Thursday, February 28, 2013

Top of the Pops

Every so often I take a look at my stats to see what has been my most popular post of all time (according to Blogger). This morning I noticed that My Family History through the Alphabet post P is for ... Images has edged out Shiny new toy, an old Carnival of Genealogy post.

Which of your posts have attracted the most readers?

More Aussies heading to Rootstech

In just three weeks the Rootstech Conference will kick off in Salt Lake City and it looks like I will have a bit of company from home this year.

I already knew that Alan Phillips, Alona Tester, Helen Smith, Jenny Joyce, Liz Pidgeon and myself (and Mr Geniaus) were heading to Salt Lake City. On the recent UTP cruise I discovered that Margaret Doherty, President of The Genealogical Society of Queensland, and her husband Geoff are also Salt Lake City bound.

Yesterday I downloaded and played with the new Rootstech App for Android (see what I have written about it here on the Android Genealogy blog). On the app those attending the conference have an option to add their names to the list of attendees. It was here that I discovered that Martyn Killion, Hon Sec/Vice-President of The Society of Australian Genealogists, will also be in Salt Lake City. 

There may be other Aussies I don't know about coming along so we could even get to a dozen starters from downunder. I am on the lookout for some kitschy kangaroo or koala stickers that we can affix to our nametags so that people recognise us as being from Australia.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trove Tuesday - Coming soon

Browsing through the list of newspapers on Trove I was delighted to see that Cowra Free Press (NSW : 1911 - 1921) had been added to the collection as my grandparents, great-parents and great-great grandparents lived in the district from the 1880s to the 1950s. 

I put a simple search into Trove for CURRY and of course got a few recipes but some also some articles mentioning the name CURRY.

Imagine my frustration when I found this reference to my Great-great-grandmother:

Coming soon!

I do have an unsourced newspaper obituary for Bridget but wonder if this is the same or if it will contain extra information. I guess I'll just have to bide my time.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Alex's Response - A Small Social Media Geneameme

Alex of the Family Tree Frog blog has shared these thoughts in response to The Small Social Media Geneameme.

1. Tell us about your favourite social media tool and why you like it.
My favourite social media tool is blogger I guess. Though Facebook is coming a close second. Blogger because it puts me in touch with other researchers with the same interests. Facebook provides space for communities to hang out and keep in touch and motivate each other.

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

I use Blogger to record and share my research.

3. What advice would you give the cruiser who said “I must be living

under a rock” and is not sure about coming out from under it? (This came from my Social Media presentation)
Advice ? Come on in - the water's fine :) 

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

The aspect of social media that makes me grit my teeth is spam comments.

5. How does social media assist with your CGD (continuing genealogical development)?

Social media assists with my CDG by being made aware of webinars and other resources I may not have considered.

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

Yeah - good question. It does take a lot of time - a precious commodity when I work full-time already. But if I commit to something e.g. a meme, I find that helps and you Just Do It - as that old advertising slogan said.

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

I don't think my blogging has helped me connect with a long lost relation but it certainly made it easier to meet people at conferences/conventions.

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

Genealogy and social media are a match made in heaven. Don't just witness it, participate! Sometimes the way people talk about social media is like it is something trivial,lesser than...lesser than what ??? It's like the old-fashioned disapproval of television or movies way back when. Books or printed matter is not God just because it came first. There are good books and there's pulp fiction or pap. There's pornography and then there are classic well constructed films that inspire and move people to reflect and or act. Social media is just another way of communicating and sharing a constructed understanding of our stories - of who we are and what makes us. It's not the only way but it is another way. I'm by no means the best at it but you've got to give it a shot. It's a great reflective tool and you need to reflect on what you are doing and open yourself up to other's observations and advice. Right - I'll get off my soapbox now.

Clear as mud.....

When I reread the instructions for my latest Geneameme I realised that they were quite unclear. I have now amended them and hope they make more sense.

How did I realise?

Australian genealogist, Alex Daw of Family Tree Frog posted her answers in a comment on my blog post as that is what I had asked what I really meant was "Please answer the questions below in a post on your blog and let me know the link via a comment on this post (or by some other form of Social Media) that you have taken up this little challenge" I have amended the instructions in my blog post and hope they now are clear as glass.

In the meantime I will paste Alex'x response into a post on this blog as her thoughts deserve their very own post. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Small Social Media Geneameme

I was lamenting that I didn't get a recording of the Social Media Panel presentation on the recent UTP Cruise when I had an idea......

I'm turning to my friends in the Geneasphere to get some answers to the questions I posed to the panel (maybe even the panelists from the cruise will respond -  fingers crossed).

Please answer the questions below in a post on your blog and let me know the link via a comment on this post (or by some other form of Social Media) that you have taken up this little challenge. The panelists were required to answer in less than two minutes so I am not expecting any theses. Please answer all or any of the following questions:

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

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

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

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

5. How does social media assist with your CGD (continuing genealogical development)?

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

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

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

Are you up for the challenge?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Presentations posted

As promised on the recent cruise I have posted .pdfs of my presentations on the internet. You can find the links to my documents on Google Drive here (that's the UTP Cruise Tab on my top menu bar.

Social Media Panel

I am so cranky with myself.

I didn't think to record the audio from the Social Media Panel I moderated on the 3rd Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise so  I have no record (apart from my dottery memory) of the responses that were made to the questions I posed.

I couldn't have wished for better panelists than Shauna Hicks, Louis Kessler, Helen Smith and Alona Tester who shared their thoughts and opinions with the disappointingly small audience we had for this session. Because of the panelists' contributions and the differnet format this was one of the best sessions on the cruise program (IMHO). Quite a few who were there asked if can it be repeated in 2014.

L-R Louis, Shauna, Alona, Helen

In the meantime I have realised that the questions I posed would make a good little Geneameme so I will  get around to posting that soon and hope to hear how you would answer the questions.

Friday, February 22, 2013


In one of my talks on the UTP cruise I suggested that genealogists consider using software from developers who have made a commitment to FHISO (Family History Information Standards Organisation).

One of the reasons I am pleased to be a Family Historian user is that the developer has a commitment to FHISO. Is your software developer a FHISO supporter?

This document from the group explains more eloquently than I can  the background, history and purpose of this group.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Confused by DNA?

I have attended a few talks on DNA and genealogy here in Australia and overseas. Our own Kerry Farmer has given one of the most coherent and understandable presentations I have heard.

If you would like to have the mysteries of DNA unravelled you would be welcome at Kerry's talk at the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society this coming Saturday. For further details please visit the Society's blog post:

I hope to meet up with some of my genie pals at this event.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I don't like big ships but...

...The Voyager of the Seas has provided an excellent venue for a genealogy cruise.

Why? Because the ship has down in its bowels on Deck 2 a Conference Centre. It consists of a large area that can accommodate a couple of hundred people in one room or can be partitioned off to provide several smaller areas.

For the 3rd Unlock the Past Cruise the area was divided into a 150 seat theatre, a smaller room that holds around 50 people and a similar sized room set up as a classroom with tables and chairs  which is wonderful for those who want to take notes on their laptops.

150 seat theatre
Unlike the public areas of the ship that are often crowded and noisy the Conference Centre provided a quiet haven and home where our group could gather. The children who race up and down the corridors on the ship have not discovered the Conference Centre (perhaps because it's a deadend). 

There are of course a few issues with the centre that is due for refurbishment. Some of the chairs are rather stained and some creak a lot. From a speaker's perspective it is frustrating to have to use a hand held microphone that only picks up one's voice if it is held about 3cm from one's mouth. A couple of these have dodgy wiring so, at the beginning of the cruise this was a huge issue. Thankfully someone did some first aid with masking tape. My major issue was that the ancient projectors do not allow for HDMI connections so that I was unable to connect my laptop and had to rely on foreign computers for my presentations. Thankfully fellow cruiser, Neil, was able to press some little boxes into service when we couldn't view presentations on the screen when the screen installed in the classroom failed to make its descent from its home in the ceiling.

Microphone on Voyager of the Seas
Neil's handywork with the screen
My accommodation, a Balcony Cabin on Deck 8, on the cruise was clean, bright and comfortable with a decent bed and nice crisp linen. The bathroom is compact and functional with a shower, loo and vanity. I had not expected luxury on this cruise and I did not find it; I expected Holiday Inn Express standard and that is what I got. This is perfectly adequate for a cruise where the cabin is really only used for sleeping and ablutions.

Bah, humbug to the Royal Caribbean staff who wouldn't let us swap tables with our fellow genealogists at dinner time. Forcing us to sit at the same table every night deprived us of valuable opportunities for networking. Hopefully our agent, Clean Cruising, will be able to negotiate a better arrangement for the 2014 cruise.

So, would I do another genealogy cruise?  YES, YES, YES.  I have already signed up for the next UTP Cruise on Voyager of the Seas on 4 February, 2014. 

There is no way I would select this ship for a holiday cruise as it does not fit my criteria for that purpose but its large size allows it to provide the sort of facilities needed for a genealogy cruise.

I love this cruising concept for a genealogy conference. It is cost-effective, the venue is appropriate, the program has been great, there have been lots of opportunities to talk to like-minded people, the speakers are on tap to engage in further discussion and give advice and there are no distractions from everyday life.

Thanks to Alan Phillips of Unlock the Past for organising this event. It was a blast.

Congratulations are in order

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Canister of Genealogy Speakers

A number of years ago there was a lot of discussion around finding a suitable collective noun for genealogists. Of course consensus was not reached and I cannot remember the suggestions that were made.

For my snap of the Genealogy Speakers on the 3rd unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise taken yesterday I have called the group a Canister because it is a container for air and the speakers have produced quite a bit of the hot variety over the past nine days.

3rd UTP Cruise Speakers
Thanks to Carol Milner for taking this snap.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Great Impromptu Session

After coming away from an impromptu session I organised tonight on the 3rd Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise I am stoked..

As we had a free evening I asked any genies who were interested in books if they would like to join me for a book "Show and Tell" in the Conference Centre after dinner. I was thrilled that more than 20 people joined me to share details of their favourite genealogy/history books.

What a bunch of passionate people they were with such great stories and fantastic titles to share. I was nearly in a state of permanent goose-pimpledness as the genies gave details of their favourite tomes and some told of the relevance of the titles to their family stories. They have asked that this sort of session be included on future UTP Cruises.

Thank you to all those who joined me and made this such a satisfying and enjoyable session. I will put together a list of the books discussed and share it on this blog once I return home and I can gather together the bibliographic details of the books shared.

I am getting a little weary after giving nine presentations to date (and wiht two more to go) but I wouldn't have missed the cruise - it has been an amazing experience. I am excited that I will be joining the 4th UTP Cruise in February next year with Thomas MacEntee and Chris Pation. How good will that be?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blogging is a two-way street - I've heard that somewhere before

Just last week I came across a new Australian genealogy blog. I wanted to congratulate and welcome the blogger to the geneablogging community but sadly she didn't have comments enabled on her blog. I was disappointed at not being able to use the potential of the blogging platform and pass on some positive reinforcement to a new blogger.

It reminded me of my post from December 2010 "Blogging is a two-way street" that I am repeating below. (As I am off geneacruising I am being a bit lazy and preparing posts ahead of time for some of the time I am away, this is one of them).

Blogging is a two-way street

The blog is a social medium; a collaborative tool that enables people to communicate and share information; it gives  consumers/readers an opportunity to communicate back through the 'Comments' feature that is enabled on most blogs. Blogging is a tool not just for communication but for conversation.

The genealogy blogging world is full of generous souls who believe that "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). These people blog because they have something to share and they don't want anything in return. People use blogging software because it provides an easy mechanism for online publishing.

As a blogger I try to blog 3-5 times per week whenever I have something that I think is worthy of sharing, that I want to record for posterity for the family or to take part in online festivals etc. If I didn't ever get a comment I would still blog.

I get a buzz whenever someone makes a comment on my posts - I am human and love a bit of reinforcement be it positive or negative. I wonder if other bloggers feel the same?  

Last night I received an email from an old mate, Carolyn, who said " I was elated to find such a wealth of information on the Geniaus Site with quick links to my favourite sites. I read today’s blog about your Christmas loot and note that Perry McIntyre is related to me...I will follow your blogs and wealth of info to see what I can do to pin down the John and Caroline xxx family." Getting this email that also gave me information about Carolyn's research was a welcome belated Christmas present. 

My blog statistics tell me that I have several hundred visits each week  but yet I may only get one or  two comments. It could be that my posts are not relevant to others. I think, however, it is that  many people miss the point about blogging being a social or collaborative tool. Maybe bloggers see it as a publishing tool and  their consumers treat it in the same way as they treat a magazine article or ebook as something to be consumed fullstop. I have looked at the blogs of some top bloggers and have noticed that, most of them too, don't seem to get many comments from their huge readerships.

As a consumer I subscribe to numerous blogs via RSS and read them religiously each day.  As I believe that "Blogging is a two-way street" I regularly comment on other bloggers posts. This morning I posted a comment on Dear Myrtle's post"Ancestor Approved - Thank-you"    and Shelley's "Twigs of Yore" post "In genealogy, the smallest discoveries can make your day". I found one post quirky and interesting and I agreed with the content of the other - so I told the writers.

As part of my genealogy resolutions for 2011 I am going to recognise that "Blogging is a two-way street" and commit myself to using the comments boxes on genealogy blogs for conversation.

How about joining some conversations in 2011?

Friday, February 15, 2013


A pleasant breeze wafted through my balcony door as I spent the morning polishing my final three presentations for the Unlock the Past 3rd History and Genealogy Cruise. As it was another day in port I was able to sleep in and wake naturally rather than answering the call of the alarm app on my tablet (it works!).
Fellow genealogists enjoying quiet time in the library
View from my balcony
I did enjoy my breakfast of smoked salmon in the restaurant - there's nothing like being waited on at brekkie time. For lunch I wanted to put my feet under a table so, as the formal restaurant was closed, I opted for Johnny Rockets, an American hamburger joint on board, where I was waited on and had the accompaniment of singing and dancing waiters.

Dancing waiters at Johnny Rockets

It seems as though there was a bit of interest in my afternoon talk, "Flip-Pal and Picasa" as I was scheduled to talk in the main conference room again. Thanks to those stalwarts who came to hear this talk and contributed to the conversation in the session. The audience was full of Flip-Pal owners while a coouple who weren't members of the Flip_Pal brigade purchased them after the session.

Paul Milner once again educated us after dinner. His topic "Irish Land Records" gave us details of many resources that might hep us in our search for our Irish ancestors. My brain was overflowing with information by the time Paul completed his talk.

Having set sail from Noumea we now have four full days of learning ahead of us - my brain will surely burst.

Earlybirds eager to learn
You need to arrive early to grab a good seat

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Genealogist's Gadget Bag: International Panel

It's only six weeks until Rootstech and my excitement is growing. I am thrilled to announce that Marie Dougan from Scotland and A C Ivory whom I both met at Rootstech 2011 will be joining me in this session The Genealogist's Gadget Bag: International Panel on Thursday. 

You can see the outline for our presentation and proposed discussion points for our panel here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Touristing takes over

 As we were in port today genealogy education took  back seat to touring in Noumea. For those who are wondering about my non-genealogy activities please see my jillballau blog post:

At 3:50 pm I was set up and ready to present my Gadgets for Genealogy talk but thought I may not have an audience as the room was nearly empty but when 4:00 arrived a healthy group had gathered. As this was a small group of only about 20 I was able to ditch the microphone and prance around the room interacting with my fellow learners. I really enjoyed the collaborative nature of this talk and thank those who chimed in with suggestions and anecdotes.

Visiting US lecturer Paul Milner was again our after dinner speaker. Paul shared "Tips & tools for navigating the English Probate system"; it is a benefit that Paul is such a lively, engaging and knowledgeable speaker as, after a relaxing dinner and full day of tourist activities, many of our group are in danger of nodding off.

Our departure from Noumea has been delayed for 24 hours so we will only be having two lectures again tomorrow.

Our ship moored in Noumea

Tuesday at Sea

The tally of talks I attended today was five, I listened to three and presented two. Additionally I spent a session in the research help zone where I shared some tips on how to access genealogy blogs, gave some tips on research in Western Australia (about which I know little) and organised for Neil Bradley from Western Australia to meet up with the enquirer to give  more informed help.

I sat down the back for Shauna Hicks presentation on Trove as I think I have a good handle on this topic. What I find valuable in these instances is seeing what approach other presenters take when approaching a topic. Shauna emphasised the use and value of tagging in Trove more than I do - something I will consider for the future. As always this talk was well structured and full of great tips.
Shauna Hicks
It was double whammy from Paul Milner today, his morning session " Buried treasures - what's in the English Parish Chest"  reminded me that many of these records are available on microfilm from Familysearch. Before I set off for Salt Lake City next month I must draw up a list of films for Mr Geniaus to search while I am at Rootstech. After dinner Paul presented "English Parish Registers: how to access, use and interpret" was a good followon to the earlier talk.

Paul Milner
I felt more relaxed in my presentations and basked in the positive reinforcement I received after "Google tools for Genealogy" and "Geneagoogling: Effective Google searches". These sessions were great fun; I especially valued the contributions I had from fellow geneabloggers Alona Tester and Linda Elliott.

Keen students ready for my talk
Paul Milner
Louis Kessler has an impresssive family tshirt

Salt Lake City Preparation

If you intend doing a spot of research at The Family History Library prior to or after Rootstech it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Library's website.

Additionally if you read this Guide, Tips for visiting the library,  you should be able to make the most of your visit.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Trove Tuesday - Modern Cruise Ship

This week finds me on the high seas on board a modern cruise ship, The Voyager of the Seas, learning about genealogy with over 140 other family history enthusiasts from the Unlock the Past crew .

Wondering what Trove could tell me about cruising on modern ships I entered the search term "modern cruise ship" into the newspapers search there and selected the following items to share.

1927 'BOWLING.', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 28 February, p. 5, viewed 7 February, 2013,

As the text from 1927 is a bit fuzzy here is what it says:

LIKE AN HOTEL.                

This photograph shows portion of the writing-room of the Cunard- line s.s. Franconia, which is due at Honart on a world cruise today.
The Franconia is one of the most modern cruising ships in the world, and, is employed almost exclusively
in that service.     

1927 'BOWLING.', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 28 February, p. 5, viewed 7 February, 2013,

The Cunard . 20,000-ton R.M.S. Franconia, which with nearly 400 British and American tourists aboard, is due at Hobart
early this, morning ; The Franconia, which is a sister ship to the Carinthia, is chartered to Thomas Cook and Sonearly this morning. The Franconia, which ls a sister ship to the Carinthia, is chartered to Thomas Cook, and Son for
this cruise

A few pics from yesterday

I wrote a long blog post about my activities yesterday but was unable to post it. I'll try again later. In the meantime here are a couple of snaps from yesterday.

My star of the day goes to Linda Elliott for her talk on London Cemeteries of the 19th century

Rosemary Kopittke told us all about Gazettes

Some of the gorgeous people waiting for my talk about searching on Google

Monday, February 11, 2013

The more you know...

...the more you realise you don't know.

That is the case for me after the first day of lectures on the Unlock the Past cruise. I have learnt of many new resources and databases and have been reminded of resources that I can revisit.

My day started with the computer technician who, after spending nearly half an hour trying to get my laptop that only has an HDMI connection to talk to the older projectors on the ship that only have VGA connections, said "Your computer is too modern for this ship." We tried two other connectors (belonging to passengers) that should have fixed the issue but that did not work.

In two of my presentations later this week I had intended doing short slideshows followed by live demos of software. As no-one else has the software (or my data) I will have to prepare a series of screenshots to show the potential of the packages. I am glad I found this out four days before these gigs so I have time to revise my talks.

In his first talk on migration Paul Milner referred to Ravenstein's Laws of Migration which I found quite illuminating. He suggested that we look at our ancestors' migration in the light of these 11 laws. Sydney author and genealogist, the lively Carol Baxter, talked to us about tracing your ancestors in NSW while speakers in other rooms covered the other states. Carol reminded us of the various indexes to NSW BDMs and other resources that are available.

I have used government gazettes in my research and they have added meat to the bones of my dry data. Rosemary Kopittke reminded us in her talk of the breadth of information in "Australian government, police and eduction gazettes".

I loved Linda Elliott's talk with the intriguing title "What to do with the body: a Victorian solution". Linda took us on a tour of London's magnificent seven cemeteries that wer established in the mid 19th century. Linda gave us the history of the cemeteries and shared details and shared details of the location of the burial records in a talk illustrated with many photos.

The graveyard shift was mine. I found juggling a hand mike, a remote control and the mousepad on a foreign computer when I presented "In spite of my fumbling I must have been okay as, after the talk, I received invitations to speak at future events. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sydney Harbour...

... from my balcony on Voyager of the Seas. I'm ready for nine days of genealogy.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gone Fishin'

As I am setting sail tomorrow on a ship with exhorbitant internet connection fees I may not be able to blog. If I do blog my posts may have to be text based without any pretty pictures.

So that you don't have Geniaus withdrawal I have scheduled a few posts during my absence.

I'll be back with a lot to report from the Unlock the Past History and Genealogy Cruise on 19th February.

Paul Milner at Hornsby

Paul has attendees enthralled as he shares tips for Scottish resesrch in the Unlock the Past Seminar this morning.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pre Rootstech Activities

The Talk we attended in 2012
If you are arriving early for Rootstech 2013 you may be interested in the program of free talks at The Family History Library

Mr Geniaus and I went to a great one prior to Rootstech 2012. From memory we put our names down on an attendance list when we first visited the library.

Program details can be found here:

I'll certainly be doing some learning at the library prior to Rootstech. How about you?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Attention all Geneacruisers - Do you have a favourite book?

There isn't much spare time in the program for  the Unlock the Past cruise but......

I am wondering if other geneacruisers might be interested in bringing along a favourite title from their genealibrary. We could perhaps organise an informal get together where we have a "Show and Tell" and share details of our favourite books.

As I don't need to catch an aeroplane I am not worried about luggage weight restrictions so will throw a couple of books in. I'll also have a few eBooks on my new Android tablet.

Will you join me??

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Done and Dusted

Filed away in Evernote I had a little note listing my talks for the Unlock the Past History and Genealogy Cruise that leaves Sydney on Sunday.

Before I started doing my Powerpoints I just had that list staring at me. When I made a start I wrote Started  beside the title of the talk, when I was nearly done I wrote Nearly Completed  and when I finished I wrote Completed.  

Tonight I am dancing because I have completed all but one set of slides. I like to have just enough slides to get me through if technology fails and do live demonstations of the tools I am showing. For the cruise, where internet is said to be dodgy and expensive, I have been busy doing screenshots and preparing lots of slides. Thank you Windows Snipping Tool. In addition I have finished a talk I am giving on Friday at Ku-ring-gai Historical Society and one for Hornsby Library post cruise. That's 12 Powerpoints in all.

The slides for a panel presentation will need to be finished off on board as I need to confer with the other panelists Shauna Hicks, Helen Smith and find some other poor unsuspecting person who I hope to co-opt on board.

Here is the Evernote Note of which I am so proud.

GeneaGoogling: Effective Google searches (Basic) Completed 
Google Tools for Genealogy - Completed
Social Media for Genealogists: Where, why and how - Completed
A Genealogists Toybox: Gadgets and Tech toys _ Completed
Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner and Picasa Both Completed
Family Historian Software Completed
Android Genealogy Completed
Case study: the story of a clock Completed
Google+ for Genealogy - Completed
GeneaBlogging - Completed

Chair: Social Media Panel - Started

I won't be able to avoid going back and tweaking those presentations until it's time to deliver but it is a wonderful feeling to have them all done and dusted.

Trove Tuesday - Pacific Cruise

Together with around 150 family history enthusiasts I will be setting sail on a Pacific cruise next Sunday when the Unlock the Past cruise leaves Sydney on board the Voyager of the Seas. We will be calling at Noumea and Fiji.

For today's post I turned to Trove to see what I could find out about cruising in the Pacific.

1934 'MOONLIGHT IN THE PACIFIC.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 3 January, p. 14, viewed 4 February, 2013,

1933 'No title.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), 5 January, p. 5, viewed 4 February, 2013,

1906 'MAIDEN CRUISE OF THE SUVA.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 5 July, p. 8, viewed 5 February, 2013,

1937 'CRUISE TO FIJI.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), 18 August, p. 14, viewed 5 February, 2013,

I wonder how our experiences will mirror those of these journeys in the past.

Monday, February 4, 2013

For Liz, Jenny and other Geneabloggers at Rootstech

How did I miss this?

GeneaBloggers Members at RootsTech 2013 – Are You In?

It's a list of Geneabloggers who will be in attendance at Rootstech. I notice my Aussie friends Liz and Jenny are missing from the list. Girls, if you want to be adorned with the beads being supplied by DearMyrtle, you had better hop over to this link and register your details.

Thanks to the vigilance of my friend Amy Coffin, who noticed that my name was missing and let me know via a message on Facebook,  I am now registered.

I would be distraught if I had to go beadless at Rootstech.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Behold software developer in Sydney

Louis Kessler, the man behind Behold Genealogy software is heading downunder. He will be joining the Unlock the Past 3rd History and Genealogy Cruise from Sydney next Sunday. I look forward to catching up with Louis on the cruise if not before. I have looked at the topics of Louis' seven talks and am keen to hear some of them. You can see a full list of his topics on his blog here.

On a blog post written just a few hours ago Louis had indicated that he will be arriving in Sydney on Tuesday and that he would love to catch up with users of Behold software before the cruise. Head over to his blog to see where to find Louis in Sydney.

And the Rootstech winner is....

.... an Australian, Helen V Smith.

Helen at work

Helen is one of Australia's foremost Geneabloggers and Genealogy Presenters. Although she has previously travelled to Salt Lake City this will be her first experience of a Rootstech Conference.

Now this may look as if it smacks of favouritism but I only had a small number of entries for my Free Rootstech Registration and Helen's was the most thoughtful response in the competition.

This is what was required of entrants:

For your entry in this competition:

1. In an email to  please suggest one of the people who will be at Rootstech 2013 that I should try to interview, why I should do so and suggest at least three questions I should ask them. Your entry is not to be a treatise but a concise piece of writing.

2. The subject of your emailed entry should be  "Rootstech Giveaway". Your contact details are to be included in the email.

Helen replied:

Elaine Collins
Representing BrightSolid

1.      Are there any plans to allow searches by collection as previously available eg search just the Plymouth and Devon collection or the Westminster collection?
2.      Are there any plans to develop further into continental Europe records as many Australian and American ancestors were from these countries?
3.      Have you any special clues for advanced searches?

Thomas MacEntee
Well known social media guru, Geneablogger extraordinaire and announced speaker on 4th Unlock the Past Cruise
1.      What do you think is the number one positive to becoming a geneablogger?
2.      Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogging where should someone start?
3.      We have seen the rise of Twitter FaceBook, Google+, Pintertest, YouTube etc, what do you think the next “Big Thing” we could use for genealogy will be?

Janet Hvorka
The “Chart Chick” recently published a book ‘Zap the Grandma Gap’ about getting your family involved willingly in family history
1.      Just how do you get younger people in the family interested in their family history?
2.      Can you  give some examples of how you have integrated your family history into daily life?
3.      Have you some suggestions for integrating family history into family or special occasions such as Christmas?
4.      Your company produces a range of family history charts. Is there a any restriction on what family history program is used?
5.      How is the information sent to you?
6.      How do you send the chart back?
7.      Is there a restriction on size you can send?
8.      Are you able to print a range of images on the charts as well as a range of fonts in different colours?
9.      What is the average turn-around or how long should one allow from the idea of printing a large chart to getting it done? Is now too soon to be getting organised for Christmas?

There are so many people that it would be good to show to Australian audiences.

Lisa Louise Cook is known to some here with her Genealogy Gems. A chat with her talking about Google Earth would be interesting and may give people more ideas.

Geoff Rasmussen about his Legacy webinar series and what makes a good webinar.

Thomas Jones about advanced research techniques.

How many interviews did you want to do?

Helen, I'll try to do as many interviews as I can.  Thanks for the suggestions.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Rootstech Keynotes - The Scoop

The Rootstech Official Bloggers have been given a scoop that I am thrilled to share with you. This morning I got news of the Thursday morning (Mar. 21) keynote speakers for the conference and it looks like a most impressive trio from diverse backgrounds. 

Dennis Brimhall and Jill (GeniAus) at Rootstech 2012
I have only met one of the  keynote speakers, Dennis Brimhall, who was new in his role at Familysearch in 2012. During Rootstech 2012 Dennis got out and about and chatted with many of the attendeees at the event. I was fortunate to have a chat with Dennis who was most interested in the views of an ordinary genealogist. I can't wait to hear what news he has to share about Familysearch's plans for the future.

I love a good yarn so look forward to hearing Syd Lieberman spin some to us during his session. D. Joshua Taylor is a genealogy rock star that I can't wait to hear. One of the reasons I travel to Rootstech is that I can hear people like Dennis, Syd and Joshua whom I would never get a chance to hear in Australia.

Dennis Brimhall is currently the President and CEO of FamilySearch International.  FamilySearch International is a worldwide organization helping individuals find, preserve, catalogue, and search genealogical information. FamilySearch International is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He was formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of University of Colorado Hospital from 1988 to 2005. A native of Provo, Utah, Mr. Brimhall earned an undergraduate degree in zoology from Brigham Young University in 1972 and a master’s degree in management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 1974.  Mr. Brimhall and his wife Linda have four children and live in Dammeron Valley, Utah.


Syd is a nationally acclaimed storyteller, an author, and an award-winning teacher. Many of his best-loved stories deal with growing up in Chicago and raising a family in Evanston, Illinois. Syd is also known for his original historical pieces. He has received commissions to write stories for some of America’s leading institutions and agencies, including the Smithsonian; Historic Philadelphia, Inc.; NASA; and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.  His work has garnered awards from the American Library Association, Parents' Choice, and Storytelling World. Syd was one of six tellers featured on the television special The Call of Story. He has also performed numerous times at the Timpanogos and National storytelling festivals.

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS is the Business Development Manager – North America for brightsolid online publishing, the creator of A nationally known and recognized professional genealogist, lecturer, genealogical author, and researcher, Taylor is the current president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the former Director of Education at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Taylor holds an MLS (Archival Management) and an MA (History) from Simmons College, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Federation of Genealogical Societies Award of Merit, and the Rubincam Youth Award from the National Genealogical Society. Taylor was also a featured genealogist on NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?


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