Family History and Chinese Women in Aviation

This article was first drafted in July 2020 as a ‘From the Vault’ segment for the NT Chinese Museum e-News, but never completed. The draft was inspired by reading a 1930 newspaper article about the arrival in Darwin of the aviatrix Amy Johnson on her London to Sydney solo flight. The article was to comprise a massive segue.

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Learning to be a Family Historian

In August last, I (we) went to Hobart for the first time in 33 years; last time, it was one night, this time two nights (or sort of – two and a half). The trip logistics were a nightmare; starting three days before departure, every day saw a flight cancellation until the day before we came home. And then, we flew into Darwin just in time for lockdown announcement and in the frenetic atmosphere aboard the plane, I left my iPad behind.

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Edward Treasure: Poverty, Success and Ignominy

This story about my convict ancestor, two times great grandfather Edward Treasure, was originally written as an assessment task in the Diploma of Family History course at the University of Tasmania. Continue reading

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“Squatter ” Jones Revisited

Back in 2016, I published an account of my great-grandfather William Thomas “Squatter” Jones. Since then, I started the Diploma of Family History through the University of Tasmania and required to write a 1000 word essay on an ancestor, I chose to revisit “Squatter”. The essay is different from the original Blog story given there were certain ‘academic’ strictures and objectives to be complied with and achieved. Continue reading

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The Office Clean-up

Lorelei carried out her threat and emptied out the office and NJS Family History Archive. It took us together over a week to clean up and reorganise. Here are the before photos:

Despite my general untidiness, I do have an OCD streak! For some time, I have been playing around with LibraryThing – a computer program for small libraries – and had catalogued about 175 books. A further 150 books have now been catalogued and all have been labelled according to the Dewey Decimal system. This is just the office library!

Out in the lounge room, there is another collection of non-fiction including biographies, and Chinese, political and military histories to be added over time. This will cause some physical shift in book location. LibraryThing also catalogues by ‘tag’ as well as by author, title, and number. The program works very well, so finding books is quite easy. I have also recorded some e-books and digital articles held in the computer files.

For a book and magazine hoarder, I made the difficult decision to ditch a huge quantity of family history magazines. Having a complete collection of the Australian publication Inside History, I kept that along with Traces, to which I currently subscribe, as well as Who Do You Think You Are. Putting feng shui principles into place, turning the desk around did cost some space and also meant there was sunlight glare on the monitors necessitating new curtains.

The end result is pretty good and one of which Lorelei is also justly proud. After two weeks of working in the new space, it remains tidy with everything in its place! “One day” – when the deck is built, the office/study can extend there and become truly luxurious. Now for the photo archive!

The after photos:

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Bits and Pieces – 2019 in review


I have been a very bad Blogger in 2019! That does not mean a lack of activity when it comes to family history research because it has been a very busy year indeed. While I am out of practice in using Word Press, here I go with a summary of family history and research events in 2019.

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2017 Bits and Pieces

I have been very recalcitrant! Almost a year since my last blog post! What can I say?

2017 has been thus far been a year of travel: January to Bali for pure relaxation and pleasure; April/May to Sydney and Arrowtown in New Zealand; June/July to Singapore/China/Singapore/Bali. More about China later. Continue reading

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2016 Bits and Pieces

My blogging activity in 2016 has not been great but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been active on the family history front. Continue reading

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“Squatter” Jones – Farmer


Week two of the National Family History Month weekly blog challenge set by Alex Daw takes your ancestor’s occupations as the theme. For me, that has to be farming or shearing – my cousin Billy and I were the first of our family to be neither shearers nor farmers. Continue reading

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1971 National Census, Territory Style

Some time ago, I read an amusing fictional account “The Census Taker Cometh”[1] describing the travails of census enumerators calling at a German immigrant household in Illinois over a 60-year period and concluding with the question “Ever wondered why some census entries look like creative accounting?” This reminded me of my own experiences providing me with an opportunity to impart a personal story about my involvement in the 1971 Census of Population and Housing. I did not get that far at the time but now I am rising to Alex Daw’s weekly blog challenge for National Family History Month.   Continue reading

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