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 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

I splashed out and purchased

20. Another positive I would like to share is 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Sunday, December 19, 2021


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

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. 


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