Saturday, June 27, 2015

Six GBP for Online Membership - I'm in

I'm thinking about my Bucks ancestors today. John Tucker, a butcher from Datchet, was transported to Australia in 1824 per Hercules II. Jon's parents and siblings were butchers in Datchet until the mid 1850s. I'd love to be able to find more information on John and his family so thought I'd plan for a visit to the Bucks FHS in the future.

I wondered if I should join this Society so I checked out their various membership catagories.  I found something there that appealed to me, On-line Membership until 31 Dec 2015 ; "On-line membership will give you access to the members only sections of the Society website and the right to attend meetings and vote at the AGM. You will not receive copies of Origins, the Society magazine by post but will be able to read/download a copy on-line in the members only section of the website". 

This category of membership is less than half the cost of overseas membership - I can do without printed magazines to save 8 GBP Pounds on the membership subscription.

What a great idea this is! For just 6 GBP I can check the Society's online databases to see if they have any Tucker leads for me to follow.

Family History Societies that have local databases available online could follow Bucks FHS and offer a new category of online membership  tht would attract genies like me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Thinking of my Dad, Allan John Curry, today on what would have been his 96th birthday.

With Dad on my wedding day

Allan John Curry 1919-2001

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Genetic Strand

The Genetic Strand, a book that I found on a bargain table, caught my eye because the author's surname was Ball. On examination I discovered that its subtitle was "Exploring a a family history through DNA". 

I hoped that this book might enlighten this old girl who is at the bottom of the class where DNA is concerned. Published in 2007 this book was published before the emergence of genealogy focussed DNA companies like FamilyTreee DNA, 23andMe and  Ancestry DNA so Ball had to turn to the companies that were available at the time.

Although I didn't learn much to advance my knowledge of DNA (although the author gave several detailed explanations) I thoroughly enjoyed the book because I learnt a lot about the history of DNA testing. I was carried along with the author as he tried to sort out a family mystery (I love reading mysteries) about a collection of family hair samples that had been hidden in a desk since the American Civil War. Ball's prose was excellent; his writing had a captivating turn of phrase and touches of humour.

I was pleased that I rescued this book from the bargain table.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spit and Wait

Thanks to I was given an opportunity to test my DNA with their service that has recently been launched in Australia. 

Ancestry say "AncestryDNA looks at autosomal DNA. Autosomal DNA tests, unlike Y- or mtDNA tests, survey a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations where genetic markers that identify an individual typically appear. Plus, autosomal DNA tests look at both maternal and paternal lines, meaning discoveries come from both sides of your family tree.". 

As I often jump in feet first I accepted the invitation and my kit arrived promptly in a pretty bag.  I opened it and took a look but because I had a cold/chest infection I didn't rush into things. As I was tidying up prior to my holiday I thought I should do the spit even though I was still a bit poorly. 

The Ancestry DNA  test uses a sample of saliva while the FamilyTreeDNA test I did earlier in the year required a cheek swab. I found it much easier to spit than to scrape.

Anyway I spat and now I am waiting patiently for my results. I did however record a few happy snaps for those who may be curious about the process - it was a breeze. I also set up a public tree on Ancestry with just my direct lines in anticipation of finding some new unknown cousins. Ancestry uses one's tree as a means of connecting cousins.

The Box

The Grand Opening

Under the Instructions

The sealed collection vial

Prior to breaking it open

I read the instructions

Even I could follow them

I registered the kit online

I did the spit

Vial filled to squiggly line as directed

Sealed up ready for posting to Ireland for testing
How easy was that! You too can do the big spit - details here.  

So that you can get a discount on this test it might be wise to wait until Ancestry have a special as they often do.

Disclaimer AncestryDNA provided me with a complimentary DNA testing kit

Monday, June 15, 2015

Which way up?

I admit to being a slow learner.

After years of wrestling with USB connections as I try to insert them right way up into their slots on my devices I have finally learnt how to do it first time.

Bottom  of one of my USB connectors
I didn't know that the bottom of the connector has a seam while the top is smooth. EASY?

The number of expletives I utter is now bound to drop.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 13 June 2015

Busy times here as Mr GeniAus and I get ready for our next adventure. Tonight we are enjoying out last "babysiting opportunity" before we set off. Once we get our little charges off to bed I can drag out my little computer and catch up on blogging and social media activities. If the children's parents arrive home before I finish this post I will have to publish it tomorrow. Let's see how I go....

1. Sharn shares another family story.

2. Useful tips for those (like me) heading to the Western Front. 

7. A NSW resource is digitised.

The parents came home and relieved us of our now it's Sunday morning.

9. World War 1 stuff is fascinating me at the moment, thanks Victoria.

10. Welcome back Lee-Ann who is returning to blogging after a long break.

11. I'll look at letters differently from now on.

12. An honour for Johnnie's Dad (follow the link to read his full bio).

For the next couple of months GAGs posts may be spasmodic as I may be otherwise engaged.....but I will return.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tennessee Troubles

The search for Mr GeniAus' Gowans cousins keeps me on my toes.

A while ago I tracked down one branch of the family to Tennessee; today I thought I would revisit them. Mr Google took me to a page entitled Online Tennessee Death Records & Indexes from which I followed a few links.

I struck gold at a resource compiled by the Nashville Public Library: "Index to Obituaries in the Nashville Tennessean Newspaper 1964-present also includes a Nashville marriage records index 1864-1905." I found obituaries for three Gowans cousins.

The library site states" Obituaries appearing in the Tennessean Newspaper are indexed back to 1964. The index will provide the first date the obituary appeared in the paper, as well as the page number. Once you have the date and page number, you can look up the obituary in the Tennessean."

Well I have my three references. Now I just need to find The Tennessean. Those instructions are fine if one lives near Nashville but what about a poor old Granny in Australia?

Worldcat tells me that the closest library to me that holds the newpaper is 7400 miles away in California.

Closest locations for me to access the Gowans Obituaries.

As I will be visiting the UK soon I asked Worldcat if there were any locations close to London. Bingo - I would only have to travel 3200 miles from London to Boston to access the newspaper.

I am going to email the Nashville Public Library to see what they suggest. Failing that I will have to wait until Rootstech 2016 and plan an excursion to an American library that holds the Teneessean. I wonder what the weather is like in Tennessee in February?

In case some geneafairy is watching over me these are the permanent links from the Nashville Public Library to the obituary sources:

Friday, June 5, 2015

GAGs - GeniAus' Gems - 5 June 2015

By the end of a week I have forgotten which posts I have earmarked in my Evernote GAGs notebook so I enjoy revisiting those posts as I type up this list. I hope you enjoy them too.

1. Carmel is doing a sterling job with this series. Wouldn't it be grand if this was replicated in other states.

2. Annie writes of her experiences during a librayr placement

3. A reminder from Wagga Wagga of the worth of local histories

4. The name "Dicky Dewson" just caught my eye.

5.  What's new? via volunteer,Alex

6. Have you fallen for these?

7. A positive review from Chris Paton

8. I'm a one file girl too

9. Beaut research by Queensland's #nextgen blogger.

10.  I read these posts each week and lament that my state society doesn't do something similar.

11. A post on Lenore's blog took me to this one from Vicki. As I am about to set out on a trip to The Western Front it was most useful. Vicki's 4 blogs have been added to my RSS feeds.

12. And here's a review of a book I am reading from anaother of Vicki's blogs.

Congratulations to my geneablogging mate from the Top End, Pauleen Cass, for having her blog,,  added to those being preserved in Pandora. 'Twas about time she was recognised.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

My first contact

I have been a slow starter in the DNA stakes. I took me nearly three years from when I purchased my kit from FTDNA until I submitted my cheek swab.

When I got my MtDNA and Familyfinder results I read through the lists of supposed connections, checked out the trees of those who had submitted them and gave up. Most of the connections were from the US and I couldn't find any probable relationships.

When I checked my emails just befor going to sleep last night I found this message (I have xxxed out identifying information).

"You come up as a recent match with me in FTDNA Family finder, and looking at your family tree I suspect its either through the xxxx connection on my dad’s mother’s side (the xxxs in my family were in the Forbes area around the 1850s, pretty much straight from Ireland – mum says Grandma xxx as she became had a strong Irish accent though she was born here), or else through the xxx connection on my father’s father’s side of the family. Your great++ grandmother xxx may have been a first cousin of my great++ grandmother xxx. Does any of this make sense to you – I think we may be 3rd or 4th cousins through either of those pathways."

My first geneatask this morning was to write to this gentleman in Queensland, acknowledge his email and share his excitement. Having looked at his tree on FTDNA I agree with my new potential cousin that we must be related through one of these two matching lines. 

Of course the big problem we have is that both of the xxx lines originate in Ireland!!!


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