Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New Interactive Local Resource

Last night Mr GeniAus and joined several other local history history enthusiasts at a function at Hornsby Central Library where a new interactive online digital resource, Hornsby Shire Recollects, was launched. I was attending as a representative of the Hornsby Shire Family History Group.

The database claims to "provide easy online access to a rich store of heritage material relaitng to Hornsby Shire, its people, and events."

Hornsby Shire Recollects Home Page
The three speakers, Hornsby Mayor Phillip Ruddock, Associate Professor Carol Liston and Hornsby MP Matt Kean each spoke briefly about the importance of local history and heritage and then Mayor  Ruddock cut the celebratory cake.

Reference and Local Studies Librarian, Neil Chippendale, and Library staff member, Karen Richardson, then got to the good bit, a demonstration of this new tool which provides a user friendly platform to access Hornsby's collection of digital resources supplemented with new additions from community organisations and local history enthusiasts. The new platform certainly appeared easier to search than the collections it replaced but I needed to try it out myself.

This afternoon I gave the database a run through. Logging on and creating an account was a simple process. Navigating the site was a breeze and the search mechanism was intuitive. I give it a thumbs up. Having heard the presentation and tried out the tool I am keen to add some resources from our family collection to the database.

The promotional material for the resource states " you are also able to contribute your own knowledge and memories about the holdings, as well as create personal collections of your own." If  community members embrace this resource and share the photos and documents they have squirrelled away Hornsby Shire Recollects will be a valuable resource, not just for people from the Hornsby Shire but for many with an interest in Australian history and heritage.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Question of Paternity

Something that has frustrated me and some of the 2000+ descendants that I have identified of my convict ancestor Elizabeth Phipps  is that we don't know the paternity of the children she bore. The likely fathers are fellow convicts James Westbrook (her partner in crime) and William Magick.

DNA has confirmed my line of descent from Elizabeth. It has also enabled me to connect to around twenty 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins on that line (some previously unknown to me), add more branches to my tree and include more of Elizabeth's descendants in my database. This is rather useful when trying to fathom out those treeless matches on Ancestry and FTDNA. I keep a list of Elizabeth's descendants surnames close by and if a new match has one of those surnames I have a starting point for communication.

Just recently I have lopped a branch off my tree and added another one because of a conversation I am having on Facebook with others who are also curious as to Elizabeth's relationships. One of my 3rd cousins set up, in August, a Facebook page for Elizabeth's descendants who are interested in solving our mystery. As I have been having a break from research I only found the page about a week ago.

This closed group, ELIZABETH PHIPPS - London to Richmond, New South Wales, Australia 1814, only has 28 members about 6 of whom are engaging in discussion and sharing resources, thoughts and ideas. Membership of the group has made me revisit my research with a critical eye.

William Magick had a family in England before being transported to New South Wales. I am hopeful that as more people take DNA tests we may be able to compare results from William's first family descendants and Elizabeth descendants to solve this paternity problem. What do you think of our chances?

One of my purposes in writing this post is to let other Phipps descendants (some of whom I know follow this blog) about the Facebook Group where they may discuss this issue with fellow descendants.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lucky Lisa

I am thrilled to announce that geneablogger Lisa Gorrell from California, USA, is the winner of my Rootstech Pass Giveaway that was drawn on Wednesday in front of members at the monthly meeting of the Hornsby Shire Family History Group. 

Hornsby member, Jenni (Left), drew Lisa's name out of the envelope.
Thanks to all those who entered my competition by telling me three things a Rootstech attendee needs to take to Rootstech to enhance his/her experience

Lisa suggested these: 
  1. Lots of colored pens to write notes
  2. Good walking shoes to get around the big convention center
  3. Largest enough suitcase to bring back all the goodies you'll find in the exhibit hall.
In the coming days I will compile a list of all the entrants suggestions that may assist those who are coming to Rootstech 2017.

I look forward to meeting Lisa in the flesh at Rootstech.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ancestor's Geneameme reborn

I was flattered when US geneablogger, Linda Stufflebean, asked me if she could expand on and publish my 2011 Ancestors' Geneameme.

Last week Linda published her 70 question version of the Geneameme and her responses to the questions.

With 70 questions to ponder I think the geneameme may be a bit too arduous task for me at the moment. However, if you have the time I encourage to respond to Linda's meme.

It is a good tool for reflecting on your ancestors and reviewing just what you know about them.

Mum and her brother


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