Monday, November 07, 2011

Christmas Wish List

While working on the next "genie and the net" article for the NZSG magazine, "The New Zealand Genealogist" this morning, I keep coming across a lot of technology news for genealogists and thought some of these are great Christmas gifts. So rather than wait for the magazine - which you wont see till February 2012, decided to post here. 

1) NZSG Kiwi Index - this NZSG members CD with over 8 Million NZ records speaks for itself, if you can wait till Xmas Day for yours...

2) Flip Pal - this is a great little scanner with lots of uses for genealogists. During November 7 geneabloggers are trialing this portable scanner and blogging the results.

Here is a post about the scanner and the blogs involved. Worth clicking on the blogs for tips and hints.

Many of you will find the tips suggested useful. Like set the date and time the FIRST time you turn it one BEFORE you use it - for those who never read the manual first ;-) And not just for genie things, useful on holidays to scan things like tickets, theatre programmes etc for scrapbooking when you get home - rather than putting them in your luggage

This quote from Marian Pierre-Louis made me think how useful it is.
"...held the Flip Pal right up to the computer screen and scanned it. Amazing. She showed us many microfilms scans she had done to prove the quality of how it comes out. I was astounded. That will be hugely helpful."

The flip pal is on my wish list. 

3) Ipad, android tablet or a smart phone....

Apps for your android tablet/phone, iphone or ipad that have a genie bent are becoming more and more available. Such as Ancestry app for android - here is a review

There are lots of genie apps for iphones and ipads. I particularly like the video's showing their features.

Like Reunion for ipad can automatically create a pdf file of a section of your tree and then email it to share. Even if you dont have an ipad this short video is worth the watching...

You might want to check out your genealogy database software's website to see what apps on which platforms are available. Taking battery life and the Reunion app on board an ipad is on my wish list.

Got any items on your wish list?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

Geniaus has been keeping me "on the ball" with all these memes.

Methinks it needs a geekyness scale, >35 questions answered done or want to do this - GEEK present...

The list is annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found
Things you would like to do or find
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to

Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?

  1. Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad
  2. Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes
  3. Have used Skype to for genealogy purposes
  4. Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
  5. Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
  6. Have a Twitter account
  7. Tweet daily
  8. Have a genealogy blog
  9. Have more then one genealogy blog
  10. Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic
  11. Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise
  12. Have a Facebook Account
  13. Have connected with genealogists via Facebook
  14. Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page
  15. Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society
  16. Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
  17. Have registered a domain name
  18. Post regularly to Google+
  19. Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers
  20. Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
  21. Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner
  22. Can code a webpage in .html
  23. Own a smartphone
  24. Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
  25. Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures
  26. Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival
  27. Use Chrome as a Browser
  28. Have participated in a genealogy webinar
  29. Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes
  30. Have a personal genealogy website
  31. Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
  32. Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
  33. Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files
  34. Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
  35. Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry
  36. Own a netbook
  37. Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes
  38. Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
  39. Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget
  40. Have listened to a genealogy podcast online
  41. Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
  42. Backup your files to a portable hard drive
  43. Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
  44. Know about Rootstech
  45. Have listened to a Blogtalk radio session about genealogy
  46. Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud
  47. Schedule regular email backups
  48. Have contributed to the Familysearch Wiki
  49. Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs
  50. Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format

99 Things Genealogy Meme - Aussie Style

Thanks again to Geniaus:

In May 2009 Becky over at Kinexxions put together 99 Things Genealogy Meme. It had a distinctly US flavour.

As there are now a number of Australian bloggers in the blogisphere I thought I'd take Becky's meme and dinkumise it. I encourage Australian genealogists to post this meme, which will give others a picture of you, to your blogs. Foreigners are welcome to join the fun.

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found
Things you would like to do or find
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to

Here is my contribution:

1. Belong to a genealogical society (Three actually)
2. Joined the Australian Genealogists group on Genealogy Wise
3. Transcribed records.
4. Uploaded headstone pictures to Find-A-Grave or a similar site.
5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
6. Joined Facebook.
7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery.
8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
9. Attended a genealogy conference.
10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
12. Joined the Society of Australian Genealogists.
13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
16. Talked to dead ancestors.
17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
19. Cold called a distant relative.
20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
22. Googled my name. (and those of ancestors and distant cousins)
23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
29. Responded to messages on a message board.
30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
31. Participated in a genealogy meme (now I've created one)
32. Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
33. Performed a record lookup.
34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise.
35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space (or been a long distance swimmer)
36. Found a disturbing family secret.
37. Told others about a disturbing family secret.
38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
39. Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.
40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person.
41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
45. Disproved a family myth through research.
46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
48. Translated a record from a foreign language.
49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
51. Used microfiche.
52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
53. Used Google+ for genealogy.
54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
55. Taught a class in genealogy.
56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.
59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
60. Found an ancestor on the Australian Electoral Rolls
61. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
62. Have found relevant articles on Trove. (do join up and check your surnames and edit any typos)
63. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
64. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
65. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
66. Visited the National Library of Australia.
67. Have an ancestor who came to Australia as a ten pound pom.
68. Have an ancestor who fought at Gallipoli. (Mum is Erica Rosemary after Eric who died at Ypres June 1917)
69. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
70. Can read a church record in Latin.
71. Have an ancestor who changed his/her name.
72. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
73. Created a family website ( a bunch of yahoo groups for various lines: (MARKS Family of Jamberoo, Moses KING family, William JONES/Sarah HURLEY, UTHER Family Reunion, HOBBS Family Reunion)
74. Have a genealogy blog(you're looking at it and there's GeniMates too)
75. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
76. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
77. Done genealogy research at the War Memorial in Canberra.
78. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center.
79. Found an ancestor in the Ryerson index.
80. Have visited the National Archives of Australia.
81. Have an ancestor who served in the Boer War.
82. Use maps in my genealogy research.
83. Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK
84. Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors.
85. Visited the National Archives in Kew
86. Visited St. Catherine's House in London to find family records.
87. Taken an online genealogy course.
88. Consistently cite my sources. (well most of the time)
89. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don't live in) in search of ancestors. (On more than one occsion)
90. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes. (sort of)
91. Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more).
92. Made a rubbing of an ancestors gravestone.
93. Followed genealogists on Twitter.
94. Published a family history book (on one of my families).
95. Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
96. Offended a family member with my research.
97. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.
98. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database.
99. Edited records on Trove.

The Ancestors' Geneameme

Thanks to Geniaus
The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found
Things you would like to do or find
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to
You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item
Which of these apply to you?

  1.  Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents (have 15)
  2.  Can name over 50 direct ancestors
  3. Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents (Not possible to get all of them.)
  4.  Have an ancestor who was married more than three times
  5.  Have an ancestor who was a bigamist
  6. Met all four of my grandparents (I have 6 grandparents - adopted and birth.  All but two were dead before I was born. We lived with the Aussie Grandma and met the UK when when she came to visit in the early 1960's.)
  7. Met one or more of my great-grandparents (not possible)
  8. Named a child after an ancestor (not possible)
  9.  Bear an ancestor's given name/s (Dad was named after all of his grandfathers (he had 3 as his dad was adopted by a relative), and did not want to have any child of his named after any ancestors. Took them weeks to name me ;-))
  10.  Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland
  11.  Have an ancestor from Asia - (Richard Saveall born East Indies)
  12.  Have an ancestor from Continental Europe
  13. Have an ancestor from Africa (Ann Saveall - Richard's mother is said to be  negress have found she was from the West Indies. More to do here.)
  14.  Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer
  15.  Have an ancestor who had large land holdings 
  16. Have an ancestor who was a holy man - minister, priest, rabbi
  17.  Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18.  Have an ancestor who was an author - do travel journals from 19th Century count?
  19.  Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones
  20.  Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21.  Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22.  Have an ancestor with a forename beginnining with Z
  23.  Have an ancestor born on 25th December
  24. Have an ancestor born on New Year's Day
  25.  Have blue blood in your family lines
  26.  Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  27.  Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  28.  Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
  29.  Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier
  30.  Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
  31.  Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X
  32.  Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university
  33.  Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence
  34.  Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
  35.  Have shared an ancestor's story online or in a magazine (Australian Family Tree Connection Magazine, in RAHS History Magazineand various rootsweb mailing lists.)
  36.  Have published a family history online or in print (have Gedcom files at WorldConnect see ~patwack and ~patientgenie)
  37.  Have visited an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries
  38.  Still have an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family (I wish - Pitt St Sydney tween Market and King, sigh....
  39.  Have a  family bible from the 19th Century
  40.  Have a pre-19th century family bible

Thursday, May 26, 2011

British Newspaper Archive now live

Received this promotional blurb today and thought it worth signing up to...

The British Newspaper Archive microsite is now live at

Why not encourage friends and family to register now to be the first to know when the newspapers go online?!
Please use the links to post on Facebook, Tweet about us. Stumble, tell all!
I have now set up a Twitter account (@TheBNA1):!/TheBNA1. Please follow us!

This exciting digitisation collaboration between brightsolid and The British Library means that unlike many other newspaper digitisation projects, we have been able to scan some of the rarest and most fragile newspapers in the collection.

The Archive will be an invaluable resource to all types of researchers and we have chosen some examples to demonstrate this (  

Full text searching will be available and users will be able to refine their search to focus on:
Family notices – birth, marriage and death notices, related announcements including engagements, anniversaries, in memoriam, birthdays and congratulations
Obituaries – a wealth of contemporary information on the lives of notable individuals and ancestors
News articles – national events, along with issues of local and regional importance – the first draft of history and a window into the world of the past
Illustrations – photographs, engravings, graphics, maps and editorial cartoons
Advertisements – including classifieds, shipping notices and appointments
Letters – letters to the editor written by the newspaper’s readers – illuminating contemporary debates, aspirations and anxieties

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Welcome Wall

The National Australian Maritime Museum has a Welcome Wall immigration project with a family history focus.

My HOBBS family went up on the wall today.

If you are interested in this family Bev Woodman looks after an email group

Thanks to Bev for all her hard work looking after this large family branch....

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Using Social Media for Genie Socs

Just finished listening to FGS webinar. Well worth the early start on a Sunday morning. Helps puts thoughts together about the advantages and disadvantages of various channels available for marketing a society or other genie activity. I see lots of thinking and planning ahead.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Finally made it to my first genealogy webinar. Thanks Dear Myrtle. Makes for an early start to the day on our side of the planet. :-)

Good to see someone using software it is so much easier to understand all the benefits and some draw backs too!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In Memory of Eric

I grew up in a small household, with just my parents and my grandmother Ada Irene DOUGLASS (née KING). I knew from a young age that my mother, Erica Rosemary DOUGLASS, was named after Grandma’s cousin who died in WWI, her “cousin’s” name was Eric Hugh BARKER. When I started the addiction of genealogy a few years ago I finally realized that Eric was Erica’s second cousin rather than Grandma’s first cousin. I also finally realised that mum’s middle name Rosemary, was for Remembrance – I can’t believe for over 40 years I didn’t make the “Rosemary for Remembrance” connection!

Eric Hugh BARKER was born in Sydney in 1886 into a large extended family on his father’s side which included many 3rd and 4th generation Australians. It was a time when Australia lived on the sheep’s back and the 1890’s depression and the Great War to end all wars were not on the horizon.

Eric was the first born to Dr Theodore Hugh BARKER and his English wife Edith May née EMBELIN. Theo and Edith were married at the Highbury Wesleyan Chapel, Islington, Ldn, Eng, UK on 6 Oct 1885, as witnessed by Theo’s brother Herbert and Edith’s parents Robert and Sarah EMBELIN (née WICKS). Theo and Herbert had travelled from Sydney to study medicine at Edinburgh.
Eric’s father’s, Theo, was born in 30 June 1861 at Mandeville House, Waverley in Sydney. As a small boy Theo’s father, the Rev Hugh BARKER had came from Tandragee in Ireland to Sydney with his parents Hugh and Jane (née BLACK) and his 4 older siblings, William, Harriet, Mary Ann and Sarah.

In the 1850’s the BARKER brother’s, William and Hugh, married sisters Emma and Jessie UTHER – the daughters of Reuben and Ann (née IREDALE) UTHER. So Theo grew up with a large Australian born family, on his mother’s side alone there were 42 first cousins, born in New South Wales between 1835 and 1891. With Theo having so many first cousins the same age as his children, the different generations grew up together as “cousins”.

Theo gained another first cousin just two years before Eric’s birth – my grandmother Ada Irene KING. Theo’s family suffered tragedy in 1899 when his only sibling, Dr Herbert Llewyllyn BARKER died.

From Ashfield (where Eric was born) the family moved to farm at Wellington NSW, there Eric gained more siblings: Hilda J in 1888 (who sadly died the following year), Mabel Uther in1890, Lillian Ruth (known as Ruth) in 1892, Mavis Edith in 1896, Kenneth Gordon Uther in 1899, Marjory Amy in 1901 and lastly with the family back in Ashfield, Sydney, Ella Nea in 1903 , before Eric’s parents separated and divorce proceedings started in 1907.

In this large family of UTHER descendants Eric and Ada became very close, there were many picnics and tennis parties together, particularly as young adults after the BARKER’s moved back to Sydney.

Like many of his contemporaries Eric (by then an orchardist) signed up 28 December 1915, he served in No. 10 platoon, C Company of the 45th Battalion AIF, as Private no. 5044.

We have some of Eric’s postcards back to my grandmother Ada, including those beautiful French embroidered ones, they were clearly very fond of each other.

His last known postcard home was to his mother dated 5th June 1917 Western Front:

Dear Mother,

We probably will be going into the front line tomorrow, so do not expect to get a letter from me for a time –

The guns are kicking up a devil of a racket. Do you wish you could hear them?

Love to you and to all

Sadly Eric died two days later on Thursday 7th June 1917.  Eric had a short AIF career, he was first reported killed in action on 7 August 1916, but reported “now returned to battalion not killed” just two days later. There are numerous references to his hospitalization for deafness. 

There was a court case in December 1917 which could not decide Eric’s fate. Another case held in March 1918 in part included the following evidence and concluded killed in action:

Sgt C Kelly no. 522 wrote:

“In June 1917, I was corporal in No. 10 platoon, “C” Company, 45th Battalion, No.5044 Private Barker E H was in the same platoon, and I knew him personally. On 7.6.1917, the platoon took part in the attack on Messines Ridge, when we made an advance of about 1½ miles. I did no see Private Barker fall, but next morning I took a roll-call of the company of which I was left in charge, and Private Barker was not there.

It is possible that Cpl Hunt J 10th Platoon “C” Company 45th Battalion (now with the Battalion in France) may be able to give more definite information.”

Pte Bertram Hills, 3106 45th AIF D XIV, while in Exeter Military Hospital, No I wrote:

“Pte Barker was killed at Messines Ridge, on the 7th June 1917, and one of this comrades (name unknown) who saw him killed told Informant this; the comrade was in the same Coy, and Informant feels certain the information was correct. He knows nothing about his burial, nor if he was buried.”

Eric was finally buried at Messines Ridge Cemetery, at Belgium, plot VD13. There are two photos of his memorial – one dated c1921 with a wooden cross and helmet made into a postcard.

Miss Ada I King is listed as his other next of kin on the Australian War Memorial file. Eric is also memorialized on the Galston War Memorial.
Eric’s younger sister Mavis married in 1919 not long after Eric’s death and she named her first born, Eric Bruce in his memory.

So Eric will always be remembered. I am sure this story is similar to many other families, whose children and grandchildren are named after those who have gone before.


Experiment failed

Interesting to see I started this blog just after the first NZ Family History Fair, I was very enthused from the Fair.

Turns out I got really involved in the next Fair, coming up this August, so no blogging. :-(

Time to change this...