Thursday, 28 January 2016

On this day ...

In honour of my 55th birthday, I thought it might be fun to collate a list of things happening "on this day" in my world.  

So here goes:

  • most importantly, it's my birthday - or did I say that already?! :-)
  • at 4.30pm, the temperature in Mackay Queensland is still 30C with a relative humidity of 68%, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.  
  • the front page of today's Daily Mercury implores people to NOT leave their dogs in distress during the hot summer season. The local RSPCA has received 7 emergency calls this summer already for dogs suffering heatstroke and/or dehydration. 
  • the men's semi-final of the 2016 Australian Open (tennis) is televised free tonight between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic - 2 all-time champions!  Go, Roger :-)
Novak Djokovic (left) and Roger Federer (right) will do
battle in the semi-final of the 2016 Australian Open tonight.

  • and Serena Williams defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in the women's semi-final earlier today.

  • unleaded petrol costs 105.9cents per litre at our local petrol station;
  • a loaf of bread from a supermarket costs $1.90 and 1 litre of milk costs $1.25;
  • Jemma has just come home from the movies where a ticket now costs $16.50; she saw "Dirty Grandpa" which looks absolutely awful to me and which she really enjoyed!
That's a few snippets about my life on 28 January 2016.  Maybe I'll revisit this next year and see what's changed :-)

Happy birthday to me :-) 

Electorate change for Canberra suburbs

Just in case you thought that changes to electorate boundaries were a thing of the past, here's an article in today's ABC news:

ACT electorate of Canberra grows while Fraser is renamed Fenner

A map showing the boundaries of the electorate of Fenner.About 10,000 Canberrans will switch federal seats at the next election in order to compensate for population growth in the ACT's north.
The electorate of Fraser, currently held by Labor MP Andrew Leigh, is also set to be renamed Fenner, after renowned Australian virologist Frank Fenner.
The Australian Electoral Commission's Phil Diak said the seat would no longer cover inner-city areas like Acton and Campbell, which would be absorbed by the electorate of Canberra, held by Labor MP Gai Brodtmann.
"Canberra had to come over to the other side of the lake, and takes part of what was traditionally Fraser, now Fenner," Phil Diak from the Australian Electoral Commission said.
"About 10,000 people on the inner south side are affected there.
"That includes that suburbs of Acton, Campbell, Reid, [and] people living in the city."
Some parts of Braddon and Turner will also be moved into the electorate of Canberra.
Fenner will also include Belconnen, Gungahlin, the Inner North, and the externally administered territory of Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast.
Canberra, which covers the Inner South, Woden, Weston Creek and Tuggeranong, will expand across Lake Burley Griffin to cover the parts of the inner city lost by Fenner.
Mr Daik said the change was needed due to rapid population growth in Canberra's north, and that Canberrans would not need to contact the AEC if they were affected.
"That's to have an equivalence in the size of the electorates going forward," he said.
"Of course if you change your address or move into the new electorates ... you still need to keep your enrolment up to date.
"But where you are right now today, those changes are done automatically."

52 Questions in 52 Weeks: #3

Well, I'm already behind on this series of posts, but what better day to restart than my own birthday :-)

Image courtesy of Sheetal Bhardwaj at IndiaBright

And, no, I won't mention my age - though you'll get some idea when you read my story below :-)

As part of the Genealogy Do-Over, I undertook a self-interview to record some of the information that my descendants might find interesting.

One of the suggestions put by Steve Anderson on the FamilySearch blog is to answer 52 Questions in 52 Weeks.  That way, telling your own story doesn't seem so overwhelming!

You can read my first 2 stories here and here.  And now, here is #3.

What memories do you have of your father (his name, birth date, birthplace, parents, and so on)?
My father,
Ralph Ormond (Bags) WEYMOUTH
at his daughter's wedding
26 January 1990
My father was born Ralph Ormond WEYMOUTH on 21 February 1930, in Euston NSW.  He was the first child of Eric Ormond WEYMOUTH and Gwendolyn Mary GRACE.

Of course, I have no first-hand knowledge of his childhood or his early adulthood.  He would often tell stories of these times, though, and he certainly emerged as a larrikin, a man who enjoyed the company of his brothers and family, and a person who loved life. 

Somewhere in his childhood, he gained the nickname "Bags" which he used throughout his life. In fact, many people never knew his real name.

He was a hard worker and a heavy drinker.  All of his working life was hard physical labour - cutting cane, digging wells, fencing, cutting timber. A long day of hard work was then followed by a long session of drinking. He was what people called "a man's man"; comfortable in the company of men like himself. 

Button accordion c.1950
Image courtesy of
Dad had one very like this!
He laughed loudly and often, recited bush ballads, and had a very pleasing baritone singing voice. Somewhere during his youth, he taught himself to play the button accordion and, much to the embarrassment of his children and the delight of his friends, would regularly accompany himself or others with this instrument.  Dad could never read music; rather, he would listen to a song or melody, then simply replicate it by ear.

Though born on the banks of the Murray River, he eventually travelled to north Queensland seeking work.  

It was in Mackay, Queensland that he met and married my mother, Janice Eileen de FRIEZ, in 1959 or 1960 - there is much debate about the actual year and my research hasn't yet resolved the debate! My mother fell in love with the "bad boy", I think :-)

He was a difficult man to live with, my dad.  At times happy, outgoing, and full of fun, he could also be moody, irritable, and disinterested in the daily activities of his children and wife.  I wonder whether, in today's world, his patterns would be diagnosed as either depression or bi-polar disorder.  But in my dad's world, men did not experience mental health issues, nor did they discuss them.  They simply carried on and toughed it out.

In later life, he suffered a number of physical health trials.  At age 50 (approx), one of his kidneys was removed because of cancer. At age 60 (approx), while cutting timber alone on a bush property, his left lower leg was crushed. The bone was not able to be repaired and instead a metal plate was attached between his knee and ankle. At age 75 (approx), cancer returned, attacking his prostate.  Dad refused treatment for the disease.  

He died on 24 January 2009 in the Mackay Base Hospital, at the age of 79, with his wife and daughters at his bedside.  He was cremated at the Newhaven Crematorium in Mackay on 27 January 2009.

And, despite the many difficulties of living with this man, I loved him.

So, my birthday - which will now always be the day after the anniversary of Dad's funeral - is a good day to say "thank you for everything, Dad. I love you and I miss you." 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Webinar Wednesday: a geniesdownunder podcast

One of my genea-goals for 2016 is to become better-educated and informed about genealogy and its elements, so that I can be a super-duper genealogist and go on lots of wonderful gene-adventures.

To keep myself accountable and on-track, I went through a process of deciding what elements I want to learn, identifying where I could learn about them, then setting up a calendar of webinars for myself.  I also decided to write about each piece of learning, both to reinforce what I hear, and to assure myself that I am actually keeping up with my goal :-)

Given it's still early in the new year, and I'm working on the Finally Get Organized! series, I thought my first few webinars should continue in this theme.  So for most of February, I'll be learning a lot more about getting organised.

I started with a podcast from As the name suggests, this wonderful site has lots of information and support for Australian genealogists and, every month, a podcast is broadcast. There are over 50 now!

The one I just finished listening to is called "Planning stuff for genies: Getting ready for family history research in 2012" because I figure that planning is pretty much the same, whether it's 2012 or 2016!

The calm and soothing voice of Maria Northcote led me through a number of ideas, tips and helpful hints to get me and my genealogy organized.

Firstly, Maria spoke about the need to actually set goals, rather than just muddling around or madly jumping from one thing to another. Like Amy Johnson Crow, she recommends keeping the goals simple and achievable, in order to build confidence and maintain motivation.  

For Maria, there are 6 sections of genealogy and goals are drawn from these sections:

  • new stuff - new information, new research, new clues to follow
  • old stuff - the need to organise, review, label, sort, etc is ongoing and continuous
  • write stuff - stories about our ancestors need to be shared with others
  • request stuff - from other family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours, fellow genies we can find photo's, documents, books, diaries, recipes, artefacts
  • learn stuff - new or expanded skills and knowledge
  • equipment stuff - discover and use the tools, equipment, products that can help us

Once goals have been decided, Maria recommends working out the "proportions" of time that need to be spent in each area.

Her third and final step is to identify the tools that help us keep moving forward on our goals - calendars, software, apps, etc.

My take-away points:

  • Use highlighter colours to differentiate among actions on a list.  For example, Maria uses pink to indicate "to do", green to indicate the action is linked to another, yellow to indicate she's waiting on something/someone else. I will definitely take on this little tip to help me figure out where I'm up to!
  • Set 1 small goal for an ancestor, turn it into a research question, and stick with it till you have an answer. This will help keep research manageable and achievable, and will prevent that feeling of being overwhelmed and having too much to do. Very do-able! 
  • When you're feeling "stuck" on research, turn to a goal from another of the 6 sections mentioned above. Doing so will help maintain interest, and keep that sense of progress. A great tip for me, as I do tend to think that the actual research is the only "real" aspect of genealogy.

Despite having heard similar messages before, I found this podcast refreshingly practical. Perhaps it's the Australian accent, or the lack of jargon - or both! Take the time to visit; you'll be glad you did :-)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Patrick GRACE: my earliest confirmed arrival

In honour of Australia Day, I thought I'd share a bit of information about the ancestor of mine who was the first arrival into the newly-invaded New South Wales. There is evidence of an ancestor before this but I haven't been able to confirm that yet, so for now let me tell you about Patrick GRACE.

Patrick travelled to New South Wales as a convict via the Countess of Harcourt. According to the Convict Indents (1), he was 20 years old when he disembarked on 30 August 1822.

Excerpt from New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 for Patk Grace

Further information on this document indicates that he was committed in County Wicklow, his occupation is "labourer", he was 5ft 11in tall, of slender build, with brown eyes and fair hair, and that he is without any distinguishing marks.

I've not yet discovered what happened upon his arrival, but on 23 January 1823, Patrick was assigned to work for a Mr Aylard of Picton (2).

At the 1825 Muster of Convicts (3), Patrick GRACE is recorded as "G.S. to Mr Smithers, Sydney". [I believe the "G.S" abbreviation is for General Servant.] Patrick is still with Mr Smithers at the 1828 Muster.

All must have gone fairly well for him, because Patrick was granted his Certificate of Freedom on 7 April 1829 (4).

On 4 April 1834, he married Mary Ann DWYER (a widow).  Through a series of processes too complicated and lengthy to explain in a blog post, Patrick came to own property in the Bathurst/Orange area and took up sheep-farming.  From there, the family travelled overland to South Australia, taking up property at Shea-Oak Log.  Here Patrick lived a long and fulfilling life, dying 29 April 1872 as a well-respected and highly-valued member of the community.  The Bunyip (Gawler, SA; Page 2) newspaper published a lengthy obituary on 4 May 1872, stating that he "carried on farming on a rather extensive scale, and at times under prosperous circumstances".  

Like many convicts, Patrick GRACE found a level of wealth and comfort in this new world, that he could never have realised if he had remained in Ireland.  

Happy Australia Day :-)

(1) New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842
(2) New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1825
(3) New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849
(4), New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1827-1867, State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12210; Item: 4/4296; Roll: 984.

Monday, 11 January 2016

OMG - David Bowie died today :-(

I can't believe it really.  He just made it to 69; his birthday was 8 January.  Died from cancer, at home with his family.  So so sad to realise that the genius of this man is now gone.

This is one of those "where were you when ..." moments.  In years to come, we'll ask each other. And I'm sitting here at my desk looking out a beautiful summer dusk - the golden haze on the horizon - and shouting inside "Nooooo!  It can't be true!"

A truly legendary artist; an under-rated actor; and a true enigma.  RIP David Bowie.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Shipping Saturday: Charles arrives in New Zealand

Thanks to a snippet in the latest edition of Inside History - which I'm able to view for free, courtesy of my wonderful local library and Zinio! - I decided to take a (virtual) visit to Archives New Zealand. I wondered whether I might find some information about my mysterious great-uncle, Charles Frank de Friez.

And there it was: his name on the passenger list of the S.S.Tamaroa, arriving in Auckland on 27 October 1952.  Along with Mrs Dorothy de Friez.

"New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973," database with images, FamilySearch ( accessed 8 January 2016), Auckland (other ports also listed)>1952>Tamaroa>image 16 of 24; National Archives, Wellington.

For those of you who've been keeping up with this story, my belief is that "Mrs Dorothy de Friez" is actually not married to Charles.  I believe she is Dorothy Lowe, and I believe that she and Charles are in a de facto relationship.  But none of this is proved (or disproved!) yet.

In the meantime, at least I now know how and when Charles arrived in New Zealand.

I think the document gives me a new clue to follow too.  Many of the other passengers arriving on the Tamaroa gave their addresses as "c/- Dept. of Labour & Employment, Draft 25a, Wellington".  I wonder whether the fact that Charles gives a specific address, along with an occupation of Transport Manager, means he had a job already lined up.  He didn't need to wait for the Dept. of Labour & Employment to sort something out for him.  I don't know how to chase this down yet, though. Another item on my To-Do list!

Further searching uncovered a Restricted Access file with references to Charles. The file is the property of Te Puni Kokiri which is the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Maori Development. I'm intrigued as to what role or relationship great-uncle Charles could have played in that sphere.

There is a process by which a person can apply for permission to view the records.  BUT one can only view them in person at the offices of Archives New Zealand!  So that might be a bit of an obstacle for me! Or maybe a good reason for a holiday to NZ :-)

While I was at the Archives, I also searched for Dorothy de Friez, and came up empty.  A search for Dorothy Lowe, on the other hand, shows a couple of promising entries, but I need to know more about her to narrow down the "possibles" to the "probables".

So, a chink in the brick wall appears.  I'm off to find the tools to expand the chink into a big hole :-)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 1 #4 Eric Ormond WEYMOUTH

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  That was back in 2014.  

Since I'm just beginning my own blog and my own review of ancestors, I'm going to follow her challenge with a slight change.  

I'm going to check that all the claims I've made about each ancestor, as listed in my RootsMagic software, have accurate and correct citations attached. Wherever I find omissions or inaccuracies, I'll do what I can to correct them immediately.  If I can't, they'll be added to my "to-do list" for attention.

Since unfortunately all my grandparents are deceased, I feel OK starting with them, and I'll approach them in Ahnentafel order, a la Randy Seaver in his blog series.

So, please meet my paternal grandfather - #4 in my Ahnentafel list :-)  

Person Facts:

Name:      Eric Ormond WEYMOUTH
Father:     Walter Josiah WEYMOUTH
Mother:    Margaret Jane SEYMOUR

Birth: 16 July 1908, Korumburra, Victoria, Australia (1)

Military Service: 2 September 1941 - 20 December 1943 (3)
Death: 26 December 1989, Mildura, Victoria, Australia
Burial:  29 December 1989, Mildura Lawn Cemetery, Mildura, Victoria, Australia (4)

Shared Facts:

Marriage:  26 August 1929, Mildura, Victoria, Australia (2)
Spouse:  Gwendolyn Mary GRACE
1. Ralph Ormond Weymouth 21 February 1930 - 24 January 2009
2. Mary Dawn Weymouth 1931 - 7 February 1994
3. Victor Sylvester Weymouth 17 February 1932 - 6 March 2010
4. Laura Elizabeth Weymouth 11 March 1934 - 1974
5. Josiah Glenn Weymouth 17 January 1936 - 2011
6. Helen Margaret Weymouth 19 May 1939 (living)
7. Maureen Ruth Weymouth 6 July 1941 (living)
8. Gwendolyn Valda Weymouth 21 February 1943 (living)
9. Ernest John Weymouth 7 August 1944 (living)
10. Eric Douglas Weymouth 14 August 1945 (living)


(1) Victoria, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, Birth Certificate 2124/1908 (issued 30 September 2002), Eric Ormond Weymouth; State Archives, Melbourne Victoria.

(2) Victoria, Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, Marriage Certificate 201/1929 (issued 11 July 1997), Eric Ormond Weymouth and Gwendolyn Mary Grace, 26 August 1929;Public Record Office Victoria, Melbourne.

(3) National Archives of Australia, World War II Service Records (Name: National Archives of Australia; Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia; Date: 13 December 2002;), Series B884, Item Number V19065.

(4) Mildura Cemetery Trust (Mildura), full, Form of Instruction for Graves, 26 December 1989; personal property of author.

I'm very excited that I've managed to put together citations for my documents that seem correct :-)

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

52 Questions in 52 Weeks: #2

As part of the Genealogy Do-Over, I undertook a self-interview to record some of the information that my descendants might find interesting.

One of the suggestions put by Steve Anderson on the FamilySearch blog is to answer 52 Questions in 52 Weeks.  That way, telling your own story doesn't seem so overwhelming!

This is my answer to question #2.

When and where were you born? Describe your home, your neighbourhood, and the town you grew up in.
My family moved around a lot when I was very young.  When I was born, my parents were living in a small cottage on the banks of the St.Helen's Creek at Kolijo.  The cottage is no longer standing.  Soon afterwards, we moved to Cathu where Dad was working in the State Forest.  That house is still there and I have a photo of it somewhere.  I believe we were living there when Mike (my brother) and Grace (my sister) were born.  I don't remember anything about either of those homes. 
From there, we moved to a small 2-room home in Bloomsbury, again following Dad's work.  That also still stands.  It is a little weatherboard box, and stands about 1metre off the ground.  The laundry and bathroom were downstairs under a lean-to on a small square of concrete.  Up 3 or 4 steps into the kitchen.  There was another room where Mum and Dad slept.  There was a curtain down the middle and Grace and I slept on the other side, while Mike slept outside on the small verandah which ran across the front of the house.  I have some fun memories of living there:  we experienced my first-ever hailstorm; we played under the house in the dirt with small matchbox cars where we made extensive roads and obstacle courses for our cars; we climbed hibiscus bushes and lemon trees to the roof of the shed, then tried to jump off!; I broke my left arm while dangling Grace out of a window when Mike allowed the window to fall down across my arms; when I started school, I walked long dusty roads until being collected by our family friends, the Skaife's who had children older than me, who escorted me to and from school; our cat was killed when my Mum drove over her hiding in the long grass that Dad hadn't mowed; we had a pet calf called Bumper.  If I think of more, I'll add them. 
After that house, we moved to Carmila, south of Sarina, again for Dad's work.  I went to school there for 2 terms, I think.  My only memory there is of being accidentally locked in the school library after school one day.  I pried open the window, jumped out onto the water tank, slid down the drainpipe, and ran home.  Mum reckons she didn't even know I was missing!
After that, it was back to Bloomsbury, where we lived in the house now owned by Paul and Bernadette Camm at Mikulu.  Again, lots of memories.  I got my first pushbike there, and rode it down to the rail siding to collect the bread and milk which was left there every day or so.  It seemed like a very long way when I was 7 :-)  There was an old house there which we used to explore, though we weren't supposed to.  It was full of old dark heavy furniture which I loved and wished could be ours.  There was an old horse, named Dolly, who would come to the house every day for nibbles.  We learnt to ride on her.
After that, we moved to Calen.  I'm not sure where Dad was working then, but we lived in a house that was owned by the Council, across the railway line from the school.  At the time, there were no houses beyond and it was fairly isolated.  That's where Mike was so badly burnt :-(  Mum started teaching again too, so I think Grace must have started school at Calen.  We would walk across the railway line, across the highway, and across the school oval to get to the buildings.  No shoes of course :-)    I was in Grade 3, I think, when we moved there.  Sometime not long after that, we moved to Cameron's Pocket - my favourite childhood home.  It was up in the hills about 10km west of Calen on a cattle property.  We had acres to roam in, a wonderful creek to swim in, there were mango trees everywhere, and the people across the creek had a dairy farm where we would go and help with the milking.  We often were given a bucket of fresh milk to bring back home.  It was a wonderful place to grow up and I remember it very fondly.
Our final move happened sometime in 1974 when Mum and Dad finally could afford to buy a home.  I have photos of that house too.  I was only there for 4 years because I finished school in 1978 and left home.  

Tombstone Tuesday: Mistakes happen

Today is the anniversary of the death of my great-grandmother, Emily Jane McDONALD (nee COOK).  She died in 1951 at the age of 83.

I never knew her.  Apparently she was quite small and quite the martinet.  This photo was taken after the family's arrival in Australia.

The McDonald Family c1920
(L-R) John Edwin McDonald; Emily Jane McDonald (nee Cook); Alan Mcdonald; Kathleen McDonald
Personal property of the author.
As I said, she died on 5 January 1951 and was buried in the Bundaberg Cemetery on the same day.  

So far, so good.

Over the next 40 years, her husband, her son, her daughter, her son-in-law and the brother of her son-in-law were all buried in the same plot.  It was then that things went awry.

Her only remaining grand-daughter - my mum! - thought it was about time that a proper headstone was prepared for the family. She arranged for a new grave covering and headstone.  And it looks fantastic!

Plot A Grave #P2664 Bundaberg Cemetery
McDonald/de Friez
Unfortunately, 3 of the 6 recorded dates on the headstone are incorrect!  Three of them!!  This is the headstone as it now looks.

The correct dates of death for the McDonald family are:
  • John 21 June 1956
  • Emily 5 January 1951
  • Alan 4 March 1976
And the correct dates of death for the de Friez family are:
  • Kathleen 14 May 1976
  • Alexander 6 September 1992
  • Charles 14 July 1993
It seems now that my only course of action is to have this remedied.  I feel responsible for fixing this up, and somehow guilty that my ancestors are not being portrayed correctly.  So a savings plan has been started, and I hope to be able to replace this headstone before the end of this year.  Another goal to add to the list :-)

Sleep well, great-grandmother; you are in my thoughts.

Monday, 4 January 2016

FINALLY Get Organized! Week #1 Checklist

Week #1 of DearMYRTLE's organizing checklists is here!  And I'm all done already!  I so hope all the checklists and challenges will be this calibre :-)

Here's my progress report:

1. Clear off the computer desk and make piles for everything.
This was the easiest part for me; I just scooped it all up and put it in an open box!  The real work will be sorting it all out and then actioning and/or filing and/or tossing all the various bits and pieces!  Hopefully that help will come soon :-)

2.  Check office supplies, and replace anything you need.
Correction tape; divider tabs - that's about all I need at the moment.  I'm one of those people who picks up loads of stationery whenever I see it on special, so I always have oodles of everything :-)

3. Set up computer desk and office the way I really want it!
This is tricky.  I don't have a separate "genea-cave"; in fact, my computer and bookshelf is in a corner of my bedroom - which I know lots of people say is the worst place for a workstation, but that's the reality of my living arrangements at the moment.  So I did set up my old PC monitor as a second monitor for my laptop - which I'm looking forward to playing with :-)  I have a small corner desk which I try to keep clear because otherwise I have no work-space at all.  My printer is on a small table to the left of the desk, and my bookshelf sits just to the right.  So everything is handy.  But it's very cramped.  I do have space under the desk which I'm thinking could certainly hold my "quick store" method that DearMYRTLE recommends below.  I also have a number of small-ish photo boxes that hold all the stationery that I use constantly.  Perhaps a shelf over the desk would be useful too, but I'm not sure about anchoring it to the wall.  Will have to check that!

4.  Designate a special RED clipboard for IT issues.  
I don't have a special IT person to resolve issues for me, and I don't have very many IT issues to resolve to be honest!  Most things I can work out for myself.  And if I can't, then the whole shebang has to go off-site to a computer shop, anyway.

5.  Designate a special GREEN clipboard for Genealogy Challenges 
I'm not a fan of clipboards but I do love notebooks, so I've found a pretty green A4 notebook and designated that as my Genealogy Research Challenges notebook.

6. Create a "quick store" method.
After a rummage in the garage, I found a FileNStor box that I've had for ages!  It was full of other junk which I hurriedly disposed of, and it's now sitting here under my desk waiting for instructions about filling it :-)

7.  Create an Amazon Prime account.
Amazon Prime doesn't exist in Australia!

So that's it for this week's checklist; bring on Week #2 :-)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Genealogy Goals for 2016 - more!

Planning makes me happy. And there are so many wonderful ideas and themes and journeys to take on. It's always hard to whittle them down, to be realistic about what I can actually fit in along with my regular hum-drum "have-to's" that fill up my days and weeks.

But I'm committed this year to reclaiming time and space for the things I love to do and want to do. At the end of last year, I backed away from a number of commitments that I feel I "should" be doing but really don't enjoy. I also need to overcome my embarrassment and annoyance at the strange looks and comments that I get from family when I mention "genealogy", "family history", or "cemeteries". And discover the joy of doing these things solo.

This is a list of some of the things I've found - over and above what I've already chosen as my actual goals! -  that I want to participate in, "if only I could":

  • ALL the prompts posted every day by Thomas MacEntee on
  • ALL the webinars available through all the fabulous hosts mentioned at
  • Genealogy Do-Over
  • "on this day" research - what else happened on the days that my ancestors were born, married, died, lived through, etc?
  • a Book of Me weekly story
  • a weekly Sepia Saturday photo and story
  • DearMYRTLE's ESM's QuickLessons Study Group throughout 2016
I also would like to try some really cool things, like Carolyn is doing with her 1940s cooking experiment - trying out meals that would have been eaten during WW2 rationing. What fun that would be! I can just see my daughter enjoying that - NOT! :-)

"If only I could" relates to my need to derive an income to allow me to eat and pay for my genealogy research, as well as my commitments as a mother, daughter, and sister. And I have 1 major voluntary commitment that I haven't managed to extract myself from, that I really can't see myself getting away from for many months.

So time and money are my limiting factors. Aren't they always?! Learning to schedule my time better and to be more productive with the time I have, are probably useful goals for this year too.

More on all of this to come - aren't you excited? LOL

Genealogy Goals for 2016

Part of my goal-setting for genealogy for the coming year is tied to my overall goal of reclaiming my self. It's time for me to unlock the parts of myself that have been hidden away for fear that others in my life will ridicule or jeer at me.

2016 is the year that I reclaim who I am - the things I like to do, the activities and interests that I enjoy, and the silly quirky off-beat parts of my personality. For years I've hidden those, doing what others approve of, or what others tell me is the "right" thing. No more. It's time to be me :-)

In that context, pursuing my genealogy goals is one of those areas I'm reclaiming. My family thinks I'm very strange for having this interest; my daughter just shakes her head and is embarrassed whenever I try to talk about family history with anyone outside our family. Too bad, muffin - I'm out and I'm proud (LOL)

Finally, I'm getting to the point of this post - my genealogy goals for 2016. Here they are.

Overall Goals for 2016:

  • to fill in the gaps in relation to the life of my grandfather, Alexander William de FRIEZ
  • to solve the mystery of my great-uncle, Charles Frank de FRIEZ
  • to properly cite the sources I have collected and entered into RootsMagic
  • to complete the FINALLY Get Organized! challenge with DearMYRTLE
  • to photograph and transcribe graves at Mount Bassett Cemetery
To turn these into SMART goals, as per Amy Johnson Crow, they need a bit of fine-tuning.  This is what I've come up with:

Goal #1 I'm going to resolve 5 of the 13 research questions I have about my grandfather, Alexander William de FRIEZ. I'm going to do this by spending at least 1 hour per week on the research.  These 5 questions will be resolved by 31 December 2016.

Goal #2 I'm going to resolve 3 of the 10 research questions I have about my great-uncle, Charles Frank de FRIEZ.  I'm going to do this by spending at least 1 hour per week on the research.  These 3 questions will be resolved by 31 December 2016.

Goal #3 I'm going to review and correct the source citations that I have in RootsMagic so that they are in Evidence Explained format.  I'm going to do this by tackling the records of 1 ancestor per week (per the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge) throughout 2016.  

Goal #4 I'm going to participate in, and complete, the organising processes recommended through the FINALLY Get Organized! weekly checklists provided by DearMYRTLE.  I commit to making the necessary time to complete each week's activities throughout 2016.

Goal #5 I'm going to photograph, upload, and transcribe all the headstones in the Presbyterian and Methodist Sections of Mount Bassett Cemetery for  I'm going to visit the cemetery once each month, take approx 100 photos, and upload and transcribe them before my next visit.  This work will be completed by 31 December 2016. 

The main way I'll report on my activities will be via this blog, so that I can both keep myself accountable and also note my findings and outcomes.

I also have a million other smaller goals - but they are the subject of another post; this one has already become too long :-)

I so love planning!  

Friday, 1 January 2016

Data Back-Up Day #1

One of my goals for this year is to make sure that I have an effective and manageable data back-up process for all my genealogy work, my photos and images, and just all my "stuff" that I have on my laptop.

Things that I need to back-up properly include:
  • my genealogy database
  • my blog
  • my emails and news items
  • my documents
  • my photos and images
  • my "favourites" and bookmarked websites.

And the 3-2-1 Rule says that everyone should:
  • keep 3 copies of their data (2 back-ups plus the original)
  • keep back-ups in 2 different forms of media for the back-up's
  • keep 1 backup copy offsite
The data industry also suggests that a restoration plan should be put in place, documented somewhere so that it can be followed easily, and tested out BEFORE it's needed!!

Well, it took a while but I did it - ALL of it!

3 - I've got my original data on my laptop, and have a backup on OneDrive AND on Dropbox, and a second backup on my external hard-drive.
2 - I've used 2 different forms of media - one on the cloud and 1 on the external hard-drive.
1 - I'm not sure about keeping a copy offsite. Does the fact there are 2 "cloud" copies constitute offsite storage? Or maybe I should get a second hard-drive and keep that copy at work perhaps? I'll figure that out over this month, so that I'm ready for February's Back-Up Day.

I wrote up the back-up process and have saved that document too. Now I guess I should try it out :-)

For now, I'm happy with this since I had no back-up in place at all prior to today. Thank you again, gene-community!

Happy New Year :-)