Friday, 30 August 2013

The Bloggers' Geneameme

The lovely Jill over at Geniaus has posted a meme/questionaire for National Family History Month and I though I'd play along, so here goes:

What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog/s? 
My blog is titled 'gathering dust'  which I thought that was rather appropriate given my tendency to have a burst of activity over a short period of time and then letting things languish as I get distracted by more pressing matters. That, and if you have ever met any of my family you will note the genetic propensity for ignoring the housework (especially dusting). The URL is chosen out of fondness for my last name, I wasn't always enamored of it given the amount of spider jokes I withstood as a child but it is one of those ones that grows on you as you get older.

Do you have a wonderful "Cousin Bait" blog story? A link to a previous blog post might answer this question. 
You know I probably do but haven't blogged it. I never know really know where to start, so many stories and tidbits of information. Suggest a good 'cousin bait' topic someone! 
Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging?
I've actually blogged on and off in different locations and on different topics for the past 13 years. It was new and innovative back then and I'm pretty sure I filled it with very late teenage agnst. This blog was started because I looked at the pile of genealogy & history of education research I had done and thought 'there really has to be something I can do with this.' Attending a couple of genealogy talks while on work experience at Wyong Library (including one by Jill) gave me that extra push. The best of intentions and all, I'm still terrible at the actual blogging part.

How did you decide on your blog/s title/s? 
See Above :)

Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they? 
I have a droid phone and a droid tablet. I have replied to, approved and posted comments from both but find the mobile interface just a little too finicky to properly compose a post which is a shame as I'd probably post a lot more if I used my time spent on public transport to write.

How do you let others know when you have published a new post? 
Twitter & Google+, if I think my brothers might be interested I post to Facebook 

How long have you been blogging? 
13 years on and off, this blog however is a mere baby started in Oct 2012.

What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blog? 
I like a good surname list.

What is the purpose of your blog/s? Who is your intended audience? 
The purpose is pretty much brain vomit, getting some of the things percolating in my head and in my notes out there somewhere. Is it sad to say my intended audience is me? A little self-indulgent I know, but if I focussed on writing for others and worried about what they might think I'd be back in the sobbing mess of my shelved PhD (this girl has 'issues') Still, I do hope someone finds it a little interesting or helpful. 

Which of your posts are you particularly proud of? 
I am pretty proud of this one because it reminds me that stepping back and approaching things from an oblique angle can make a lot of difference.

How do you keep up with your blog reading? 
Feedly and I are old friends, I started using it back when it was in beta and never stopped. it is even better now I have a tablet as I sit and flip through the blog feed with a cuppa on the couch. It's like getting a new magazine everyday.

What platform do you use for publishing your blog/s? 
Good ol' Blogger

What new features would you like to see in your blogging software?
I miss the autopost to twitter plugin that wordpress had

Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers? 
It was this one begging for help deciphering the handwriting on an immigration list, it got disseminated pretty widely and lots of people helped me puzzle out what it said.

Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog? 

How do you compose your blog posts? 
Pen & paper, OneNote or via the blogger interface. It generally starts with something I have been thinking about or something new I have found. I really should consider posting some family stories and such.

Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs. 
Not at the moment, one can only be slack in one place at one time before it is just overwhelming ;)

Have you listed your blog/s at Geneabloggers? 
No. Should I? I'm really not that interesting.

Which resources have helped you with your blogging? 
Trove! And reading other genealogy blogs. All the years slaving away in academia probably helped a little too. Or hindered. 

What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger?
Don't focus too much on pleasing other people. Write about what you find interesting and others will find it interesting too.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Deciphering Old Handwriting

is not something I am very good at, and given my own atrocious handwriting you think I would be. Yesterday I turned to twitter to help me make out a place name on a board's immigrant list for the Commodore Perry 1855 - it was Heblos for those interested - today I am wondering if anyone can help me decipher the following "complaints" by Johan Winter and John Boss from the same voyage.

Source: Commodore Perry, Persons on Bounty ships to Sydney, Newcastle Moreton Bay, 1848-66, NSW Archives Kit, CGS 5317, microfilm 2469, 4/4946

I'm flummoxed.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Trove Tuesday: Where are you Walter Le Pelley?

My Great (x4) grandfather, Walter Le Pelley (c.1840-?), the youngest child of Ernest Le Pelley (1801-1849) the 16th Seigneur of Sark, migrated to South Australia presumably due to the reversal of fortune encountered by the family. He married Elizabeth Gunther, the daughter of John & Mary Ann Rendall in 1863, and the couple had two children: Louisa Elizabeth (1864-1941) and Frances (Fanny) Amelia (1866-1885).

In April 1869, Walter makes his first appearance as 'missing.' Going missing of course, is a curious thing. I doubt Walter himself considered himself missing, that is, if he wasn't dead. But he was un-contactable and people rather wanted to contact him.

Missing Friends. (1869, April 21). The South Australian Police Gazette (Adelaide, SA.), p. 55
Elizabeth died in childbirth later that year,  and it is rather ambiguous as to whether he had returned by then or not. In any case two years later, a warrant was issued for his desertion of his children.

Deserting Wives, Families, Service, &c. (1871, March 15). The South Australian Police Gazette (Adelaide, SA.), p. 43
Still considered to be in the land of the living later that month.
Deserting Wives, Families, Service, &c. (1871, April 26). The South Australian Police Gazette (Adelaide, SA.), p. 66
The Government had stopped looking by 1879, but others had not.
Advertising. (1879, June 14). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 37. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from
Display Advertising. (1881, May 28). The Queenslander(Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), p. 676. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from
Advertising. (1881, September 13.) New Zealand Herald Volume 18, Issue 6185 (Auckland, NZ.: 1863 - 1924) p. 1. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from

James Robin and Co., was not a Law Firm as I first assumed, but a wholesale import business. James Robin too was Guernsey born, was there a family link? Was someone looking out for Walter's daughters when he so obviously was not?

POLICE COURTS. (1882, December 4). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 6. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from
Family Notices. (1885, June 18). South Australian Register(Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 4. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from
Family Notices. (1886, February 25). South Australian Register(Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 4. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from

Where were you Walter Le Pelley?

You can find all the #TroveTuesday posts over at Branches, Leaves & Pollen or search the hashtag on twitter