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'.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Trove Tuesday, Heatwave!

As the old song says, 'we're having a heatwave,'.
This January, Sydney has broken records, not ones that I suppose we think much about. Since records have been kept, this January has re-written them.
 Days with temperatures in the low 40'sC and nights in the high 20'sC, have made us uncomfortable.
I thought that I'd see how they reported heatwaves, when our ancestors were alive.
This is from the Lithgow Mercury (NSW 1888-1954) and Monday January 4 1909, p4.
At least we have the benefit of air conditioners and fans to help alleviate the heat.
Stay cool.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

My other love; Quilting.

Aside from genealogy, I enjoy quilting or patchwork, as it is sometimes called. I've been seriously quilting, since 1999 and am seriously addicted!

In April I'm joining friends at a quilting retreat. Two days to indulge in uninterrupted sewing, bliss!  With that in mind and not wanting to start a new project, just before I go to RootsTech, I've worked on what I am going to do, at the retreat.

This is what is on our bed. It was a mystery lap size quilt, I turned into double bed size. But now it is to small for our queen size bed and I'd like on that fits.
This is the design of the one I'm going to make. Simple rectangles of fabric, with a contrasting strip of fabric, at one end.
The pattern was designed by Jennifer Minchinton of Patchwork By Sea, 186 Main South Road Morphett Vale
5162 Adelaide
under the brand Paisley Jam Designs.
I've spent the past few days calculating how much wider and longer I need to make the pattern, how many 10" squares I need and how much contrast fabric to cut.
The quilt I made used one layer cake or 42, 10" squares. For the next one I will need 64, 10" squares!

This is the layer cake, called Thyme with Friends, I'm going to use and below is the contrast fabric Jennifer helped me select.

I will keep you posted on the quilts progress and I hope to have it on my bed by Christmas.
Why don't you visit the Patchwork by Sea website and have a browse.
Bye for now,

Monday, 23 January 2017

How many have I found????

Some of my friends have worked out how many direct ancestors they have found, back to
10 generations. I looked at mine and knew that I couldn't go back that far, so worked out how many, to 7 generations.  I don't think that I have done to poorly, in tracing them. I know that some don't want to be found and some , most likely, never will be found but it is fun trying.

Great Grandparents
Great Great Grandparents
3x Great Grandparents
4x Great Grandparents

How many direct ancestors have you found?

Bye for now,

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Eating Flowers.

One of  my writing exercises, talks about memories that flowers can bring back to you. It asks you to find the same plant and then use your five senses, to write about your reaction to those memories.
One of my earliest memories is of the large frangipani tree, beside my mum's bedroom window. Mum would often break pieces of and give them to friends and family, I think she took a few pieces when we moved but I'm not sure.
Thick branches, like these, were ideal for climbing, ( told not to but did it anyway). I can remember the rough texture of them and how they would sometimes look firm but be really soft and would break, underfoot. I did fall out of the tree, once and cut the inside of my thigh, a long thin cut that required many Band-Aids. I wore that scar with pride.

When a piece was broken off, it oozed a very sticky, milky white sap, that took ages to wash off. Probably poisonous as well! 

Elongated, glossy leaves formed a shady canopy, that I played under. Creamy white flowers, with yellow centres that are on a long stem, bloom in summer. I can't describe the smell, tart, not sweet but one I can pick, any where.
Deciduous, they are stark in winter, all rough limbs, waiting for the warmth of spring.
50 years ago, I was my sister's bridesmaid and carried a bouquet of frangipani flowers and had a circlet of them in my hair.
Still one of my favourite flowers, I haven't had success in trying to grow one.
Bye for now,

Stuck for Writing Ideas?

                                       Stuck on what to write? Not sure where to begin?

These two blogs, below are from FamilySearch and have some good ideas for getting started. (I hope the link works, if not cut and paste into your address bar.)  FamilySearch blogs are interesting and cover all different topics, well worth a look.


Define your dash is aimed at getting you to write YOUR personal story. We concentrate on the past and often forget to write our story. This blog aims to get you started and leads onto the next one;

52 Stories Weekly Questions. Aimed at giving you starting points for writing, this blog is divided into 12 sections, each with a set of questions. Headings cover such things as Goals & Achievements to Holidays & Traditions. If you were to answer every question, (all 144), you would be well on your way to writing a book but even just 52, is a quarter of a book. We don't have to sit down and write it all at once, break it up and it will flow.

Well I know I've mentioned this book, in a previous post but I'm now reading it and working through the different exercises. Fun, gets me thinking and gets me writing. One of the exercises is called Eating the Flowers. It asks you to find a plant form your childhood and using all your senses write down your reaction to it. (I didn't do the tasting bit.)  I found doing this very interesting and I am going to my reactions up as a blog.
I can't let this post go without mentioning Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers. Thomas as prompts you can use both for your blog or your writing.

I hope that I have given you some ideas for writing and I'd love to hear how you are going. Post a comment or send me an email.

Happy Writing,

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Trove Tuesday; Salt Lake City.

                                                                  Salt Lake City.

As I'm going to Salt lake City, in early February, I thought I'd see what was reported in Australian newspapers.  This article is one of many I found and it doesn't paint the city in a very good light.

Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic_1866-1918), Saturday 16 March 1872, p3.
A far cry from the disparaging comments of 1872.

                                          The mountains are still beautiful.
Mormonism does a wonderful works.
Bye for now,

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Finding a home for the Bissland Family Bible.

The Bissland Family Bible.


This post is asking for a bit of help and I know the answers to what happened to the family, as I have researched them.


I was asked for help, via Facebook and it went something like this.

J; ‘I have this bible I found 1988/89, belonging to the Bissland family. Can you find any relations etc?’

This was followed by several messages, photos of the relevant pages.

L; ‘ I can’t make out the details can you email them to me, please?’

Email arrives with six photos attached.

L; ‘How did you get it?’

J; ‘I was working with the Salvation Army in Elizabeth Street, Sydney, in 1988/89 and they were going to toss it out. It has been in my bottom drawer ever since.’


This family is very interesting and I’ve had fun researching them and now it is time to find family, who want the bible.


 John Graham Bissland and Caroline Jane Alder married 25th April 1860.

John was born in Paiseley, Scotland, 28th August 1834.

Caroline was born in Sydney, New South Wales, 21 November 1842.

I’m not going to go into any more details because if YOU BELONG TO THE FAMILY. YOU WILL KNOW THE DETAILS. This way the bible will find its home. (I hope.)

So only genuine family members need reply.

Harsh, yes but needed.

Bye for now,

Friday, 6 January 2017


Writing is something that I'm going to send time doing, this year.

I had some good advice about writing and the amount of words, to write. A good friend suggested that I set a word target for the month. This can include, my blog, family history writing, assignments, anything and then I won't become overwhelmed.  Will see how I go.

Found these two books, in Dymocks, Little Collins Street, Melbourne, when shopping with the granddaughters.

The grammar and punctuation one is self explanatory and will be useful.

Writing the story of your life, is a practical book. Divided into four parts; 
Where have you been all this time?;
The practical matters of writing.;
You, the night, the music.;
What happens when you write?

Each part is then divided into chapters, which have sub-sections like discipline.  They contain exercises to work through and I should become more proficient with my writing.

Looking at the different sessions, at RootsTech, I've slotted in two on writing. One is a computer lab and you have to bring a document with you. This will be the basis of your story.
There is also one, 10 Stellar Storytelling Tools & Apps,  sounds very interesting.

Bye for now,

RootsTech 2017

Today I was supposed to catch-up with a friend, in the city but it has rained and rained and the trip didn't come about. Tomorrow, if the weather is okay.
I've used the time to look at what session topics are available and have worked out my timetable for the four days.
While RootsTech doesn't get into full swing until the Thursday, there is still plenty to do on the Wednesday, with the Innovator Summit happening. I'm looking forward to attending several sessions, including the show-down. (There will be a blog about that.)
I'm also doing two computer lab sessions and am thinking about doing a third one. This is a hard choice as I really want to do both the lab and the Irish session. I think I need to clone myself, for the day.
Another treat, I've booked is a Sponsor's Lunch. Should be interesting and I won't have to find lunch, that day.
A Welcome Party, After-Parties and a Musical Evening, are on the agenda too.
I've even gone so far as to highlight different sessions.
I'm so much more organised, this year than I was in 2016.

I'm also trying to cut-down on how much paper I take with me. Two of these for both my research and note taking will be enough. I'm still not confident enough to make notes directly onto the laptop.
Since I've organised the fun stuff, I suppose I should think about what else I might need, like clothes and passport!
There will be more blogs before I go and plenty while I'm away.
Bye for now,

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Getting Organised.

With  Christmas and New Year over, my thoughts are turning towards my trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, For RootsTech.

I hope that there will be snow, like last year. It was my first experience of snow and I loved it!

I'm really looking forward to catching up with friends I made and also making new ones.

This year there will be a large Australian contingent and it will be great to catch-up with them and enjoy the Commonwealth Dinner.

There are so many interesting and wonderful sessions, that picking just one for each slot it becoming very hard. Several of the ones on Scotland have caught my eye and there is a new one on Ireland as well. Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I know from last year that some are just promoting a product but that others, with vague titles were fantastic!

I'm also working out what I need to research.  It is always good to go to any research facility with a plan and going so far, this is a must.

I will be blogging from Salt Lake City, so WATCH this space.

Bye for now,