquez 

Android tablets are multifunction, like women  
 Janell Vasquez 

Listening to  talk about Android tablets, love her accent :)

I am most appreciative of the input from my Australian Genimates, Shelley from Canberra and Tanya from the North Coast of New South Wales, The Galaxy Girls, who helped me with content for the presentation.

The final slide
The evening event was a buffet dinner followed by entertainment two comedians. The warm up act was a young local comedian, I didn't enjoy this so much but maybe my Aussie sense of humour isn't in sync with the US sense of humour. The main act,  Ryan Hamilton , had both Mr Geniaus and I cackling. We really enjoyed his show.


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