Thursday, September 29, 2016

Morton strikes again

I was delighted to hear from author, Nathan Dylan Goodwin, a few weeks ago. Nathan offered to send me a review copy of the latest book in his Forensic Genealogist series, The Spyglass File.

As I had enjoyed the earlier books in the series I responded with an enthusiastic "YES Please."

My recent health problems have robbed me of the concentration needed to read books. I have started and not followed through with quite a few. This book was just the tonic I needed.

With its cliffhanger chapter endings and twists and turns this tale kept me reading right up to the last page. That it was a genealogical mystery from World War 11 added to my interest.

Having read earlier books in the series I have become quite fond of genealogist, Morton Farrier, whose character is further developed in this tale.  Following the relationship of Morton and his long suffering fiance, Juliette, adds an extra dimension to this series.

I enjoyed reading about the various real resources Morton used while researching Barbara Springett's ancestry and have added a few museums to my must visit list for my next trip to the UK. I was impressed that Morton used Ancestry DNA tests to confirm his traditional research. Of course Morton had more success in knocking down brickwalls than we ordinary genies have but The Spyglass File is a work of fiction.

While not a masterpiece The Spyglass File is competently written and engaged this reader right up to the last words. It is a page turner that provides a few hours amusement - just what I needed.  This is not just a book for those interested in genealogy I think that any reader who is fond of a good mystery would enjoy this book .... and, if you're into genealogy, you will definitely enjoy it.

I hope that it's not long before I can read of Morton's next adventure.

This book is available in print and ebook format - scroll to the bottom of this page for details.

Latest news from Familysearch

Twile Integrates with FamilySearch

DONCASTER, UK and SALT LAKE CITY, UT (September 28, 2016)Twile and FamilySearch International have announced the launch of a new feature that will let users generate a family history timeline and share their research with other family members online. The timeline is designed to make research and discoveries more engaging for the broader family—especially younger generations—and to encourage collaboration. securely to, Twile imports a user’s tree and automatically adds events, such as births and marriages, to a personal, interactive timeline of their family history. Users can then browse the timeline, add photos, and share it privately with other family members.
By presenting a family tree as a timeline, Twile makes it easier for the non-genealogists in a family to explore their ancestry through events, stories, and pictures. It also encourages collaboration by letting them add missing details, their own life events, and recent photos.
UK-based Twile won two awards in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2016, including the People’s Choice award. In response to customer requests, Twile immediately started development on its FamilySearch integration.
Paul Brooks, Twile CEO, said, “The FamilySearch import has been our most requested feature, especially following our success at RootsTech. We have a passionate community of FamilySearch users who have waited patiently while we built it, and we’re so happy that it’s now ready for them.”
Currently, the integration imports FamilySearch’s Family Tree data into Twile. Soon, Twile will be adding support for FamilySearch’s memories and photos plus an automatic synchronisation that will keep the Twile timeline up to date as FamilySearch records change.
“FamilySearch is always looking for fun, engaging experiences that help our patrons make new personal discoveries and family connections. Twile’s rich, custom timeline of key family history events does exactly that!” said Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO.
To utilize the new feature, FamilySearch users will need to register for Twile at The basic service is free and lets users add up to 10 events and photos per month, while a Twile Premium account allows subscribers to add unlimited events and photos for $49.99 per year.
Link to or easily share this release online at
About FamilySearch
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world and is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
About Twile
Twile is a UK-based interactive timeline of your family’s past, present, and future. The timeline consists of photos and milestones—such as births, marriages and deaths—that tell the story of your family from your earliest known ancestor right through to today. Family historians can import their family tree from FamilySearch and then add more recent events from their own life before inviting their family members to explore and contribute.
While the Twile website is aimed primarily at family historians, it is also designed to encourage the rest of the family to add their own content, including the younger generations. Since its beginnings, Twile has been backed by Creative England, a number of UK angel investors and Findmypast, with whom they partnered in February 2016. Twile was the winner of two innovation awards at RootsTech 2016, including People’s Choice.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Calling Genealogy Presenters - Come visit Sydney in 2018

I've been reading on Facebook that many of my genimates will be heading to Sydney in March 2018 for the next Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry. We would love to hear presenters who haven't yet made the journey downunder. If you have been considering making the trek to the southern hemisphere March 2018 would be a perfect time.The following message from The Society of Australian Genealogists provides details.

"You may already be aware that the Society of Australian Genealogists is hosting the next Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry in 2018. The Congress will be held at the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour in Sydney, NSW Australia, from Friday 9 March 2018 to Monday 12 March 2018. The theme is Bridging The Past and Future.

We are working hard to make this a great event for local historical and family history societies, including reducing the cost of exhibiting and running a stream of presentations targeting issues relevant to the management of societies. You may also wish to consider submitting a proposal to give a lecture or workshop. The Call for Speakers closes on 31 October 2016 and we’d love to hear from you.

Further information and a link to the submission form can be obtained at and enquiries may be directed "

Monday, September 19, 2016

It's that time of the month...

....when I thank my lucky stars for the life that I lead and make a small contribution to the lives of families in other parts of the world.

As a member of the 'Genealogists for Families' Project on Kiva I just made two loans to borrowers in third world countries: one to a lady in Haiti and one to a lady on India.

'Genealogists for Families' members who come from all around the world believe that our small deeds can make a big difference to families who are less fortunate.

Our motto is, 'We care about families (past, present and future)'.

Everyone is welcome on our team - genealogists and non-genealogists alike. Please join us!

Click here for further details

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Datchet Past

Sitting beside me is a book I purchased on a recent holiday from The National Archives Bookshop in Kew, England.

Datchet Past is one of those books that would only appeal to a very limited market but, as one of my convicts came from Datchet, I just had to buy this title that was on the sale table.

The author, Janet Kennish, appears to be a local authority on Datchet history. Her name pops up whenever I try to do some Datchet research.

I love local history books that give me information about the localities from which my ancestors came.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A New Badge on the Blog

I've been tweaking the blog layout this morning to accommodate a new badge that indicates my role as an Ambassador for Rootstech 2017. I was honoured to receive an invitation from the Rootstech organisers to once again join the team whose role is to create awareness and promote the event to our followers and community.

RootsTech, held February 8–11, 2017, and hosted by FamilySearch, is the largest global family history event in the world! The sixth annual conference—celebrating families across generations—is the perfect place to discover and share your family's stories and connections through technology.
My travel arrangements have been made and I am looking forward to joining my genimates in Salt Lake City for this celebration of family history. As registrations for the event have now opened my next task is to register. For further details and to complete your registration take a look at the new Rootstech website

When I travelled to the first Rootstech in 2011 I was rather nervous but I was warmly welcomed by those I met there. Over the years several Aussies have made the trek to Rootstech and quite a few like me have returned for another dose.

If you have any questions about the event please contact me and I will be happy to answer them.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A New Leaf on the Tree

When our first eleven grandchildren were born Mr GeniAus and I hotfooted it to the hospitals to meet them at our first opportunity. In one case we even arrived a couple of hours prior to a delivery.

Amelia Anne 
I shed quite a few tears last weekend when my son phoned to share the news of Amelia Anne's arrival. I desperately wanted to visit the hospital to meet and greet her but because of my recent surgery I wasn't well enough to do so. Although I hadn't yet met Amelia I entered her details into my family history database and admired the photos her proud Dad sent me.

Her parents brought number twelve, Amelia Anne, home yesterday and for her first outing today popped around to have lunch with us. They made my day. More tears were shed as I cuddled this gorgeous little bundle of joy and then spent a couple of hours admiring her as she slept.

Her proud grandparents are thrilled to add this pretty new leaf to our family tree.

Amelia and Gummy
BobBob, Amelia and Gummy
BobBob and Amelia

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

National Family History Month Winnner

I was a winner in National Family History Month. Thanks to and the NFHM Coordinator, Shauna Hicks for organising such a comprehensive list of prizes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

GeniAus - The Rockstar

I don't know the identity of those who voted for me in the 2016 Rockstar Genealogist Awards but I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The results have just come in and I am thrilled, humbled and honoured to find my name among the list of International Genealogists as the Superstar Rockstar Genealogist (Gold) for Australia/New Zealand. The award is particularly sweet for me this year as I recently had a few health problems that necessitated a major operation and time away from geneactivities. This gong may provide the catalyst to drive me back into my geneacave. 
Graphic by ANZ Bronze Rockstar - Michelle Patient
Thanks to John D Reid for organising this annual activity that promotes global genealogy. 

Don't forget to tune into 
Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections Blog to see the full lists of Rockstars: 

Wednesday: Australia/News Zealand and Canada
Thursday: England/Scotland/Wales and Ireland
Friday: International, USA and DNA

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Trove Tuesday - Granny's Genealogy

1909 'Granny's Genealogy', Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), 7 February, p. 2. (THIRD SECTION), viewed 28 Jul 2016,


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