Crossing the Ditch

The Tasman Sea is informally referred to in both Australian and New Zealand English as The Ditch; for example, crossing the ditch means travelling to Australia from New Zealand, or vice versa. The diminutive term “The Ditch” used for the Tasman Sea is comparable to referring to the North Atlantic Ocean as “The Pond”. (

Genealogists from Australia and New Zealand use the term when referring to ancestors or family members who moved across the Tasman.


I have been blogging here and there about my efforts to decrapify my life and genealogy space. Kylie Willison suggested that I add the word to this geneadictionary so I will even though it is a word I found outside the geneasphere.

What tipped the scales was a RAOGK from my social media pal Jenna Mills on Google+ this morning. Jenna produced this great graphic, shared it with me and gave me permission to use it on my blog.

Keep CalmandDECRAPIFYYour Tree! (2)

Keep calm and decrapify your tree

Thanks Jenna for your genearosity.


Carmel left this suggestion in a comment on an earlier post. Can you add any other Geneadailies to the list?

From Carmel Galvin on The GeneaDictionary #

Suggested entry Geneadailies: compilations generated by examples Australian Genealogists, and Genebrarian amongst others



Googling around today I discovered that my idea for a Geneadictionary may not have been original or new. My mate Randy Seaver had a similar idea in his Saturday Evening Genealogy Fun Post on March 19 2011.

Randy asked his readers to share Genea-Logisms with him. he defined a genea-logism as “a newly invented word or phrase from the field of genealogy.”

There were some original and incredible words suggested in response to Randy’s activity. I hope Randy doesn’t mind if I add some of the words from there to the Geneadictionary.

Tangential Genealogy

For this word I am reposting a blog post of mine from the GeniAus Blog in 2012.



In a post on Google+ recently  Kathy Reed and Susan Clark were talking about the temptation to go off on tangents when doing genealogy research.

It’s true confessions time – I am a tangential genealogist. When I told her recently that I was going to spend a few hours at our State Library one of my very interested non/genealogy friends (a rare bird) asked how I go about my research. This caused me to reflect on my practice. Now, when I am planning a trip to a distant city or repository I am the model of organisation. I refer to my research planning spreadsheet (yes I have one), work out some goals for my trip, check catalogues and, where possible, pre-order resources.

When I just have a few spare hours I practice Tangential Genealogy, so my answer to my friend was “I don’t know, I haven’t a plan.” I told her that I may start to look at a database that I can’t access from home and probably get sidetracked when I come across someone or something interesting. I may decide to look at a particular surname in my database and methodically go through the people one by one checking on facts (!) I added years ago and adding sources where applicable. My last effort with this took me as far as someone with a given name starting with C, I found something juicy so the poor D-Zs  were ditched as I set off on a chase. I may just browse the shelves in the library until I come across an unfamiliar resource (as I did last week) and thumb through its pages to see if I could find something relevant to my research (and I found a few gems). I may see a name in my database and, like I did this morning, put it into Google to see what I could find. This morning I found a treasure written in November, 2011 for someone I hadn’t researched for a few years.

While I am very serious about my family history research the bottom line is that is is my hobby. I like to have fun so, when I tire of a task or get a whiff of a scandal I may go off on a tangent.

I make no apology for being a Tangential Genealogist.

Evernote to the Rescue

Setting up this blog was an impulse thing. I had been contemplating the idea for a couple of years but had done no planning when, on a cold Sydney afternoon, I wandered off task and just dived in without any preparation.

A day or two down the track I realised that I needed to get myself organised and that I did with the help of my friend Evernote.  I have previously used Evernote to gather ideas and resources for presentations I am preparing and realised that it would be a perfect tool for managing the Geneadictionary.

Now when I find a word I make a new note in my Evernote Geneadictionary notebook. I record the source of the word, the date I found it and other pertinent information and related images. When I add the word to the alphabetical dictionary listing on my blog I give it the ATD tag. When I prepare a draft for publishing I give the note the Draft tag and when I have scheduled a post for publication I add the Posted tag. I am also adding tags for the people who have suggested words to me.

Hopefully with the assistance of Evernote I should manage to hold it all together.


An Acronym: Who do you think you are?

Popular series of reality TV programs in which teams of experts help celebrities trace some of their family lines. A criticism of all the programs is that they make the research process appear easy.

The UK version first aired in 2004 and is now in its 11th season.

The Australian version which is into its 6th season first aired in 2008 with Jack Thompson being the first celebrity featured.

The US version was first aired in 2010.

Seven Days in the Life of a Blog

This evening the Geneadictionary is one week old..

I am thrilled with the response I have had from the geneablogging community. There have been encouraing comments on the blog, the URL has been shared on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ by my geneablogging friends and the blog has received mentions on two “Best of the week” type lists. Several folk have signed up to follow the blog. Thanks to all of you for your support.

What has been absolutely delightful is the collection of geneawords that people have suggested for the dictionary, here I must single out my mate, Pauleen Cass, a human geneadictionary, who has suggested a raft of words for inclusion. I added around 15 more words yesterday and have more to add. I am tempted to create and post entries for all of the Geneadictionary words immediately but I am trying to restrain myself lest I flood the blogisphere or run out of content. Please take a look at the Geneadictionary and AKAs pages and let me know of any additions or please share any information you may have about the history of the words there.

Between 16 and 38 visitors have visited the site each day (can’t find a total) and they have made a total of 479 page views. I think that’s pretty healthy for an infant blog and am rather chuffed.

Page Views by Day

Page Views by Day

As would be expected most of the visitors are from English speaking countries with Australia just nudging out the United States for most page views. A special g’day goes to the visitors from Italy and Sweden.

Page Views by Country

Can  you tell thatI am enjoying the way that WordPress displays statistics which is so different from what i am used to with Blogger. BTW most visitors came via Google+, my favourite social media site for genealogy, followed by Facebook,Twitter, Geneabloggers and GeniAus.

I wonder what next week will bring?