Thinking about linking – thanks to Geniaus

Once again blogger extraordinaire, Jill aka Geniaus, has challenged us to think about our blogging practice, and especially the use of hyperlinks. I only read Jill’s post about hyperlinking a few days ago and I’ve been reflecting on my practice ever since.

So what are my strategies – always assuming I’m not rushing, or distracted, and forget.

Referencing other posts

If I mention something about another person’s post I’ll link the actual story, after all that story is their copyright property and I’m recommending it to the reader as something useful or interesting, or both, to read.

If it’s a comment about a blogger or website in general, I link to their overall blog page or website. What to do with an example as above? If I’m going to mention Geniaus closely followed by a specific reference which will take you to the same site, I don’t link twice….it seems repetitious, but in this case I’ve linked to the post, and to Jill’s Google+ page.

This is not unlike using footnotes in a written document, though these may still be necessary in some cases.

Copyright images

Sometimes I want the reader to be able to see an image I found but it’s copyrighted. One way to deal with this is to hyperlink to the page where I found it. A good example is the gravestones on the Australian Cemeteries Index pages, which refer to East Clare people I’m talking about in my posts.

Prior history

We all know our readers join us over time. Sometimes it’s worth referring to an earlier post which the reader may not have seen when it was published or have forgotten (just imagine!). Or you may have more than one blog and want to cross-refer to a story.

Vernacular expressions

I’m sure I’m as guilty as the next person of occasionally taking some phrases for granted, but I do try to link to the more peculiar ones. Of course Aussies grow up watching American and British TV programs so we understand a variety of expressions. But who would have thought that “boiled sweets” would have caused as much confusion as it did in Susan’s post about her father on her Family History Fun blog?


Strangely I’m a little more ambivalent about this. Sometimes it’s useful to hyperlink if there’s a particular aspect of a place that could be clarified by the link eg Charters Tower’s mining history. In other cases I’m not sure it’s necessary. If I don’t know where Chicago is, or much about it, it may not affect how I appreciate Kristin’s family stories on Finding Eliza.

On the other hand, perhaps I should be linking to information about specific places in my East Clare blog – or get permission to use a map which shows East Clare and its key towns. I think I’ll use the relevant Clare Library page for the parish, eg O’Brien’s Bridge, as it lists all available resources on their site. Thank heavens I don’t have too many posts which need additions.

How do you think about linking in your blog posts?

Social Media Geneameme

The world is your family tree oyster with blogging. Edited image from Office Clip Art.
Share your discoveries on your blog.

Jill Ball from Geniaus asked us to respond to her Social Media Geneameme. Here are my comments on the Geneameme:

1.       Tell us about your favourite social media tool and why you like it.

If we can count blogging as social media, which I would, then that would be my favourite. It gives me the chance to express my opinions, tell my family stories, receive comments from others (who often become friends) and respond to their comments. I think the latter is very important if we’re to build links through our social media.

2. How do you use social media to further your genealogy career or business?

I tweet my posts and discoveries I’ve made on other’s blogs. I think the most useful thing I can do is offer comments on other’s blogs, and really appreciate their comments on mine, hence why it’s important to respond. I like Google+ for its ability to differentiate between groups (family history, family, friends). I’m slowly coming to like FB better.

3. What advice would you give the cruiser who said “I must be living under a rock” and is not sure about coming out from under it? (This came from my Social Media presentation)

I can relate to this. Thanks to Shauna Hicks’ presentations in Darwin a few years ago I dabble in twitter and facebook and over time I’ve become more acclimatised to FB than I did when it was just a day-to-day thing.

When I came back from Papua New Guinea it all seemed quite trivial and I wondered why I was bothering.

4. What aspect of Social Media makes you grit your teeth?

I hate feeling like the tail is wagging the dog and that we “must” follow twitter or FB or Google+ slavishly. I think often of the advice from my former professional staff development person and also the Steven Covey’s “7 habits of highly successful people”. We need to decide what works, what doesn’t and use these tools to serve us rather than derail us from our objectives. Twitter/FB/Google+ do not have to be our masters!

 5. How does social media assist with your CGD (continuing genealogical development)?
Using Google Reader enables me to stay in touch with what’s happening in the genealogical world. This can be a great advantage compared to waiting for months for magazines to publish “what’s new”.

6. How do you fit social media time into your busy day?

I respond to blog comments as my highest priority. I now have my “friends and mates” list in Google Reader and get to them as soon as I can within the constraints of real life. Other than that, I do social media when I have time or a lack of firm commitments.

I’m increasingly trying to use social media as my servant not my master. Also to remember that live family are at least as important as dead rellies.

7. Do you have a story of how social media enabled you to connect with a long lost relation or fellow  researcher?

If we call blogging social media, which I do, then it has been invaluable to make connections with others. Perhaps more to help them as much as to help me with specific family research. It’s so enjoyable to know that others get benefit or pleasure from your photos or stories.

8. You have a minute to share a piece of advice about genealogy and social media. Go for it.

 Just like any other “appliance” don’t let it control you! Real life is your own life…make it count. If leaving stories for your descendants is important to you, blogging is a valuable way to do it. Remember others need your encouragement and support too….what goes around, comes around. I feel I’ve made real friends from my blogging and that we know and understand each other, and just like real friends they understand that life sometimes gets in the way, but we can pick up where we left off. I’m eternally grateful to them for helping me to feel part of a community, however far-flung.

Thanks Jill for this thought-provoking geneameme and the opportunity to participate in a discussion which started on the recent Unlock the Past cruise.

Inside History, Geniaus and her 50 top blogs

Earlier this week I received a google alert highlighting an Inside History article on blogging by Jill Ball (aka Geniaus). Now the fact that Jill was writing about blogging would come as no surprise to any of us but what astonished and delighted me was to find that my own blog rated a mention in her Top 50 blogs that she follows. I was extremely chuffed to be included and thanked Jill immediately via Twitter. When there are so many interesting blogs in the blogosphere it’s truly a privilege to be highlighted so I thank Jill and Inside History most sincerely.The world is your family tree oyster with blogging. Edited image from Office Clip Art.

Jill wrote a blog post yesterday mentioning other blogs that she liked but hadn’t been able to include in her Top 50 (I’d imagine it must have been pretty stressful figuring out the short list).

Like Geniaus I’m very conscious of how much wonderful work is being done by fellow family historians. The diversity and depth of research is both impressive and inspiring and it seems every week that I add to my blog reading. Sharing a sense of community has been an important benefit of blogging for me, given I live a long way from where the action is, so to speak. I truly value the genea-mates I’ve made through blogging and love sharing views with them in comments.

Fellow bloggers are transcribing and interpreting family diaries, analysing local histories, telling heartfelt family stories (recent and from the distant past), documenting cemetery photos, and sharing news information about important genealogy events world-wide or in specific countries or counties. In short, lots of people are sharing their love of family history with the world.

I’m nowhere near as brave as Jill, so I’m not even going to attempt to shortlist my favourites. Instead I’ll refer you to my Blog Links page which includes some of the blogs I follow through Google Reader. Please pop in and have a look at some you don’t already follow and say g’day, they all deserve your support and enthusiasm.

Oh and by the way, why not join in the fun and post your response to the Merry Month of May Music Meme (let me know by posting a comment).

The Reader Geneameme

Geniaus has been at it again and has set us a challenge to honour the National Year of Reading.

The list should be annotated in the following manner:

Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional) (I’ve italicised the names so need the colour to set my wish-list apart)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item.

Which of these apply to you? 

  1. Have you written any books? My family history: Grassroots Queenslanders: the Kunkel family published in 2003. Have another up my sleeve.
  2. Have you published any books? Yes I self-published the above book.
  3. Can you recommend an inspiring biography? Robert Dunne, Archbishop of Brisbane by Neil J Byrne was interesting to me because of its relevance to my family history. Life Class, the education of a biographer by Brenda Nial was very engaging. I’ve been going to read the biography of Sir William Deane but haven’t got to it yet.
  4. Do you keep a reading log? If yes, in what format? Sort, of. I have a list of my books on LibraryThing and also on Collectorz. I can also check my borrowing list from the Palmerston Library any time I want. But this is all recent….we’ve disposed of many books so I’d struggle to remember. Perhaps something I’d like to keep up with in the future.
  5. Are you a buyer or a borrower of books? I’ve always been a buyer of far more books than I should but I also borrow a lot either from the Council library or on inter-library loan from the National Library of Australia –depends what it is.
  6. Where do you get reading recommendations? Bibliographies, blog comments, newspaper reviews, personal recommendations.
  7. What is the ONE genealogy reference book you can’t do without? Just one??? I look at my shelves and I don’t think I can pick just one…it depends what research I’m doing. Okay, my huge German dictionary may have to be my “just one”.
  8. Do you hoard books or do you discard them when you have finished? Both! I’ve been a hoarder of books all my life – used to envy anyone with full bookcases. With run-of-the mill stuff we discard them after they’ve done the rounds of family and friends and we’ve re-read them.
  9. How many books are in your genealogy library? LOTS – Three full bookcases.
  10. What’s your favourite genealogy magazine or journal? I find I don’t read magazines much anymore. I don’t have one specific favourite journal. My blog reading has taken over.
  11. Where are the bookshelves in your house? Everywhere.
  12. Do you read e-books? How? Yes, I read them either on the Kindle or ipad.
  13. How many library cards do you have? NT x 3, SLQ, NSW, NLA plus society library cards and overseas cards for travelling.
  14. What was the last genealogy title you read? Part way through Behind the plough: agrarian society in 19th century Hertfordshire.
  15. What is your favourite bookshop? Living in Darwin I have to say Amazon or Booktopia.
  16. Do you have a traditional printed encyclopaedia in your house?  No, never have had..our refrain was always “look it up in the dictionary” –or the relevant book.
  17. Who are the authors in your family tree and what have they written? There are a couple of PhDs in my family tree, one who is well-published in the field of Japanese-Australian economics. I haven’t come across any distant ancestors who were authors which is a great shame.
  18. Who is your favourite author? I have runs of favourites and read them until I tire of them. I love Bill Bryson’s take on travel with amusing descriptions of Darwin. Geraldine Brooks would probably also feature though I still have some of hers to read. Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Rd.
  19. Where do you buy books? Mostly online these days.
  20. Can you nominate a must-read fiction title? Far too many fact or faction. Perhaps The House by the Thames by Gillian Tindall (excellent though very much fact/ion), Walter Macken’s The Silent People which was a fictional account of the Famine; Geraldine Brooks People of the Book.
  21. How many books are in your personal library? Collectorz tells me I’ve now got over 800 in my library. Many others sold off or donated over the years.
  22. What is your dictionary of choice? Oxford.
  23. Where do you read? Indoors/outdoors/bed/lounge/anywhere.
  24. What was your favourite childhood book? Heidi
  25. Do you have anything else to say about books and reading? Do it as much as possible and start kids young! Our two-year old grandson already insists on a book to take to afternoon nap time.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 1: Blogs to inspire.

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog, in conjunction with Geneabloggers, has kicked off 2012 with a new series of weekly blogging prompts themed as 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy.  Week 1 is Blogs: Blogging is a great way for genealogists to share information with family members, potential cousins and each other. For which blog are you most thankful? Is it one of the earliest blogs you read, or a current one? What is special about the blog and why should others read it?

After some deliberation I decided that Judy Webster’s series of blogs are most deserving of my #1 Vote. In 2011, Judy set up the Genealogists for Families blog with the motto: We care about families (past, present and future). Judy inspired many of us to join her and make microloans through Kiva. By doing this we can have a great impact on the lives of families around the world who are struggling for economic and family independence.

However, Judy Webster has also been a force in Queensland (Australia) genealogy for many years. Her blog Queensland Genealogy builds on her earlier webpage in which she offers free indexes to a large number of resources held by the Queensland State Archives and tips us off on which ones are valuable to use. Anyone with family history interests in Queensland would benefit from following her blog or reading her book Tips for Queensland Research. She also hosts other blogs but for me, the Queensland Genealogy blog is leader of the stable.

The topic called for one blogger to be nominated but as the topic is Abundant Genealogy I can’t omit Geniaus who is a lynch-pin for Aussie genealogists providing linkages, pertinent posts and geneamemes and is “our” RootsTech blogger. I’m also thankful to Geniaus and Carole Riley for their supportive comments on my own blog during its infancy, which encouraged me to keep going.

And abundantly, those many bloggers whose stories I follow regularly, some of whom are listed here.

Second anniversary of my blog – sharing and learning in community with other genies around the world.

The world is your family tree oyster with blogging. Edited image from Office Clip Art.Today is my second anniversary of blog-writing. It’s been a fascinating journey and one which has taken me on a different path from what I originally anticipated. When I began I wanted to share information on “my” Dorfprozelten immigrants, try to attract anyone with Broadford or East Clare ancestry and share some of my family history research and a little bit about living in the Top End of Australia. I was totally naive about genealogy blogging and didn’t even know Geneabloggers existed or how many genealogy bloggers were out there sharing their research, skills and knowledge.

My first year was a “toe in the water” year as I was still working full-time, unsure about my posts, and not devoting much time to the blog. After finishing work this time last year I ramped up my blog presence and thanks to people like Geneabloggers came to realise just how many fascinating blogs were being written. Tips from other bloggers like Geniaus and then RootsTech 2011 also expanded my techno skills in this area. In those early days, comments from fellow bloggers like Carole Riley inspired me to keep writing and let me know I wasn’t writing into a vacuum.

After two years, I’ve found that it’s the comments from fellow bloggers that I value most of all and so I also make an effort to comment on the various blogs I read. I’m not sure Google Reader is such a good idea because I now have a long list of blogs I look at in varying detail and some I read faithfully every post. 🙂

My most popular single post has been my Dorfprozelten page about the immigrants from that small village on the River Main in Bavaria, Germany. It’s been a great meeting place for people with ancestors from there, and there’ve been wonderful times when I’ve felt a bit like a match-maker connecting linked families. A big bonus! I’m considering splitting this theme off into a separate blog in 2012 and adding more of my research.

I’d love to have heard more from people with ancestors from anywhere in East Clare (from the Limerick/Tipperary border across to Ennis) and especially Broadford, but this hasn’t been as productive as the Dorfprozelten page.

This year I’ve participated in the series designed by Amy Coffin, 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History as well as the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Memories. The topics have made me dredge my memory for things that have been mentally filed away for years, so it’s been a great opportunity to revisit them and document the history. My main motivation for posting on these topics has been to leave my own history for my children and descendants so I will be combining these posts into book form (Olive Tree Genealogy has some tips here). It’s also been great fun to do some of the geneamemes that have come through…inspires me to think about what I might do differently, what skills to add to my repertoire and consider which things I want to include vs which I don’t. I also had a crack at a geneameme myself, Beyond the Internet, with the goal of highlighting just how much genealogy information is still off-line and what can be found there.

A while ago I posted on Open Thread Thursday about The Benefits of Blog reading and Why I blog, based on my experiences over the past two years. It’s been a great journey and I’ve gained so much from being part of the online genealogy community – even more valuable to me as I live away from many of the resources and learning opportunities others take for granted.

To all my followers and occasional readers, a HUGE thank you! You have become my online community and it’s your visits and especially your comments that make blogging so interesting and keep up my enthusiasm levels. I look forward to “speaking” with you again in 2012.

Beyond the Internet Geneameme

Following on my posts about the changes in family history over the past 25 years I thought it would be good to look at family history resources beyond the internet and how we use them today. I’ve built up a list of 60 resources or activities that take our research beyond the digitised records (much as I do love them!). It will be interesting to see which resources people are using most, and perhaps tip off new researchers on just how much is hiding in archives. To draw up my list I’ve used my own experience and referred to Judy Webster’s Tips for Queensland research and the PROV’s book Private Lives, Public Records. New researchers might also be interested in the Unlock the Past book It’s not all online by Shauna Hicks.[i]

Overseas researchers may want to add to the list or replace items with ones relevant to their own research. Remember this is all about locating information from sources not on the internet (with a couple of small exceptions). Please add your responses to the comments and I’ll put up a consolidated list in due course.

As usual the process is as follows:

Beyond the Internet Geneameme[ii]

Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item

  1. Looked at microfiche for BDM indexes which go beyond the online search dates.
  2. Talked to elderly relatives about your family history.
  3. Obtained old family photos from relatives.
  4. Have at least one certificate (birth/death/marr) for each great-grandparent.
  5. Have at least one certificate (birth/death/marr) for each great-great-grandparent.
  6. Seen/held a baptism or marriage document in a church, church archive or microfilm.
  7. Seen your ancestor’s name in some other form of church record eg kirk session, communion rolls.
  8. Used any microfilm from an LDS family history centre for your research.
  9. Researched using a microfilm other than a parish register (LDS family history centre/other).
  10. Used cemetery burial records to learn more about your relative’s burial.
  11. Used funeral director’s registers to learn more about your relative’s burial.
  12. Visited all your great-grandparents’ grave sites.
  13. Visited all your great-great-grandparents’ grave sites.
  14. Recorded the details on your ancestors’ gravestones and photographed them.
  15. Obtained a great-grandparent’s will/probate documents.
  16. Obtained a great-great grandparent’s will/probate documents.
  17. Found a death certificate among will documents.
  18. Followed up in the official records, something found on the internet.
  19. Obtained a copy of your immigrant ancestors’ original shipping records.
  20. Found an immigration nomination record for your immigrant ancestor[iii].
  21. Found old images of your ancestor’s place of origin (online or other).
  22. Read all/part of a local history for your ancestor’s place of residence.
  23. Read all/part of a local history for your ancestor’s place of origin.
  24. Read your ancestor’s school admission records.
  25. Researched the school history for your grandparents.
  26. Read a court case involving an ancestor (online newspapers don’t count for this).
  27. Read about an ancestor’s divorce case in the archives.
  28. Have seen an ancestor’s war medals.
  29. Have an ancestor’s military record (not a digitised copy eg WWII).
  30. Read a war diary or equivalent for an ancestor’s battle.
  31. Seen an ancestor’s/relative’s war grave.
  32. Read all/part of the history of an ancestor’s military unit (battalion/ship etc).
  33. Seen your ancestor’s name on an original land map.
  34. Found land selection documents for your immigrant ancestor/s.
  35. Found other land documents for your ancestor (home/abroad)
  36. Located land maps or equivalent for your ancestor’s place of origin.
  37. Used contemporaneous gazetteers or directories to learn about your ancestors’ places.
  38. Found your ancestor’s name in a Post Office directory of the time.
  39. Used local government sewerage maps (yes, seriously!) for an ancestor’s street.
  40. Read an inquest report for an ancestor/relative (online/archives).
  41. Read an ancestor’s/relative’s hospital admission.
  42. Researched a company file if your family owned a business.
  43. Looked up any of your ancestor’s local government rate books or valuation records.
  44. Researched occupation records for your ancestor/s (railway, police, teacher etc).
  45. Researched an ancestor’s adoption.
  46. Researched an ancestor’s insolvency.
  47. Found a convict ancestor’s passport or certificate of freedom.
  48. Found a convict ancestor’s shipping record.
  49. Found an ancestor’s gaol admission register.
  50. Found a licencing record for an ancestor (brands, publican, etc).
  51. Found an ancestor’s mining lease/licence.
  52. Found an ancestor’s name on a petition to government.
  53. Read your ancestor’s citizenship document.
  54. Read about your ancestor in an undigitised regional newspaper.
  55. Visited a local history library/museum relevant to your family.
  56. Looked up your ancestor’s name in the Old Age Pension records.
  57. Researched your ancestor or relative in Benevolent Asylum/Workhouse records.
  58. Researched an ancestor’s/relative’s mental health records.
  59. Looked for your family in a genealogical publication of any sort (but not online remember).
  60. Contributed family information to a genealogical publication.

[i] I do not receive any remuneration from any of these people or organisations. I’ve just found them to be helpful in my own research.

[ii] The Geneameme is a new term coined by Geniaus.

[iii] Pastkeys’ indexes to NSW Immigration Deposit Journals 1853-1900 might be helpful as a starter.

The Ancestors’ Geneameme challenge from Geniaus

Geniaus has set us another challenge with The Ancestors’ Geneameme. This is my response to the challenge.

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?

  1. Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents
  2. Can name over 50 direct ancestors
  3. Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents
  4. Have an ancestor who was married more than three times
  5. Have an ancestor who was a bigamist (he wasn’t but his 4th wife was)
  6. Met all four of my grandparents ( I was lucky enough to have three of them into my teens or beyond.)
  7. Met one or more of my great-grandparents (all pre-deceased my arrival)
  8. Named a child after an ancestor (coincidentally though I knew it was similar)
  9. Bear an ancestor’s given name/s (not having an ancestral name was apparently intentional –ironically I’ve always felt like a Kate, a recurring family name on all sides: too late to bother changing it now)
  10. Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland (all branches except my German one).
  11. Have an ancestor from Asia
  12.  Have an ancestor from Continental Europe (George Kunkel always said he was from Bavaria, not Germany)
  13. Have an ancestor from Africa
  14. Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer
  15. Have an ancestor who had large land holdings (a few with centuries of property either leased or owned but not large land holdings)
  16. Have an ancestor who was a holy man – minister, priest, rabbi (with all those Catholics, no direct ancestors, and none in the Protestant denominations either that I’ve found though lots in one family serving as churchwardens, overseers of the poor etc)
  17. Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18. Have an ancestor who was an author (oh, how I wish)
  19. Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones (but try googling Partridge or Kent)
  20. Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21. Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22. Have an ancestor with a forename beginnining with Z
  23. Have an ancestor born/died on 25th December (my great-grandfather died on Xmas Day, six weeks after his wife died. They left a large family orphaned ranging from 21 to 2)
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year’s Day (not a direct ancestor, but a few siblings)
  25. Have blue blood in your family lines (blue babies with Rh- blood, but no blue-blood royalty)
  26. Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  27. Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth (two: Scots Presbyterian on one side and Irish Catholic on the other)
  28. Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
  29. Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier
  30. Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
  31. Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X
  32. Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university (no, mine is the first university-educated generation as far as I know)
  33. Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence (he and a few others went to jail over perjury but released soon after appeals to the Qld Executive in relation to the court case)
  34. Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime (only minor events: one ancestor had his chickens stolen, as he was a butcher this would have been a hassle, another had his horse stolen. However one was a witness to an event in one of Qld’s first court cases which gave me new evidence on his own life.)
  35. Have shared an ancestor’s story online or in a magazine (I use my blog to tell some of my ancestor’s stories, have had the story of my great-grandmother’s rather gruesome death published in GSNT’s Progenitor magazine, and published a large number of short family histories as part of the Q150 projects with QFHS’s Founding Families, GSQ’s Queensland Pioneer Families 1859-1901 and Muster Roll, and TDDFHS’s Our Backyard, Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery.)
  36. Have published a family history online or in print (Grassroots Queenslanders: The Kunkel Family tells the story of the Kunkel family from Dorfprozelten, Bavaria and the O’Brien family from Ballykelly, Broadford, Co Clare, Ireland. It was published in 2003. Time for another?)
  37. Have visited an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries: I’ve lacked the courage to door-knock current owners of most family homes overseas while in situ but we have stood on the land and among the house ruins where ancestors lived in Ireland, Scotland and Bavaria. Writing in advance to visit the surviving homes is on my courage wish list: one in Hertfordshire, one in Stirlingshire. And whoops, I forgot my Kunkel ancestor’s house in Australia which dates from the 1870s and which I have visited.
  38. Still have an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family
  39. Have a family bible from the 19th Century (I know one exists but no idea where it went to before my grandmother died).
  40. Have a pre-19th century family bible (again I could wish, and wish)

99 Things meme

Along with the 99 Things Genealogy Aussie style meme, Geniaus has brought this more general topic to our attention. It has nothing to do with genealogy but it will tell readers something about me. Found on Stephen’s Lighthouse, Blog with this invitation “It’s harder and causes more reflection than you’d think. Play if you like. Stephen”

Of course I had to add a couple of things that were/are important to me:


Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to – leave in plain font

  1. Started your own blog.
  2. Slept under the stars. (in a swag in Kakadu National Park)
  3. Played in a band.
  4. Visited Hawaii.
  5. Watched a meteor shower.
  6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
  7. Been to Disneyland/world…but only so my daughter could go 😉
  8. Climbed a mountain. (Yes to cable cars, trains etc but on my own two feet, with a fear of heights and edges, I think not!)
  9. Held a praying mantis. (When I was a child I brought home a pupa and they all hatched in my bedroom…it was fun)
  10. Sang a solo. (can’t sing for nuts)
  11. Bungee jumped. (See #8..never ever, even to achieve #37)
  12. Visited Paris.
  13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
  15. Adopted a child.
  16. Had food poisoning (thank you Kathmandu).
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. (Been there, didn’t do that).
  18. Grown your own vegetables.
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
  20. Slept on an overnight train (as a child and with my Eurail Pass).
  21. Had a pillow fight.
  22. Hitch hiked (desperation measures –with my mother and a daughter, in Germany).
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
  24. Built a snow fort.
  25. Held a lamb.
  26. Gone skinny dipping.
  27. Run a marathon.
  28. Ridden a gondola in Venice. (romance at a vast price, happy to have just been there)
  29. Seen a total eclipse. (most recently in Renner Springs this year)
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (Both. Sunset-watching is a local hobby in Darwin)
  31. Hit a home run.
  32. Been on a cruise (only a few I’m interested in: Kimberley coast, Antarctica, probably PNG, and maybe Alaska #38 permitting)
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. (I’ve been lucky enough to visit all my ancestral homes, at least the ones I’ve been able to identify)
  35. Seen an Amish community.
  36. Taught yourself a new language.(have learned a few, but not taught myself)
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
  39. Gone rock climbing.
  40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
  41. Sung Karaoke.
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
  43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
  44. Visited Africa. (a family member moving there, so looking promising).
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
  46. Been transported in an ambulance.
  47. Had your portrait painted (our daughters had a caricature done for our combined 50th birthdays). Who remembers those cut-out profiles you used to get at the Ekka/Easter Show?
  48. Gone deep sea fishing: but I wasn’t doing the actual fishing.
  49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person. (do the rest of the galleries in one visit, then head straight to the Sistine Chapel at opening time one day: peaceful)
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  51. Done scuba diving or snorkelling. (Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo Reef)
  52. Kissed in the rain.
  53. Played in the mud.
  54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
  55. Been in a movie.
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
  57. Started a business.
  58. Taken a martial arts class
  59. Visited Russia.
  60. Served at a soup kitchen.
  61. Sold Girl Scout (Girl Guide) cookies/biscuits. (Jill, you missed out on this –they tasted disgusting, not unlike Arrowroot biscuits)
  62. Gone whale watching, and swum with the whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef.
  63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
  64. Donated blood.
  65. Gone sky diving. (possible, despite fear of heights)
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp (too cowardly).
  67. Bounced a cheque.
  68. Flown in a helicopter. (over the Bungle Bungles)
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (for my children and now my grandchildren)
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
  71. Eaten Caviar.
  72. Pieced a quilt.
  73. Stood in Times Square.
  74. Toured the Everglades.
  75. Been fired from a job.
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
  77. Broken a bone.
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. (did I mention I’m chicken?)
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
  80. Published a book.
  81. Visited the Vatican.
  82. Bought a brand new car.
  83. Walked in Jerusalem.
  84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
  85. Read the entire Bible.
  86. Visited the White House. (well I saw it)
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (do fish count?).
  88. Had chickenpox.
  89. Saved someone’s life.
  90. Sat on a jury.
  91. Met someone famous.
  92. Joined a book club.
  93. Lost a loved one.
  94. Had a baby.
  95. Seen the Alamo in person.
  96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake
  97. Been involved in a law suit.
  98.  Owned a cell phone. (an early in-the-car one was a brick)
  99. Been stung by a bee
  100. Taken flying lessons
  101.    See Lake Eyre full of water, with lots of pelicans.

99 Things Genealogy Meme

 Geniaus has amended an earlier meme from Becky in May 2009 over at Kinexxions. Geniaus thought it was time to dinkumise it (ie make it ridgey-didge or pure Aussie). This is the Australian version of this 99 Things Genealogy meme.  My own feeling is that the National Archives in Washington (#68) escaped being dinkumised (or am I missing something?) and would prefer to substitute my addition #101. Visiting Salt Lake City is probably on everyone’s wish list wherever they live. This was fun, thanks Geniaus and Becky.

No doubt each of us has things we regard as a top priority in our family history so I’ve been wayward and added #100, amended #92, and would love to substitute #101 for #65. Others would no doubt change other items but I guess that’s not the point of a meme.

Things you have already done or found – bold type
Things you would like to do or find – italics
Things you have not done or found /don’t care to – (or that I know hasn’t happened in my family).

  1. Belong to a genealogical society (two, sometimes three)
  2. Joined the Australian Genealogists group on Genealogy Wise
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded headstone pictures to Find-A-Grave or a similar site (Flickr).
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
  6. Joined Facebook.
  7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery. (I can see my family’s eyes rolling)
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society/local library’s family history group.
  12. Joined the Society of Australian Genealogists.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society (was on the organising committee of a genie conference).
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery. (It was Ireland after all).
  16. Talked to dead ancestors. (come on George, tell me how you got here…etc)
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
  19. Cold called a distant relative.
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
  22. Googled my name (and those of ancestors – it turns up great info sometimes)
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion (using the rental car’s bonnet to climb over the spiked fence of an Irish cemetery and tearing one of my two pairs of trousers, and narrowly missing important body parts must surely count?).
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
  32. Created family history gift items: family histories of friends’ families for Christmas or birthday, as well as my own personal history for my children.
  33. Performed a record lookup.
  34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise: if the fabulous speaker roll-out for November’s Unlock the Past cruise can’t tempt me, I’m not sure anything will.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space (a swimmer….but only one?)
  36. Found a disturbing family secret (see #84).
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret (but not all of the secrets).
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion obsession not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person. (Korean MIA project)
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure. (please don’t jinx me)
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology –sometimes it’s borderline but it’s a great way to learn.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher (hi Sheila!).
  45. Disproved a family myth through research.
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language. (German ancestry)
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  51. Used microfiche.
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City
  53. Used Google+ for genealogy (have only just got on Google+).
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  55. Taught a class in genealogy.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century (almost there).
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents (I got in a muddle with this originally -it’s my 3 x greats that are AWOL, mostly Irish).
  60. Found ancestors on the Australian Electoral Rolls: Commonwealth and State.
  61. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer (isn’t that what the computer is for?)
  62. Have found many relevant and unexpected articles on Trove to “put flesh on the bones”.
  63. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  64. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
  65. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC (why would I want to? Have I missed something? Happy to be enlightened)
  66. Visited the National Library of Australia.
  67. Have an ancestor who came to Australia as a ten pound pom.
  68. Have an ancestor who fought on Gallipoli: need my husband’s family for this one, mine were on the Western Front in WWI.
  69. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  70. Can “read” a church record in Latin. (have managed to decipher some, but only with a dictionary, reference book or Google)
  71. Have an ancestor who changed his/her name, just enough to be confusing.
  72. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  73. Created a family website.
  74. Have a genealogy blog.
  75. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone: two hundred years of family geneaogy in one email from Germany – after years of hunting.
  76. Have broken through at least one brick wall (but someone keeps putting up more).
  77. Done genealogy research at the War Memorial in Canberra (pre-digitisation).
  78. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Centre(s) (I love the diverse records that are available).
  79. Found an ancestor in the Ryerson index (lots of rellies, ancestors already taken care of)
  80.  Have visited the National Archives of Australia.
  81. Have an ancestor who served in the Boer War: can I count my husband’s relation?
  82. Use maps in my genealogy research (how can one not?).
  83. Have a convict exile I research who was transported from the UK. He shares a name with my ancestor and in the same area of Queensland so needed to unravel them.
  84. Found a bigamist amongst my ancestor’s wives (note, he was not the bigamist).
  85. Visited the National Archives in Kew. (Looking up seamen’s records especially)
  86. Visited St. Catherine’s House in London to find family records.
  87. Taken online genealogy (and local history) courses.
  88. Consistently (document) and cite my sources.
  89. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don’t live in) in search of ancestors.
  90. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes (it’s the minutes that are the challenge)
  91. Have an ancestor who was married four times.
  92. Made a rubbing of Restored an ancestor’s gravestone (this seemed a more productive and long-term solution).
  93. Followed genealogists on Twitter.
  94. Published a family history book (on one of my families) and in-family histories on others.
  95. Learned of a death of a fairly close family relative through research: I’m not really sure what’s meant by this one but I learned of my great-grandmother’s harrowing death through research.
  96. Offended a family member with my research: I suspect they didn’t like the research I found about their branch, but not entirely sure as they’re no longer talking to me and they didn’t come to the reunion.
  97. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.
  98. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database.
  99. Edited records on Trove. (ages ago – must do more).
  100. Organised a family reunion. (my addition)
  101. Used Archives in countries where my ancestors originated. (my replacement for #65).