Archive for December, 2012

Genealogy Aspirations 2013

December 30th, 2012

Regular readers of this blog will know that each year I like to review the genealogy goals I set myself at the beginning of a year and then set new goals for the coming year. There has been varying success over the last three years but 2012 was definitely more challenging. Our sudden, although expected decision to relocate from Victoria, threw the second half of the year into chaos as most of my genealogy material was in storage and we were living in a caravan.

At the time of writing this blog we expect to move into our new home in mid January and I’m expecting it will take us a while to reestablish ourselves. Plus we have the genealogy cruise to Noumea and Fiji in February, a personal family holiday to Bali in March and we are going to the Ulysses 2013 AGM in Maryborough in April. So realistically I should only be planning on six months of ‘real’ time for my genealogy research.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! How did I go with 2012 goals? These were set out in my Genealogy Aspirations Reviewed and Renewed 2012 actually written on 13 January 2012 so I started the year a bit behind!

My 2012 aspirations and a brief result were:

1. Write up my mother’s Price family history, including photographs and other illustrations in time for her 78th birthday – not quite achieved, progress made on scanning images but now looking more likely for Mum’s 80th in 2014.

2. Do another DNA test, this time from a genealogy perspective and investigate my own DNA – just never got to this one and to be honest, not really sure that I’m into DNA that much at this stage.

3. Learn more about my Norwegian ancestors – I already know the basics from parish registers and census records but not the history and culture of Norway – another never quite got to it but still of interest.

4. Continue to scan photographs and documents so that I have digital copies as well as original copies and maintain a backup regime for both – this went into overdrive once we sold the house but there was still a lot still to do when I boxed everything up to go into storage. Will resume once I have unpacked everything and re-organised my new study which has purpose built shelving and bookcases (lucky me).

5. Conserve and preserve family heirlooms I have collected ensuring they are boxed and stored appropriately – during the packing up of the house, I realised just how much more ‘family’ material I have scattered around the house. So another goal to continue once we unpack again.

Of course there were other genealogy related things I achieved in 2012 which weren’t on the above list. A long time desire was to start a one name study but I just hadn’t decided which name. In Deniliquin, New South Wales at the genealogy muster I finally took the plunge and signed up for a Burstow one name study which I’m pleased to say I have been working on. I now have a spreadsheet with Burstow information for Australia and England and a very preliminary finding is that most of the Burstows in  Australia are descended from the one family.

Now for 2013 Aspirations.

1. Aspirations 4 and 5 above are very similar so I’m rolling them into one and as I unpack in the new house I’ll try and identify and list tasks to help keep this goal of scanning and rehousing progressing.

2. The Burstow one name study is also a priority and I need to get organised so that I can answer any queries from others interested in the name. I also need to set up my profile on the Guild of One-Name Studies website.

3. My Norwegian ancestors (Gunderson) – researching more about their culture and where they came from. The line goes back to 1688 so that’s lots of Norwegian history.

4. Now that we are living on Bribie Island, my Scottish ancestors (Carnegie) who were oyster farmers in Pumicestone Passage have again captured my attention and I’m looking forward to rediscovering my files on them during the unpack. It’s been over 30 years since I did that research so there must be new material to discover!

5. Finally I want to get back to blogging on a more regular basis – both my SHHE Genie Rambles blog and my Diary of an Australian Genealogist were a bit haphazard with all our travels and the big move. Blogging and participating in various blogging challenges forces me to write up some of those family stories and share them with others. Reading other peoples’ blogs not only helps me to learn about new things but also inspires me to do the same for my ancestors.

Well that’s my five key genealogy goals for 2013 – wish me luck!

Christmas Geneameme

December 10th, 2012

I’m a fan of geneamemes and I couldn’t resist this timely Christmas geneameme from Cassmob which makes us think about our own Christmas traditions and memories. Anyone can join in and if you leave a link in the comments section of the link above then it will be included in the overall collation of responses.


1. Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family? Not really although we all do try to spend it together.

2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day? Not really although my parents used to attend midnight mass on occasions.

3. Did/do you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa? I still believe in Santa! To me that’s part of Christmas and I always try to keep that magic alive although my son just thinks I’m a bit odd.

4. Do you go carolling in your neighbourhood? No and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone going around carolling (except in movies) but I have attended some Christmas carols/shows.

5. What’s your favourite Christmas music? We have a number of Christmas CDs with various carols and Christmas music which we play as background music. No particular favourites.

6. What’s your favourite Christmas carol? I’ve never really gotten into carols but the one I know best is probably The First Noel.

7. Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read? Not really although the other night I rewatched Tim Allen in The Santa Clause which was fun.

8. Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)? For years we only used to do presents for the kids but now everyone is grown up and working we have started to do presents for everyone again although we don’t spend much. There are only 9 in my immediate family including partners so we’re quite small!

9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away? It’s always been indoors as Mum prefers a hot traditional lunch although one year we did do a seafood lunch downstairs. As I have lived interstate for many years  I usually fly home for Christmas.

10. What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal? Mum always cooks pork, roast potatoes, cauliflower, peas and gravy while my brother brings the ham and chicken and I usually end up doing the dips, chips etc as I only arrive a day or so before.

11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas? I used to make my grandmother’s secret rum ball recipe but I haven’t done that since I moved interstate. Now that I’m back ‘home’ I’d like to start doing that again. We move into our new home in January so next year!

12. Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited? My mother in law has usually done a Christmas pudding in recent years but when I was a child Mum used to do them (or buy them) and then stick the old 3d and 6p coins in for us kids to find.

13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they? We always have ham and chicken but if it was up to me, we would do away with the hot foods and just have seafood and salads.

14. Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas? No it’s always been a matter of time to do those sort of things but perhaps we will have more time in the new house.

15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa? I’m always the one to travel home as everyone else is in Brisbane. My partner’s family is quite scattered but we have been to Adelaide a couple of times for Christmas.

16. Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ? The most obvious difference is that there is not as many of us so it is much more low key these days. With the addition of partners we are now going up in numbers again.

17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins?

18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot? I usually just have lunch with friends as we used to live a fair way out of Melbourne so that was easier for them. I always decorate the house with a tree and other decorations and our street used to participate in Christmas lights so we had them around the garage, front of the house and a couple of trees in the front yard. Not sure what happens in our new neighbourhood but we will have a drive around so that we know what to expect next year!

19. Is your neighbourhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue? Our last place wasn’t although it did look good and I know that the canal area near our new place has a Christmas lights boats parade and the canal houses doing their lights facing the canals. We are going to book a cruise on the local ferry to see them which should be great.

20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where? Not usually but we have noticed lots of adverts for Christmas Carol nights nearby but we will be going to Brisbane to spend a few days with Mum before Christmas so we will miss them.

21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)? Yes as a child we always went camping in a tent to either the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast for Christmas holidays.

22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue? It’s usually at either my mother’s or my brother’s place these days. They alternate hosting it but when I lived in Brisbane I also used to host it every third year.

23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live? No but I would like to have a white Christmas some time.

24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year? Yes but sometimes it is just a small plastic tree as it depends on when I leave for Brisbane. When I was younger we had a gum tree which was nice but then we started getting real pine trees before my parents bought the plastic tree. The leaves were too messy!

25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation? Oops I answered this in the last question but I’m hoping to go back to a real potted tree in our new home from next year.

26. Do you have special Xmas tree decorations? No but I like lots of lights and tinsel.

27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving? We don’t have Thanksgiving so it has to be Christmas.