Monday, 20 January 2014

"G'day mate" from the Top End of Oz

G'day mates in the genea-blogosphere. I’m Pauleen Cass (aka Cassmob) and I live in Darwin, in Australia’s Top End. We're on Australia’s northern border, nearer to Asia than Australia’s most populated eastern hub. We’re in the tropics and currently in our Wet Season with torrential monsoon rains, mid-high 30sC (95+F) temps, huge storm clouds, lightning and thunder. It’s a dramatic season but it’s also wonderful to see the vegetation come to life after months of minimal rain. 

Our Dry season, May-August, is blissfully balmy, with regular temps in the early 30s, minimal humidity, clear blue skies and nary a drop of rain for a few months. As for the Build-Up (September-December), the less said the better – it’s no fun wishing you had your own facial windscreen wiper...makes you barmy.

But enough of the travelogue, let’s get to the serious stuff – genealogy or family history. I got hooked by the Genealogy Society of Queensland’s heritage display back in the late 1980s and have been obsessive about my family history ever since. Now that I’m both an empty-nester and retired, my days are filled with family history and, since 2009, blogging….how good is that! The downside is that my families all lived in Queensland, and I’m a long way from there. Which is why it’s so great to be part of an international community of geneabloggers who encourage, teach and inspire each other. Not to mention the increasing availability of original records online.

Dorfprozelten am Main, 2003.
My own ancestry is a fairly typical Aussie mixed brew: Irish, Scots, English - and my lone German, George Mathias Kunkel. Most arrived in the 1850s, during the relatively early days of the free settlement of Moreton Bay (the colony of Queensland came into being in 1859). Then there were some stragglers in the 1870s and 80s and one family in 1910. What I most enjoy about family history is building up a sense of the individuals, their lives and their social context. I love it (mostly!) when they pose challenges and I have to pursue them through the records to crack a mystery.


Having started my research back in the pre-computers, pre-internet age (no, there were no dinosaurs!), it probably won’t be a surprise to learn that another obsession of mine is “getting down and dirty” in the records. Archives and libraries of all sorts are my particular favourites. You’ll no doubt hear more about my Beyond the Internet passion as we go along.

As well as my own family history, I am fascinated by local history and migration. I have three main research topics:

Emigrants from East Clare to Australia in the mid-19th century. If anyone has ancestors from there I’d love to hear from you, whether your family settled in the northern or southern hemispheres. I'm especially interested in emigrants from the town of Broadford, Parish of Kilseily

Emigrants from Dorfprozelten, Bavaria to Australia. Again while my focus is emigrants to Oz, I’d also love to hear from descendants of other Dorfprozelten emigrants who may have settled in North or South America, or elsewhere.

The small town of Murphys Creek in South East Queensland. If you know your ancestors lived or worked there at any time, again please drop me a line, or leave a message in the comments.

So that’s it for me today. I’m really looking forward to this global collaboration - thanks to Julie Goucher from Anglers Rest blog for this innovative partnership, and all of you for reading and joining in. If anyone else would like to participate, why not send Julie an email, places are in hot demand.


If you’d like to visit my genie blogs, they are Family History across the Seas and From Dorfprozelten to Australia. You can find links to my favourite websites on the blog.

19 comments:

  1. Hi, Pauleen - welcome to the group and,for introducing us to your varied research interests. .

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  2. Thanks Susan, I think you have a pretty good idea about some of my FH obsessions :-)

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  3. Hi Pauleen - your Dorfprozelten research has always fascinated me. We holiday yearly in Bavaria for the skiing, (near Munich) and it wasn't until I google-mapped Dorfprozelten that I realised how big Bavaria is! To get from Dorfprozelten to the skiing area we go to would take nearly 5 hours in the car (yes I know that's absolutely nothing for Australians - but that's a big distance for us Brits!)

    Looking forward to reading more.

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    1. Kate, going skiing regularly seems as unusual to me as do those long-haul drives to you (I did a three day, 3000kms one last year). Dorpfrozelten is quite far north in Bavaria which is large by European standards. Full of pretty villages, wonderful Christmas markets, and good wine :)

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  4. What a great opening post! I have German (from Volhynia Russia, now Ukraine) and Scottish ancestors that emigrated to Australia. I know I will love learning more about the country and genealogical resources.

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    1. Thanks Schalene. Those European ancestors can e a challenge can't they but I suspect Bavaria is simpler than Eastern Germany/Russia...at least I understand a little German.

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  5. Hey Pauleen! I am so excited to learn more about your ancestors. I am not familiar with the areas of which your family is from, but very interested. I look forward to hearing more. Welcome. :-)

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    1. I think we're all going to learn heaps on this world-wide journey Yvette.

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  6. I always reading your posts and also find migration patters facinating. I look at the patterns my ancestors took within the USA.

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    1. You are one of my great supporters Kristin for which I thank you. I love migration research, internal or international :)

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  7. We meet again Pauleen. So pleased that Australia's Top End which is a world away from the Eastern States is represented in this project.

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  8. And I forgot to say - how easy was it to use Blogger?

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    1. yes indeed Jill, sense of déjà vu! I found Blogger okay, pretty intuitive - I always write my posts in Word, copy and paste, inset images, and voila. Blogger's font options are wider, but I love that I don't need to worry about spam at all - Wordpress does a great job!!

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    2. For a while I wrote my posts in Word, but then I heard that pasting Word text into Blogger causes problems. Now I just write my drafts in a text editor. In fact, I sometimes write the actual HTML code in a text editor and paste it into Blogger - but I switch to the Compose tab to insert images.

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  9. Hi Cass, I am very envious of your retirement and having days filled with family tree research and blogging!! The mention of Murphy's Creek caught my attention, one of the branches of my husbands family tree comes from near that area, the surnames are Keable, Chisholm, Spreadborough, Knight, Woodward and Godwin. Do they ring any bells?
    looking forward to more posts!

    Di

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  10. I too adore getting down and dirty with the real record books in a real repository. Have jeans and old shirts, will research!

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  11. Hi Pauleen,

    I'm enjoying the AKA Cassmob. You must explain (or did I miss that). I've been complaining about our arctic blasts, snow, and wind in Chicago. Your monsoon rains have silenced my complaints. :) I enjoyed your post and look forward to learning more. Thanks for sharing Pauleen.

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  12. Love your quote carol! though jeans aren't compulsory....whatever is comfortable? It's the getting out there that's fun.

    Tina, the monsoon rains are rather fun - we enjoy the natural drama of them. the aka is about my change from an online nickname or "handle" when I started....cassmob....to my usual name. Eg Jill Ball is also well known to others as geniAus.

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