About Me.

A Family Tree researcher for over 30 years and a blogger since 2010, I love to share what I find. This blog has opened up a new way to contact and keep in-touch with both family and friends. It mightn't always be genealogy related and you might not agree with my point of view but I want you to comment, ask questions and look upon this blog as 'friends having a chat'.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas, Genealogy and a Clean-up.

What a busy week! Our family arrived on the 20th and left on the 26th, so we have had a wonderful time. Cooking, board games, shopping, puppy walking, dinners out and lots of lovely chats, giggles and sing-a-longs.

Christmas morning was an early start, 6.00am, (it could have been 5.30!) presents given, lots of giggles and surprises, big breakfast, cooked by our son-in-law then we each went to different places.
We went to our younger daughters place and had Christmas with her and her husbands family. Three, (10, 8 &5) children, who LOVE Christmas, a 2year old, who is just starting to catch on and a 4month old, who couldn't have cared less, made it lively!

Home and five of the six started a Monopoly game, me I relaxed and listened to the fun. Competition was fierce and cut-throat, with buying, selling and negotiations done as if it was real. The game was suspended at 10.15pm, to be finished on Boxing Day morning.

Not as early a start but still early, for us. Breakfast and then the game re-commenced, around the preparations for lunch, the game finished, with a count of assets as we had to leave for lunch at our younger daughter's place, for day two of Christmas. A bit calmer, as Master 2 was more  the focus and he did enjoy ripping the paper off. Miss 4 month old fell asleep on Granddad's lap. Lunch as relaxed, with plenty of talk, giggles and good food. We left around 4ish and the others stayed on, to then go to the other side of the family, to stay.

The house was so quiet and empty, the memories remain.

Yesterday I washed, tidied up and put my Christmas presents in my study. I got seven packets of colourful magazine holders, to replace the tatty ones I was using. I have been ruthless and done some more culling and the shelves look good. The cricket was on, keeping me entertained. I have also started to clean-out the built-in in the third bedroom, to try and get it tidy.

I've been reading the Christmas 2015 issue of the Family Tree magazine. A very interesting article, 'A game-changing year of genealogy' by Chris Paton had me looking at the Irish GRO website:
http://www.irishgenealogy.ie/     and I think I've found a great, great grandfather, back in Ireland. A very easy site to use, so have a look.  The magazine is one I subscribe to and most issues have information that I can use in my research.

The cricket has again been the backdrop to my morning and they have just gone to lunch, I suppose it is lunch time here too.

I hope that your Christmas was wonderful and that 2016 will bring you joy.
Bye for now,

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Photos part 3

After looking at the photos for several days, I decided that the gap had to be filled. Done! I think it now looks finished. All are now straight, too!

What do you think?

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Photos part 2

The photos are hung. The granddaughters did the design and I did the work. Here is the photo.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas Traditions

What Christmas Traditions do you have? Ones that have been passed down from one generation to the next?

As a child I can remember Mum would make both the Christmas cake and pudding. The Pudding would have sixpences and threepences in it, pre decimal currency. It would be made weeks before, in a pudding cloth and then, once cooked, hung in the bathroom, (not all bathrooms had loos in them, most loos were outside, this was a bathroom).  My Aunts would do the same.

Mum even made my sister and I puddings, after we were married.

I can remember, on Boxing Day, all the extended family, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins etc. would get together at Cronulla Beach. The kids would go off and swim, the Uncles would listen to the cricket and would also walk to the headland and watch the Sydney to Hobart yachts to past. The Aunts would sit and talk, some would probably knit. Lunch was leftovers and then everyone would share their cake and pudding. We kids always tried to find the piece of pudding with a coin in it.

I don't have any traditions, with my family, we would spend time with both sides of the family, when our girls were little. Now both are married and have families of their own, starting new traditions.

Have a Blessed Christmas,

Friday, 18 December 2015


21 photos ready to be hung. I will post a photo once they are up but here they are, all framed. It was hard selecting them, there were so many memories.

Two Free Courses



These have come up on Facebook and I thought that they might be useful.  I'm going to do the one from Futurelearn as I think it could be useful. It also doesn't hurt to refresh your skills.

The one from Dublin isn't in my timeframe, so I'm nor going to be doing it. Id anyone does, please let us know what it was like.

I'm now going to print holiday photos, of  Europe as our Granddaughters are  going to help me hang them.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Red Lipstick, Part 2

Well I've been wearing it for a week and find that I now reach for the lipstick, as I get ready to go out. I'm over the strangeness of wearing lipstick and it got me thinking; When did I stop wearing lipstick, on a day-to-day basis?   I don't know, probably when I stopped working full-time, maybe before that, I can't remember. So from now I, even if it is just to get the mail, at the post office, I'll put lipstick on.

Bye for now,

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Finding Ancestors

I 'played' on FamilySearch.org last night and if I've got it right, I've found my 5xgreatgrandfather. Did a bit of a happy dance, actually spun round and round on my chair. I will look at the records, in Salt Lake City, in February, to confirm it.

FamilySearch.org is done by the Mormans and is a really useful site. I have also ordered film, to view at my local stake.  Have a look, you might just find that missing piece.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 10 December 2015

My Day

The second Thursday of each month is writing group, in at the Society of Australian Genealogists, (SAG) and this is usually followed by lunch at a local cafe. Today was different, as there was another seminar on, in the afternoon.

Writing Group was great with 14 members presenting a short talk on a chosen topic. The group is very talented and we were treated to a wonderful selection of topics. The group went for lunch but two of us had booked the afternoon session.

Crime and Punishment presented by John Cann, from NSW Archives. Taking us on a journey from 1788 to today, John gave us an overview of what types of records, we could access. While he mentioned two paid sites, most of his talk centred around TROVE and the NSW Archives.

Showing us copies of actual documents, he explained what was NOT online and how a visit to the Archives would be useful.

If you think you might have a person, with a 'shady' past, have a look at these two sites.

I also picked up some useful books, published by Unlock The Past. I'm looking forward to reading them and using the information, when I am doing research.

Happy researching,

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Red Lipstick

I am reading a blog, INWORDSANDINK, by Haley. Haley is a young woman, who feels she is lacking in confidence. She has started a challenge, for herself, by wearing red lipstick, everyday and it is not a colour she usually wears.

Her last three posts have been about the challenge and how it is going, so far. I think she is amazing.

It got me to thinking. I wear a lot of red, shirts, shoes, nail polish, I feel that it gives me confidence but not lipstick. Today I bought a red lipstick and put it on. It feels strange and I have startled myself but I am going to keep on wearing it.

I don't know if I lack confidence or, as my husband says, I am just normally outgoing, saying Hi or smiling at people. It will be interesting to see how I go.

Will keep you posted.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

I've been reading.

I'm an enthusiastic reader, usually having two to three books on the go, at once. I thought that I would share the pile I have gone through.
I really enjoy Mary Higgins Clarke and these three were no exception.  The Melody Lingers On, I picked up in Paris and finished it in Venice. The blurb says, '...  a huge financial scandal and a breathtaking tale of deception and betrayal.' Really good.

Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories, is a collection oh 10 short stories, with a twist. Enjoyed it.

All Dressed in White has us back with Laurier Moran as she recreates the disappearance of a bride-to-be. Gripping!

Kathy Reichs has Dr Tempe Brennan investigating a ' ... case more complicated and horrifying than she could ever have imagined ...' I enjoy Kathy's books.

Undercover is a love story, with a bit of a twist. Set in Colombia, Argentina, France and the USA, it is a fast flowing story, that gets you hooked.

Lastly, what is on my bedside table. I've read several of Monica McInerney's books and enjoyed them, this one is no different. A Taste for It is Set in the Clare Valley and Ireland, it is a story of Maura Carmody and her trip to Ireland, to promote her family winery. 

Sheila O'Flannagan is a new author, to me and this story has me hooked. Set in Ireland, it is about families. To tell you more would spoil the story.

I hope you like my reading list and feel free to tell me what you are reading.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Some useful information

Some information, so you can research your family over the Christmas break.
Civil Registration start dates for the states and territories are;
1838 - Tasmania
1841 - Western Australia
1842 - South Australia
1853 - Victoria
1856 - NSW and Queensland
1870 - Northern Territory
1930 - ACT.
For earlier Births, Death and Marriage records, you will need the church records. These are;
1787 - NSW
1803 - Tasmania
1829 - Queensland
1836 - Victoria
1842 - South Australia.
Victoria now has their Indexes FREE to search, as of November 2015.
Happy Researching,

Christmas Concert

Paul and I went to the Friends of the State
Library Christmas Concert and High Tea. It was lovely. Stopped at Martin Place and took a snap of the Christmas tree. Looked at the windows at David Jones and couldn't figure out the story. It was all this colouring in stuff, with one window as Santa's workshop, the rest were weird.

Monday, 30 November 2015


I have taken on a Spring School course from the University of Tasmania (UTAS), Writing Family History. While I missed starting, last week due to the work in my study, I have caught up and am looking forward to this weeks lectures. Done in two, three week blocks means we have a break over the Christmas period.

From the course outline, the topics are set out using the formula of how, who, where, what and when. These are then broken down into a series of between three or fours lectures, per week, that we can both listen to or download. This week is the How part and deals with developing our writing skills, (something I need help with), and I'm considering the topic, Conversations with the Past. It should be very interesting as I have several ancestors I'd love to have a conversation with.

Parallel to this lot of study is my ongoing genealogy course, with a new subject about to start. Well it keeps me busy!

I don't think the study will be fully 'done' Christmas but it can wait.


Sunday, 29 November 2015

A Time for Reflection

Today is our Ruby Wedding Anniversary, 40 years! We have had our ups and downs, like all married couples. Raised two incredible daughters, who in turn married wonderful men and have delighted us with four amazing grandchildren. We give thanks for them, they are blessings.

But with the passing of 40 years, I've dugout our wedding photos. Years ago I transferred them from a sticky page album to an archive one and in that I wrote out our guest list. Reading that and looking at the photos, I pause to reflect on those who have gone.

  60 people at our wedding and 22 have now gone. Sixteen of them family members.

My Mum, widowed in 1958, passed away in 2006. The Uncle, who 'gave' me away, also gone. Paul's Mum and Dad, wonderful people, they had  57 years together, before Mum passed away in 2006. Six years latter Dad went to be with her.

Our Best man, Paul's brother, Gary and their Auntie Joan, both taken by cancer. 
Our Minister, as well.

When we married, we were they younger generation, today were are the oldest generation.

So dig out those photos, have a look back at the past and give thanks for those we have loved and lost.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

My Time Away

Well the washing is done, dried and put away. The food was unpacked straight away and the bags put away and now even the suitcases are away. Photos uploaded, mail collected, Christmas ham ordered, now to blog!

We left last Tuesday (17th) and made Echuca our overnight stop. It made for a long drive but we had several rest stops along the way. Went to The Mill, a tapas bar for dinner, wonderful! We had never tried tapas before and really enjoyed it. Wednesday morning we took a paddle steamer ride on the Murray River.
While this was our second paddle steamer ride, it was our first going upstream.
The Murray River.

Enjoying morning tea.

From Echuca we drove through to Bendigo, with lunch at the Boardwalk Restaurant, beside Lake Weeroona. Then onto the Bendigo - Maryborough road and a pleasant drive through the Victorian countryside.

After a stroll through Maryborough and an argument with Navman, we made it to our accommodation, Donkey Tales, at Daisy Hill. As the name implies there were donkeys.

                                             The view from the cottage was lovely.

Thursday was set-up, presentations, scrutineering  and qualifying day, it was also very hot. After dropping the Granddaughter at the tents, with her teachers, Paul, Amanda and I walked the 1.2km track. It was very interesting to see how they had set it out, with part of the track encompassing local streets, as well as roads, through the local park. All the team drivers had to be 'licenced' to drive the vehicle and both them and the pit crew had to know all the technical side of it as well. The RACV provided judges and marshals. Imagine a car race, with all the trappings, but not the noise!  
Qualifying was fun to watched, with each team (92 in total) trying for pole position and not cause any damage to the vehicle.

For more about the RACV Energy Breakthrough, go to www.racvenergybreakthrough.net
I'm not going to add any race photos, but the website will have some.

Friday dawned with sun and ended  with wind and rain. The race started at 12 noon and continued until 8.00pm. We watched her race, only taking a break when she did. Nine drivers, with approximately half an hour per driver. This was just her team, there two others from the school as well. During her last stint, it started to rain and combined with the sun glare, she had to come in a lap early as she couldn't see. She went for a shower and we went for dinner and then back to the cottage.

Saturday's restart of the race, with each team starting in the position they had finished on Friday night, was at 6.00am. Again the weather gave us sun, wind and rain, sometimes all three at once!
With the race finishing at 12pm, the traditional photos of the damaged vehicles and the dousing of the team manager, with water, we got back to the cottage around 2.30pm.

A shower and resting took priority, followed by a great game of Balderdash. Note do not eat and play this game at the same time as much laughter ensues. Following this, we had several very competitive games of UNO, again with much laughter. Dinner was at the local Chinese restaurant and then we watched Christmas with the Kranks.

Sunday saw us start our homeward journey. Lunch in Benalla, beside the Broken River, made for a very pleasant stop.  We made our final stop, for the trip at Yass, staying in a cottage at the Thunderbird Motel. Dinner and a bottle of wine on the deck was a fitting end to a wonderful time away.

Home for lunch, yesterday, after stopping to see our Sydney Family. Tomorrow the carpet goes down and then the 'fun' of putting everything back begins.

Bye for now,

Monday, 23 November 2015


We have had seven days away, in Maryborough, Victoria. Our Granddaughter was racing, for her school team, in a Human Powered Vehicle or HPV. Her team did really well! When I'm more organised, I'll write some more and add photos.
Now for a cuppa,

Monday, 16 November 2015

Family Tree Programs

What, if any, family tree program do you use?  How do you find it?  Do you have your tree online, and with who?  Is there any problems with having it online?

I use Brothers Keeper by John Steed and find it really good. Having the paid version gives me access to different report types and they are useful. It is the only program I use and I'm looking for one I can use for clients, as I don't want to mix families. Brothers Keeper allows you to split data bases, so I could use it, at a pinch.   I have tried My Heritage and am now getting bugged to update etc.

I also, ages ago, put a small section of the tree on Ancestry, but took it down as I wasn't sure about them. FamilySearch has provision to have your tree with them and I'm considering it, so feedback would be great.

Any ideas would be most welcome.

Bye for now,

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Another Mystery Part 2

Back on 1st October, I wrote about a book I had been give and the interesting note inside it.  I haven't had any success in finding any descendants but I'm going to keep looking.

Thinking I might contact local family history groups, to see if they can help.

Bye for now,

A Bit Stunned

Like the rest of the world, I really feel for the people caught-up in the Paris tragedy. When we were there in July the security was very high. I have joked that I saw more armed troops on the streets of Paris than in Greece and Turkey, combined. I didn't feel unsafe, just a bit more cautious of what was going on around us. How this happened is something that the French authorities will have to look at but it has brought home to me that we should be very thankful that we don't have any land borders.

I found security, boarding a plane about the same as here but at the other end, we just walked out of the 'secure' area and no-one stopped us. People were also walking into the area and meeting people, no-one stopped them. We need to be vigilant but not let these thugs stop us from enjoying life, because if we do, they win.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Family Photos

Well my study is painted and I've got my computer back on the desk, but how long I'll stay in the room depends on the paint smell. It's pretty bad.

After I got the USB of family photos, I cropped individuals out of groups, named them and added them to the my family tree program.  Still got a few individuals to do but I've been able to do my grandparents, their children and grandchildren. Some of the great-grandchildren are also done and one great-great-grandchild too.  I had to re-do some of the documents, as there was a problem with the location but that is done too.

Will have to do my husbands side as, to quote him, "if you don't, the tree will be lopsided and might fall over." Love him to bits!

Bye for now,

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A bit of a rant and your thoughts, please.

I'm not one for passing on the old chain letters, that we would sometimes get. (Remember those?)  I also don't usually copy and paste things from Facebook, (that say to pass it on) but on Friday I was having a bit of fun, with a friend and did just that. You had to work out a message and then follow the instructions. Now I'm being 'blamed' because a 'friend' also followed the instructions, struth!  I have no doubt that most of my friends would have worked out the message and gone, 'so that is what it means' and then left it, fine.

What are your thoughts on the 'chain letter' post that come up on Facebook? Do you ignore, like I usually do or pass it on?

Bye for now,

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Something to Ponder

Two weeks ago I attended the Royal Australian Historical Society's annual conference. It was good to catch-up with friends, promote the family history group and hear very interesting speakers. The topics were broad, covering migration, from our convict beginnings to the migration of today.
Sunday started with presentations of awards and then a panel discussion and this is where it became interesting. New South Wales is looking at decreasing the number of Local Government Areas, (LGA) and something that I hadn't considered is what happens to local family/local history groups, with the restructuring?  While the council I live in will stand alone and out groups are safe, there are several others that are facing problems. Problems that were raised were,
  1. What if the LGA is divided between two other LGA areas?   You would loose your groups identity.
  2. What happens if the LGA is absorbed by its neighbouring LGA?
  3. If your group is in a council owned building, will you be able to stay?
  4. What could happen to your collection?
While the big picture is for less councils, these smaller things are important to us.  So pay close attention to what is happening, as your local groups existence could depend on it.
Bye for now,

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A Bit Slow in Writing

My study is nearly empty and things are scattered throughout the rest of the house, making it hard to find anything. The painter arrives next week and the carpet at the end of the month, new bookcases, to put together are in the lounge room and the third bedroom is packed with boxes. It will be great to have it fresh and tidy.

We minded our darling grandson, overnight on Sunday and it was great. James is such a cutie and is learning is numbers, pointing them out on the DVD player, phone, clocks, boxes. He also recognises letters and points them out too.

My cousin, Ruth, sent me an USB full of old family photos. A wonderful look back at family weddings or just candid shots of the family. Fantastic!

Have you made copies of your photos and given them to other family members? Not only is this a good way of keeping in touch but it means that you have a copy, off site, encase of any mishaps. This is also good for your research, too.

My plan is to make copies of the group photos and then using an editing program, 'cut' each person out of the group and attach them to their record, in my family tree program.  How to you store your certificates and photos?

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Room Do-Over and this 'n' that

I've been very busy  packing things into boxes and moving things out of my room. The freezer was the biggest item, so far and it is now in the laundry, my sewing drawers are in my husbands study. All but two shelves are gone and he has removed the brackets for several others, that might not go back up.

The room looks so big, it echo's and it seems to be brighter!

During all this I've been researching and sewing, trying to get things done before the painter arrives.

Below are photos of the room. My research is going to be continued in Salt Lake City, I will need to access microfilm for the details as certificates aren't available for the timeframe I'm looking at.

Last weekend I attended the annual conference of The Royal Australian Historical Society, held a Bankstown Sports Club. I had a great time catching up with friends, making new ones and listening to very interesting speakers.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Do-Over is happening NOW!

The painter has been, to give a quote, ordered the carpet, it is going to happen before Christmas!

Today I moved two bookcases into the third bedroom, (thankful there is no bed in there) and the filing cabinet into my husbands study. I have managed to put all my research into the second filing cabinet, on the landing, nice and close.  I've taken books of the shelves and all the stuff of the notice boards.

Just waiting on a date for the painting to start.

I've also been sewing the new quilt and doing research, so life is still going on.

I gave myself a genealogy test, today. I filled in all my direct ancestors, without looking at the family tree program. I was able to do everyone as far back as my Great-grandparents and then only eight of my Great-great-grandparents. Not to bad, me thinks.

Bye for now,

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Birthday photos

Claire, as promised, here are some of the photos.
Claire, with her Grandma, my Auntie Joyce. The birthday girl!

Between them they have 356years.

The cousins, with Lyn hidden.

The next generation, with Auntie Joyce.

Answers to a couple of questions.

I posted about how my Grandparents addressed each other and who taught my mother and aunts to knit, today I have some answers.

My three remaining aunts were all together, to celebrate the 90th birthday of one of them. I was able to ask them the questions and hear them discuss them. It seems that my Grandparents addressed each other as Mum and Dad. My eldest aunt said that Auntie Edith taught them to knit. I can assume that since Auntie Edith and Mum both knitted, that their Mum taught them.

It was a wonderful day catching up with four of the five remaining Aunts and Uncles, cousins I hadn't seen in ages and taking heaps of photos. (These will come)

Bye for now,

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Do-Over part 2.

Well it looks like my study will be painted and re-floored before Christmas, not in the New Year! I'm thrilled that I've been through everything and now will only have to move them. Think I'll stick the boxes, drawers and shelving in the garage and the books in the spare bedroom.

I wonder if the freezer will fit in the laundry? Must measure it up. That would give me a bit more space. Or I could move it to another spot in the room.

My sewing table will have to go down the garage and my desk will have to stay. It will work out well.

Now do I want vinyl or carpet on the floor? Suggestions, please.

I have spent part of this week, quilting and I didn't realise how much I missed it. I've made a small quilt for a gift, a bigger one, that a friend have given me the fabric and pattern for, two placemats, for a gift and have just finished cutting out the pieces for another quilt. I've had this kit for awhile and feel like making it up.

Small surprise quilt.

The one a friend gave me the fabric and pattern for.

One of the placemats. I quilted in in red, using a fancy stitch.

This is the one I'm now working on. Only 12 blocks in total.

I've been doing genealogy, too and finding out interesting bits of information. I ordered two English certificates, yesterday.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Genealogy Do-over

In January I'm starting a Genealogy Do-over, where we take a fresh look at our research. Thomas McEntee is organising it and I'm looking forward to it. In preparation for the start and because I hope to paint my study, next year, I gave the study a do-over.  I've filled the re-cycling bin twice and the garbage once. I still have some tweaking to do but I'm thrilled with the results. I got rid of a desk, moved a book case and went through everything on the shelves.

Being a quilter, too, there was heaps to go through.

The photos.

Bye for now,


A bit late but the talk I gave on Blogging went really well. Lots of questions and Jill Ball was there and helped with the answers. Some of the group have blogs and we looked at them.
Lunch was good and I met my husband at our train station and we went for coffee.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Test post, using the iPad.

I'm presenting a talk on blogging, tomorrow and am testing if I can blog, on my iPad. Didn't see why it wouldn't work but sometimes technology and I don't play nice.
The talk is not using PowerPoint but actually doing it 'live'. Trying to get the Internet to behave and let me present will be a challenge. Watch this space.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Another Mystery.

Before we went to Melbourne, last week, I was given a book and another mystery to try and solve.
The book is, "The Road From Coorain, An Australian memoir" by Jill Ker Conway. Coorain is a sheep station in New South Wales, near the town of Mossgiel, which is between Ivanhoe and Hay.
That isn't a mystery but the note inside is.

H Findlay had penned a note detailing when the author's parents settled on the station. Who the local doctor at Mossgeil was. What the settlement was like and other bits of information, all on a slip of paper no bigger than a 6" x 4" photo.

My search is to try and find any descendants of either Jill Ker Conway or H Findlay and to offer them the book and note. Watch this space for updates.

Bye for now,

Monday, 14 September 2015

An update from my last post.

Using TROVE, I have been able to find out more information on my two soldiers.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 4 November 1915, is a notice relating to the death of Private Jack Harvey. It mentions that he enlisted at the start of the war and was employed on Round Hill Station.

I faired a bit better for Private George Parnaby. The Argus, Melbourne, Monday 1 November 1915, gives details of when he enlisted, his 18th birthday, that his mother died when he was 2 years old  and that he was shot in the head.
The Sea Lake Times & Berriwillock Advertiser, Saturday October 9, 1915, has a lovey detailed piece about George's memorial service.

Not much to sum up the lives of two servicemen.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Is there anyone left to mourn?

 Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Thursday 15 August 2015, under blue skies 100 years after a bloody battle left over 3,000 men killed, most with no known grave, I pondered the question, 'Is there anyone left to mourn?'

While we pilgrims wandered the site, reading the headstones, 'Believed to be buried in this cemetery' is a common message. Names, dates, sometimes a verse are all that we have about these men. I wondered if there is anyone at home, left to mourn these men and I decided to try and find out.

I had brought with me, poppies I'd purchased from the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Placing them on two graves, I took a photos, recording the details. Now home I began my search.


                                                   1765 Private J HARVEY
                                                       2nd BN Australian INF
                                                       6/9 August 1915.

Jack Harvey was born in Wellington, NSW, in c1892. His enlistment form gives us a description of this young man; Age 22yrs 11mths, Height 5' 11', Weight 144pounds, Complexion Dark, Eyes Grey, Religion Roman Catholic, Occupation Labourer. His Next of Kin is listed as his uncle Hugh Murphy, parents deceased.
Jack enlisted 1st February 1915 at Wellington, NSW. His Casualty From - Active Service has three stark entries;
26.5.15 Joined 2nd Battalion.
14.8.15 Reported Missing
13.12.15 Now reported killed in section (dead body recovered).

Reading his record I discovered that he had a half sister, Mrs France Anthony of 5 Reid Street, Lithgow. She was awarded his medals, in 1920.
I haven't, yet, found Jack's birth but have found Frances (1899), Lilia (1898) and Victoria(1895), all born to Walter Harvey and Elizabeth Murphy (m 1895). Is Jack, Walter's son? Something for me to peruse.

488 Private G PARNABY
24th BN Australian INF
15 Sept 1915

George Parnaby was born in Minyip, Vic in c1896. His enlistment form gives us a description of this young man; Age 19yrs, Height 5'10", Weight 130 pounds, Complexion Fair, Eyes Blue, Hair Brown, Religion Church of England, Occupation Farm Labourer. His Next of Kin is his Grandmother, Mrs Sarah Annie Johnson, parents deceased. He has a brother Herbert and a sister Nellie.
 George enlisted 7th March 1915 at Sea Lake, Vic. His Casualty Form - Active Service has three stark entries;    30.8.15 Proceeded to join M.E.F.
                         26.9.15 KILLED IN ACTION.
                         20.10.15 Buried in Brown's Dip by Chap, A P Bladen. Plot 1, Row 2, Grave 4.

So, having looked into the lives of these to young men, I again ponder the question, 'Is there anyone left to mourn?'

If you can prove your relationship to either Jack or George, please contact me and I will give you the photos I took.

Lest We Forget.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Trip photos.

Royal Palace, across the Danube River. Parts of the palace are now home for a collection of Hungarian Fine Art, in the National Gallery. The castle is lit up at night and looks beautiful.

The Hungarian Parliament building. Built between 1885 and 1896, in time for the Millennium parliamentary session. It is 268m long and is symmetrical. The dome is 96m high.

St Stephen Basilica. Named for King Stephen 1, third ruler of the nomadic and pagan Hungarian tribes. He converted to Christianity and after his death, was canonized. Construction started in 1851 and it was finally opened in 1905.

Heroes' Square was built in 1896 for the millenary anniversary of the Hungarian conquest. The Millennium Monument is 36m high, with the Archangel Gabriel on the top. The National Heroes'  Monument was built in 1929 and is just in front of the Millennium Monument. It also has the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Budapest is a fascinating city and one we enjoyed exploring. Turn a corner and there would be another fascinating piece of history.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Photo Total and Email

I've uploaded my photos to the PC, 2898 was the total. An average of 483 photos a week!
My camera has GPS, so I've downloaded that information as well and with my journal entries, I will be able to name them.

Another thing I did, before I went away, was to start a new email, just for the trip. I then asked people if they would like to get my email updates and I ended up with around 40 on the list. When I emailed they were all BCC and I emailed it to my usual email. Thus giving me a copy of what I'd written.

This is the plastic case I kept the SD cards in. I think that it came with a card, ages ago.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Travel Tips

I know some of my friends travel way more than I have, but I've discovered some things that I thought might be useful.

Photos. Boy how we love to take photos and with a digital camera we take heaps. Before we left I purchased six SD cards, labelled each one, with the countries we were going to and slipped them into labelled snap lock bags and then into a plastic case. The night before we left a country, I'd change cards, and LOCK the one I'd just removed. This way I only have photos from one country on each card and am only dealing with small amounts of photos at a time. (I haven't counted how many in total, will let you know.)

Keep a journal. I promised myself that I would keep a journal, on the iPad, never happened. My husband bought me this journal, for Christmas, it hasn't any dates, like travel journals, so it was perfect. I picked up the four coloured pen at Sydney airport, as I'd managed to pack the other pen in the suitcase. I dated and named each day, Saturday, 25 July 2015, Venice. Then when I did the next page, like this, 25/7/2015 cont'd, encase the book fell apart. I tried to write every day, sometimes several times a day, as to what we had done, eaten, seen, bought, felt etc. 

I threw these in at the last moment and used them both, frequently. The scarf came in handy on plane trips, just enough to keep the A/C from making me to cool, or from it blowing down my back. Handy too for a visit to the mosque. The amount of people using fans, both men and women, was amazing. It came in very, very handy, travelling on the hop on/hop off busses, standing in queues or while waiting for a meal. Not everywhere is air-conditioned.

Take an alarm clock. Not every hotel has a clock radio, for an alarm, or clock. I used both the iPad and clock several times and we didn't miss a pick-up. Make use of the hotels wake-up phone call, too.

I hope these help you and please let me know yours as well.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


42 days, 6 countries, 9 stops, to many plane flights, bus rides and train trips to count, no lost items or luggage equals one amazing trip! We travelled to Budapest, Berlin, Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Athens, Santorini and Istanbul. Saw amazing sights, revelled in all that history, stared goggle eyed at painted ceilings, ancient ruins and beautiful gardens. Eaten and drank local food and wine. Walked for miles and miles exploring these places and it wasn't an organised tour.

When we decided to travel to Europe we had some specific places we wanted to see, looked at tours and went, not for us. Our travel agent was amazing, working out the most direct way and easiest way to accomplish this, with out blowing our budget. Everything that we could organise, book and pay for, before we left Australia was done, so the we only had to pay for extra side trips and food. So much easier that trying to do it there.

Doing it this way gave us down time, in each stop instead of the rush, that some tours can have.

So, want to travel and don't want an organised tour? See what your travel agent can do and be wonderfully surprised.

I'll write more about the trip and add photos, over the coming days.


Saturday, 4 July 2015

FamilySearch Apps

I've been spending time browsing around in FamilySearch,    https//familysearch.org    and found this section.  The Apps are divided into five different groups; Find Ancestors (36), Family tree software (27), Photos and Stories (45), Charts and Tree Views (27) and Tree analysing (33). Number in brackets are how many in each group.

They are for both android and ios, with  a brief description of each one. I looked at some interesting podcasts, that I'll consider downloading.

If using your iPad or Tablet is how you do your family research, have a look.

Bye for now,


How many of us read other peoples blogs? I have several that I read and find that they are a wonderful way to get to know others.  The blog I'm going to review here is from FamilySearch.

Now before you go, "not them, Again!" When was the last time you really had a good 'play' on their site? It is free and very useful. Go on, have a look.

FamilySearch Blog is like most blogs, with frequent posts and what I like about it is that you don't have to scroll through every blog to find the one that you want to visit, again.   there are 18 different categories for you to read. I like going into What's New at FamilySearch and Tech Tips. These help me know what is new and solve any small problems I might have with searching.

So go and read a different blog and enjoy.

Bye for now,

Tips for Writing Your Story


I found this link on the FamilySearch Facebook page and thought that it was interesting. While the tips relate to scrapbooking, they are useful for story writing too.

  I know I need to really get into writing up what I know about various family members but I keep doing other things instead.

Bye for now,

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Pondering Knitting and other strange things

I love to knit, I usually have two or three different things on the go, socks, jumper and a larger item, so I have a variety. As I was knitting this morning, I thought about my mum and how she taught both my sister and I to knit. My sister took to it, as a child and knits beautifully, she even won awards. Me, well I took a bit longer to really get into it. I've got a cardigan and socks for me, on the go and a blanket as well.

Then I thought, who taught my mum and her six sisters to knit? Their Mum, an Aunt? I don't know. I do know that if wasn't the paternal grandmother, so I have ruled her out. I have three remaining aunts, so I am going to write to them and ask if they remember who taught them.

I am also curious as to how my grandparents addressed each other. Was if Mother and Father, as some families did? Was is Evelyn and Arthur, their given names? Was it something different? I'll ask my aunts that as well.

So do you knit and who taught you? Who taught them? What did your grandparents call each other? Something else to try and find out, to add more 'meat' to the bones of our family.

Bye for now, I'm going to knit,

Monday, 8 June 2015

Searching Ancestry

Sometimes I wonder if all this information, that is up on the web, is really what we want. I think we 'paint' a picture of an ancestor and then find it difficult to marry what we find to what we want. Am I right? 

Take my search today.  I decided to see what Arthur Galbraith, Grandpop, had been up to and if there were any new records. I entered all the details and thousands of records came up! Opps, better narrow it down to Australia, much more manageable.  I found his birth and marriage details, electoral roll entries, showing both  himself and Grandma and the eldest child. I followed this through until 1963 and at times he was living alone and others had family with him.

There was one entry that puzzled me, it was an entry in the New South Wales Gaol Description and Entrance Books, 1818 - 1930. Opening it I found that, yes, it was my Grandfather and he had been caught throwing stones, his sentence 10/- or [something] hours. He was 14 years old, his height was given as 4'2/4", with brown hair and grey eyes, living at 36 Walsh Street, Redfern.

This was several years after his father had died, so I can only guess that his mum was having trouble keeping him in line or that she was already suffering from depression.

Now to my puzzle, do I tell my remaining Aunts and Uncles, my cousins or do I keep it to myself and hope they find it themselves? Do his remaining children have good memories of their dad and would this tarnish them? I remember Grandpop as being a cranky old man, who smoked Craven A cigarettes. When I started this odyssey of family research I discovered that he was old, being 80 when he died.  He was probably entitled to be cranky having lost his dad, when he was young, his mother ending up in a mental hospital, his wife dying and leaving 10 children, the youngest 6 weeks old and then having a leg amputated.

But did I really want to know he had been caught throwing stones?  Something I will continue to ponder.

Bye for now,

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Long Weekend

A long weekend. What are your plans? I'm going to do some family research, some knitting and some reading, just what a long weekend should be about.

I heard that Ancestry has free English records, this weekend, they might be worth a look.

Darn, there is a pile of ironing, noooooooo! 

Have a great weekend,

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Australian War Memorial

Paul and I spent last Tuesday exploring the new World War 1 area of the AWM. It is fantastic, very hands on, with touch screens everywhere. They have it set out chronologically and each section has display cases and a touch screen. You want to know more about what is there, pick an object, touch the object on the screen and the information is displayed. Very light and well set out. It was well worth the visit.

                                                    "G" for George, bomber.

                                                 The Changi Quilt.

Poppies on the WW11 Roll of Honour.

I was to busy enjoying the WW1 Gallery to take any photos, you will have to visit, yourself.

Bye for now,

Friday, 29 May 2015


Do you subscribe to genealogical magazines?  Do you find them useful?

I subscribe to three magazines and sometimes buy a fourth one. Two are English and two are Australian.
Your Family History, (top left, English) is one I sometimes pick-up, if I think the contents are interesting. This one has an interesting article on The Making of America. This looks at the British and Irish, who started news lives in America. There is also an article on the Bismarck. It find it useful and enjoy reading readers queries and how to solve them.

Family Tree, (top right, English), this is the one I subscribe to and I find the articles, columns and sections very informative. The previous few months have had a series on how to blog and as a blogger, I discovered some useful tips. This month has an articles on the Magna Carta, Waterloo, The Salvation Army and by Chris Paton, Lost & Found in the archives.

Australian Family Tree Connections, (bottom right), has readers stories and photos, Surname Register and What's on. It has been on the Australian scene for years and Michele Stephens as kept the same format, from the start. I enjoy the stories of how others have solved a problem.

Inside History, (bottom right), is a wonderful fresh magazine that I have to stop myself reading in one sitting.  Cassie Mercer is the editor and the range of articles, interviews etc. are very diverse. This one has a guide to asylum records, that I wish I had had before I went down that path. The article on Historic Walks is extracted fro Barry Stone's book, 1001 Walks You Must Experience Before You Die. Something to think about, now we are retired. There is also reviews on Apps and new books.  Mapping Your Ancestors is excellent.

These are my favourite, tell me about yours.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 28 May 2015


When I last posted, I had a sore throat, well that got better and we went away. I was so looking forward to a week with the family in Victoria BUT my cough became a chest infection and for awhile I was really sick. Back home, yesterday and have heaps to catch-up on. (like the washing)
More later,
Bye for now,

Saturday, 16 May 2015

This n that

It has been a while since I last did a blog, sorry. We had a lovely weekend,  Mother's Day, at Kangaroo Valley and I woke up Monday with a sore throat. The rest of the week passed, with me feeling very blah and not doing much.

I did finish my National Institute of Genealogical Studies, subject Australian Newspapers and got 100% in the exam. The subject was really interesting and I learnt new things and had others re-enforced. I am still loving the course.

Still not feeling well and now I have a 'fantastic' cough, that really gets me going. Think a warm bed and a good book are in my future.

Bye for now and stay well,

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


Was your ancestor a Bang Beggar, an Earth stopper or a Pardoner?

I was browsing a list I have of websites (I do this to see if they still exist or what changes there might be), and came across this one.

Index to Old Occupations.   http://rmhh.co.uk/occup/index.html

It is for the Hall Genealogy Website and has other interesting areas to look at.

You select a letter of the alphabet, click on it and you get a list of Old Names  and the New Name or Description. Useful information to have.

Now I hear you muttering, 'What is a Bang Beggar?'    A Bang Beggar, was a Parish Officer who controlled how long strangers could stay in the Parish.  The others I mentioned, I'll leave for you to find.

Well worth a look even if you haven't found a strange occupation.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 30 April 2015

My Grandfather, Arthur Galbraith.

 I love searching through all different types of records. Type in a name and see what pops up. Well... The other week, searching through the National Archives site, I entered Grandpops name and their was his application to enlist in World War 1.  As he was a married man, with three children I was surprised that his service hadn't been mentioned, before.

Today I received an email with a link to the documents and what a surprise. He tried to enlist twice, the first time on 12 January 1916 and the second time on 10 July 1917. He was knocked back both times and the reasons given were alcohol (1916) and (1917) haemorrhoids and physique below standard. Interesting but sad at the same time.

I wonder how he felt.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Trooper Leslie John Abberton

Leslie John Abberton  Born 1898 to Thomas and Louisa Abberton (nee Nicolls). He was their fifth child and forth son. Leslie enlisted on 28 February 1917, following two of his older brothers into the service. He served in the Middle East with the 2nd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron. Leslie died of wounds on the 30 November 1917 and is buried at the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
His name is listed on panel 180 in the Commemorative Area of the Australian War Memorial.

                                Thank you, Uncle Les for you sacrifice. Lest We Forget.

The Ode

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

These two stanzas are part of the  poem "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Army Traditions


Discovered this page, looking for something else. It explains the Traditions of the Army. Seem very fitting.

Lest We Forget.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

My DNA Discovery Part 2

I'm still very new to the world of DNA but I did enter my results on to the GEDmatch site and have made a distant connection. Well he found me. We are very, something like 6 generations ago, related. That does take it back overseas, somewhere. We will both have to do some research on it.

The person I though might be related, isn't but we do share a surname, in the ancestors. Again more digging.

So while I was in the mode for DNA(ing) I did a one-to-many search and have found a closer match, only 4.5 generations back. I'm now working up the courage to contact him to see if there is a solid connection.

Must re-read Kerry Farmer's book, DNA for genealogists, from Unlock the Past. (Gould Genealogy are the supplier).

Bye for now,

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Abbrevations Found in Genealogy.

Have you ever found an abbreviation and wondered what it means? The link, below has a good document, (13 pages), of abbreviations.


While it is Roots Web and Ancestry, you can access it for free.

Bye for now,

Saturday, 18 April 2015

A Brush With the Law

A “brush with the law”, listed Sue,  from my writing group, now why would I want to do that topic, my family were saints! Well that is until I started reading the New South Wales Police Gazettes.

First there was great-grandfather, Thomas Abberton, posting a £5 reward for the return of his stolen horse, that’s not bad. But wait there  more, and I was only searching the Abberton side.

Next was Uncle Fred, theft, assault and the interesting one, carrying  firearms on Sunday. Looking deeper into the gazettes I found that he was caught carrying the firearms, two breach-loading guns and a repeater rifle, value £14 7s, after having broken into a shop and stealing them. He pleaded guilty to larceny and was sentenced to 18 months hard labour.  Well he was only an uncle.

Oh, look, Thomas Abberton! What has great-granddad done? Opps! It isn’t him but my grandfather, also Thomas and the charge desertion. The year 1904. So who did he desert and why? His wife, Louisa, had died in 1903, so it wasn’t her. The complainant was one Patrick Lyons, State Children’s Relief Department. When Louisa died, Thomas was left with six children aged from 13 years to 4 years. He must have been so down that he couldn’t cope and left the children in care. Something I’ll never know. When he was arrested he has to pay 5shillings a week  for twelve months.

The description of Thomas is wonderful. 6 feet high, thin build, black hair, clean shaved, except dark moustache, scare on his left cheek, large abscess mark under right jaw. For the first time I know what my grandfather looks like.

Interesting there is  Matthew Abberton. Was it my dad? Yes. He had deserted his first wife and children and there was a bench warrant for his arrest and then later notice of his arrest. Don’t think my mum knew about that.

Reading the police gazettes has given me information about one branch of my family that I didn’t know. The descriptions are wonderful and add so much more to the bare, cold facts.

A brush with the law, no not my family they were saints. Really, they were, well except for a few misdemeanours.

Thursday, 16 April 2015


Sixty-six years ago on Saturday 16 April 1949, Edna May Sigrist and Patrick James Hunter Magill were married.  Both had served their country in World War 11, Dad in the Army, in New Guinea and Mum in the Air force, in Australia. Mum had a younger sister and Dad was one of 10. Sadly we have lost them both but they had 57 years together.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Botany Bay Family History Fair, part 2

Jeni and I have had a wonderful day, meeting interesting people and catching up with those we know. Our table was between Joy and Allan Murrin and Laurie and Lorraine Turtle, both are transcription agents and enjoyed talking to them. Joy watched the video of my TV spot.

Gail, from NSW State Records, Cassie Mercer, from Inside History, Teapot Genealogy, Fellowship of First Fleeters and Carol Baxter, author were just some of the people I caught up with.

We had some nibbles but people are under the impression that we only deal with families from Bankstown. Might have to write a piece for the Torch newspaper and Australian Family Tree Connections, to see if we can change that. Our handouts and chocolates went down well!

Tired but it was a good day. Plans for doing our own next year have been discussed on the drive home.

Bye for now,

Botany Bay Family History Fair

10.25and the fair is underway. While the weather is undecided as to what it is going to do, there is a good turnout. Jeni and I were setup by 8.15 and it is good to catch up with genealogy friends.

More later,

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Thursday Writing Group.

Today Sue had organised Jeffery Madsen to give a talk on, Creating Maps in Family Stories.

While I haven't used maps in stories, they are something I use frequently.  He explained what a map was, why we would use a map and what is the map showing the reader.  Jeffery also explained that by using different types of maps, the reader is able to see the location of a particular place.

Sources of maps, copyright and attribution were also covered. We were then given a lesson in how to put maps into our word document. How to manipulate them and how to organise the text. Something for me to play with.

It was a very useful and informative talk, from a gentleman, who loves maps.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

DNA adventure.

Back in 2013 I decided to have my DNA done, to see where I came from. I used Family Tree DNA and waited for the results and I was disappointed. My origins were exactly where I had worked out my ancestors came from, 100% European. I have now joined an Irish Facebook page and think that I may have made contact with a very distant cousin. She has had her DNA done and has it uploaded to Gedmatch. I am now trying to figure out how I can get my results on the same site, to compare.
Will keep you posted as to how I go. This is going to be very interesting.

Bye for now,

Still on my weekend

Bliss, my darling husband has a flex day, so we have a five day long weekend, back to reality tomorrow.  I did manage to get the three things I wanted to do, done.  I also joined Pinterest and have been playing with that, browsed several different websites that I hadn't looked at for awhile.

Meeting night, tonight for the Bankstown Family History Group and I'm presenting a workshop on TROVE. Should be a good night.

Bye for now,

Sunday, 5 April 2015

An Interesting Website


 Below is a cut and paste from their site as they explain it better than I.

Welcome to the British Surnames website. Here, you can find information on similar surnames, most common surnames, surname distribution maps as well as surname meanings and etymologies
As the name suggests, this site primarily lists surnames commonly found in Britain, but many of these are found in other parts of the world as well - so even if you're not British, your name could well be in here!

I find it a very interesting site.

Bye for now,

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Colonial Secretary Index, 1788 - 1825

http://colsec.records.nsw.gov.au/indexes/  I have never looked at these and I really don't know why. Christine Yeats had a Facebook post about unemployment records for Sydney in 1866 and how you could search them. I did and didn't find anyone, that is okay as I don't think that I had anyone in Sydney, just then.

I then went browsing through the site and 'discovered' the Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825 and has a play. Wow, it is amazing and while it is only an index, it has a lot of detail. You can search for a surname or subject, using the search box at the bottom of the page. This does a whole text search. You can also search by clicking on a letter of the alphabet and getting the list of what is under that letter. This is divided into sections, click on the one you want and then scroll through, until you locate the one you want.

Depending on what you are after, you can get a few entries or many. You get the person's name, a date of the item, with a brief description and then the reel number. You then need to make a visit to the archives, at Kingswood and see the information for yourself.

While I didn't find anything new, this index has opened up another avenue to explore.

Bye for now,

Friday, 3 April 2015

Easter weekend

Easter Blessings to you.

Apart from a family lunch on Sunday, I have nothing else planned and Paul has a flex day on Tuesday!

 Looking at my sewing table, it really needs a good tidy-up! The ironing has taken over and I'm going to write up some reviews on the Unlock The Past books, hence the pile. The reviews will be on my website. There is also some mending under that and a quilt to quilt.

I have a new subject starting on 6th April, so I'd better read the notes. I've also got an ongoing subject to work on.

This pile of newspaper pages relates to the Bankstown Family History Groups press, so I want to put them into a folder.

What are your long weekend plans?

God Bless,