Sunday, April 23, 2017

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 23 April 2017

Friday when I usually post my GeniAus' Gems flew by as did Saturday. Now on Sunday morning I have found some time to share some  blog posts that resonated with me up to Friday 21 April. This week I found several posts where bloggers' stories contained shared tips/reminders for researchers and also I learnt about people and places from other stories.

1. Two posts of most interest to we who blog came from my genimates James and Julie.

2. A different perspective on digging up the ancestors.

3. Remembering Henry at Canada Bay.

4. Chris reminiscences on Easter.

5. Learning from the challenge.

6. Another treasure from Alona's chest.

7. Kylie revisits the records.

8. A Kiwi genie visits Canberra.

9. Neville's missus.

10. Witnessing a gruesome scene.

11. Jen checks the facts.

12. Pauleen returns to blogging with two bumper posts.

New to Me Blogs

From Emily in Sydney

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Getting There

My back is aching, my shoulder blades are sore and even my hands are hurting but I am well on the way to setting up my new geneacave.

Geneabooks shelved

Folders and photo boxes in place

Orphan photos to date and sort.
I have the challenge of one more large bookshelf to pack up, a cupboard that houses my gadgets and sougenirs to sort out and my desk to empty. Once that is all boxed up I can unpack it into my new office and get back to research and blogging in earnest.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Grandmother's Birthday Book

My Grandmother's Birthday Book  was a post I read on Michelle's Heritage way back in 2011.

As I am in possession of My Grandmother's Birthday Book I thought it also worthy of a blog post.

My Nanna's book is an ordinary little volume with a dark green cover. It gives me an insight into her life.

Nanna's Birthday Book
The Birthday Book, Links of Memory, was published in London in 1890 and is still available from It has a religious theme, each date being accompanied by a religious text.

I love opening this insignificant book,seeing my grandmother's familiar handwriting and researching the names recorded. Many of these are her cousins some are residents of Dungog the town where she grew up. The dates in the book have been most helpful as I research family members.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Last night I was dog-tired but thought I'd read a few pages of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's latest novella,

The Missing Man: A Morton Farrier novellabefore retiring. Well that was the end of my early night.

The book was unputdownable, I just had to keep on reading right up to the last page. I don't know if Nathan has excelled himself with this latest adventure of Morton Farrier or, now that I have read all the previous stories, I am so familiar with the characters that they are like old friends and I have to keep up with their latest exploits but this story drew me in, I just couldn't put it down.

As with his other books I think that Nathan needs a bit of assistance to develop more attractive covers and layouts but one shouldn't judge ta his book by its cover.

In this tale we join Morton and his now wife, Juliette, on their honeymoon in Cape Cod. As well as honeymooning with the ever patient Juliette Nathan takes the opportunity to try and track down his American biological father. As we join Morton on this journey we learn about US research and repositories and are with Morton when he meets various members of his extended family. 

The characters in this story are believable and the mix of dialogue and prose seems to work well. Nathan's writing has developed and improved in this work.

I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.  Thanks Nathan for producing such a beaut story and for providing me with a review copy. I hope that there is another Morton Farrier story coming out soon.

If you would like to purchase a copy of the book it is available for Kindle and Paperback in the US from Amazon and from here in the UK. We folk downunder can find the Kindle version on here.

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 14 April 2017

I'm taking an hour off from packing boxes of books and geneastuff to indulge in a little blog business. I hope that the posts I am sharing today will do one of these three things,  Educate, Enthuse or Entertain, that Michelle Patient mentioned in a recent podcast.

I've caught up on reading my overseas blog subs this week so have a couple of international posts to share as well as local items.

1. Lorine shares some exciting news for those with ancestors who may be buried in Highgate.

2. Libraries we love from my mates at Librarything.

3. Can you help James?

4. I don't think I can declutter to this level.

5. Susan's letters.

6. Genies in Geraldton reflect on their history.

7. A roadworthy story from Moya.

8. I'm ignorant in matters of music so found this educative.

9. A few suggestions for inclusion in your vocabulary.

10. Thanks to Linda I have a story for my CurryAus Surname Study.

11. What would Sydney be without the Royal Easter Show? Thanks fro the update, Pauline.

12. Something old is new again.


6th Blogiversary for Western Districts Families

Pauline Connolly has clocked up 100,000 visits

Let's not forget the stalwarts who are participating in the #AtoZChallenge:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Birthday Gamble

My best friend recently celebrated a significant birthday. I wanted to mark her birthday with a special gift, something that would keep on giving. She and her husband have recently downsized and have gone down the minimalist path so a nice piece of china or a crystal vase wouldn't have been appropriate.

A chance comment she made several months ago gave me an idea but I didn't know how it would be received. I purchased the present when there was a sale and put it aside. Although her birthday was in February I only saw her last week because we have both been travelling.

When we finally got together and I handed over the gift I was quite nervous. She had a perplexed look on her face when I handed over the lightweight parcel. Of course she was polite and read the card first then, when she extracted the white plastic envelope from the gift bag, I encouraged her to open it. She stared at the small pre-addressed brown envelope that was inside before the penny dropped. When she realised what it contained she was surprised and thrilled.

A Wow response

She is a genie and said that doing a DNA test was on her "To do" list. She promised to scrape her cheek and post it off the next day.

My present was a HIT. If you can't think of something for the persn who has everything how about surprising them with a DNA kit.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trove Tuesday - Carey Bay

Mr GeniAus and I are preparing for our permanent move to Carey Bay near Toronto, NSW. We have been dividing our time between our Sydney house and there. As one does I started thinking about the people who had lived in Carey Bay. I turned to Trove to learn about some of them.

Firstly I found a photo of Miss Ethyl Thompson but due to copyright restrictions I cannot publish it. You can view it here:

In the Government Gazette I found a notice of Bankruptcy.

1925 'IN BANKRUPTCY.', Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), 21 August, p. 3715. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,
 There were several notices relating to probate and estates.

1987 'IN the Supreme Court of New South Wales.—Notice of intended distribution of estate.—Any person having any claim upon the', Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), 19 June, p. 3135. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,

There were also several mentions of local folk in the newspapers. The good news is that I found a photo of Ethyl in the newspaper.

1949 'No title', The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), 22 June, p. 2. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,

1924 'CAREY BAY.', Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , 16 April, p. 9. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,
1954 '£6000 Win To Carey Bay', The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), 14 September, p. 14. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,
1949 'Pensioner Found Dead in Tent', The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), 8 January, p. 8. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,
1934 'TO-DAY'S ACCIDENTS', The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), 23 November, p. 7. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,

1934 'Calder-Smith—Tingle', The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), 12 July, p. 7. , viewed 07 Apr 2017,

It seems as though the people from our neighbourhood are typical of  Australians all around our country.

Friday, April 7, 2017

GAGs- GeniAus' Gems - 7 April 2017

I have realy enjoyed my blog reading this week although I have concentrated on blogs from below the equator. Some weeks there are so many posts that resonate with me while in other weeks there are slimmer pickings, this was a bumper week.

1. Please help Jenny find her soldier.

2. No doubt there will be a flurry of posts on this topic. This was the first I read.

3. As I am in the throes of moving house this post from Diane struck a chord.

4. Manly Local Studies do a great job highlighting past citizens.

5. Third instalment in a charming series from Jennie. Read them all.

6. A new source of images for bloggers.

7. I loved the ovie, looks like I'll be reaing the book, thanks Alex.

8. Jess shares the tale of a skeleton.

10. It's time to get a new app under my belt.

I have found that several of my genimates (and I) downunder are participating in the 2017 A to Z blogging challenge. Please give your support. Here are links to some maiden posts (where are the boys!).

Have I missed anyone?

Finally congratulations to Chris who is celebrating her 1,000th post on her As they were blog.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


The frequency of posting here on the Geniaus blog is suffering this month because I decided to take part in the 2017 A-Z Blogging Challenge over on my neglected personal blog, jillballau.

Each day except Sunday I will endeavour to post on that blog. I will be sharing photos of Windows that I have photographed on my travels and highlighting from A-Z the places where I found these Windows on the World. 

So far I have managed to post on the first five days plus I have  seven more posts scheduled. When I get a few more posts under my belt I'll turn my attention back to genealogy. 

Window on Ile Royale, Iles de Salut, French Guiana

More free Online Offerings from Familysearch

In my mailbox today:

Here’s some important information on upcoming Webinars we think you all will be excited about. These include not just British (this time), but we are presenting a European Family History Conference series on the week of the 15th of May, 2017. You’ll want to view these class titles for several European countries. Don’t miss out on this annual event, with classes for Beginners as well as Intermediate:

Here’s our monthly class Webinar offerings for your British ancestors:

Tracing Ancestry in Scotland’s Heritable (Land) Records (Raymon Naisbitt) – Wednesday, April 12th at 1:00PM, B-2 Lab. This class illuminates the advantages and how to use Scotland’s heritable records. The Scottish made land conveyance a ‘science’ in that there are several record types which provide researchers with different perspectives on their ancestral lands and land conveyance over the centuries. Listen to what Raymon shares as he demonstrates how to use each record type in your Scottish genealogical research.

Scottish Naming Customs (Craig Foster) – Thursday, April 13th at 1:00PM, B-2 Lab.  Tracing Scottish ancestry prior to about 1780 can be a bit tricky if you don’t know how the Scots used naming customs for naming their children. Come and learn exactly how to properly and accurately construct your Scottish family genealogies.

How to Trace Scotland’s Poor (Mark Gardner) – Friday, April 21st at 1:00PM, B-2 Lab. This must-see webinar promises to provide all Scottish researchers with skilled knowledge, key records and resources for tracing the less-fortunate in lesser-used but important records. Come and learn about all those records he identifies that will give you the best chance for successfully locating your Scottish poor.

Your British/Irish Research Questions Answered (Craig Foster) –Thursday, 27th at 1:00PM, B-2 Lab. Are you lost in your pre-1800 research in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales? This is your big opportunity to gain direct access to one of the Family History Library’s professional genealogists to obtain answers to your brick wall ancestral research problem. Listen while Craig, and other researchers in-house and online provide some new, innovative ways that will be sure to help you along your more difficult ancestral trails.

Friday, March 31, 2017

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 31 March 2017

The break I took form GeniAus' Gems ballooned from a two week break around Rootstech time to something much longer. I have spent quite a bit of time this week catching up on my blog reading and I've selected a few posts to share with you.

While I have read some really good posts from the past couple of months I have restricted my selections for this week to posts written in the past week with the exception of a couple that mention the 2017 AtoZ Blogging Challenge (I'm participating over at my jillballau blog). I'd love to hear of other genies who are taking up the challenge.

1. Jennifer has taken up the challenge.

2. And so has Sandra.

3. Thanks for sharing this message Alona. Sadly it often falls on deaf ears.

4. Congratulations to Lilian who is progressing with her project.

5. I caught up on all Shauna's recent posts. Here is the latest.

6. Or a face like Phar Lap.

7. Jess offers some guidance for West Austraian research.

8. Listen to Jenny Joyce's latest podcast.

9. And hear what Jenny Joyce has to say about genetic communities.

10. Nola is a collaborator.

New to Me Blogs

Gengenaus -

The Landfill Chronicles - an hilarious blog from my genimate Amy -

A Scottish Farmer’s Ride Through England…100 Years Ago’ -

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ready and Waiting...

With just 12 minutes to go I am sitting at my computer waiting for the first webinar from State Archives and Records NSW to commence. I am going to learn all about using their website. As is my practice I am early.

 If you hadn't heard the news that this institution will now be offering fre

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Yet more DNA

At the recent Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City I did a cheek scrape in the Exhibit Hall under the watchful eye of Daniel Horowitz, Chief Genealogist for MyHeritage. Although I had tested with two other companies I was keen to share my genetic ancestry with another group. Thanks to MyHeritage for offering me the chance to test. I note on their DNA site that the current price for a MyHeritage DNA test is $AU103.

Yesterday when I opened my email box I found that my MyHeritage results were in but, as I had an urgent task to complete, I had to put the results aside .... however I did sneak a peek at my ethnicity results.

What is interesting is that they indicate that I am 1% Papuan (and my Ancestry results say 1% Pacific Islander). So perhaps the aboriginal, Biddy Sargeant (whom I am pretty sure is my 3x Great-Grandmother really is).I have always been fairly sure that Biddy was my 3x Great-Grandmother there is nothing on paper to document this. Perhaps DNA will give me an answer! When I shared this result on the Using DNA for Genealogy - Australia & NZ Facebook Group it resulted in quite a few comments and likes.

I didn't expect to find many matches on MyHeritage because it is a relatively newcomer in the DNA testing field but, when I logged in yesterday afternoon I found 27 matches, two of whom are from Australia, most from the USA and a few from the UK. One of these is a 4th cousin match on my Pusell line that I have confirmed on Gedmatch.

My genimate Pauleen had mentioned in the Facebook Group that she was uploading her results from another company to MyHeritage (I didn't know you could do it for free) so I decided to add Mum's DNA too....but to do this she needed to be in the MyHeritage database (more opportunities for matches!). No problem, I uploaded a gedcom of my direct ancestors and then, with Mum's name in the database, found adding her results a breeze. I am now waiting for her results to be processed - then I anticipate I'll have at least 28 matches. Mum's kit is listed on my profile.

Next task was to go through my matches. I went through them one by one looking at trees where available but only identified a connection with Michelle with whom I have been in communication for many years. The matches (which cn be sorted in a number of ways) are displayed 10 to a page (I think there's an option to change that). Take a look at my closest match - a man from the USA.

I need to examine the site further to see what other features are available. It's early days yet but, as I want to make as many connections as possible, I am pleased to have my data in another database.

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary DNA test by MyHeritage

Trove Tuesday - On the Move

The GeniAus family is on the move so I am on the lookout for tips to make the process a little more painful.... Trove to the rescue.

I entered the simple search "Moving house"into the Trove search box to see what I could find.

The first article was a bit blurry so I corrected the text which I will share.

Moving House.
THE problem of "making things flt" when changing houses can be very expensive if some ingenuity is not used by the housewife.
Linoleums that are too small should be treated frankly as squares, the edges trimmed neatly, and a order of enamel given to them as a finish. Such squares look well with a stained wood border.
If it is necessary to cut a seamless carpet, the best plan is to remove à whole length of the border pattern
over-sewing the edges very carefully. Then cut away the length that is re-quired and replace the border neatly.
Stair carpets can be made to look wider by placing under them a strip of felt the width required.
If removing from an old-fashioned house to a modern one and the old-fashioned cornice poles have to give place to an infinite number of short casement rods, a good and cheap de-vice is to buy the required length of electric wiring conduit. This is steel tubing, and is very strong.
In cutting down long curtains a quick way to sew on the seemingly endless small rings (if by chance they
are used to-day) is to do it on the sew-ing machine when sewing the hem. Take a tiny piece of tape about an inch long, fold it in halves and put a ring through the loop thus formed. Tuck the two ends of the tape under the hem and machine them in. Thus for curtains too long.
Those too short can be bordered with contrasting material, and really make the room look nicer than the plain ones.

1929 'Moving House.', Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), 3 January, p. 6. , viewed 28 Mar 2017,

1975 'Moving House', The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), 3 October, p. 32. , viewed 28 Mar 2017,

1931 'MOVING HOUSE.', The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), 17 July, p. 4. , viewed 28 Mar 2017,
Although some of this advice was given many years ago there is a lot of sense in what has been suggested.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Free Webinars from Familysearch

Pleased to share this news from Familysearch. Please note you will have to convert the times to your  current location.


 Free Family History Library Classes and Webinars for April 2017

Salt Lake City, Utah (21 March 2017), April is a great month to take a free family history class or webinar taught by specialists through the world reknowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Attend in person or online. Beginner or intermediate skill level, we bet you'll find something of interest. British, Portuguese, Finnish, Scottish, French, Chinese, Dutch, and US records-related classes are on tap. Take the introductory DNA class to help understand all the genetic genealogy excitement. And there are quite a few classes about how to get the most out of all the features and content on  Mark your calendars for events you want to join so you don't forget. Find and easily share this release online in the FamilySearch Newsroom
Online classes offered in the schedule below are noted as "Webinars". Webinar attendees need to click on the link next to the class title to attend the online class on the scheduled date and time. Those attending the Library in-person need to simply go to the room noted. Invite family and friends. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST). No registration is required.
Not able to attend a webinar live or in-person? Most sessions are taped and can be viewed later online at your convenience in the archive for Family History Library Classes and Webinars

Mon, 3-Apr,10:00 AM
Using the FamilySearch Catalog Effectively (Beginner)
Mon, 3-Apr,1:00 PM
Overview of (Beginner)
Tue, 4-Apr,10:00 AM
Starting with the FamilySearch Family Tree: Navigating, Adding a Person, Standardizing, Views, Printing (Beginner)
Tue, 4-Apr,12:00 PM
British Research Case Study (Beginner)
Tue, 4-Apr, 2:00 PM
Chinese Genealogy and How to Start (In Chinese) (Beginner)
Wed, 5-Apr,11:00 AM
Ask Your United States Research Question (Beginner)
Mon, 10-Apr,10:00 AM
Using the FamilySearch Catalog Effectively (Beginner)
Tue, 11-Apr,10:00 AM
What’s New at (Beginner)
Tue, 11-Apr,12:00 PM
Starting Chinese Genealogy (In English) (Beginner)
Tue, 11-Apr,2:00 PM
Exploring Death Notices in Norway (Intermediate)
Wed, 12-Apr,10:00 AM
French Language Records Indexing (1½ hrs) (Beginner)
Webinar  | M Lab
Wed, 12-Apr,12:00 PM
Tracing Ancestry in Scotland’s Heritable (Land) Records (Intermediate)
Wed, 12-Apr,2:00 PM
Marriage Customs and Records in Sweden (Beginner)
Wed, 12-Apr,4:00 PM
Using the Online Pennsylvania Archives (Beginner)
Thur, 13-Apr,1:00 PM
Scottish Naming Customs (Beginner)
Sat, 15-Apr,10:00 AM
Boy Scout Genealogy Merit Badge (1½ hrs.) To register go to
Sat, 15-Apr,1:00 PM
Conquistar la mitología: Usando fuentes (Beginner)
Mon, 17-Apr,10:00 AM
Using the FamilySearch Catalog Effectively (Beginner)
Tue, 18-Apr,10:00 AM
Tips and Tricks for Using FamilySearch’s Historical Records (Beginner)
Wed, 19-Apr,10:00 AM
Dutch Language Records Indexing (1½ hrs) (Beginner)
Webinar  | M Lab
Wed, 19-Apr,1:00 PM
Beginning Finnish Research: A Case Study (Beginner)
Thur, 20-Apr,11:00 AM
Starting Family Tree: Research Help and Searching Records (Beginner)
Fri, 21-Apr,1:00 PM
How to Trace Scotland’s Poor (Intermediate)
Mon, 24-Apr,10:00 AM
Using the FamilySearch Catalog Effectively (Beginner)
Tue, 25-Apr,11:00 AM
FamilySearch Wiki (Beginner)
Tue, 25-Apr,2:00 PM
Genetic Genealogy: An Introduction to DNA (Beginner)
Wed, 26-Apr,10:00 AM
Portuguese Language Records Indexing (1½ hrs) (Beginner)
Webinar  | M Lab
Wed, 26-Apr,2:00 PM
New York City Passenger Arrivals (Intermediate)
Thur, 27-Apr,10:00 AM
Genetic Genealogy: An Introduction to DNA (Beginner)
Thur, 27-Apr,1:00 PM
Your British/Irish Research Questions Answered (Beginner)
About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,991 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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