Skip to content

Research Timeline: Cornelius Jones and Mary Calnan – my great grandparents

Another in the series of research timelines for my direct ancestors – great grandparents, 2x great grandparents, 3x great grandparents etc.

Timelines are an excellent research tool for genealogists, which I have been using for years. They have become part of my process of writing family stories. Before writing a family story to be published, I will always create a timeline first, so I have an overall view of the person’s life. This helps to give me guidance, as to the direction I’d like to take, and ensures I have time periods in the correct order. Depending on the project in mind, a timeline could be written about a family member’s entire life, or just a period in their life. For example, you may wish to write about your family members’ teenage years, or perhaps their life after 50. You could also make up a timeline for their military experience.

A timeline can be designed as a graph, or on a line across the page, or whichever way suits you best to display the information. For me, a timeline works best when it is done as a a graph. Because of the way my brain works, I find it easier to read and keep track of the information in this format. I call my timelines “Research Timelines” as they are never complete, and can always be referred to while researching, and added to when new information is received.

Cornelius Jones and Mary Calnan

Cornelius Jones and Mary Calnan were my great grandparents. Their son William Lowe Jones was my grandfather. This family relationship is on the paternal side of my family.

The information is very limited and basic due to privacy reasons.

23 October 1859BirthCornelius JONES at Port Albert, Victoria, Australia
28 May 1863BirthMary CALNAN at Violet Town, Victoria, Australia
26 February 1884MarriageCornelius JONES married Mary CALNAN at Benalla, Victoria
01 November 1884BirthMale child, unnamed born at Violet Town, Victoria
01 November 1884DeathUnnamed male child died at Violet Town, Victoria
22 September 1886BirthSon William Lowe JONES born at Violet Town, Victoria
30 August 1888BirthDaughter Ellen born at Gowangardie, Victoria
11 October 1888DeathDaughter, Ellen died at Baddaginnie, Victoria
13 December 1889BirthDaughter Phoebie Sophia born at Gowangardie, Victoria
27 March 1930DeathMary CALNAN died at Melbourne Hospital Melbourne
28 March 1930BurialMary CALNAN buried at Fawkner Cemetery, Melbourne
15 February 1934DeathCornelius JONES died at Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne
16 February 1934BurialCornelius JONES buried at Fawkner Cemetery, Melbourne

©2023 copyright. All rights reserved

ResearchTimeline: Francis (John)William Morrison and Ada Louisa Webb Love

This is the first in a series of research timelines for my direct ancestors – great grandparents, 2x great grandparents, 3x great grandparents etc.

Timelines are an excellent research tool for genealogists, which I have been using for years. They have become part of my process of writing family stories. Before writing a family story to be published, I will always create a timeline first, so I have an overall view of the person’s life. This helps to give me guidance, as to the direction I’d like to take, and ensures I have time periods in the correct order. Depending on the project in mind, a timeline could be written about a family member’s entire life, or just a period in their life. For example, you may wish to write about your family members’ teenage years, or perhaps their life after 50. You could also make up a timeline for their military experience.

A timeline can be designed as a graph, or on a line across the page, or whichever way suits you best to display the information. For me, a timeline works best when it is done as a a graph. Because of the way my brain works, I find it easier to read and keep track of the information in this format. I call my timelines “Research Timelines” as they are never complete, and can always be referred to while researching, and added to when new information is received.

Francis (John) William MORRISON and Ada Louisa WEBB LOVE

Francis (John) William MORRISON and Ada Louisa WEBB LOVE, were my great grandparents. Their son, Thomas Albert MORRISON was my grandfather. This family relationship is on my maternal side of the family.

13 January 1870BirthFrancis William MORRISON at Wild Duck Creek, Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
04 February 1875Birth Ada Louisa WEBB LOVE at Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
09 Feb 1876DeathAda’s father, Albert Thomas WEBB LOVE died at Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
09 April 1880MarriageAda’s mother married James TRANTER who became Ada’s step father
14 December 1895MarriageMarried Ada Louisa LOVE at St. John’s Church Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
1896 BirthSon Archibald John born at Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
1901BirthSon William Farquhar born at Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
1902BirthSon Rupert Reginald born at Echuca, Victoria, Australia
23 July 1904BirthSon Thomas Albert born at Echuca, Victoria, Australia (my grandfather)
1913BirthSon Donald Adam born at Echuca, Victoria, Australia
1914DeathSon Donald Adam died at Echuca, Victoria, Australia
21September 1925DeathJohn Francis died at Echuca, Victoria, Australia
23 September 1925BurialJohn Francis buried at Echuca, Victoria, Australia
07 April 1966DeathAda Louisa died at Blackburn, Victoria, Australia
09 April 1966NewspaperDeath notices for Ada in the Sun newspaper, Melbourne, Victoria
12 April 1966BurialAda buried at Box Hill Cemetery, Victoria, Australia

The earlier generations of Morisons both in Scotland and in Australia spelt their name ‘Morison’ but it seems that the second ‘r’ in Morrison was added when the family arrived in Australia.

My great grandfather Francis (John) William Morrison had a business as a carrier in Echuca, doing deliveries by horse and cart. My grandfather Thomas Albert Morrison worked for him, and kept the horses and their gear in magnificent condition with all the leather and silver gleaming – told to my mother by her father, and my mother passed these memories on to me.

My great grandfather Francis (John) Morison is on the right on the edge of the photo.  The photo was taken in front of the flour mill at Echuca, as the cart was being loaded for the daily deliveries. This is the only photo that I have of my great grandfather. It’s a shame that it’s so distant and difficult to see him.

My great grandmother Ada Louisa LOVE

©2023 copyright. All rights reserved

Ellenor Calnan Bangka Island Massacre WW2 #Anzacday

As today is Anzac Day, I thought it appropriate that I post about my second cousin once removed, who was a casualty of WW11, when she died in the waters off Singapore in 1842. I have posted previously about the Bangka Island Massacre. This is a combination of three previous posts.

Ellenor Calnan known as Ellen or Nell, was born at Culcairn NSW, Australia  in 1912, to parents, William CALNAN and Mary O’BRIEN. In 1941, at age 28 years, Ellenor enlisted into the Australian Army, as a military nurse, and served on the 2/10 Australian Nursing hospital ship, HMS Vyner Brooke. The ship had on board, military personnel and 62 nurses, who were being evacuated, when it was bombed by the Japanese, and sank in Banka Strait, on 14 February 1942. Two nurses died in the bombing, twelve were lost at sea, and the remainder safely reached the shore, off Indonesia, along with other passengers who survived. Ellen Calnan was one of the nine nurses who was lost at sea.

Ellen Calnan

On land, under the sign of the Red Cross, the nurses began to tend to the injured passengers from the ship. On discovering that the island was occupied by the Japanese, one of the officers from the ship surrendered the survivors.

A group of 20 Japanese soldiers, then arrived at the makeshift hospital, and ordered all injured men who could walk, to walk a short distance away out of sight of the hospital. Immediately the nurses heard gunfire. The Japanese soldiers then returned, and ordered the nurses to walk into the sea, where they were shot in the back, by a barrage of machine gun fire.

Sister Vivian Bullwinkell survived the gunfire, and and was washed up unconscious, onto the shore. She was eventually captured and became a POW of the Japanese for two years. She survived this, and told her story of the massacre at War Crimes Trials. This tragedy was unknown to anyone in Australia, until Vivien Bullwinkell arrived home in 1945 and was able to tell the story.

There were newspaper articles in newspapers all over Australia. Following are just a couple.

From: Army News, Darwin NT (1941-46) Tuesday 18 September 1945, page 1


Worst Atrocities In History, Says Forde
SWPA, Monday: Shocking revelations of the massacre by the Japanese, of Australian Army nurses in the Sumatra area, and the survival of only six of 2500 Australian and British prisoners-of-war, at Sandakan, in North Borneo, were reported today. The Minister for the Army, Mr. Forde, described these atrocities as among the worst in world history. “These reports,” he declared, “will make us realise even more, what we owe to the fighting men, for saving Australia from the Japanese.”

The Sumatra horror was perpetrated, after survivors reached the shore from HMS Vyner Brooke, which sank in 30 minutes, in February, 1942, after being attacked by nine Japanese aircraft, while carrying 200 passengers, including 65 nurses from Singapore. Twenty one nurses were murdered in cold blood, 12 others are believed to have drowned, and eight died later, in a foul prisoner-of-war camp in the heart of Sumatra, from which the remaining 24 have been flown to Singapore.

Male survivors of the Vyner Brooke, on reaching Bangka Island, off Sumatra, were either bayoneted or mown down, by machine-gun fire, while the nurses were machine gunned after being ordered to stand facing the sea. Sole sister to survive machine gunning, was Sister Vivienne Bullwinkle, of Adelaide, now in Singapore. Before the shooting occurred she ran towards the water, into which she fell, when a bullet penetrated one thigh. The Japs left her for dead. Washed ashore 10 minutes later, she penetrated into the jungle, where she remained for a fortnight until lack of food compelled her to surrender.

A male survivor of the massacre, was a British sailor, who later returned to the scene, and discovered the Japanese had bayoneted those about whose death they were uncertain. Sister Bullwinkle paid tribute to the memory of her dead comrades. ‘We all knew we were going to die, but there was not one protest.” she declared. “The sisters died bravely.”

When she arrived in Singapore, Nurse Bullwinkle was still wearing the same uniform in which she had been shot. There were heartrending scenes when the 24 nurses, barely able to walk, shuffled up some stairs after reaching Singapore. Ailing AIF men of the Eighth Division, just released from prisoner of war camps, became hysterical at the sight, and had to be controlled. Mr. Forde said tonight that the Japanese responsible, must be forced to pay full penalty, for their crime.

A Sydney solicitor, Major W. H. Tebbutt, who was another survivor, has compiled a comprehensive report of the episode. It is now in the hands of the Allied authorities in Singapore.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

The Australian nurses including Ellen Calnan who left Australia in January 1941 to staff the 2/10th Australian General Hospital. Photo was taken in the grounds of the hospital, just before they left. Ellenor Calnan is in the second row, eight from the left

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-14.png

Augusta Australian Army Nursing Sisters Monument

Memorials to the Bangka Island Massacre:

Augusta Australian Army Nursing Sisters
Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital Memorial Rose Garden
Singapore Memorial Kranji War Cemetery,
Vyner Brooke Tragedy Memorial, W.A.,

For anyone who is interested in learning more about this atrocity, I can recommend the book below as being very well researched.

OUR NURSES AND SOLDIERS MASSACRED (1945, September 18). Army News (Darwin, NT : 1941 – 1946), p. 1. Retrieved March 19, 2021, from

©2021 copyright. All rights reserved

Life of a Genie January-April 2023

Time for another Life of a Genie update. This will be the first for 2023. I’ve left it for much longer than I would have liked. Actually, I haven’t posted at all here since my Rootstech post in February

Blogging April A to Z Challenge

The Bloggin April AtoZ Challenge has been on my blogging calendar every year since 2015. This is the challenge for bloggers to publish a post every day in April, except for Sunday. These posts can be on a theme or just random daily posts, with no theme at all. I’ve participated in the challenge here on this blog and also on my other two blogs – Next Phase In Fitness and Life and Best Bookish Blog, each yer with a theme.

This year my plan was to participate here with the theme of Timelines. I started researching and drafting these timelines, in October last year. Earlier this year, I had the majority of drafts completed, but realised that I wouldn’t have enough time to do final edits and complete each one. I decided then and there, to do my AtoZ challenge, with a theme of Book Reviews, on my book blog, Best Bookish Blog

I will be posting the timelines that I have prepared, starting in May. Until then, I will be concentrating on posting book reviews for the AtoZ Challenge.

Life in general, has been quite busy. I went back to work full time in January. At age 69, I was cheeky enough to apply for a position in the company that was my current employer. Very unexpectedly, I was appointed to the position, and it has taken me until now to get myself organised enough to keep being able to do everything that I’d like to in my life, other than working. I absolutely love my job, and am very happy and grateful to have a full time job at my age.

While this has been going on, I’ve had a few computer issues which now been solved with a new desktop computer. I haven’t as yet reinstalled all that I need, but I’m getting there.

DNA Traits

I had my DNA tested many years ago, when it first became possible. As the years have progressed, testing procedures have improved with personal traits recently becoming available. I received my DNA traits a few weeks ago and posted the results on my lifestyle blog, Next Phase In Fitness


I haven’t been attending as many genealogy webinars and conferences,due to time issues. Coming up next week is the 20th Scottish Indexes conference. These conferences are free and virtual and not to be missed.


In January, we spent a week in Tasmania with friends. The purpose of this trip was to re-connect with our friends, so there was no time for genealogy research. When I’m away, I usually try to read a book that is set in the area. I saw the following book advertised while over there, and it really took my fancy.

Cold Blows The Wind by Catherine Meyrick

I started reading this book on the day before we went for a drive up to Mt.  Wellington. Of course, when I chose this book, I knew that it was set in Hobart, but I didn’t realise that it was also partly set on Mount Wellington. This was a pleasant surprise, as we had planned to go up Mount Wellington the following day.

The story begins in Hobart in the 1870 and follows the life of Ellen, a young, unmarried girl, with a baby. Ellen had convict origins, and life was very tough for unmarried mothers in the new settlement. The book was extremely atmospheric and at times made me feel the cold, just from reading the words.

Mount Wellington

2023 Posts

Due to time isues, I haven’t posted as much as I’d like to in 2023. Hopefull this will improve from now.

Almost Time For Rootstech

Hanorah Aherrn 4x My Great Grandmother

Book Review: History For Genealogists by Judy Jacobson

@2023 copyright. All rights reserved

Almost Time For Rootstech 2023.

I’ve noticed over the past few days on social media, that the Rootstech 2023 excitement is building. Rootstech is a world wide genealogical and family history conference. Pre covid it was an in person only conference, but during the pandemic, it became a virtual conference, with people all over the world joining in to learn more about researching their family history. Rootstech is also the place to learn about the latest technological innovations, particularly as they relate to family history research.

In 2016, I attended RootsTech at Salt Lake City USA in person. I don’t have the words to say how wonderful it was, and how much I learnt about both family history research and technology. I met genies and bloggers, face to face who were mostly online friends, and generally had a great time socialising with people who also shared my love of family history.

Geneabloggers at Rootstech in 2016

Since then, I have attended both virtual Rootstech conferences, and am very much looking forward to Rootstech 23, which starts later this week. Once again I will be attending virtually.


There are sessions on every topic imaginable about family history. The great thing about the virtual Rootstech is that the sessions remain available online after the conference is over. I usually watch the Main Stage sessions live, and spend the rest of the three days watching the sessions that are of particular interest me. Over the past weekend, I spent time checking out the sessions and adding those that interested me to my play list which I will be able to access for the rest of the year.

Relatives At Rootstech

Rootstech promotes families and connection, and have made it possible to connect with family all over the world. Registered attendees are matched through FamilySearch with attendees who share a common ancestor.

Relatives at Rootstech causes great excitement amongst attendees, and myself, of course. I have seen people posting on social media that they have relatives at Rootstech, that number in the hundreds. I always have zero relatives. I have checked all my settings and they are all as they should be to attract relatives. In a way, I shouldn’t be at all surprised, as except for a couple of family members, there is nobody in my family, with any interest in their family history.

What a surprise I had recently, when Relatives at Rootstech was opened to find that this year, I have eighteen relatives at Rootstech.To me eighteen people feels like hundreds.I was most excited to see that one of my Relatives at Rootstech is a 2nd cousin. I haven’t made contact with any of the connections as yet, but am planning to do so during Rootstech.

Expo Hall

One of the highlights of Rootstech is the Expo Hall. It’s possible to access the Expo Hall, even if only attending the virtual conference. This is a place where innovatve companies display the latest technology available for family history research. When attending the conference in person, the Expo Hall is a busy and exciting place to be. I really appreciate that it is available to virtual attendees, as it’s a part of the conference that I love.

Watch out for more on my experience of Rootstech in 2023.

RootsTech has always been a celebration of connection—past, present and future

Are you going to attend Rootstech in person this year? If so, I’m sure you will have a fabulous time.

@2022 copyright. All rights reserved

Timeline: Ahern Hanorah – My 4x Great Grandmother

Following is a basic research timeline for the life of Hanorah Ahern, my 4x great grandmother.

Hanorah AHERN was born in 1796 in Cork, Ireland, to parents, John AHERN and Joanna CROWLY. After being convicted of a crime in Ireland, Hanorah was transported to Australia for seven years. She married ex convict George LOWE in 1815 in Hobart Town, Tasmania. They had seven children in 13 years. She died in 1839 at the age of 43. Hanorah AHERN was my 4x great grandmother.


Hanorah AHERN was born in Cork, Ireland

Hanorah appeared in the Cork Assizes, charged with robbery. She was found guilty and transported to Australia for seven years.

October 1813
Hanorah left for Australia on the SS Catherine.

4 May 1814
Hanorah arrived at Port Jackson

28 May 1814
60 female convicts including Hanorah sailed out of Port Jackson on the SS Kangaroo bound for Hobart, Tasmania.

21 February 1815
Hanorah married ex convict George LOWE at St. David’s Hobart Town, Tasmania. George became a wealthy business man

18 December 1815
Birth of son, James LOWE at Hobart, Tasmania

11 December 1817
Birth of daughter, Elizabeth LOWE, at Hobart, Tasmania

02 February 1819
Daughter Elizabeth LOWE, died at New Norfolk, aged 14 months, after being bitten by a snake

08 November 1819
Birth of daughter, Mary Ann LOWE at Hobart, Tasmania

13 July 1822
Birth of son, George LOWE at Hobart Tasmania

Hanorah was issued with a duplicate copy of her Certificate of Leave.
It is not known when she received her Ticket of Leave.

29 December 1824
George and Hanorah took a trip back to England on the SS Denmark. Their children were left with a convict servant.
They were away for 17 months and their 5th child Caroline, was born in England.

22 July 1824
Birth of daughter Caroline LOWE at England

6 May 1826
Arrived back to Australia on the SS Doncaster

02 March 1827
Birth of son, William LOWE at Hobart, Tasmania

02 March 1829
Birth of daughter Ann Norah LOWE at New Norfolk, Tasmania

September 1835
George and Hanorah moved their family to Sydney, selling their assets, including household items before they left.

Cir 1836
Perhaps Sydney wasn’t what they had expected as they were back in Hobart in 1836

Hanorah died on 15 November 1839, aged 44 years, in Hobart, Tasmania. She was buried in the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic churchyard in Harrington Street Hobart. This cemetery no longer exists. There is no indication of the location of her grave. However, a memorial wall has been built in memory of those who were buried on the site.

The following is an impressive list of household items sold by George and Hanorah before moving to Sydney.

From: The Colonial Times Hobart, Tuesday 18 August, 1835, page 2
Sale of Valuable Property
On Wednesday 16th September, at 12 o’clock
On the premises, on the New Town Road,

the residence of Mr. George Lowe, proceeding to
Will sell by public auction, without reserve,
all his valuable plates, furniture, books,
paintings &c, &c, among which, far too, far
too general to particularise, will be found,
sofas, chairs, couches, sideboards, bookcase
secretary, four post tent, Indian, and children’s
bedsteads, with bedding and furniture to

Dining, breakfast, claw drawing room, and dressing tables
Two of the best and most expensive carpets in the Island
One very excellent 28 day clock, by M’Cabe, formerly belonging to Captain Betts, warranted
One very excellent ditto, by Grimaldi and Johnson
One very handsome hall ditto
Three others, by equally celebrated makers
One very splendid silver tea service, and a quantity of useful plate
One handsome China dinner service, blue and gold
A large quantity of best flint cut glass of every description
One superb China punch bowl
One hand organ, with several barrels
One double-barrelled percussion tiger gun, with apparatus complete-cost 80 guineas
One American rifle, and three fowling pieces
Several splendid hall and branch lamps
The dining and drawing-room curtains are costly, with elegant brass poles, &c. to correspond, imported to order
One gentleman’s dressing case, mounted with upwards of 20 ounces of silver
Pier, chimney, swing, and dressing glasses

The paintings are numerous and valuable, many being by the most celebrated masters
The works in the library treat on almost every subject, ancient and modern, and the greater part are elegantly bound
The various ornaments about the house are chaste and elegant
The furniture, such as fenders, fire-irons, wardrobes, chests of drawers, cosy chairs, clothes press, &c. are equal to new
One large strong iron chest
The cooking utensils, kitchen furniture, and every essential, will be found here, of the best description, and of almost unlimited extent
There is also a quantity of merchandize – hardware, Taylor’s stout, two tons of English soap, in 56 lb. boxes, two ton of paints, several sets of weights and scales, side saddles, racing ditto, as well as property of every description
It is hardly necessary to remark, the Proprietor has for a length of time made it his study to select the very best articles the Colony afforded, without the most remote regard to cost, consequently the public will do well to embrace such an opportunity.
Terms – Under £25 cash ; £25 and upwards, approved bills at three months. Cards to view the property may be obtained at the Auctioneers, two days prior to the sale

1. HANORA AHERN, Ireland Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915, Cork and Ross, St. Finbarrs, (South), Cork City. 1799-1802
2. HANORA AHERN, New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842., Bound Indentures, 1801-1814
Sydney. (1814, May 7). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842), p. 2. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from
3. HOBART TOWN. (1819, February 20). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 – 1821),
p. 2. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from
Hanorah Ahern, duplicate Certificate of Leave, Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemens Land Advertiser, 11 october 1823
4. Ship News. (1826, May 12). Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 – 1827), p. 2. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from
5. (1835, August 18). Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857), p. 2. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from

@2022 copyright. All rights reserved

Book Review: History For Genealogists by Judy Jacobson

History for Genealogists
Using Chronological Time Lines to Find
and Understand Your Ancestors.
Revised Edition

With 2016 Addendum Incorporating Editorial
Corrections to the 2009 Edition, by Denise Larson

Author: Judy Jacobson
Published by Clearfield Company
ISBN: 978-0-8063-5768-3
Softcover, 310 pages

“Genealogy lays the foundation to understand a person or family using tangible evidence. Yet history also lays the foundation to understand why individuals and societies behave the way they do. It provides the building materials needed to understand the human condition and provide an identity, be it for an individual or a group or an institution” – Judy Jacobson, author of History for Genealogists.

“…..our families faced extreme economic shifts during years of financial depressions, loss and separation at wartime; and clandestine gatherings and injustice when living under persecution. That is why it is important to see ancestors in the historical context in which they lived”. Preface, History for Genealogists

When I am researching my family history, I am interested in more than collecting names and dates. My usual approach is to collect the names and dates of a family and then fill in the gaps of their lives. There are many questions that can be asked.

Why did they live where they did?
Why did they move?
Why did they do the work that they did?
Why were they missing in a particular census?
Why did they emigrate?
Who were their friends?
What did they do for fun?

These are just a few of the questions that I like to ask in creating a picture of the lives of my family. As I am creating a story of the life of my family, I like to create timelines to give clarity to the information that I have found through researching my family history.

The first chapters of this book cover the importance of understanding the context of the lives our ancestors lived, and why they lived they lives they did. Why they moved around, and why they moved to a particular place is discussed. Could it have been for economic reasons, or reasons of survival, or even due to religious persecution? The book explains this in much more detail.

The chapters addressing “why did they leave” and “how did they go’, give many ideas and examples. I really enjoyed reading about the mode of travel that our ancestors used – road, rail, water and air. Explanations are give as to why they chose to leave their birthplace and why they may chosen a particular type of travel.

The chapters on social and oral history stress the importance of conducting oral histories and how to go about that. In the words of the author “Oral history can put the soul and flesh on the skeleton of a pedigree chart.” This is my intention when I am writing the stories of my ancestors. This book explains why this is so important, along with how to conduct oral histories. Beginner researchers will gain much from the information given.

Many events in history are given. When creating a timeline these events can be added to give a clearer picture of what was happening in the lives of our ancestors in a particular place. The events listed in the book are from around the world and include military history, wars and battles and the years that they occurred.

Many pages are devoted to a state by state history of the USA which would be particularly useful for those with ancestors who emigrated and settled in America. I don’t have a great understanding of US history, as so far, I haven’t come across ancestors who emigrated to America. The explanation in the book, gave me a much better idea of the reasons for travel to America and the patterns of settlement. I have ancestors who are missing, and this book has given me ideas of where they may have gone and the reason for their leaving. It is more clear to me now, that some of the missing may have gone to America to start new lives.

Though this book is written as a text book, the language is very easy to read and understand. There are chapters with simple explanations of how to create a chronological time line of your ancestors, the information to use, and how to use it. Adding historical events which can be found, in History For Genealogists could help you better understand the lives of your ancestors. Websites for further information are given throughout the book.

An addendum of two chapters was added to the book in 2016. The first chapter gave dates and details of wars and hard times in US history in the 20th century. I did enjoy reading the second chapter about the timeline of fashion and leisure which included particular movies and their release date, the invention of the jigsaw and the first bikini, just to name a few things that were fun to read. For example, in 1954, the year of my birth, Father Knows Best debuted on television.

I have no hesitation at all in recommending History for Genealogists as an aid to building timelines and using them to understand the lives that our ancestors lived. If I was building a timeline for an ancestor who had migrated to America, the many pages of the history of the USA and it’s states would be extremely helpful as a useful guide. However, this book is not only useful for US research. Dates are given for historical events worldwide, which would make a great addition to an ancestral or historical timeline.

I am about to publish a series of timelines, and will refer to History For Genealogists as a useful guide.

Please Note:
A review copy of this book was provided to me for this review. All opinions given are my own.

©2023 copyright. All rights reserved

A Year In The Life Of A Genie 2022

Here we are into the first week of February, and I haven’t even posted about my year as a genie in 2022. As they say, it’s better late than never.

I started 2022 semi retired, but by the end of the year, I was back working almost full time hours. Two weeks ago, I started a new full time position, with the same company. So much for retirement! Being semi retired for a short time, made me realise that I’m not yet ready for retirement, so I’m happy to be back in the work force full time, and feel very grateful to my employers for having faith in me to the job, at age 69.

The downside to working full time is that I will have less time for my family history. I’m going to have to carefully prioritise my time to ensure that I still get to do the fun things that I want to do.

Looking back to 2022

RootsTech 2023: Once again this conference was outstanding. Being virtual and free I was able to attend, and am still ocassionally watching sessions that I saved for later.

AFFHO Congress: The biggest highlight of 2022, was definitely the AFFHO Genealogy conference at Norfolk Island, in early August. I spent a week on the island, so managed to be a tourist as well as attend this really informative conference. After the conference, I spent a week at Noosa with my son and my three grandsons. I hadn’t seen them for almost three years due to the pandemic, so it was a special time.

Here’s a link to my post about my time at Norfolk Island: Norfolk Island

Historic Norfolk Island Cemetery

Scottish Indexes Conferences: The free Scottish Indexes conferences held on Zoom, continued in 2022. There were four conferences held in 2022, with all having sessions on very interesting topics. I learnt a huge amount from each one.

#ANZAncestryTime: The Twitter discussion that has been held monthly on Tuesday nights has been lots of fun. This discussion group started during covid, when many of us were in lockdown. Now that life is getting back to normal, we have decided to discontinue in 2023. I have enjoyed every moment that I’ve moderated and participated in, and have made many new friends in the world of genealogy.

Legacy Webinars: I have a subscription to access the Legacy Webinars. At just $50 for a year, I consider it very worthwhile, as there are a huge amount of webinars available on many topics. There are so many that I’m sure I would never have time to watch them all. These webinars are a great way to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of genealogy.

Blogging April AtoZ Challenge: I participated in this blogging challenge for the eighth time in 2022, with my theme, once again, being family stories. This challenge is to publish a post every day in April, except Sundays, from A-Z. I first joined this challenge in 2015, and enjoyed it so much that I’ve been back every year since. My theme in 2022 was family stories. I posted about the life of an ancestor every day except Sunday, increasing the number of family stories available here on the blog.

One Place Study: I’ve been doing my One Place Study of Axedale for a few years now. I have no family history in the area, but started my one place study due to the huge general interest I had in the area. Recently, we moved away from the Axedale area, which would have made studying this area, more difficult. Fortunately, I have found someone who will take on this One Place Study and also the blog Axedale Then and Now. I am very keen to start another OPS, this time in an area where my ancestors lived. I have a couple of ideas in mind, but haven’t decided as yet. I’m tossing up between a place of my family in Victoria, Australia and another in Scotland.

Connection: I have said many times that one of the joys of blogging is the connections that are made. I have met many cousins from around the world including Mary from England. During 2022, it has been a joy to collaborate with Mary on furthering the research of our Waters family line. Through her, I was able to re-connect with another family researcher, Graham, after many having lost contact many yers ago. I am indebted to Graham for sharing his very indepth research with me and for his continuing collaboration. With Graham’s permission, I am trying to post as much of his research as possible onto the blog, so that it is preserved. This blog is archived in the National Archives, enabling it to be available on line into the future. Collaboration with fellow family historian Graham, has also continued this year, on the Morison family.

Research: I’ve done more research in 2022 than in other recent years. the family stories published on the blog have required research to fill in the many gaps, and this was my research focus in 2022.

Transcribing: In 2021, I volunteered to transcribe records for Scottish Indexes. My main reason for doing this was as a thank you for the free conferences that they provide. I have occasionally also made a small monetary donation, as I would love these conferences to continue. I enjoyed transcribing the records which were a great learning experience. I became much better able to read 18th and 19th century writing, due to transcribing these documents.. When I broke my arm, I had to stop for a while and due to holidays and moving, wasn’t able to get back to it.

Looking forward to 2023

Conferences: In 2023, I will be attending RootsTech, once again virtually, from home. I’m not sure of other conferences yet, but I’m looking forward to hearing about any that are coming up. I will continue attending Society of Genealogist and Legacy Webinars.

Scottish Indexes held their first conference for 2023 in January, and the next is scheduled for 15 April 2023.

Blogging April AtoZ Challenge: I am hoping to participate in the Challenge in 2023. I have begun drafting posts but I’m very much behind where I’d like to be. If I’m not able to catch up and be ready by April 1, I may have to give it a miss this year. I haven’t decided about this yet.


Any research done during this year has been done so that family stories can be written. Most of my research time has been used to fill in the gaps of research done previously. At the beginning of 2022, I promised myself that a focus of research would be DNA, I knew that to be able to do that, I would need to learn more about DNA and that was my plan. Unfortunately that well intentioned plan just didn’t happen This will still appear on the list of things to do in 2023.

©2023 copyright. All rights reserved

A Christmas Poem Australia 1859

This is a repost from last Christmas.

My ancestors JOHN TAYLOR and MARTHA LLOYD came to Australia from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1841. As I’ve been to Wales  and seen the beautiful countryside that it is,  I often wonder what it must have been like for them to leave the rolling green hills of Wales and come to hot dusty Australia.  I just cannot imagine how they must have felt as they said goodbye to their family and friends, knowing that they probably would never see them again.  What did they thing of Christmas in Australia? Surely they must have yearned for the northern hemisphere at Christmas time. This poem that I came across on Trove helps to answer some of those questions.

from The Launceston Examiner, Thursday 14 July 1859


(Written on Christmas Day 1858)
Twas  noon and brightly shone the summer sky; Sol’s burning rays struck scorching on the plain;

Christmas, upon that scorching plain, how drear; How sadly changed from home’s domestic hearth,

Where friends collect to bless the coming year, And each contributes to that season’s mirth.

Beneath a gum tree’s shade a traveller lay,  With listless weary eye he gazed around;

One gushing sigh his longing thoughts betray,  ‘Twas home he thought on “home” that magic sound.

He thought of childhood’s days of peace and joy,  Of scenes of boyish pleasures far away,

When a mother’s hand caressed her darling boy,  And in holy accents taught him first to pray.

Oh, home, cried he, dear home, what happy years,  What hours of innocence I’ve spent in thee,

E’re sorrow marked my brow or woke my fears,  The future then was bright and fair to me

My spirit now released to roam at will,  Back to those scenes of peace and love it flies,

Where in death’s sleep upon that sunny hill , The sacred ashes of my father lies.

He was a father kind in every sense;  He was a christian good as he was kind;

He served his God, and when he called him hence, He died, nor left another such behind.

Sadly the wind blows over his cold, cold bed , Silent he sleeps, nor heeds it’s passing swell;

For coldly pillowed lies his honored head, Unconscious now of those he loved so well.

A child he watched me with a fathers care, A boy he blessed me in my joyous mirth,

A youth he left me for a better sphere, E’re manhood’s years could comprehend his worth.

Oh what is life, or what is wealth, or power, Those toys we strive so much for here below?

Oh what is life, or what is wealth, or power, Those toys we strive so much for here below?

Our’s today, they’re gone in one short hour, Snatched from our grasp by death’s unerring blow.

And Christmas, happy days of joys bygone, Thy presence now but aggravates despair;

For lost to gladness, you but lead us on, To brood over what we are and what we were.

Thus far the traveller had wandered on, Where bright old Sol, his power now on the wave,

Reminds him that the scorching heat has gone, Then sinks in state behind a golden screen.

He now calls back his fancy from those scenes, Of fairy visions fled, for ever gone;

Six miles are yet the town and him between,  And stern reality must urge him on.

Sadly he rises from the gum tree’s shade, Takes up his gun and sway and then – what then?

Why soon in far famed Melbourne he has made. A unit in that crowd of busy men


7th July 1859

(Tas. : 1842 – 1899) 14 July 1859: 3 (AFTERNOON).
Web. 13 Dec 2022 <;.   


©2022 copyright. All rights reserved

My Research Interests

Today I’m having a rare full day of research. It’s quite a while since I’ve had more than a fleeting go at researching, mainly due to woking and other time issues. My aim for today is together up to date information on family members who I intend to include in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge for 2023. I haven’t decided exactly what the theme will be yet, but of course, it will be family history related.

I have a few family lines that I haven’t had time to trace yet, so they will be a priority of today and the next few weeks. I did post my research interests a couple of years ago, but I thought, now that they have expanded slightly, I should post a more complete list. I’m not necessarily researching every name on the list, right at this moment, but they are all important to me.

Following are my main research interests, listed in alphabetical order, not in order of importance.

Donegal, Ireland.
Violet Town, Victoria, Australia

Kilkenny, Ireland
Violet Town Victoria, Australia

Steeple Ashton and Bath, Wiltshire, England
Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

London, England
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Violet Town, Victoria, Australia

Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Old Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, England
Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

Sleat, Inverness, Scotland

Trelawny, Cornwall, Jamaica
Launceston, Tasmania
Collingwood and Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

Glenshiel, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland
Heathcote, Victoria, Australia
Echuca, Victoria, Australia

Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Diamond Creek and Whittlesea, Victoria
Bundalong and Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia

Dunton, Bedfordshire, England
Kyneton, Victoria, Australia
Rochester, Victoria, Australia
Echuca, Victoria, Australia
Shepparton, Victoria, Australia

Bradford On Avon, Wiltshire, England,
Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

If you see your family name and place on the above list, I’d love to hear from you, either in the comments below or by email. I’m more than happy to collaborate.

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved

Retirement Reflections

What I Wish I Knew Before I Retired

The Chocolate Lady's Book Review Blog

For mostly adult, literary, fiction; focusing on historical, contemporary, biographical, and women.

And Anyways...

Author, Baker, Sunrise Chaser

Barroworn Succulents

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

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

Family history from the Western District of Victoria, Australia