There’s lots of things that warrant an anniversary celebration or recognition. The last thing I expected to be celebrating was the anniversary of my blogging with WordPress!

WordPress seemed to think it was worth noting I had been playing about on their platform for 8 years…. I could have sworn I had been here longer than that as it seems like centuries ago that I took this step, but that’s what they are telling me!



I know when I started out in blogging land, I was a novice at dealing with anything that required any knowledge of the way websites or blogging platforms worked – it was a whole new way of using language and foreign languages weren’t ever my strong point.  I learned by experimentation – and by not being afraid to make mistakes.  I learned that WordPress had a feel about it that was Mac friendly and that was a definite bonus!

I learned a whole new level of frustration when I couldn’t make things do what I wanted them to do – but I persisted.  I don’t profess to know a lot but I do know enough to be able to help others like myself into this wonderful way of writing, of connecting with people, with self publishing, experimenting with images, recording journeys and learning.

Yes, still learning – its a great way to learn about yourself as well as what the world has to offer.

Here’s to another 8 years!




In a few days time I will be leaving for Canberra to attend four intense days at the AFFHO Congress for 2015. There’s been quite a bit happening personally, so preparations for my attendance has been a little haphazard.
However, I have been reading a bit of timely advice and taking note:

Keeping up with Congress2015 through Jill Ball at and Pauline Cass

How to pack for every circumstance with Susie Zada ….

……And discovering that I really did need to get some, new up to date business/contact cards thanks to Judy Webster …..


and now I have the Congress App (It’s iOS and Android friendly) as well….

The App allows for me to load up my personal programme of lectures and events and for timely updates to be sent straight to my phone or iPad (both of which will be packed with chargers according to Susie’s instructions!)

I’ve registered some of my research interests…. I need to go back and put in a few more names.  This event draws such a wide range of attendees, it would be a shame to miss an opportunity to connect.

The final part of my preparation for this event involves being right up to date with my online study commitments (UTAS and NIGS subjects underway and FutureLearn (Monash) about to start) and to resolve as many of the outstanding research queries I have on a project I am completing for my friend as I am to deliver her a preliminary report on my way to and from Canberra.

Having taken part in UTAS Introduction to Family History class with Dr Dianne Snowden  over summer, I was one of over 1,000 people who stepped back into formal study or undertook a university subject for the first time.  Many connections were formed and online groups were started – Facebook and Google+ – and some of us are getting together for a social evening during the conference.

Enough said…. its back to work for me…. counting the days!!!

Happy Endings

Happy Endings

In early July, I posted observations about the value of using Social Media and crowd sourcing techniques as a way of solving family history or genealogy puzzles.

Today’s Victorian state daily paper, “The Age”, reports on the positive outcome of the search for the person named on those lost USMC dog tags.

Read Lawrence Money’s article from The Age here

The Age's photograph of John Naismith.
The Age’s photograph of John Naismith.

Can Social Media further your research?

Its a reasonable question to ask as the serious genealogist or family historian will probably look askance at you. After all, if you are doing your research properly, what useful, correctly resourced and referenced material would come through social media

Social Media platforms are about making connections.  Its what you do with those connections that counts.

So far in my forays into social media, I have avoided using photo sharing sites such as Flckr, youtube, Instagram, RedButton and the like as I have concerns with abuse of copyright particularly when the work posted is original and an income source for its creator.

The recent Social Media workshops, of which I have been a co-presenter, have highlighted the current popularity of Pinterest, especially amongst women. Sent a link to an image by one of my colleagues, I followed through and yes, I joined.

Firstly, I thought I would make a search for pins relating to my current research project (and subject of one of my other Blogs) just to see whether anything would turn up.  Interestingly there were five images of my relative amongst the millions of Pinterest contributions.  Four of the shots I was already familiar with however the fifth caught my eye immediately as it was a studio shot I hadn’t seen before.

Imagine my surprise when the comment indicated that the pinner was a relative of the photo’s subject! Who was this person? There was no familiarity in her name.  I commented back, that I too was a relative.

Within 24 hours and from the other side of the world, I had a response, an email introduction, a quick exchange of basic information and offers of photos and stories about her family’s history. The most recent email contained more information, three wonderful family photographs and a promise of more to come. Of course, there will be relevant information heading to my correspondent shortly!

Social media connects people – its up to the people to make the best use of the connections!

© R Stockfeld 2103


Image from Pinterest