Sunday, 24 July 2016

An Almost Famous Type of Week

It has been an interesting time recently for me with some behind the scenes things happening. Due to marvels of modern technology and the internet I have been interviewed twice and both these interviews have been released as podcasts this week.

The first was a live interview with Jane E. Wilcox from New York who hosts the Forget-Me-Not-Hour on BlogTalk Radio and is also available on iTunes (look for Jane E. Wilcox). 

The interview related to my two books. Luckily I am a night owl as it was done live and we finished at 1.15am! It was a lot of fun. 

Jane does two shows a month and is past her fifth year of doing the show.  I have been a subscriber for a number of years so this was a real pleasure and exciting to do.

The second interview was with Maria Northcote of Genies Down Under podcast, a great podcast for anyone with an interest in Australian research. Here is a link to the show notes 

This interview comprised a standard`set of questions and also touched on the books. You can subscribe to the  podcast via iTunes.

This interview was done using Skype and was easy to do. Maria at the start of this podcast talks about the process of producing a podcast.

There is also an addendum audio which gives a a special deal for listeners of both podcasts.

Order Helen's books:
E copies of the books are available at Gen e books, the e book division of Gould Genealogy Australia

Special deal for Forget Me Not Hour and Genies Down Under listeners: Using the code EB2016-10 will give AU$10 discount on any order over AU$20. Expires 31 October 2016

North American Listeners
Print copies of the books are available at Global Genealogy

Australian Listeners
Print copies of the books are available at Gould Genealogy

United Kingdom Listeners
Print copy of the book are available at
My History bookshop the-Past- Booklets.html

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Trove 500 million resources and still going!

Trove from the National Library of Australia is an amazing free resource. It is more than just the wonderful digitised newspapers that we all know and love.

In fact as is shown in this image Trove contains more than 500, 005,853 Australian and online resources books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.

Certainly we know that trove's funding has been cut so their ability to digitise special community collections has been greatly lessened which is a major shame as it will slow the rate of new additions and potentially may mean access to some collections may be lost to the national and international communities. We all hope that this funding decision will be reconsidered.

Australia is the envy of the world in having Trove and the free access it provides to so much at any time of the day or night to anyone, anywhere with an Internet connection. Scholars, students, historians, sports fans all have found items of interest to them.

What is even more special are the volunteers from around the world who correct the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which at times depending on typeface and age of the paper can give some very interesting results! Just today there were, at the time of writing this, 9706 newspaper lines corrected by the wonderful volunteers.

The Hall of Fame shows the top correctors and I will never be in the top five (I don't think they do anything but correct!) but I am pretty happy at number 639 and 42, 246 lines of text corrected, which has been done intermittently over five years. It is one of the ways I choose to give back and "pay Forward" all the help I have received over the years.

Those who read my blog regularly will know of my George Howard Busby.

On the Discovering Anzacs site, his entry shows the photos of him from the Queenslander, his Attestation papers and if you look down on the bottom right hand side you will see some links to articles in Trove from my tagged list for him.  Other web links include a link to his Repatriation file and to the high resolution images from the Queenslander and also to his Embarkation file.

This integration of records together from across the digital sphere is what makes research today extremely exciting.

I wonder how long it will be before Trove has one billion reources?

Trove we all love you!

Monday, 11 April 2016

Five and a bit!

 I've been quite busy  and managed to miss my blog's fifth birthday on the 31st March!

So Happy Blogiversary and hopefully there will be many more!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Thanks Paul for #MyColorfulAncestry

J Paul Hawthorne came up with a way of visualising our family history data. #MyColourfulAncestry which has taken Facebook by storm

Paul has provided a downloadable 5 generation chart Thanks Paul!

Sometimes looking at our data in different ways can show perhaps where we are missing data or just show things in a different way. 

I took it up a bit to a seven generation chart showing the birthplaces of my ancestors.  By just looking at the birthplace it is cleaner without all the other data showing.

My father was born in Kent England and as can be seen by colouring the places of birth and seeing all that yellow, I have a lot of Kent ancestry!

There are a lot of things you can do. I have always been a strong advocate of researching your health history and so of course I had done a cause of death chart previously but have done it again. This shows the cause of death and the age.Cancer shown in red occurs more often than I would like. Tuberculosis also occurs as does heart disease although pretty good ages for most of my ancestors.

Emily Schroeder of GrowingLittleLeaves blog showed how she used the chart to interest her daughter in her family history by using the colours on the chart and colouring a map to match those same colours. A fantastic idea to get children interested!

Others have shown the religious affiliations of their ancestors. Some have done occupation charts. I am not sure about that as so many people have varied occupations during their lifetimes. My great grandfather was a tailor most of his life but became ill and in  the last period of time became an insurance salesman which is what was shown as the occupation on his death certificate. 

And didn't that create an argument with my grandmother when I said he was an insurance salesman! Having said that I changed from using Personal Ancestral File to Family Tree Maker many, many years ago as my partner had five generations of blacksmiths on his line and I really wanted to be able to show it on a chart!

There are many things you can do in Excel (or any spreadsheet) to help in your family history. Facebook has a group Excel-ling Genealogists which has over 1000 members.

YouTube is another great resource and if you do a search for Excel and Genealogy you will find over 1400 videos. A YouTube channel I would recommend is Tessa Keough who has done a whole series of videos on Excel and also on Legacy. Tessa, like me, is also a One Name study researcher and uses Excel extensively for her study. Tessa's YouTube channel can be found here.

So why not give it a go and visualise your data in a different way?