My response to NFHM 2014 Geneameme

NHFM GeneamemeHere is my own response to my National Family History Month (NFHM) geneameme. I’ll be collating all the responses in a couple of weeks but if you want to read them in the meantime you can check the links in the comments.

  1. What are you doing for NFHM? This meme is my contribution to NFHM. There’s not much happening in the NT and I’ve been caught up with live-family activities when some of the online activities have occurred. I’ve registered for Shauna’s Golden Rules of Genealogy Webinar. Meanwhile I’m working at getting my blog back on track after a few disrupted months and my “To Do” list just keeps getting longer.
  2. What do you hope to learn in NFHM? Anything to help with my family history –new ideas/ inspiration. I’m checking out Shauna’s 31 activities list to see what inspires me.
  3. Have you any special research projects on the go? I’ve recently done some German research for an American descendant of a Dorfprozelten family. It’s also time I got back to my East Clare Emigrants blog and add more of the news stories I’ve collected from Trove. I’m also working on a paper I’m giving at Queensland Family History Society on 4 October. Geniaus has just reminded me, in her response, that I’m supposed to be doing One Place Studies for Dorfprozelten and Broadford…something that is kind-of progressing with my East Clare blog and ad hoc Dorfprozelten posts.
  4. Do you research at a family or local history library? As and when something needs to be followed up offline these days…not as much as in the pre-Trove, pre-internet days.
  5. Do you do all your research online? Not at all…I love offline research but being a long way from my main research places means that it occurs sporadically.
  6. What’s your favourite place to store your family tree? I’m a bit weird and retro – I like to keep a lot in hard copy though I also keep digital images and documents. I’m still sitting on the fence with this. I don’t have my tree online at all…I figure my blog is my “cousin bait”.
  7. If offline, which genealogy program do you use? Do tell us its strengths/weaknesses if you like. I’ve used an Australian program, Relatively Yours, for decades because it was an innovator in making it possible to store more than base biographical data for people. It still allows for more challenging relationships than some others. Its weakness is that because of its quirkier data I find the gedcoms don’t always import well. However I also have copies of Family Historian and The Master Genealogist. The challenge of having decades of stored information is entering it all into a program….excuses, excuses.
  8. How do you preserve your family stories for future generations? I’ve published my Kunkel family history as a hard-copy book and I’ve also printed off family histories for some of my other families, just for my own family’s reference. Mainly I now use my blog to tell the stories of my families, and others I research.
  9. What is your favourite family history research activity? The actual research and problem solving. I like that it keeps your brain active and keeps you in learning mode.
  10. What is your favourite family history research place/library etc? That’s like choosing between your children! Queensland State Archives followed by Queensland State Library or one of the Queensland family history societies. Locally I’ve been a big user of the Darwin Family History Centre where I can read any of the microfilms I order in through Family Search.
  11. What is your favourite website for genealogy research? Trove and whichever one addresses the problem I have to solve at that time. I flip between Ancestry, FindMyPast (world), My Heritage, com and Family Search. For Scottish research you can’t go past Scotlands People.
  12. Are you part of a Facebook genealogy group? If so which one? A few: Clare Genealogy Group, Wexford Genealogy Group and our Dorfprozelten Diaspora group. I also have lots of my genie friends I follow.
  13. Do you use webinars or podcasts for genealogy? Any tips? My favourite is Maria Northcote’s excellent Genies Down Under. Tips? Invent more hours in the day to find more time to listen to more of these, and others.
  14. Do you use social media? I’m on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkdIn though I think I’m very neglectful of them as I try to balance my time with them against my research priorities. You’ll find me by name or as my aka, cassmob. I also love reading blog posts and use Feedly to keep track of them.
  15. What genealogy topic/class have you learnt the most from this year (webinar/conference/seminar)? This is a tricky one and rather than single out one I’d say the presentations on the Unlock the Past cruise in February. You can find my posts here. I thoroughly enjoyed the final talk by Chris Paton on his fascinating study of Ruhleben Internment Camp.
  16. Do you have a favourite research strategy to knock down your brick walls? I like to revisit my notes occasionally because things make more sense retrospectively. I’m not a believer in searching once and never again because I think you find new things on revised searches. My top tip would be to branch out to your ancestor’s kin and friendship network as that may be what helps you out.
  17. Have you used DNA testing for your genealogy? Yes I’ve done the family finder test with Family Tree DNA.
  18. Have you made cousin connections through your DNA tests? There are lots of reasonably close matches but it’s sometimes difficult to pin down the connections. I recently had my mother’s DNA tested along with an Irish-descended cousin. Another 3rd cousin has also had hers done so I can see where we overlap – I find having known rellies makes it easier to start unravelling the potential. I hope to write a post on this soon.
  19. Do you have a wish list of topics for NFHM 2015? I’d be interested in a webinar on oral history and more offline options, though I’m hoping to be closer to more societies by NFHM 2015.
  20. What do you most love about family history research? The thrill of the chase and slowly unravelling a sense of what an ancestor might have been like by unearthing records about their lives and times.

National Family History Month 2014 Geneameme

NHFM GeneamemeNow I’m back on my blogging feet I felt the need for a meme….after all, it’s ages since we had one! What better time than National Family History Month (NFHM)? Tucked away in the Top End I don’t have quite the smorgasbord of options available interstate, so this is my contribution.

Here goes, who wants to meme with me? I’ll collate the answers in a couple of weeks to give you time to participate around other events…hopefully it will be fun, easy and quick to complete.

Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments!

  1. What are you doing for NFHM?
  2. What do you hope to learn in NFHM?
  3. Do you research at a family or local history library?
  4. Do you do all your research online?
  5. What’s your favourite place to store your family tree?
  6. If offline, which genealogy program do you use? (do tell us its strengths/weaknesses if you like)
  7. How do you preserve your family stories for future generations?
  8. Have you any special research projects on the go?
  9. What is your favourite family history research activity?
  10. What is your favourite family history research place/library etc?
  11. What is your favourite website for genealogy research?
  12. Are you part of a Facebook genealogy group? If so which one?
  13. Do you use webinars or podcasts for genealogy? Any tips?
  14. Do you use social media? eg Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn
  15. What genealogy topic/class have you learnt the most from this year at a webinar/conference/seminar?
  16. Do you have a favourite research strategy to knock down your brick walls?
  17. Have you used DNA testing for your genealogy?
  18. Have you made cousin connections through your DNA tests?
  19. Do you have a wish list of topics for NFHM 2015?
  20. What do you most love about your family history research?

 

Australia Day 2014: C’mon Aussie Compilation

I promised no flag-waving.

I promised no flag-waving.

There’s been a great response to my impromptu Australia Day 2014 geneameme “C’mon Aussie”. I had intended it to be quick and easy given quite a few people are preparing for next week’s Unlock the Past Cruise. However, judging on people’s comments, it’s obvious that it wasn’t quite the quick outing I envisaged. It caught me by surprise too, especially the info on the length of voyages which I hadn’t looked at this way before.

The diversity of responses has been amazing and I’ve been pleased to see a couple of links to our Indigenous Australians. From all the lands on earth earth we come indeed though even now our UK heritage is evident.

Please, if I’ve missed you from my comments, twitter or Google+, do let me know so I can add your post to the list with my apologies. There’s some great ideas among the responses for presenting your ancestral information, so why not enjoy your Australia Day public holiday and have a look at a few.

All blogs are in alpha order except for Shelley from Twigs of Yore who initiated the concept in 2011. Helen Smith picked up the baton in 2013 and hopefully next year someone else might come up with an innovative idea, unless Shelley wants to return to the fray.

Twigs of Yore by Shelley

A Rebel Hand by Franc

Ancestor Chaser by Kerryn

Anglers Rest by Julie

Anne’s Family History by Anne

Exploring Family by Maureen

Family Stories: Photographs and Memories by Diane

Family History across the Seas by Pauleen

Gathering Dust by Sharon

Genealogically Speaking by Caitlin

Genealogy’s Star by James Tanner in the US (apologies for the late addition)

GeniAus by Jill

Jax Trax by Jackie

Jenniiblog by Jenni

Kylie’s Genes by Kylie

Leafing through Linda’s Tree by Linda

Shauna Hicks History Enterprises by Shauna

Strong Foundations by Sharon

That Moment in Time by Crissouli

The Genealogy Bug by Sharon

The Tree of Me by Sharon

Watson & Cannet Genealogy by Michelle

Thank you to each and every one of you for joining in the fun, and to those readers who’ve left comments.

I’m off to look at my packing for the cruise!

Climbing your family’s gum tree – or Moreton Bay Fig

I promised no flag-waving.

I promised no flag-waving.

Earlier this week I posed a geneameme challenge to encourage Aussie bloggers to celebrate Australia Day 2014. It’s been great to see all the responses so far, which I’ll collate and post early next week. Meanwhile here’s my own response to the challenge.Since my roots go deep in Queensland soil, perhaps my family tree should be a Moreton Bay fig.

My first ancestor who arrived in Australia is: Now likely to be Mary O’Brien but previously was the Kent family from Sandon who arrived on the General Hewitt in December 1854,

I have Australian Royalty (tell us who, how many and which Fleet they arrived with): No royalty in my gene pool though Mr Cassmob can claim a couple, one Irish and one English (a Pentonvillean).

I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from: Ireland, England, Scotland and Germany.

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? Not as far as I can determine, unless George Kunkel didn’t swim after all. Otherwise I have assisted and nominated passengers. Mary O’Brien’s fare may have been paid for her, if I have the correct voyage, as she’s not among the assisted immigrants.

The sailing ship Florentia. Image from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and reproduced with permission. Image PW 7704

The sailing ship Florentia. Image from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and reproduced with permission. Image PW 7704

How many ancestors came as singles? Three (George Kunkel, William Partridge and Mary O’Brien, though her sister travelled with her)

How many came as couples? None

How many came as family groups? Six: two Sherry families (a year apart), the Kents (Herts), Gavins (Dublin), Melvins (Leith) and McCorkindales (Glasgow).

Did one person lead the way and others follow? The McCorkindale sons Duncan and Peter arrived in Sydney in 1900 and Peter later moved to Brisbane. Ten years later their mother and siblings arrived in Brisbane. With my O’Brien family there is a typical Irish chain migration with a younger sibling following the older ones, and from one generation to the next (nieces and nephews).

What’s the longest journey they took to get here? Assuming my Mary O’Brien did arrive on the Florentia, then her voyage was the longest at 5.5 months. Somewhat bizarrely in researching this question I’ve discovered that five of my immigrant groups took either 106 or 107 days, even though their arrival years, and decades, were quite different. My five-month old grandfather had the luck of the Irish as his journey only took 49 days in 1884 on the British-India ship, the Almora.

The Almora, 1883. Image from John Oxley Library, SLQ. Negative number: 43560, out of copyright.

The Almora, 1883. Image from John Oxley Library, SLQ. Negative number: 43560, out of copyright.

Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place? None in my own family tree, unless George Kunkel travelled via the UK or USA. However I’ve seen it in other families I research – immigration records offer great clues to this.

Which state(s)/colony did your ancestors arrive? All my direct ancestors arrived in the Moreton Bay colony, later Queensland.

Did they settle and remain in one state/colony? With one exception they all remained in Queensland. My Melvin great-grandfather moved to Sydney late in life (after the death of his second wife, Emily). He’d been in Queensland for forty odd years.

Image from Wikimedia, under Creative Commons.

Regional map of Queensland. Image from Wikimedia, under Creative Commons.

 Did they stay in one town or move around? My ancestors were a mob of gad-abouts. The railway work would explain a great deal, but even some of the self-employed moved around. Only two families stayed put to any extent: the Kents and Partridges in Ipswich.

Do you have any First Australians in your tree? No

Were any self-employed? Yes, my Kunkels (at times), Melvins and possibly Partridge.

What occupations or industries did your earliest ancestors work in? The railway is my number one industry with merchant seamen in close pursuit.  Stephen Gillespie Melvin had been a merchant seaman and ship’s steward.  He owned confectionery businesses/pastry shops in Ipswich, Charters Towers and Sydney. He also dabbled, unsuccessfully, in mining. George Kunkel tried his hand at running a boarding house and also had a “highly operative sausage machine” in Ipswich, as well as selling meat to the miners at Talloom gold fields. The family later had a farm at Murphys Creek, Qld. William Partridge was a carpenter and a sometime undertaker.

 Does anyone in the family still follow that occupation? I’m the first Kunkel, and the first McSherry, in my direct family line to have no employment with Queensland Rail. There are still a few Kunkels involved in farming. I do wish someone still worked as a confectioner though.

The Aorangi: my SGM sailed on its maiden voyage. Painting by Gregory, C. Dickson . Image from State Library of Victoria http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/182145878

The Aorangi: my SGM sailed on its maiden voyage. Painting by Gregory, C. Dickson . Image from State Library of Victoria http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/182145878

Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”? None made a permanent return that I know of. My Stephen Melvin made regular trips back to England and Scotland for business and to see the brother who remained there.

NOW IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU

What’s your State of Origin? Queensland. (Yes, I’m a banana bender…go the mighty Maroons!)

Do you still live there? Not for the past 17 years, though we plan to return there in a year or so. I’m a maroon boomerang.

Where was your favourite Aussie holiday place as a child? Magnetic Island off Townsville.

Any special place(s) you like to holiday now? In Australia, Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Lennox Heads in NSW or quick trips to Kakadu in the NT.

 Share your favourite spot in Oz: Camping at Hastings Point in northern NSW is one of them…so many choices. Perhaps also the mid-north coast of Western Australia –their beaches are spectacular, which is quite a concession from a Queenslander.

Whale sharks are amazingly huge but gentle creatures. Image from Shutterstock.com

Whale sharks are amazingly huge but gentle creatures. Image from Shutterstock.com

 Any great Aussie adventure you’ve had? Swimming with the whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef.

What’s on your Australian holiday bucket list?  Doing another driving tour of Tassie, and revisiting Uluru and the coast of Western Australia.

How do you celebrate Australia Day? Usually writing an Australia Day challenge response and maybe something casual with family…very unpatriotic.

I thought this post would be quick and easy, but it turned out there was quite a bit to research after all.

A billabong along the way -beautiful reflections

The Top End in the Wet Season.

It’s All in the Numbers Geneameme

A while ago Alona from LoneTester HQ blog launched the It’s All in the Numbers Geneameme. For ages my mind was blank on what numbers would be relevant, but eventually the lightbulb went from dim to bright and here is my contribution, focused as so often, on my immigrant ancestors.

But first I want to remember my great-great grandmother Mary O’Brien Kunkel who was buried in the Murphys Creek (Qld) cemetery on this day 95 years ago. You’re not forgotten Mary.

My McSherry great-grandparents and some of their children, kindly provided to me by a cousin.

My McSherry great-grandparents and some of their children, kindly provided to me by a cousin. My grandfather on the left, and his sister beside him seem to be an addition to the photo.

My McSherry/Sherry/McSharry family gets the guernsey for the greatest number of winning entries and here they are:

3             most name changes – from Sherry on arrival to McSharry for the parents and most children (many adult) and McSherry for my own great-grandparents (2nd phase arrivals a year later).

15           most children in one family, to Peter and Mary McSherry; with Stephen and Emily Melvin in second place, with 14 children.

5             most direct immigrant ancestors: two great-great grandparents, two great-grandparents and my grandfather (James and Bridget, Peter and Mary, James Joseph)

2             the age of my youngest immigrant ancestor on arrival –my grandfather

The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1929), Saturday 12 March 1887, page 17

The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 – 1929), Saturday 12 March 1887, page 17 The unidentified man was John McSharry, aged 22.

2             set of twins to my great-grandparents – one set died as still births, another daughter died in infancy, but one survived.

10           children in my McSharry 2xgreat grandparents’ family

3             “children” (ages 7, 9 and 22) who died within 7 years of arriving

15           largest number of immigrants from one family (two phases 11 + 4)

1             most elusive ancestor – James Sherry aka James McSharry  – but not to be confused with the man of the same name who co-owned O’Rourke & McSharry, a big railway construction company.

And some of my other family history numbers:

92           the oldest age at death (Martin Furlong –father of my McSharry 2xgreat grandmother)

11           children born to my Kunkel 2xgreat grandparents and great-grandparents. 10 to George and Mary survived infancy and 11 to George and Julia.

6             number of families who arrived in Australia (Kent, Melvin, Gavin, Sherry x 2, McCorkindale)

3             number of singles who arrived in Australia (Kunkel, O’Brien, Partridge)

8             Irish immigrants – direct ancestors (McSherry, O’Brien, Gavin)

4             English immigrants – direct ancestors (Kent, Partridge)

3             Scottish immigrants –direct ancestors (McCorkindale, Melvin)

1             solitary Bavarian (German) ancestor (Kunkel)

10           2nd largest immigration of family – McCorkindales -2 phases (2 + 8)

Thanks Alona for suggesting this topic. It took a while for me to get my head around it but once I settled on the theme I really enjoyed it.

And here is the grave of my Mary O’Brien, husband George Kunkel and two of their children including my great-grandfather George Michael Kunkel.981 George and Mary Kunkel grave

Flowers of Remembrance Geneameme

La vie en rosesA few days ago I suggested a new open-ended Flowers of Remembrance geneameme: which flowers remind you of your family (close and distant) and perhaps even friends. I’d been reflecting how certain flowers, or plants, made me think of those who’ve gone before me and wondered if other people did the same.

So here is my own response: a mix of fragrances, flowers and plants.

My Aunty Emily (great aunt) was like a grandmother to me after my maternal grandmother died. Aunty Emily makes me think of pansies because they were on the china she gave me and her own china, the magnificent roses in New Farm Park where’d we meet for an outing. She also makes me think of the fragrance of lavender and violets.

HydrangeaMy paternal grandmother is always associated with big blue-purple hydrangeas, which she had growing in tubs under the verandah. I don’t recall ever seeing cut flowers in the house.

My paternal grandfather makes me think of maidenhair fern which he had growing in old casks under the same verandah. Why he makes me think of ferns and her of flowers I don’t know…gender bias?

Dad conjures up thoughts of gerberas and roses. The gerberas were large double ones, usually orange, and he got the seeds from a nursery in Bundaberg (Bauer’s I believe). His Roundelay roses were spectacular and I loved a candy-pink and cream-striped rose that he grew as well, even though I usually dislike variegated plants (can’t retrieve its name). The mango tree and its flowers – the tree that was planted when he was born all those years ago – although a bit scruffy looking, still holding on, ninety odd years later.

PansiesMum and flowers go together like a horse and carriage. We often had cut flowers from the garden in the house. Floral thoughts take me to pansies, sweet peas and Dad’s roses. The roses and sweet peas would go in a crystal vase but the pansies were always displayed in a heart-shaped frosted green-glass dish where they sat perfectly. Mum was also behind my habit of taking flowers to school for feast days and other special occasions. Flower arranging has been a hobby of hers for a very long time, for her own pleasure and for use in the church, or indeed our wedding reception.

DSC_1396Mr Cassmob is forever associated for me with the dainty bunches of violets he would buy for me while we were at uni –the jealous looks I’d get you wouldn’t believe. The fragrance was magnificent. He also evokes red roses and hibiscus and I thank my lucky stars that his mother taught her son not only to love flowers, but to buy them for his wife.

My mother-in-law loved flowers but only displayed them, one or two at a time, in tiny vases. Her favourites were hibiscus which she grew in Papua New Guinea, including importing a special purple one from Hawaii back in the 1960s. Each day a new hibiscus would be placed in a small upside-down bowl on the dining table. At her husband’s funeral we learned that he had bought her yellow roses, so that’s an earlier association.

My father-in-law, apart from those yellow roses, was happy to have flowers around, as having Kaye happy was one of his raisons d’être.

606 roses 2One daughter also loves fresh flowers in the house, whatever is seasonal, and for some of us our memories will be of her Nairobi house filled with gorgeous roses.

Another daughter turns my thoughts to flower arrangements which she seems to accrue fairly often in her teaching role and orchids and stargazer lilies remind me of her wedding.

My husband remembers his grandmother in country Victoria, for her mulberry trees, and his other grandmother for the roses in the front garden.

My good friend Linda is a lover of all flowers but especially the fragrant ones: jasmine, gardenias and camellias. Another friend has frangipani in her Christmas displays. Thoughts of another friend bring to mind the hoya cutting we gave her, that has gone beserk and grown magnificently for her.

Lavender Bridestowe Tasmania Jan 09And my own favourites? What would others say? Perhaps lavender or grevilleas or frangipani …or just any flowers. Mr Cassmob says violets and red roses. My daughters might say the Stargazer lilies that we so often have in the house here. What I really dislike are arum lilies and gladioli which remind me of the many funerals I attended at my primary school. Recently I’ve been developing a passion for peonies which is thwarted because you just don’t see them here.

Even though I don’t know my distant ancestors, I’d associate George Kunkel with orange blossoms from his fruit orchard, and of course what else would Mary O’Brien evoke but shamrocks?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little geneameme with its evocation of sight, fragrance and those we’ve loved, now or in the distant past.

What it’s made me realise is how little I know about the flower preferences of some of my friends, and that not everyone has cut flowers in the house. I know some people prefer them to stay on the bushes (Robyn, are you reading?) but I like them in both places.

Do you have seasonal or travel floral memories?

A hibiscus for Kaye.

A hibiscus for Kaye.

Mine are: jacarandas flowering in Spring in the Great Court, or round the lake, as a prelude to exam time at The University of Queensland; a mass of pink Eucalyptus ptychocarpa (now apparently Corymbia ptychocarpa) blossoms that appear in Brisbane and Darwin at this time of year; the bright yellow pom-poms of Xanthostemon in Brisbane summers (spectacular last year); native violets blanketing the garden; masses of grevillea in spring, the cerise flowers of Melaleuca viridiflora smothering the tree in my parent’s backyard. The Cassia fistula’s magnificent yellow pendulous flowers in Brisbane and Port Moresby, and their hazardous seedpods; and the Golden Raintree (Koelreutia paniculata) on our Brisbane footpath. The arrival of the Christmas owls in the liquidamber in our Brisbane back yard remain a precious memory even though the tree-phobic neighbour has won out and had the tree removed. The poincianas bursting into red flower as Christmas approaches, the pinks of the frangipani at Christmas and the flush of white on the melaleucas, the waterlilies on the billabongs in Kakadu. The wonderful gardens we visit during each year’s Open Gardens scheme throughout the Dry Season.

Do you remember those Scratch’n’Sniff books which were around in the early 70s? That’s what we need for today’s post! If you haven’t already posted on this topic, why not join in? Please leave your link in the comments or use a #flowersgeneameme twitter tag.

The Flowers of Remembrance Geneameme

La vie en rosesI’ve been sorting through this year’s desk calendar, a gorgeous one with images of flowers, which made me think of flowers and how we associate them with the people in our lives or our history.

And so to a fairly open-ended geneameme, rather than the usual structured variety. Why not record what flowers (or plants/trees) spring to mind when you think of particular people in your family tree or among your friends’ list. (Please only use first names if their still alive). You can approach it as “Aunty x makes me think of flower y” or “when I see this flower, I think of person xx or place/event ….”. It’s up to you, go with what inspires you at first glance.

Did your father always plants vegetables, or a particular type of plant (rather than flowers)? If so include that as well. This is a creative and flexible geneameme.

You might even want to record which flowers you love and what seasons you associate them with. This could be a supplement to your Book of Me entries (I hope Julie doesn’t have this topic lined up for the future).

P1130497 And so it’s over to you: let’s bring together our senses of sight and smell and mix-and-match to family we’ve known or read about. Some associations will leap immediately to mind, others will challenge our thoughts and emotions.

So for example: Aunty Emily makes me think of roses in New Farm Park, pansies on teacups and the fragrance of lavender and violets.

Will you join me in this multi-sensory geneameme? I’ll close off the list in a week and consolidate the responses in a blog post. If you’re posting on Twitter, please use the hastag #flowersgeneameme to make it easier to find.

Don’t forget to leave a comment with your link so we can all visit.

P1120908

The Blogger’s Geneameme

This geneameme is a response to a challenge set by Jill at Geniaus in celebration of Australia’s National Family History Month, August 2013. Thanks Jill for yet more blogging inspiration.

  1. What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog/s?I have two genealogy blogs. My main (and inaugural) blog is Family History Across The SeasThe other, more recent, is From Dorfprozelten to Australia about the emigrants from that Bavarian village to Australia.
  2. Do you have a wonderful “Cousin Bait” blog story? A link to a previous blog post might answer this question. The biggest round of “cousin bait” is the links for the Dorfprozelten families: there’ve been so many I started to feel like a matchmaker! Hence why I started the other blog
  3. Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging? I had attended a couple of sessions of adult classes about learning web page design, when I learned about blogging and decided it was for me. An early influence was Shauna Hicks and a great early supporter, with the first comment by Geniaus and supportive comments by Carole Riley. Thanks Shauna, Jill and Carole for your early encouragement!
  4. How did you decide on your blog/s title/s?  One of my key interests is migration history, hence the combination of migration and family history in the title.
  5. Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they? No, but I check comments and respond on my smart phone or iPad. I get my thoughts down so much faster typing on the laptop.
  6. How do you let others know when you have published a new post? Through Twitter and directly to my followers on email.
  7. How long have you been blogging? Nearly four years, come December!
  8. What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blogA search facility, categories/archives and a “follow me” option. I think an “About me” page is important so readers can know where I’m coming from, as they say. I also have a “translate this” page because of my German interest-not sure anyone uses it though.
  9. What is the purpose of your blog/s? Who is your intended audience? To document my families’ histories, to some extent my own personal history, and those of the extended groups I research. My audience: anyone who’s interested, though rarely my own family. I also publish my posts in a Blurb book so I can leave it for my descendants to digest later on.  I love the opportunity to shine a light on the Dorfprozelten emigrants as a collective rather than as individuals.
  10. Which of your posts are you particularly proud of? Too hard….perhaps Wealth for Toil on the Railways? It’s like asking to choose between your children… Or maybe my Beyond the Internet series.
  11. How do you keep up with your blog reading? Since the demise of Reader I’ve been a bit rudderless but either with Feedly or Bloglovin’.  
  12. What platform do you use for publishing your blog/s? WordPress.com
  13. What new features would you like to see in your blogging platform? The ability to isolate out the stats for every post, irrespective of whether readers hit the home page or that specific post.
  14. Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers? I can’t easily tell this from my stats because it lists that day’s posts under “home” (or I haven’t figured out the right way to find it! feel free to enlighten me if you know how!), but this post certainly was a high scorer: V is for the Valiant of Villers-Bretonneux. It’s not the day I had the highest number of hits, but on that day the visits were spread over a lot of posts. Did Time Thief read my mind: this is her post today http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/
  15. Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog? Sole blogger.
  16. How do you compose your blog posts? I write my posts on Word and copy and paste then add images. The inspiration sometimes just “pops into my head” and is easy to write.
  17. Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs. I have a book blog, Bewitched by Books and one about the Top End of Australia (and travel) called Tropical Territory and Travel.
  18. Have you listed your blog/s at Geneabloggers?  Yes
  19. Which resources have helped you with your blogging? A wordpress site by Time Thief called  One Cool Site, Geneabloggers for linking all genealogy bloggers world-wide, Geniaus for linking and supporting Aussie geneabloggers and, most importantly, my fellow bloggers for their support and inspiration.
  20. What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger? Just do it! It’s fun and you’ll make great friends world-wide.

 

Deck the Halls – 2012 Christmas Geneameme

It’s the start of the Advent season today and I thought it would be fun if we shared our different experiences of Christmas and how we celebrate it around the world. By doing this through a geneameme we’ll be able to compare our responses and see whether we do things very differently or if there’s lots of similarities.

For this meme, it doesn’t matter whether you’re religiously inclined or not, just tell us how important this season is to your family.

It would be great if you joined in from around the world– the more the merrier (and it’s the season to be merry!).  I’ve tried not to be Australia-centric so please pull me up if any of these are unclear…we should all be able to “have a go”.

THE 2012 CHRISTMAS GENEAMEME

  1. Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?
  2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?
  3. Did/do you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?
  4. Do you go carolling in your neighbourhood?
  5. What’s your favourite Christmas music?
  6. What’s your favourite Christmas carol?
  7. Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read?
  8. Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?
  9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?
  10. What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal?
  11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?
  12. Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?
  13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they?
  14. Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?
  15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?
  16. Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?
  17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins?
  18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?
  19. Is your neighbourhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue?
  20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?
  21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?
  22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue?
  23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?
  24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year?
  25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?
  26. Do you have special Xmas tree decorations?
  27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?

 Thanks for participating in this Christmas Geneameme and sharing your Christmas experiences!

Don’t forget to leave a link to your geneameme response in the comments section or on Google+ or on Twitter using hashtag #xmasgeneameme. Thanks!

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2013.

Ring the Bells -Upcoming Christmas Geneameme

It’s been a long while since we’ve had a geneameme and I thought it might be fun to  do a Christmas Geneameme-after all it’s not as if we’re busy or anything <smile>. If we get participation from readers around the world it will be a fun way to learn how others celebrate Christmas.

Do you want to join in? I’ll be posting the geneameme on 2nd December, the start of Advent, and will collate all the responses on Sunday 16th December so there’s time for people to get involved.

Maybe you haven’t been involved in a geneameme and aren’t sure what to do….

Here’s how the Geneameme works

Copy the list from my 2 December post into your blog

Add your comments after each question (writing your comments in a different colour/italicised makes the responses easier to read).

Try to add more than a yes/no answer so we can learn more about everyone’s experiences.

If there’s something I’ve missed feel free to add another question/comment.

Please leave a link in the comments section of my blog or on Google+ or use a #xmasgeneameme Twitter tag. (Google alerts aren’t always reliable).

On 16th December I’ll post a link to all our posts. (I figure after that everyone will be in manic-Xmas-preparation mode, or maybe travelling).

HAVE FUN!

If you don’t have a blog you can still participate by sending me a comment with your responses (or to my email -see the right hand bar on the home page).