All posts by Lynda

I am a professional genealogist and photographer and love researching mine and other people's history. I also love to cook and play golf.

Scottish & German Roadshow Update

I attended the Scottish and German roadshow in Melbourne a few weeks ago.  Chris Paton predominantly spoke on Scottish and Irish sources.  No matter how much you know or think you know you always learn something.  Chris provided electronic handouts for his presentations but his British newspaper handout only provided links to the websites so I wished I’d taken notes.  A lesson learned – always take notes even if the presenter is providing handouts.  The list of websites was sufficient though.

Another talk was on British censuses and their substitutes.  I didn’t realize that the suffragettes boycotted the 1911 census so if you can’t find someone maybe they were a suffragette!  It’s even sadder that the Irish censuses were destroyed when you found out the information they contained.  Some highlights in their early censuses from 1821 included names, occupations, relationships, then from 1841 place and date of marriage and those who had died since the previous census.  An even greater loss to our family history study.


Another presentation was on Scottish records prior to 1800 which included land and inheritance records which I love.  I’ve spent many an hour ‘translating’ Scottish sasines.  A source I must look into more are the burgh records.  I’ve looked at some in Dumfries but need to explore some weavers from Dundee as well as others.

The following day Dirk Weissleder spoke on all things related to German genealogy.  It was interesting to hear that in Germany genealogy has predominantly been the domain of men but that it was changing.  Dirk had been surprised at how many women were involved in America, the UK and Australia.

Brandenburg gate
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

He really emphasised understanding the history and culture of Germany to understand their approach to genealogy which included the two world wars of last century.  An interesting fact was that Germans only retain a place in a cemetery for 25 years and in Munich only four before the grave is reused!  Perhaps a reason my first german to Australia forebears don’t have a stone marking their grave.  More likely their children didn’t pay to have one.

He offered practical advice to the group and individually offering and providing help where he could.  Their national German genealogy conference is coming up in late September in Dresden and how much fun it would be to go.  My command of the German language would not be good enough though.  He did stress a knowledge of German was helpful although Germans also struggled with reading the older German records.

It was an inspiring day and has caused me to update my German!

I was an ambassador for the event which was a first for me.



Are you attending the Scottish and German Roadshow this August?

Whilst reading a recent family history magazine from the United Kingdom I came across an article by Chris Paton a Scottish historian, ‘From Donegal to the Peninsular War’.  He was talking about his Scots/Irish family from Raphoe in County Donegal, Ireland.  This caught my interest as I have a number of families from the same area.  The McKnights, Dunlops, Greggs, Wilsons, Thompsons, Nesbitt and others. None of these names featured in his article but his ancestor, John Holmes was a shoemaker in Raphoe in the 1840s and my ancestors must have known him.

Cooladerry, near Raphoe

Chris Paton is one of two presenters who will be in Melbourne for a two day roadshow, ‘Researching Abroad, Finding European and British Isles Ancestors’ on 18 and 19 August. They are also going to Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney.  I’ll be hoping to meet Chris and discuss our Raphoe connections.

The program is split evenly over the two days with Chris presenting on the first day in Melbourne.  The second day will have presentations by Dirk Weissleder whom I haven’t heard speak before.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend Rootstech earlier this year where he did attend.  With my German connections, the Erhardts, Mergenthalers, Doblers, Frohlichs and other names from the Waiblingen in the Wurttemberg region I’m looking forward to hearing firsthand about some new sources.

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Linen factory, Myslakowice (Erdamannsdorf)

I also have the Fiedlers and Siefferts from what was Erdmannsdorf in Silesia, Prussia and although this is now in Poland hope he will talk about records that encompass the Germans in Poland.  I have visited this area but only briefly to have a look at the countryside and need to go back again.

There is also a talk on DNA which I am very interested in having been on a huge learning curve over recent months.  I’ve tested my parents, myself, my sister and a cousin and looking forward to sharing research with my new found cousins.

Let me know if you’re going to the event in Melbourne so that we can catch up.  Further information can be found at Researching Abroad.

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As usual if you recognise any of these surnames and places I’d love to hear from you.


ANZAC day 2017 – Additional family military personnel

It’s ANZAC day again and time to catch up on the all the extended family members who served their country that I’ve found in the past year. Previous ANZAC days posts can be found here, here and here. Some of these men and women I have quite a bit of information on and others very little. If you know more about them, have photos or anything else I’d love to hear from you.

Continue reading ANZAC day 2017 – Additional family military personnel

MacIvor’s and McGillivray’s of Sleat on the Isle of Skye

Whilst re-checking some research to share with someone I delved more into my McGillivray / MacIvor line. My 4 x great grandmother Ann MacIvor married Archibald McGillivray.  He was the son of Charles McGillivray and Marion McLean. Archibald died in the late 1830s but Ann living until 1857 at Teangue, Sleat on the Isle of Skye.  Her son Angus (my 3 x great grandfather) was the informant on her death certificate.  He gave her age as 94 and her parents as Kenneth MacIvor and Marion MacInnes.

Continue reading MacIvor’s and McGillivray’s of Sleat on the Isle of Skye

James Boyd from Inchyra Village, Perthshire

James Boyd was born in Inchyra village on the River Tay on December 27, 1827.  His parents were James Boyd, a weaver and fisherman and Mary Brown.  James had six full siblings, Mary, John, Janet, Ann, Catherine and Alexander and one older half-brother David.  Tragically his father and two older sisters, Mary and Janet died in a six week period.  Mary was buried on 25 December 1840, aged 22, Janet was buried on 1 January 1841 and his father James on 7 February 1841.  They were all buried in Kinfauns cemetery which overlooks their village of Inchyra and the Tay.

Continue reading James Boyd from Inchyra Village, Perthshire

More collaboration – this time with the Baldwins & the Roberts!

Joseph John Baldwin and his wife Maria Roberts migrated toAustralia in 1852 with their seven week old son, Henry and Maria’s daughter from her first marriage Lottie (Charlotte).  I’ve had contact with a member of Maria’s sister Martha’s family who shared some photos that Maria had sent back to London to her sister Martha.  They had been handed down through Martha’s family and have now been given to me.  Martha Elizabeth Roberts married James Dartnall.  There was also a photo of their brother William John Roberts who was an actor and comedian.  My contact remembered seeing a playbill that one of his uncles had.  I haven’t been able to source any information about William John Roberts yet, beyond the normal census records etc.  Perhaps someone out there knows more?

Continue reading More collaboration – this time with the Baldwins & the Roberts!

John George Dunlop – what collaboration can achieve

Since writing my earlier posts on John George Dunlop I’ve had descendants of members of the Dunlop family contact me.  George (as I believe he was known) must have been a prolific writer.  Letters have turned up from Australia and Ireland that he wrote to family members, along with more poems that he wrote and additional photos of him.

Continue reading John George Dunlop – what collaboration can achieve