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'.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Society Saturday

I went to the Society of Australian Genealogists, (SAG), for a seminar on Immigration by John Cann.
John is from NSW State Records http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/staterecords/ and presented one of the most entertaining seminars I've been to. He used PowerPoint and had just worked out some if the different effects. These added to the presentation.

John covered the three main periods of Immigration, the Convict Era, 1788-1850, Assisted Passage, 1832-1886 and Unassisted Passage, 1788-1922. After 1922 the Federal Government holds the records and these are in the National Archives in Canberra. http://www.naa.gov.au/

I learnt that there are some records for the Prison Hulk, that were moored on the Thames, held at the archives. These have the prefix HO, when you search. I can see that I will have to do some serious searching, on my next visit.

He mentioned the three types of Indents they hold; Bound Indents, 1788-1835; Printed Indents, 1832-42 and Irish Indents.  Use the Archives In Brief, on the web site for help.

Another good site John recommended, and is linked from the Archives is http://marinersandships.com.au/. Especially for Unassisted Passengers and Crew, for the years 1845-1922.

If you are looking for Third Class passengers before 1856, try TROVE, http://trove.nla.gov.au/.

I'm not going to say much more as you can attend, even if you don't belong to SAG. Go to their wed site. www.sag.org.au and click on events. Better yet, join and have the Descent, Event Calendar, sent to you, either by email of snail mail.

Hope these links help.
Bye for now,

Friday, 27 February 2015

Faces from the Past, Friday.

Faces, what do they tell us? Can we find any trace of our ancestors in our faces? We see a new baby and we say, he has so-n-so's nose, chin, ears as we look for a link to the past. Today I'm looking at my mum and her parents and then my husbands great grandfather.
Arthur Alfred Victor Galbraith
Born 1884
Died 1965

Evelyn Maude Jasper
Born 1885
Died 1932

Born 1911
Died 2006

Samuel Hunter Magill
Born c1844
Died 1928

Looking at these photos I think, what colour were their eyes?  Why and where  were these photos taken? Mum's eyes were blue, Grandad's I can't remember. Grandma's photo was taken at Katoomba. Mum's was on her first birthday. Some answers, still some questions.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Those Places Thursday.

This is today's prompt from GeneaBloggers, so here goes.

Now a sewing centre, it was once the Salutation Hotel, where my grandfather, Thomas Abberton was the licensee. Situated in Goulburn, in Auburn Street it still has the beautiful wrought iron lacework. I went inside and it felt strange to be walking on the same floor that he had done.

This is a photo of a photo of the Mummel (Mummell) School that my grandmother, Louisa Nicolls, taught in from 1885 until she married in 1890. It is in much better condition, today and it lovely inside. You can still see the outline of where the desks were.

What is your Those places Thursday?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


What is a Webinar I hear you say? Well a webinar is a (sem)inar done on the web, webinar, simple.

This one was run by the Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) and it was on land research- the Parish Map. Carol Liston, Associate Professor, University Western Sydney.

Carol gave a very informative presentation on Parish maps, giving an overview of how they came into being, what to look for on them and how to follow the numbers trail, (those written on the map). She also recommended looking at ALL editions of the map, so you can see the changes that happened. One thing to take note of, is that only the name of the ORIGINAL purchaser is on all of the maps, for other you need the numbers. The only names that changed where Crown land was leased.  You need both the Parish and County name to find a map and for that Carole used the Geographical Names Board web site. www.gnb.nsw.gov.au  select Search Place Names and follow the instructions. There is a Fact Sheet that is useful.

Once you have the county name, you then switch to web site http://six.nsw.gov.au/wps/portal
this site is where you locate the maps. Go to the little box marked HLRV and that will take you into the  correct area. I haven't looked at the site for a while and can't remember if there is a fact sheet. Have a play and see what you find.

Remember that some Parish Names where used more than once, so check that you have the correct County. Make a list of the different ones, if you aren't sure and check them all.

Happy searching,

My Blog Review

Some things never change!

I have spent time re-reading all my posts from when I started and thought that I was repeating myself. I'm still trying to keep my filing cabinet tidy, my family history group is still going strong and the SAG writing group has grown. I also still have more questions than answers on some of my branches, but that is what family research is all about.

I looked at Thomas McEntee's site geneabloggers.com and like the hints he gives on how to write up your blog. Going to try his hint for each day and see how I go.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Magill Update

Success of a kind. No haven't found a death.

I've ordered the marriage transcript.

I then decided to do a search of the NSW  State Archives site. Picked a Keyname Search, entered Bryant, Magill and had it search. I brought up a long list of records but I selected the divorce records and BINGO! There it was a divorce between Bryant, Samuel and Bryant, Margaret. A couple of clicks more an I had ordered those records.

Very interesting.

Research on the Magill side of the family.

Well I suppose I'd better 'do' my husbands side, for awhile after all the information I've been finding on my side.

The Magills.

Samuel Hunter Magill  and Margaret Towers of Pine Ridge, Kootingal, NSW.

Samuel and Margaret had nine children
1) John c1869 - 1949
2) Mary c1871/72 - 1930
3) James c1873 - 1939
4) Margaret 1879 -
5) Catherine 1882 - 1963
6) Andrew 1885 - 1945 (ours)
7) William 1888 - 1916
8) Lorna 1891 - 1917
9) Nora 1897 - 1898.

As you can see I have all but one year of death and yesterday tried to fill that in. No luck.

Okay, I'll look for her marriage and became more confused. There are two marriages of a Margaret A Magill, so which one is mine? Or maybe neither?

Marriage 1

Margaret A Magill to Samuel N BRYANT, 1900 registered at Moree. There was a birth and death of a child, Charles in 1902.  There are two deaths registered of Samuel Bryant. One in 1904, Raymond Terrace  and the other in 1909, Charlestown.  Could they be him?

Marriage 2

Margaret A Magill to Edward FISHER, 1916 registered at Tamworth. Closer to Kootingal than Moree.

Now my dilemma is I can find NO death of a Margaret Bryant or a Margaret Fisher. I have searched the NSW BDM site as well as the Queensland version. Trolled TROVE. Raided RYERSON, nothing, zilch, nada. Most frustrated.

Also if she had married Bryant, wouldn't she have re-married as Bryant, not Magill?

I just opened another tab and did a quick search of marriages, Fisher, Edward to * Margaret, 1900 - 1920 and found that there is a double entry. 1916 Fisher Edward J to Bryant Margaret A, Tamworth AND 1916 Fisher Edward J to Magill Margaret A, Tamworth. That bit is solved, but I want her death. I'm also going to order the transcript of the marriage, should be interesting!

Back to my searching.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

I'm a Celebrity, no I'm not!

Well that was interesting…

I was interviewed by Chris, of the Today Show, for Find My Past.

It all started with a request on Facebook and it has gone on from there. I was contacted by James, from the PR firm, to see if I was still interested and he organised an interview with Rebecca from the Sunday Telegraph. While the interview was done, politics got in the way of it being published.

Last week James rang and asked if I would be happy doing a TV interview, as the Today show had read/seen my interview and wanted to talk to me. More emails and phone calls and it was set.

Never having done this before I had no idea what to expect!

One van, one cameraman, one sound recorder, James and Chris, spent nearly 2 hours with me and it was fun, nerve racking but fun.

They moved furniture, set up chairs, lights and the camera. While they were doing that Chris and I chatted and were miked up, then it was all systems go. I was seated, facing Chris and on camera the whole time, while he asked a variety of questions. It must have been about 15 to 20 minutes of questions. Then Chris faced the camera and ‘asked’ me the questions, so they could get his face.

Out to my study, no wait, walk in when we say so, stop, wait okay, sit down and look at the screen. Looking for information, with a camera over your shoulder is very interesting. I thought the sound was off and then Chris asks if we could have sound on this bit, only to be told it was being recorded, the whole time. I can hear some editing being done on that. They then did a shot of my hands, just typing anything, interesting. If that bit gets shown, see if you can work out what I typed!

They had me going through my filing cabinet looking for stuff, browsing through my magazine collection, mindful not to show the ad for  Ancestry! We then adjourned to the lounge room, where Chris and I sat and looked at old photos. That’s a wrap!

I don’t know when it will be shown, they will let me know and they have promised copies on the internet link as well.  Watch this space.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

New South Wales Police Gazettes, 1854 - 1930

Have you had a look at these?

 I was looking for an uncle's charges and it was suggested that I look at them. Well...  What a mine of information they are, not all of it good.  I have found my grandfather being charged with desertion of his children, great-grandfather reporting two stolen horses, there is a reward and said uncle up on several charges.

I also discovered a mystery. One of my great-grandmothers was Mary Abberton, with of the above great-grandfather. She was a mother of 15, 13 raised to adulthood, 11 still living at her death in 1914. To me a remarkable woman. So while perusing the Police Gazettes I stumbled on an entry that has me very puzzled.
"Release of Prisoners, week ending 4 August 1861, from Goulburn Gaol, Mary Abberton."

Is this my ancestor? What was the charge? How long did she serve? Questions I'd love to find the answers for, so next stop TROVE.  There are two mentions, in the Goulburn Herald on the 8 May 1861 of a Margaret Abberton being sentenced to three months imprisonment. But wait, the article says that her surname was "erroneously given as Cummings" and that her son was Peter Cummings!

I suppose that Mary could be a pet name for Margaret, a middle name an outright lie? The time frame is right for it to be the same person, so it is one mystery that I don't think I'll be able to solve, yet.

I know what my Mary was doing in 1861, her sixth child, a daughter, Margaret was born.

( I found the gazettes on Ancestry, NSW State Records would have them along with the Society of Australian Genealogists.)

Friday, 13 February 2015

Bits 'n' Pieces

                                                           Friday, I can see the  weekend!

 Tomorrow is Valentines Day BUT it is also Library Lovers Day. With libraries suffering cutbacks,    why not visit your local library and see what is on offer. Apart from books, magazines and CD's my local library offers computer classes, free use of computers, story time for all ages and craft groups.
Go on, visit, you will be surprised.

Yesterday my Writing Group, through SAG, started back. We had been set a task of writing a very short piece on any of the 15 topics listed. It had to be about someone on our family tree. I didn't take part as I couldn't fit any of mine into the topics but those who did ha wonderful stories to tell. I am going to take another look at the topic list and see if I can write a couple of short pieces. Watch this space!

Well I'm of to the library, knitting group is on this morning!
Bye for now,

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Some helpful websites.

With my studies I am often asked for useful websites, to share with the group. These below are some I've 'played' with this week.


For those tricky phrases that we come across in some old documents. It does Latin to English and the reverse.

Glossary of Old Medical Terms - Craig Thonber


For when we find a really strange cause of death or illness. I love finding really peculiar causes and then discovering that they aren't that strange after all.

Old Maps Online


It is a portal to historical maps that are in
These are free but some would like you to log in.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

3 February 1788

Yes, the date is correct! Yesterday was the 227th Anniversary of the first church service held in the Colony of New South Wales. Governor Philip's journal states that it was held under an 'old gum tree' but yesterday there was a service on the corner of Bligh and Hunter Streets. The Australia Christian Nation Association Inc organised it. The Rev Hon Fred Nile did the welcome and a prayer for the nation. Professor The Honorable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO did the official welcome. Speakers mentioned how the service came about and one speaker broached the topic ' Does Out Heritage Matter?' A very  interesting talk.

Professor The Honorable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO delivering her welcome.

The monument on the corner of Bligh and Hunter Streets, Sydney.

Happy Researching.
Bye for now,