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.

Australia Day Challenge 2014: C’mon Aussie

I promised no flag-waving.

I promised no flag-waving.

G’day cobbers, how’re you going? Hope you’re feeling grouse. Australia Day is coming up so it’s time for another dinkum-Aussie challenge. Since quite a few of us are gearing up for the next Unlock the Past cruise, I thought I’d make it a quick and easy geneameme for those who wish to participate, eh.

Let’s see how deep your roots go into our Aussie soil. Do you have Australian Royalty?

If for you Australia Day is Survival Day, tell us your family’s story and show up our Johnny-come-lately status.

The geneameme comes in two parts: one to test whether your family is ridgey-didge and the second to show us how Australia runs in your veins, without any flag-waving and tattoo-wearing. Shout it out, be proud and make everyone wish they lived in this wide brown land of ours.

Feel free to add and subtract and even add a short story at the end. The world’s your oyster, so have a go! C’mon Aussie C’mon C’mon.

092 Termite mounds and gum tree copyCLIMBING YOUR FAMILY’S GUM TREE

My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was:

I have Australian Royalty (tell us who, how many and which Fleet they arrived with):

I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from:

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam?

How many ancestors came as singles?

How many came as couples?

How many came as family groups?

Did one person lead the way and others follow?

What’s the longest journey they took to get here?

Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place?

Which state(s)/colony did your ancestors arrive?

Did they settle and remain in one state/colony?

Did they stay in one town or move around?

Do you have any First Australians in your tree?

Were any self-employed?

What occupations or industries did your earliest ancestors work in?

Does anyone in the family still follow that occupation?

Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”?

NOW IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU

What’s your State of Origin?

Do you still live there?

Where was your favourite Aussie holiday place as a child?

Any special place you like to holiday now?

Share your favourite spot in Oz:

Any great Aussie adventure you’ve had?

What’s on your Australian holiday bucket list?

How do you celebrate Australia Day?

I’ve just realised that entirely coincidentally I came up with 26 questions for 26 January…how bizarre is that!

Feel free to post your responses any time in the coming week and I’ll collate them on the Australia Day holiday. Please leave a message about your post in the comments (WP.com doesn’t like linky lists). Otherwise use twitter tag #ozday2014. Thanks for joining in mate.

Thanks to Rebel Hand for inspiring me for the midnight inspiration to set up this challenge, following in the 2013 steps of Helen Smith and Shelley from Twigs of Yore in 2012 and 2011. ( Psst, there’s still scope for someone else to add another, non-geneameme, challenge for the day).

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

Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2013

Once again Jill aka GeniAus has posed another end-of-year geneameme for us. She thinks we’re too tough on ourselves and need to reflect on the positives we’ve achieved in 2013 rather than all the things we wished we’d accomplished. So here’s my response.

2013

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was – no new ones this year but I’ve learned a little more about some like when and how the Dorfprozelten emigrants left Bavaria…but not my George Kunkel (so unusual..not)

2.  A precious family photo I found was not for me, but for Prue from Becoming Prue when I posted a photo of Erle Victor Weis for Remembrance Day – it turned out he was Prue’s 1st cousin, twice removed…talk about coincidences! I also saw photos of some of the early Dorfprozelten descendants at the Zöller/Zeller reunion at Highfields. During my mother’s move mid-year I was given a prayer book which was a gift to my grandmother shortly before she emigrated.

3.  An ancestor’s grave I found was… no new ones this year. I do need to try to find where in Glasgow my great-grandfather Duncan McCorkindale is buried.

4.  An important vital record I found came from a blog reader who shared a brilliant resource he’d acquired in Ireland which I’d never seen despite several visits to local archives etc etc. Not precisely a vital record, but even better given its contextual value in the beginning of the Famine years and shortly after the parish records commence. I’m still waiting on some “copyright” clearances to see if I can disclose more about this wonderful document from Kilseily parish, County Clare. I am indebted to my reader, Morgan, for sharing it with me. Truly an Irish research pot of gold!

Image from Shutterstock.com

Image from Shutterstock.com

5.  A newly found family member who shared: a 4th cousin from my 3xgreat grandmother’s first marriage to Georg Ulrich. In 2012 I traced the family in the US census records, recently Tom commented on my blog and said “your history is part of my history which has been lost”. During last night’s hangout a few of those online mentioned how much pleasure it gave them when they helped someone. I’m so pleased that Tom and I have connected up across the miles. I just wish I could find my George Kunkel’s brother as well - Philip Joseph Kunkel (bapt 17 October 1840) who reputedly also went to “America” (any relatives out there? Anywhere?)

6.  A geneasurprise I received came from a blog reader who shared a brilliant resource he’d acquired in Ireland, yet I’d never unearthed. (See #4) I was over the moon and doing a family history happy jig.

7.   My 2013 blog posts that I was particularly proud of was the Fab Feb Photo Collage series invented by Julie Goucher (she’s a busy woman!) Not only did I enjoy sharing my own 7xUP series with the blogosphere but also rather enjoyed re-reading it myself last night <smile> I’ve also started writing up posts for Julie’s Book of Me series, though I’m rather behind with topics. I also completed the A to Z April challenge for the second time in 2013. This year it was a tour around Oz, with Aussie colloquialisms, which I posted to my Tropical Territory blog. It was a voyage of discovery for me too as I met other bloggers whose interests don’t even include family history – can you imagine?

8.   My 2013 blog posts that received a large number of hits or comments were the two I wrote when our lovely furry friend, Springer, disappeared back in March and then was restored to us on Anzac Day Eve. I was so thankful for the support my friends gave me. I also ventured into the the Sepia Saturday themes this year and got lots of support from fellow Sepians - what a great group they are!

9.  A new piece of software I “mastered” was Google hangouts and Win 8. I’m using Evernote but I wouldn’t like to say I’ve mastered it either.

10. A social media tool I “enjoyed” using for genealogy was Google Hangouts…slowly feeling more comfortable with it and the opportunity to chat with like-minded people around the world.

11. A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was the Geniaus Community Hangouts. A bit of a drought locally this year.

12. I am proud of the presentation I gave in Darwin during Seniors Month on blogging. People went away clearer about its purpose but only a handful expressed a real on-going interest and one potential blogger. I am also thrilled to have been selected to present a few other papers but as yet they’re still not publicised.

13. A journal/magazine article I had published was: nada, but this blog did make the Inside History Top 50 again in 2013 – thanks Jill Ball and Inside History, another happy dance <smile>.

14. I taught a friend how to…<mind blank>…I shared lots of stuff and discoveries on the blog but person-to-person, does that count? Blogging friends certainly taught me lots over the year!

15. A genealogy history book that has already taught me something new is one of my Christmas presents (yes I’m already into it!), Sending Out Ireland’s Poor by Gerard Moran. I think it’s going to offer lots of learning.

16. A great repository/archive/library I visited was the Anglican Archives in Brisbane (currently residing at Bowen Hills, not far from the Exhibition Grounds. A fantastic resource!

17. A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Not the Same Sky by Evelyn Conlon. I was especially interested in the idea that the immigrants silenced thoughts, and mentions, of “home”. Why not read Carole Riley’s review?

18. It was exciting to meet County Clare Facebook coordinator extraordinaire, Chris Goopy, again for a lovely long chat in Brisbane. I’m also looking forward six weeks to when I meet some fellow fanatics genealogists, great bloggers and excellent presenters on the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise in southern Australia.

19. A geneadventure I enjoyed was…well it was indirect but I unearthed lots of interesting family bits and pieces when I helped my mother move to a retirement home. Meeting an enthusiastic bunch of Zeller descendants at their reunion was also great fun, mitigated by the recent death of the man who’d done so much to bring them together, Paul Davis.

20. Another positive I would like to share is the growth in interest by the Dorfprozelten descendants, many of whom are beavering away at their own families; building networks; sharing a Zöller family reunion, and establishing a facebook group for the Dorfprozelten Descendants.

21. I’m thrilled to be one of the Official Bloggers for the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise, and look forward to sharing some of the excitement with you via my blog posts. Just imagine 245 enthusiasts in one place listening to great talks…woohoo!

This year was more about my living relatives: spending a holiday in Africa with two of our adult daughters, several trips to Brisbane including helping Mum move, and other family engagements. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the living take precedence over the long-gone ancestors.

I expect I’ll be doing a more critical review of my year before the year is out but thank you Jill, for encouraging us to be more affirmative in how we view what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months.

SNGF & Deck the Halls Geneameme 2012 Revisited

Baby Jesus in mangerJust the other day I came across a post I wrote last year and had almost forgotten. Imagine my surprise today to discover that Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings blog has generously featured it on this last week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF)! (I prepared this last Sunday and forgot to upload -Christmas rushing?)

So if you didn’t see the Deck the Halls Christmas Geneameme I created last year, why not write up your responses and post a comment on this blog and also on Randy’s so we can all have some weekend Christmas fun. Thanks Randy for sharing the fun this year as well as in 2012.

Yvonne from Yvonne’s Genealogy Blog is first cab off the rank (after Randy) in 2013 though Angela from The Silver Voice has also reblogged her story too. Pam from My Maine Ancestry also joined in the fun.

Meanwhile here are the responses from the geneabloggers who joined in for Christmas 2012. They make great reading about the similar experiences we share as well as the regional differences.

A Pocket Full of Family Memories from Deb on Australian and UK Christmases

Angler’s Rest by Julie in England

Family History 4U from Sharn in Sydney.

Family History across the Seas my own response

Family History Fun by Sue in Scotland

Family Stories Photographs and Memories from Diane in Sydney

Finding Eliza from Kristin in the USA.

Geniaus by Jill in Sydney

Geneamusings by Randy in San Diego as part of last Saturday’s Genealogy Fun (thanks Randy)

Hanging from the Family Tree by Donna in the USA.

Jenny’s Genealogy Blog from Jenny in Sydney.

Jottings Journeys and Genealogy from Judy in Queensland (with a bush-Christmas slant) Lone Tester from Alona in South Australia

Red de Antepasados by Sonia in Madrid, Spain (use your friendly Google Translate button to read Sonia’s responses, unless your Spanish is better than mine!)

Round Tuit Genealogy by Linda in Illinois, USA

Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family by Catherine in South Australia

Shauna Hicks History Enterprises from Shauna in Queensland

That Moment in Time by Crissouli in Queensland

Tracking Down The Family from Jennifer in Bendigo, Victoria advent candles

And an absolutely delightful post about Christmas in Donegal, Ireland in the 1950s which The Silver Voice kindly said was inspired by this geneameme.

Thanks again everyone for joining in, and showing us the wonderful traditions people have around the world.

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.

 

Social Media Geneameme

The world is your family tree oyster with blogging. Edited image from Office Clip Art.

Share your discoveries on your blog.

Jill Ball from Geniaus asked us to respond to her Social Media Geneameme. Here are my comments on the Geneameme:

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

If we can count blogging as social media, which I would, then that would be my favourite. It gives me the chance to express my opinions, tell my family stories, receive comments from others (who often become friends) and respond to their comments. I think the latter is very important if we’re to build links through our social media.

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

I tweet my posts and discoveries I’ve made on other’s blogs. I think the most useful thing I can do is offer comments on other’s blogs, and really appreciate their comments on mine, hence why it’s important to respond. I like Google+ for its ability to differentiate between groups (family history, family, friends). I’m slowly coming to like FB better.

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)

I can relate to this. Thanks to Shauna Hicks’ presentations in Darwin a few years ago I dabble in twitter and facebook and over time I’ve become more acclimatised to FB than I did when it was just a day-to-day thing.

When I came back from Papua New Guinea it all seemed quite trivial and I wondered why I was bothering.

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

I hate feeling like the tail is wagging the dog and that we “must” follow twitter or FB or Google+ slavishly. I think often of the advice from my former professional staff development person and also the Steven Covey’s “7 habits of highly successful people”. We need to decide what works, what doesn’t and use these tools to serve us rather than derail us from our objectives. Twitter/FB/Google+ do not have to be our masters!

 5. How does social media assist with your CGD (continuing genealogical development)?
Using Google Reader enables me to stay in touch with what’s happening in the genealogical world. This can be a great advantage compared to waiting for months for magazines to publish “what’s new”.

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

I respond to blog comments as my highest priority. I now have my “friends and mates” list in Google Reader and get to them as soon as I can within the constraints of real life. Other than that, I do social media when I have time or a lack of firm commitments.

I’m increasingly trying to use social media as my servant not my master. Also to remember that live family are at least as important as dead rellies.

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

If we call blogging social media, which I do, then it has been invaluable to make connections with others. Perhaps more to help them as much as to help me with specific family research. It’s so enjoyable to know that others get benefit or pleasure from your photos or stories.

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

 Just like any other “appliance” don’t let it control you! Real life is your own life…make it count. If leaving stories for your descendants is important to you, blogging is a valuable way to do it. Remember others need your encouragement and support too….what goes around, comes around. I feel I’ve made real friends from my blogging and that we know and understand each other, and just like real friends they understand that life sometimes gets in the way, but we can pick up where we left off. I’m eternally grateful to them for helping me to feel part of a community, however far-flung.

Thanks Jill for this thought-provoking geneameme and the opportunity to participate in a discussion which started on the recent Unlock the Past cruise.