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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Some Pinterest Updates

Whenever I find a website that has Australian resources on it, particularly if they are free and searchable, I add them to my Pinterest Boards.  Here you will find links to sites for each state, general sites and boards for potography etc. 

I have just updated quite a few, and added one with Church Record links.  Along the way I found this site that has Victorian Government Gazettes - fully searchable and FREE!

To keep up to date on the latest Pinterest additions, just follow me on Pinterest

CLICK HERE to begin.



Friday, February 5, 2016

Back to Uni I go...

I have been looking at the myriad of  courses in family history.  Many seem extremely expensive, others of little formal value.  I recently found some courses at the Uni of Tasmania, so university level courses, and FREE. It is only available to Australians however (no international students) Below are the links:

They are all part of the  Diploma of Family History, from the University Arts faculty.
I've enrolled in the Introduction Course and will blog about my journey so everyone can get a sense of what is involved. I've done uni courses before, so that should give me a head start in some ways, at least I know how to sight sources!!

Pre Week 1 - Enrolement

Monday, January 4, 2016

What a difference 30 years makes.

I was on Pinterest this morning, and came across two photos of dresses, 30 years apart.  But, still quite similar in many ways.

They say there is nothing new in fashion, and after going to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London I would agree.  The only new thing that comes along is a new fabric, you can really see a change once stretch fabric was invented.  Dating photos is quite an art, but the clothes people wear can help you. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas everyone.

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Have a safe holiday and keep searching for all those lost ancestors.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The minefield of Trials and Errors

Most families seem to have a "black sheep" who ended up in court for some reason!  I know I certainly have plenty.  From court marshals in WW1 to neglectful parents.  It brings up the vexed question of whether the family want to know about them - and whether you want to know.  A good scandal can liven up your family history, but how do you get the dirt without upsetting your relatives?

Family secrets can change over time, for example a child out of wedlock in the 1800's would have been a scandal but in 2016 - no big deal.  One of my great uncle's was court-martialed in WW1 - at the time it would have been shameful, but these days we have more understanding and awareness of what went on, and so I don't find it shameful at all, just sad.  Of course if you are Australian and you have a convict in the family well that's just Aussie royalty!  In the end, you may have to make up your own mind about what you tell others in the family, and document some things for your eyes only.

Of course, you may find that your ancestor was the victim in a crime, not the criminal, but that can also be upsetting.  A case in point - Little Mary Stettler, aged 10, and raped by her father's worker.  Now that is not something I personally am going to advertise to the family, but just keep to myself.  

 I found this little piece of information on a website recently, it just goes to show how prevalent the skeleton in the closet really is.

So proceed with  caution, lets continue the getting started series and find out where the court records are located.

To see all the court records links in one place, just click here go to our Pinterest site.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Some advanced Excel magic

Warning, once you start using Excel, you may get as hooked as I am!  Here are a few more tricks and tips that may be useful when you have a lot of data to get through.

How to separate data into more than one column, remove hyperlinks, start to use filters, and get the column and rows the right size automatically; as well as how to apply these to genealogy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Have some fun with Excel!

Fun? Yes you can! I know lots of people find Microsoft Excel really scary, but trust me it's not that hard.  Last week I found a family I'm related to in Goulburn, so I used the NSW BDM Index (online and free) to find who was related to who and expanded from there.  Very hard to do without Excel, so in this post I am going to give you my top tips for using Excel to make life easier.

This post turned out quite long in the end, but it will really save you time if you use all these tricks and tips.
One of them is colour, nothing to do with sheep, but don't you love this picture - and how easy it is to see individuals?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Where are all the Newspapers?

Newspapers have certainly been on my radar of late, especially Australian ones.  In this post I am going to try to give you some resources for your Australian, U.K. and U.S.A. searches for newspapers.  I will concentrate on free resources, but keep in mind the larger genealogy companies (Ancestry, Find my Past etc) all have access to newspapers, particularly obituaries.

 For all the links to newspaper sites, click HERE to go straight to the Genealogy Boomerangs genealogy and newspapers on pinterest.
 Image result for newspapers

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A couple of quick hints.

Here are a couple of things I found useful lately - hope you do too.

First, a list of what DAY the UK Census were taken on for each year.

I've added this to the download tab so feel free to take advantage of it, or just right click the picture above.

Also a little website that is great for finding out what day a particular date is at online  

So easy to use!


Thursday, August 20, 2015's 12 month FFF challenge - My #`1 tip for using TROVE

The third  of’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: August - How I found my Stettler family on

My grandmother's name was Lillian Gertrude Stettler before she married, and I knew the Stettler family lived in Parramatta, because two uncles are buried in the historical churchyard in Parramatta.  So recently I did a search on TROVE for "Stettler", and this is where I found the WW1 diary I recently blogged about, along with 3,573 newspaper results!  In one, I found a picture of  Private John Harold Stettler.  What a find!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Free E book - Getting the most out of Trove

TROVE  is a fantastic resource for genealogists in Australia.  It contains BILLIONS of pieces of information, and the most commonly used resource is Australian newspapers online.

One of the joys of genealogy is being able to share what you find with others.  I found Trove both easy to navigate, but also a little frustrating to try to search, and have learned a bit along the way.  This is why I have written a new E-book for you to download for free: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF TROVE .

This free E book will help you get started, give you some power searching tips and advanced searching strategies, as well as help you engage with Trove and the Trove community. 
Download your copy and get started today. 

How happy I was to find this obituary from the Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate!  (What a name)  1924.  The information about Godfrey and his family was not only very interesting, but also illuminating.   I always wondered where my father's athleticism came from, and like many obits, this one gave a lot of information about the family - that side of the tree is growing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Video Archives

It's great to understand the era that our ancestors lived in, and I just found two video archives on YouTube that might help put some context around your genealogy.

AP on YouTube

Sunday, July 19, 2015's 12 month FFF challenge - One last try

The second  of’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: July- One last try to reunite some postcards.

I decided to try one last time to find the family of the WW1 sailor who's postcards I found in a tin I bought at a garage sale.  I wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald, as they have a section called Family Matters  that attempts to assist people looking for lost friends and family.  A month later It has been published!

SMH Sat 18/7/2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015's 12 month FFF challenge - Postcards from the front

I  never knew my Grandfather, as he died before I was born.  I heard stories about him from my mother over the years and did have a couple of photos of him in uniform and some old postcards (more about those later).  My mother did not know anything about his service in the war, and all I had about it was a postcard with 16 signatures on the back of it, and 17 soldiers on the front.  I decided to try to find out a bit about him, starting with this postcard.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Northern Ireland records on video

PRONI (Public records of Northern Ireland) have uploaded their lecture series for free.
"To help you start exploring your genealogy, PRONI ran a ten-week lecture series, exploring some of the key archival sources you can use to trace your family history."
 PRONI has a great YouTube channel, and the archives hold some very rare and valuable material.