Thursday, July 2, 2015


As I prepare to make flight bookings for my journey back to Salt Lake City for Rootstech 2016 I am thinking about the folk I will meet there.

I have been doing family history for 27 years and am still an amateur. For me it is not an academic pursuit but a fun albeit serious hobby. Joynealogy, the title of a genealogy blog I follow (, also describes the feelings of elation I get from my genealogy activities. It is a feel good  pursuit that fills me with joy whenever I make a new discovery or teach a group, friend or contact new new trick or tool.

I regularly speak or attend talks and meetings at local societies. Most of the people I encounter at these events are there because they too experience Joynealogy. I have been to four out of five Rootstechs, the greatest genie show on earth, and love these events mainly for the people that I meet from the old pros, to enthusiastic youngsters and beginners of all ages.

Most of the people who attend Rootstech or grassroots events at local societies are amateurs like me. They want to learn how to find their ancestors but do not worry about the correct way to cite a source, they just record enough detail to lead someone else to find that source. They will never bother with  Proof Arguments. Their methods of organisation may be haphazard like mine but they are having fun while learning about their ancestors, recording their lives for posterity and sharing their stories. Their  methodology may be unique like mine (not adhering to one of those fat expensive texts) and supported by information skills developed during years of life, work and tertiary study.

I think that more of the 22,000 people who crowded into the exhibition hall at Rootstech on the Saturday  were amateurs like me and probably not (unlike me) society members. They were there for a hit of Joynealogy.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Six GBP for Online Membership - I'm in

I'm thinking about my Bucks ancestors today. John Tucker, a butcher from Datchet, was transported to Australia in 1824 per Hercules II. Jon's parents and siblings were butchers in Datchet until the mid 1850s. I'd love to be able to find more information on John and his family so thought I'd plan for a visit to the Bucks FHS in the future.

I wondered if I should join this Society so I checked out their various membership catagories.  I found something there that appealed to me, On-line Membership until 31 Dec 2015 ; "On-line membership will give you access to the members only sections of the Society website and the right to attend meetings and vote at the AGM. You will not receive copies of Origins, the Society magazine by post but will be able to read/download a copy on-line in the members only section of the website". 

This category of membership is less than half the cost of overseas membership - I can do without printed magazines to save 8 GBP Pounds on the membership subscription.

What a great idea this is! For just 6 GBP I can check the Society's online databases to see if they have any Tucker leads for me to follow.

Family History Societies that have local databases available online could follow Bucks FHS and offer a new category of online membership  tht would attract genies like me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Thinking of my Dad, Allan John Curry, today on what would have been his 96th birthday.

With Dad on my wedding day

Allan John Curry 1919-2001

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Genetic Strand

The Genetic Strand, a book that I found on a bargain table, caught my eye because the author's surname was Ball. On examination I discovered that its subtitle was "Exploring a a family history through DNA". 

I hoped that this book might enlighten this old girl who is at the bottom of the class where DNA is concerned. Published in 2007 this book was published before the emergence of genealogy focussed DNA companies like FamilyTreee DNA, 23andMe and  Ancestry DNA so Ball had to turn to the companies that were available at the time.

Although I didn't learn much to advance my knowledge of DNA (although the author gave several detailed explanations) I thoroughly enjoyed the book because I learnt a lot about the history of DNA testing. I was carried along with the author as he tried to sort out a family mystery (I love reading mysteries) about a collection of family hair samples that had been hidden in a desk since the American Civil War. Ball's prose was excellent; his writing had a captivating turn of phrase and touches of humour.

I was pleased that I rescued this book from the bargain table.


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