Friday, July 11, 2014

A Date with The Necropolis!

For many years I had passed Rookwood Cemetery, viewing it from the train as I travelled to and from work.
I never had the opportunity to go there. I had no reason to know I could visit relatives there.
Then I found one, years ago - a great great Aunt and her husband....but I had moved away and my friend went and took photos for me.
However, in the last 2 years I found that my maternal Great Great Grandparents were buried there and after making the decision that whilst visiting friends this school holidays we (my girls and I) would go on the hunt...and adventure - when mentioned the 14yo and 6yo were not really keen, even when I tried to explain that the cemetery was as big as the major city we live near!
Mentioning this to my parents about a week ago, my father reminded me that my Great Grandparents were in the Cremation area of Rookwood. (I actually do not know that I even knew that to be honest) - This was fantastic news as now the visit to Rookwood, the awe inspiring cemetery, that was once a suburb with my Great Great Uncle as its first Mayor was going to be more exciting (well for me anyway).
I did my prep. work and called the office to find grave numbers, as the search engine on the website is currently down. The burial office were extremely helpful, however the cremation office were unable to help as the computers had 'frozen' so just told me to pop in.
Today arrived, we rugged up, ensured we wore comfortable sensible shoes and headed off. We began at the Anglican Burial Information Office as even with the grave numbers.....it would be like finding a needle in a haystack. They narrow the information down to rows and give you a printed map to show you the grave.
Off we headed.....to find grave number one my great great grandmother......we found her but even the 14yo was a bit saddened....no grave work instead pavers and a rock stuck on top and then a brass plague that detailed her tree. On the up side we knew we were at the right place, however AND LET THIS BE A WARNING it tended to indicate that her husband was here too.....HE does not lie with his wife in the Anglican Section, but quite a bit away in the Independent section. This is where we headed next.....I was really gratefully for the office mud map, as it told me the names of burial sites around my Great Great Grandfather....we found the site of the man next to him, and a mown lawn where he would be. We cleared it and in doing so found that there had been some concrete there at some stage...
Two down.....4 to go.....
The next 2 were not too hard to find once bearings of location were gained and as they were years ago when my friend took the photos they have not weathered too badly (although some restoration work would be good).
Now off to the crematorium....for those who are planning to go to Rookwood...note there is a Catholic Crematorium Office and then another Crematorium Office for everyone else.
They had to look up handwritten records to find where my Great Grandparents were in the wall, but the fact I had the date of death meant the wait was less than 10mins.  We headed off to find them and the 14yo commented on how nice it was, when questioned whether she meant the current area or all of Rookwood, she said all of Rookwood.  The trees, birds and quietness of it really appealed to her. It is here I will let you know she is now happy to return with me to do some cleaning up of the grave sites (hope yet I may pass the genie gene on)  We found my Great Greats side by side and the plagues are in good condition.
It was a nice trip (the 6yo may differ, but did not mind the traipsing through the graves at the time).

If you do not have a relative in Rookwood Cemetery, go there anyway, leave a bit of time. It is an interesting place that is home to 1000's of past residents of our country and they date back to the 1800's.

I am looking forward to the return trip and ensuring my ancestors are named and can be found in the future.

Rookwood Cemetery Website



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dead Relatives - Hiding behind Names

Brutal title I know, however it is true and until tonight I had no idea.
I am searching my husbands side of the family at the moment which is not an easy feat given even his mother only new limited details about the grandparents but thought there was Jewish connections somewhere.
But during the past twelve months, I have discovered that the family seemed to enjoy changing first names and on occasion surnames.
This is why, up to the moment I can only go back on one line 4 generations and 3 on the other.
Tonight I discovered a small gem, not that it has assisted with my research a great deal but it has proven that names are not always closely related to the original.
Barnet Schniter is not related to Bernard Simmonds anyway you look at it, yet they are the same person. My proof....The London Gazette https://www.london-gazette.co.uk/ I suggest that if you are trying to find someone in the UK during the 1900's you go and have a look here for two reasons.
The first, if they were naturalised they are in the London Gazette and you may be lucky to have former names and spellings there. Secondly, if they changed their name by deed poll it is published in the Gazette stating what was and what will be there name.
The fact that my husbands side appears to be Jewish Polish Immigrants to the UK, is making this journey interesting to say the least! I am nearly finished my Research Polish Ancestors course through National Institute for Genealogical Studies http://www.genealogicalstudies.com/ and whilst it is really for those with family in USA or Canada, it has been enlightening about Poland and the history of the country as well as providing some great resources to follow up and consider in my future research plans.
So, if you have relatives from the UK, why not go and search their surnames now...you never know what may pop up in a search of the London Gazette!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

All things festive

Traditions, heirlooms, memories often mentioned at this time of year but as family historians do we really do our "job" and take time to take note?
We are often the ones who are aware if these things but how many members of our family are? So, here is the challenge to you all...in the lull that is with us prior toNew Years Eve buy a book or get on your computer and note down the traditions your family has at this time of year, when did they begin do you know? If there have been years they haven't happened what years were they and what was the reason? What heirlooms are used? The tree star or angel, the serving plate, the carving knife, the tablecloth, the baubles etc. What are their origins, the country they came from, the generation etc...
Lastly the memories. I have found not only memories of the festive season are spoken about but also stories of those who are long gone become topics of conversations at the family gatherings. For those of you with children or grandchildren why not ask them their best memory of this Christmas and add to it yearly.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Family Tree Tracker - New AUSTRALIAN Publication

Over the past few days within my social media circles I have seen a magazine mentioned "Family Tree Tracker" due to the comments made I decided to see if it was in my local newsagent and to my surprise it was!

I purchased the magazine for $14.95 for three main reasons -
1. It looked like it may be interesting reading
2. So many had mentioned it so wanted to check it out for myself
3. It was Australian.



What did I think? It is a great resource. Why? because it highlights some things I knew, but added some information that I didn't AND in reading it I also thought...and what about this resource or that resource, which is in no way meant to criticise but to highlight that the articles did get me thinking. The article on "inside the SBS series 'Who Do You Think You Are?" was also an interesting read.

So was it worth the money, honestly - YES.
Would I recommend it - YES, especially to those starting out, it is a good start point.

Now apparently it is a one off run - which I think is sad. But perhaps as others have suggested the power of the people may change that.... I personally think a quarterly or bi annual magazine would be great so let us all get behind this magazine and support another Australian venture.

For others reviews/thoughts on the magazine here are some links

Lilian's Tree
Geniaus
Gould Genealogy

If you do purchase the magazine I would love for you to post your reviews in the comments!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Events Worth Considering Attending

Two years ago I stumbled upon the event The NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies Conference which was held at Gymea, it was a great 2 days and determined to go this year I booked accommodation straight after the conference. This year it was in ACT and again was a great event, I also organised it so that I was able to attend the Friday expo and the meet & greet that night! Benefits of attending Friday - time to leisurely look at the tables from various family history groups, Trove, Inside History Magazines and many more. Next year it is to be held at Fairy Meadow from Friday September 12th till Sunday September 14th the link to the website is http://www.conference2014.org.au/
I urge you to consider attending if you are delving into the world of genealogy for the first time or even if you have been there for quite some time.

I have also thought that as I was unaware of this conference many people may also be unaware of events that are happening around. So this is the first I will share and as I become aware of others I will let you know too!
http://www.congress2015.org.au/ I can assure you there are some great speakers already organised for this event!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The OMG Conference moment...as promised!

I attend conference to catch up with those I know in the genealogical community, to learn new tips and tricks and to enjoy the company of a lot of people who share the same passion as I do!
So on Saturday conference broke for lunch I moved outside and was just beginning to speak with Michelle Nichols when something made me look slightly to the left and ahead to someone's name hanging around their neck....I looked again.....Quince...clearly written, I excused myself from Michelle and as if a magnet was pulling me went straight over... "Excuse me, you would not happen to be descended from HO Quince would you?" I said...then those words every genealogists hopes to hear, "Yes, he was my grandfather", "Well hello cousin! My grandmother was Hazel" and so began a lovely quick chat session on where and who we fitted in with the family.
The bonus, he was a delegate at conference so I caught up with him at a few of the breaks over Saturday and Sunday, the best bit?! Well....
Earlier this year I made contact with another member of the Quince family, my great great grandfather's sisters descendant and have arranged to meet her on Wednesday whilst I am down here....so now....my new found cousin is coming too!!! What a bonus!
There haven't been so many lines of the Quince's together in Australia in a long time!
So stay tuned....apart from the fact that my new found cousin has me checking my great grandmothers birth details (another story to go in to another time when I have an answer to the conundrum) I should have some interesting things to report on Wednesday after the meeting!
Wow 3 blogs in 3 days! Will it continue!! Don't forget I am also now on twitter Links In A Chain

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Last Day of the Conference!

Well what a wonderful last day to a great conference!

The first talk on Royal Commissions and Legislative Council Select committees by Angela Phippen was a real eye opener, who would even consider that these 'boring' papers could assist a family historian!

But by going through some examples and showing how they could indeed assist, if not to discover an actual fact about a person, may shed light on their locality,surrounds, occupation.

Robyn Van-Dyk then gave us a sneak peek into what will soon be released online! So the word of advice is Check out the War Memorial Website from 30th September this year and then stayed tuned from December as you see a new platform emerge and then more private records coming online fully digitised.
A good thought/word of caution to note to as these become available - Unpublished diaries have copyright in perpetuity unlike published works....
Also keep an eye on the site for the ability to assist transcription from home.....

Rosemary Kopittke then assisted in sharing techniques for making the most of research when using findmypast.com.au/uk/and the usa site!


Women in Records was the next topic and three interesting subjects were covered by three equally interesting women! Cora Num spoke & gave us some great websites & books to refer to including: www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au.

Angela Phippen returned to the podium and spoke about Women and Divorce highlighting the changes to the laws for divorce before Megan Gibson (http://www.familytreetime.com.au/)  spoke about Women creating records, which is what I am doing right now here! Some quick points from her talk
Get your copyright - right
List your sources if leaving records   and
'Research like EVERYONE will fact check it and write like EVERYONE will read it!'
Have you not left a record...then start writing here is your writing starter.....'Why did you start family history?'

There was a call to Illawarra for the 30th Conference next year 'Illawarra Remembers: 1914-2014' to be held from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 September 2014 at The Fraternity Club at Fairy Meadow... for information their website is up www.conference2014.org.au

The outgoing President Joy Vost then handed over to the new President, Gail Hanger (I think) and then the new committee was called to the stage


The Conference ended with a lovely lunch and a chance to chat and say goodbye to friends old and new!

The OMG Conference Story....tomorrow!