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A field of red poppies at the Australian War Memorial: a sea of love and thanks

This post is reblogged from Booming On Blog. I had been intending to post about the Red Poppies as we got closer to Remembrance Day on 11 November. I couldn’t possibly do a better job than this blogger.

If you enjoy it, click on the Booming On Link to read more of her posts.


Sea of red knitted poppies planted at the Australian War Memorial

More than five years ago, two sisters-in-law – Lynn and Margaret – began knitting 120 poppies to honour their fathers who died during the Second World War. Those poppies grew into a community movement that’s collected hordes of volunteers, crossed oceans and spawned the creation of hundreds of thousands of poppies seen in gardens, ceremonies and displays across the world to honour our soldiers.

Last week in Canberra, a garden sea of these beautiful handmade red poppies was planted on the lawns of the Australian War Memorial, on their final stop in their world travels.


There are 62,000 poppies in the garden, knitted or crocheted by loving hands, each poppy representing an Australian soldier who died in the First World War. The display is part of the commemorations of approaching centenary of the armistice, which marked the official end of the First World War. That was ‘the war to end all…

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Vietnam War Memorial – Seymour

This is the first in the series of War Memorials in Victoria. The war memorials will appear in no particular order. However when the series is complete there will be an alphabetical list linking to each War Memorial for easy access.

Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk at Seymour

This Memorial begins with a wall of plaques, outlining details of individual battles such as The Battle of Long Tan and others. This gives a great overview of the history of the Vietnam War. I came away with a much better understanding of this conflict.

The walk commences with a winding path backed by native trees and grasses which represent the rubber trees and rice paddies of Vietnam.


The main focus of the walk is the winding, commemorative wall, made of glass, and inscribed with the names of every serviceman and woman who served in the Vietnam War. Behind the names are images of black and white photos, depicting the events of this conflict. I found many of these to be very haunting.

I was truly amazed at how many people served in this war. Both sides of the wall were filled with their names. They number 60,267. Of these, 496 lost their lives. The 11 tracker dogs who served were also memorialised.

Various armed vehicles are installed along the walk. There are also quiet places for private reflection.

Poppies are available at the nearby Tourist Information Centre to be left below this cairn

This Memorial to the Vietnam War can be found at High Street Seymour.

source: o My own field trip and www.

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Traditional Naming Pattern – Lloyd

My main area of research is my TAYLOR family. John and Martha lived in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales. They married in 1839, and arrived in Australia in 1841/42

Martha’s maiden name was Lloyd, a very common surname, in the area where they lived in Wales. They had a large family of twelve children. The first two sons were born in Wales and a further ten children were born in Victoria, Australia.

Each of their sons was given the second Christian name Lloyd. This was to begin a traditional naming pattern that would to continue in every family of each generation to come.

Children of John Taylor and Martha Lloyd:

James Lloyd TAYLOR

John Lloyd TAYLOR

William Lloyd TAYLOR



Thomas Lloyd TAYLOR

Charles Lloyd TAYLOR

George Lloyd TAYLOR

Henry Lloyd TAYLOR



Arthur Lloyd Taylor

It’s interesting to note that none of the girls have been given second Christian names. This tradition also continues in future generations though not to the extent of the Lloyd tradition.

Almost every male child in every generation since has been given the second name of Lloyd. The tradition continued as recently as the generation before me.

My father was named Thomas Lloyd Jones. All of his brothers, were given Lloyd as their second name. It made no difference that their surname was Jones. My father’s mother was Emily TAYLOR.

Lloyd isn’t a really common Christian name, so this naming pattern has at times been an advantage when researching the family. However, in the earlier generations, families were large, and usually the same Christian names were used in each family. Just keeping track of who belongs to who, and to which generation can be very challenging at times.

Do you have any unusual naming patterns in your family? If you belong to the Taylor family, I’d love to hear if this naming tradition continues today. . I love it when you comment and promise to reply to all comments.

Ancestry Ethnicity Update

A few days ago, I received an email from Ancestry, giving me the information that they have further developed their DNA testing techniques and are now able to give More Detailed and Precise Ethnicity Estimates Than Ever Before. 

So, off I went to check out my new ethnicity results. There were a couple of surprises. My ethnicity percentages from Ireland,, Scotland and England have increased quite a bit.

The Scottish ethnicity is traced to the Scottish Highlands and Eastern Nova Scotia. This is the first time, I’ve come across a connection with Nova Scotia, but I definitely have Scottish Highlands ancestry. My Morison family came to Australia from Scotland during the Highland Clearances in the 1850s.

The English connection traces to Devon and Cornwall. I’m aware of Cornwall, but as yet haven’t traced back to Devon.

I was surprised to see that I have 8% Swedish in my DNA. I have been studying up on Welsh history recently and coincidentally, just last week learned that there was a small settlement of  Vikings in the area of Wales that was home to my ancestors. The Vikings came from Sweden and other Nordic countries.

The following confirms where my Swedish ancestry comes from. My Welsh ancestors were from Haverfordwest in Wales

“Wales was not colonized by the Vikings significantly as in eastern England. The Vikings did, however, settle in small numbers in the south around St Davids, Haverfordwest, and the Gower. Place names such as Skokholm, Skomer, and Swansea remain as evidence of the Norse settlement” – Wikipedia

Note from Ancestry, about the update: “Your DNA doesn’t change, but the science we use to analyze it does. Your results may change over time as the science improves”

Writing Memoir Update


Writing Update

Regular readers will know that I have been completing the exercises in Patti Miller’s book Writing True Stories, and posting them here. The original plan was to post two exercises each week, as I completed them. This was very easy at the beginning, when the exercises were more simple.

The exercises have now become a little more complex and require more thought however, I ave still been completing them as planned. But due to the subject matter of the last few exercises, I have decided that it’s not appropriate to post them at this time. My life is an open book, and I really don’t mind sharing all, but I’m conscious that family members and friends may not feel the same.

I want these exercises to truly reflect my life, so some writing will be confronting for me, and perhaps at times, for others. So for now, I will keep the completed exercises back that I feel may cause concern or worry to anyone close to me. In the future, I will revisit them, and either post them here or save them for my ‘actual’ memoir.

Links to completed exercises

Writing Memoir

Writing Memoir -Childhood Story

Writing Memoir – First Fact

Writing Memoir – Parent

Writing Memoir – Symbol

Writing Memoir – Ramble

Memoir Writing – Take An Object

Writing Memoir – Records

Writing Memoir – Ordinary Life

Writing Memoir – Uncommon Experience

Writing Memoir – Appeal To The Senses

Writing Memoir – Process

Editing process

As I glance back at the above writings, my first thought is how raw they are. Immediately, I find myself wanting to edit and improve them. The instructions given in the book are to write as the thoughts come, and not to edit. As I understand it, the editing will come in later exercises.

Have you ever thought of writing your memoir? I’d love to hear your thoughts and will reply to all comments.


Rootstech Announcement


In February 2016, I attended RootsTech at the Salt Palace Convention centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. I’ve blogged many times of how much I enjoyed this conference, and how hugely beneficial it was to my genealogical research. I also had the opportunity to catch up with geneabloggers from many different countries, which was a huge highlight.

This week there was a major announcement scheduled to be made by Rootstech. A few days notice was given, on different social media platforms, and I found myself wondering what it could be about, and looking forward to the announcement.  Rootstech is a hugely successful genealogy conference, drawing attendees from around the globe in huge numbers. I felt sure that they wouldn’t be announcing the next conference in 2019 would be their last event. I was hoping that wasn’t the case, as I  would love to get back to Rootstech in the future.

Not being able to think of any other reason for this highly publicized special announcement, I tuned in eagerly to hear the news. The following is the announcement taken from Rootstech’s website.

Excel – London 24-26 October 2019

The world’s largest family history conference is coming to London

Discovering your family history has never been easier, and we’re bringing it all together at Rootstech, the worlds largest family history event! Join us for 3 exciting days of discovery, and make connections to your past. Get ready to have the ultimate learning experience, as you choose from more than 150 hands on lectures, on topics such as DNA, records, and preserving family memories. Test out the latest tech in the exhibition hall, enjoy world class entertainment and much more.

My thoughts

This really is an exciting announcement. I can imagine myself attending this event in London and combining it with a UK family history research trip, as most of my family history originated in Britain. I’m sure there will be many genealogists and family historians who will also be pleased to hear this news.  Of course, there is a great opportunity here, to combine Rootstech with family history research and also a fabulous holiday in the UK and Europe. So I welcome this news and look forward to hearing more about the conference and particularly it’s guest speakers, in the coming months.


The first speaker confirmed for Rootstech London is Nick Barratt who is a historian known for his work on the hugely popular series, Who Do You Think You Are? Nick is an honorary associate professor of public history at the University of Nottingham, director for the University of London’s Senate House Library, and a teaching fellow at the University of Dundee. He is currently the President of the Federation of Family History Societies and sits on the Executive Committee of the Community Archives and Heritage Group.

Writing Memoir – Process


Today I’m going to write about the process of completing the exercises in Patti Miller’s book, Writing True Stories, and my impressions of the exercises.

During the entire process so far, I’ve been very surprised at the memories that the writing exercises have triggered. These have been memories that I haven’t thought of for years, or even for most of my life. Each time I’ve sat down to begin an exercise, I’ve felt concerned that I would have no memories to call on for the topic.  Without fail, after reading the preceeding material, the memories have come back to me.

I have probably written previously that my life has been an ordinary life, and in the past this has stopped me thinking about writing my memoir. Patti Miller’s book has allowed me to create those ordinary memories into a story.

The process so far, is to record the memories and complete the exercises, without over editing, so as yet,the writing is quite raw. The instructions from the author are just to get the memory recorded, without spending too long on each exercise, and without getting bogged down with detail. The exercises can be expanded on later. The important thing about each exercise is the memory. I’m not sure, whether we will get to expand, edit and improve the stories as part of the exercises in this book, or if that is something that will be done after completing all exercises.

So far, there are three exercises that I’ve struggled with. I’ve put them aside for now and will return to them, when hopefully something comes up that will trigger a memory. The exercises that I’ve put aside for now are:

House Plan:  Draw a floor plan of the house you lived in as a child. Mentally wander through it, going from room to room. Write about what you see or what happened there, or who you bump into. I did do this exercise, but nothing came up for me. However, as I’ve written about it now, something has come to mind, so I will probably return to this exercise very soon.

Newspaper: Search for a newspaper account of a public event you remember from childhood. Compare your memory of the event with the newspaper event. I have really struggled to remember an event that I can search for. This exercise is on hold until I get to talk with Mum. I’m hoping she will be able to trigger a memory for me.

Interview: Interview family members or friends on any topic related to your life. Ask them to talk about a time that you shared or as person you both knew. This exercise is difficult for me, as I don’t have any family members or lifelong friends living close by. This exercise is on hold until I’m able to catch up with family

Patti Miller constantly asks the question: “what is it like to be you in the world ?” I find that to be such an interesting question, and keep it in the background when completing the exercises. I’ve found it a really helpful question to ask and think about. I can see myself asking this question about my ancestors as I write about them in the future.

We have been encouraged in the reading material, to think about the events in our life, which we plan to make the focus of our memoir. When I started  the exercises, I wasn’t sure that they would lead to a memoir, I was merely interested in completing the exercises. But as I’ve worked through them, I’m starting to think that there is a possibility of a memoir. But I’m struggling to come up with a focus to my memoir, though I do have a few vague ideas that haven’t been developed yet and need further thought. At the moment, I’m just trying to accept that as yet I haven’t found that focus, and hope that inspiration will come to me, probably when I least expect it.

So far, I’m not even halfway through the book but feel that I’ve learnt a lot about writing, and that I am starting to develop my own writing style. I’m not even halfway through the exercises yet, so it’s very early days yet.

The exercises up to now, have been quite short and uncomplicated, but flicking ahead to future exercises, I can see that this will change.

I’m really enjoying the process of writing memoir and looking forward to the coming exercises.

Trisha Faye

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