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



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

101 Reasons to Attend #congress_2018 - Thom Reed

I am one of the lucky ones who has met Thom Reed from Familysearch when I have been in Salt Lake City for Rootstech. I have gotten to know Thom through our Facebook friendship, he has struck me as a fun-loving and happy chap who is committed to his family and Family History. I can't wait to hear Thom present at Congress in March next year.

If you are coming to Congress in 2018 you too will have an opportunity to hear Thom present. Meanwhile you could follow him on Twitter, https://twitter.com/iamthomreed and watch his videos on Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqwfeKAMsc7C-zChXaYZxFw/videos.

In the interim take a look at Thom as he makes his Grandma Theora's Sweet Potato Pie.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Rootstech Pass Giveaway


One of the perks of being a RootsTech 2018 Ambassador is that I receive a free pass for myself and one to give to one of my genimates. I need to run a little competition to select a winner.


The winner will receive a complimentary RootsTech 2018 4-day pass ($279 value) with access to:
  • Over 300 classes
  • Keynote / General sessions
  • RootsTech classes
  • Innovation Showcase
  • Expo hall
  • Evening events
This 4-Day Pass does not include airfare, hotel or the coverage of any other expenses. If the winner has already registered for RootsTech 2018, the original registration fee will be refunded.

What do you need to do to be in the draw?

In an email to jillballau@gmail.com please use the subject line Rootstech 2018 Pass Giveaway.

In the body of the email please tell me three things a Rootstech attendee needs to take to Rootstech to enhance his/her experience. Remember to include your name and contact details.

So that all is above board I will draw the winner at the next meeting of my local family history group, The Hornsby Shire Family History Group, on November 15th and will publish the winner's name on this blog.

Please forward your entries by noon Monday 13th November GMT time.

By entering this draw you give permission for your name to reported on social media.


Rootstech 2017

A Roller Coaster Ride

The last ten weeks or so have been rather hectic in the GeniAus household so genealogy and geneablogging have been put on the back burner.

We put our home of 25 years on the market in August and it sold within two days, something we were not prepared for. As we were to go overseas at the beginning of September we had to pack up in haste and move to the new home we had already purchased. A week after moving and leaving many boxes upacked we took off on our eight week adventure.

First stop was Ireland where we visited Limerick and Clare to see if we could find any dirt on my convict ancestors Patrick Curry and Ellen Moore. I was lucky to find on microfilm a newspaper paragraph giving details of Ellen's crime in the Limerick City Library.

Digging up the dirt on Ellen at Limerick Local Studies
It's not all online
 Unfortunately I was unable to find mention of my ancestors at The Clare County Library.


The charming Local Studies building in Clare County Library
The archivist we consulted at the Genealogy Centre in Nenagh, Tipperary was very pleasant and helpful but also quite blunt. She reinforced that I would probably not find any further information from the late 18th and early 19th century on my Tipperary ancestors as the records just don't exist. Hers was a realistic approach but I believe in miracles! This centre, housed in an old gaol is worth a visit. There is a free audiovisual presentation about the history of the building as well as a small display of artefacts.

The Genealogy Centre and Museum in Nenagh


The purpose of this trip was touristing so I removed my genealogy hat as we returned to Dublin where we set out on a Backroads Tour. I really enjoyed our small group tour with an informative and laid back guide who taught us so much about Ireland's history as we explored the backroads of this beautiful country. It was much less stressful than those self drive holidays where I am the navigator.

Towards the end of our Irish tour my children were in constant contact as my mother had taken ill.  We decided to forgo our time in London and trip to the Channel Islands and travel back to Australia to be with Mum. Mum's condition deteriorated after we arrived home and she passed away on the 25th September. I am an only child so the responsibility of making arrangements fell to me (with the super support of Mr GeniAus). Although Mum had been suffering from dementia for a few years her passing was still quite  a wrench.

We had to wait a week to hold the funeral so in the interim we packed Mum's possessions up (and took them to our new home) and I devoted quite some time to preparing my eulogy and the order of service. I was so proud of the sendoff the family gave Mum, all of her grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren over ten took an active role in the service.

When we came home we had not intended returning to our holiday but as things had moved so swiftly we decided to fly to Montreal after the funeral to join our cruise to New York followed by our tour to Cuba. The cruise provided some quiet time for relaxation and reflection prior to our hectic time in Cuba.

Autumn colours in Acadia National Par
We had a wonderful holiday and  came home exhausted just over a week ago. We have discovered that there are five op shops in our new area and we have already made the acquaintance of three of these as we go through our stuff and Mum's and pass on clothes and household goods to others who may make use of them.

Although I am a little lacking in motivation I intend to get back into genealogy and blogging over the next few weeks. 

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