Arrival of the Morley family in 1853

My husband’s great grandfather John Morley (1823-1888), John’s wife Eliza née Sinden (1823-1908) and their two children, Elizabeth aged 3 and William aged 1 emigrated to Australia in 1853, arriving in Melbourne on the ‘Ida‘ on 12 July.

Ida arrival 1

Ida arrival 2

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1853, July 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved from

Five years before, on 17 September 1848, John Morley, then 25, had married Eliza, also 25 years old, at Hurstpierpoint in Sussex.

John Morley was a railway labourer. In 1851, he and Eliza and their one year old daughter Elizabeth were living at 97 Railway Terrace, Keymer, a couple of miles from Hurstpierpoint. Keymer Junction, which had opened four years before, was an important railway junction on the East Coastway Line to Lewes and the Brighton main line.

In 1854, a year after the Morley’s arrival in Victoria, they were living in Collingwood, a suburb of Melbourne. On 10 March, little Elizabeth Morley died, a few months before her fifth birthday, of tabes messenterica, tuberculosis of the abdominal lymph glands. This disease, rare now with pasteurisation, is an illness of children, caused by infected cows milk.


In the first annual report covering deaths to 1854, the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the Colony of Victoria listed tabes mesenterica as one of the diseases of the digestive organs. Deaths from diseases of the digestive organs, including tabes mesenterica, teething and enteritis, chiefly deaths of children, constituted about seven percent of total deaths for that year.

The Report paints a picture of Melbourne and the goldfields struggling with the challenges of the rapid increases in population. Victoria’s population trebled from 1851 to 1854. 78,000 arrived in the year 1853-54, the Morley family among them.


REGISTRAR GENERAL’S REPORT. (1855, September 7). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved August 22, 2017, from

Population of Victoria in the 1850s

Population for Victoria estimated at 31 December each year from Geoffrey Searle, The Golden Age: A History of the colony of Victoria 1851 -1861, Melbourne University Press, 1977, (Appendix 1 Page 382) reproduced at


John and Eliza Morley had eight children, only three survived childhood to become adults.


Further reading and sources

A Quiet Life: Gordon Mainwaring (1817-1872)

This week’s Sepia Saturday theme is inspired by the theories of the Danish author Herman Bang (1857 – 1912), one of the leaders of the “quiet existences” literary movement, which sought to give more attention to “ignored people living boring and apparently unimportant lives”. One of my forebears, known in the family as the remittance man – the term meaning an emigrant, banished to a distant British possession to live on money sent from home – seems a suitable candidate.

Our ‘remittance man’ was my 3rd great grandfather Gordon Mainwaring (1817 – 1872) who arrived in the colony of South Australia in 1840.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 12.22.38 pm

Photograph of Gordon Mainwaring from Cavenagh-Mainwaring, Christine ” Whitmore Hall : from 1066 to Waltzing Matilda”. Adelaide Peacock Publications, 2013. page 103.

As the third son of Rowland Mainwaring (1783 – 1862), Gordon Mainwaring was not expected to inherit the family estate, ‘Whitmore’ in Staffordshire.

But it appears that he was thought to need a career, and from 1832 to 1834 Mainwaring was enrolled as cadet at Addiscombe in Surrey, a military seminary for the British East India Company. In 1835 he joined the 53rd Bengal Native Infantry Company of the Honourable East India Company Service.

Mainwaring resigned his commission in 1839 after less than five years. In 1840 he left Calcutta and sailed for Adelaide, arriving in South Australia as a passenger on the Eamont on 9 April 1840, less than four years after the proclamation of the new colony.

Three years later, in 1843, Mainwaring married Mary Hickey (1819-1890), who in 1840 had emigrated to South Australia on the Birman from Cork in Ireland with her sister and brother and her brother’s wife and small child. (Her brother died on the voyage out and her sister-in-law seems to have returned to Ireland.)

Gordon and Mary had seven children:

  • Ellen (1845 – 1920)
  • Emily (1848 – 1863)
  • Charles Henry (1850 – 1889)
  • Alice (1852 – 1878)
  • Walter Coyney (1855 – 1888)
  • Julia (1857 – 1935)
  • Frederick Rowland (1859 – 1891)

In 1925 the Adelaide Register published extracts from a diary that Mainwaring kept in 1851. By that time he had become a farmer, with a small property at Gilles Plains, 15 kilometers north of Adelaide.

The 1851 diary records the Mainwaring family’s visit to Mary’s sister. A.T. Saunders, a South Australian historian, who annotated the diary in 1925 explains that Mary’s sister Julia (1817-1884) was married to William Morris, the head keeper of the lunatic asylum.

Mainwaring’s diary gives us a glimpse of Gordon’s quiet life in 1851. He chopped wood for sale, grew vegetables and fruit, helped his wife with the housework and socialised locally. I find Gordon’s record of his quiet life interesting and no less important than any other life.

Mainwaring 1851 diary a

Diary of 1851 published by the Adelaide “Register” 23 March 1925. Introduction and month of January.

Mainwaring 1851 diary b

February and March 1851. On 24 February Gordon Mainwaring, his wife Mary and the children visited Mary’s sister, Mrs Morris, wife of William Morris, then head keeper of the lunatic asylum.

Mainwaring 1851 diary c

March to May. Selling firewood through Mr Kerr.

Mainwaring dairy 1851 d


Mainwaring diary 1851 e

Related post

Back up and export

If you’ve been using a computer in your family history research BACK UP YOUR FILES NOW. Just do it. Stop reading this blog and backup your computer. Then we can continue.

Done it? Good. Feeling a bit more disaster-proof?

Well you’re not quite there yet, because if you’re using proprietary genealogical software there’s another catastrophe that you’re also going to have to prepare for. What are you going to do when to the company that made your software goes bust? You won’t be getting any more support for what you’ve bought, and there won’t be any more updates and bug fixes and new versions with new features. The time will come when your old software won’t even run on newer operating systems. You’ll be stuck in the past, and this won’t be a comfortable place to find yourself, even for a genealogist.

To prepare for this you’re going to have to practice, or at least get acquainted, with the task of exporting files to a neutral, non-proprietary format, then importing the data back into a genealogy program.

What’s a ‘neutral etc etc’ format? ‘Plain text’, is the answer, ‘with a bit of marked-up structure to it’. The idea is that you dump out all your data into a plain text file. That file can then be imported, if necessary, into some other genealogy program.

The most common structured plain-text format is GEDCOM (Genealogical Data Communication), which is (allegedly) compatible with every genealogy program ever devised. If you export your data as a GEDCOM you’ll be able to import it into other programs and into some websites. GEDCOM won’t do images, though. You’ll have to save them separately and import them by hand.

Another, more up-to-date and more reliable plain-text format is XML. You can dump Blogger and WordPress sites as XML and import the data into a different site or different software. This is what I used to transfer from Blogger to WordPress.

Don’t worry about the technicalities. Just remember that genealogy programs always have—or should have—an ‘export’ facility. Find it and give it a go, or anyway, read the documentation to see what it will do, or is meant to do.

If you’re running a blog, think about having it included in an online archive of some kind. Have a look at PANDORA, for example, at It’s run by the National Library of Australia, and—a nice bonus—PANDORA-archived blogs are searched by the Library’s Trove system. If you’re Australian, PANDORA might be willing to archive your blog. They do mine.

Screenshots showing where the links are for exporting on ancestry dot com, Blogger and WordPress:

Ancestry tree find settings

Find and choose “tree settings” from the pull down menu in the top left hand corner when viewing your ancestry dot com tree

Ancestry settings export screenshot

On the settings screen of your ancestry dot com tree choose “export tree” to generate a GEDCOM file

Blogger export

In Blogger choose “Settings” then “Other” then click on “Back up content”. This will generate an XML file. I used this XML file to transfer my blog to WordPress. You can import content into Blogger from an XML file by choosing “Import content”.

Wordpress find settings

Finding the Settings option on the General screen in WordPress

WordPress Settings scroll down for import and export

You will need to scroll down to view the import and export options. You can import an XML file. When you export an XML file is generated. You can save the export as a backup of your website.

Moving to WordPress

In December 2014 I had a company called Blog2Print create a bound-book version of my blog archive of 116 posts from April 2012 to November 2014.

pages from the first volume of my bound-book version of my blog archive

It came to 363 pages. I’ve now arranged for a second volume to be printed – 143 posts, 424 pages – to cover the period from January 2015 to July 2017.

I like having a paper record of what I have written. For some reason, electronic files seem impermanent. Paper is meant to last.

Having printed off the blog, I felt it was time to think about its future. Blogger, which I’ve been using until now, is OK, but I have decided to transfer to a better system,

I looked at, the community-support, open-source, version, but with the commercial product,, I don’t have to think about the cost and effort of setting up a domain name and installing and maintaining the blogging software. That’s part of the package. I do need to pay a small amount to keep the site free of advertising.

I was able to export all the content of my old blog to my new WordPress site. I won’t be editing previous posts but I am creating indexes, arranged into family categories. I think this will help to make more sense of what I have written so far. It will also help me to see gaps in my family history I might be able to fill in future blog posts.

I am looking forward to doing more research and writing about our family history. The Blogger site will remain where it is indefinitely, but from today new posts will be published at

Greg’s English roots

The subject of yesterday’s post was the information about ethnicity said to be derivable from a person’s DNA, mine in this case.

Today I thought I would look at the ethnicity conclusions extracted from my husband Greg’s DNA data to see whether these are consistent with what we know independently about his family tree: to see how Greg’s DNA ethnicity compares with his documented descent. I have enough tested matches between his known cousins and people with whom Greg shares DNA to be reasonably sure his paper-trail tree matches his genetic tree for several generations back.

I know the birthplaces of all of Greg’s great-great grandparents. Twelve were born in England, two in Ireland, one in New Zealand of English parents, and the other in Australia of English parents. Most of his English forebears were from the south of England. There is no hint in what we know of their surnames, religion, or occupations to suggest that Greg’s great-great grandparents were recent migrants from outside the region.

AncestryDNA reports Greg’s genetic ancestry as 100% European:

  •  78% Great Britain 
  •  11% Ireland 
  •  7% Europe West 
  •  3% Iberian Peninsula 
  •  1% Europe East
Greg’s ethnicity estimate as predicted by AncestryDNA 22 July 2017 (click to enlarge)

Greg’s mother, who believed that some of her Cornish ancestors had come from Spain, would have been very interested in this. The ethnicity results seem to suggest that there was indeed an Iberian connection of some sort (though not necessarily through Cornwall).

MyHeritage also reports Greg’s ethnicity as 100% European:

  •  North and West Europe 96.4% 
    •  Irish, Scottish, and Welsh 46.0% 
    •  North and West European 29.5% 
    •  English 16.5% 
    •  Scandinavian 4.4% 
  •  South Europe 2.6% 
    •  Iberian 2.6% 
  •  Ashkenazi Jewish 1.0%
Greg’s ethnicity estimate from MyHeritage as at 23 July 2017

AncestryDNA has recently added a new feature, which it calls ‘Genetic Communities’. Ancestry predicts at the 95% confidence level that Greg belongs to the ‘Southern English Genetic Community’. This certainly matches his family tree. 71 people with whom Greg shares DNA, including Greg’s first cousin, several second cousins, and known third cousins, have also been linked to the Southern English Genetic Community.

Greg’s connection to the Southern English Genetic Community

AncestryDNA attempts to provide support for its notion of a ‘Southern English Genetic Community’ with a brief history of the region, noting that in the early nineteenth century London was the largest city in the world, that many people emigrated from London and southern England to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S.A.

The Ancestry website links people in Greg’s pedigree to the ‘Southern English Genetic Community’ through their birthplaces, broadly indicated on a large-scale map.

screenshot showing Greg’s pedigree and associated birthplaces overlaid with the Southern English community data for the early 19th century
screenshot showing Greg’s family tree data combined with the Southern English genetic community pedigree. Many of Greg’s forebears from Southern England did indeed migrate to Australia in the 1850s and siblings or cousins migrated to America and Canada (Immigration in the 1850s was by sea).

I think that when it is placed in context with genetic relatives and historical events, the ‘Genetic Community’ interpretation of family history specific to our family tree is impressive and convincing. It agrees with what I have found in my own family history research.

Greg, however, is being difficult. He says his ethnicity is dinky-di Aussie, and the best thing you could say about all these Southern Poms is that they were (unwittingly) proto-Australians.

Related posts

Further reading

  • AncestryDNA have provided a white paper on ethnicity testing. It is dated October 2013. It talks about reference panels based on 3,000 samples from “individuals alive today who can trace their ancestry to a single geographic location.”
  • MyHeritage also provide information about how they calculate the ethnicity estimate: MyHeritage compares my DNA with the DNA of living people around the globe whose genetic ethnicity is known and refers to these people as the Founder Populations. MyHeritage claims that they have sampled the DNA of thousands of people and have a data set of more than 100 ethnicities and the ability to show ancestral roots with far greater resolution than any other DNA service.

Looking at my ethnicity as determined by DNA testing

Besides its use in genealogical research, DNA testing is also employed for a simpler purpose: people have their DNA analysed to find out where their family is from, to trace their ethnicity.

I thought it might be interesting to compare the ethnicity predictions from my own DNA test results with what I know about my family tree. I have enough tested matches between documented forbears and people with whom I share DNA to be reasonably sure I’m getting it right.

Map from MyHeritage showing events from my family tree overlaid with my ethnicity estimate. The events are arranged by country. (click on image to enlarge)

My mother is from Germany. On her side of the family five of my great great grandparents were born in Brandenburg, two in Baden-Württemberg and one in Schleswig-Holstein. Based on their occupations, surnames, and religion, I have no reason to believe their immediate ancestors were from other parts of Europe.

On my father’s side, five of my great great grandparents were born in Australia. Of my 64 paternal fifth great grandparents:

  • 21 were English 33% or 16% of my DNA 
  •  17 born Scotland 27% or 13% of my DNA 
  •  18 from Ireland, though this may include some Anglo-Irish 28% or 14% of my DNA 
  •  4 from Wales 6% or 3% of my DNA 
  •  2 from the Isle of Man 3% or 1.5% of my DNA 
  •  1 from France 1.5% or < 1% of my DNA
  •  1 English but of French Huguenot extraction 1.5% or < 1% of my DNA

AncestryDNA predicts my ethnicity to be 100% European:

  • 59% from Great Britain, which includes England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man 
  • 20% Europe East 
  • 12% from Ireland 
  • 4% from Finland / North-west Russia 
  • 2% from Europe-West 
  • 2% from Italy/Greece 
  • <1% from the Iberian peninsula 

These results appear to underestimate the German contribution to my DNA mix. I’m not sure why. 

    My genetic ancestry as reported by AncestryDNA on 22 July 2017. The orange  region is the genetic community “Munster Irish” which AncestryDNA calculates I “possibly” belong to. I will make that the subject of a separate blog post. (Click on image to enlarge).

    MyHeritage also provides an ethnicity estimate. I uploaded the same data I had submitted to AncestryDNA to MyHeritage. The result: 100% European:

    • North and West Europe 80.1% 
      • English 73% 
      • Irish, Scottish, Welsh 7.1% 
    • East Europe 13.5% 
      • East European 11% 
      • Baltic 2.5% 
    • South Europe 6.4% 
      •  Italian 6.4% 
    Ethnicity estimate from MyHeritage retrieved 22 July 2017

    AncestryDNA and MyHeritage draw different conclusions from the same data. They agree I am 100% European, but differ considerably in the regional proportions.

    I don’t think these ethnicity estimates are well defined. Where does ‘southern’ Europe start? What does ‘Baltic’ mean? And how reliable are the estimates? Where does the 6% Italian come from? Were some of my English forebears descended from the Roman invaders? What’s the connection between ancient Rome and modern Italy?

    To me there’s nothing very interesting about the ethnicity results and there’s certainly nothing in them at this time to guide my research.

    Further reading

    • AncestryDNA have provided a white paper on ethnicity testing. It is dated October 2013. It talks about reference panels based on 3,000 samples from “individuals alive today who can trace their ancestry to a single geographic location.”
    • MyHeritage also provide information about how they calculate the ethnicity estimate: MyHeritage compares my DNA with the DNA of living people around the globe whose genetic ethnicity is known and refers to these people as the Founder Populations. MyHeritage claims that they have sampled the DNA of thousands of people and have a data set of more than 100 ethnicities and the ability to show ancestral roots with far greater resolution than any other DNA service.
    Related posts

    Learning more about German genealogical research

    My mother, born in Berlin, now an Australian, still has a few German family documents, and for me these have been a valuable source of information about my German forebears, her side of the our family. However, most of what I know about about my German ancestors I learned directly from my German grandfather, who was happy to answer my family history questions. When I started researching this branch of the family I also found some good leads in the International Genealogical Index (I.G.I.) microform indexes prepared by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Researching German sources from Australia is difficult, of course, and there is much more information online about our British forebears. So I look forward to attending a day’s session in August about German genealogical resources and methods for Australian researchers, hosted by Unlock the Past. The main speaker will be Dirk Weissleder, a genealogy consultant, who is national chairman of the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e.V. (D.A.G.V.) (at, the umbrella organisation of the genealogical and heraldic associations in Germany. He is President of the Federation of Family Associations (Bund der Familienverbände, BdF). Herr Wiessleder has written extensively about genealogical research in Germany. See, for example,

    In Melbourne Herr Wiessleder will be speaking about primary and secondary resources on genealogy in German and about European research generally. He will also be talking about the International German Genealogical Partnership,, and on archives, libraries and institutions for genealogical researchers in Germany.

    Herr Weissleder will speak in Melbourne on Saturday 19 August.

    The Roadshow costs $57 for a single day if the ticket is purchasedahead of time, or $60 on the day. On Friday 18 August, a Scottish researcher, Chris Paton,  will be speaking on British Isles research. A combined ticket for the two days is $90. Herr Wiessleder will also be visiting Brisbane, Auckland, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth.

    Disclosure: I have accepted the opportunity to participate in the Unlock the Past Researching Abroad Roadshow 2017 as a Roadshow Ambassadress and agreed to promote the Roadshow in return for free entry. I will write again after the session on what I have learned.

    Discovering a DNA cousin through Wikitree and confirming with GedMatch

    In the year since we received our autosomal DNA results I have explored various tools to help me keep track of the results: to help me find new cousins with whom we share DNA and to show how our document-based trees connect.

    One of the tools I have used is Wikitree is a single tree grown using traditional genealogical sources and DNA. It currently has more than 14.6 million profiles added by more than 430,000 genealogists. Wikitree has some useful DNA tools to help make sense of your DNA results.

    screenshot of the front page of

    I have added information about our direct forebears to Wikitree. I added each forebear manually, and this meant revisiting the facts and checking that I had reliable sources for dates, places and relationships. I did not merely upload a GEDCOM file. I wanted to review relationships and I did not want to create duplicates. Wikitree has a single profile for each person. It is important to remember that none of us own our ancestors and we need to work with others on the information we attach to each profile. In fact we benefit from working with other descendants.

    In addition to adding your forebears to Wikitree, you can add details of the DNA tests you have taken. Wikitree adds the information that you have taken the test to all blood relatives within eight degrees of separation — up to sixth great-grandparents and out to third cousins. You don’t upload the contents of the DNA results, just the fact that you have taken the DNA test and information that will help potential matches find you in each testing company’s database.

    Recently I was contacted by Simon Bass, a distant cousin, who has also been adding his forebears to Wikitree. (Note Simon reviewed this post as a draft and following publication and is happy for me to blog about this case study.)  Simon has found that he seems to have a DNA connection to my husband’s family. Both my husband Greg and Greg’s brother Dennis have had their DNA tested and added their information to Wikitree. Simon is descended from Elizabeth Gilbart née Huthnance (abt 1774-1847) and her husband John Gilbart (abt 1761-1837). When adding their daughter Catherine’s details to the tree, linking Catherine to Elizabeth and John who were already on the tree, Simon noticed that Wikitree had a section on DNA connections on the right hand side of the screen.

    Wikitree profile of John Gilbert (abt 1761-1837) retrieved from on 15 July 2017. (click to enlarge)

    Simon wrote to me and, despite testing with different companies, we were able to compare our kits on . Our biological cousinship was confirmed. provides DNA analysis tools for genealogists including tools for comparing your own DNA test results with those of other people in the GedMatch public database. To use these tools you must first upload your DNA test results to GedMatch. GedMatch accepts results from, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage, 23 and Me, and WeGene.

    GedMatch one to one comparison of DNA shared by Simon Bass and Dennis Young. Simon and Dennis share DNA on two chromosomes. Based on the size of the match it is estimated that there are six generations to their most recent common ancestor. Their relationship based on our document-based family tree is 5th cousins which is six generations to the most common recent ancestor, the prediction based on shared DNA is in line with our genealogy.

    Since this first exchange of information Simon has shared photos with me of his trip back to St Erth in Cornwall, where the Gilbart and Huthnance families came from. We have also exchanged notes on the emigration of various members of the Gilbart family to Australia.

    Wikitree made it easy for us to see that our document-based trees connected and showed that we had taken DNA tests. Having uploaded our test results to, we could compare test results and see if there was a likely biological connection.

    If there had been no shared DNA it would not have disproved that there was a relationship. It just meant that the same segments of DNA had not been inherited by Simon and his cousins Greg and Dennis.

    Simon, Greg and Dennis are 5th cousins since they share 4th great grandparents. There is a nearly 70% chance that any two fifth cousins will not share a detectable level of DNA. ( ) In fact Greg’s brother Dennis shares DNA with Simon but Greg does not.

    Related posts

    DNA testing results one year on

    To see what DNA testing might show about our family history, in June last year my husband Greg and I submitted samples of our DNA to for autosomal DNA analysis. Greg also took a Y-DNA test through the Family Tree DNA company.

    What did I hope to learn?

    I had no particular questions about my side of the tree that I thought DNA tests might answer, though I did hope that I might find some of my relatives on my mother’s side who, I had been told, had emigrated from Germany to the USA.

    My mother was born in Berlin. After WWII when there wasn’t enough to eat, food parcels addressed to her family began to arrive from the United States, sent—she was told—by her American cousins.  When I talked to her about my DNA testing she was a little sceptical but she thought it would be interesting to trace her American relations.

    On Greg’s side of the tree there were some dead ends that I hoped DNA analysis might provide a way around. In May 2016 I blogged about these in a post [Poor little chap], with a hypothesis about the parents of Greg’s great grandfather Henry Sullivan (1862-1943).

    When our test results came back I quickly found some meaningful matches on Greg’s tree. Some of his cousins had tested too, and we were able to make links between our pre-DNA trees and the DNA information.

    I started a spreadsheet to record these matches and, to confirm the links I had found, I sent messages through AncestryDNA’s system to people who appeared to have matching results.

    My spreadsheet has these fields:

    • Who took the test – me, my husband, a cousin
    • Match name and/ or Nickname (for Ancestry, GEDmatch, My Heritage, 23andMe alternate names)
    • Company or companies testing
    • point of contact – sometimes the kit is managed by someone other than the person who provided the sample
    • Email address for match or contact
    • Received – when I receive a message or email to help me remember and track messages
    • Notes – always a handy field
    • Line, if known, or grouping of tests- family line, sometimes I know the line from shared matches or other clues, otherwise I can group tests which share matches
    • MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) – I enter the 2 surnames of the couple I also use Ahnentafel numbers at the beginning of the field which are handy for sorting generations
    • Cousin (cousinship) – eg: 3C or 4C-1R
    • estimated relationship
    • shared surnames
    • linked tests (shared matches)
    • Tree – copy in the URL of any tree or site for the match’s tree
    • GEDmatch ID number of match
    • Chromosome summary
    • GedMatch Autosomal Comparison – copy and paste from the Gedmatch comparison (this can get a bit lengthy and detailed so I don’t always include it)

    A screenshot of the first 11 rows of my spreadsheet where I track matches. I sort the spreadsheet on most recent common ancestor and since the Ahnenetafel number is used to begin the field, the spreadsheet is sorted with more recent ancestors first. (click on image to enlarge)

    I also used the ‘Notes’ field on AncestryDNA when I had contacted the match and added a star to matches so that I could see at a glance who I had contacted, when I contacted them, and the likely match.

    A screenshot of an AncestryDNA match where our trees correspond and the most common recent ancestors are identified. There is a yellow star on the top left hand side of the screen which can be used to identify matches of interest. The notes field in the middle of the screen can be used to summarise contact, GedMatch numbers and likely shared ancestry.
    A screenshot of a DNA match where our trees on ancestry do not intersect. In fact I have identified the most common recent ancestors through correspondence with another cousin and shared DNA. Although I messaged using the green “Send Message” button in the top right hand corner, the cousin did not reply. I also unsuccessfully used the brown “Contact” button on the top right of the screen for the Ancestry Profile – see screenshot below.

    Initially my DNA matches meant nothing to me. There seemed to be little connection between my DNA matches and my document-based tree.

    However, over the last year I have received replies from people we share DNA with, and have been able to compare our family trees and determine where they intersect. For many of these matches, I have been able to draw some conclusions as to our likely most recent common ancestors, particularly when several of us share the same DNA and have intersecting document-based trees. So far we have more than 30 matches where we can identify the most recent ancestors we share.

    DNA has added to the evidence I have used to build and document my family tree. To date I have not found any DNA-based evidence which suggests my document-based tree is inaccurate. Unfortunately I have yet to find any cousins sharing DNA on my mother’s side of the family.

    Our family tree showing points on the tree where we have common ancestors with  cousins who  share DNA. (You can click to enlarge, but the tree has been reduced in size and individual forebears are not legible)

    Related posts
    The Legal Genealogist observes in her post of July 2 2017 That YDNA lament “you can’t be matched to somebody who hasn’t tested” and that there are good reasons for the lack of German DNA matches to date.

    Trove Tuesday: Flying the Kangaroo route in 1949

    Qantas Kangaroo Route Advertisement 1948 retrieved from Pinterest

    Most migrants to Australia, including immigrants in my family, came here by sea. My grandfather is an exception. He arrived by air.

    Hans Boltz was born on 4 July 1910 in Berlin, where he trained at the State Institute for map drawing as a cartographer. From 1930 to the beginning of World War II he worked for the Prussian Geological State Institute (Geological Survey of Prussia or Preußischen Geologischen Landesanstalt). After the war, when he found his way back to Berlin, he discovered that this building, in Invalidenstraße 44, was situated in the Russian zone. Hans lived in the American zone and, reluctant to travel every day into the Russian-occupied part of the city or move there, he resigned. In 1948 he applied for work with the Australian government, which at the time was recruiting Germans with qualifications and skills in short supply in Australia. He got a job as a cartographer with the Australian Bureau of Mineral Resources.

    Berlin, Mitte, Invalidenstraße 44, Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung
    Invalidenstraße 44 in Berlin-Mitte, the building of the former Geological Survey of Prussia. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

    Hans Boltz’s file created by the Department of Post War Reconstruction includes the dates of his journey from Berlin to Canberra:

    • Wednesday 13 July 1949 left Germany for London
    • Sunday 7 August 1949 left London
    • Thursday 11 August 1949 arrived Canberra via Sydney
    • Friday 12 August 1949 commenced working for the Bureau of Mineral Resources.
    NAA: MT105/8, 1/6/4531 Page 2 of 143 (click to enlarge image)
    In the late 1980s with the help of my grandfather Hans I spent some time compiling my family tree on my mother’s side. I had bought a book in 1978 called The History of our Family, published by Poplar Books of New Jersey. This had a series of templates for recording family history. One of these was for immigration.

    Decades afterwards, my grandfather remembered very clearly his trip from Berlin and his arrival, on 11 August 1949.

    I summarised my grandfather’s recollections as follows:

    Hans Fritz Boltz emigrated from Berlin to Canberra 11 . 8 . 1949
    Aeroplane – Berlin – Hamburg – London 4 weeks London
    museums / concerts … wandering around sightseeing
    London – Cairo – Karachi – Singapore – Darwin – Sydney –
    Helopolis Hotel Cairo  Raffles Hotel Singapore  Qantas flight

    In London my grandfather was given English lessons. He was not just a tourist.

    Qantas Sydney-London Constellation route map retrieved from Pinterest

    On Trove I have found an advertisement for the route in August 1949.

    AUSTRALIA-ENGLAND CONSTELLATION SERVICE (1949, August 4). Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW : 1891 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved July 4, 2017, from

    A Qantas Empire Airways Constellation airliner, photographed by Frank Hurley retrieved from

    In 2007 Qantas celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Kangaroo route. This video includes footage of the journey on the Lockheed Constellation aeroplanes. The first flight on the route had departed 1 December 1947.

    The journey took four days, 55 hours of flying time. There were two overnight stops, one in Cairo and the other in Singapore. In Cairo my grandfather stayed at the Heliopolis Palace Hotel. In Singapore at the Raffles. There were 29 passengers and 11 crew.

    Poster for the Heliopolis Palace Hotel retrieved from Palace intrigue: Egypt in the Golden Age of Travel

    COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Entree van het Raffles Hotel Singapore TMnr 60018239
    Raffles Hotel in 1932. Image from Wikimedia Commons

    The airfare in 1949 was £260 sterling. By way of comparison my grandfather’s salary on starting with the Australian Public Service as an experienced cartographer was £222 a year and the average earnings for men in Australia was about £220 a year. The Australian government paid my grandfather’s fare.


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