Thursday, January 26, 2012

Australia Day 2012 – Wealth for Toil

Australia-day-logo-2012 Because of some recent time constraints due to unanticipated family commitments, I haven't been able to prepare a post for Australia Day 2012.

Shelley from the Twigs of Yore blog created another Australia day blogging challenge for genealogy bloggers. The theme this year was "Wealth for Toil", inspired by a line in Australia's national anthem. Advance Australia Fair.

Shelley says
To participate, choose someone who lived in Australia (preferably one of your ancestors) and tell us how they toiled. Your post should include:
  1. What was their occupation? 
  2. What information do you have about the individual’s work, or about the occupation in general?
  3. The story of the person, focussing on their occupation; or
    The story of the occupation, using the person as an example.
The occupations of my Australian ancestors included: Farmers, Labourers, Drovers, Butchers, Carpenters, Publicans, Storekeepers, Blacksmiths and Miners. I would like to create a post on this topic at a later date. Until then, happy Australia Day. You can see what other bloggers have been posting for Australia Day at Shelley's blog Twigs of Yore.

My blogging break will have to continue now for some time due to unforeseen family circumstances. I would like to also please ask for prayers for a family member who is unwell. Thanks.
Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A week off blogging

I have been unexpectedly called away from my genealogy and blogging world and have been (and will be) spending this week babysitting!

I have just caught up on four days worth of blog posts and alerts via Google Reader and starred several posts to read later.

I hope I will be back blogging in time to participate in the Australia Day blogging challenge and catch up on 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, 21COFH and Beyond the Internet themed posts! 

Until then, happy researching everyone.
Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

21COFH - Develop a Digital Organisational Scheme - Week 2

For 2012, Michelle Goodrum from The Turning of Generations blog has created a series of weekly blogging/organisation challenges under the title of The 21st Century Organized Family Historian. The challenge for Week 1 was to organise holiday greeting cards.

In Week 2, the challenge was to develop a digital organisational scheme; to develop a plan for one or more of the following:

  1. an organizational plan for hard drive. 
  2. a naming format for digital files.
  3. the use of "tags" or metadata. 
I have previously blogged about task No.1 hard drive organisation. Task No. 3 is one of my Goals for 2012  ("Organise, tag and label the photographs on my computer (digital photos as well as scanned photos and documents"). I would also like to work on task No. 2, a naming format for my digital files. 

Task 1 - an organizational plan for hard drive. 
I currently have my genealogy information organised on my hard drive using a variation of Lisa Louise Cooke's system described on the Family Tree Magazine YouTube Video 'Organize Your Hard Drive'.

My hard drive organisation starts with a basic folder 'Genealogy' which contains the following folders:
Charts - a place to family charts I have created.
Correspondence - a place to store genealogy correspondence of a general nature.
Databases - a place to store all my genealogy software files e.g. Legacy 7.5 files. 
Forms - a place for storing blank genealogy forms.
History Topics and Locations - a place for storing general history, location and repository information which is relevant to more than one of my surnames. 
Logs - I have some older attempts at research logs stored in this folder.
OTHER PEOPLES FAMILIES - this is where I store research I have done for other families which are not my own. 
Photos - the purpose of this folder is self explanatory, except I have nothing stored in this folder yet as I still have to organise my photos. 
Research Resources - a place for storing digital copies of magazine articles etc. 
Templates - templates for the surname folders under the 'RECORDS' folder. Each time I need to create a new surname folder I just copy these templates. 
Timelines - a place for storing historical timelines.

Under the 'RECORDS' folder you find a folder for each surname I am researching. Where a name is not the name of a direct ancestor I have put the surname of my direct ancestry line next to the surname. For example, below you will see that I have a folder named 'BRADDY - Atkinson', this folder relates to the family of the sister (Elizabeth Braddy nee Atkinson) of my Great Great Grandmother Dorothea Fullerton (nee Atkinson). Where I have two surnames the same I have also used a second surname to identify which branch of the family I mean. For example, I have two Brown families I am researching. The first folder 'BROWN - Randall' relates to the family of my Great Great Great Grandmother Mary Anne Randall (nee Brown). The folder 'BROWN - Fullerton', relates to the family of the Mary Brown nee Fullerton, sister of my Great Great Grandfather, Peter Fullerton. 
Inside each surname folder I have the following folders for storing records of different types. I also have shortcut links to related surnames. For example, the screenshot below is from my 'CHAMBERS' folder, so it contains shortcut links to 'MARROWS', 'McCARTHY' and 'RANDALL' folders as they are all related surnames. Later I hope to put shortcut links to relevant location (e.g. Lincolnshire) and history folders as well. 
I am not sure how efficiently this hard drive organisation scheme works and I am always interested in the different hard drive organisation schemes other genealogy bloggers are using.

Task 2 - a naming format for digital files.
Michelle at the Turning of Generations blog suggests using the following file naming format:
Natalie Cottrill at the ProGenealogists blog has a post Computer Tricks 3 - Naming Electronic Files in which she suggests naming files thus:
[surname (or) maiden surname][first name][middle name][birthyear][date of event or date document created][event or document name]
Both of these systems look like they would work well. When I get around to renaming my genealogy files I think I will use a system which combines both these ideas, for example:


Task 3 - the use of "tags" or metadata. 
This is one of my Goals for 2012  ("Organise, tag and label the photographs on my computer (digital photos as well as scanned photos and documents"). This is something I would like to work on but I don't have time to work on this at the moment. Michelle at The Turning of Generations blog mentions some resources on labelling and metadata which I have bookmarked with Diigo and plan to look at as part of my monthly goals later this year. 

Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Someone's Ancestor Sunday - Shanahan

These two carte de visites are among a collection of photographs held by my uncle, most of the photographs in the collection relate to my O'Brien family. "A. Pentreath"  mentioned on the back of the photographs is my great aunt Angela Pentreath nee O'Brien (1903-1989). The writing on the back of the photographs mentions that the Shanahans were "near neighbours of Joyces and very old friends". My great grandmother (Angela's mother) was a Joyce, Margaret Mary O'Brien (nee Joyce). The family lived at Pannoobamawm near Tennyson, Victoria, Australia. 
Photograph of an unknown woman from O'Brien family photo collection. Possibly J. Shanahan.
This photograph is a Carte de visite. Photographer:  Crowther.
Back of photograph of an unknown woman from O'Brien family photo collection.
Photographer:  Crowther, Echuca & Deniliquin.
Other handwritten writing on the back of this photograph is shown below.
"J. Shanahan"
"A. Pentreath" - this means the photograph belonged to my great aunt.
"Old friends of Joyces"
Photograph of an unknown man from O'Brien family photo collection. Possibly Jack Shanahan.
This photograph is a Carte de visite. Photographer:  Crowther.
Back of photograph of an unknown man from O'Brien family photo collection.
Handwriting on the back says "near neighbours of Joyces & very old friends. A. Pentreath. Jack Shanahan."
Are you related to the Shanahan family? If so, please contact me by email [ausgenjourneys at] and I can send you high resolution copies of these photographs. 
Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paid Online Genealogy Tools - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 2

Week 2 – Paid Online Genealogy Tools: Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most? What special features put it at the top of your list? How can it help others with their genealogy research?

I have subscriptions to a few paid online genealogy tools (,, I know they are available through many libraries and genealogy societies, but as I don't have a drivers license or public transport close at hand, having a subscription from home is a convenience for which I am very grateful.

My subscription is a UK Heritage Plus Package which gives access to Australian, Irish and UK related records. I have, on occasion, purchased 10 pay-per-view 14-day credits so I could access records from USA and Canada. I find the collections on are very useful, particularly the Australian Electoral Rolls 1903-1980, the UK Census Collection and the London Collections. I also appreciate the family tree builder and the ability to attach records to specific people within family trees, member connect activity feed (which shows when other subscribers attach the same records to their family trees), the surname and location based message boards and the ability to contact other subscribers through messages.

A subscription to FindMyPast Australasia is great for accessing digitised copies of more unusual Australian and New Zealand sources such as Government Gazettes, Police Gazettes, Electoral Rolls and Directories.

I have usually only used PayAsYouGo credits on FindMyPast UK but recently took out a 6 month subscription. The collections of most interest to me there are parish records collections and the military records, particularly the British Army Service Records 1760-1915.

There are two other paid online genealogy tools I would like to highlight.

Irish Family History Foundation - This site is useful for searching the collections of parish register transcripts from various County Genealogy Centres across Ireland. Credits are rather expensive compared to other sites and you don't get as much for your money, but the ability to search and access these records online is better than no access at all. I have found many useful and interesting records through this web site, for which I am very grateful. However, I am looking forward to the day when the digitised parish registers from the National Library of Ireland are available to access online free. Then I can do all my Irish research from here in Australia. That way when I finally get to visit Ireland someday I will be able to spend lots more time looking at the landscape and buildings, Churches and graveyards.

UK National Archives Documents Online - I have used this site to purchase digital copies of PCC Wills in the past. I know it can also be accessed through some genealogy societies libraries (such as the Genealogical Society of Victoria). This saves having to pay £3.50 for each document downloaded. According to this news item, Documents Online and the National Archives Catalogue will be soon become part of the Discovery service, which is currently in beta mode.

So which paid genealogy tool do I appreciate the most? I am going to say because it gives access to such a vast amount of data and digitised records, and because it provides features such as the family tree builder and the ability to attach records to relevant people in your family tree as you find them.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beyond the Internet Week 1: Church interiors

Over at the Family History Across the Seas blog, Pauleen recently posted Beyond the Internet Week 1: Church interiors. I thought this was a great theme and asked Pauleen (@cassbmob) via Twitter if I could participate. She kindly replied 'By all means join in with the beyond Internet theme'. 

The topic for the first post was Church interiors. Pauleen asks:
Have you looked at your family’s churches to see if there are clues about your angels in the architecture? Stained glass windows, bells, donated items, plaques or kneelers might provide valuable clues.
Yes I have looked a some of the Churches my family attended, but I know there are a few more Churches I should look at. I have previously posted about how one of the Stations of the Cross in a local Church was donated by my Great Great Grandfather, Michael O'Brien.  

I have a collection of photographs from the interior of various Churches I have visited, including photographs of many stained glass windows showing the names of the donor or memorial.
After going through my collection I have decided to share my photographs from St Patrick's Catholic Church, Gundagai, New South Wales, Australia. I hope these will be useful for someone's family history.

Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Motivation Monday - Goals for January 2012

Tessa at The Keough Corner blog recently posted Motivation Monday - January 2012 Goals in which she resolved 'to use the Motivation Monday meme to publish my resolutions/goals on the first Monday of each month during 2012'. This is a great idea. While the first Monday of this month has already passed, I would still like to use this Motivation Monday post to decide which of my Goals for 2012 I will attempt during January. I will then give a report on the first Monday in February and see how many I actually achieved, while setting more goals for February. This should be a great way to motivate myself to achieve the goals I set for this year.

During January 2012 my goals are:

  1. Continue saving snapshots (using the Evernote Web Clipper for Google Chrome) of messages I have sent and received through I will attempt to complete the remaining folders 'Fullerton/Dunne', 'Potter/Preston', 'Ellis/Hehir', 'Randall/Brown', 'OTHER' and also messages in the 'Sent' folder to which I did not receive a reply. 
  2. Participate each week in the  52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Blogging prompts. I will also consider participating in the 21st Century Organized Family Historian weekly challenges from Michelle at The Turning of Generations and the Beyond the Internet blogging theme from Family History Across the Seas.
  3. Participate in the Twigs of Yore - Australia Day 2012 - Wealth for Toil blogging challenge on Australia day - January 26th. 
  4. Move a few more genealogy files from my 'To Sort' folder into relevant surname folders on my hard drive.
  5. Move a few more photographs from my 'To Sort' folder into folders for the relevant year and month. 
  6. Blog about the decisions I made when I created my research log templates.
  7. Actually start my new Legacy file beginning with myself and working backwards methodically, recording all sources, attaching relevant source documents and attaching photographs. During January, I aim to do this for just my immediate family and grandparents. The goal this month is just to start, no matter how small! 
  8. Continue organising my bookshelves on Google Books. At the time of posting, I have 399 books saved in the 'Favorites' bookshelf. During January I will aim to reduce that number to at least 300. 
  9. Synchronise my genealogy folders at least once a week. 
  10. Begin reading Photoshop Elements 10 All-in-One For Dummies.
  11. Sort and reply to the starred emails in Gmail that I keep neglecting!
  12. Look into the possibility of using DNA in my O'Brien/Breen research. I just recently purchased a 37 marker Y-DNA test for my Dad, so this goal is already in progress. 
  13. Correct newspaper text on Trove
  14. Post some more Church photographs to my Australian Church photos on Flickr.

Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Someone's Ancestor Sunday - Harrison

This photo postcard is among a collection of photographs held by my uncle, most of the photographs in the collection relate to my O'Brien family.

Update:  I have identified this photograph, thanks to a public tree on Ancestry. I have now sent a copy of this photograph to a relative of the woman and child shown.
Photograph of mother and child.
This photograph is a Photo Postcard. 
The back of the photo postcard. The message reads: "To Angie with love from little Mona Harrison".
Angie is possibly my great aunt Angela O'Brien (1903-1989) from Tennyson, Victoria, Australia.
I hope this photograph may be useful for someone's family history. 
Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Friday, January 6, 2012

National Year of Reading 2012

Other Australian genealogy blogs (including Geniaus, The Tree of Me and From Helen V. Smith's Keyboard) have already mentioned that 2012 is the National Year of Reading in here in Australia.

Over at Geniaus on 1 January, Jill Ball suggested some ideas for things that genealogists could do to recognise the National Year of Reading (see her blog post for the full list). Some of the ideas I liked and hope to participate in are:

  • Review your favourite genealogy books on your blog (I will try to do this on my blog this year) 
  • Maintain a genealogy reading log - either online at Librarything or in a journal (I have my genealogy book collection online at Librarything where I am ausgenjourneys. I can see there are many books in my genealogy/history collection that I have not yet read. I must make that another goal for this year! I have recently been reading a few novels instead.)  
  • Create a geneameme about reading and genealogy (this is a great idea, I would participate!) 
  • Write that genealogy book that's been evolving inside you (The book about my Fullerton ancestors - I'll get there)
  • Compile and publish online or elsewhere a list of your genealogy top ten books (perhaps another task for a later blog post!)

Happy reading and researching everyone!

Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Blogs - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 1

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

Week 1 – Blogs: Blogging is a great way for genealogists to share information with family members, potential cousins and each other. For which blog are you most thankful? Is it one of the earliest blogs you read, or a current one? What is special about the blog and why should others read it?

To chose just one blog I am most thankful for is a very difficult task. According to Google Reader I have 237 current subscriptions (this includes RSS feeds of Alerts from Google, Ancestry and Trove as well as subscriptions to blogs). My subscriptions are arranged in various folders (see left). 

According to Google Reader's 'Trends' page:
"From your 237 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 1,372 items,clicked 2 itemsstarred 21 items, and emailed 0 items.Since March 25, 2010 you have read a total of 53,925 items." Phew! In most cases, however, 'read' probably meant 'skimmed' or 'browsed'. 

Because I can't choose just one, I have to say that I am most thankful for GeneaBloggers for introducing me to all kinds of genealogy blogs. 

I will chose one or two blogs from some of my folders in Google Reader to highlight.

Australian Genealogy News Blogs - Genealogy & History News
Australian Genealogy Personal Blogs - Geniaus and Family History Across the Seas. (Many other wonderful Australian blogs are listed at Unlock the Past's Australian Genealogy & History Blogs)
Australian Repository News Blogs - Family Matters - State Library of Victoria
Genealogy Technology News Blogs - FamilySearch TechTips
Ireland Genealogy News Blogs - Irish Genealogy News
UK Genealogy News Blogs - British GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS)
UK Genealogy Personal Blogs - The Family Recorder
US Genealogy Personal Blogs - Marian's Roots and Rambles

You can find many more blogs to follow through GeneaBloggers or through Unlock the Past's Australian Genealogy & History Blogs.
Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Goals for 2012

1. Organsation
See the following blog posts for more about my ongoing organisation goals.

Organisation goals achieved in 2011
Organisation goals in progress and ongoing
  • Organise a new family history folder arrangement on my computer hard drive. In November 2010 I posted Hard drive organisation for Genealogists and Family Historians in which I mentioned and linked to articles/blogs regarding methods others were using to organise their genealogy research on their computer hard drive. I have mostly finished this organisation task, but still have a few files in a 'to sort' folder. 
  • Organise, tag and label the photographs on my computer (digital photos as well as scanned photos and documents). I am progressing with this goal. I recently used free software Duplicate Cleaner and Auslogics Duplicate File Finder to locate and remove exact duplicate files in the photograph folders on my computer. Once I have all photographs arranged in folders as I want, I hope to beginning adding tag keywords to the files metadata with relevant names, places, events etc.
  • Set up template spreadsheets to record all research and correspondence. I wrote a short blog post about research logs in January 2011 (Beginners: Research Logs in Family History) and I have since set up templates, but I have not yet begun to implement them.  
  • Start my new Legacy file beginning with myself and working backwards methodically, recording all sources, attaching relevant source documents and attaching photographs. I haven't started my new Legacy file yet, but I hope to do so very soon.
  • Organise my Bookshelves on Google Books. Before Google Books created 'bookshelves' I used keywords/tags to categorise books which mentioned surnames and locations in which I was interested. Then one say Google changed to all of my tags were changed to bookshelves, which in my opinion were a lot less user friendly. I have started to go through each book and bookmark each on Diigo with tags/keywords instead of adding each book to numerous Google Book bookselves. 
  • Create a computer back-up routine. I have started to do this. I have been using GoodSync to synchronise my genealogy folder on my laptop computer and my external hard drive.
Organisation goals 'to do'
  • Create research goals and detailed plans.
  • Begin using Google Calendar to schedule specific times and dates for tasks related to these 2012 goals.
  • Sort out all the items I have saved in my Ancestry Shoebox and all the 'maybe' information I have saved in several 'working' Ancestry Family Trees.
  • Photograph/scan all the family history material I have storied in hardcopy in folders.   
  • Work out what to do with my collection of genealogy magazines, books and CDs.  
  • Sort out the 'family history box' - the general place I put family history related clippings from newspapers etc.   
2. Education
  • Reacquaint myself with the features of the various genealogy software products I have on my computer (Legacy 7.5, RootsMagic 4, Family Tree Maker 2012, Family Historian and Personal Historian 2
  • Learn to use all the features of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. 
  • Continue learning more about professional Genealogy and Family History through blogs, web sites, books and journals. 
  • Improve my time-management skills. 
3. Correspondence
  • Try to reply to emails and message board posts in a more timely manner.
4. Writing
5. Research
  • Look into the possibility of using DNA in my O'Brien/Breen research.
  • Continue researching the various Hehir families who came to Australia and are likely related to my ancestor Susan Hehir. 
  • I want to do more research in libraries, archives and cemeteries this year - I miss that as I have not been able to do much of it within the last few years. 
  • Newspaper research on Trove and at the library. 
6. Giving Back

And because I don't have enough genealogy goals already...
I hope to add many more Church photographs to my Australian Church photos on Flickr.

During 2011 I participated in a few genealogy blogging memes (Meme: The Tech-Savvy GenealogistBeyond the Internet GeneamemeThe Ancestors' Geneameme99 Things Genealogy Meme - Australian). These have helped me identify a few others things I would like to achieve. The following are some I believe I could try to achieve during 2012. 
  • Buy an Android Smartphone and use it for genealogy research. I'm looking forward to following Jill Ball's new blog Android Genealogy
  • Contribute to a genealogy blog carnival. 
  • Visit all my great grandparents and great great grandparents grave sites.
  • Look up local government rate books and valuation records for my ancestors.
  • Look up land records for my ancestors (I have done this before but not for all ancestors)
  • Consistently cite my sources.
  • Reunite someone with precious family photographs or artifacts.
  • Locate any document within my research files within a few minutes.

Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys. Clip art from Open Clip Art Library

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Looking back at 2011

Inspired by GeneaBloggers Open Thread Thursday question ("What Are Your Genealogy Goals and Resolutions for 2012?") and the many blog responses from other Aussie and overseas Geneabloggers, I have decided to create a few of my own genealogy goals for this new year. Before doing so, I will take a look back at 2011. In my next blog post I will write about my goals for 2012.

Looking back at 2011

I did not post to my blog as much as I hope, neither did I keep up with genealogy correspondence as well as I should have. This year I will do better!

Like many genealogists have mentioned on their blogs, I hope I have given time to living family members this past year.

Altogether I made 72 posts on this blog during 2011.

December (4 posts)
November (1 post)
October (6 posts)
September (2 posts)
June (5 posts)
May (3 posts)
April (11 posts)
March (16 posts)
February (12 posts)
January (12 posts)

Meme: The Tech-Savvy Genealogist
Beyond the Internet Geneameme
The Ancestors' Geneameme
99 Things Genealogy Meme - Australian

Blogging Prompts
Sunday's Obituary (1 post)
Someone's Ancestor Sunday (19 posts) (my own invention, see New Blogging Theme - Someone's Ancestor Sunday)
Mappy Monday (1 post)
Tombstone Tuesday (2 posts)
Those Places Thursday
Follow Friday (1 post)
Sorting Saturday (6 posts)
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (1 post)
52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History (7 posts)

I didn't participate every week for this blogging prompt, but I did participate seven times:
Winter - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 2
Radio/Television - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 6
Technology - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 8
Sounds - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 9
Disasters - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 10
Movies - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 12
Books – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 23

Blogging Challenges
Australia Day 2011 - The earliest documentation for my Australian ancestors
Waitangi Day 2011 - My Ancestors Gold Rush to New Zealand - Gilmore, Fullerton, Joyce, Mulhall
Women's History Month participated on 3 days.
St. Patrick's Day - My Irish Ancestors
ANZAC Day - WWI Soldiers from my family tree who gave their lives - Lest we forget

Series of Blog Posts
My Genealogy Web Footprint

Ideas I had and want to follow up later
Trove uncovers a treasure (and a idea for Trove genealogy bloggers)
Australian Church photos on Flickr
New Blogging Theme - Someone's Ancestor Sunday

In 2011 I joined the Genealogists for Families Project on Kiva.

I mostly concentrated on organising my existing research in 2011. The task is still large and ongoing but I will get there.

Happy New Year everyone, may 2012 be a happy, safe and blessed year for you and all your loved ones, and may you have many breakthroughs in your genealogy research.

Copyright © 2012 Australian Genealogy Journeys. Word art created at Tagxedo.
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