Tuesday 30 December 2014

Beat the Blogger blues

Getting the most out of Blogger

A couple of recent posts on blogs I follow have prompted me to remind myself and others about making the best use of Blogger's inbuilt tools. I've been benefiting from the expertise of those sharing their knowledge on Worldwide Genealogy  where I have noticed some Wordpress contributors struggling with the unfamiliar to them platform.  I hope some of these hints may be useful.

Another blog A Family Tapestry post Scraping: the bottom of the barrel reminded me of the need to check that each post had an originating link embedded at the end of the post. This can be enabled through the dashboard in Settings. I usually edit the embedded address to the exact post address which can be located in the sidebar under the Links heading. The link can be customised or left on automatic.

When I copy the exact link address from the sidebar in the editing mode and paste it on the bottom of the post it appears thus http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/12/beat-blogger-blues.html  complete with blue background. One of the handiest tools in the Blogger editing bar is the Tx symbol. Highlight any text and use this to remove formatting that has been carried over from copy and paste actions.

The address now appears in the normal font and colour dictated by the template used and I can further refine it by highlighting and selecting Link from the menu bar as well as using the TT tool to reduce the size of the text  http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/12/beat-blogger-blues.html .

If you write your posts in MS Word or any other program, always highlight all the text then use the Tsymbol to rid it of unwanted formatting. This is particularly useful for family historians copying text from old newspapers and other sources.

Next I add a Search Description in the Post settings to give my post a chance of being found and read!

Today I became aware of a feature I had not previously used, the ability to predate a post. Whilst I have previously used the Schedule function for posts to be published in the future, I had never considered its usefulness for resurrecting earlier web content published elsewhere. This post by +Chris Betcher made me realise the value of being able to manipulate the dates to earlier years in Blogger. He has brought previously defunct webpages covering 20 years of his family history into a new blog using the Set date and time function under the Schedule menu.

Before I publish a post, I spell check! This tool  ABC/ is located on the far right hand side of the Blogger toolbar. It can be used on posts and all static content pages.

Finally, if you have copyright details on your blog, it is now time to update for 2015. Now back to checking my own blogs for errors!

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/12/beat-blogger-blues.html

Lipstick for Christmas 1914

From Lipstick To Ammunition

Men who tried to buy their wives and sweethearts favourite lipstick for a Christmas present found that there was a great shortage of those little metal cases in which lipstick formerly came. And when they tried to buy powder compacts, the choice was limited, and those displayed looked a bit tired and shopworn.

The reason is that the lathes that turned out those metal containers are making ammunition now, and the metal from which they are made is also fighting the Japs

Like lots of other beauty aids, these are now limited to stocks on hand. Lipstick is still being made, but you have to use your old container.

1943 'From Lipstick To Ammunition.', Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), 5 January, p. 4, viewed 9 December, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36148352

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/12/lipstick-for-christmas-1914.html 

Tuesday 9 December 2014


Voice interpretation

I've just watched the free Legacy webinar Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software for Genealogists  and have been playing lately with voice searches using OK Google and Siri.
In all cases the voice recognition software needs to be trained to recognise one's voice and accent. The software improves with repeated use as it is trained to hear my voice.

This set me to wondering what Trove would reveal about voices.  Here's a lovely piece found in The  Burra Record of 1943. It made me reflect on how my voice influences other people's interaction with me.


There are number of Tones Possible to the Human Voice!
There's the softy voice, the lofty voice.
The crifty, crafty, crofty voice; 
The truly voice, the thrilly voice. 
The friendly voice and the silly voice. 
There's the sleepy voice, the weepy voice, 
The steady voice and the creepy voice. 
The bell-like voice and the hell like voice. 
The cheerful 'Well! Well! Well!' voice, 
There's the gentle voice, the parental voice. 
The 'Why haven't you paid your rental' voice, the right voice, the 'quite' voice, 
The 'What I say is right' voice 
There's the lazy voice, the hazy voice. 
The shrill voice and the crazy voice, 
The rough voice, the gruff voice. 
The 'Look at me, I'm tough' voice.
There's the smug voice, the mug voice, 
The whiskers in the jug voice; 
The hissing voice, the kissing voice, 
The wishing and the spitting voice. 
The carping voice, the rasping voice. 
The lisping voice and the gasping voice. 
There's the glowing voice, your own voice. 
The changing, telephoning voice; 
The gloomy voice, the boomy voice. 
The 'Prepare to meet your doomy' voice. 
Then there is the first voice new birth voice). 
The dearest sound on earth voice.

1943 'Voices.', Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954), 5 January, p. 4, viewed 9 December, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36148339

This post first appeared on https://librarycurrants.blogspot.com

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Trove Tuesday recipes

1914 recipes

With Christmas cooking on my menu for this week I wondered what was cooking 100 years ago in the district where I grew up.
Here are some recipes from The Kapunda Herald of 4 December 1914. Cabbage boiled for three or four hours, not quite the aroma of Christmas cooking that I have in mind.


1914 'Useful Recipes.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 4 December, p. 4, viewed 2 December, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108279128


This one  is rather more interesting for a Christmas treat but quite a lot of work involved over a hot fire in South Australia where in December temperatures can range well above 35 degrees C.

Interesting use of a thimbleful as a unit for measuring ingredients. I wonder how many of us would need to buy a thimble to make this recipe and would a modern day thimble be the same size as one from 1916?

The joys of Trove, often it ends up posing more questions for us to ponder.

Enjoy your Christmas cooking!

1916 'CHRISTMAS RECIPES.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 22 December, p. 1, viewed 2 December, 2014, 

Wednesday 19 November 2014


Lucky to be alive

As my contribution towards celebrating 5 years of Trove I've been text correcting the OCR in the family notices section of The Kapunda Herald and Northern Intelligencer.- 1864 -1878.  Both maternal and paternal sides of my family resided in this area in South Australia during those years covered by the paper and I have found many notices relevant to my family history. As there were only a few hundred notices to edit thanks to some previous editors, this proved to be an achievable task.

Editing family notices really brings home to one, how lucky we are to be alive. Here's a family in 1875 who lost 3 children in 14 days.


BARRETT.—On the 31st of March, at Mr. J. O'Dea's, Waterloo Plains, of convulsions, Mary Barrett, daughter of James and Maria Barrett, of Tothill's Creek, aged 3 years and 9 months.

BARRETT.—On the 6th of April, at Mr. J. O'Dea's, Waterloo Plains, of scarlatina, William. Michael Barrett, son of James and Maria Barrett, of Tothill's Creek, aged 10 months.

BARRETT—On the 14th of April, at Mr. J. O'Dea's, Waterloo Plains, of scarlatina, Georgina Barrett, daughter of James and Maria Barrett, of Tothill's Creek, aged 5 years.

Then in 1879 another sad tale as Charles Smith loses his wife and infant son on consecutive days.

SMITH.—On 3rd January, at Boucaut, of consumption, Charlotte, the beloved wife of Charles Thomas Smith, and third daughter of the late John Baker, formerly of Kapunda aged 25 years. Also, on the 4th January, of diarrhoea, Gilbert Thomas, infant son of Charles Thomas and Charlotte Smith, aged thirteen months, "Not lost, but gone before."

FLAVEL—On the 25th January, at Kapunda, of convulsions, Evan, infant son of W. and C. Flavel, of St. Kitts's Creek, aged five months.

Life was tough and many children lived short lives.

This older couple died on consecutive days having been in the colony since early its settlement.

BELL.—On the 21st of August, at the residence of her son, Hamley Bridge, of bronchitis, Anne, the beloved wife of Joseph Bell, sen., aged 69 years. Also, on the 22nd August, Joseph Bell, husband of the above, aged 70 years. Both colonists of 41 years.

We have so much to be thankful for, advances in medical care and facilities, rapid transport options and so many other comforts we take for granted as our daily lot.
Thanks Trove for providing these insights into our past.

 This post first appeared on https://librarycurrants.blogspot.com

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Overlooked free ebooks

While browsing the National Library of Australia site I revisited their collection of free ebooks. These titles are all PDF so can be read on any device. I saved some titles direct to my Calibre ebook library where I  can convert them to  other formats or simply load them on to my Kindle and have the convenience of reading them at my leisure.
Here's just a small selection of titles relating to life in colonial times that I found to be of interest.

Eyes to the future
Eyes to the Future explores the social customs, social conditions, encounters with Australia's neighbours, eminent people, strange episodes, the operation of justice, royalty, romance, dissent and much more about Australian colonies in the 1870s
The World Upside Down: Australia 1788-1830 NLA
The World Upside Down: Australia 1788-1830 draws on the National Library of Australia’s collections to explore some of the many fascinating aspects of life and art in colonial Australia.
This errant lady : Jane Franklin's overland journey to Port Philip and Sydney 1839 Penny Russell
Jane Franklin's diary provides a detailed and colourful snapshot of colonial society, recorded by a sharply observant witness. An intrepid traveller, Jane Franklin was consumed by an unquenchable curiosity. She looked, questioned, listened and wrote—pages and pages of miniscule notes on every topic that came to hand.
Taken at Tilba
W.H. Corkhill (1846-1936) documented many aspects of the inhabitants of the tiny twin settlements of Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba,on the south coast of New South Wales— farming, gold mining, shipbuilding and road making — and their rich and varied social life. His rapport with his sitters draws the observer into their world.
Governor's wives in colonial Australia Anna Selzer
Governors' Wives in Colonial Australia explores how five viceregal women—Eliza Darling, Jane Franklin, Mary Anne Broome, Elizabeth Loch and Audrey Tennyson—fulfilled their role. Drawing on letters, diaries and journals, Governors' Wives in Colonial Australia provides an account of the role of viceregal women in colonial life.
The Gundagai album
In 1971 the National Library of Australia was given some 900 glass negatives of Gundagai. Of the collection found by chance, 120 selected plates are reproduced in this book. The photographs were taken at the turn of the century and are believed to be the work of Charles Louis Gabriel, a doctor who added an exotic French flavour to that loyal bastion of the British Empire, Gundagai.
I hope you find something to enjoy from the NLA's collection.

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/10/overlooked-free-ebooks.html

Thursday 23 October 2014

Find your guide

Manuals for tablets and phones

User Guides or Manuals have vital information about the operation of your phone or tablet. Unlike the quick guide that was in the box with your phone or tablet, these user guides provide in depth information. They can usually be found on the manufacturer's site under Support. There are interactive guides, PDF manuals, static web pages and in some cases ebooks.

It is a good idea to download a user guide to your device to have quick access to the information while you learn to use your device to its full potential. Bookmark the page in your web browser where the interactive guides are located for future reference.

Many guides/manuals on manufacturers' websites are often PDFs, so make sure you have a PDF reader on your device. On some tablets and phones, the manual will download to My Files or Downloads, on others you will be asked which app you want to use to read the manual.

Telstra mobile support provides interactive guides for a wide range of phones and tablets.
Optus also provide specific device help with screenshots showing exactly where to find a range of functions. You do not need to be a Telstra or Optus customer to view these support pages.

Android phones and tablets

To identify your device, go to Settings and scroll right to the bottom where you will find About Phone/Tablet. In some brands you will be able to locate this information under Settings, Device.
The Android Quick Start Guide is free on Google Books.


ACER has a mix of Android and Windows tablets and phones. Guides are found under Drivers and Manuals Search by product name or scroll through list. Select product then click on the Documents tab to locate the User Manual


The Alcatel Support site offers a wide range of answers to questions but no User Guides or manuals are apparent.


For HTC phones select Support then type in the name of your phone and press enter. Scroll down below Accessories to find the User Manual.


Huawei manuals for both phone and tablets are available from the Support site. Be sure to choose the User Guide rather than the Quick Start guide which was packaged with your product.

LG (LGE) phones

LG Manuals are all together and easy to locate by following the on screen prompts.

Choose Category Group >Mobile > Mobile phones.

A long series of model numbers is then revealed and the User Manual for each model is listed immediately below it under the heading Manuals and Documents.


Motorola certainly wins the prize here for making it easy to locate your product. They have excellent support pages with manuals for all their phones. If you do not know the name or model of your phone there is a guide to help you get to the right phone or tablet and its manual. here are some quick link to well known products.
Moto X
Moto G
Moto E
Motorola Xoom tablet


Samsung guides can be confusing to locate as there are such a wide range of models available. .
On the Samsung support (Australia) site:
Choose Help > How to Guides > Mobile phone (even if you have a tablet)
Next choose Smart Phone or Tablet.
Now you will be directed to make a model choice.
The screen that delivers your model has a wide range of help topics but scroll down to the bottom of the screen to find the correct User Manual.


The Sony support site has excellent interactive guides and PDF manuals for both phones and tablets.

iPhones and iPads

The best method to obtain the Apple user guide for your device is through the free iBooks app. If you do not have iBooks on your device, visit the App store and download it.
  • Open iBooks
  • Search Store
  • Search iPad or (iPhone) User Guide
  • Tap Free then Get Book
There are also plenty of other free tips and tricks guides in the iBooks store.

Windows phones


Nokia phones are now using the Windows interface. The Nokia Support page lists the phone models. choose your model and most User Guides will be listed immediately underneath the picture of the phone. The Windows Phone support site is available where no manual is provided.

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/10/find-your-guide.html

Saturday 18 October 2014

Unexpected rewards

What a rewarding experience I have had over four weeks. The regular family history/genealogy volunteer guru in our local library has been away enjoying a holiday break. When the call came for volunteers to fill his 3 hour spot each Friday morning, I hesitantly offered my time not knowing whether I had enough genealogical expertise to be of assistance.

Since then I've heard some heart-breaking stories and shared some delightful finds. It has been my privilege to assist. Here are a few highlights.

Case 1. A baby adopted out during difficult times in WWII in England now in her 70s was very pleased when we found the records of the births (with names) of two previously unidentified older siblings and her birth mother's death record.

Case 2. Trove came up trumps for a local seeking help to find details about a great grandfather involved in gold mining near Gympie, Queensland.

Case 3. The Discovering Anzacs site provided additional information for a woman who had with her a treasured World War I diary that belonged to her husband's father. Yes, the WWI veteran had a son at age 58. What a privilege it was to see that small diary written in beautiful script 100 years ago on some of the worst battlefields of the Western Front and to have the opportunity to provide some suggestions about conservation and digitisation.

Case 4. I knew nothing about PQ 17 a World War II convoy in the Arctic but was able to help the owner who had her father's original documents from his time on one of the ships in the ill-fated convoy. She was looking for a suitable home for the documents, so a simple Google search has provided her with appropriate contacts where she can obtain professional advice from either the Imperial War Museum or National Archives, Kew.  She is now looking forward to reading a variety of Internet articles with information about the convoy and intending to watch this BBC produced Jeremy Clarkson documentary.

Those of us with computer skills need to remember there are so many folks, not just seniors, who still do not have the confidence or skills to find the information they seek. Volunteering brings its own rewards.  Do not hesitate to share what you know.

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/10/unexpected-rewards.html

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Experimenting with visuals

Photo Mapo

The Photo Mapo app available for iPad and iPhone adds maps as a background for your photos. A description of 180 characters can be added to give context to the event or photo. This is a great tool to use for your holiday snaps.

The map location is found by the app if location services were turned on when the photo was taken. If not, one can simply search for the location and the data is added. In the app settings one can choose how much detail, metadata, is added to the map.

Using the app for family history

Recently I've been experimenting with some historical images. Here are three of the many layout variations available within the app using the 1907 wedding photo of my grandparents.
I searched for the exact location of the church in which they were married then added the description for the photo. In this case there is no time detail added to the map.

The location of the church was pinpointed exactly even though the surrounding town has now changed so much in the ensuing 107 years. In this final example I saved the image from Photo Mapo then opened it in Pixlr Express - available as mobile app or on web - to add the vintage effect as a more suitable match for the photo. 

If you do not have access to a map of a particular area in the era you need, this is one way to give your family pictures geographical context for your family history blog or book.

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/10/experimenting-with-visuals.html

Sunday 28 September 2014

Space hoggers

What's using your space?

I've just watched this interesting short video from Rolfe Kolbe providing advice on managing space on mobile devices. My ipad was close to full and while I deleted quite a few unused or rarely used apps in the lead up to installing iOS8, I had always wondered but not actively sought information about the 'other' space hoggers on my ipad.

Aha! Cached data. Who knew so many apps actively cached data effectively using up valuable space? Obvious once one stops to think about it - nevertheless by deleting and then reinstalling these apps, Twitterrific, Google+, Feedly, Evernote and The Australian I now have an extra 3GB of free space. I needed to sign in again to each app and all my settings and data were restored.

Feedly at 15.22 using 261 MB

Feedly after deletion and reinstall at 15.29 now only using 1.3 MB

Thanks Rolfe.
Hey app developers, how about a Clear Cache button in your apps?

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/09/space-hoggers.html

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Leveraging libraries

Help from 66,000+

One effective way to use the expertise of librarians worldwide is to search through the LibGuides Community site.

This site enables search across the libraries which use the LibGuides platform to publish their online guides. Libraries across many countries have wonderful online resources not always obvious to those outside their region of influence.

A search for genealogy, heritagefamily history and genealogy or any other term of interest will reveal a wealth of resources collated by librarians. A family history search reveals some of my favourite resources from the State Library of South Australia along with guides from dozens of other libraries.
Results display:
  • a brief summary of the content of the guide 
  • tags used
  • the latest edited date 
Individual guides usually contain details of the library's online, print and database collections along with any other materials they house. There are often tutorials specific to individual sites or databases. Whilst a library login may be necessary to access some materials, one often sees references to little known resources, access to which may then be sought through a local, state or national library.

Tags are local to individual libraries so they often lead to other resources on that library's website. While there is no advanced search function there is enough variation in results provided by combining and altering the order of search terms.

The profile of individual librarians and their expertise is often displayed on individual guides sometimes with contact details.

Search by locality

To see which libraries in your area publish these online guides use Browse Institutions and use the drop down menu to select your region, state or country.

Happy searching!

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/09/leveraging-libraries.html

Sunday 21 September 2014

Easy into Evernote

New options for Evernote in iOS8

Now it is even easier to add web content to Evernote from Safari mobile browser. In the Send to Menu shown below, new options appear, one of which includes Evernote.

To turn it on select More

Switch on the services you wish to use then drag to change the order in which they appear.

Now there are several choices for adding information into Evernote on iPad and iPhone

1. Send to - using email to your Evernote address
2. Clip to Evernote - using the Evernote bookmarklet 
3. The new service as above, this also works in the Photos app or any app that has the Send to facility.

Quick access to Evernote can also be switched on in Notifications.

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/09/easy-into-evernote.html

Tuesday 16 September 2014


Tech help Tuesday

These slides are provided for learners at Noosaville Library finding their way around basic settings in Android and iOS devices. 

Click on this symbol below to enlarge the Slides on your screen
Use the arrow key to advance to next slide.

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com/2014/09/settings.html

Thursday 11 September 2014

Pictures all in a row

Line them up

Are you sometimes frustrated when inserting pictures into your Blogger blog?
Do you have difficulty getting them to display horizontally?
There is no gallery function similar to that in Wordpress so one often resorts to having images one under the other and centred. I have previously resorted to using photo software to combine images then uploading as a single image.

This week I've found some easy instructions to load images into a table with no borders.
I've saved the instructions from How to line up pictures horizontally into a blank unpublished page on Blogger. I also added a screen clipping of the instructions to that page. Now when I want to line up some images, I have the code to copy and proceed.
  • Copy the code to a new post, it will create a blank table with three cells.
  • Upload the individual images and post to the page, below or above the inserted table.
  • Resize to small and use Properties to rename images.
  • Use the HTML editor to copy all the information for each image found between the <a href> and < /a> tags from the images and replace that information in the table data for each previously blank image.
  • Save and check the Compose page to see that images have been replicated within the table. 
  • Delete the original images posted on the page, save and preview. It may be necessary to adjust the size of the pictures in the code to get the best result.
The three images above were made with some my favourite tools for creating original blog pictures.
  • The Library Currants picture was made in Notegraphy (web, iOS and Android)
  • The globe was created in Sumopaint (web and iOS)
  • The brick wall HTML sign was generated in Wordswag (iOS)

Sunday 7 September 2014

It's a Snap!

Organising photos

Time to get down to some serious organising. Our first digital camera back in 1997 did not serve to improve our photography techniques but did indeed provide a sudden upsurge in the number of photos we took.  Suddenly we had photos on a computer and we followed some basic conventions in naming and grouping them into folders.

As the years passed with new cameras, phones and other digital devices, our world became flooded with digital imagery and in our busy lives some organisation fell by the wayside. The addition of cloud storage has resulted in photos being scattered across multiple places. Add in all those years of print photos to be scanned and this looks like a mega task, but a step by step process will get it done.

Improvements in image software combined with more sophisticated methods of digital storage and retrieval systems all provide for an improved experience once image files are well organised. A systematic review along with an approach that will better facilitate search is needed. I have some ideas to guide the process.
  • The more information there is about a photo, the easier it will be to find it again by search.
  • Adding metadata is the digital equivalent to writing on the back of a physical photo and the best information on the back of old photos were the dates, names, places, events and comments. Now tags can be added too.
  • Backup and off site storage is crucial, no one wants to lose years of photographs in flood, fire,  or some other unexpected disaster such as a computer crash.


  1. Make a master list of locations of photos to be sure all are processed. 
  2. Decide on file naming conventions year, month, date; event, series or person e.g. folders by year, then events in that year. Consider batch renaming functions to process folders of images about an event.
  3. Right click properties on an individual photo to enter basic metadata - use the photo gallery editor in Windows to add further comments and for the facial recognition software embedded in it. Highlight all photos in one folder to add a generic comment e.g. for wedding or other event photos this is a quick method to add detail about the event to all the photos in one go
  4. Consider names, date, time, places, source, photographer and other comments
  5. Do some quick edits to fix lighting, focus, orientation, crop or one of a dozen other edits: use free software. 
  6. Work on and complete one folder at a time. 
  7. Backup each time a batch is finished.

Some useful tools

Free software
Free web apps no need to download software
Mobile metadata editors
And I'm underway, Day 2 and facial recognition of known people done. Bulk metadata added to comments field in three separate folders.  All those albums to be scanned, arrgh... to be done slowly.

Windows Photo Gallery

Windows photo gallery is part of the Windows Essentials free suite of tools
Open picture in Windows Photo gallery

Toolbar - simple metadata entry options, includes quick find by person after facial recognition applied.

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/its-snap.html

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Search and comment


Tech Help - Search a site

Most sites and blogs have a search bar embedded which will search for content only on that site. The search bar is usually near the top of the page but on some blogs it will be found in the side bar. Some searches will highlight the search word on each page, some will just give you a list of pages where your search term can be found. Examples are provided in the slideshow at the end of this post.

Once you have located the page use Find on page, CTRL-F (Windows) or CMD-F (Mac) to pinpoint the exact information you seek. This individual page search box will list how many occurrences of your search term appear on that page and you can use the down arrow next to the search term to find the next occurrence.  In the example below, the word 'user' was located 8 times on the page searched.

Comment on a post

Most bloggers appreciate comments as it lets them know that readers are reacting to their work. There are a variety of comment forms but one usually needs to provide a name and email address or login with Google or one of many other services. This ensures that your comment is not a machine generated comment and is not spam. The writer of the blog can see your email address but it is not published on the site.

In many cases one also needs to fill in a Captcha code which is simply used to ensure that you are human. If the captcha is difficult to read, generate a new code with the refresh button provided or click the speaker icon to have it read to you.

Search and comment

This post first appeared http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/search-and-comment.html

Friday 29 August 2014

Who served, when and where?

Military ancestors

Today I attended the fourth workshop this month provided by the Noosa Library Service for National Family History Month.
Bob, the volunteer genealogy expert ably assisted by the heritage librarian Jane, once again provided an excellent session, this time on finding one's military ancestors.

He addressed why one would expect to find some military among one's forbears, likely sources of information and then introduced the group to a wide range of sources.

How do you find out if you had military ancestors? Perhaps there are mementos, medals, family stories, photos or information on certificates and in newspapers.
Such a comprehensive topic cannot be summarised in a single post but listed below are some sources mentioned in today's session and some ideas for research.

Types of military records that exist

  • lists of officers and enlisted men and naval ratings
  • Regular service records and militia records
  • pension records
  • various published lists - such as the annual Army Lists 
  • Medal rolls
  • promotions and awards citations in gazettes: such as London, Belfast and Edinburgh Gazettes all free online
  • honour rolls
  • books - early records of battles and campaigns
  • casualty lists, missing and wounded
  • Muster lists
  • Attestation papers 
  • Biographical records eg naval biographical dictionary, specialist books on individual campaigns or battles
  • POWs of WWI Red Cross records now freely available 
  • regiment and unit histories 
  • Australian War Memorial digitised collections 
  • Courts martial

Records that are available

  • Pension records: exclusion period for service and pension records in Britain - 70 years
  • Not all records mentioned above have survived  - WW1 and other casualties (Britain)
  • Increased digitisation, some may be available only by application/request
  • Some may be available but are not indexed
  • Officers records may be more difficult to obtain

Location of Records

After learning so much in this session I was delighted this afternoon to be notified that I had won a 12 month subscription to Ancestry through their sponsorship of National Family History Month. All in all it has been a good month for learning and now I have a wonderful opportunity to further my research.

Other useful lists and blogs

Military Records guide - State Library of South Australia
Military medals - Shauna Hicks
Australian Colonial Forces State Library of Victoria
Australian Light Horse Research  - covers 1899 -1920
Find a soldier's will British Armed Forces 1850 - 1986

This post first appeared on http://librarycurrants.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/who-served-when-and-where.html

Thursday 21 August 2014

Newspapers: A family album of stories

Finding your family in the news

Newspapers are a wonderful source of information for the family historian. In Australia we are so fortunate to have free access to hundreds of digitised newspapers through Trove dated from early white settlement until recent times. 
Below is a presentation about these newspaper sources. The notes that follow were prepared for the participants in the National Family History Month workshop at Noosaville Library.

Types of information found

Sale of farms and equipment
Land selection details
Newspaper article of husband seeking letters of administration after wife’s death
Probate notices
Engagement, Marriage, Silver and Golden wedding celebrations
Birth and death notices
Tragic accidents
Ownership of businesses
Social events
Details of jobs held
Prizes won and performances given
School concert details

Tips for thinking about search terms

Name variations

Think of the time - the war not WW1. Search  an event instead of name.
Search for husband to see referrals to wife search for Mrs. Horgan, Mrs J M Galvin sometimes with intials included, sometimes no initials.

View whole page to get other ideas related stories. Single name search “johanna horgan” what else can I learn when I view the whole page from 1880                                
· cost of loaf of bread, price of a pair of shoes, entertainment of the day - Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Think of combinations from known data e.g. name and ship
“o’leary dugdale” search led to 90th birthday article detailing arrival of couple with 3 children, then working in Adelaide, purchase of land at Salisbury and subsequent family of 12 children
Name search: ‘Andrew O’Leary’ signature of petition against introduction of convicts to SA
Surname and Town: O'Leary’s were big into ploughing matches around Salisbury and Dry Creek perhaps this is how Honora O'Leary met John Horgan (my great grandparents) in the early 1860s.

Best use practices

Use of limiters: whole country or state, dates, type of information
Saving articles – PDF, Image, Citing
Making lists
Text correction – improve search, leave a legacy pay it forward
notifications of new material
Choice of how to save, always include citation. Enlarge on page for jpg, PDF
Screen clipping tools

You may also be interested in these articles
Adding citations to images
Trove's tools

This post first appeared on Library Currants

Thursday 14 August 2014

National Family History Month 2014

NFHM2014 Geneameme

This challenge was posted by Pauleen at Family History across the seas.

1. What are you doing for National Family History Month?

  • I have participated in Geniaus' NFHM Hangout on Air.
  • I have attended 2 x 2 hour Branching Out workshops for family historians at Noosaville Library.
  • I will be listening to Shauna Hick's webinar hosted by MyHeritage
  • Next week I present a workshop at Noosaville Library on Your family in the news (Trove) and then I'll report it here.
  • Blogging - Troveictionary and this meme so far.
  • Following #NFHM2014 on Twitter and reading links from there.
  • Reading my daily collection of genealogy blogs collated in Feedly.
  • Skim reading these email subscribed geneadailies from Paper.li  Genealogy Geek and Australian Genealogists to make sure there's nothing I've missed through Feedly.

2. What do you hope to learn in NFHM?
How to improve my research and recording of my family's records and stories.

3. Do you research at a family or local history library?
So far just the local library.

4. Do you do all your research online?
Nearly all of it, especially if one counts in downloaded ebooks and PDFs. Since I started this research only a year ago,I've not yet had the opportunity to visit any relevant archives,cemeteries etc.

5. What’s your favourite place to store your family tree?
Currently I've been using My Heritage Family Tree Builder as I can share the associated online site with my siblings and their offspring but I'm considering trying out Family Historian. I would like more sophisticated reports and better media management than I presently have. PDF documents do not display online.

6. If offline, which genealogy program do you use?
As above - I do like that it has a mobile app so I can have data with me anywhere.

7. How do you preserve your family stories for future generations?
I've started a family history blog at Earlier Years and this NFHM focus has reminded me to "get on with it!" I also have a shared Dropbox folder for my siblings and their offspring to contribute documents and photos.All data and documents backed up to Dropbox and external hard drive.

8. Have you any special research projects on the go?
Not so much a research project as an indexing project adding the WWI soldiers from the Cooee SA! project to my Trove memorials and then linking the original Trove articles to individual profiles in Discovering Anzacs. I do hope this may improve the chances of other family historians finding these ancestors.

9. What is your favourite family history research activity?
Piecing together stories of the time by reading the newspapers of the day. I also like to share and teach how to find information, so I enjoy leading sessions for other learners.

10. What is your favourite family history research place/library etc?

11. What is your favourite website for genealogy research?
Trove - I have found so much there, lots of BDMs, celebrations, shipping lists, farm sales and more. I like being able to make lists for families and sort them into date order, gives a quick timeline to put folks in context.

12. Are you part of a Facebook genealogy group? If so which one?
County Kerry Genealogy, and have "liked" so follow quite a few other genealogy related pages as well as archives and libraries.

13. Do you use webinars or podcasts for genealogy? Any tips?
I like recorded webinars as one can then choose to selectively watch - i.e fast forward, rewind as needed.

14. Do you use social media?
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Librarything, Scoop.it

15. What genealogy topic/class have you learnt the most from this year at a  webinar/conference/seminar? 
How to structure and use research logs.

16. Do you have a favourite research strategy to knock down your brick walls?
Look and look again.

17. Have you used DNA testing for your genealogy?

18. Have you made cousin connections through your DNA tests? 

19. Do you have a wish list of topics for NFHM 2015? 
There is much to choose from so I'm delighted with what is on offer now.

20. What do you most love about your family history research?
Finding unexpected and interesting stories.

Sunday 10 August 2014


Dear family historians and genealogists,

Humour and fun played a large part in my family upbringing. My mother was a word-lover and was quick with repartee and rejoinder. My brother continually did his best to outwit and out-word her often with hilarious results. The rest of the family did our best to disparage and better his offerings, meagre though our efforts were.

It is in this spirit of family fun that I offer you the inaugural, unofficial Troveictionary for National Family History Month 2014. #NFHM2014. Many of us who have sailed in the good ship Trove place great value on this free source of information from the National Library of Australia. The work of those who continue to support and grow this resource is appreciated. Thank you trovekers and troveors! (see below)

Your additions, corrections and suggestions for further edits are sought.
Trovefully yours,


retroveal n. information sourced from Trove
to trove v. to seek information in Trove
troveable adj. able to be found in Trove
trovearium n. nurturing environment for Trove products, home of the family API with progeny @TroveBot, @TroveNewsBot. queryPic, Trove traces with new family members regularly added. AskTrove is a new member of this family.
troveatorium n. houses working spaces for TimPaul and the trovekers
trovectionary n. sweet unexpected finds
trovee n. beneficiary of Trove information
trovefully adv.
troveia n. tidbits of information seemingly useless but great for pub nights or as conversation starters
troveial adj. (see troveia)
troveient adj. well suited for inclusion in Trove
troveite n. one addicted to Trove
troveitis n. addictive disease prone to strike late at night
troveker n. a data worker, manager, librarian within the troveatorium
trovel v. to dig around in Trove
troveller n. an information digger a.k.a. family historian
trovement n. repository for found information
troveor n. major contributor to Trove
trover n. seeker of information
trovesty n. misleading OCR errors

to be continued.....by readers troveadour, trovester, Trovember

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Just note it!

Notoriously yours

Tired of those scraps of paper around the house? Collect all your notes together so that they are easy to find and search.Your tablet or phone usually has a note or memo app installed. On iPads and iPhones it is just called Notes. On Samsung devices SNote is installed and on other Android devices you may have Google Keep or one of a dozen other note-taking apps.

My favourite note-taking app is Evernote and I use this on my phone, my laptop and my ipad. At a glance I can see and search for any notes I've made no matter which device I am using. By adding titles and tags to my notes that makes it even easier to locate my information. All good note apps have search built in so that any word within a note can be found.

Here's some ideas for things you may like to keep notes for, so that you always have them handy.
  • Shopping lists - with favourite brand names
  • Names, models and serial numbers of electrical appliances
  • Car/cat/dog or any other registration number
  • Size of room, space or cupboard
  • Recipes or lists of ingredients
  • Clothing and shoe sizes and brands for self and others
  • Optometrist
  • Dental
  • Medical
  • Names of any prescription drugs you take
Out and about
  • Meeting notes
  • Titles of books to read
  • Music to acquire
  • Films to see
  • Places to go
  • Price comparisons of intended purchases
  • Travel notes
Some notes will be permanent and others ephemeral. Notes can be edited, altered, deleted to suit. Experiment with the note-taking app on your device to find the best way to use it to suit your needs.

Saturday 2 August 2014

Trove's tools

Lists in Trove

In preparation for a session about Trove for Family History Month, #NFHM2014 I've been reviewing my activities, lists and more on Trove. Currently I have 10 lists related to different South Australian families who are of interest to me in the realm of family history. Some of these lists are public and some private. Lists are a great way of keeping track of the articles found. They can be sorted into date order providing a quick timeline overview of family events.

You can learn about creating and using lists via the very useful Help Centre on Trove.

South Australian Register
 (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 26 May, p. 8,
Another list Mortuary Returns South Australia covers South Australian deaths from 1850 that came to the notice of the Police Department. They were Persons who died, or were found dead, in any Public Place in the Province of South Australia from 1850 onwards. This also covers deaths in the Adelaide Hospital, Lunatic and Destitute Asylum, and other Public Institutions and hospitals. Usually these persons had no known relatives within South Australia.
I add to this list as I correct the text in these notices in Trove. These returns often detail occupation as well as date and circumstances of deaths so could be very useful for genealogists and family historians.

Trove bots

I've also been having even more fun than usual with some of Trove's less well known treasures built by Tim Sherratt. I've been following  @TroveBot and @TroveNewsBot on Twitter and often text correct the articles that are tweeted by the news bot. For some time I've wondered what it would find for me. If you tweet @TroveNewsBot with a keyword, it will respond with its most relevant find. The Galvin vs Galvin court case does not refer to my husband's ancestors as far as I can determine, but given the double occurrence of my keyword, this was news bot's return tweet five minutes after my enquiry - see below.

The other bot @TroveBot is listed as: Tweeting the riches of Trove Australia. These bots are both powered by the Trove API. Thank you Tim and the Trove team.

Have fun during Family History month exploring all that Trove has to offer.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

YouTube for beginners


Whether your interest is gardening, motor racing, family history, cooking or watching TV shows; YouTube has a wealth of material for everyone once you know how to use it effectively and best of all it is free.
You might like to learn how to fix something around the house, how to use a computer program, how to upholster a chair or anything else you can think of; it is likely there will be a video on YouTube to help you.

Here's some quick statistics to give you some idea of how big the video collections are:

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that's almost an hour for every person on Earth
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html)

The YouTube Help Centre has all the written instructions to help you get started. There are also some short video tutorials on the YouTube Help channel. This one shows you how to sign in and navigate to YouTube http://youtu.be/bP7vggHJLVM

Once you have found some videos you like, you may want to share them with friends. YouTube makes it easy to share, simply click on the share button below the video you are viewing at the time. You'll have a choice whether to share it via email, on Twitter or Facebook or you can simply copy the link and save it to your favourites or bookmarks.


Channels are collections of videos that are usually about the same topic. You can find  Classical music, GardeningTravel, Windows and Apple channels to mention just a few. You'll find a channel on just about any other topic you can imagine.
You need a Google account to subscribe to your favourite channels, this way you will see when new videos are added. If you have a gmail account you already have a Google account.Simply use that same address and password to log in to YouTube. Now you can keep track of all those favourites.
Once you start making videos on that phone or tablet, you can upload them to your own channel to share with friends and family.

Here's my introduction to YouTube made with the Adobe Voice app on my iPad. Have fun exploring YouTube!

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Winter in Sydney

There is no winter in Sydney

A chilly winter's night of 9 degrees Celsius here on the coast, prompted me to look at Trove for postings about winters in the past. Having lived in Sydney for 11 years in a past life and now living in a even milder climate, I have some empathy with this author's sentiment.

Here's a section of the article from The Evening News in Sydney, 4th June 1904. The author further continues the article and posits that one must venture further afield in NSW to experience a winter more akin to that described by Keats.
The complete article can be viewed here.

1904 '"WINTER.".', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 4 June, p. 4, viewed 8 July, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113912826

Monday 30 June 2014

Where's that degree sign?

Tutorials and tips for iPad and iPhone

Here's a choice from the wide range of sites offering help for iPad and iPhone users. These articles and tutorials range from those suitable for beginners to more advanced tips for users who may have missed one of dozens of hidden features built into iOS and its apps.

It is now four years since I first owned an iPad, but even as recently as three weeks ago I had not found the degree sign hiding above the zero on the keyboard. I hope you will have fun learning something new from one of the sites listed below.

  1. iOS guides Dozens of tutorials for iPhones and iPads very clearly presented.
  2. iPad basics A series of free tutorials for beginners.
  3. Navigating around your iPad Covers a range of gestures, swipes and button presses as well as detailing how to search your iPad.
  4. 8 tips and tricks for browsing with Safari All of Safari's useful features, this article includes clear screenshots.
  5. Every iOS trick you will need Lots of iOS tips and features often missed by beginners and seasoned users too.
  6. Tips poster Visual tips for highlighting text, saving images and other common functions.
  7. 101 iPad tips and tricks Divided into easy sections for you to learn a variety of functions to make better use of your iPad.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Smartphones 101

The computer in your pocket

Have you just acquired your new phone or had it for a while but not sure what it can do? Here's a presentation used at Cooroy Library on Wednesday morning 25th June. I hope it reminds you of many functions possible with a phone and that you venture fearlessly into some new uses for your phone.

User guides

Here are some Android user guides. iPhone users need to download iBooks from the App store then search within iBooks for the free iPhone user guide.
If you have not found  manual or user guide for your phone, try this search.
manual OR user guide "name of your phone"
More tips and tricks are on the last slide. Remember YouTube is a great site for finding tutorials for all sorts of things including how to use your phone. 

Enjoyed this post? Want to see more?