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 November 2016


When I try and blog, from the iPad, something happens and I can't. This is a test to see if it works.
Random photo, morning tea, day one of the SAG Lost In weekend.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Summer reading, part 2!

While I was tiding my bookshelves, this morning I came across four more books for the summer reading pile. Three by Danielle Steel and the other by Jojo Moyes.

 Jojo Moyes, After You is the sequel to Me Before You. Set eighteen months, later, Lou Clark is trying to get on with her life. I have started this and am finding it slow. Will let you know how I go, with it.

Danielle Steel, is one author I enjoy reading and these three promise many long hours of reading pleasure.

Power Play; 'You love your family and your career. What will it cost you to have both.' This is on the cover and the blurb and the back is just as intriguing, with this, 'Both must face their own demons, and the lives they lead come at a high price. But how high a price are they willing to pay?'

Country; 'Life can take you anywhere if you seize they day...'  The story is about a widow and a country music megastar and if she is willing to take a risk.

Prodigal Son;  'When he comes home, what truths will be reviled?'  That had me reaching for it . Twins reunited after  20 years and the truth, that has been hidden.

All four books look great and I'm looking forward to reading them.

Any suggestions?


Monday, 21 November 2016

Blog 400!

Well I made it, my 400th post on my Blogiversary.

Starting this blog on 21 November 2010 I wrote;

I'm new to this but want to share family information and meet other family members.

 Looking for the names of Abberton, Magill, Sigrist.  These are just some of the names I'm researching. Will post more once I'm settled in.

Well I don't think I'm 'new' to this any more!

I'm still searching for the same surnames, with a few more thrown into the mix. I have caught up with some cousins, found new ones but the biggest thing has been meeting fellow Bloggers.

Jill Ball, has helped me re-design the blog and given encouragement. Thank you so much.

Friendships with Helen Smith, Alona Tester, Fran Kitto, Pauline Cass, to name just a few, inspire me to lift my blogging game.  Wearing Blogger beads, at various conferences, creates new opportunities to talk about blogging and meet new people.

I have learnt to do new things, too, adding my first photo on 22 September 2013. I have presented a talk on blogging and helped a friend set up her blog.

I don't always look at my stats but when I do, I'm surprised by the spread of readers in far flung places.  Thank you.

A big 'thank you' must go to Thomas MacEntee, for Geneanbloggers. This is a wonderful 'family' of fellow bloggers that I am thrilled to be a part of.

So, if you are reading this, please let me know where you are from, as I love to discover new places.

Writing the post.
Happy Blogging!

Archives Outside


'Archives Outside is for people who love, use and manage archives.'   So says the spiel on the top of the page and as a genealogists I do love archives.

This link is to a post about reading old handwritten documents and was complied by Archives NSW staff.
Divided into four sections, Strategies, Useful equipment, Tips about lettering, symbols and abbreviations, Useful reference tools and resources, these give us positive ways in which we can workout problems.

Under Strategies, two tips that stuck out were Use common sense and Persistence is the key. These are important as we tend to want to finish, transcribing the document, quickly.

Looking at the section, Useful equipment, I thought what? You need your eyes and pen and paper  but NO! The two tips they give made perfect sense. No, I'm not going to tell you, what they are.

Tips etc. is divided into letters, symbols and abbreviations, with practical advice in how to work things out.

Useful reference tools and resources is also split-up into different sub-sections, such as Place names and When in doubt, try Google.

I noticed at the bottom of the page, links to other posts, including one about dating old photographs, should be interesting.

Happy deciphering


Sunday, 20 November 2016

My Weekend.

My weekend started lunchtime on Friday, with the arrival of our daughter, Amanda. After lunch we headed to Vicki's place for fun. Amanda hadn't been able to make it up for Hannah's Baptism, so this was the reason behind the trip.

James, always greats us, "Grandma, Granddad" but on Friday it was "Auntie Manda" as he was thrilled to see her. Hannah was a little shy but was soon cuddling her aunt.  An afternoon of family time and dinner was a lovely way to start the weekend. 

Saturday, saw the trip to the toy shop and then we girls had 'lunch' at Max Bremmer, yum!  When we got back to Vicki's place, James greeted Amanda with the words, "you came back" and a huge hug. He is such a loving little boy.

Paul and I have enjoyed our time with her and interesting conversations, late into the night, were great.

Today saw us brave the crowds at Miranda Westfield as she hadn't seen the refurbishment and I had to finish my Christmas shopping.

A wonderful weekend with family.


Summer Reading Pile (so far)

Heading into the Christmas and holiday season, when the cricket is the only 'good' thing on the tellie, I start  a reading pile. Throughout the year I usually have two or three books on the go, at once, much like a quilter. I have two of those planned as well.

These four books are the start of my reading list and I know there will be one under the Christmas tree.

Debbie Macomber is a long time favourite of mine and I will often re-read different ones. This book, 'A Girls Guide to Moving On' is a stand alone title. The blurb says, 'When Leanne and her daughter-in-law Nichole went through divorces at the same time, they compiled a list to help them move on from the heartbreak.' Should be a fun read.

I haven't read a Cathy Kelly book, before but these two took my fancy. Between Sisters is about two sisters Cassie and Coco, 'the women of Delaney Square. A comment on the back says, ' Between Sisters is the sparkling new novel about mothers and daughters, families and friends.' Looking forward to starting it.

It Started With Paris, grabbed my attention with the opening line of the blurb, 'At the top of the Eiffel Tower, a young man proposes to his girlfriend, cheered on by delighted tourists.'  Having been to Paris and the Eiffel Tower it was an easy decision to buy it. The rest of the blurb was also very interesting.

Veronica Henry is another new to me author and How To Find Love In A Book Shop was a quirky enough title to have me stop and read the blurb.  It is about the owner of the bookshop and some of her customers. It promises to be a delightful read.

While these are the start of my pile, I have added to my Kindle 'pile' as well.
Aussie authors, Sarah Barrie and Rachel Johns, both have books on the Kindle for me to read.
Sarah has, Legacy of Hunter Ridge and  Shadow of Hunters Ridge.  Rachael has The Art of Keeping Secrets.

What are you reading?

Bye for now,

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Shopping in Picton.

Earlier in 2016 Picton suffered floods and a large number of businesses where inundated. The King George Pub, where I have enjoyed lunch, was still closed today, as were several other places.

One business, that suffered was a toy shop, The Kids Cottage, Shop 11/150 Argyle Street Picton, 2571.  www.thekidscottage.com.au    This place is amazing and today myself, my two daughters and my grandson payed it a visit. James' eyes lit up, when we entered as there was so much to see and for a three year old

James had his birthday voucher to spend and with his Aunts help he found this game.

It is similar to UNO but if you happen to press the fart button, one to many times, it makes fart noises. Hilarious. He couldn't stop laughing. He was able play the game and was soon understanding the various cards.

While they were bust shopping, I went to a quilt shop. Picton Patchwork is near Maccas but if you were to blink, you would miss the 'Golden Arch', as it is so small.

I did some shopping, two jelly rolls, some fat quarters and a pattern.
Picton isn't that far from Sydney, just down the M5 and get off at Picton Road. There are places to eat and a Botanical Garden to walk around. Go and have a look and support small local businesses.
(I have NO affiliation with either shop but know good service.) 

Deceased Estate Records

I mentioned in my post on visiting State Records, that I had looked at Probate Records and I thought that some might not know how to look for them or what was available.

The wills are now online at FindMyPast, (check to see if you local library has a subscription) and from there you can search the State Records site.  www.records.nsw.gov.au

One of the things Gail mentioned on Wednesday was the Deceased Estate Files, something I hadn't heard of. Created by the Stamp Duties Office, for every individual who died leaving property or other assets, which were subject to death duties.  These could include the will, list of assets and their value, balance sheets of businesses and certificates of valuation. They cover from 1880 to 1958. I'm going to search for the ones I know and see what I find, if anything. Will keep you posted.

This photo shows you the three Archives In Brief, that can be seen on the website, that will help you out. Have a good look at all of them, they are very useful.

Happy researching,

Friday, 18 November 2016

Three Dates

As I had mentioned Elsie Minnie Sigrist in the State Archives post, I thought I'd tell you about her.

Elsie Minnie Ironside.

Born 21 May 1892.

Married 5 April 1919.

Died 25 April 1934. 

Not much bit there is so much more.

Elsie was the daughter of Edgar Bird Ironside and Maude Kidney. She had a sister Violet and a brother Norman.

In April 1919 she married Frederick Charles Sigrist.
They were blessed with two daughters, Edna born 1920 and Joan born 1929. Sadly Frederick died when Joan was just six months old.
I think this photo was taken, while they were dating.
Bye for now,

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A trip to State Records.

Yesterday a group, from the Bankstown Family History Group. met at Kingswood for a day of research and a tour behind the scenes.

Once our visitors passes were issued, (I had organised this in advance), we were able to start our research. I had ordered three probate packets, before hand and they were waiting for me.

The first one I looked at was for Elsie Minnie Sigrist, Paul's grandmother. Elsie had died in April 1934 but probate wasn't sort until 1944. I was puzzled by this as it was a long time. Reading all the affidavits I found the reason. The executors hadn't thought that the estate was worth much and only when the bank contacted them and said that the cottage had gone up in value, did they then apply. The will was sad as Elsie had made it in hospital, most likely when she knew that she wasn't going to make it.  The poignant words,' to be guardian of my infant children' brought tears to my eyes. Edna, (Mum) wasn't 14 and Violet was just 5. Elsie had been widowed in 1930.

I asked Paul about this and he said he remembers Mum mentioning that she had to pay the mortgage, when she started work at 14. Such a responsibility at that age.

The next two probate packets, whilst Vaughans, while weren't mine they made very interesting reading.

Another I did find was for Leslie John Abberton, my uncle who died in WW1. I had his will and know who he left it to but hadn't thought about probate.  On the documents I noticed that the will was 'annexed',  this was apparently because it was under 65pounds. There was an interesting affidavit was about confirming his signature on the will. A friend stated that she had known him before he enlisted and had continued to correspond with him, when he embarked and that it was his signature.

Probate packets make for very interesting reading.

A gem I found was documents relating to an oyster lease and the Hawkesbury River, for Frederick Charles Sigrist and John Cavers. John, in November 1934, was trying to get the lease into his and his son's name and the 'Sigrist had been deceased for some years and I'm unable to locate a next-of-kin.'  Fred was Elsie's husband.

Our tour was fantastic. We were taken behind the scenes and walked a long way. Gail explained about how things are stored, took us to the conservation area, into section 6, the furthest building from the main entrance, showed us map drawers containing the original parish maps and so much more. The statics are amazing, with the amount of archives being stated in kilometres!

If you are able to go and research, at State Archives, do so, the staff are very helpful and there is plenty to discover. You need a readers ticket but that can be ordered online.

I also caught up with friends, who were researching too.

To top the day off, I came home and discovered that I'd won a RootsTech pass, from Jill Ball's competition!

Bye for now,

Monday, 14 November 2016


What genealogy magazines do you read? Do you start at the beginning and read cover to cover or find your favourites and start with them? Below is a selection of what I’ve read, in the past month.

First up is Inside History, to me still the best Australian magazine around. I love Cassie Mercer’s new updated photo, she changed it  in issue 35.

Issue 36 is full of interesting articles. Anne Sherman discusses tracing your Welsh ancestors. I don’t have any but it was a really interesting read. There is an article on Paul Ham’s new book, Passchendaele, Requiem For Doomed Youth. (Random House, $45). Reviews of four new family history apps, has me thinking about adding one to my iPad. Called Scanbot, it uses you device’s camera. Just the thing for archives visits! What’s new online has what records have been added to Ancestry, FindMyPast etc.


Next is my English magazine, Family Tree, (www.family-tree.co.uk)  packed full of articles from, Learn the Genealogical Proof Standard, to Recreating our past. This magazine is well worth the cost.  I start with Dear Tom, a collection of ‘genealogical gems and funnies’. This has interesting pieces that readers send in. Next is Gill Shaw’s Twiglets. Gill writes about her genealogical journey, how she gets side-tracked, confusing names and leads that don’t turn out. Something we all know about!


Now for a new one, Journal of One-Name Studies.  I have joined the Guild and am now a GOON! I have yet to fully read the journal but I did notice an interesting article on ‘DNA for your ONS: Project management, Part One’ by Susan C Meates MCG, must read. There are articles by members on a wide range of topics that will keep me going.



Lastly is one I picked up when it first started, History of Royals, Kings & Queens, Dynasties, Great Battles, Heritage, Relics.  It isn’t what I thought it might  be, so I’ve decided that I will stop getting it.  For those who love historical background information on past monarchies, battles or a bit of scandal,  this could be for you.


I hope you like my selection and would love to hear about yours.

Bye for now,





Saturday, 12 November 2016

Aiming for 400 Blog posts by 21 November 2016.


Why 21 November? Well that is my the date I started my blog and I have 390 posts now. Will I make it? Don’t know, watch this space.
Today I’m taking it easy as I’ve had a very sore ankle for ages and am finding it hard to walk on it. Annoyed because I prefer to walk, even though I have a car. We aren’t far from the shops, parking is difficult, so it makes sense to walk. Didn’t today.  Been searching Ancestry, FindMyPast, FamilySearch, Trove and the Ryerson Index for any interesting additions or new records. I've had a few interesting bits pop-up and they will give me some fun searching further. Might even become blog posts.

So what have I been doing, since we arrived home from Adelaide? Last weekend was a genealogy weekend, (see the blog for what I did), this week we had James overnight and had a delightful time. He is  growing so quickly and his speech is developing, into very complex sentences. Wow! He loves playing Lego, with Granddad and also spent time playing in the backyard.

Thursday was SAG Writing Group. It was good to catch-up with the group. Coral was showing us how to had information, as a hyperlink, to a photo, in PowerPoint.   Tricky! I’ve had several ‘plays’ with a photo and while I understand the theory and can apply it, I seem to be missing a step and it doesn’t work. Practice, practice, practice.

I’m also on week 2 of my UTAS Photo Essay course and have spent time, playing with different settings and ideas.
This is just one of what I've done.

Trying to get a colour pop happening.

Listening to the cricket, Australia v South Africa, Day 1. Australia all out and South Africa hare 3 down. Must be a really good pitch, in Hobart.

Bye for now,

Friday, 11 November 2016

Update on South Australian Research.

Following on from my October post about looking for court records, I thought I'd tell you what has been going on.

On out last Monday in Adelaide, I filled in the court forms, purchased both an envelope and money order and posted them off, to Courts Administration Authority and sat back to wait. They have to respond, within 30 days.  A thick letter was waiting for me, on 25th October, from them, with my money order attached. They didn't have any records and were returning my money, maybe I could try the Elizabeth Magistrates Court. Well I emailed them on 29th October and by the 31st  had my reply. Nothing!  That is a shame but these things happen.

While this was going on I emailed the Clare Historical Society, explaining what I had done and could they find anything else. I had a lovely email back saying, 'as I had done so much, they had nothing left to do and couldn't help me.'  Another dead-end.

I haven't given up hope of finding another Trove article, fingers crossed.

Bye for now,

Sunday, 6 November 2016

SAG Lost In Immigration and Travel Weekend Day 2

I spent the night in the city and was up early for a lovely walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens.
This was the view from my room.

Something that you don't usually see, Phillip Street, looking back towards Elizabeth Street, with NO traffic! It was sooooooo quiet.

Looking from the entrance, on Shakespeare Place, towards Farm Cove. Except for the noisy ibis, it was still and quite.
Heather Garnsey, Executive Officer of SAG, was today's MC.
Ralph Hawkins,  Archives Officer of SAG, presented, in his usual engaging style, an excellent talk on.
Immigration through the SAG Collection. 
This was Ralph's opening slide. Who remembers this TV show?
Christine Yeats was next with her wonderful talk, called,

Having an exile on my tree, I found the information, Christine gave, very informative and I'm going to do some more research in to Simon. I was surprised that I was the only person, in the room, with an exile.
You know the joke that if you can't find an ancestor's arrival, well they must have swum. Well Martyn Killion's talk was all about how to get them on dry land. His background for all his slides was this never ending blue ocean, with on land in sight. Martyn gave very useful tips and ways of locating arrivals, even if they are one of the people listed as being 145 Steerage passengers.
Even though I have been able to locate most of the arrivals, I still have a couple that either need to be found or put on the right ship, so what I have learnt this weekend will be very useful.

Our last session of the day was a panel, consisting of Kerry Farmer, Christine Yeats and Michelle Patient. They answered questions, relating to immigration, from the audience.
I should have mentioned, in Day 1's post. Kerry Farmer's book, Arrivals in Australia from 1788. You can purchase it from Gould Genealogy at www.gould.com.au/utp   It is a very useful book.
Also if you aren't, yet, a member of the Society of Australian Genealogists, please join. Being a member gives you access to all the library resources, access to the library editions of sites such as Ancestry and FindMy Past. You get discounts on talks and access to the webinars. they can be found at www.sag.org.au
A great weekend.


GeniAus after the RootsTech 2015 Commonwealth Dinner.

It was freezing, standing at the tram stop, after dinner. Jill, Sharn and myself were the shortest. Back row Fran, ?, Graeme and Geoff.
Looking forward to catching up in 2017.  Blue Lemon, maybe????


(this post is for a competition)

Saturday, 5 November 2016

SAG's Lost In Immigration And Travel Weekend, Day 1

The sky was a beautiful blue, the sun was shining and here I was, with around 90 other people, embarking on a weekend of genealogy! The Society of Australian Genealogists, run these 'Lost In' weekends, most years, either in the Dixson Room, in the Mitchell Library or in country NSW. The last one was a weekend of webinars, several months ago.

After Martyn Killion welcomed us to the day, our first speaker was Michelle Patient, with the topic, Exodus to the South Seas. With so much to cover, it was done in two sessions, with morning tea in between.

This is Michelle, getting into her talk. I love attending her talks as she presents in an engaging way.

This was taken, just before the day began. Jill Ball is in the front.

Emily Hanna was after Kerry but I've got the photos in the wrong order!
Emily is from NSW State Records and she explained what types of records were held and how to access them. Another lot of information, I didn't fully know about. I use State Records but I need to use them more.

Kerry Farmer, was our next speaker and listening to this, I realised that there was a lot more to learn, on immigration. 

The two other speakers, were David Berg, from NSW State Library and Brian Scales from National Archives.

David talked about what the library holds, from paintings, pictures, passenger diaries and shipboard newspapers. I have used the picture files but didn't find pictures, for the ships I have.

Brian is based at the Sydney, (Chester Hill), Office and he talked about 20th century immigration and how to search the online indexes. While my ancestors were here well before then, it has again shown me other areas to search.

It was great to catchup with friends and meet new ones. Sylvia, Kerry and I had dinner, in the city and then they left to head home. I went for a walk, took some photos and then went back to my hotel and turned the cricket on.

Looking forward to, tomorrow's sessions and the panel discussion.

Bye for now,