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23 December 2014

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Australian and New Zealand Genealogy Online Classes

The next Australian and New Zealand Genealogy class offered by Genclass.com starts on the 1st May. Genclass is a USA-based company that offers online training on a wide range of genealogical topics and geographic areas. The instructors are all experienced educators in the field of family history research. Courses last for a month, two lessons per week. Students receive the materials for the class by email and take part in online discussions with the instructor, who is also available for … [Read more...]

Recording Dad's story for posterity

My Dad's Story My Dad has been staying with me lately, and he has decided to write a book about his life. I am very encouraging of this plan, as you can imagine, and I told him I would help him to organise the material for him. He has had an interesting life, in Fiji and Australia, and has mixed with a lot of interesting people in both countries.  At first I think he thought that he had to sit down and write the whole thing from beginning to end, ready to be published. He got up one morning … [Read more...]

Web-based family trees

I've recently been contacted by the people responsible for a new family tree website called It's Our Tree. It's free and just requires you to enter your name and email address. I've just registered and now it wants me to enter my parents and grandparent and so on, and to invite my relatives to join as well. There are more and more of these sites around; some are free and some are not. Ancestry lets you create your family tree for free and let's you know whether it has any "hints" for these … [Read more...]

My genealogy library

My first thought whenever I need to learn something new is to buy a book, and there are many to choose from. I like to have them on my shelves at home so I buy them, but there is nothing wrong with using the resources of your local library. I have to admit to being a bit of a book collector from way back. I learned to cook, to grow pot plants, to make curtains, to program a computer, and a great many other things, from books. (Yes, as my Mum will tell you, she was never interested in cooking … [Read more...]

Useful software

Not directly related to genealogy, perhaps, but you might be surprised by how useful these programs can be. Mindmapping Mindmapping is a way of organising information or ideas. It is fantastic when when you are at the planning stage of a project for getting all your ideas down and organised. It's very helpful for making decisions - you can get all the information you need down, all the fors and againsts, and everything becomes clearer. I don't know why it works better than writing straight … [Read more...]

What will you do when your computer crashes?

The longer you work with and read about computers, the more horror stories you read about what went wrong. Whether there is a happy end to the story or not depends on whether the owner of the computer backs up their data and how regularly they do it. Here's my story. This happened late last week. My laptop is almost three years old, so it's getting on for a laptop. Laptops are different from desktops, they are built to be small, not to last. This laptop pretty well contains my life - my … [Read more...]

Facebook???

I am a recent convert to Facebook. It's a web application that I thought was used by teenagers but it seems I was wrong because when I asked my teenage nieces they didn't know what I was talking about. They use MySpace. Facebook seems to be used by young adults and older adults. It's a networking site for keeping in contact with people and letting them know how you are and what you are doing. Your contacts are called friends and they have to agree to be your friend, so it keeps the spam … [Read more...]

Not the same old stories

It is a fact of life that every now and then we are obliged to visit our older relatives and in-laws. We may love these people very much and yet we quite often look forward to these visits with annoyance, if not actual dread. To have to listen to the same old stories yet again seems almost unbearable.At the same time we may regret that we didn't get more information from our grandparents and other relatives who have passed away. Why did they never tell us about their childhoods or when they got … [Read more...]

Label those photographs!

We are always being reminded to label all our old photographs so that future generations know who is in them, and this is good advice. How many photos have we seen of our parents, grandparents, and further back if we are lucky, and we do not know who is in them and neither does any one else? A simple label on the back would have been so helpful! So yes, we should write on the back of the photos, with a soft pencil, at least a 2B or 3B, and include as much information as we have or can find out - … [Read more...]

Genealogy on Wikipedia

Elizabeth Shown Mills, author of Evidence! : citation & analysis for the family historian and Evidence explained : citing history sources from artifacts to cyberspace has rewritten the definition of "Genealogy" on Wikipedia, or at least the first two paragraphs. Her text, as she informed* the mailing list of the Association of Professional Genealogists, was as follows: "Genealogy (from Greek: ?e?ea, genea, "family"; and ?????, logos, "knowledge"; often misspelled "geneology."[1]) is the … [Read more...]