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'.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Researching Abroad, Day Two

Today it was all about Scottish, Irish and a bit of English records, wonderfully presented by Chris Paton. Chris is a professional genealogists, author, international speaker and a good bloke. Born in Northern Ireland, he now lives in Scotland.
Chris, busy writing.

Chris and I.

                                                    Chris, in presenter mode.
Chris presented four fantastic talks, starting with A beginner's guide to British and Irish genealogy. Now I don't class myself as a beginner but it is always great to revisit things and have them refreshed in your memory. You might also learn something new, I know I did. Chris gave an overview of important dates and while I had read about them, hearing them explained, made it gel.

Discover Scottish Church records was next and I feel that I'm finally getting an understanding of what happened in Scotland and why there mightn't be any records.

His next two talks were about Irish records, one dealing with online records, good for me as I don't see atrip to Ireland happening, soon. The next one was on land records and again, whilst I had read about the different divisions, having it explained made it sink in.

Heather from SAG, gave an overview of what we can find in their collections and how to access them.

Eric Kopittke presented the My Heritage talk, as Rosemary had a sore throat.

Living DNA had a short video on how they do their DNA tests, great as I am waiting on my results.

Dinner ended the day and it was good to sit and chat. Thank you to Alan Phillips, from Unlock The Past and Gould Genealogy for organising the two days.

Kay, from Teapot Genealogy.

The Gould Genealogy stall.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Researching Abroad. Day One

Today was day one of the Unlock The Past, sponsored genealogy feast.
Part of the audience.

Today was German research, with Dirk Weissleder presenting four informative talks. I have German ancestors and the information Dirk gave, will help me go further with my research. Giving us the German words for the different records will be very useful.

Dirk is the President of the Federation of Family Associations. He is also a genealogy consultant and national chairman of the Deutsche Arbeisgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbande  www.dagv.org  This society is the umbrella organisation for genealogy and heraldry for Germany.

Kerry Farmer gave a great talk on DNA. I have heard Kerry give similar talks but today it started to sink in. While I don't know how many connections I will find, I'm am going to try another company and compare my results and maybe make a connection.

Rosemary Kopittke gave a presentation about My Heritage. I haven't look at this site but it sounds interesting.

It was good to catch up with friends and browse the stalls. I added to my collection of books.

Momento  photo books. They are stunning.

Sylvia from Families In British India Society.

Heather from SAG. Heather also presented a talk on what the society holds for European research.

The view from the window was of Old Government House, in Parramatta Park.

It was a wonderful day and I'll do it all again, tomorrow, when Chris Paton talks about Scottish and Irish research.

Bye for now,

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Two Interesting Websites

My second last subject for my diploma is how to organise a one-name study. These two websites have been given to us to help in our assignments and they are fun to 'play' with.

I had heard of freebdm but never used it. You enter the surname, the type of entry you are looking for, birth, marriage or death OR you can do all entries and get the lot. You also pick the time frame you want and then click search. You can do just how many or full which gives you the details. I have learnt so much from just entering a surname and looking for all records.


The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Fri 4 Aug 2017 and currently contains 262,812,210 distinct records (336,300,128 total records).

World Names, is like the freedbm, except that you get a world wide distribution of the surname you are looking for, not just England. I was able to see the distribution of the two surnames, I'm starting on my one-name study. Both results were interesting, in that where I thought the name should be wasn't what came up, so I have a lot of research to do.


Have a play and see what you can learn about your surname.

Bye for now,

Total Trivia: Clothes Pegs and Coat hangers.

Hanging the washing, this morning I got to thinking, Who invented both the clothes peg and the coat hanger and when? A search of Wikipedia gave me the answers.

Clothes pegs or clothes pins, the king used for hanging washing, were patented by  Jeremie Victor Opdebec in the early 19th  century.  This design was fashioned in one piece and didn't use a spring.

The design that we use, today was invented by David M Smith of Springfield, Vermont in 1853. This was done with a small spring, wedged between interlocking wooden (or now plastic) prongs.

In 1887, Solon E Moore improved the design, with what he called a 'coiled fulcrum', what is used in todays pegs.
A wooden peg made from a single piece of wood. Sometimes called a Dolly peg.
A wooden peg with the coiled fulcrum.
Some of the plastic pegs, available today.

So thank you to  Mr Opdebed,  Mr Smith and Mr Moore for the humble peg.

Now the coat hanger; several people are credited with this objects beginning. The shape, used today, is credited to O. A. North in 1869 or  Albert J Parkhouse, in 1903, then there is Christopher Cann, in 1876, he was an engineering student at Boston University. So to who ever invented the coat hanger, thank you, with out them our wardrobes would an untidy mess!

A collection of my coat hangers, from the sturdy wooden one, the skirt hanger, a padded one, one my mum made, (orange and white one) and two different wire ones.
Bye for now,

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Can we go back to our childhood home?

  from The Legal Genealogists posted an interesting blog  about going back to your childhood home, see the link below and it got me thinking about two of my childhood homes. One I know is demolished and villas are built on it the other, well I 'explored'.


I spent the first nine and a bit years growing up in Earle Street, Arncliffe. I remember it as a good place to live, in the small street there were at least 10 kids, of varying ages, not counting the teenagers. I felt safe, was able to go and play and my mum would know where I was. I think life was simpler then. I'm not going to say safer, just that as kids we simply didn't know about the 'bad'  stuff.

I remember that the two teenage boys, across the road, would race their billycarts down the street, turning at the bottom, just before the main road. The street runs between two very busy roads and they were busy back then too. I remember the day the electricity people put in two massive posts, to hold a transformer, blasting away at the sandstone rock and us kids hanging over the fences, watching. Good memories.

To me, as a child the yard was huge and had a slight slope in it and there were two large camphor laurel trees.  The back  part was fenced of and Tilly or Milly, the kangaroos lived there. I had a sandpit, we had a lemon tree and a chook yard and an outside toilet.

Me, as a cute young thing, sitting on the steps. You can see the window behind me.
Me and Tilly or Milly.
Fast forward to 2017 and the wonderful Google Street view and I nearly cried. I knew that there had been changes as years ago I went back, with our youngest, just to have a look. The wonderful patterned verandah had been tiled over with large brown square tiles but the stained glass window was still there.

The window is still there, the sandstone foundation is still the same and so is what I sat on but...
The fence is now bricks, the driveway looks the same and there are security bars on the windows. I searched for any real estate sales and found that it had been sold back in 2012 and that they had lodged plans to build four, two bedroom villas on the property. Hasn't happened, yet but the aerial view of number four, looks like they are doing something in the back yard, there.

BUT, having looked at the real estate page I did learn some things. It was built in 1910 and the land area is 797 square meters. I then went to Trove and just entered the address and found 61 articles about things that happened either in the street or to people living in the street. It made for interesting reading, everything from weddings, to obituaries, to the sad articles about the suicide of a young man, living in the street. I found the names of two of the houses, Aberdeen and Frauenstein. Would love to know which one was Aberdeen. Frauenstein was number four.

I wont go back and visit, this exercise has dulled my memories. The house looks old and tired, maybe it is time to say good-bye.

Would you go back and visit your childhood home?

Bye for now,

Monday, 31 July 2017

Ancestral Places Geneameme

Ancestral Places Geneameme

Elsie Minnie Ironside and Frederick Charles Sigrist. My husband's side.
Alona Tester from http://www.lonetester.com/2017 started this idea, that we look at where our ancestors places of birth or where they worked.

“It doesn’t have to be where your ancestors were born, but it does have to be a place that they were associated with. For instance they lived or worked in that place.” says Alona, in her blog.

This got me thinking and using my Brother’s Keep family tree program, I did a list of places, with events attached to them. Some were vague, like Sydney or Ireland, some were precise, like Denison Street, Woollahra.

So below is a list of some of the places, associated with both the Abberton, my side and the Magill, husband’s side of our family tree and the names that go with them. I didn't get the full A-Z.

A – Ayr, Scotland, (Galbraith). Arncliffe, Sydney NSW, Aus, (Abberton.)

B – Ballinaykill, Co Galway, Ireland, (Abberton, Torp(h)y.)

       Ballarat, Vic, AUs, (Grant, McKenzie/McKay, Cameron.)

       Benenden, Kent, England (Chasmar)

      Bromley, Middlesex, ENGLAND, (Sigrist, Hutson/Hudson)

C – Cowra, NSW, Aus, (Abberton)

        Clare, SA, Aus, (Jasper)

        Chartteris, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND, (Hutson/Hudson Dust/Doust)

D – Detmold, Lippe, Germany, (Jasper)

E -  Erskineville, Sydney, NSW, Aus, (Chasmar, Vaughan, Galbraith.)

F – Fitzroy, Melbourne, Vic, Aus, (Galbraith)

G – Glebe, Sydney, NSW, Aus, (Chasmar, Vaughan.)

       Goulburn, NSW, Aus, (Abberton, Torp(h)y.)

K – Kootingal, NSW, Aus, (Magill)

L – Lippe, Germany, (Jasper)

M – Mummel, NSW, Aus, (Abberton, Torp(h)y.)

       Middlesex, England, (Vaughan, Alderidge)

N -  New Zealand, (Abberton)

S -  Scotland, (McKenzie/McKay)

T – Tamworth, NSW, Aus, (Magill, Towers.)

W - Woollahra NSW AUS, (Sigrist)


Might find some more cousins!

Bye, Lilian.                         Thomas Abberton and Mary Torp(h)y.
                                              My Great-grandparents.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Trip Stastistics.

Thought you might like some trip statistics;...

 Air kilometres - Sydney to Uluru - 1340

                         Darwin to Sydney - 3149

 Road kilometres - Uluru to Darwin - 3461

 Total distance we travelled - 7950 (not including getting to and from the airports)

 Number of steps I walked - 133, 346

 Number of photos taken - 1672

 Trip days - 13

 Hotels - 7

 Helicopter flights - 2

 Cessna flight - 1

 Boat trips - 4

We had an amazing time.

Bird of Prey show, Alice Springs Desert Park, July 2017

The bird of prey show was wonderful but I'd taken all the good shots, on the phone and have only just worked out how to get them to the computer. These are some of the shots and you will have to look to spot the bird. They displayed Whistling Kites, Wedged-tailed Kites, Barn Owl, Magpie and the magnificent Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Part 5 Kakadu to Darwin

Up early for a flight over part of Arnhem Land and Kakadu, before we continue on into Darwin.
The flight was a bit rough as the morning had started to warm up and caused  turbulents but with the amazing views, I put up with the bumps.
The East Alligator River.

The hotel we stayed at, is near the Ranger Uraniumn mine and we go to see it from the plane. It is an open-cut mine and the company has to re-generate the landscape, once they have finished mining. So if we suddenly start to 'glow', you know why.
Another stunning view of our vast country. From the air you can easily see how people go missing and never get found. Where would you start to look?

Once we were 'On The Road, Again.' we made a short stop at Cahill's Crossing, the causeway into Arnhem Land. All manner of vehicles cross, or attempt to cross, from police paddy-wagons, semitrailers, to ordinary cars. As you can see some people don't see the danger and end up in trouble. This accident happened in about June and the guide thought that it had been a fatality. Yes, there are crocs in the river!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PIW5czdpwo   have a look at this YouTube video, of this year, so far.
Our next stop on the road to Darwin was fascinating. An Aboriginal Rock Art site, called Ubirr. The little bit that Paul and I saw was incredible!

I also learnt that there were Thylacine's on mainland Australia and that when the dingos came they whipped them out. This is a drawing of a Thylacine, done 10,000s of years ago.
Into Darwin around 4.30pm, just enough time to grab some groceries and we were off to the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. We had a brief walk around some of the stalls but it was so crowded that we bought ice-cream, walked away from the markets and found a quite spot to sit an watch the sunset over the Timor Sea.
Off to Litchfield National Park, for our last day of the tour.
Peter and Phil organised two quick side-trips on our way in. The first was to see the castle at Bachelor and the second to see the Rum Jungle recreational reserve. I wouldn't  want to swim in the 'lake', as it glows, when viewed on the satellite map! It is also reputed to be the place to dump things that you don't want or need to get rid off. The hill is actually the old tailings site. Unique in its own way.
Termite Mounds, huge termite mounds, some taller than the coach! Pretty impressive, very hard, like cement and built by tiny termites. 
This one is called a Cathedral Termite Mound and it is easy to see why. 

These ones are Magnetic Termite Mounds and they are aligned with its main axis running north and south. The genealogist in me, thought that they looked like headstones.

A stop a Florence Falls, then on to Wangi Falls for a spot of lunch and some swam in the pool, at the bottom of the falls. The water is so clear.

Back into Darwin, we had some time before our Farwell Cruise on Darwin Harbour, so Paul and I did a walk along the parklands, near the hotel. The cruise was great and sunset was stunning. We cruised all three bays that make up the harbour, Francis, Fannie and Cullen. A great way to end our trip.
Darwin is very pretty, very modern and very hot.

Tuesday and we were on our own, well not really as some of the group had also chosen to spend another day in Darwin. We did Crocosaurus Cove and met some very large crocs. Took the hop-on-hop-off bus and saw more of the city, getting of the buss at the Waterfront, enjoying a drink and an ice-cream and them meandering back, to the hotel.

Our last Darwin Sunset.
We joined some of the group for drinks in the bar before we had drinks and nibbles in our room.

Good-bye Darwin.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Part 4, Tennant Creek, Katherine, Kakadu

On the road as the sun began it rise, we have another long drive ahead. I've got my Kindle out and the iPad but wish I'd packed my knitting.

Good Morning World.

Where we've been and where we are headed.

Our first stop was Renner Springs Roadhouse, for a pit stop and a walk around. Then onto the Daly Waters Pub for lunch. Very well organised as we each pre-ordered our burger or wrap, Peter faxed the order through, from Tennant Creek and it was waiting for us. Such an interesting pub, with all manner of things, from bras, knickers, hats etc. attached to the walls, rafters and ceiling. After lunch, we played 5 pin bowling, in the main street! As one does. A bit of light hearted fun.
Part of the items, displayed in the Daly Waters Pub.

                                                         Five pin bowling!

Our next stop was Mataranka, 'Land of the Never Never.' There is a replica of the Elsey Homestead, used in the movie, 'We of the Never Never.' There are also thermal springs, where some of the group took a refreshing dip. Paul and I settled for a refreshing ice-cream and a stroll.

We went to Rainbow Springs, where the water comes from, that flows into the big pool. You can't swim here but the water is so clear. I expected it to smell like rotten egg gas, but it didn't. on to the main pool and there were quiet a few people enjoying a dip.

                                                            The spring.

Back on board, we headed into Katherine. Once we were settled in our room, Paul and I decided to go for a walk, down to the river. The boat ramp was opposite the hotel and we walked down it. Didn't get to the river as it was isolated and we didn't feel safe.

Early start to the day, with breakfast at 6.30am and on the road by 7.15am. We have an 8.30am cruise on Katherine Gorge. Actually 13 gorges, we cruised on two of them and the scenery is stunning. The photos can show you size of the cliffs.  Spotted crocodile tracks, heading out, we actually saw the croc , lazily sunning itself and the bank, on our way back in.

A freshwater crocodile, enjoying the sun.

Our last big stop, for the day was the Yellow Water Billabong. Calm sailing on this peaceful waterway, gave us an opportunity to see the amazing range of birdlife, that this billabong attracts. With sightings of the Little Kingfisher, the smallest in Australia, several Jabirus, Darters, Cormorants, Whistling Ducks and Jesus Birds, also know as Lily Walkers because it looks like they are walking on water, to name just some of them.


But the best part was seeing eight saltwater crocodiles. Some were just whiling away the time but  two decided that a bit of 'push and shove' was in order, to keep their territory.  These magnificent creatures had the crowd, getting excited but we were all mindful that for everyone we saw, there were others lurking below.
Maxi, because he is huge.

                                           Sir Cumfrance, because he is very rotund.

Onto Jabiru, for our nights stop. The hotel was in the shape of a crocodile, with the legs being the stairwells and the rooms in the body. Actually called Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, this is a link, so you can see what it looks like. https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-9616-mercure-kakadu-crocodile-hotel/index.shtml

Part 5 will take us to the end of our trip.
Bye for now,