Showing posts from 2019


I arrived in Edinburgh, on Tuesday and haven't stopped! Edinburgh has cobblestones AND hills. I you go down the hill, somewhere you must come up the hill, even on a different street!

There are statues, around the city called Orr Wullie, they will be auctioned, for the Edinburgh Children's Hospital. I think it is a great way to get people to explore the city, running groups, do find the Wullies, such fun. There are 60 in the Edinburgh area and I've managed to photograph 19 and have seen another, to make 20.

Doing this I have seen the Scottish Parliament Building, with what looks like sticks, on the outside.

Arthur's Seat a massive hill, that is part of the volcano, that Edinburgh Castle sits on, but it is a distance away.

The Palace of Holyrood, but not close enough for a photo.

Churches, interesting buildings and quaint closes.

I did a bus tour, on Wednesday, that showed us the sights of Edinburgh, so I knew what to go and look at. After that I went to Leith, where the…


Cobblestones, that is my memory of Dublin!  No, Dublin is a wonderful vibrant city, with an amazing history and she wants to share it with you.  From the whisky, found everywhere to the very moving Famine Memorial, there is something for everyone, even a zoo, to take the littlies.

I took the train from Galway across to Dublin and loved watching the countryside, so green slip past my window, except when it was raining!

Dublin is the queen of one-way streets, so going anywhere in any transport, is interesting. Walking is recommended. Yes, cobblestones and all.

Things to do, The Book of Kells, in Trinity College, is amazing. An ancient manuscript of the the four Gospels, the workmanship is beautiful.
The Book of Kells.
Trinity College, Library.

Christchurch Cathedral, this is both the main church for the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church. A beautiful building, with vaults underneath.
Christchurch Cathedral.

EPIC  The Irish Emigration Museum.  This tells t…

An Interview with Helen Smith, speaker at DNADownUnder.

A few weeks ago I asked Helen to answer some DNA questions, for me, here are her answers.
Thank you, Helen.

1)How many years have you be doing genealogy research and why did you start?
I have been researching for 32 years. I had always had an interest as my father was English but I started research in earnest to stop my mother plaintively complaining that she never knew her grandfather (due to a family split which is a whole another story!).I found out one thing then another and was hooked!
2)When did you first use DNA, in your research and why?
I did my first DNA test in the days when blood was required. Then did a mitochondrial test with Ancestry which while interesting did not help me much. It was not until autosomal testing started that I found DNA to be a useful genealogical tool for me personally though I had been trying to entice some Quested males to do a YDNA test for my One Name Study (offer is still open, gentlemen!)
3)Has using DNA, helped solve any puzzles, you had or has it g…


Well Big Crosby got it wrong! The sun does not go down on Galway Bay, it goes down behind a hill!
Galway Bay.

Arrived in Dublin, on Monday and due to the infrequency of trains to Galway City, had to take a car. It was a lovely journey, on the motorway, even in the pouring rain, in parts, but that's Ireland! My hotel was in Salthill, right on Galway Bay and the view was lovely. I went for a walk, after dinner then organised myself for my trip Ballinakill, with the hope of finding something about my ancestors. It was a beautiful journey, through the emerald green countryside. Yes, the roads are only one lane, with passing areas and the fields are divided with dry stone walls, (no mortar used).

First stop was the Catholic church, in Ballinakill, right time frame but I am now starting to doubt that it was the correct one. Found the Historical society, in Woodford and they seem to think that the Abbertons' came from Abbey. Confused, so am I!  Searched several cemeteries, with no lu…


With the show over, Jennie and I spent the Sunday, exploring Coventry. Again we went by train and then strolled towards the ruined Cathedral.

You find little gems, like Ford's Hospital.

The ruined Cathedral is inspiring. Bombed on 14 November 1940, the BBC radio, did its Christmas broadcast, from the ruins.

The spire. They had to stop it being pulled down, as it has a lean, from before the bombing.
This cross is made from two roof beams, that were found, as a cross.
Across from the Cathedral is St Mary's Guildhall, a medieval guild, regarded as probably the finest in the country. To quote the leaflet; 'Since the 1340's St. Mary's Guildhall has been at the heart of British history, at times the seat of  the Royal Court, a base for merchants and even a stage for Shakespeare.'  Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there.

The guildhall.
The room Mary Queen of Scots was in.

Strolling around, you see lots of blue circle plaques, on walls. These tell the history of the …

Birmingham, a bit late.

Well THE Genealogy Show was wonderful, as I said, in my previous post but there was more to Birmingham that genealogy!

Having the Thursday, after Jennie Fairs and I arrived, free, we took the train into Birmingham, about a 15 minute ride.  We did some shopping in the Bull Ring shopping center, had some morning tea and then took a taxi to a museum with a difference, the  Coffin Works     It is a quirky place that was once a thriving factory. They made all the brass work, linings and shrouds, for coffins.  The guide gave is a demonstration of dye stamping, how the are done in reverse, then once stamped, cut out, into an oval shape. Everything is as it was when the factory closed, the tea list is still on the board, sewing machines, still threaded and in working order.  Well worth a visit.

We went to the new Birmingham Library, which has several areas, for viewing the city. Ninth floor, has an enclosed area and a model, full size, of a 19thC library. Beautiful wood panels. 

Part of the c…

#DNADownUnder, an interview with BlaineT Bettinger.

Blaine was a speaker at THE Genealogy Show, in Birmingham and he was gracious to answer several questions, that I emailed him, after the show. These are his answers. 

1) When did you first use DNA and why? I ordered my first DNA test (an autosomal test, believe it or not) in 2003. I was a genealogist since middle school (about 1989) and was then in a Ph.D. program using genetics, so the advertisement I saw online for a DNA test combined the two things I loved the most.
2) Why do you think DNA is important for family research? DNA is no more special or important than any other type of evidence. It is simply another type of evidence we consider when doing thorough genealogical research. Just as we would consult a new book published about our family, we should consult new DNA evidence.
3) What have been the biggest changes, in DNA testing, since it first came into the family research. Almost everything! Probably the biggest changes since my first test in 2003 is the introduction of autosomal …