Showing posts from April, 2016

April 30 Z is for Zwolle


What might you well ask is a Zwolle?!  Zwolle is the last place listed in my atlas, so I thought that I would use it.

Zwolle is a city in the Netherlands founded around 800A.D.  Zwolle was granted city rights on the 31 August 1230. Its population, in 2014 was 123, 507.  Citizens of Zwolle are called Bluefingers, (Blauwvingers). It is also a hub and the national highway network. The first train arrived in Zwolle in  1864.

Zwolle offers  a variety of museums, outdoor activities, historical buildings and many pubs and restaurants.  Somewhere different to visit.

Bye for now,

Launching Family Friday


With the April A- Z Challenge nearly over, (all posts written and scheduled), I can concentrate on more interesting things. 

From next Friday, 6th May, I'm going to blog about some of my family lines. Doing this, I hope, will find 'cousins' that I can share information with.

I am going to start with my Chasmar/Vaughan side of the family and post about each of the children, what I have found and where I found it. I will also say if I hold the documents.

Well back to the research for my Family Friday. Stop by on the 6th and see what I've turned up!

Bye for now,

April 29 Y is for Yttrium


Yttrium is a chemical element with the symbol Y and the atomic number 39. It also has an atomic weight of 88.9.  It is used in making phosphors and exposure to it can cause lung disease.  It is a soft silver-metallic classed as a transitional metal in the group 3.  It is also listed as a rare earth mineral. Discovered by Johan Gadolin in 1794, it was  first isolated by  Carle Gustav Mosander in 1840.  Named after Ytterby, a Swedish village, near where it was found.

So now you know as much about Yttrium as I do an interesting and important element of the Periodic Table of Elements.

Bye for now,

April 28 X is for X


I found that trying to do something that started with X hard.   So I thought that I would do X .

X is the 24th letter of the English alphabet.  This poor little letter  starts the least amount of words, in the dictionary. I could only find one first name, Xavier, starting with it.  I couldn't find any surnames that start with it. Poor little X!

But without X we wouldn't have excitement, exclaim, exclude, explore or extreme. These are just a few of the words that X is a big part of.

What would an x-ray be without X, just a little ray!

This is semaphore for X.

This is the signal flag for X.

So let us not forget X but celebrate its uniqueness.

Bye for now,

April 27 W is for Writing.


I belong to a Writers Group, with the Society of Australian Genealogists. The aim of this group is to encourage one another to write up our family stories. We have guest presenters and we also talk about our own writing. We then continue our discussions over lunch at a local café.

Writing my family story is something that is there in my mind to do, sometime but as yet I've done very little.  I'm trying to work out where I should start and with whom I should start.

Late last year, I did a short Summer School course, with the University of Tasmania on writing your family story.  Each week we were given a selection of topics, from which we could select just one to write about. The catch was the word limit, only 250 words! Something that some struggled with.  I too found it restrictive but then realised that the tutor was getting us to be very precise with what we wanted to say, then it got a bit easier. Our final assessment was to be no more than 1000 words. I passed wi…

TROVE Tuesday

An Eight Year Feud.

Wow, I thought, a feud, I haven't heard about that. Who was Matthew, my great-uncle feuding with and why?  A mystery, to research. Well alas, no.  Reading the article I burst into fits of laughter. It wasn't a feud but as one article headed it 'Debility and Dyspepsia.'

Great-uncle Matthew had gut problems and the four doctors he saw couldn't fix it but taking ' Dr Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People' did the trick.

This was the first mention of the feud, in the Goulburn Evening Penny Post on Saturday 5 October 1901, page 4. Four other newspapers copied the article, with the same title. These were Sunday Times, Sydney, 7 October 1901, Evening News, Sydney, 24 October 1901, Mount Alexander Mail, Victoria, 25 October 1901 and the Riverina Herald, Echuca-Moama, 31 October 1901.
The last mention was in the Maitland Daily Mercury, Saturday 5 July 1902. This was the one that gave it the title, 'Debility and Dyspepsia. Swept away by Dr …

April 26 V is for Venice


This ancient city, built on canals is amazing. We spent four days there and didn't see all of it. Walkways, just wide enough for the trolleys, used for delivering goods, wind their way through the city, taking you over canals and into plazas. Sometimes you find something unexpected, like a shady oasis of cool green lawn and trees, with inviting benches beckoning. Other time, quaint shops and cafes surprise you.  Below are two different scenes of Venice.  The top one is taken in a residential area, with their boats parked like we park our cars. The bottom one is looking back across the Grand Canal to St Mark's. This is a very busy waterway, with boats of all types, from taxies to the police, using it.

Bye for now, Lilian.

April 25 U is for Umbrellas.


When we were in Venice, 2015, I found this amazing street light. It is a winged creature/dragon, holding three umbrellas.  A very different way to use an umbrella!

Bye for now, Lilian.


                                                                        The Ode They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

                                                                  Lest We Forget.

Lone Pine

                                                                    ANZAC Cove

Suvla  Bay

April 23 T is for Timelimes


How many of you think about using a timeline, in your research?

 I hadn't until recently when I was trying to work out why a family emigrated when they did. Looking at where they has come from, Ireland and the year, 1850, I was able to work out that they probably left due to the Potato Famine.

Timelines can be heaps of fun. Remember Billy Joel's song 'We Didn't Start the Fire'? Where he starts at the year he was born, 1949 and sings what has happened up to 2004, they year of that song.

Have you thought about doing that for yourself?

How many Prime Ministers, Kings, Queens, Popes,  Presidents etc., have happened, in your life?
 What world events feature? Wars? Space Exploration? Natural Disasters?

Timelines also give us a picture of the past and can lead us to figuring out why our ancestors did what they did. 

Next time you are stuck, look backwards and you might just see the answer.

Bye for now,

Some stats; I have had 1 Queen, Elizabeth the Se…

April 22 S is for Searching


As a genealogist I am always searching, Searching for lost 'important' pieces of paper, lost photos, you know how it is. When I got back from the USA, I couldn't find my pincushion and spent a great deal of time searching for that. Found it on the flatbed of my sewing machine!

I also plan most of  my searches.

In Salt Lake City is the Family History Library. Run by the Latter Days Saints, (Mormons), it is wonderful but to far to go, without a search plan.  Well before I left Sydney I searched online, at  for my ancestors. Having 'found' them I made detailed notes of what I needed to view, either books or micro-film.  I made sure that I had the film number or numbers. Once there I sort advice as to which number was the correct on, some are on two different films but have the same information. This sorted, I started searching. My careful planning made it possible for me to go back three generations, using just one film.

When I need to sea…

April 21 R is for Reading

What do you like to read? Who are your favourite authors?  Books or Kindle?

I love to read and can have as many as three books on the go, at once and I usually can read three a week! My book shelves are double packed!  When we went to Europe I had a dilemma, do I take clothes or books? The clothes one and I had to 'read' from my iPad. I did find two great bookshops in Paris and ended up with a couple of books. This year, in the USA I faced an even bigger problem. My iPad was running out of memory, so I deleted photos, (I had copies) and there was still a problem. In San Francisco, I bought a Kindle and transferred all my books to it.

Now here is my problem, do I buy books or do I buy Kindle books?  I buy both. Some are just for the Kindle and the physical books are of authors, whose series I am collecting. Still can't go past a bookshop!  The Kindle is good and light weight for travelling but I still love the smell of a new book.

In asking what you like to read, it is ea…

April 20 Q is for Quilts


I've been seriously quilting since 1999 and love it. I've made heaps of quilts, some to give away, some to keep. I've been given quilts and have made blocks for others. Sometimes people refer to quilting as patchwork, the actual making of the quilt top and that quilting is the sewing together of the three layers.

This is my Mariner's Compass, waiting for me to quilt. Paper pieced, using hand dyed fabrics.
Drunkard's Puzzle. This was rotary cut using templates and was so easy to piece together. I entered it in the Sydney Royal Easter Show, and then donated it to be raffled.
Bye for now, Lilian.

TROVE Tuesday

Several of my friends do this, search TROVE for something interesting to post about on a Tuesday.
Today I decided to search for SIGRIST, my late mother-in-law's maiden name. The amount of results I turned up as fantastic but not all related to her line. Two that I did find have really sparked a searching frenzy.

Fri 4 Apr 1930 - The Sun (Sydney, NSW: 1910 -1954) Page 2 - HERE AND THERE.
Telephone Mechanic's Death.
Frederick Charles Sigrist, telephone mechanic of Fairmount Street, Lakemba died at his home, yesterday.
He had been ill for over six months.
He had 24 years' service.

This was Edna's Dad, he was only 39 when he died leaving his widow with two small children. The baby was just six months old.

It is this next one that has really got me going.

LOCKE - SIGRIST The Engagement is announced of Edna (W.A.A.A.F) elder daughter of the late Mr and Mrs F Sigrist of Lakemba and Bondi to Sgt John Locke (A.I.F) eldest son of Mr and Mrs C.J. Locke of Kogarah.

Sydney Morning …

April 19 P is for Photos


Hands up, who has boxes of photos, with nothing written on the back?  Me too!

How do you store your photos? Albums, boxes, on the computer? I have a mix of all three.

 I promise myself that I will write who, where and when they were taken but I don't. My new digital camera has GPS, so now when I upload my photos to the computer, it tells me where and when it was taken.

I have wonderful old photos, that I know are family but exactly who they are is lost. Mum did write on the back of some but a Mrs Bell??? I have know idea.

This one is a mystery. I know that the two small children are James and Eileen Smith. Children of my Auntie Claire. The others are unknown but I suspect that the bigger boy is Thomas Abberton, last child of my grandfather, Thomas.
This is my Uncle Leslie Abberton. Born 1898, Died 1917.
Eveline Maude Jasper, my grandmother, taken at Katoomba, NSW, probably the late 1920's or very early 1930's as she died in 1932.

Bye for now, Lilian.

April 18 O is for Onomatopoeia


Onomatopoeia is when words suggest the thing or action, that they represent. Words like  buzz, crash, sizzle, plop, moo or hiss.

The word Onomatopoeia comes from the Greek onoma, meaning name and poiein, to make.

Edgar Allan Poe's,  (1809 - 1849), poem The Bells, is a good example.

"Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells."

This poem is four stanza's in length and this piece is from the first stanza.  Published 1849.
Tintinnabulation, means the ringing or sounding of bells.

Bye for now,

April 16 - N is for Norfolk Island

Discovered in 1774, by Captain Cook,Norfolk Island was first ‘settled’ in 1788, when six women and nine male convicts, and eight free men, from the First Fleet, were sent there. This settlement lasted until 1814. The next settlement was 1825 until 1855. The third settlement was from 8 June 1856and is still going today.
Paul and I spent an idyllic week there inMay 2008. We explored this tiny, 34.62km, island has some beautiful scenery, crystal blue water, lush greenery and historical buildings make it a great destination.

                                       Just some of the beautiful places of Norfolk Island.
Bye for now,

April 15 - M is for Maps

Have you used maps, in your family tree research? Aren’t they fantastic?
Maps have been used for centuries, from the first explores, crude maps to the modern day, satnav. I remember back in the 1960’s or early 1970’s, when either a Gemini or an Apollo astronaut, took a photo of Australia, from space. It was on the front page of the newspaper, with the banner heading. ‘The Mapmakers Got It Right!’ How they would have marvelled at how far we have explored.
I first used old land title maps to locate the family land in Kootingal, NSW and being shown the original ones to use. They were cloth like and very heavy, to turn the pages. Now days I search them online.
Looking at the maps for my own home, I can trace back from my small piece, through the original sub-division to the bigger land grant and it is fascinating to see then development of the suburb.
There is a feature on the NSW Lands Department website, that allows you to look at your area, now and then you can see what it was like in …

Thank You

I love getting replies to my blog posts, thank you.

I love your knitting and house stories. My house research is still a work-in-progress, much like family research.

I too have a cardigan, for my, on the go, have had for around four years. I've been side-tracked by new grandies and other things. I do have, on Facebook some photos of what I've knitted, they are in folders.

Keep your comments coming, love them.
Bye for now,

April 14 - L is for names begining with L

What to do for the letter L??? Lists, Lost relatives, Leaves, Letters. None seemed to work for me, then I thought, well I could do four of the names that start with L, that hang on my tree.

Lilian Eveline Abberton, nee Galbraith. B 22 October 1911. D 7 June 2006  My Mum.

Louisa Abberton, nee Nichols. B 8 December 1860. D 7 May 1903. Grandma.
Leslie John Abberton B 1898. D Egypt, 30 November 1917. My Uncle

Me, Lilian, taken in Salt Lake City 2016.
So what do these names mean;
Lilian -  Lily (English).
Leslie - From a Scottish Surname.
Louisa - Feminie form of Louis.
I also have Lois, Leanne and Lauryn on my tree.
Bye for now, Lilian

April 13 - K is for Knitting

Knitting is one of my hobbies. It is something my mother taught me, as a child but not something I enjoyed until I started work. What better way to fill in your train travel time, than to knit or read. Reading was my summer choice, knitting my winter one.

I've knitted for my nieces and nephews, my own children and now my grandchildren. I've also developed a love of knitting socks. The are fun, funky and very easy to knit. In the last few years I've also knitted tea cosies and scarfs.

Here is a selection of what I've knitted.

Do you knit? Who taught you? What do you enjoy knitting?

Jumper for James.

Baby jacket.

Socks, for me.

Mittens for a granddaughter.

This is some of what I've been knitting. The blanket is nearly finished, just the sides to sew on.
Bye for now, Lilian.

April 12 - J is for Jiigsaws

I love doing jigsaws and now have an app, on the iPad, for them.  I can remember as a child doing the jigsaws, on boards, that had the spots marked for the pieces. I progressed to boxed ones.

So what of the history of jigsaws.  Good old Wikipedia says,

John Spilsbury, from London is credited with using a marquetry saw, to make the first puzzle, around 1760.
That long ago!

Jigsaws come in a vast range of sizes and shapes. Some are even 3D. Me, I tended to stick to around 500 pieces, with the cardboard ones.

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, doing jigsaws helps keep the brain active and my help in the prevention of this disease.

I love my app and now use jigsaws to help with the boredom on long flights.

Bye for now,

April 11- I for Interesting Australian Placenames.

I have no doubt that there are interesting placenames in every country of the world, so for today's letter I, I have chosen some interesting ones.

Illabrook, Victoria. Aboriginal. A corruption of Illburro. Formerly Bulldog Creek.

Illbille, South Australia, Aboriginal.

Indooroopilly, Queensland. Aboriginal. Running water.

Innamincka, South Australia. Aboriginal. 'You go to the hole there.'

Then you have the straight forward ones.

Ingleburn, New South Wales. After Ingleburn in England.

Ipswich, Queensland. After the town in Suffolk.

Ivanhoe,  New South Wales. Adopted from Sir Walter Scott's novel.

They were all taken from this little book.

Do you have a book, that helps you with different place names?

Bye for now,

Surname Saturday - Abberton

I can't believe that I forgot to do this last week!

This Saturday I'm going with ABBERTON, my Dad's side.

A search of the Surname Database came up with nothing but I remembered that ages ago I did find information on the name.

From 'The Surnames of Ireland' by Edward MacLysaght,  published 1978, call number R929.4 Mac, Campbelltown Library.*  'ABBERTON.  An English toponymic found in South East Galway, locally classed as one of the 'Oultaghs', i.e. families which migrated from Ulster in the Early 18th C.

My furthest back Abberton it my Great-great-grandfather, Thomas Abberton bc 1799 in Ballynakill, Co Galway. He married Bridget Chaffey and they had five children;
1) Patrick b 1822
2) James b 1828
3) Thomas, b1830
4) Catherine b1832
5) Anne b 1836.

 Thomas, and Anne, arrived in Port Jackson, on the 'Joseph Somes', 1 February 1852. Patrick was already in the colony and appears to have sponsored them.
Catherine and James arrived in 1854 on the …

April 9 - H is for House

Hove you looked into who lived in your house, before you did?  Who owned the land? Was it a land grant?  Who built the house?  All interesting questions that I've tried to answer about my home of the past 40 years.

[ I'm using Australian records. I think the concept would be similar in other countries.]

Just like tracing your ancestors, you start with what you know and work backwards. This time you use land records.  Have a look at the deed to your house. (Some modern deeds wont have this information and you will need to look further back.)   You will be the most recent entry on the document. Go back by dates and note down who purchased and when. You should also note subdivisions as parts can belong to different people. It is slow and sometimes tedious but well worth it. Learn to think outside the normal.

Anyway, back to my place.  We are only the second family to live in the house and I've searched back to the original grant, given to George Johnstone Jnr on 23rd April 1…

April 8 - G is for Galway

Today I'm going to look at the county of my ancestors, Galway.

Galway is the second largest county in Ireland. It covers some 5,939 sq. km. Galway City has its origins back in the 13th century, when Norman adventurers, under the leadership of on Richard de Burgo, established a city there.

The Gaelic name was Gaillimh, meaning 'The Place of Strangers'.

My ancestors hail from Ballynakill, but with four Civil Parishes called Ballynakill searching for them is fun.

My Galway Surnames are; Abberton, Torp(h)y,  Good(e), Chaffey.

If they ring any bells, please get in touch.

Bye for now,