A Kiwi in search of her ancestral tribes

Tag: DNA

Accentuate the Positive ~ 2021

Given the madness of recent times, it’s lovely to take up the invitation Jill Ball aka GeniAUS has extended to everyone – to celebrate and share all the positives of the last year with her geneameme Accentuate the Positive.


  1. I got the most joy from my study buddies/partners in crime Pam and Zoë who helped me through the IHGS Diploma in Genealogy course this year.  It was a crazy year of work, study, assignments, and a hefty dollop of stress, and those two kept me (relatively) sane and made it such a fun experience.
  2. The Covid situation gave me an opportunity to view many talks and presentations I wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise, and also connect with other genealogists around the world.  Plus, I got to study with IHGS and sit the diploma exam via Zoom.
  3. I managed to attend a face to face event at the Palmerston North Genealogy Research Day in April, helping out on the Scottish Interest Group stand.  It was marvellous getting out and about and catching up with people in person, even if it was only two hours up the road!  And then in August I travelled to Auckland for their Family History Expo just before we all went into lockdown again.
  4. My main focus this year was on study, study, study.
  5. A new piece of technology or skill I mastered was finally getting to grips with Disk Utility on my Macbook.
  6. A geneasurprise received was being contacted by a second cousin once removed and having a wonderful afternoon chatting to her about our O’Rourke family.
  7. A Facebook Group that helped me was the private group three of us set up for our diploma studies this year.
  8. My 2021 social media post that I was particularly proud of was one about my 3x great grandfather Thomas Gaffney and the quest for his final resting place.
  9. A new genealogy/history book I am enjoying is Vincent O’Malley’s Voices from the New Zealand Wars He Reo nō ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa which I bought a couple of months ago and finally have the time to read.  A stunning book, recommended!
  10. I was impressed by my passing all three sections of assessment and being awarded a Diploma in Genealogy.  I did harbour some doubts during the year of it actually happening.
  11. A great journal or newspaper article I found was John Schuerman’s article on The Arches and Knolls families in Lancashire and Yorkshire in the 12th-14th centuries (available online on the fantastic Some notes on medieval English genealogy website), which helped me unravel a few mysteries on a pedigree I was working on.
  12. I got the most value from this subscription: Essex Archives Online, which enabled me to complete the research task requirement for the diploma.  Other subscriptions were also of huge benefit to my studies this year: Findmypast, Ancestry, The Genealogist and RootsIreland.
  13. I progressed my DNA research with a four day Masterclass with Angie Bush, Blaine Bettinger, and Jonny Perl, along with locals Cate Pearce (Perth) and Elena Falla Fowler (Auckland).  This event was originally scheduled for 2020, was postponed till 2021, and went ahead via Zoom as travel restrictions meant our speakers couldn’t attend in person.  Organised by Fiona Brooker, Michelle Patient and Paul Alpe, this was an intensive deep-dive into DNA – absolutely fabulous.  I think my brain was wrecked for several days afterwards.
  14. I taught a genimate how to get more out of researching newspapers, and the Irish Valuation Office records.  At least, I hope those attending the two talks I gave this year (as part of the IHGS Diamond Jubilee celebrations) may have picked up a tip or two.
  15. A blog post that taught me something new was all of them.  There were so many posts and articles I’ve read online this year, I couldn’t even begin to choose one of them.
  16. A DNA discovery I made was more cousins, lots more cousins, though I’ve yet to identify exactly how all of us connect.  A task for the year ahead.
  17. A newly found family member shared stories and identified individuals in some family photos.
  18. I finally found ……… six feet under: the elusive Thomas Gaffney.  At least, I think we have.
  19. I splashed out and purchased several reference books for my diploma studies.  Several are available in digital format, but I really needed hard copies for the exam, and they’re so much more satisfying to use.
  20. Another positive I would like to share is I’m a 1921 England & Wales Census ambassador for Findmypast and just a little bit excited for the release on January 6th (00:01 GMT / 13:01 NZDT)!

Findmypast - home of the 1921 England and Wales Census

Thanks to Jill for the opportunity once again to focus on the positive aspects of the last twelve months. Check out Geniaus Jill’s page to join in too.

The (genetic) force is strong in this one ~ Ann Philp of Fife

Back in March I got to hear several presentations from Angie Bush, and I loved the way she presented DNA matches in charts using Lucidchart. So, I thought it might be interesting to try it out on one of my father’s family lines where he has quite a few matches.

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Genie Party on the Sunshine Coast ~ Family History Down Under 2021

Family History Down Under is taking place on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, on March 22 – 26 in 2021. If you’ve not been to a large genealogy conference before, this would be an amazing place to start.

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Blaine Bettinger at DNA Down Under in Sydney 2019

DNA to the Max ~ Sydney 2019

I’ve just spend three days attending the DNA to the Max event in Sydney, part of Unlock the Past’s DNA Down Under roadshow.  My verdict: phenomenal!

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Auckland Family History Expo ~ 2019

Auckland Libraries and the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) Computing Group organise the annual Auckland Family History Expo, as part of the August’s Family History month festivities here in New Zealand. Last time I attended was two years ago, so I was looking forward to this year’s event.

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1857 marriage register entry for George Tunnecliff and Elizabeth Barber, Auckland (NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages 1857/929)

George Tunnecliffe of Taranaki — and Tean?

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series The Tunnecliffes of Taranaki

My 3 x great grandfather George Tunnecliffe (or Tunnecliff/Tunnicliff/Tunnicliffe) arrived in New Zealand aboard the Dinapore, landing in Auckland on 5th of August 1857. Three days later he married a fellow passenger, Elizabeth Barber, and they made their home in the province of Taranaki.

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Family History Month 2019

August is Family History Month in New Zealand and Australia, and there’s quite a bit going on for both hardened researchers and those just starting out. Here are a few events happening in the Wellington region and a couple further afield.

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The Travelling Genie

It’s been over a month since we arrived back from a family trip to the UK, where I managed to squeeze in a few genealogy-related activities.

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