Monday, February 26, 2018


I blame the atmosphere in Salt Lake City for the scratchy throat I seem to suffer each time I visit  but perhaps it is because my vocal chords get a good workout while I am here.

Yesterday started with a breakfast date in the hotel with Jan Brandt, a genie from California, whom I  first met at Rootstech in 2012. Jan, a committed genie,  has very strong British roots as well as links to Australia so we had plenty to talk about. The time we spent together just flew - can't believe I missed an opportunity for a selfie. The pancakes I devoured were a nice change from the muesli bars and breakfast drink I usually have in my room.

Fluffy blueberry pancakes - I may treat myself to these again before I depart
As my mouse had died prior to leaving for Salt Lake I wandered up to the Microsoft shop and bought a new blue mouse. I didn't realise that it was a Bluetooth one until I unpacked it. The good news is that by having a bluetooth connection it frees up another USB port on my laptop. I bought a few things at Macy's but was disappointed to find that there wasn't much stock in my favourite fat ladies department.

Afternoon was nap time as my poor old body clock had fought sleep on the previous evening.

Highlight of my day was a dinner at Red Iguana 2, a Mexican restaurant with  some of my genimates. Our wonderful friends Roger and Lisa from Michigan collected Sharn White and I and ferried us to the restaurant. I particularly enjoyed meeting online genimates Ursula Krause and Dave Robison, in person for the first time. I won't bore you with details of our evening - the photos I am sharing below will tell the story. (Apologies for fuzzy photos - I exported them at too low a resolution - I have my L plates on in my new image management program).

Strawberry Daquiri
Red Iguana combination - I don't know what was in it but it tasted good

Dave and Karen Robison

Roger Moffatt and Ursula Krause

DearMYRTLE and Gordon

Roger and Lisa

Sharn, GeniAus and DearMYRTLE

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Just one small green leaf

Yesterday I wrote that I was having some "me research time" and looking at those little green leaves on Ancestry that I have been ignoring.

Well I didn't get past the first hint that was offered. For years I have wondered what happened to Ellen D'arcy, sister of my 2xGreat-Grandmother Elizabeth D'arcy. I knew that she married a Henry Holmes but that was all. My first green leaf directed me to a death notice for Helen Holmes (had I ever thought to search for a Helen?) which looked promising. I looked at the NSW BDM Indexes and found that the father mentioned in the index was named as Michael not John as expected but the deceased's age was close to the mark. I kept digging and found the marriage entry for Helen D'arcy and Henry Holmes. The time and location were right so I continued exploring in Ancestry, on Trove , Familysearch and the NSW BDM indexes. Yes, that little newspaper clipping was for my Ellen.

1903 'Family Notices', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 26 October, p. 6. , viewed 24 Feb 2018,

My explorations on Ancestry took me to a Holmes tree that, although it had a mistakes, listed a number of descendants for one line of Ellen and Henry's children, these clues were of great assistance. I have since spent a few hours adding descendants to Ellen's tree using the online resources at my disposal. As Irish Catholics they were prolific breeders so I have quote a task ahead of me.

I am thrilled to have located this line as, I know having a few more cousin surnames in my tree will help me solve some more of my DNA matches.

Call me a cynic but I think that was a "first time lucky" hint. I wonder what else Ancestry has in store for me!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Snowy Day

In Ezra Jack Keats picture book "The Snowy Day"  that I read many times to my children, the main character, Peter, goes outside to enjoy the delights of new fallen snow.

Today I find myself preparing for the Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City where the snow has been falling steadily all day. When I announced on Facebook that I was going to stay in my hotel room all day one of my genimates commented "The hotel? When you could go to the Family History Library?"

Well I'm not Peter so I have stayed indoors and passed on the opportunities to play in the snow. Hopefully the weather will improve and I can visit the library tomorrow or next week. Thankfully I don't have many items on my lookup list this year.

From the hotel window
So what have I been playing at?

I have set up my calendar for the next week. I have dinners arranged for Saturday- Tuesday with various groups of genimates. I am interviewing some of the keynote speakers at Rootstech so I have done a bit of homework on them so that I don't appear like a complete ignoramus. So far I am interviewing the CEO of Familysearch, the CEO of, Keynotes Scott Hamilton and Henry Louis Gates, some bods from Findmyast and Living DNA and CeCe Moore.   I'm also hoping to catch author Nathan Dylan Godwin and  DNA Painter hero Jonny Perl. 

I have written a couple of welcome posts for new members of the GeneabloggersTRIBE, filled out a survey (you can do it too) for the Rootstech people and responded to many social media messages.

I searched Amazon for the Whitelines notebook that my clever Genimate Shelley wrote about in her recent post and ordered one to try out at the conference.

Now I am going to indulge in some me research time and take a look at my hints on I don't accept these on face value. If they are from user submitted trees I don't pay much attention to them but if they relate to documents I look at them carefully, evaluate them and if they are a match that adds value to my tree I add the details to my own Family Historian database as well as my Ancestry tree. 

Perhaps I'll have some startling discoveries to share in the coming days.

I am pleased to have had a Snowy Day that has allowed me to indulge my geneaself. 

That's ice outside my wondow

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Please Provide Soft Copies...

Sharing my post from September 2013.

Five years down the track I understand that presenters are concerned about genies onsharing handouts they are given at Conferences. Somehow, as well as providing soft copies, we must educate our audiences to respect our intellectual property.

It is easier for organisers if they put the handouts in a secure area from which they can be downloaded by attendees but sadly some still haven't got this message.


Please Provide Soft Copies...

A simple system - Fling it in the folder
...we might even save a few trees.

I am trying really hard to cut down on the amount of paper I keep in my Geneacave.

This morning finds me scanning handouts from a conference I recently attended. Only one of the presenters in the sessions I attended (thank you Cora Num) at that conference offered handouts in a digital format. At the beginning of her talk Cora gave us the URL for her handouts, I was able to download the handout onto my tablet and annotate it as Cora proceeded with her talk.

I must say that I prefer a hard copy handout to no handout at all but soft copy is the way to go in the 21st century.

I don't keep hard copies of handouts, I scan them and file them into the Family History -
Presentations folder on the external hard drive where I keep all my genie stuff. (I have previously discussed my filing method in the Fling it in the Folder and subsequent posts).  The hard copies then find themselves in my recycling bin.

The scans are filed by presenter name and title eg Num, Cora Research tools for the digital age. If I was really organised I could add some tags but I find that I can usually find a document I need via the Windows search facility. I find it much easier to file a soft copy than to have to go through the whole scanning process.

There are many options for sharing handouts in various formats on the internet:  one's own website, Dropbox, Facebook, Google DrivePrezi, and Slideshare are just some options.

I realise that presenters may be concerned about the intellectual property of their work and not want to post in a public forum. In this case they could collect the email addresses of those who want a soft copy and send it out; this could be rather tedious if several hundred people want the presentation. They could offer to send copies of the presentation by return email to those who request it. Handouts could be saved to a private page on Facebook. Where there's a will there's a way.
Organisers of large conferences should make provision for the storage and delivery of  presentation notes to attendees. Smaller local groups and societies may not have the resources or expertise to manage this; presenters need to be mindful of this and ensure that their audiences can easily access digital copies of presentation notes.

I am wondering if other genies prefer hard or soft copy handouts.


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