Wednesday, February 27, 2019

ExCeL here I come

I just received some exciting news from the people at Rootstech. I have been selected as an Ambassador for Rootstech London.

Although I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as an Ambassador for eight Rootstech conferences in Salt Lake City there is something special about taking on this role in the land of my ancestors.

Each time I hop off the plane in Heathrow I feel immediately at home and as I travel around the British Isles on my geneajourneys  visiting ancestral sites I experience so many spinetingling moments.

This conference in London will give many Australian genies opportunities an opportunity to combine research in UK repositories, geneajourneys to ancestral sites and a major family history conference. What a trifecta!

As one of the old guard of Rootstech Ambassadors I hope that I can support those who are attending Rootstech for the first time. I look forward to seeing a strong contingent from downunder at the London.

I will be proudly displaying this badge on my blogs.

Smooth Process

Registering for Rootstech 2018 was a nightmare that caused many attendees to complain to the organisers.

It was with trepidation and a preparedness to wait in a long line that I ventured to the Salt Palace to register for Rootstech 2019. I was in for a big surprise, the process this year was streamlined and stress free. Thanks to the organisers who listened to last year's feedback and organised a new setup for registration. Firstly they mailed out badges to people in the US who took this option so they only had to deal with overseas folk who opted out of the mailing and late registrations in person. This worked well.

There was lots of signage directing delegates to the registration area.

 All one had to do to activate one's registration was to type an email address into one of the many  terminals available.


The next step was to go to a print station to collect one's badge from the friendly volunteer. That's Mr GeniAus marching towards the print station.

The Help Desk was set up next to the collection point for Rootstech merchandise. We were in and out in less than five minutes. What a contrast to the 2018 experience. 

Thanks Rootstech organisers. Our Rootstech experience has started off on a positive note.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Capital Punishment Database

As I was scouting around searching for details to add to persons in my CurryAus surname project I came across a new to me database, The NSW Capital Convictions Database.

While it was not intended as a genealogical database it contains the sort of information that we  family historians love to find. The database contains searchable particulars on prisoner, victim, conviction, and execution. So if your ancestor was a perpetrator or victim of crime in NSW you may find some interesting facts to add to their stories.

Of the two Currys I found in the database one was executed while one was found to be Not guilty.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Church on the Hawkesbury River

We've had this painting of a "Church on the Hawkesbury River" hanging on our walls since the early 1980s when we bought it from the artist, Marge Curson, who worked at Una Voce at Lower Portland where we used to holiday with the family.

Since that time I have learnt that my ancestors lived in the Hawkesbury area and I wonder if the church was significant in our family. I realise that because of artistic licence the painting may not accurately portray an actual church but I am posting a photo of the painting in the hope that someone recognises the building.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Why didn't I think of that?

As I wrestled with linking my Six Feet under Downunder Google sheets to play nicely with my new Wix website I took some time off to read my email.

My clever genimate Carmel asked me why I was using Wix when a Google site would be "Easy for a Googly girl". I don't know why but I hadn't given Google a thought. Why didn't I think of that?

It's a long time since I made a Google site but with the help of Carmel's marvellous "How to create a family site" I was up and away.  I found the process a bit frustrating as the Google site does not have the flexibility of Wix but I don't need something with too many bells and whistles. I just needed something that would play nicely with my spreadsheets. A bit of tweaking is needed especially with the Header but for the moment I am more than satisfied.

I'm putting my Wix site to bed and will continue on with my new Six Feet Under Downunder Google Site which does a sterling job of sharing my spreadsheets.

Thanks to the wonderful Robbie Stockfeld I have lots of  links to indexes from Victoria and elsewhere to add to this site.

Going six feet under

Update 9/2/2019

Because of technical difficulties I could not resolve I have unpublished the Wix site mentioned below and replaced it with a Google Site Six Feet under Downunder. Please visit and email me links to your favourite indexes.

I just can't help myself.

While preparing for my Six Feet Under Downunder webinar over the past few days I realised that there was no one site that lists all the wonderful resources in Australia that index the names of deceased resting in cemeteries and crematoria around Australia. It would have helped me no end in my preparation if there was a meta site that links to such resources.
Of course I decided to fill the gap with a Six Feet Under Downunder Website. I must be mad but I hope that the many generous genies around Australia who know of such indexes of  cremations, headstones and burial sites will share them with me so they can be loaded on the site. I will link to free indexes big and small that are available online.

Please bear with me as I set the site up and add data, it is my first attempt at creating a website with Wix so I'm on a steep learning curve. The site is live but have only added a little data until I get the structure right and work out how to add hyperlinks from the spreadsheets I am sharing on the pages. I will start wiht the sites I shared in the webinar and then add those shared by webinar attendees in the chat log. Feel free to take a look. 
I need your HELP. If you know of a list not on this site please email me the details and I will add it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Attendees teach presenter

Before I signed out from the Six Feet Under Downunder webinar this afternoon I took host Geoff Rasmussen's advice and downloaded the Chat Log and Questions Log from the event. I have just sat down and read through all the comments made and questions asked.

When presenting one needs to concentrate on the job at hand so there is no time to monitor the conversation that is taking place concurrently. Thanks to Geoff, a marvellous moderator, who replied to your comments online and provided links and information.

Sometimes one's activities have unintended outcomes, today's webinar certainly did. Firstly I was surprised that so many people tuned in to hear an Aussie grandma spruiking online, I was pleased to hear that people from 18 countries logged on. THANKS to you all. My curiosity is piqued because to me the attendees are anonymous, I wonder who it was that was online from Augsburg, Germany and down the road from me in Newcastle, Australia. There was a good representation from various states in the US, I think all Australian States were represented and our cousins across the ditch in New Zealand had a fair representation. A big G"Day to you all.

Many of the attendees who made comments taught me things I didn't know so the webinar was a learning experience for me.  Thanks to those who provided answers about the content on Tasmanian death certificates that I was unable to answer:


Prior to 1897 particulars recorded were:
Name of deceased.
Date and place of death.
Age at death.
Cause of death.

In 1897 the birthplace of deceased was added.

In 1914 age at marriage and number of issue were added.

I was interested to learn this about Deaths at sea: "When ex-Navy people are buried, the location (GPS / Lat-Long) of the position at which the ashes were scattered is recorded.  Should be able to ask for these through defence records also." and "Queensland death cert for burial at sea of infant ancestor who died while rellies were immigrating to Aus late 1800s include longtitude/latitude so can pinpoint with accuracy location of this sea burial."

I'll take a look at the unanswered questions and will try to answer them in a future blog post.

Thanks to those who provided me with links to online cemetery records. I will add these to my new blog/site Six Feet Under Downunder once I finish setting it up. I'll let you know when it goes live.

You can view the webinar online here for a limited time.

Friday, February 1, 2019

#GenealogySelfie Day - Reflecting

It took me most of the day to snap my #GenealogySelfie.

Reflecting on #GenealogySelfie Day
As the weather was cool Mr GeniAus spent most of his time out in our neglected garden so I had lots of time to spend on two favourite activities genealogy and thinking/reflecting.

I saw a notice for the SAG Genealogy Certificate and thought about whether I should attempt a formal course of study as family history is for me a hobby/passion. Would studying take the fun element out of it for me?

Elizabeth O'Neal's entry, Finding where we belong, in the Rootstech Video competition had me reflecting on my motivation to do family history.  Like me Elizabeth is an only child so the content of her video resonated. Do take a couple of minutes to watch the video.

Lilian Magill's blog post about some of the books in her genealibrary made me examine my collection for similar titles and evaluate my collection policy.

I thought about my involvement as an Ambassador the Rootstech Conference so I planned an event for people from the (Former) British Commonwealth to meet up prior to Rootstech. As I thought about these dinners that have become a Rootstech tradition I realised that through them I have made some great genimates in other Commonwealth countries.

I accepted a new invitation to speak at a Family History Group that is close to my heart but far from my home. I don't actively seek opportunities to speak but a few invites have come my way this month. I have several speaking gigs lined up but I pondered on whether I should keep up this activity. I love sharing my experiences and enthusiasm with fellow genies but preparing these talks takes such a lot of time that I could devote to chasing up my own ancestors.

On my mind all through the day were dead people in Australia and their final resting places. It took me ages to get around to what I should have been doing .... that was polishing up my webinar presentation for Legacy Family Tree Webinars' Australian series next week. I have heard from Geoff at Legacy that there is a healthy amount of interest in my Six Feet Under Downunder presentation. I am so impressed with the professionalism of the Legacy mob and hope that I can uphold their standards.

After my relaxing day of reflection I need to put my nose to the grindstone and finish off my 4 page handout for the webinar.

Calling Members of the Commonwealth at Rootstech 2019

I can't buck tradition especially as Rootstech will be in London, the home of the Commonwealth, later in 2019. 

For the past few years I have organised a very casual dinner for one of the minority groups attending the Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City. I hadn't done anything about this but Rootstech is less than four weeks away and some of my genimates have been asking about the Commonwealth Dinner.

I am extending this invitation to you, The People of the (Former) British Commonwealth now the Commonwealth of Nations to join us for a casual dinner. Please feel free to bring along your partners etc.

My fellow Australian Ambassador, Sharn White, and I look forward to catching up with our Commonwealth Chums.  If you have other pressing engagements please drop in for a while and say G'day.

Commonwealth folk please accept the following as your invitation. 

You are invited to a casual "People from the Commonwealth" get together

at the 

Blue Lemon, 55 West South Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84111


6:00pm - 8:00pm on Monday 25th February 2018. 

RSVP By email to or via a comment to me somewhere on social media.

As the restaurant closes at 9:00pm please arrive in plenty of time to dine and chat. We will gather at the rear of the restaurant so we won't cause too much disturbance to other patrons. After closing time new found friends may wish to adjourn to a neighbourhood bar to continue their conversations.


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