Skip to content

Rootstech Connect Day 3


Keynote Sessions

A feature of every Rootstech is the keynote sessions. The keynote speakers are experts and well known people in their field, often with seemingly nothing to do with genealogy. They come from all over the world, and are a highlight of every Rootstech. By the time day three arrived, I hadn’t yet had time to watch any keynote sessions, so I decided that the theme for day three would be Keynotes. , I watched six keynote sessions and really enjoyed each of them. However, for me, there were two stand out highlights.

Nick Vujicic

You Matter: Nick is an Australian/American, who was born without arms or legs. He travels the world spreading his message of how he discovered his life purpose. . Nick travels the world talking about hope and kindness and much more. From his first word I was hooked and it seemed only minutes before he had finished speaking. I was left wanting more, even after an hour of listening. Kindness, love, inspiration, empathy, sympathy, acceptance, possibility, thankfulness, purpose and courage are just some of the themes that were touched on, in this riveting and powerful talk.

Sinetra Sarker

Embracing Multi Culturalism: Sinetra is an actress in a very popular English series. I hadn’t heard of her, but soon realised that she was very well known. Sinetra’s Indian born parents migrated to England, where she was born. Sinetra talked about her resistance to embracing her Indian heritage, and admitted that in her earlier years, she was even embarassed that she was different and had brown skin. The story of how she came to embrace her differences was very inspiring.

The keynote sessions involved about six hours of watching time, so day three was another big day in front of the computer. I devoted eighte

Expo Hall

en hours on this day, so that I could watch the keynotes, visit the expo hall and also watch a few genealogy sessions.

The virtual expo hall was a big highlight of Rootstch for me. I remember in 2016, when I attended Rootstech in person in Salt Lake City, I was surprised at how huge the expo hall was. To check out every stall and watch the demonstrations, it was necessary to cut into session times. The big advantage of a virtual conference is that it’s possible to see it all, and miss out on nothing. I spent hours in the virtual expo hall, and checked out all the latest news in genealogy and technology. I even signed up to a data management and mapping website, so that I can record all the information from research into my Axedale Then and Now


DNA I chose not to do any DNA sessions during the conference. The reason for this is that I want to allocate a big chunk of time to watch them all, as I really need to learn more about DNA as it relates to genealogy/familyhistory. In a few weeks, I’ll devote an entire week to watching the DNA sessions and learning as much as I can about this subject. It’s been a long time coming and it’s about time that I set my mind to it at last.

Chat Room

There was a chat room available at all times during Rootstech, which I fully intended to pop into, from time to time. I had been looking forward to catching up with friends and bloggers, in the chat room. However, I found that I didn’t have the time for this on any of the three days. It worked better for me to stay in contact with genie friends through Twitter, during the conference, as we shared information and our expo hall finds.


On Day one of Rootstech, it was announced that over 500,000 people had registered. By day three, the graphic below was posted which showed the attendance to be over 1,000,000 people. As it wasn’t compulsory to watch sessions, the numbers increased during the conference. I suspect there could have been some who used more than one email addrees, which could have blown the figues out slightly. But even so the attendance figures were incredible and everything went off, seemingly without any glitches.


Thank you to all at RootsTech Connect 2021 and FamilySearch for your massive efforts to bring us this amazing and incredible virtual conference.. I also say a big thankyou for making the decision to leave the website open, and the sessions available, for all of 2021, meaning that I can watch all sessions that interest me, over the course of the year.

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Rootstech Connect 2021 Day 2

On day 1 at Rootstech, I found it really difficult to choose which sessions I’d like to watch first, from my playlist, so decided it might be fun to go with a daily theme. My theme for day 1 was Australia Day which meant that I watched all Australian sessions. For day 2, I chose English Day. There were many informative sessions on English research from beginners through to sessions for more advanced researchers.

I found that many of the English sessions that I’ve watched so far, have been perfect for revision. It never hurts to review topics that you might feel you know everything about. I usually find there’s some snippet that has been forgotten over many years of researching.

Just a few English sessions that I enjoyed:

* The Hidden Secrets of the 1939 England and Wales National Register – Linda Hammond

* Searching for Children in Care in England – Sylvia Valentine

* Is Everyone Here? Strategies for finding complete English families. Part 1, 2 & 3 – Jana Greenhaigh

* English Land Surveys – Dr. Nick Barratt

For beginners, I’d recommend the Getting Started Series by Amy Harris with information on civil registration, parish records and census records.

Once again I spent time in the Virtual Expo Hall, checking up on new trends in genealogy. When I went to Rootstech in 2016, I spent quite a bit of time in the expo hall. It was huge and took hours to check out every stand, while fighting the crowds of enthusiastic genies. Of course, at a face to face conference, visits to the expo hall mean less time in sessions. Not so a virtual conference. I’ve loved being able to do both. Actually I’ve been making the expo hall a priority, as it won’t stay up for very long after the conference. The sessions don’t need to be rushed, as they will be there for all of 2021.

At the Expo Hall, I couldn’t resist signing up for a course with the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. The the course I chose, from a list of four free courses is Life Of Our Ancestors. When I logged into the National Institute of Genealogical Studies website, I found that in 2015, I had paid previously for the Australian Certificate – Basic Level certificate course, and had completed three modules. It all came back to me. 2015 was a very stressful year for me, and I think I just blanked it out. So I’ve now booked in for the required modules to complete this course.

I sat in front of the computer for 18 hours on day 2, and enjoyed every moment of that time. I watched 28 sessions and spent a few hours in the Expo Hall watching demos of the latest in genealogy. All in all it was a perfect day of genealogy.

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Rootstech Connect 2021 Day 1

Image Credit:

Day 1

I’ve been to just one Rootstech confererence in Salt Lake City. That was in 2016, and it was as exciting and memorable as I hoped it would be. I’d been watching the excitement of my genie friends, since the very first Rootstech conference, and knew that I’d have to get there one day. I’m sure it was very disappointing to some regular attendees, when they heard that Rootstech would be virtual this year. But to me, it was just the news that I wanted to hear. As I’m in lockdown, and not working, due to the pandemic, I knew I would have the time to throw myself entirely into Rootstech this year. And that is exactly what I did on Day 1. Day 2 and 3 would be no different

Being at Rootstech in person is exciting and awe inspiring. However this virtual conference is everything and more than you would expect from an in person conference. The only thing that I miss is the connection with friends and meeting new friends. That has been possible at this vitural conference in the chat room, but I have been so busy watching sessions, that I just haven’t had the time to pop in there, The lack of connection has been of my own doing. I have had connection, however, on Twitter, as the genealogy and rootstech community has been very visible there during the conference. I’ve found this to be, as I usually do, a great way to interact.

Rootstech Connect Day One

The first thing to do on day one after a reccie tour of the website was to set up my playlist of sessions. That took quite a while, as I didn’t want to miss out on anything. I have no idea how many sessions are on my playlist, but there are many on many different topics. Making the playlist is one thing, but I had trouble deciding which session to watch first. Each time I chose a session it almost felt like choosing a favourite child. These sessions will be staying up after for months after the conference is over, so fortunately I will be able to watch them all, over a period of time. The possiblity of watching every session is one advantage of Rootstech being virtual.

After I felt the playlist was chock full of goodness, which by the way I can add to at any time, I popped over to check out the Virtual Expo Hall. After all, a wander around the expo hall is something that I would do to fill in time, before the first session of an in person conference. I had a quick browse, and popped back a few hours later for a more in depth look. The expo hall was every bit as good virtually. I would even say that it’s better, as there are no crowds to battle. I had fun collecting information about the many genealogical companies represented, to read later, when I have time, after the conference is over. I couldn’t see it all in one day so will be back on day 2.

It was then over to the sessions. After I watched the first few session, I thought that I needed a theme for the day, and decided on Aussie Day. From then, I watched all of the Australian sessions presented by Australian experts on a variet of topics. There were sessions on the goldrush, heritage studies, archives, births, deaths and marriages, electoral rolls and more. I loved Aussie Day and wondered what my theme could be for day 2.

As the day ended, I felt that I couldn’t have done any more to participate than I did on day 1. The tweet that I posted below sums up the day in just a few words. I had been sitting in front of the computer, taking in information, for 15 hours and needed sleep. After all, I needed to be fresh and lively for day two.

Getting into it with my Rootstech 2016 blogger beads never far away.

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved


Ready Set Go! Rootstech Connect 2021

Image: Pic Collage

I posted Here about the building Rootstech Connect excitement. Ever since writing that post, I’ve been counting down the days until day 1 of the biggest global genealogy conference in the world. That day is now only a couple of days away.

Getting Ready

I have officially registered for Rootstech, even though it’s not absolutely necessary. Registering makes it possible for a more personal conference experience, and also allows me to make a play list of my ‘must see’ sessions. Another advantage of registering is to have access to conference handouts. It is possible, however to watch the conference sessions without the necessity of registration.

Over the past few weeks, Rootstech have been releasing videos in their Roads To Rootstech series. These have been really helpful in understanding the logistics of this first virtual conference. I’ve been able to sense the excitement building in each video. My excitement has also been building with each video watched.

A couple of nights ago, Rootstech Ambassador, Jill Ball from GeniAus held a zoom meeting for Australians Attending Rootstech, with admins on the Facebook page assisting. By the end of the zoom meeting, I felt that I knew all that I needed to know about Rootstech Connect 2021.

I have downloaded and studied the 18 page list of sessions and highlighted those that interest me. Usually, when attending Rootstech in person, it’s impossible to watch every session as there are many streams running concurrently. In 2016, when I was lucky enough to attend Rootstech, I found it really difficult to decide which sessions to attend, when really, I wanted to attend them all. The great news that Rootstech have announced, is that sessions will stay up on the website for all of 2021, making it possible to watch each and every session that takes your fancy.

I’ve re-arranged responsiblities and let everyone know that I’m not available for the days of the conference. I’ve been looking forward to this conference since Rootstech announced, in 2020, that it would be virtual, so nothing is going to come between me and Rootstech in 2021. Bring it on. I’m ready.

My Plan

My plan to use the live conference time to watch the keynote speakers, who come from all walks of life, and are usually high profile in their communities or their area of expertise. When I attended in 2016, the keynote speakers all put a huge focus on family, in their presentations. I enjoyed every one of them, some even producing tears. My understanding is that many of the keynote sessions will be available to watch after the conference is over, but not all. As well as the keynotes, I plan to watch as many presentations as possible during conference. I love the idea of having the conference experience by devoting whole days to the program.

On conference days, I’ll be going for a long walk early, as for most of the day I’ll be sitting. After the walk, it will be conference time, I plan to give myself short breaks every hour to stretch my legs, just as I would do if I was there in person, and moving from room to room.


I must say a huge thankyou to the organisers of Rootstech for making this conference virtual and free. This has made it much more accessible to many people, who may not otherwise attend. The latest count is that there are 433,255 registrations from 235 countries and territories around the world. I find it really hard to get my head around those figures. My thoughts are with those behind the scenes as they are working around the clock to ensure the success of this massive virtual conference.

Are you going to Rootstech? Are you excited?

Image: Rootstech

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Counting Down the Days Rootstech Connect 2021

Counting Down The Days

Rootstech is the world’s largest genealogy/family history conference, held annually in Salt Lake City Utah. This year, due to the pandemic, Rootstech Connect will be be virtual and free. This is very exciting news for genealogists, both amateur and professional, including myself.

I was lucky enough to have attended Rootstech in 2016. All I can say is that it was amazing. The Salt Palace conference centre was buzzing every day, with excited attendees from all over the world. With the huge number of sessions on offer, it was almost impossible to choose, but here was the opportunity, for a whole three days, to hear knowledgeable speakers from around the world.

The Expo Hall was a sight to behold with it’s displays and booths from companies that I was very familiar with, but had not had contact with, until now.

Another highlight of my Rootstech experience was the opportunity to meet other attendees, many who, like me, had travelled long distances. Catching up with Aussie geneabloggers was also, of course a huge highlight.

Geneabloggers at Rootstech 2016

Rootstech Connect 2021

But all that is in the past. Rootstech Connect 2021, is from 25 – 27 February, this year, with no need to travel long distances, as the entire conference is virtual. I’ve just seen the list of sessions – all eighteen pages of them, with speakers from 52 countries. I’ve marked off those sessions that I’d like to see, which is a large percentage of them, and far more than I could ever watch over the four days of the conference. The good news is that many of the sessions will be available to watch for most of the next year.

The Keynote Speakers are always a huge highlight, and this year will be no different. Keynotes on the main stage are high profile people from all walks of life – actors, musicians, athletes, family historians, and many more, who are widely known in their area of expertise.

Even though Rootstech Connect will be virtual, the Expo Hall will still be there, with exhibitors from all over the world showing their latest innovations in family history, including hands on demonstrations. So far, over 315,000 people have registered to attend from more than 220 countries. I find it difficult to get my head around the amount of work that this conference must be generating for the organisers.

I’m keen to have the conference experience, so will be hibernating so that I can watch as many sessions as possible, during the days of the conference. The bonus is that I will be watching them during the day Australian time, not US time, which will allow for sleep. I’ve made it known that I will not be available for anything other than Rootstech on these days. To say that I’m excited is an understatement!

Just a few of the sessions to give an example:

  • 21st Century Tools For Connecting With Family by Mike Sandberg
  • Ancestry DNA Communities: Bringing New Discoveries To Your Research by Lisa Elzey
  • Document What You Find by Ellie Vance
  • Pausing Time and Looking Back by Heidi Swapp

The above sessions are just a tiny, tiny taste of what is available at RootsTech 2021. If you think this is something you would be interested in, you can find out more RootsTech Connect. I’d love to hear in the comments if you’re planning to attend.

Link to posts about Rootstech Ambassadors:
Daily posts from TravelGenee with hints to prepare for Rootstech Connect
Jill from GeniAus has posted information about the program sessions and keynotes
Pauleen from Family history across the seas has posted information about Rootstech Connect
Sharn from FamilyHistory4 posted about how to prepare for Rootstech Connect

If you have written a post about Rootstech Connect, please leave the link in comments and I will add it to the above list

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Twenty History Books

I’ve been watching an advertisement on Instagram for boxes of books. Some are mystery boxes, and some are books of a certain genre where titles are given before purchase. For a couple of weeks, I’ve been very tempted, and eventually gave in and decided to buy two boxes. One box is a mystery box of 40 brand new fiction books – titles unknown. The other is box of 20 brand new non fiction history books.

The books arrived a few days ago. I’m sure if you’re a reader, you could imagine my excitement.

Following is a list of the non fiction history titles:

Winston Churchill Reporting: Adventures of a WR Correspondent by Simon Read

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter (contributor)

Bethlehem: Biography of a Town by Nicholas Blincoe

Castle of the Eagles by Mark Felton

Hotel Floria: Truth, Love and Death in the Spanish Civil War by Amanda Vaill

My Dear Ones: One Family and the Final Solution by Jonathan Wittenberg

The Private Heinrich Himmler: Letters of a Mass Murderer by Katrin Himmler, Michael Wildt, Thomas Hansen (translater)

The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms and Fakes by Malachi Tallack, Katie Scott (Illustrator)

The Claimant: The Extraordinary Story of the Butcher who said he was a Baronet by Paul Terry

Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, The Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a city by Kate Winkler Dawson

Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot That Avenged the Armenian Genocide by Eric Bogosian

China’s First Empire: The Qin Dynasty (WHR 6-10) by Rob Waring

The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War by Doug Stanton

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History by Colin Spencer

London Bridge in America: The Story of a Transatlantic Crossing by Travis Elborough

The Storied City: The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save it’s Past by Charlie English

ViceRoys: The Creation of the British by Christopher Lee

The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau; Husband Hunting in the Gilded Age: How American Heiresses Conquered the Aristocracy by Julie Ferry

The Pope’s Legion: The Multinational Fighting Force That Defended the Vatican by Charles A.Coulombe

I wonder how long it will take me to read them. According to Goodreads I read about 75 books last year. I’m challenging myself to read all books from the boxes by the end of the year.

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Family History Books #ANZAncestryTime

The recent topic for #ANZAncestryTime, was Family History Books. In case you haven’t caught up with it yet, #ANZAncestryTime is genealogy/familyhistory discussion on Twitter. I’m very happy to be one of the moderators, and look forward to our sessions, every Tuesday night at 8pm AEST.

Image: #ANZAncestryTime

The questions about the books we read, made me think a bit more about my favourite family history books, so I thought I would recordtmy answers here. This blog is archived by the National Archives of Australia, so I’d like to think that one day in the far distant future, one of my descendants might go searching for me and come across my stories here.

*Some of my twitter replies may be expanded on for this blog post.

Question 1

What type of books and topics do you read to help with your research. Ebooks or paperbooks? Journals? Academic theses/publications? Family history, DNA or local history? Buy or borrow books?

I like reading books about an area where my ancestors lived. I prefer reading real paper books, but my family history books are often ebooks as it’s handy being able to search text. I’m trying not to collect too much stuff these days, so should start buying ebooks as first preference.

I’m quite new to Scottish research and making it my focus to learn as much as I can. I have been reading quite a few books about family history research in Scotland. I love @ChrisMPaton books, as they are clear, concise and esy to understand.

I usually buy my family history books, as they are handy to have for future research. But I have borrowed books from @PMILibrary They specialise in history of Victoria books. You can go there in person or order from your local library

Question 2

What are your criteria for selection? How or where do you get and share book recommendations?” Use alerts, apps for reading or listing book? Popular book sellers?

I often get recommendations from seminars and conferences. I follow authors on social media, that I’m familiar with, and who I know have expertise in my areas of interest.

I get recommendations also from bloggers, Twitter, FB, Instagram and Goodreads.

I don’t often use alerts for books. I use the Goodreads App to record my books, to search for others, and get recommendations.

I do my online book buying mostly from Amazon. bookdepository, bookgrocer, worldofbooks, and fishpond. But I do love browsing in a second hand bookshop. You just never know what you will find. It’s a favourite thing to do when travelling

Question 3

Have you found a mention or an ancestor’s story in a book or Google book search? Or a book written primarily about your family? Or found about your ancestor’s place in a book?

In the very early days of my research I found a book written about my GG Grandmother’s family. I was very excited, until I found incorrect info about my family. The author was happy to correct the errors for the the second edition. My family branch in this book was a minor branch for the author.

Question 4

Which books are your go-to reference books? Share titles you found useful for your research? Family history fiction? Favourite authors?

This is one of my favourite books about the history of the Scottish highland clearances. It’s made up of newspaper articles and letters to the editor which were in the paper at the time. I’ve had the book for twenty years, and have read it three times. I’m about to read it again, as I always seem to find new information with each read.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is highland-clearances.jpg

This is my favourite book about Scottish family history research at the moment written by Chris Paton I need to learn all I can about researching in Scotland.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is paton.jpg

A great book for information about ancestors who served at Gallipoli.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gallipoli.jpg

I really enjoyed this family history fiction Kin by @NickDeanBrodie As he traces his family back to the early days of settlement in Australia, the author has included a huge amount of information about Australia.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kin.jpg

I’d recommend this book for information on the lives of women on the Victorian goldfields. The author researched this book for ten years, and has written it as a tribute to the women of the Ballarat area. The books we usually read about The Eureka Stockade, focus on the men at the centre of the uprising, ignoring the parts played by the women, who rarely rate a mention.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eureka.jpg

Images: Goodreads

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is anzancestrytime-for-blog.png

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Why Do Family History? #ANZAncestryTime

The recent topic for #ANZAncestryTime, was Why Do Family History. In case you haven’t caught up with it yet, #ANZAncestryTime is genealogy/familyhistory discussion on Twitter. I’m very happy to be one of the moderators, and look forward to our sessions, every Tuesday night at 8pm AEST

The discussion on this topic was robust and very interesting. I loved hearing how others found themselves knee deep in family history. The questions also made me think a bit more about my own involvement, so I thought I would record my involvement here. This blog is archived by the National Archives of Australia, so I’d like to think that one day in the far distant future, one of my descendants might go searching for me and come across my stories here.

Question 1

a. What prompted you to start family history research and when?
I was introduced to family history when a relative asked me to help her organise a reunion for my inlaws’ family and then suggested I start to research my own family. Started in 1985.

When I first started researching my family history, it was only to find out about my fathers parents. He was an orphan, and his parents were never discussed in our family. My father said his parents had no family. I found they both had a huge family.

One of my earliest finds was that my father’s parents died within 6 weeks of each other. Causes of death were not connected There were eleven children. My father was the second youngest. I wrote about my reaction to this news

b. Any exciting, surprising, sad, or shocking discoveries?
There have been many surprises along the way, I found I had 50 first cousins from Dad’s family who were previously unknown to me

Question 2

a. Have you researched offline as well as online?
When I first started there was no online research. It was all done by attending archives, societies etc. I loved in person research, and still do on the rare occasion I get to do it.

b. What do you treasure most about your research?
Mostly I treasure my ancestors. I now understand the sacrifices they made many years ago in the hope of having a better life. These sacrifices have given me the great life that I have in Australia

I treasure all the official documents and photos that I’ve come across through research or have been given. It distresses me that I have nobody to pass them on to. But that’s another subject for another week

Question 3

a. Did you inherit any Family History research, family stories or photos?
I have inherited no family history research, however along the way, cousins who I’ve met have shared their information with me. I verify everything before adding it to my family tree or files.

I’ve been given many photos by family members. Unfortunately there are very few old photos of my family that I’ve found so far

b. Did you take the information as given or verify it?

c. Have cousin connections expanded your research?
I’ve met many cousins, mainly through my blog, who have shared research, family search and photos. These new connections are very precious to me. I have ongoing relationships with many and with their families

Question 4

a. Why is it important to you to learn about your ancestors and their places?

I believe it’s important we understand where we come from, and our family backgrounds, in order to understand ourselves, and the world around us

Through family history, I’ve learnt much about the countries where my ancestors originated. Researching family history gives the opportunity to learn about the world

b. Has having immigrant ancestors been important to your quest?
Most definitely. My first ancestors were all immigrants so passenger and shipping records provide great information about their journey. These records also can provide information about their lives, before leaving their home for Australia.

c. Does family history benefit to your family and/or the community?
My family history research doesn’t really benefit my family as there is nobody in my family who has ever shown an interest. But family history led me to starting my One Place Study which will benefit my community.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is anzancestrytime-for-blog.png

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Climbing My Family’s Gum Tree

Blogger Pauleen from Family History Across The Seas put out the challenge of an Australia Day Geneame in 2014. This geneameme re-surfaced this year when Anne from Anne’s Family History reposted her updated reply to the geneameme, due to extra research done. My first thought was that I must re-do mine. I did then get a surprise to find that I didn’t even do it the first time round. I seem to remember that 2014 was an extremely busy time in my life and I took a short hiatus for the blog. So, better late than never. Here is my answer to Pauleen’s Geneameme.

Link to Pauleen’s Geneameme Climbing your family’s gum tree


My first ancestor to arrive in Australia was: My fourth great grandfather Thomas JONES was my first ancestor to arrive in Australia. He arrived at Hobart, in 1831, with Catherine who was soon to become his wife, and their baby son Robert. Thomas and Catherine married shortly after their arrival. Information on Thomas’ death certificate is that he came to Australia with the military. So far, I’ve found nothing to verify this. Looking for any Jones in the passenger lists is like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially this early in the 19th century.

I have Australian Royalty (tell us who, how many and which Fleet they arrived with): I have no Australian royalty at all, or even anyone who would be considered important in society. We are a very working class family, though to me my ancestors are all important.

I’m an Aussie mongrel, my ancestors came to Oz from: My ancestors all came to Australia from Britain. I have branches from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. We are not at all multi cultural.

Did any of your ancestors arrive under their own financial steam? My ancestors were all assisted immigrants, except perhaps for my great great grandfather Thomas WATERS. He arrived at Adelaide in the early 1850s. There is no record that his voyage was assisted, so I originally assumed he paid his own way, even though I’ve never been able to find his passenger record. A few years ago, a family researcher in England told me he was ship’s crew and jumped ship in Adelaide, to avoid going back to problems he had left behind in England. This has never been verified, though he definitely left problems behind him in England.

How many ancestors came as singles? Three direct ancestors came as single passengers.

How many came as couples? I’m still working on this due to family lines that haven’t yet been researched. Most of my direct ancestors came either as couples or travelled with their future wife.

How many came as family groups? Two direct ancestors travelled in family groups, on information I have so far.

Did one person lead the way and others follow? Family members followed my great great grandfather Farquhar Morison to Australia from Scotland.

What’s the longest journey they took to get there? Six months was the longest journey, I’ve come across so far. The McPherson’s came out on The Hercules, leaving England in January 1853. After many delays along the way, mostly due to bad weather, including having to turn back to England to wait for better weather, they arrived in Adelaide in July 1853.

Did anyone make a two-step emigration via another place? Not that I know of so far.

Which state(s)/colony did your ancestors arrive? My direct ancestors arrived at Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia

Did they settle and remain in one state/colony? They mostly stayed in the same place. One ancestor relocated to Sydney from Tasmania. Another moved from South Australia to Victoria and two other families moved from Tasmania to Victoria.

Did they stay in one town or move around? Those that stayed in one state, mostly stayed in the same area,

Do you have any First Australians in your tree? None found as yet.

Were any self-employed? I have four direct ancestors who farmed their own land. Another four ancestors were self employed.

What occupations or industries did your earliest ancestors work in? Mostly agricultural labourers, either growing vegies, sheep or dairy farming. One ancestor was a school teacher in the early years, There were also a few miners.

Does anyone in the family still follow that occupation? As far as I know, I would say no.

Did any of your ancestors leave Australia and go “home”? None


What’s your State of Origin? Victoria

Do you still live there? I still live in Victoria. I lived in the town where I was born for 52 years, before moving to a city, about two hours away.

Where was your favourite Aussie holiday place as a child? Rosebud, Victoria

Any special place you like to holiday now? Port Fairy, Victoria. We go there every year

Share your favourite spot in Oz: I would have to say Noosa as that is where my son and grandchildren have made their new home.

Any great Aussie adventure you’ve had? Cycling holiday around far North Queensland in 1989

What’s on your Australian holiday bucket list? Due to Covid my holiday bucket list is now much more simple – Noosa, Port Fairy, Sydney, Perth, Hobart, Norfolk Island.

How do you celebrate Australia Day? Our community usually has an Australia Day ceremony, but not this year due to Covid. We will have a quiet day at home. Dinner well be Aussie lamb cooked on the barbie.

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

My Favourite Migration Books

Late last year, one of our topics for #ANZAncestryTime, was Migration. In case you haven’t caught up with it yet, #ANZAncestryTime is genealogy/familyhistory discussion on Twitter. I’m very happy to be one of the moderators, and look forward to it, every Tuesday night at 7pm AEST

One of our migration topics for discussion, was “books we have read about migration”. There were many great suggestions for books that I haven’t read yet, that I’ve added to my “to read” list. Over the years, I’ve read many migration books, so I thought I’d share six of my favourites here, from my bookshelf. I would highly recommend all of these books to anyone interested in history and particularly, migration.

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
This book explores the truth about the voyage of The Mayflower and follows the first 55 years of settlement in America

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
The author tells the mostly untold migration story of America, This is the decades long migration of black citizens who fled the south, fo other parts of America, looking for a better life.

Hell Ship by Michael Veitch
The true story of the plague ship Triconderoga, one of the most disastrous voyages in Australian history.
Link to a review that I wrote: Hell Ship by Michael Veitch

The Long Farewell by Don Charlwood
Don Charlwood has used diaries and archival records to follow the journeys of emigrants who left Britain for Australia, in the early nineteenth century. We read about their experiences, problems, and the personalities of some of those who were heading to Australia to start a new life.

Voyage to Australia: Private Journal by James Bell
This book is the personal diary of James Bell, who took the long voyage to Australia in 1838, leaving his family and friends, and not knowing what to expect of the new country, so far away. This original diary turned up at a country bookstall in England, 150 years after it was written. The State Library of South Australia managed to buy the diary at auction.
Link to a review that I wrote: Private Journal Of A Voyage To Australia by James Bell

1788: The Brutal Truth of the First Fleet by David Hill
This extremely well researched book tells the story of the voyage of the first fleet to Australia. We read about their hardships and difficult experiences. David Hill has also researched the first years of settlement in Australia after the arrival of the first fleet.

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Images: Goodreads

Barroworn Succulents

Succulents, Geraniums, Iris and much more. All grown on our local property

Loretta Travels

Travel tidbits and vicarious adventures

Best Bookish Blog

Independant Book Reviews and More

Trisha Faye

Cherishing the Past while Celebrating the Present

Removing the labels one pair of pants at a time

Celebrating and Loving our bodies

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." Cicero

Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

Kerryn's Kin

A Tribute to my ancestors by Kerryn Taylor

Next Phase In Fitness & Life

Over 60 and living my best life

'Genealogists for Families' project

Family History and Genealogy


Family History and Genealogy

Western District Families

Stories of Pioneering Families From the Western District of Victoria