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'.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Do-Over part 2

I realised that you needed photos to understand what I was doing.

I have five leaver arch folders, to go through. I've done the green one and have the red one to do for that line, too. The other three are three different branches. These contain both certificates, documents and notes. One is particularly light on information so will require much more research.

This photo shows the printout of the database, with all the certificates and most of the documents listed. The smaller printout is the names on the tree.

This photo show the certificates, I need to go through and the post-it notes my do-over generated.

I'm going to work through one family line at a time, citing my sources and bringing my tree up to date.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

My Do-Over

There is a Facebook group, organised by Thomas MacEntee, called Genealogy Do-Over. (Have a look at the site for more details.)  It is all about looking at your research and starting over, with fresh eyes, checking those bits of information, we have on bits of paper, etc.

Well, I opted for the go-over and spent last night and today, going over one of my certificate folders. I printed off the data base, of certificates and the list of names on my tree and highlighted the ones I wanted to do.  (Note to self, need more highlighter pens.)  What I did was locate the certificate, in the folder, locate the person on the tree and double check that I'd entered ALL the information correctly and had CITED where it came from. For certificates I used the number they had on them, for documents I looked for numbers and if none, used the one I'd allocated, to them.  If all was correct, I moved to the next, ticking off what I'd done.  I used the Notes section of the program for information, that couldn't be put in the Events area. If not correct, on either the tree or data base, I corrected. I found some double entries, for certificates and the data base and heaps of missing information, for people on the tree.  I have certificates, for people not entered on to the tree, these I will put in the Notes section of their parents. I really don't want 1,000's of name on my tree, that are only a distant connection.

That folder is now done and I will work on the queries I found and the other details I have to add to people, then I'll start the next folder, different surname.  I'll do this until I have finished all four folders.

This Do-Over has got me looking critically at the work I've done over 30 years and while most is entered correctly and I can cite the sources, some will require a lot more work.

Bye for now.

P.S. I'm actually frustrated as I need, really need to know who purchased the plot Great-Grandma is buried in and the office isn't open until Monday. I think it is a paupers grave, as there is another person in it as well, non family and other plots around have the same sort of thing.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

A Day of Seminars, with Judy G Russell and Paul Blake


You would think that having been to RootsTech, I'd want a break from genealogy seminars, never!

Unlock the Past run genealogy cruises and when they are in port, they run seminars. Yesterday was Sydney's turn, with Judy G Russell and Paul Blake presenting some of their talks.

Judy is wonderful, with her knowledge of both the law and DNA. I've 'done' my DNA but haven't done anything, much, with my results. Judy explained the ethics of genealogical DNA, privacy issues, permission to share DNA information, both us and the company we may use. Read the terms and conditions, they make very interesting reading.  Also a discussion on what happens to the DNA test, once we die. Leave very clear guidelines as the various companies have different storage lengths.

Judy also mentioned family secrets and the persons right to privacy, even if the information is in the public domain. Apply the Golden Rule, threat others the way you would like to be treated.

After morning tea, Judy presented her second talk, Just Three Generations. This was about preserving family stories and OUR own story.  She used a quote, from Aaron Holt, December 18 2013, 'Oral history can be lost in three generations.'  The talk started with a quiz, where we had to sit down, if we didn't know the answers, she then asked us questions about our family, starting with our mother and working back. By the end only one person was left standing, she could answer about the 'third' generation. An interesting way to get the message across. Don't loose the information as we loose the generation above us.

Lunch and Jill, Jenny and I went to the local sandwich shop and ate our lunch, outside under a fig tree. The breeze coming up from the water was very refreshing.

The Society of Australian Genealogists, gave a brief talk on their new website and what the Society holds.

Paul Blake then presented the first of his talks, Origins of your Irish ancestors. A good talk and some new ideas came from it.  After a short break, Paul gave his second talk, A brief history of the photograph. Interesting as I hadn't really looked into this area, much before. Interesting slides of really old photos.

After a good day, nine of us adjourned to the Glenmore Pub, for dinner.

Taken earlier in the day, Jenny, Jill Kerry and I.

Dinner photos.
Back row, Rosemary, Judy, Helen & Mel.
Front row, Kerry, Alona, Jill & Lilian.
Jenny, below, took the photo, so I took Hers.

Our dinner view, after the cruise boat left.

Bye for now,

Monday, 22 February 2016

My RootsTech

Now I'm home I can really blog about RootsTech and add photos. While I did solve some of the storage problems on my iPad, I bought a Kindle, there still wasn't enough space for all the photos I wanted to show.

My last post, about RootsTech ended with Thursday, this one will be the rest of it.

Friday and I had three more sessions, plus plenty of time to catch-up with friends and shop.

My first session was German History Made Eas(ier) by Richard Walker. While he had based his talk on German ancestry in America, the points he raised work equally for us here in Australia. As with all research, Richard's first point was to start with what you know.  His course notes set out how to research this and gave lists of useful websites.  This was an amazing talk and I wish I'd heard it BEFORE I started my German research.

My next session was in the afternoon and was one of the best I've heard on Family Search. Robert Kehrer presented Finding Elusive Records. This has given me new ways to use the FamilySearch website, to enhance my searching.

Last one for the day was Kip Sperry's talk on Palaeography: Tips for Reading Old Handwriting. Lots of useful links and hints, something we all need. 

Saturday and I had one session and it was a disappointment.  After the success of the previous talk about German records, they moved this talk to a bigger room. It was about German Census Records: A New Genealogy Source by Roger Minert.  All it was, about  was how he did the searching to find the records, where he and his wife stayed, how he applied for a research grant . The end was that he had written a book, due out in May, with all the information in it. A lot of very unhappy people, as the blurb didn't say that.

Saturday afternoon Amanda and I did a tour out to the Great Salt Lake and then the After Party at Dear Myrtle's. Good food and good company, a great way to end the week.

RootsTech is very well run, with food places, places to sit and eat or chat, plenty of loos and people to help you. The main vendor hall was massive, with around 150 vendors, catering for everyone. There was an area, with printer, for printing out the class syllabus. A Cyber CafĂ©,  Discovery Zone, Demo Theater, Media Hub. A business area, with photo copiers and PC's, plus odds and ends. There were 212 speakers, with around 240 different sessions, ranging from Getting Started to Computer Labs. Something for everyone.
The bag given at registration. It was filled with information.

                                                   Some of it and some extras I added.

The backpack I purchased.

Cheat Sheets and Magazines I purchased. I also took out a subscription to Internet Genealogy.
My copies of the different class syllabi, from the classes I took.

                            Two books on German research, that will come in very handy.

Bye for now,

Some websites for the different things we did.

I'm not getting any kickbacks from these companies but I would recommend them for the different things we did.

Salt Lake City.
Found these people through a leaflet in our hotel. Amanda did the City Sights one and together we did the Great Salt Lake one.

If you want a good Mexican food, Red Iguana2, is the place.

Las Vegas.
The Neon Boneyard, an amazing place to visit.

San Francisco.

The City Sightseeing San Francisco, with their four hop-on, hop-off buss are the best. (Paul and I used this company in Europe and the buses were great.)

Red and White Fleet Cruises, have a variety of cruises, wed did the Bridge to Bridge one. Amanda had also used them when they were there in 2013

Pier 39, shops, food and sea lions. Well worth the walk along it.

Alcatraz tours are best booked well before you get there as there is a limited number of tours across to the Rock. We booked ours in Australia. months ago.

Los Angeles.

We did two tours using Starline and found them good. They have a variety of different tours.

Warner Bros, we booked before we left Australia.

Hope these help.
Bye for now,

The rest of our trip

It seems odd to be writing this as we have been home since Sunday but internet problems and data usage were the problems.

We arrived in LA and had a dodgy taxi driver, wanted us to get out and walk to the hotel, when he found out that he couldn't turn left into our street.  Our hotel was on Colorado Street, with Santa Monica Pier at the end of it. Also the end of Route 66.

Very hot and crowded, with people swimming. We walked the length of the pier, with me eating an ice-cream.

2,448 miles form Chicago

Not something you would see at home. A police car, with surfboard.

We did a Grand City Tour of LA on 16 February and saw all the popular sights. The Hollywood sign, Walk of Fame, Dolby Theatre, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip, Olvera Street, with lunch at the Farmers Markets. It was a great tour but it is hard to see everything in one go. More a case of look, here is ..., snap a photo and the bus continues.
The Walk of Fame, is some 2,500 different stars are celebrated. Here is a favourite of mine.

The famous sign.

Wednesday saw us at the Warner Bros Studio for a tour. It was great. Met these two even before I got in the door.

The tour took us around the back lot, past sets and sound stages, into the props area, Batman garage, Museum and other places. Warner Bros is so big that they have their own hardware store, paint shop, gas station, hairdresser, fire station and postcode!

It rained on our way back to the hotel, the only bit of weather we had the whole trip but it did put a bit of a damper on the afternoon.

Woke on Thursday to a cooler day and our tour of Malibu Stars Homes. Again, quick look, snap a photo and the bus continues. We did get off and walk on the beach and saw some lovely homes and views.

Back to our hotel and lunch and a walk before the trip to the airport and our long flight home.

We landed at 8.30am and I was home by 10.00am, not bad at all. Amanda had to get her connecting flight to Melbourne.

Had a wonderful time, would really love to do RootsTech again.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Heritage Week

Here is the link for Heritage Week 2016.   http://heritage-week.govspace.gov.au/

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The rest of our time in San Francisco


Waiting for the driver, to take us to the airport.

It is Presidents Day in the USA , today and a long weekend for some. The crowds around Fisherman's Wharf were huge and the traffic packed. Police on point duty.

Our day started with a four block walk to the bottom of Lombard Street and watched the cars come down the hill. It is a 27% grade and has 8 switchbacks. There was a crowd taking photos. Lombard Street isn't the most crooked street in San Francisco. There is one with a 33% grade with 12 switchbacks, it is in a 'bad' area of town, so they don't take people there.

A bus ride saw us at the Painted Ladies and the view of the city. Lovely views in all directions. Back on the bus and we ended up at Westfield. Morning tea and shopping, the back to our room.

We booked an afternoon Bridge to Bridge cruise. The views were beautiful and we even got sunset, thrown in. 

Dinner and a walk around Fisherman's Wharf ended our day. Packed for our last stop, LA.

Bye for now,

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Today, in San Francisco.

What an amazing day!

Woke early and walked, in the light fog, to pier 33, for our trip to Alcatraz. The boat left in the fog and we couldn't even see the other side of the bay. Fog horns at 20 paces, made us jump, we were on the very top deck. Docked and listened to the briefing on what was what. Headed up to the cell block and did on audio tour of the building. The audio was past prison guards and prisoners, very interesting. Got   to the Administration room, went outside, to take photos. Clicking away, turned back towards the bridge, the fog lifted and there is was , as clear as glass. The city glistened in the sunlight and the Oakland Bay Bridge looked stunning. Heaps of photos taken. Back inside and continued the tour.
Leaving the island, the fog was back covering the deck of the bridge.

In 1969  Native Indians (First Nations), occupied the island, a protest that lasted 19 months. Well, today was the first time they had been all together. There were many different things happening.

Back to Pier  33 and lunch at Boudin Bakery, for soup, in a sour dough cob roll. I managed to spill mine down the front of my white shirt. The soup was delicious.

On the Golden Gate and Sausalito Tour. The traffic was a nightmare, so we were told we couldn't walk back, as they couldn't guarantee a return bus. The bridge was amazing and very windy, views spectacular. He did manage a very quick 10 minute stop, for photos, on the Sausalito side. It took the driver 20 minutes, to get into the parking area, that's how bad it was. Drove through Sausalito, saw houseboats, that people live on, all the year. Price, around $300,000.00USD.

Back to our room, changed my shirt and then the evening tour. Saw the Oakland Bay Bridge light show. I love this bridge as it is so much better to look at than the Golden Gate Bridge. The city is beautiful, with all lit up. Looking down the hills with the lights is pretty spectacular!

A hot chocolate, at Ghirardelli chocolate and chocolate covered strawberries, was a good way to end the day.

Learnt, today that the bridge was named after the water it goes over, The Golden Straight. Named during the Gold rush.

Bye for now,

Saturday, 13 February 2016

What we have been doing.

Morning from San Francisco, the sun is out and the fog is going, looks like it will be a sunny but cool day.

Las Vegas was amazing, loud, brash, bright and it never stops! We walked Freemont Street on Tuesday night and it has to be seen to understand it. The original strip it is now a mall with clubs, shops and casinos. There are street performers, several stages, with shows. The best part is people watching! Topless showgirls, cartoon characters, most people had drinks with them, saw a man dressed as a baby, nappy and all! There is a zip line, that goes from end to end and it as fun to watch them flying by.

The Grand Canyon trip was wonderful, flying from Boulder City, to the South Rim, gave us spectacular views of the Canyon. When we landed, we joined a bus and went to Bright Angel Lodge. Lunch and then we wandered around the rim. Views were stunning and had snow and it was beautiful. Mather Point was next, it is 16 kilometres wide and it is the deepest part. Again the views and colours were beautiful. Back on the bus, plane and then back to Vegas.

Saw two shows, Blue Man Group and Cirque Du Soleil, Zarkana(sp). Both were wonderful.

The Neon Boneyard was another interesting place and the tour was very interesting.

More later and photos as we are now in San Francisco and it is time to explore.


Monday, 8 February 2016

Catching up.

Rootstech has been amazing!  The contacts I've made and the friends I've made have been wonderful.
Dinner at an after-party was a chance to sit, chat and unwind after a hectic time. I have so much to share but the internet is restricted so I'll try again later.

We have made it to Vegas. A very interesting place.

More later.

Short post

Just a quick note as I will write more later. Battery about to die and I'm about to board the plane for Vegas,

Saturday, 6 February 2016


Morning from Salt Lake City,

Rootstech is amazing!

Wednesday, waking to early and a dodgy shower, I went and registered. Very slick no waiting.

Two classes in the afternoon gave me some more research time in the library. If you can't get to Salt Lake City, you can order the microfilm from your local Family History Library. Check at www.familysearch.org for your nearest one.

The first class was Your Brick Walls are not as Tall as You Think. Some very useful tips.

The second class was 15 Ways for Genealogists to Keep Learning. Things I knew and different ways to use them and things I didn't know.

Amanda arrived on Wednesday and we had dinner  the Cheesecake Factory, yum!

Thursday and it was snowing as I walked to the conference.

10.00am saw the vendor hall open. Such an array of stalls, mind blowing!  I caught up with several people and bought different things, mindful of my baggage allowance. Subscribed to an internet genealogy magazine.

First class and I missed it. Messed up the time. Sigh.

Second class was on Designing Photo books, good but not what I wanted.

Scottish Genealogy was next. Fantastic! Learnt heaps.

Lastly, Write down why you know what you know. It was how to take all the bits and pieces of evidence nod prove that it is one person. Very helpful.

Back to my hotel to find that they were having power issues. Not good, so Amanda and I went to dinner and then to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Lovely.

 Friday and it starts again.  I have three sessions today. 
Here are a few photos of what  I've been doing.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016


If you ever get a chance to come to RootsTech or just researching at the library, take it up.
I am spending my down time trolling through microfilm, after microfilm and having a ball! Monday's results were great as I was able to sight and confirm leaves on the tree.

Today's have been not as good as my schoolgirl German and spider scratch writing has caused me to pause the German side research. Going to consider my options. 

After lunch, I'll go to Scotland and confirm those leaves.

The library is five floors, with England, Scotland and Ireland in B2. This has been my haunt. B1, is International and the the upper floors, USA.

More later,

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

My day.

Well it snowed this morning and this tourist got all excited. My hotel is behind the library and I sent some quality time researching. One roll of film and I took the line back another three generations. Met up with Jill and she introduced me around. Took part in an online chat, with Dear Myrtle. Lunch and then a walk around the area. Not to cold but a jacket, beanie, scarf and gloves have become part of the dress code. Interesting sign, I saw. Beware of falling ice and snow. Not what we see in Sydney.

Me and my film. Wonderful!

The library entrance.

Bye for now, Lilian


Arrived at the hotel around 9.00pm, last night and went to bed around 10ish. Had a good sleep and feel rested. A shower and breakfast and I'm ready to go. The photos are from the hotel. Without sounding silly, it's snowing!