Thursday, December 30, 2021

A clearer view

Among the surprises I received at Christmas was a new tech toy that promises to enhance my participation in online events. I have set up and had a couple of test runs with my Facebook Portal Go.  

What's in the Box?

The device, a charger, power cord and minimal instructions came in the box

The device which is heavy for its size is covered in fabric and has a carrying handle built into the back

It was easy to set up and the battery didn't take too long to charge

My Facebook Portal Go appears to have all the features of my the Google Nest mini I won at Rootstech a few years ago and so much more. I need to spend some time getting to know it. As it doesn't have a keyboard I won't be using it to write and publish blog posts but I can use the keyboard on its touchscreen for simple internet browsing.

I will mostly use the Portal, which connects via my home wifi to to the world, for Zoom and Facebook live sessions but one can also use it on other similar platforms. The inbuilt video camera which is angled to give a positive view of one's face is far superior to my external webcam and that in my laptop. It sent a very clear image to those I connected with. Those connections tell me that the inbuilt microphone picked up my voice well and that I came through clearly.

Testing out the browser I found it was quite easy to connect and view some sessions from The Genealogy Show on the device. 


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2021

This morning while scrolling through my Twitter feed I saw that Alex Daw had mentioned, in the #ANZAncestryTime chat, the Accentuate the Positive Geneameme that I have been hosting since 2012.


I had marked a 2021 event as a "To do" item for the post Christmas week but, hey, since I've been reminded I thought I'd post a 2021 challenge right now. Here it is.



I invite you to take part in this activity by responding to the following statements/questions, several of which are new, in a blog post. Write as much or as little as you want and complete as many statements as you wish. If you wish to take part and don't have a blog email me your responses and I will post them here on the GeniAus blog.

Once you have done so please share your post's link in a comment on this post or to me via email to jillballau@gmail.com. I will, later in January,  compile a list of links to your contributions here on this blog.

Please share this link far and wide in your social media channels.

Remember to Accentuate the Positive 
(Please delete the items that are not relevant to your situation.)

1. I got the most joy from

2. The Covid situation gave me an opportunity to 

3. I managed to attend a face to face event at

4. My main focus this year was on 

5. A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was

6. A geneasurprise I received was

7.  A Facebook Group that helped me was

8. My 2021 social media post that I was particularly proud of was

9.  A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was

10. I was impressed by

11.  A great journal or newspaper article I found was

12. I got the most value from this subscription

13. I progressed my DNA research with

14. I taught a genimate how to

15.  A blog post that taught me something new was

16. A DNA discovery I made was

17. A newly found family member shared

18. I finally found ......... six feet under

19. 
I splashed out and purchased

20. Another positive I would like to share is 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Listed

 Thanks to genimate Nathan Dylan Goodwin on Twitter for alerting me to this list.

https://blog.feedspot.com/genealogy_blogs/

I was thrilled to find that among the Australian blogs on the list is this GeniAus blog which has scraped into the list at position 59 in spite of a dearth of posts in recent times. 


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Learning not Doing

Earlier this year I came to the realisation that my focus should change from Learning about family history to actually Doing family history research. In a post, Genialogy, I outlined a few steps I had taken to realign my focus but I didn't discuss my own learning.

As I am in my eighth decade here on earth and I'm not sure if I will see my ninth or tenth I value every minute that presents itself. In his poem "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening" Robert Frost penned these words:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

The promises I must keep are to my ancestors, I should be devoting my time to exploring the woods of the past to document their histories and tell their stories. I have many miles ahead on my path.

My Great-great grandparents Richard Aspinall and Mary Homer
 with Great Grandmother Mary Jane Aspinall

Being at home for nearly two years during the pandemic gifted me with an opportunity to indulge my interest in family history but, Alas, I fear I got the balance wrong and squandered that opportunity.

I always learn something from the many (mostly online) events I attend but oftentimes these are just little things that are "nice to know" not things that I "need to know".  Some of the events I have attended are educative and entertaining and some have been dull and boring. How does one quantify the value of hours of zooming? Were the lectures and presentations worth the time I devoted to them?

If I had applied myself to practical research and the incidental learning that comes from that activity my learning may have been more appropriate to my needs. I remember from my days as an educator that the most effective learning is that which is timely or at the point of need. I can only recall one such instance during the past two years that fits that criteria for me, it was the engaging and challenging Chromosome Analysis course presented for the SAG by Veronica Williams. 

As I reflect on my needs I realise that when I have a need for information or guidance I usually find it myself, either, on the internet in a recorded webinar, blog post or Youtube video, in a journal or a book or by asking someone who knows more than I. As a result, in recent months I have cut down on attending events that present topics that are "nice to know" and directed my focus to learning about things I "need to know" to progress my research.

How have you allocated the genealogy time that you were gifted by the Covid situation?



Saturday, December 4, 2021

A New Toy for GeniAus

I ummed and aahed when the Black Friday sales offers appeared in my social media feeds. 

Did I need a new phone? No. Would it be nice to have a new phone? Yes.

My Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has given excellent service for four and a half years without missing a beat but the option of a phone with more storage and superior cameras was tempting. How much longer would the Note 7 last?

Mr GeniAus didn't seem too perturbed about my investment in a new gadget so just prior to the offer for a Samsung S21 Ultra 5G 256GB closing on 29 November I placed an order.  Realising that the one to two week delay quoted by the seller would probably be around Christmas I thought it would be a nice gift for myself.

Lo and behold a parcel containing my new toy was delivered on Wednesday this week, just two days after placing my order. 

Using the Samsung app Smartswitch made the transfer of all my apps, documents and photos from my old phone a breeze. 

I had an issue with a few older apps for which I couldn't remember my login details or which defunct email address I had used to register with them. I had a panic when my photos didn't appear to be in the Gallery on the new phone but, on investigation, found they were in an archived folder - phew!

The main difference I have noticed with the new phone is the quality of the images I snap - they are so clear, a bonus when recording family events. 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Three Aussie Genies on The Program

Together with my Genimates Shauna Hicks and Sharn White I will be taking to the stage at THE Genealogy Show - Winter Event next weekend. 

We are thrilled to be bringing an Australian perspective to this international event once again after the success of the last event held earlier this year in June.


We hope to see many of our Aussie friends at THE Show which also features a cast of speakers from the UK, Europe and The Americas. The event will open in the early hours on Friday 3rd December in the UK which I guestimate to be 11am Sydney time and runs continuously for 48 hours. You will then be able to access the recordings for a month after the event.

Earlybird registrations at £15 (less then $30AUD) close on the 30th November; closer to the show the cost is still reasonable at  £20. Similar events in Australia cost much more than this. Buy your tickets here: https://www.thegenealogyshowlive.com/plans/show-tickets/


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Ball Bounty

Although Mr GeniAus (my husband Robert) is not particularly fond of research he loves making connections with distant cousins and sharing stories and photographs with them. He will and has travelled to the ends of the earth to meet up with them. We have travelled to Rochdale Lancs., the town of his Ball line on several occasions and visited local archives, churches, cemeteries and homes of the Balls. The British Newspaper Archive has recently enabled us to add to the Ball story.

In the early 1800s the Balls lived at Wolstenholme Fold near Rochdale

Way back, when DNA was the new research tool on the block Mr GeniAus took a Y-DNA test which hasn't really helped us make any connections. Then in 2015 we added an autosomal test from FTDNA followed by an Ancestry test. Through these we have identified several matches and connected with a few on his Ball line but to date haven't added to our knowledge of the family until this week. 

I recently received an Ancestry  message from Alli in the UK relating to three kits that I manage so I promptly messaged her back to confirm that the relationship she asked about was indeed correct. Alli who is Mr GeniAus' third cousin was as excited as Robert and I were to make this connection. It was easy to work out the connection because both Alli and Robert have trees attached to their DNA accounts.

Ancestry message from Alli
 
Alli kindly responded with a copy of a document recording notes on family members written by her grandmother whose grandparents James Ball and Betty Clegg are also Robert's 2xGreatGrandparents. 

James Ball and Betty Clegg's grave in Rochdale Cemetery 

The information in the document filled in many gaps for us and provided some clues for further research. The icing on the cake was being sent a copy of a photo of James Ball held by Alli's branch of the family. It was the first image we have ever seen of Robert's ancestor. 

I wrote to Alli "We have just sat and read through your grandmother's account. Even though I am not related to the Balls it brought tears to my eyes as I read James' story, having researched them for eons I am quite fond of them.

This is the best and most valuable geneasurprise I have had in years, thank you for taking a DNA test."

As we are visiting the UK in June 2022 we are making arrangements to meet up with Alli and her family. Alli has also agreed to upload her results to Gedmatch so I can examine her chromosome matches with Robert, James and Norma.

It's been an exciting geneaweek for two distant Ball families. Isn't DNA just grand!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Booked out

Over the past 12 months I've been busy cataloging books for my local family history group. As a former librarian I am rather disappointed at the way so many groups have their Library catalogues/holdings lists locked away at their premises or online in documents that do not give much information about the books. Being able to prepare for visits to societies by perusing an online catalogue is such a boon for researchers.

When I became President of the Lake Macquarie Family History Group I decided to follow the lead of other groups such as Cooroy-Noosa and Cairns in Queensland who used the Librarything application to manage and share the resources at their societies online. Recently I have seen a number of other similar Groups join Librarything. I have been using Librarything  as my personal reading log and catalogue for fifteen years so was confident that it was a worthy solution for this task.

This project has taken way longer than I thought it would because Covid has prevented me from accessing the books in our library at a local community hall. As we can once again return to our Group's home in the hall I took Mr GeniAus and his muscles along to our last opening and we filled several boxes of books for me to bring home and catalogue. Being able to read and discover new old titles as I work has been an unexpected but delightful reward.

I'm thrilled to say that we now have over 2,000 titles catalogued on our Group's Librarything account that gives our members and other interested community members access to our collection from wherever and whenever they are. The best thing about Librarything is that it has a facility to download professionally catalogued records from a huge range of international libraries so professional cataloguing skills are not needed to create a good catalogue. One only has to add some extra information, like a category, shelf location or number, to these records for them to be relevant to the local collection. 

Lake Macquarie FHG Profile at Librarything

I spent a couple of hours this morning putting these catalogued books back into order so that they will easily slot back on the library shelves and now I am pooped but oh, so proud that I can see the finish line for this project in sight.

Our dining/book sorting table

With the assistance of our Group's Librarian, Linda, I can see the finish line in sight. It's been a marathon run but I am such a proud old librarian.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

2008-2021: Posts from the Past

Thirteen years ago on this day I wrote the following here" http://geniaus.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-add-yet-another-blog-to-crowded.html.

Why add yet another blog to the crowded blogosphere?

I thought I would like a place to share progress, reflections and resources as I solve my genealogical jigsaw so here goes - another blog is born.

I've been researching the family on and off for the last 20 years and, with retirement looming, hope to finally get organised and solve some of my mysteries.
____________________________________________________________________________
 
So here I am 13 years later reflecting on my life as a geneablogger. 

My original purpose to share progress, reflections and resources as I solve my genealogical jigsaw remains but my posts are fewer as I now use other platforms, currently Facebook and Twitter, to share short newsbites. Although I don't post so often I am committed to blogging as a means of recording family stories, reflections and opinions.

As my blog is preserved in The Australian Web Archive at Trove Australia I can indulge in a trip down memory lane and view posts from the past. Please join me as I meander down memory lane.

The header image is missing from this capture. If I remember correctly it included a photo of a family wedding.








From 2017 those lovely green notices have disappeared from the results of my Trove searches, maybe I worked some magic to make it disappear!

I also note that the header on my blog is the same one I still use - perhaps it is time for new branding. That's one of the advantages of blogging - it is a dynamic platform that one can adjust to reflect current times and trends.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

I missed the party

 I missed a party on the Australian geneacalendar last night.








Twelve months ago my genimates Fran, Pauleen and Sharn launched their Australian Genealogy weekly  Twitter chat, #ANZAncestryTime. I was flattered to be invited to be a host so merrily joined the team even though I had found my earlier forays into Twitter chats quite stressful.

I soon found the fast paced Australian sessions similarly stressful.  I soldiered on in the team for a few months but decided to pull the plug on my involvement as I found the format was all a bit too fast for this old girl who is hampered by a lack of keyboarding skills and who likes to mull over things before jumping in. I now enjoy looking through the #ANZAncestryTime posts at my leisure on the morning after the chats and follow up on anything that sparks my interest. I adhere to the old adage that there are horses for courses and I just wasn't the right jockey for this venture.

I congratulate FranPauleen and Sharn  for their commitment and perseverance to this venture and wish them many happy years of geneatweeting.


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

In Defence of Rabbit Holes and BSOs

I was a bit offended last week when catching up on the posts from the weekly ANZAncestryTime Twitter chat. I got the feeling that some folk were dismissive of Rabbit Holes and Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs)

Bright Shiny Objects


In response to Question 4 on the chat "Q4: How do we avoid bright shiny objects (BSO's) when researching? " I responded " Why avoid BSO's? Most of the world's greatest discoveries came as a result of someone following a BSO or going down a rabbit hole. Let's not give in to #geneasnobbery and deride those whose goal is simply one of discovery and enlightenment." 

I know all that glitters is not gold but, if we avoid a proper examination of a BSO we may miss out on something of value.

Just this week a Bright Shiny Object (BSO)  in the form of an upgrade to the RootsMagic software has appeared. There has been much talk on social media about this particular BSO and its merits. Some people including renowned US genealogist Randy Seaver have spent hours exploring down the RootsMagic Rabbit Hole. I can see merit in following this BSO and spending time down that Rabbit Hole. We all have an option to avoid a BSO but, if it can potentially add to our knowledge or experience, we avoid BSOs at our peril.

Each week when Familysearch and other online providers share the news of their new resources (BSOs) I scan the lists for BSOs that interest me. If an item is shining brightly I may go burrowing immediately if I have time or I will list it for examination as soon as I have time. These BSOs and Rabbit Holes might just provide tool or clue I need the bust a long standing brickwall. After all we are regularly exhorted by experienced researchers to follow every clue, should we ignore those highlighted by BSOs and restrict ourselves to the dull and boring? I am joining Bugs Bunny and his mates by going down the Rabbit Holes that BSOs light up.

Let's go burrowing

During this recent Pandemic we have been inundated with many offerings of online learning activities, another form of BSO. I agree that we cannot go down every single rabbit hole and watch everything on offer and we need to apply some filters. But should we avoid these educational offerings (BSOs)?

I think of the great advances that have been made over the years particularly in the fields of science and technology. I realise that these have been made because those who made those important discoveries followed the BSOs of their day and spent much time down in exploration Rabbit Holes. 

BSOs are not something to be avoided, they should be examined with a critical eye and, if they appear relevant to our research, we must spend time down the rabbit holes they highlight.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

From the Archives - Into the 21st Century with SAG

In the ten years since I penned the post below I have hosted and presented several webinars in the Society of Australian Genealogists Education Program. 

From one session a month in 2011 the Society now hosts several sessions each week, some are presented on the GotoWebinar platform while many are now presented on Zoom which allows for easier interactive participation by attendees. 

For five years I have been a proud member of the SAG Education Committee which assists and advises the staff of the Society with program delivery and development. We regularly host international expert presenters from overseas which provide our members access to learn from geneastars without having to grab a passport and hop on a plane.  Recently the SAG opened up attendance at these sessions to non-members so genies anywhere in Australia and overseas can learn from home. 

Since the Covid19 pandemic hit in March 2020 all SAG events have been delivered online giving members in regional and remote areas opportunities to receive high quality education.  The popular Members' Hangouts during the pandemic have given members an opportunity to socialise and chat while absorbing online tips and shared stories from fellow researchers. I know more SAG members now than I ever did during my many years of membership.

You can access the SAG Education Program here on their website, https://www.sag.org.au/events.

Following is my report of the very first hangout in 2011. Thanks to Heather Garney and Martyn Killion for their vision in launching this impressive program.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Into the 21st Century with SAG

Thursday night, with Captain Heather Garnsey at the helm, I joined around 60 other members  of  SAG (The Society of Australian Genealogists) in SAG's first paid webinar for members. It is so good to see this organisation employing technology to reach out to members.

Thanks Heather for permission to post this image
Genealogists from a number of Australian States and rural and metropolitan areas in NSW joined Heather for the event. Instead of an hour's trip by car to get to SAG in the city I only had to spend a few minutes firing up the computer to get my fix of CGD. For members who live in rural areas getting to SAG for educational events is extremely difficult. Hopefully this initiative will snag a few new members for SAG.

I salute Heather on her competent management of the GoToWebinar software that is used for delivery. She did a great job drivng it while presenting her talk. As SAG are charging $10 for the webinar and, as they should be getting the software for a song (hope Aussie organisations get the great deals available to non-profit organisations in the US), perhaps they could afford to have another person online to support the presenter.

NSW Shipping Records Online was the topic for Heather's talk. Although introductory in nature I learnt a few new tricks from the talk that concentrated on online records at Ancestry.com.au and State Records of NSW.   Added to my todo list is to take a look at these records for the ancestors whose immigration details I found years ago - I should be able to find more details to flesh their profiles. After her formal presentation Heather responded to attendees questions.

Webinars are a wonderful way to present educational and information sessions via the web. I attend on average one per week, this week I have tuned into three. A list of webinars available to genealogists can be found at the Geneawebinars calendar. The SAG webinars are not listed on this site

Future SAG Webinars
It appears that SAG has at least one webinar a month scheduled for the future. Anyone is able to visit the SAG site to find details of these forthcoming educational offerings (scroll to bottom of page) but you will have to become a member to join in.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Science Mirroring the Traditional

It took me half a dozen attempts this morning to find my new DNA ethnicity estimates on the Ancestry app. I presume many other genies around the world were trying to access their results at the same time.

When I finally got the results I was rather pleased as they appear to reflect what I have found through traditional research. I have always thought that I am about 67% Irish so I'll take 65% - thanks @AncestryDNA.

As I am an only child I have no siblings with whom I can compare research but I'm lucky enough to have a double first cousin who shares my two sets of grandparents and all my ancestors going back in time. 

While the results from my cousin's test and mine are basically the same there are a few minor differences in the amount of Scottish and English estimates but the total of these is very close. My cousin additionally has a 1% Basque estimate, I feel that may be a furphy.


My Results
Cousin's Results



I've posted our results here so that, next year, when Ancestry issue their next round of ethnicity estimates I can easily retrieve what they offered 2021.

What did you discover?

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Housework time at Geniaus.net

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.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Norma Jean Ball 1931-2021

We were saddened to hear of the death yesterday of Norma Jean Ball, my Father-in-Law's first cousin. Norma was the youngest daughter of Fred Ball and Nellie Irene Whiteford.

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.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Jottings, Journeys, Joy - A Big Footprint

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:

Do I really need another Blog? Am I suffering from Blogarrhoea?

I don't need another blog but ...........my active blogs Geniaus and Android Genealogy are targetted towards my friends in genealogy. Sometimes I'd like to post about my travels, the books I've read, the things that bug me and the performances I've seen. Sometimes I'd just like to share a photo that doesn't fit in with the theme of my Men at Work blog. I don't want to clog up my genimates blog feeds with off topic posts that could be regarded as spam.  

When I am travelling I publish a few photos and updates to Facebook and when something tickles my fancy I write about it there too. Aggregating these Facebook items in one stream is not easy.

Recently I have been following and enjoying Jackie van Bergen's new blog, Jax Trax. As a genealogist I see the value of leaving a personal blog like Jackie's as a resource for future generations. Jackie's blog has been the catalyst for my decision to pollute the blogisphere with yet another blog.

Look out blogisphere here comes jillballau.

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. 



Sunday, August 29, 2021

From the Archives - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. What sort of genealogist am I?

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. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Randy Seaver's latest edition of Saturday Night Fun reminded me of a post that I wanted to go back and read. Because I forgot to star it in my RSS reader I had trouble finding it. Thanks to Randy for directing me to The Stardust and Roots Blog where I found  "Sears Catalog of Genealogists".

In this humourous post Bart Brenner categorises genealogists. I had a few chuckles as I read through the post and worked out where I and my GeniMates belonged. I encourage other genies to read, enjoy and reflect on this post.

The categories Bart listed were:

1)  Albert Einstein model (the academician)
2)  Marian the Librarian model (the archivist)
3)  Indiana Jones model (the archaeologist)
4)  Margaret Mead model (the cultural anthropologist)
5)  Frank Buck model (the hunter and tamer)
6)  Amelia Earhart model (the test pilot)
7)  Ambrose Monk model (the hoarder)
8)  Cinderella model (the fairy princess)
9)  Steve Jobs model (the technogeek)


I imagine that others would share the difficulty I had in filing myself neatly into one of Bart's boxes. I am affected by the environment and my moods so my approach on a particular day will vary according to these influences.

I am significantly a Steve Jobs model with a big touch of Margaret Mead. My messy overcrowded house indicates I have a strong dose of Ambrose Monk in my makeup.

How about you?

Genealife in lockdown - Robbed

Genimate Alex Daw over at the Family Tree Frog blog has challenged fellow geneabloggers to write about their lock down experiences in a series of blog posts on Sundays during National Family History Month in Australia.
See what Alex has to say about the challenge here:
https://familytreefrog.blogspot.com/2021/07/genealife-in-lockdown-nfhm-blogging.html

This is my fifth and final post for the challenge.
_______________________________________

In last week's post I wrote that I was both physically and emotionally grounded, I neglected to say that I am frustrated. I am angry with Covid19 that has robbed me of nearly two precious years of my life. I have a lot of mileage on my clock and I want to make full use of the time I have left. Covid19 has robbed me of many opportunities to share in the lives of those near and dear to me and to fully enjoy my twilight years with my dear husband.

Adding to my frustration are the actions of a minority of our fellow citizens. During lockdown these fools, because of their selfishness and/or stupidity, flout the rules that are in place to keep us safe and progress towards coming out of lockdown. While protesting about their lack of freedom they are robbing those of us in the majority of our freedoms. These thieves are a blight on our society.

Angry and Frustrated
Meanwhile I am cruising along in the cosy and comfortable environment of my home prison doing some of the things I always do. 

Pleased my prison is more Hilton than the Hanoi Hilton (pictured)

The beauty of this situation is that I have extra time on my hands. I have been reviewing genealogy research done years ago, chasing down DNA connections, learning Airtable, updating my personal blog and generally organising my Geneastuff. And then there is Zoom!

Geneastuff

I didn't realise how busy my pre-Covid life was until I started tidying up my digital photo albums and adding meta-data to the photos that record family activities.  I spent a lot of time with family. With 21 close family members there are always plenty of occasions to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day.  I was a busy old girl.

We managed a 2021 Easter Hunt in between Lockdowns

While I enjoy spending time in my beautiful home environment I am missing out on many opportunities to travel. I feel that I am just marking time until Mr GeniAus and I can spread our wings and leave our cosy nest. How we will ever manage to empty our bucket list while we are still healthy enough to travel far and wide?  While I enjoy the virtual travels in my daily Facebook memories I still have a bad case of itchy feet.  I am grateful that Covid gave me time to recover from my ankle surgery in January last year. My surgeon told me it would take 18 months for my foot to recover from that trauma  - well that time's up and I'm ready to get moving.

My ugly tourist sandals want to come out of retirement

Wearing my optimist hat I see a few more months of pain and marking time followed by a slow return to the new normal. Later in 2022 I can see Mr GeniAus and I on the tarmac in Sydney settled in a Qantas jet as we toast our next adventure.

Ready for takeoff

Cheers to Alex and the fellow genies who have shared their thoughts and stories in this challenge.








Wednesday, August 25, 2021

From the Archives - Between the covers

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.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Genealife in Lockdown - Grounded

Genimate Alex Daw over at the Family Tree Frog blog has challenged fellow geneabloggers to write about their lock down experiences in a series of blog posts on Sundays during National Family History Month in Australia.

See what Alex has to say about the challenge here: 
https://familytreefrog.blogspot.com/2021/07/genealife-in-lockdown-nfhm-blogging.html 

This is my fourth post in for the challenge.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Patience pays off

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. 

I paid up straight away. At $AU95.98 I am pleased to have MyHeritage back in my genealogy toolbox. (And they haven't removed my tree yet!!)




Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Genealife in Lockdown - from Classy to Comfy

Macys, New York Flagship Store
Covid19 has played havoc with my clothes shopping activities.

I purchase most of my clothes on my regular visits to the United States where I hit the bargain racks in Macy's, Ross Dress for Less and other discount stores. As seasons in Australia are opposite those in the northern hemisphere I can usually pick up a few bargains for our local 'new season' from the 70% off discount racks. But that's not all, there are also the shoe bargains from the same stores. 

Full prices in the US are usually much lower than in Australia so I can buy fancy labels like Calvin Klein, Levis, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger etc. that I would never buy in Australia. It's now around 20 months since I have been to the US and contributed to their economy with my essential clothing purchases! 

While I am no fashion plate I love having smart clothes and a touch of glitter (this old girl needs all the help she can get). My 'going out' clothes have been languishing in my wardrobe as I am saving them up for future special outings and travel. I only got my glad rags out once during the pandemic (after we were vaccinated), for one formal occasion in June when the Covid situation in Sydney appeared to be in remission. 

During the pandemic we didn't stray too far from home until we were fully vaccinated, even when we weren't in lockdown as we are now.

At home I dress for comfort not for style. During the warmer months I wore the same couple of casual dresses or a tshirt from Big W (I bought a couple of new ones) and knee length pants. For the cooler months I splashed out and purchased two pairs of tracksuit pants from Best and Less (one of Australia's cheapest chains), on my top half I have been wearing one of three skivvies in rotation with the outer layer being one of two fleece tops I had bought for our Antarctica trip from Mountain Warehouse. For a bit of variety I also have two other pairs of old trousers and a couple of heavy cardigans and on cooler days I may supplement all this with a fleece vest.
Comfy Fleece

Prior to our scheduled departure this month for a conference in Norfolk Island I felt like some retail therapy. I splashed out at the Myer sale and bought three new jumpers, two of which are still in the plastic shopping bag due to the postponement of that conference.

My lovely collection of flatties, sparkly sandals etc are gathering dust while I wear comfortable footwear. In summer I get around in ugly blue or red tourist sandals and in cooler months I wear UGG moccasins or boots with socks. For more energetic activities I wear the ugly expensive shoes that were suggested by my ankle surgeon.



 

I hope Calvin, Ralph and Tommy are enjoying their sojourn in my closet as, with the current Covid numbers in NSW,  I think I'll be doing comfy for quite a while yet.

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