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Airedale Terrier – Amazing War Dogs

War Dogs

Recently I attended a WW1 seminar where it was mentioned, just in passing, that Airedale Terriers were used in WW1 and were even considered to be war heroes. As a dog lover, this had me intrigued, and I planned to research into how they contributed to the war. But as usual, once I arrived home, there was too much research to be done, and too little time to do it.

As a result, the Airedales were put on the backburner.

Until today, when I met two awesome Airedale Terriers, and remembered that they were considered war heroes.

It seems that these brave dogs were indispensible in the war. As a very intelligent dog, they were highly trainable to do jobs that were very difficult and even impossible for humans. Along with being very brave, Airedales were found to be unstoppable and single minded. When given a job, they would see it through to its conclusion.

Airedales were taught to use gas masks for their protection. They would have baskets strapped to their back or packages around their necks to get supplies to the troops in the trenches on the front line.


Often first aid equipment was sent to the front line in this way, saving lives which otherwise would have been lost. The Red Cross delivered their first aid supplies to the troops in this way.

Airdale carriers

The Airedales were such a success in WW1 that they were still being trained as war dogs when WW2 started.

The following was on the BBC News website in an article about dogs of war. Just click on the link to read more. But the quote below encapsulates the total bravery and commitment of these dogs.

 “There are countless tales of heroic service on the part of war dogs; one Airedale, named Jack, came to the rescue of his battalion when they found themselves totally cut off, surrounded by shell-holes and barbed wire – and needed to summon reinforcements.

“No man could get through the environment, and their one chance was Jack,” said Alastair Petrie, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army who has owned a number of Airedales.

“A piece of shrapnel smashed his jaw, but he carried on, and another shell tore open his coat right down his back, and he kept on going.

“Finally his forepaw was shattered, but he dragged his body for the last three kilometres.

“There was the glaze of death in his eyes when he reached headquarters, but he’d done his work – he’d saved his battalion.







Another Kiva Microloan

I have posted  here  previously about Kiva Micro loans and my ongoing commitment to continuing to make them. Yesterday I received an email that some of my loans have been paid back and I now have $50 credit, which is enough to make another two loans.

It always takes me ages to decide who to donate to, as there are so many who are worthy of donations. Just to make it easier, I choose women, for no reason really, other than it halves the time of searching. This time, I have chosen the industries of education and food.

Firstly I chose  Anahit from Armenia (below), a widow with 2 sons from Armenia.  Anahit needs the loan to heat the room where she tutors and prepares students for exams. She has a good record of repayment.  This is also my first loan in the education sector.


My second loan goes to  Teresa from Philippines  (below) who needs help to buy fishing equipment and to get repairs done to her boat. Teresa is 45 with three school children, and seems to be a hard worker. She also has an excellent repayment record.



My day is always special when I get to make another Kiva loan. It’s such a small thing for me to do, but with big results. Each loan costs $25, but my loans are all coming from the original $100 I put up in 2011. As each loan is paid back, the money is then re-loaned.

So far, I feel very proud that I have made 18 loans to borrowers in many countries – Armenia, Phillipines, Kenya, Tajikistan, Honduras, El Salvador, Jordan, Bolivia, Iraq, Kenya, Peru, Ecuador, Togo. These loans have made a big difference to people in struggling countries and economies, who are trying to support themselves.

My loans have all been made in the Genealogists for Families team, who have 309 members and have made 6064 loans at value of $160,000. I was involved with this team from the start and am constantly amazed at how successful we have been and the compassion showed by genealogists and their families and friends. If you would like to join our team and make a difference, click HERE

You can sign up and donate as an individual or join a team. We’d love to have you on our Genealogists for Families Team.


Roots Tech 2016

Rootstech  is the largest genealogical conference in the world. Each year when I see that it’s coming up, I dream of one day attending. Well, 2016 is my year. The conference is in February at Salt Lake City, Utah. Salt Lake City is the home of  FamilySearch and is the holy grail for genealogists. Every year tens of thousands of keen and eager genealogists from beginner to professional flock to Salt Lake City to soak up genealogical, family history and technological information for four fabulous days.

As well as all the information that I will be soaking up, I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends and fellow genealogists and bloggers that I feel I know, but haven’t actually met in person.

I have registered as a RootsTech Geneablogger, so beware, in February 2016 there will be much RootsTech excitement right here.



Genie Travel Bucket List

Over the past couple of years, I haven’t really done much family history research due to time pressures. But, I haven’t been ignoring my family history, as you may be thinking. Instead,  I’ve been writing up the results of years of research. So, the past few years haven’t really been wasted. But now, due to a change in my work situations, it looks like there will be a little more spare ‘genie’ time for me, so back to the research it is.

Revisiting my many family lines, I can see many gaping gaps. Some of those gaps can be easily filled with a few hours of research, others will take me physically visiting certain sites and areas to follow up on my previous research. Both in Australia and overseas.

That got me to thinking about my genealogy travel bucket list. If money or time wasn’t a consideration, where would I want or need to go, to do more in-depth research of my various family lines? Or, where would I like to go to indulge my love of genealogy, family history and history in general? After day dreaming and giving it much thought,  have come up with my  Genie Travel Bucket List. Some of the places on the list I will get to visit. Some I may get to visit. And some, I most likely won’t get to visit. But who knows what is in the future and I’ve had fun dreaming about where I could be heading off too next.

Wales – Haverfordwest & Pembrokeshire,  to find my elusive JOHN TAYLOR and to also learn more about the family and lives of his son and daughter in law, JOHN TAYLOR and MARTHA LLOYD who were the first Taylor immigrants to make the long trip out to Australia in 1841.

England – Bedfordshire to trace my large WATERS family and see Dunton Newbury,  the agricultural land they farmed, which still exists.

Ireland – Donegal where PATRICK BOYLE and his family were born. More research needs to be done on their early lives in Ireland, before I visit, but I have seen photos of the area and it looks beautiful. I’d love to walk on the ground, close to where they lived.

Jamaica – Lots of research needs to be done here. My Great Great Grandfather THOMAS JAMES JONATHAN MCQUEEN/MCEWAN was born in Jamaica in 1824. I suspect that his father was born in Scotland and was probably in Jamaica as part of the military. But this is just conjecture. Work needs to be done to prove or disprove my theory.

Sandakan  Borneo – Third cousin GORDON CRESSWELL TAYLOR served in WW2 and died there as a POW. I would love to walk the path of the Sandakan death marches and also see the site of the graves and memorials.

Roots Tech – Multi day conference with sessions to help expand genealogy researching skills and learn about new technologies for genealogists.  This conference is held at the home of  FamilySearch in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA  and each year I dream of  attending.  But my exciting news is that I will be there in 2016! More to come on this. But it definitely will be crossed off the bucket list.

Who Do You Think You Are? – Another genealogy conference that I would love to attend. This one is in the UK. so I’m not sure if I will ever get to attend, but my fingers are crossed. One day…..

England Kent – for further research. This time into the HODGE family, a branch that I have recently begun researching.

Channel Islands – Again, this is for research into the HODGE family line. The research in this area, is into the DALCAM family, who migrated from Jersey in the Channel Islands to Australia,  and settled in Whroo, Victoria, where the were successful gold miners.

Unlock the Past Cruise – I would love to do another genealogy cruise. I did the first Unlock The Past Cruise from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia, and loved it. I loved that I could spend every day for two weeks, learning and relearning information relating to family history research and genealogy. Hopefully I will get to do that again one day.

Victoria – Given that Victoria is my home state, this probably sounds a bit strange. But I rarely get time to visit significant towns and sites, relating to my family history. Even when most are just a day’s drive from Central Victoria, where I live. I have family history dotted all around the state, and would love to take 2 weeks to do a road trip and visit these areas and their family history societies and cemeteries. This trip would also make it possible for me to catch up in person with the many distant cousins who have become friends during the years spent on researching our family.








National Family History Month

August is National Family History Month. This is an initiative of   Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc.  It’s aim is to promote family history and give the ever increasing numbers of people interested in family history, an opportunity to get along to their local societies, to do a course or gain further knowledge.

So during the month of August, the calendar of genealogical talk and events is always huge throughout Australia. August has been a busy month for me, so I haven’t been able to get to as many events as I would have liked. The highlight for me was the Family History Feast at State Library Victoria.  This is an annual all day conference. The theme for 2015 was The Centenary of World War 1, a subject of huge interest for me. Following are the sessions that were available:

Victoria’s Journey of Remembrance,  “Stories and things that unite generations” by Gideon Perrott, State Trustees

“No damned females” How to find Australian women in World War 1 by Dr. Kirsty Harris, University of Melbourne

4th Light Horse Regiment, by Dr. David Holloway, military historian

Soldier Settlement by Daniel Wilksh, Public Records Office of Victoria

WW1 Records held by National Archives of Australia – Grace Baliviera

The First Shot, First World War Collection at State Library of Victoria – Steven Kafkarisos

THE DON GRANT MEMORIAL LECTURE – Bringing The War Home, Repatriation records and the family historian.

given by Professor Bruce Scates, Monash University

All I can say is that I was in my element, soaking up all that information, from experts in their field, for a whole day. It’s not all that often that I get to do that, and particularly on a topic that I’m passionate about.

I will definitely be attending this event again in 2016. In my opinion it’s definitely not to be missed.



Geneabloggers Do Over Week 5


I have decided to participate in The Genealogy Do-Over, organised by  Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers, This 12 week project has come along at exactly the right time for me. I have been thinking of how messy and disorganised my research materials and results have become, mainly due to the spasmodic and casual way I have approached my family history in recent years. It’s been doing my head in trying to decide where to start.

Week 5 is about finding and organising online research tools and understanding sources as a research tool.

This is the week I’ve been waiting for. I really need to get my sources more under control. Even though I understand sourcing and the need for them, I’m sure my system of sourcing could do with a do over.

Geneabloggers Do Over Week 4

Screenshot_2015-07-05-00-48-17~2-1I have decided to participate in The Genealogy Do-Over, organised by  Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers, This 12 week project has come along at exactly the right time for me. I have been thinking of how messy and disorganised my research materials and results have become, mainly due to the spasmodic and casual way I have approached my family history in recent years. It’s been doing my head in trying to decide where to start.

Managing Research Tasks and tracking searches are the topics for Week 4. We are told that some researchers may consider these topics to be non-essential, and if so, to continue on with working on week 3 topics.

For me, these topics don’t really seem relevant at this time,so I’m going to be one of those that skip them. I’m a bit snowed under with Do Over tasks at the moment, but will definitely  come back to this week’s topics a bit later, probably when the do-over has been completed


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