Wednesday, July 17, 2024


I know a time-poor genealogist who is easily drawn into undertaking new projects. Sounds like me!

It's ten years since I joined the Society for One-Place Studies (SOPS). This is a niche online society for those who have a passion for a particular place be it a road, a cemetery, a village or a town and wish to undertake a project that studies both the family and local history of their place/s. I have admired these researchers, some of whom study more than one place and feel One-Place Studies are a worthwhile exercise. Family and Local History go together like a horse and carriage.

It wasn't until I moved to Carey Bay seven years ago that I found my place. I cannot find any books, publications or websites dedicated to this small suburb on the shores of  Lake Macquarie, New South Wales. Carey Bay deserves to have a home for its where its history can be collated, hared and preserved.

While I have been gathering material on the past and present residents of Carey Bay since Covid times. I only recently sought out information about its environment and history. I now have quite a collection of newspaper clippings , photos and stories that I must put into order and share with the community. My project will also give me a place to share some of the hundreds of photos I have taken from our pad on the Lake.

I finally bit the bullet and registered a study in April this year. You can see its profile on the SOPS website here. There's no going back.

I hope that some of my GeniAus friends will pop over and pay a visit to my project at

I will announce new posts on my social media platforms and, when I have published a reasonable chunk of information to the site I will share it on local platforms

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Much needed help coming my way

This blog has taken a back seat while I was out of the country in May and June. As part of our holiday we took a five day BackRoads tour of the WW1 Battlefields. This was our second such tour but it was superior to the last one we took. With its focus on Australian involvement in the conflict it was a wonderful learning experience that gave us much insight to the bravery and sacrifices young people and their families back home.

Since arriving home I have been sorting our travel photos, working on my family history and one-place study and hosting and attending a few genealogy events.

I was thrilled to see a notification from Wikitree appear on Facebook this week about an event that will have a focus on my family. A few months age I was invited by the genies at Wikitree to be a participant in one of their 2024 Wikitree Challenges, I sat on this information until I saw the announcement. 

Announcement from Wikitree

I am a little apprehensive as my Wikitree has been suffering from a lack of nourishment. It is not my main tree and does not include all the distant cousins I have in that tree on my laptop. 

A kind Australian Wikitreer looked over my tree yesterday, made a few cosmetic changes and fixed a few references. I'm grateful for her arboreal efforts. I am extremely pleased to have been chosen for this challenge and look forward to seeing what the volunteers dig up. Meanwhile I will make sure I have included the recently deceased and a few extra aunts and uncles on my tree.

I think that I am the first Australian who has been a focus of this challenge so, as well as helping me find cousins, the volunteers on my case will have an opportunity to use Australian records and learn about genealogy downunder. 

Roll on July 25.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

April AtoZ Challenge Conquered

Over the last few years I have taken up the April AtoZ Blogging Challenge several times.

As I did in 2023 I participated in  the challenge on my personal blog jillballau. My topic Gods' Houses may be of interest to my genimates so I am posting a list of links to my 26 posts published in April below. I hope you enjoy some of my travel snaps.
A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: A is for Altars

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: B is for Buddhas, Books and Bells

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: God's Houses - C is for Candles and Crucifixes

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: D is for Domes and Dragons

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: E is for Entrances and Exits

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: F is for Fonts and Flowers

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: G is for Gold

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: H is for Holy Men and Women

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: Gods Houses - I is for Information

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: J is for Jesus and Joss Sticks

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: K is for Kneelers and Kneeling

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: L is for Let there be Light

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: M is for Mosques and Minarets

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: N is for Naves

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: O is for Organs and Offerings

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: P is for Pagodas and Pulpits

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: Q is for Quaint and Quirky

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: R is for Religious Art

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: S is for Spires and Steeples

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: T is for Tombs

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: U is for Unique and Upclose

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: V is for A-Z Blogging Challe Virgin Mary

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: W is for Windows

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: X is for eXteriors

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: Y is for Yellow

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2024: Z is for Zakynthos, Zakopane, Zanzibar and Zayatsky

Monday, April 22, 2024

A Wish CameTrue

Back in 2012 I penned a post about Paper Overload in which I lamented about the practice of many speakers to provide handouts, reference lists in hard copy. I said" My plea to presenters is to offer an alternative to hard copy handouts. PLEASE."

When I happened across that post this morning I thought about current practice and realise that many speakers provide links to soft copies of their handouts to attendees or event organisers. 

The cynic in me thinks that this turnaround is due to Covid when we turned to digital delivery of  genealogy education. It was impossible to provide physical copies of handouts when we were operating in an online world. 

I hope the reason is because more genies have embraced technology over the past twelve years and are realising the benefits to the community of saving paper. 

The image I used in 2012. Source:

Sunday, March 17, 2024

24 years ago

On St Patrick's Day I remember my first visit in 2001 to Ballyfoyle, Kilkenny, and the home of Patrick Kealy, my Great-Great-Grandfather.

It was the birthplace of my Great-Grandmother Mary Kealy who emigrated to New South Wales.
#genealogy #familyhistory #ireland

Standing at the gate of an ancestral home in Ballyfoyle, Kilkenny

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Save the Date : Connections2025

G'day Genimates, 

I am sharing this Save the Date notice on behalf of our friends at The Genealogical Society of Queensland – GSQ. We encourage you all to follow the Connections 2025 Facebook page  for event updates and to show your support to help make this a wonderful, engaging event for history aficionados all over Australia and New Zealand.

SAVE THE DATE: March 21-24, 2025.

The Australasian Conference - Connections 2025 - will be held in Brisbane over four days in March 2025. Hosted by the Genealogical Society of Queensland, the conference combines the 17th Australian Conference on Genealogy and Heraldry (also known as Congress) and the 5th History Queensland State Conference.                            

Connections 2025 is a must do event for family and local historians. Visit the Conference website for more details and watch this blog for regular updates. 

Some of the 650 Delegates enjoying High Tea at the 2018 Congress in Sydney

I am honoured and thrilled to be the NSW Ambassador for this event. I have attended and enjoyed the the last four Congresses and have found them to be enriching, entertaining educational events. The bonus is that I met up with old friends in person and had opportunities to forge relationships with new-to-me genimates. 

I am hoping to see a strong cohort from New Wales and to meet many genies from beyond our State in Brisbane. The event will have an international flavour, I already know of genies attending from The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and The United States.

With your help we can make this an affair to remember. 

Cheers, Jill aka GeniAus

Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Big News

This morning I posted on social media news of  the 17th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry (otherwise known to genies as Congress)  & 5th Queensland History State Conference.

As the NSW Ambassador I am thrilled to let you know that the comprehensive website for the combined event, Connections2025, has now gone live. The website gives details of the dates, site, accommodation and keynote speakers plus a program outline. Information for prospective speakers is also available.

Connections2025 Website

I have been fortunate enough to attend Congress in Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Norfolk Island. Congress is the premier live event on the Australasian calendar. Once again we will have an opportunity to see and hear speakers from home and abroad, catch up and meet new genimates and talk to sponsors and vendors. 

Back in 2018 there was a bumper crowd at the last Congress before Covid. As Covid was still around and travel difficult in 2022 numbers were down in Norfolk Island. 

Brisbane in 2025 with its international and domestic airports and other good transport options offers us an opportunity to have the best event ever. Mr GeniAus and I are already planning a road trip/geneajourney that will haveConnections2025 as its highlight. 

Please consider joining us at Connections2025

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Accentuate the Positive 2023 - Responses

Thanks to the wonderful genies who have supported this exercise. A shoutout to Jennifer Jones who was the first to submit a response for 2023 and to Bobbie Edes and Linda Stufflebean for enquiring if I would be running the challenge this year.

It warms my heart to see so many genies reflecting on their practice and realising that they have made progress during their geneayear. It is important to reflect/assess/evaluate our research and practices. 

I hope I haven't missed any contributions. If I have please let me know and I will add your link. If you fancy some reflection I'm always happy to receive new contributions as documents, in emails or in blog posts. 

Please enjoy these inspirational posts from our genimates:


Karen LeSueur Packard Rhodes


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