I remember somewhere, sometime saying that I intended to update my website GeniAus Family Site every month or so. It seems that my good intentions flew out the window. I just checked to see when I had last updated the site and it was back in February.
|GeniAus Family Site|
Ever since we went into our latest Covid lockdown a website update has been on my gunna list but I keep saying I'll do it tomorrow. During the lockdown I have been hatching, matching, and dispatching many ancestors. I hadn't looked at some of my research from last century since last century and, in that period, many new records have come online and several elderly cousins have left this mortal earth.
When I did my early research I was grateful to find one source for each event but I have learnt that is not enough. Events need to be corroborated by multiple sources of quality. Lockdown has given me time to go back, update records and seek new sources.
Each day I think I'll update the website now but then I say "I'll just check a few more records and upload tomorrow." I could have gone on like this until Christmas. When I wanted to share a link to the record of a family member who had recently passed away I realised that I needed to upload a gedcom containing the death date of that person to make the record appear on the GeniAus Family website. (Records of living people are not in the public domain on my site.) All of a sudden I had a pressing need for an immediate upload.
So today, 7 months since my last update, I have spent a few minutes exporting a gedcom from my Family Historian software and uploading it to my website ( TNG software hosted by Simply Hosting). If I had remembered where I had saved my login details for the site this should only take around five minutes! Sadly it took me much longer to retrieve those details. Once I was at the host's site I also made a full backup of my website that I will store on an external hard drive.
|A few statistics from the GeniAus Family site today.|
I am constantly making edits and additions to my Family Historian database so I will try to remember a monthly website upload (reminder now in calendar). I wonder if I will manage.
We had not known of Norma until I came across her name and interests on a genealogy bulletin board in the late 1990s when I was researching the Ball line. I tried to contact Norma but my emails bounced back. It took us several years to find her but finally Mr GeniAus managed to make contact in 2011.
|Norma's Bulletin Board Message|
We first visited Norma at her home in Wingham in May 2011. We discovered that she had a keen interest in family history having done research at The Society of Australian Genealogists in the 1990s. Unfortunately, as her sight had failed her, Norma was no longer able to use a computer or email. We had a wonderful discussion about family history and our trips to Rochdale, Lancashire, in search of the Balls. Norma generously shared her research, family photos and stories with us.
|Norma Jean Ball- Army Portrait 1952|
Since that first meeting we have visited Norma on several occasions at the care facility where she moved when her eyesight declined. Norma was a delightful character who was mentally as sharp as a tack when we last visited her earlier this year. We enjoyed sitting with Norma and hearing stories of family members and of Norma's career in the Australian Army. She always showed a keen interest in my research and enthusiastically consented to take a DNA test on our last visit.
We are pleased that we were able to get to know Norma and are most grateful for her contributions to the Ball story. We send our condolences to her nieces and nephews as they mourn the loss of a beloved aunt.
I run hot and cold with my personal blog jillballau: Jottings, Journeys, Joy.
This morning I had to enlist the help of that blog's archive on Trove to find out when I had actually written my first post. Over the years, I have added some predated posts to the blog and integrated the posts from another earlier Men at Work blog into it.
After a a bit of digging I found my first post was on 4th July 2012. Here is what I said:
The current Covid lockdown has given me time to evaluate jillballau which is not very popular in the blogisphere. Firstly I thought about my purpose, I have realised that, while the visits and comments from friends and strangers may massage my ego, my purpose was stated succinctly in that first post where I said "I see the value of leaving a personal blog like Jackie's as a resource for future generations".
I have recommitted to that purpose. It is important to me that I leave a big footprint behind for the generations of the future. I am honoured that jillballau is preserved in The Australian Web Archive on Trove so I know what I post will be preserved.
Back in June I wrote a post Unloved in which I promised to give my neglected blog some attention. I have been plugging away over the past few weeks giving it some much needed attention.
Among the things I have done is modify the static pages on the blog by adding pages for my travel map and books read which had previously been in widgets in the sidebar. I have renamed all the sexist "Men at Work" tags to "Workers". I have changed and added many other tags and selected some popular tags, that reflect the main themes of the blog, for a Topics widget on the home page. I have gone back through my 4 Terabytes of photos and found many of the folders of resized photos previously shared on FaceBook which I am cheekily sharing in predated posts to preserve the chronological nature of the blog.
The blog is rich in images with many posts having 20+ images and few words, my pictures tell many stories. I have tried various tweaks to get the posts to load faster without success. Hopefully with better internet speeds in the future this will be fixed.
I apologise to the ancestors and DNA matches who I have been ignoring but, as my biological clock is ticking away, I am taking some time to focus on my story. Reliving my jottings and journeys has given me much joy during this lockdown.
Ten years ago on this day in 2011 I penned the following post which I am resahring here. I don't think I have changed much.
|Angry and Frustrated|
|Pleased my prison is more Hilton than the Hanoi Hilton (pictured)|
|We managed a 2021 Easter Hunt in between Lockdowns|
|My ugly tourist sandals want to come out of retirement|
|Ready for takeoff|
This post first appeared on the GeniAus blog on 25 August 2011. We have subsequently visited the cousin on several trips to the UK, whenever we visit he usually gives us an item or two from his Gowans collection. That's Genearosity.
My subscription to MyHeritage ran out a couple of months ago. I usually cancel the automatic renewal of subscription option because I don't want to pay the full price to renew. Within a couple of days I was phoned by a pushy marketer from Israel offering me a piddly discount off the full price of the $AU349 to renew. This has been followed up over the intervening weeks with several emails offering other smallish discounts. On the last occasion my renewal was due I hung out for a discount of around 50% before I renewed. I renew when the price represents reasonable value to me.
I only use MyHeritage for DNA Matches and Searching for Records. I totally ignore the other features like photo enhancement and others' online trees. Without a subscription I can still see my DNA matches and access from home the subscriptions from a genealogy society and public library to which I belong to explore the records on MyHeritage.
A full subscription of MyHeritage is not worth $AU349 to me. It is a nice to have but not a must have subscription. Recently there was a discount of around 50% offered to Rootsmagic users which I was going to take up but I missed the closing date. Currently there is a discount offer of around 50% through the Family History Federation which I have been considering.
I like to have a basic tree on MyHeritage to make it easy for DNA matches to work out how we might relate but one of the emails I received from MyHeritage recently told me my tree was too large and I would have to renew to keep my tree in the site. I also received an offer on 12th August to renew at up to 49% discount. I ignored that offer and put in a request for my tree to be removed and received confirmation that this would happen in the next few days.
You'll never guess what was in my email box this morning.
|Macys, New York Flagship Store|
Back on 30 December 2013 English Genealogist, Julie Goucher, announced a collaborative Project in which I was involved.
Worldwide Genealogy - A Genealogical Collaboration was a collaborative blog on the Blogger platform to which a team of bloggers contributed posts on an allocated day. In the first year of publication there were 215 posts but this had dwindled to 3 in 2018 with the last post written by Helen Holshouser published on March 30. Life is busy and somehow the wheels fell off the project.
There is some wonderful content in the posts, some of the information may be outdated but some of the issues discussed are still pertinent. The good news is that the blog is still live on the internet and the posts may come up in search results. But I wonder if it will remain there.
|My first post in the Worldwide Genealogy Blog|
As I own the copyright on my posts I am going to copy my contributions from that blog into this GeniAus blog. My blog is preserved on the Australian Web Archive at Trove so I know that my words will be available in the future.
I'll post them with their original posting date and acknowledge that they were originally posted on the Worldwide Genealogy Blog.
Indulging in some Sunday afternoon newspaper browsing on Trove I found this mention of my mother-in-law, Daphne Gillespie from 1931. I wonder how she disposed of her 30 bob?
I found the episode most touching and engaging and wonder if my interest was more intense because I knew more about Jack's personal history.
Should you wish to read "Jack Charles : born again blackfella" you can find the details here: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/jack-charles-9781760899158.
A search in the Books & Libraries category on Trove indicates that there are copies available for loan in 200 Australian libraries https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/236741439?keyword=9781760899158. It is available in paperback, audio and eBook formats.
Last month I attended a free webinar, Floating Prisons: Irish Convict Hulks and Voyages to NSW, hosted by the RAHS.
During the webinar Anne McMahon, the author of the book Floating Prisons: Irish Convict Hulks and Voyages to New South Wales 1823-1837, discussed the history of the Irish hulks and gave details on the lives and conditions of the convicts incarcerated on them. I learnt that one of the hulks, the Surprize, was in Cork Harbour around the time my 3xGreat-Grandfather, Patrick Curry/Corry, was transported from there. Did Patrick spend time on the Surptize?
The book was available from several online sites but I opted to buy it from Amazon because it was 9.95 cheaper there than the recommended retail on other sites.
I received a surprise when the parcel containing the book arrived. I had expected a paperback but the book is a heavy hardcover. It has all the features of a well documented work - bibliography, contents, indexes and references and contains a few illustrations and maps.I have yet to read the book, I don't think it will identify many individual convicts but I hope it provides a valuable insight into the lives of Irish Convicts in the early 19th century. Dr Perry McIntyre wrote an honest review of the work in 2017 for Tintean Magazine, https://tintean.org.au/2017/08/06/floating-prisons/.
Playing around on Google I found this article, https://gsq-blog.gsq.org.au/irish-prison-hulks/, by Meg Carney who, after reading McMahon's book, thinks that her ancestor spent time in Cork on the Surprize. I wonder if I will come to the same conclusion for Patrick after reading the book.
As I had written about Mum's connection with the GPO in Sydney earlier this month I thought it pertinent to reshare this post I wrote ten years ago.
My annual subscription to MyHeritage runs out today so I am madly going through the DNA matches for the accounts I manage there before my access expires. I will probably resubscribe some time in the future when there is a decent offer but I cannot justify the AU $349 fee to extend my subscription now.
I am able to use the MyHeritage subs at a local library or a genealogy society to search the MyHeritage record sets from home so I can't see the value investing in a premium subscription.
It's only five days until I take to the stage at THE Genealogy Show. I am thrilled to be in the company of so many renowned speakers on THE Show program.
My first presentation, Genealogy Research with Facebook, is scheduled for 2:00am on the 25th June in the UK but will air at the convenient time of 11am for my genimates on Australian Eastern Standard time.
My second gig, Managing Frugally: An Alphabet Of Tips & Tools For Family Historians, is scheduled for 10pm on the 26th June in the UK and will air at 7am on Sunday the 27th August for those on Australian Eastern Standard time.
Don't worry if these times aren't convenient for you as the recordings will be available on demand for the 30 days of THE Show.
If you haven't already done so grab your tickets here: https://www.thegenealogyshowlive.com/register/the-genealogy-show/
Browsing through some snaps of one of our last overseas holidays I cam across this image of Deadmans Lane in Rye, East Sussex.
Such a pretty image for a place with such a deadly name. This post on Flickr gives an explanation for the naming of this thoroughfare.
And why was I in Deadmans Lane? I was trying to make my way to the House with two front doors in which the fictional character, Morton Farrier, from Nathan Dylan Goodwin's series of genealogy mysteries is supposed to reside.
Until today people could sign up to follow this blog by email. Unfortunately the service that managed this function, Feedburner owned by Google will be discontinued in July.
Feedburner advised that I download my list of subscribers and I have done so. It was surprising to see I had over 1500 subscribers but on examining the email addresses I think many of them are bots and not real people.... but there are a few real people who are ACTIVE followers.
I have added a new icon to this blog that will allow anyone who wants to keep following by email. To subscribe to the new service, follow.it , please click on the green FOLLOW Icon at the top the left hand column of the GeniAus blog.
|1. Click on this icon|
|2. Enter your email address and select Follow|
You will then be directed to confirm your subscription using the email account with which you subscribed.
|3. Confirm your subscription.|
From time to time the bods at Ancestry.com invite groups of genealogists along to online briefing sessions. As someone who doesn't like getting up at dawn I miss most of these events.
Today's event was repeated - one session was at 2am my time and the other 7:30am. I signed up for the 7:30am session in case I was conscious by then. Fortunately I was awake before 7am so I grabbed my laptop and earbuds from my study and crawled back under the covers.
|Rearranged genealogy apps and widget|
Pre-Covid I often used the Ancestry App and the AncestryDNA app on my Android phone but, while
homebound over the past 18 months, I have only used the desktop application to communicate, collaborate and research with Ancestry. I was impressed by the demos of all the new features in these apps. The functionality has improved heaps and many new features have been added, these apps now appear have most of the features of the desktop product. The tech guys online took note of the user comments in the chat and will consider points raised for further development.
I must have been sleeping under a rock because I was unaware of the Ancestry widgets (one available in Australia, one to come). I thought I'd log into my apps and follow along and install the widget while watching the presentation but I had been logged out of the apps and couldn't remember my password.
My first job after the session ended was to grab my phone, locate my password and log in to my apps. As I wanted to install the Ancestry widget I had to move all the icons around on the screen that has my genealogy apps. With a two-three hour car ride ahead of me tomorrow I have another option to keep me amused.
Ancestry has recognised that many of us live on our mobile devices and has created a fabulous mobile option that will give us access to all our Ancestry data when we are on the move. I'm so pleased I joined in to learn about it this morning.
I have posted this delightful photo of my mother dancing in Martin Place at the end of World War Two several times over the years and knew that it had originally appeared in a Sydney newspaper.
|Mum is in the two-tone shoes.|
|1945 'Wild scenes as Australia celebrates surrender news; revellers throng streets', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 12 August, p. 3. , viewed 07 Jun 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230453563|
Last week we ventured into the city to attend a function where Mr GeniAus was recognized for being a member of his professional body for fifty years. The compere described my husband as "a sprightly old chap"!
|Mr GeniAus (centre) with his award|
As the function was held in the Fullerton Hotel in Sydney we booked our overnight accommodation there. The Heritage wing of the hotel is the former Sydney GPO where my mother, Elsie Duncan, worked as a telephoniste during the 1940s. On booking in I noticed that the hotel was offering free 90 minute tours of the GPO building so I immediately signed up.
|The Heritage GPO wing is connected to the new tower block by walkways and an atrium|
Friday at 10:00am saw us join Tour Guide Alex and three other couples for the tour. We commenced with a little history lesson before venturing out into George Street to look closely at the exterior of the GPO building. Alex asked us if we had ever looked up at the carvings and statuary decorating the building, we all agreed that we looked ahead not up when walking around the city.
Stopping on George Street we raised our eyes and saw Coats of Arms and various other carvings.
Turning into Martin Place we admired the long colonnade and glanced up once more to admire the many carvings along the facade. Above the entrance door was an impressive sculpture of Queen Victoria.
Before turning into Pitt Street we visited an art gallery in the former public telephone area of the GPO. The ceiling in in that room is decorated with gold leaf.
Last stop on our tour was the basement of the old GPO building where the horses were stabled and where the Tank Stream was encased in a concrete pipe.
|The old stables|
|The Tanks Stream flows through these pipes.|
I hadn't thought much about the work Mum had done at the GPO until I saw some old photos of telephonistes at work in the basement audiovisual display.
The purpose of our trip to the city was for Mr GeniAus to reflect on his long and successful career, I am so proud of his achievments. The unexpected outcome of being able to walk in Mum's footsteps topped off our excursion to the city.