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'.

Friday, 19 December 2014

A Brick Wall Has Fallen! (no not a real one but a family tree one)

For those Genealogists, reading this, you will know the excitement of having a brick wall finally fall and the other questions that this event brings.

Nearly 30 years ago I started researching my family tree. Things were very different then, microfiche, microfilm, waiting for weeks for certificates or replies letters and endless questions waiting for answers.

I knew my Mum's Dad, Grand pop, and with a bit of detective  work was able to find his birth and then his parents marriage, both in Victoria and his brother's birth, here in New South Wales. Mum's birth and her parent's marriage date were known, good, things were falling into place. Now all I had to do was find the deaths of Arthur and Maryanne Galbraith. How hard could that be there aren't that many Galbraith's on the microfiche, I should have this 'done' in a couple of weeks!  1560 weeks latter and I finally have the answers for both Arthur and Maryanne!

Arthur Galbraith was born in Ayr, Scotland to Samuel Galbraith and Margaret Kidstone Nicol, married in Victoria to Maryanne Grant, had one son, Arthur in Victoria and then their second son, William in Sydney. All those dots fell neatly into place. I was able to find, over the years, marriages for both of their sons, deaths of both of the sons but what happened to Arthur and Maryanne after 1894 was a mystery!

Over the years I would take them out, dust them off and go over all the information and look for new details and then they would go back to their spots and rest up. Questioning my Mum and her sisters about their Ganddad gave me two answers and another mystery. As to their Gandmother, they knew nothing.

Family stories had Arthur Snr dying, while looking for cowrie shells, in the Red Sea OR dying at sea and being buried in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Ceylon). How was one supposed to find him? Maryann faired no better, with no one knowing anything about her, nor having meet her.

This year I picked them to be the ones I found and boy did I. Searching through TROVE I found a Return Thanks notice for a May Galbraith, in Stockton, loving mother of Arthur and William. Bingo, I had her. More searching and there was her Death notice, with her burial at Waverly Cemetery, now time to order the death certificate and Williams birth certificate. Why his birth you ask? Well what if Arthur was deceased at William's time of birth? They duly arrived and more questions arose. What was Maryanne doing in the Hospital for the Insane, Stockton and why had she been transferred from Calan Park? Now to see if there were any medical records to access. Yes and after jumping through hoops, waiting weeks I had the scant copies of them and found that she had been in hospital nearly three years before she died and that she was a widow. Good this matches her death certificate. William's birth certificate yielded no surprises, Arthur Snr was alive when William was born.

Now if William was born in 1893 and Maryanne was a widow, when she died in 1912, I had a time frame to look for Arthur's death. Searching the Victorian BDM's, NSW BDM's, Family Search, Ancestry and Find My Past yielded NOTHING. Darn! Okay, lets try Scotland's People and bingo! There were the deaths of Samuel and Margaret Galbraith. Searching more I found Samuel's will and probate, interesting, everything went to Margaret and then to Arthur. Well since Margaret died in 1893, lets look for Arthur's death after that. What's this? A death of an Arthur Galbraith in 1894, well if he had to go back to sort out the estate, that is the right time frame, but what was it doing in the Marine Deaths section?

After weeks of waiting, Allan Murrin rang to say that they had the certificate and would scan me a copy and post out the original. Wednesday and there was the proof that at least one of the family stories was correct, Arthur did die at sea and is buried in Colombo. Now having the ship's name I was able to locate shipping records but am still trying to work out if he was going to Scotland or coming home to Sydney. More searching needed there.

Weeks ago I found a probate packet listed on the NSW Archives website, yesterday I was able to find a copy on Find My Past and it is MY Arthur. I ordered the item from the Archives, yesterday and it will be January before it arrives.

The internet has opened up so much for us to search and with obtaining the documents I have been able to prove that they are my family and solved the mystery of their deaths and found more questions to answer. Well those ones can wait a few more weeks, after all it has only taken 30 years to answer the first two questions!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Discovering ANZAC's Site

I spent some time with my sister today, looking at the Discovering ANZAC's site, discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/

We knew the spelling of the surname but couldn't find him.  We had is discharge paper, so that helped. Here is a small tip, I entered his first name and his number and we found him. The surname was miss spelled, it an a not an e, for the second last letter. So if you aren't having any luck try any variation you can think off.

It is a good site to search through.

Friday, 28 November 2014

A reflection

It has been awhile since I last wrote and nothing really interesting has happened. The house is finished, I'm still studying and our grandson had a sleepover. Pretty ordinary stuff. Then this week, sadness touched all our lives, sudden unexpected loss.

I never meet Phillip Joel Hughes, never saw him play other than on TV but his death has caused me to reflect on how short life can be. Yesterday I listened to the 3.00pm news, Phillip was still critical, I said a prayer for him and turned the radio off. At 4.15pm I logged onto Facebook and my niece had updated her status, to RIP Phillip Hughes 1988-2014 and I grieved.

I can't imagine the loss his parents, brother and sister are feeling, my heart goes out to them. I will keep them in my prayers. To see our cricketers in tears, over this sudden accident has given the country a chance to see that they are 'real' and suffer the same grief.

My thoughts then turned to another young man, only 22, Sean Abbott. I want to hug him and reassure him that it was just that a very tragic accident. How Sean copes with this and if he plays cricket again, is something that we will have to wait for. This young man needs our support too. I for one would love to see him continue in the game, something I think Phillip would have encouraged.

I then thought about my own family, now spread over two states. I wanted to gather them close and tell them how much I love and cherish them but families move, children grow up and this Mum and Grandma can only keep them close by praying for them. I also am thankful for Skype.

I know that God will watch over my family and keep them safe and for that I am thankful. I will still worry, what parent doesn't but life is meant to be lived, enjoyed and I for one won't stop them.

Love and God Bless,

Monday, 3 November 2014

What a Weekend!


I am a member of the Society of Australian Genealogists, (SAG) and this past weekend they held their annual "Lost In" weekend. Held every year, it  alternates between a country town, like Goulburn and the Dixon Room, State Library of NSW.

This weekend was "'Lost In' All Your Stuff" and we had a full program. Saturday started with the air-conditioning not fully working and we found ourselves using our notes to fan us. It did get fixed and it made the rest of the day more comfortable.

We had talks on topics as varied as what happens to your "stuff", when you pass from Christina Nicola, Senior Legal Officer Genealogy NSW Trustee and Guardian, to 'Beyond Your Lifetime', with the focus on who to pass your information onto.

Copyright was discussed with Nathan Webster, Legal Officer, Australian Copyright Council, giving a very interesting talk, complete with a monkey selfie!  Look at the Australian Copyright Council's website for lots of useful information sheets, www.copyright.org.au

Kay Soderlund  from Preservation Australia showed us way we can preserve our precious document and artefacts. Having her Kay speak before, this reinforced what I had learnt, that we need to make sure that we treat old documents with care. It was interesting to here Kay say that white gloves are out, as you can pass sweat through the cotton and that blue nitril gloves are best. The websites are
www.preservationaustralia.com.au and www.conservationresources.com.au

Talks on Solving Your Photo Dilemma by Jonathan Auld, from Auld Genealogy and Capturing the Memories by Sally Forsstrom, Dubbo and District Family History Society, were also part of Saturday's talks.

Jonathan, http://auldgenealogy.blogspot.com.au spoke on how to scan and save photos and documents.

Sally spoke on the importance of recording oral family history. Something we all seem to put off for another day.

Sunday dawned cooler, after a vicious storm rushed through Sydney on Saturday afternoon and we settled in for another day of interesting talks.

Ben Mercer from Ancestry.com.au gave an interesting talk about what new records Ancestry has just uploaded. Look at Recently Added and Update Collections to see what is new. Ben then took questions from the group and was hit with such things as "Who owns what is put up, ie family trees?" The reply was the person who loads, owns. He also recommends reading the terms and conditions and contacting Member Services if you have any issues

Alison, from the SAG Writing Group, to which I belong, gave a wonderful talk on Getting Into Print. Alison has a book due out this week, so was well able to speak on the many ways to go about printing your book.

Carole Riley, from SAG, spoke on the different types of technology we can use. Everything from scanners to the cloud was covered. My head was spinning with technology overload.

Ralph Hawkins, Alison Wolf and Martyn Killion finished the weekend with how we can pass our "stuff" and, be it to SAG or to other family members. The theme was make sure your family know, NOW, what you want done with the documents, etc, that you have collected. Put it in your will, tell your family and leave a letter, so that people know what had to be done.

Another interesting point that came up several times was BACKING UP. Something we all need to do but how many do, do it?

This is what was recommended, the 3, 2, 1 method
3 copies of your data
2 different types of media
1 stored offsite

Hope your weekend was great,

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Garden of Remembrance, Rookwood

I think that the Garden of Remembrance at Rookwood is a hidden gem. Why?, because it honours those who have died since the end of the conflict they served in. The veteran's death has to be accepted as being caused by war service.  It is run by the Office Of Australian War Graves, part of the Department of Veteran's Affairs.

While it looks like a crematorium wall, there are only plaques, not ashes there. There is an office that is open Monday to Friday to help in finding the correct wall and panel . On the weekend there are books that list the veteran's name, service number and date of death and they show the wall and panel numbers.

Below are some of the photos I took.

Monday, 6 October 2014


Monday of a long weekend, at least for some of us!  My 'to do' list is getting shorter, with some things like reading and knitting on going. I started the list very early on Saturday morning as I wasn't well, long weekend and I took ill, not happy :( .  I picked things that didn't require much effort on my part.

I did put a large collection of old photos into a scrapbook album and my printer takes 30cm x 30cm paper, so I did the labels at the same time. Trying to finish printing and the doing an album of our Singapore photos, from last year. Can't rush these things.

I have done some family research but not much. I'm using up a subscription to  RootsIreland.org  I didn't find much regarding my Abberton side, will now try the Magill side.

The Bankstown Family History Group as it's meeting on Tuesday 7th so I organised things for that as well.

I've started an new subject in my studies, today, Irish: Land Administration Records, it should be interesting.

I watched the football grand final, last night and my Bunnies won! Very happy about that as the last grand final we won was 43 years ago!

Bye for now,

Friday, 3 October 2014

Something free this weekend

A long weekend, what better way to spend it than researching family.

Here is the link to show what databases are free to look at this weekend (in the card catalogue) - http://search.ancestry.com.au/search/grouplist.aspx?group=occupations2014#databases


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Bits 'n' Pieces

The house if starting to come together, floors will be done next month and then we can move the furniture back in. Looking forward to it as I can't find anything.

While this is going on I'm spending time researching various branches of the tree, with a bit of success.

 I have joined the Kent Family History Society, http://www.kfhs.org.uk  and they have been very welcoming. Their journal is interesting and I have joined the Global Section and have had helpful replies to my query.

I have also taken out a subscription to The British Newspaper Archive so I can access their version of TROVE. No luck so far with my searching but as it was 10.00pm, last night, I might do better when I'm fully awake!

This morning I went to the Garden of Remembrance at Rookwood Cemetery and took some photos for a friend. It is part of The Office of Australian War Graves and has plaques for eligible veterans, who have died post -war and whose deaths are accepted as being caused by war service. It is a beautiful quiet spot.

Spring is here, so I've been pruning, with the hope that the gardenia will flourish rather than be very woody. I had no luck with my cauliflowers, they were all leaf and no flower. Not happy about that. The peas and tomatoes are growing well.

Hope your weekend has been great.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Photo Workshop

The workshop, yesterday was amazing and I learnt heaps, now all I have to do is practice, practice, practice and keep a photo journal of what works. The teacher, Fiona was generous with her knowledge and was able to have us all taking really good photos.

We went to Paddington Reservoir for the practical side and it is a really interesting place. Once a water reservoir for the area it is now a community space and it is beautiful.

The photos below are from there, including the one with lights, taken in the lift, for a bit of fun.

The class was at the Australian Centre For Photography.  www.acp.org.au

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Ever wanted to take those spectacular photos that others seem to, well today I'm going to learn how to!  I have a day class, a gift from a friend, to learn how I can get the best out of my hybrid digital camera. I'll show the photos of how I do and will also include a link.

Monday, 15 September 2014

I'm exhausted, but in a good way!

I left home at 7.30am Friday morning and arrived back 2.30pm Sunday afternoon after three wonderful days and two night at the NSW & ACT Association Conference. As I mentioned in my previous post Friday was open to the public as a Family History Fair and it was really good.

There were four talks on Friday and I went to three of them.

Joy Murrin talked about NSW BDM's and said that is it often best to think outside the box, with regards to names and registration districts. She gave and example of a person, occupation was a mason and when the child was entered into the register it was with the surname Mason. With registration districts Joy explained that each are were allocated a number of pages and it they filled up, the next entry went where ever there was a space, so you could have a Kempsey in a Kiama spot.
The best thing is to be open minded and with a transcription agent, you can do a check and verify, before getting the full document.

Gail Davis from State Records always does a good presentation and this was another good one.

Amanda, the Register of the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages braved the 'lions den' and answered all our questions and gave an apology to us for the way the site is operating. There are changes in motion and she asked for our patience with this. The wildcard * is back and they are also setting the date selection to Yes as the default. Amanda also mentioned that while she can understand our frustration with the new site, priority has to be give to the people registering deaths, marriages and births now, for obvious reasons. Keep checking back to see the changes.

After lunch there was a forum and Allan Murrin did a presentation on the use of technology in regards to our websites, blogs, Facebook and other social media. Enewsletters and journals were also mentioned. This has given me some ideas for our group.

Friday finished with a 'Meet and Greet' for the conference attendees. It was wonderful to catch up with friends from last year and make new ones.

Saturday was from 8.00am to 3.30pm with the AGM at 4.00pm, for me and the Conference Dinner at 6.30pm. I think it was 11.00pm before I got to bed!

A Welcome to Country started the day and then the conference got underway.

Dr Perry McIntyre presented the Vincent John Crow Memorial Address with the topic 'Memory, Remembering and Commemoration.' Perry is a fantastic speaker.

Terry Bugg and Marisa O'Connor spoke on the Illawarra Remembers 1914-1918 project and how it came about. Look at the website for more information  www.illawarraremembers.com.au

Other talks were, 'Tracking Down the Magnus Family', the story of the first manager of the Port Kembla copper smelter,  'Women of the Illawarra', this was very interesting and presented by Gillian Baker. 'The Gallipoli Project' by Kim Phillips and "I think great-grandma might have been Jewish' by Robyn Dryen finished off the day.

Dinner was a noisy affair, with 138 people attending. It was lovely to catch up with friends and here what they had been doing, since last year.

Sunday was a 8.45am start, most welcome after the late night!

Dr Jen Roberts gave a very moving talk on 'Hard Labour: fathers and Wartime Bereavement'. She spoke how fathers often carried the sorrow with them, for the rest of their lives and that they would put on a brave front, while grieving. Several very moving stories had the audience captivated.

The next speaker was Lambis Englezos. This gentleman was responsible for the discovery of the burial site at Fromelles.  His presentation was fantastic. It was wonderful when in the audience was a relation of one of the soldiers found a Fromelles and she shared her experience. Tears were shed.

Carol Herben OAM spoke about the Waterfall Sanatorium and Cemetery, you might know it as Garrawarra. They are looking at how to look after the cemetery and want any information on people who might have ben there.

The conference ended with the Call to Port Macquarie, for 2015.

A great weekend!

Friday, 12 September 2014


I am at the NSW & ACT FHS Conference. Today was open to the public and the next two days are for attendees. I have had a wonderful day. Will blog more latter.

Monday, 1 September 2014


How was your weekend?

I had a good, lazy weekend doing assignments, reading, knitting and dinner out last night. My weekend really started on Friday, when I went to my daughters' place and sent time with her and our grandson. Picked Grandad up from work and had dinner with them.

Today I attended the Australian Copyright Council's conference, doing two sessions. The first Copyright Essentials was fantastic and Megan West, the presenter was excellent.  I recommend looking at their web site,  www.copyright.org.au  and reading their information leaflets.  Copyright essentials covered topics dealing with What is copyright? Who owns copyright, How long does copyright last? etc.

I also did Clearing Copyright Material Offline and Online. This was good in explaining how to make sure that everything you publish, that you didn't produce, you have got permission to use.  It is better to take the time and effort to get things cleared than end up with a law suit.

One more lot of assignments to do and then the exam, then four weeks of no study. Well, not really as I do have other courses to do, like Latin!
Bye for now,

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Research help

I have been doing some research into my Great-Grandmother and her death in the Hospital of the Insane, Stockton. I commented on this on Facebook and several of you asked how to go about accessing any records and I have decided to write up how to go about it.

Once you have the death certificate or transcript of the persons death, you need to contact NSW State Archives. They are wonderful in pointing you in the direction you need to follow. As Mental Health and Asylum records have a 110yr access period you will most likely need permission from NSW Health, to see the records, Archives will point you in the right direction.

Looks at these two Archives in Brief for more details on what is held at the Archives,
Archives in Brief  - 85 - Mental health facilities - Patient records  and Archives in Brief - 86 Infirm and destitute asylum - Inmate records.  Both of these can be found at; www.records.nsw.gov.au  and look under Quick Links.

Having made contact with the relevant department, you will need to prove your relationship to the person. Start with yourself and work backwards, married ladies don't forget to show your name change. Below is a list of the documents I had to provide;
1) My marriage certificate
2) My birth certificate
3) My Mum's marriage certificate
4) My Mum's birth certificate
5) My Grandparents marriage certificate
6) My Granddad's birth certificate
7) My Great-Grandparent's marriage certificate
8) My Great-Grandma's birth certificate
9) My Great-Grandma's death certificate.

With NSW Health I was able to scan and email these to them and they emailed me the permission letter in return. The process to around two weeks.

Re-contact NSW State Archives and let then know you have permission, to see the records. They will then see what they hold and let you know, again about 10 working days is required.

With mine, because she died in Stockton, I have also had to get permission for those, separately, using the same documents. They will do the searching and let me know. I don't know if they will copy and send them to me or what?

A few words of caution, don't get your hopes up as to what you might find, this is my second person I have asked to view and I hope it will be more fruitful than the first. With the first one I received a one line entry in the admissions and discharge book, that was it. If you don't search, you wont know. I will keep you posted as to what I find.

Happy Searching,

Sunday, 17 August 2014

What are you goingto do today?

For those of us in Sydney, it is  raining and has been all night, something we haven't had for awhile. Being wet it is a perfect day to stay inside and do family tree research.

I don't know if this will show up as a link, but if you had ancestors that lived in the Holroyd area, you might be able to help them out.

Call for submissions of Holroyd pioneers
If your ancestors lived in Holroyd prior to 1927, these ladies want to hear from...
This link is to the new Discovering ANZACs site and I'm going to spend some time searching through it.
www.FamilySearch.org  is another good site to search. There are family tress on it but remember they are only as good as the information the person had. The indexes that you can search are great.
If you are trying to use the NSW BDM's and are having problems here are a couple of tips,
1) If you don't know all the details you can use the wildcard *
2) Go yes for the date range and you get better results.
Now if you don't feel like doing research, you can always find a good book, knit or quilt.
Stay dry,

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Family tree and assignments

Fingers crossed, I have just been given permission to view any records relating to my great-grandmothers time in Calan Park, Sydney. Might answer some questions, most likely give me more questions to answer. 

I have also finished a subject except for the exam. One more to go and then a break until October.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Scotlands People

I should be doing assignments and I did sit outside in the sun and study but searching for ancestors is much more fun! (I will do my assignments, really I will)

I have been looking for both my great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers deaths. Two posts ago I mentioned that I was waiting on great-grandma's death certificate. It has arrived and I cried. She died in a hospital for the insane at Stockton after being moved from Calan Park. While it was liver cancer that killed her I am now waiting for permission to view her medical records at NSW Archives.  Why was she there and has it go anything to do with why I can't find her husband?  Will all be revealed or will I still be in the dark?

Today I decided to spend time on Scotland's People as he was from Scotland. It looks very promising as I have found a death for an Arthur Galbraith in 1894 with the district give as Marine Return. It is a death at sea, which ties into the family stories that he died at sea. I will now buy the certificate and see if it is the correct one. If not I'll search again.

While on Scotland's People I looked around for Arthur's dads death and found I already had it, so looked for the will. Bingo! Nine pages of a wonderful will and five more pages of what looks like a list of personal property. It is a pity that it is 5.15pm and I have to organise dinner and I will have to wait to read it!. I wonder if it will reveal information about Arthur?

What this space in the continuing story of Mary and Arthur Galbraith.

Monday, 4 August 2014


After weeks of trying, today I have accessed the blog from my iPad. Now I can do updates on the go.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

What I've been doing.

I've been busy, with the house finished being painted and a driveway laid. That was 'fun'. My car has been homeless for three weeks, living at a friends place. While the driveway hardened we went away to Melbourne to visit our family. Lots of lovey granddaughters/grandparents time as mum and dad were away. PJ movie night, netball, pizza night and granddad bedtime stories. It was really good to spend time with them.

On the family tree side I haven't really been motivated to do much. I really should set myself goals and (try) stick to them. I have looked at my great-grandmothers death and ordered a couple of certificates and they should be here soon. They will either answer my questions or give me more questions to answer.

Still going with my socks and did start the new scarf, both are progressing well and I will post photos, when they are done.

We did do something exciting! We named our house, after nearly 40 years with thought it was time and the sign arrived today. We have named the house "Bodalla" after the house my husband grew-up in. Mine didn't have a name so the choice was easy. Yes, I will post a photo when it is up, probably the weekend.

I took my course notes with me and did read them but didn't do anything else with them. I have Friday with nothing on, so will get assignments done then.

I have been watching Who Do You Think You Are? and have enjoyed the episodes shown.  I wonder if they have more people than they show, in case  the stories aren't that interesting or  the person pulls out? Would love to know. I also wish they would do someone not famous, so that it can be shown that everyone's family history is interesting. Or show an episode where they meet 'brick walls' and can't go any further.

Tomorrow I am going to a presentation of grant cheques as the family history group, I started is getting one. Excited!

Well I'm going to bed with my new Australian Family Tree Connection magazine, back to the 'real' world tomorrow.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

English 1881 Census

I have just read an article on the English 1881 Census, in Your Family Tree magazine, May 2014.  It mentions that when it was completed officials noted a rise in the number of 'deaf & dumb' people. It seems that many enumerators had recorded babies as being deaf & dumb because they couldn't talk!
Something to keep in mind not just for that census but any records. Look at the persons age before making judgements.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Writing Group

I have had a wonderful day, my monthly writing group meeting and lunch.
The meetings are held at the Society of Australian Genealogists, Richmond Villa and are usually full! The group has various speakers an cover a wide range of topics, from punctuation to finding a publisher.

Today Ralph, from SAG spoke about the resources that the Society holds and how they may be of use to us, in or writing. Looking at old photos and using them to identify what when they were taken and where. Maps, Land Titles etc. Looking at things in context.

This was our 8th meeting and thanks to Sue, our 'boss' for all her hard work in organising them.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Flip Pal Scanner

Ever been away and someone gets out a really old photo and says, 'this is your great grandma' and you think I want a copy?  Now when you go away you can take a scanner with you and copy the photo straight away! I have a Flip Pal scanner, photos below and it is fantastic!

Gould Genealogy in South Australia sell them and accessories.

I did a class today,  by Carole Riley at SAG and she showed us how to get the best out of the scanner and how to stitch large documents or photos together, once they are scanned. Software comes with the scanner. It runs on 4 AA batteries and you can use rechargeable ones. It comes with a 2GB SD card, it has the stitching program on it. The cove comes off and you flip it over for scanning larger items.

Go to http://www.gould.com.au/ and have a look.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

This 'n' That

It has been an interesting week, with most of my time spent indoors due to the cold and windy weather that has arrived. I've spent the time reading, organising the next two subjects and balancing the family history books, for the end of the financial year.

We have also had the painters, painting the outside. It looks stunning, with soft grey walls and the darker guttering and new roof. Today we have spent time changing the back door handle to a modern one. One down, six more  internal doors to go!

I been knitting socks and have a new pattern for another lovely scarf/wrap to start.

Have a great week!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

What's in a Name?

Yesterday the Royal Australian Historical Society, in Sydney had a series of talks on the topic, Place Names as Historical Records: An Open-Air Archive. There were four speakers, Dr Joshua Nash, Dr Terry Kass, Angela Phippen and Bruce Baskerville and they covered a range of topics.

Bruce spoke on place names as historical records. How there are layers of names for places and how they evolved. Angela's talk was on houses with names of First World War battles. Who built them and the how to search to find them. Both were very informative.

Dr Joshua Nash spoke on the different names that are used on Phillip Island in the Norfolk Island Archipelago. This lead to a lively discussion on wether 'unofficial' names should also be listed with gazetted names.

Dr Terry Kass spoke on Official Histories and Records of Place Names: The NSW Geographical Names Board. This talk also spoke about how areas are known locally as one name but gazetted as another. An example of this is Mosman Bay, in Sydney Harbour. It is gazetted as Great Sirius Cove, a bit of a mouth full!

It was an interesting series of talks and I know I certainly learnt valuable search tips and ways to look at areas to find the layers of names.

Saturday, 14 June 2014


Here are some random photos I've taken two weeks ago, in the Hunter Valley.

Beautiful sunrise, with balloons. Roses near our room. Fog on our last morning and a magnificent Giant Egret.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Help needed

I run this blog on my PC and am trying to workout how I can use the iPad, when I'm away to blog. As the email attached to this is a Microsoft account I am wondering if that is the problem.
Any advice, suggestions or hint are welcome.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Interesting Week

Well I have had a very interesting week, I went to Melbourne! It was Grandparents Day at my youngest  granddaughters school and I haven't been able to make it the last two years, I went.

I was very adventurous, booking online, ordering the Skybus ticket and topping up myki. I just took carryon and it was wonderful.

Grandparents Day was beautiful, with time in the classroom, being interviewed as to what school was like when I attended and then an assembly. As she is in the band, I got to watch her perform. The school also had an open night and I went to that as well.

I also had some time with both girls, when their parents went out. The eldest and I had a wonderful talk about all different things. They are both very talented girls.

I've been knitting beanies for my grandson and will give them to him, tomorrow. I get to babysit him!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

What has been going on.

I realised that it has been awhile since I blogged.

I've been studying, knitting, reading, taking photos and being Grandma.
These two books are really good reads.
Nora always writes a great story. This one is about Faberge eggs and is really good. I don't want to give to much away but it starts with a girl seeing a murder, along the line of the movie "Rear Window" and then moves along from that.
The Tea Chest is a good chick lit book. Strong female leads and a quirky story line.  Think about different teas and tea shops.

This is for James and was fun to knit. I like the fact that it has a shoulder opening, making it that much easier to get on and off.

I'm growing Basil and couldn't resist trying to capture a close up of the bees that were having fun in it. They ignored me and using my zoom I was able to get these shots.

I love Autumn with it wonderful colours. This tree has given me so many different moods that I can't resist photographing it.
This is my favourite one taken several years ago. I love the contrast between the sunlight on the leaves and the grey sky.

I have finished two more subjects and am waiting on the results. I did get an A for the Copyright subject.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

What have you been doing?

After a wonderful Good Friday with family and Skype with our Victorian family, we were very happy. Yesterday saw us go to Masters Hardware for bits and pieces. I got some cauliflower and broccoli seedlings and will plant them today.  Then into Officeworks for a USB stick. From there we went to our local cafĂ© for morning tea and then home.

I sent time on Find My Past just general searches for family names. Did find information that I had but in more detail.
Went and gave a niece her birthday present.

What have you been doing?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bankstown Family History Group Web Site


Above is our web site address and while it is a work in progress, it looks great. Teresa has done a good job on getting it up and it should be fully 'tweaked' in no time.

Wednesday night saw us at the UWS Bankstown for a book launch, about the University. It was interesting and several people took forms. Catherine, the organiser, will take some posters and put them un around the Uni. Now to Print them off.

Yesterday, Friday, I went to the new Bankstown Library & Knowledge Centre, for a browse. I ran into Abby, who we deal with and she pointed out the room we will use and let me see inside. It will be great to have a 'home' for our meetings.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Bankstown Family History Group

Well last night was our meeting night and everyone had their laptops or tablets and we looked at some interesting web sites. I picked Family Search, Ryerson Index, Old Bailey Records, Australian War Memorial, TROVE and New Zealand BDM. State Records, NSW and New Zealand Past Papers  were looked at as well.

Some found what they were looking for, others were happy to browse the sites and ask for help. That way when they are at home they how to structure the search. It was a great meeting.

It was the last of our 'homeless' meetings as next month and forever, we are at the new Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre. We will be using a room in the theatre area, with access to the library.

Our insurance is sorted and just needs to be paid for. Our web site is slowly taking shape. Watch this space! Now to work on our grant application. This group is growing slowly.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Botany Bay Family History Fair 29 March

 I spent a fantastic day at the Botany Bay Family History Fair. I came home very tired but thrilled with the feedback we got.  It was great to catch up with Cassie and Ben from Inside History magazine, Alan and Joy Murrin and Jill Ball. It was an experience to 'sell' our group but people were thrilled with the fact that someone started a new group.   We have even been booked for next year!

BBFH did a fantastic job in organising the fair. They had a raffle, talks, through out the day and a diverse range of stalls. The Spinners and Weavers were there along with a quilting group and a pottery group. All three on the New South Wales transcription agents were there, Unlock the Past, Family Search, Inside History and State Records were also there. The special interest groups, from the Society, also has stalls and were eager to help solve problems.

I had Carmel helping out and she enjoyed herself, taking in two of the talks. I did one on writing up your family history.
Below is a photo of our stand.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Events that are happening and the Bank Saga.

Some events that are coming up;

 29 March Botany Bay Family History Society Fair, Tradies, The Kingsway, Gymea. 10.00am to 4.00pm We have a table. I spent time, this morning making sure things had labels on them, that we had enough flyers and that everything was in one box.

 1 April Bankstown Family History Group. meeting Panania Diggers, 7.00 - 9.00pm. Bring your laptop or similar as I am going to show 4 free to use web sites.

 5 April St Peters Church. Princes Highway, St Peters. 2.00pm Victorian Cemetery. The cemetery is 175 yrs old.

 6 April the Opening of the Bankstown Library & Knowledge Centre. 11.00am - 4.00pm.

 9 April UWS Milperra, 5.00pm Book launch on the history of the Uni. We will have a table, to hand out flyers. The group was found through this blog, in a Google search.

 12 April Kiama, Family, Local and Social History Expo, Kiama Pavilion, Bong Bong St, 9.30am - 4.00pm. Not sure if I'll get to this one as there is a family birthday, that day.

The three of us went back to the bank on Thursday. They were short staffed and we had to stand at the enquiry counter, that was ok. The he had problems logging our information into an external site, for checking. Could we go away, have a cuppa and he would call us when he had got it fixed. Two of the three had appointments at 11.00am and it was already 10.10am. Off for a cuppa and the phone rings. He has to send the hard copies to the department, could we come back, NEXT Thursday. Well since we need a bank account, we agreed.

Walking home two of us discussed finding another bank. Within the next 2 hours we found a bank, with an account aimed at Community Groups, went to said bank and opened the account. Wont be going back to the first bank.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Society of Australian Genealogists, Writing Group

This group stated because we had attended a series of talks on writing and publishing our family histories. We had 25 members at first and now have 40 attending and more on the waiting list. I presented last month, on the topic of Indexes and next month will talk about appendixes.

We have show and tell, where we present what we are working on, ask for advice or even show what we have had published.

I'm writing, at the moment but want to keep it quite for a bit. I've done the first hand written draft, 10,000 words. What I'm doing with it is typing it up and editing as I go. As I wrote I would add arrows, lines or (sp) so I knew that I had to either add sections, check spelling or reword bits.

Are you writing? What?

Friday, 14 March 2014

One of those days.

Three committee members went to the bank to set-up the groups account. I can see the reasoning behind what they asked for but we don't have it. Minuets of the meeting 'electing' us to our positions! We had people volunteer or be asked to join the committee and no-one else offered. Elected unopposed, is how it was.

Then I got home and opened my email and blew a fuse.  I'm trying to be nice and have the overseas members, another group, pay by direct deposit. One has done so and while it took several days to get it all together it was ok. Another is complaining that I don't know what I'm doing. Shouldn't have sent the reminder letter but emailed it to her! Now saying her bank wont let her direct deposit and I should set-up PayPal!  if this keeps up they will have to find another treasure/membership secretary and I know no-one else wants it. That will teach me to duck quicker, next meeting!

I did enjoy sometime with girlfriends, knitting and chatting.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

All sorts of things

Well where did the last week and a bit go? I am starting to wonder if someone has cranked up the turntable to 78rpm from 33rpm! Not sure what I'm talking about think back to pre CD times.

The Bankstown Family History Group is going ahead in leaps and bounds! We had our meeting on the 3rd and the constitution was accepted, with a 27/1 vote. The 1 didn't think that they would be the only one opposed and they did try to halt the vote. The other members were happy with what had been presented. 

Fair Trading has sent us the Certificate of Incorporation, which means we can now get a bank account and pay the room fees. We have the ABN and Tax File Number too.

The Group has joined 3 societies, The Royal Australian Historical Society, the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc. and the  NSW & ACT Association of family History Societies Inc. This gets our Group 'out there', so people can find us. I hope that this leads to an increase in membership.

We don't get into our room until May and next month are going back to the local RSL Club. They are letting us access the WiFi, so I can do a workshop and several interesting sites.

The Group is having a table at the Botany Bay Family History Society Heritage Fair on 29th March. This is at Tradies Club, Cnr Manchester Road and The Kingsway, Gymea. Pop in and meet us and enjoy the fair.

On a personal note, I'm still enjoying my studies but am finding American copyright boring. Shouldn't say that as it will be useful and I have been comparing the Australian and American ones.

I went and view the Miss Fischer Murder Mysteries Costume Display, at Old Government House, Parramatta. Stunning describes the costumes. Hat, shoes, underwear, capes, gloves and the dresses. Well worth the $16 entry fee and you get to see Old Government House, too. It is on until June and you should pre-book your tickets on- line as they do limit the numbers.

Saturday, 1 March 2014


What are your plans for this weekend? I hope they are exciting.

Me? Well  it is raining here and I won't be able to get out into the garden, so it looks like I will have to do some family tree research. I have a few things that have been simmering away and TROVE is looking like a good place to start.

Then I have a jumper I'm knitting and some things I videoed to watch, that will keep me busy for awhile.

Enjoy your weekend.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

What has been going on with the group.

We have our name. Fair Trading sent a letter about being incorporated and they addressed the group as, Bankstown Family History Group Inc. Really  excited when that arrived as it means we can join other societies and start being known, get insurance and apply for grants. Baby steps but we are well on our way.
 The constitution was emailed out and I have had a reply and a vote. The members have until 25th to reply and vote, if they will be away.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Bankstown Family History Group

While we are still waiting for the confirmation of our name, we are going ahead with voting on our constitution. Tomorrow I email all the financial members a copy and they will then have seven days in which to read and make written submissions about it. The vote will take place at the next meeting in March.

I have read so many different ones and then read several different versions of the groups' one, that I am getting 'constituted' out!

I am so thrilled that it is going along so well, with the only problem being that the new library won't be open until after our April meeting. We have found a venue for the next two meetings and will get the program organised.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My Talk

Today I gave a presentation at the Society of Australian Genealogists, (SAG), to the Writing and Discussion group I am part of. I am branching out into giving presentations as this is something I enjoy. There  is an eclectic mix of people, in the group and we are all wonderfully supportive of each other, giving ideas, advice and giggles. There was to be 25 attendees and the bookings stopped at 40! From a very small beginning it has grown and we are now able to plan the for the rest of 2014.

Here am I checking the presentation before I started and then just as I began.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Good Reads

I have been reading, giving myself a break from study and work, and thought I would share with you what I have read.

The first three books were recommended by the magazine Inside History. Check around for the best prices because I ended up getting Leigh Straw's book through Amazon.

I'm still reading Leigh's book and am finding it really interesting as it gives the social context of the early 20th century, when these women deemed to be "Drunks, Pests and Harlots."

"Eugenia" by Mark Tedeschi QC, looks at the true story of a woman, Eugenia, who for 20 years lived as a man and even 'married'. Did get a bit bogged down with witness but well worth the read.

"The Railwayman's Wife" by Ashley Hay is set in Thirroul in 1948. Three different people form the bases of this story. The blurb on the back says; "explores the power of beginnings and endings."

The next two books I read were ones I found when browsing, as you do!
"My Story" by Elizabeth Smart is her story of when she was kidnapped and her very strong faith. A very powerful read.

Nora Roberts, great, as usual and a bit lighter that the others I read.

Hope you enjoy then as much as I did.

Exciting Days

Last time I blogged, it was the day of the meeting. Well what a great turn out! While I had had lots of enquires and had a list of people that said they would come, I was worried that it would fall flat. 29 people came for the meeting, lots of wonderful discussions and feedback. We selected a committee and have started the process of registering the name and becoming incorporated. We are working on our constitution, reading other groups constitutions, so that we have guides as to how it should be. Meeting dates were set, for the rest of the year and we have invited our first guest speaker.
Lots of hard work ahead to really make this group grow and flourish but I really think that it will.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tonight is the night!

The butterflies have started in my tummy, already!

Tonight is the first of I hope many meetings of the Bankstown Family History Group. I've got everything ready, forms printed, an agenda done, dates for the following meetings, camera charged, name tags and pens. I've asked two of my friends to help out, they were coming to the meeting. One will take photos and the other will great people and I do know several, who are coming.

I had an email, last night, from another group and they have asked me to be their June guest speaker! They have also offered to help us out.

Will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Australia Day

Wishing you a Happy Australia Day. What are your plans? Mine, a BBQ with friends and while setting he table I discovered that we didn't have any sauce. Thankful that my little corner shop was open and well I did need to walk!
Any genealogy research today? If so what? Hope that you break down the brick wall.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

My Room

I have finished tiding up me sewing/study room and am thrilled with how it looks. I will say working in the heat hasn't been fun but now it is all done! I can find books or magazines without pulling things apart. A fresh clean start for the New Year, if I can keep it that way.

Finished another subject today and don't have one to start until 7 April, but I do have one on the go that I will concentrate on. Loving the course and the subjects I've chosen. If you want to study have a look at online courses.

Sunday, 12 January 2014


I've been last the past couple of days, doing family stuff with the family. Now they are on their way home, I can get into my study and tidy up! Yes, tidy up.

I'm going through my quilting boxes and sorting fabric and culling rubbish. Went through my teaching stuff and culled even more than I did before Christmas. the I hit the genealogy shelves and really tided them up. I have a habit of reading a magazine and then just placing it on the top of the holders. Well today they are in their labelled holders, in order. The room is still a bit of a mess and I do still have several more boxes to sort through but I feel good that I have achieved so much, today.

I can't find my sewing table but judging by the pile of stuff  I can see, it be under there, somewhere! Desk is tidy and I cleaned it too!

Okay, I suppose that is enough for today.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

All things precious.

What is the most exciting/precious item you have from an ancestor?

I have two Family Bibles, one from my husband's (Sigrist)  side that is in German and the other is from my mother's (Galbraith) side. Both have the records of the children written in them. My Galbraith one even has the day and time as well. The Sigrist one has the only record of a birth, that isn't registered.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Class Notes

How do you store the handouts you acquire attending classes or conferences? Do you keep them in a hanging file in the filing cabinet or are they in a muddle?

I kept them in the hanging file and found that it would get too heavy and collapse on me. I am now trying this, a concertina file case, I picked up at Woolworths.   I have labelled  sections, i.e. England, Ireland, Lands, Education as a single topics and others combined, i.e. Death Customs, Police & Wills are together. So far it is working but I can see that I will have to purchase another one.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

What are your goals for 2014?

I don't usually set goals or make resolutions but I do list things I want to do, I suppose that is the same. Well for 2014 I'm going to be more organised.

I have been onto the Society of Australian Genealogists web site and booked nine events, up until 30 April. These are walking tours, of historical sites, the writing group I am in and am presenting twice, plus webinars. The webinars are for members only and are really good. If you don't belong to SAG, why not consider joining? Their web site is good, have a look; www.sag.org.au

I also will continue with my studies, through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I am really enjoying the study and the fact that I can work at my own pace. If you are thinking of genealogical study, look at their web site; www.genealogicalstudies.com

I have lots of other things I enjoy, apart from genealogy, that I will fit in. I knit and have several things on the go at once, plus I also make quilts and I read. I can go through a couple of books a week. Easy to see that I no longer work.

My BIG goal for 2014 is to get the Bankstown Family History Group up and running. Scary thinking about it but I feel that if I don't try, it won't happen.

Let me know what your goals are for 2014, maybe we can encourage each other.