Saturday, 30 August 2014

NFHM 2014 Geneameme

This geneameme was created by Pauleen Cass (Family History Across the Seas) to celebrate National Family History Month in Australia.

What are you doing for NFHM?
I am completing some of the 31 Activities for researchers during National Family History Month, as well as continuing my own research & taking part in genealogy education events.

What do you hope to learn in NFHM?
I hope to learn something from every activity I take part in, whether it is something that improves my research, exposes me to new areas of learning or reinforces something I have already learnt.

Do you research at a family or local history library?
I haven’t done any research at a Family History Library yet, but I have used the State Library of NSW & I visit the Local History & Genealogy section of my local library regularly.

Do you do all your research online?
Not all of it, but most of it.

What’s your favourite place to store your family tree?
I store it in a few places & in a few ways.  I have paper pedigree charts & I have online trees at Ancestry, My Heritage & Geni.  I also use genealogy programs.  I store my family tree online, on a USB & a portable hard drive as a back-up.

If offline, which genealogy program do you use? (do tell us its strengths/weaknesses if you like)
I mainly use Family Tree Maker for my database, but I’m also trying out Legacy, Roots Magic & Ancestral Quest to explore their programs.  I am still learning the strengths & weaknesses of each program & their features.

How do you preserve your family stories for future generations?
At the moment I am more in the research stage – I don’t have many ‘family stories’ yet.  What I do know I pass on to my children, & write blogs posts about some of my ancestors.  My next step will be to write biographies of my ancestors & tell their stories this way.  In the future I hope to publish my family history in some way.

Have you any special research projects on the go?  
I am recording baptisms, marriages & burials of my family names in Sussex.  I could see this becoming a one place study or the beginning of a one name study.

What is your favourite family history research activity?  
All of them, whether it’s researching in a library or an archive or on the internet; receiving birth, marriage or death certificates that I have ordered & discovering the facts they hold; watching Hangouts on Air & webinars & listening to podcasts to learn more about genealogy & research methodology; reading great books about genealogy & research; or holding original wills of my ancestors that are a century or more old; solving ‘brick wall’ problems.

What is your favourite family history research place/library etc?
Like +Alex Daw from Family Tree Frog, I love going to my State Archives & holding or seeing the original documents.

What is your favourite website for genealogy research?  
I have too many of them.  The major sites like Ancestry & Family Search, I also use My Heritage, Geni, Find My Past, & The Genealogist UK.  The Cornwall Family History Society has a great website for members, as does Sussex Family History Society.  Then there’s Trove and many other smaller sites.  Google is also fantastic as you can use different search strategies to find things you would never be able to find otherwise.

Are you part of a Facebook genealogy group? If so which one?
I belong to several Facebook genealogy groups, but I don’t really make use of them.  Most of the groups are focused on a locality or using technology or organising your genealogy.  Some of the groups I belong to are: Australian Settlers DNA Group, Australian Convicts, The Organized Genealogist, Australian Genealogy, South Australian Genealogy, Australian Family History & Genealogy, County Donegal Ireland Genealogy & Technology for Genealogy.

Do you use webinars or podcasts for genealogy? Any tips?
I use both webinars & podcasts.  I find them interesting & informative, & it helps me feel like I’m part of the genealogical community.  I also watch a lot of Hangouts on Air & Youtube videos to further my knowledge.

Do you use social media? eg Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn
I do use social media.  I use Facebook & Pinterest, but also Google+.  I don’t think I’m really utilising social media for genealogy.  Though it’s probably not technically ‘social media’, I follow a lot of blogs.

What genealogy topic/class have you learnt the most from this year at a webinar/conference/seminar?
I learn from every single thing I participate in.  Maybe the topic I have been able to implement immediately is using Excel to improve & organise my research.

Do you have a favourite research strategy to knock down your brick walls?  
Keep at it, read & re-read everything you have carefully, follow other immediate family members (e.g. if you can’t find where your grandmother’s father was born, get certificates for your grandmother’s siblings – the information might be on one of these).

Have you used DNA testing for your genealogy?
Yes, through Family Tree DNA.  I had my MTDNA tested & also Family Finder for autosomal DNA.

Have you made cousin connections through your DNA tests?
Yes, I joined the Curran DNA project & even though I wasn’t able to take a Y-DNA test, my autosomal DNA & the family I knew about was enough to link me to the person who runs the DNA project & at least 1 cousin in Australia.  This was especially lucky as this cousin knew nothing of my grandfather & his family so I was able to fill him in on his missing part of the family tree.

Do you have a wish list of topics for NFHM 2015?
I would love to see more online events. +Jill Ball, the idea of a 12 Hour GeniAus Hangout on Air event is terrific!  I don’t know how much I could contribute but I’d definitely be watching!

It would also be great if there was somehow an online or a ‘watch later’ component to other events.  There have been many events on offer through societies or libraries that I would have loved to have been a part of but I haven’t been able to attend because they are on when I am at work.

The idea of having streamed or levelled topics, particularly in methodology could also be interesting.

What do you most love about your family history research?
I am always learning something new, whether it is about an ancestor, about history, or about uses for technology (some of which I’ve used in my teaching job).


  1. Great to read about your geneapractices. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You really have got the geneabug Sherie! You're using lots of strategies but the one I like best is the practice of pursuing siblings etc because I think it can really help solve problems. Your blog posts will get you kick-started on writing your overall family history and publishing it. Thanks for joining in the meme.

  3. Fingers crossed that pursuing siblings will help me break down my Rae brick wall.