DNA – the perfect ‘marriage’? #DNADU #DNADOWNUNDER


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This blog has nothing to do with MY DNA but it’s definitely part of the DNA fever that is flying across Australia at the moment – I’m talking about the DNA Down Under roadshowBlaine Bettinger, Louise Coakley, the Unlock the Past crew and a cast too huge to mention have just left Brisbane after a hugely successful DNA day and by now should have landed in Perth.

They’ll then be heading to Adelaide, followed by Melbourne where I get to join the crew, and on to Canberra and Sydney.

So what is the ‘Perfect Marriage’???  The image tells part of the story – it’s nothing to do with me but I can give myself permission to use my name and my photo! – but it’s definitely to do with DNA and MyHeritage.

This morning I had just finished at gym when I got a phone call from a really good mate – Jan in Yarrawonga – who had just got a new DNA match for her hubby.  Jan is family history from the top of her head to her toes – and those who know Jan know that is a long way!  Jan is the current President of the Yarrawonga Family History Group and VAFHO and former / current (?) President of the Cobram Genealogical Group.

And guess who the DNA match was with?  Louise Coakley – the DNA guru of Australia and New Zealand – currently on tour with Blaine Bettinger for the DNA Down Under Roadshow.

So combine one devoted family history researcher with one DNA guru and THAT’s what I call the PERFECT MARRIAGE in Family History!

Test more and Click more – DNA Down Under #DNADU


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Yes – I’m a DNA Down Under Ambassador.  AND Yes – I’m so looking forward to attending DNA Down Under in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

In another blog I mentioned how the up-and-coming DNA Down Under shows had an unexpected side-effect – I was spending more time analysing my own DNA results and making some terrific progress.

Do you know how important it is to refresh the basics that we already know?

From following two of the speakers appearing at DNA Down Under via their Facebook Pages – Blaine Bettinger and Louise Coakley –  I’ve learnt again and again why it’s so important to test as many family members as possible.

I hadn’t forgotten about that but I wasn’t thinking about it enough – that is until this morning and boy did it hit home!

I’ve been a great fan of MyHeritage’s TOFR – Theory of Family Relativity.  That ‘unexpected side-effect’ blog explains my success with TOFR.  A recent update of TOFRs by MyHeritage saw my number of TOFRs shrink to four.  I was a tad disappointed but put it down to the fact that I had updated my tree on MyHeritage based on solving one of the puzzling TOFRs – and didn’t think much more about it.

So what happened this morning?  I got an email from MyHeritage saying that my sister-in-law’s DNA results were ready – earlier than expected.  She had asked me to manage her DNA Test and was possibly looking for half siblings.  She wasn’t sure she wanted to me them but was curious enough to do the DNA Test.  I know I’d be able to split her results into maternal and paternal – her son, my nephew had tested some time ago, as had her 1st cousin on her paternal side.

So as soon as I saw her results I started investigating her matches.  Already started flagging some as Paternal because of matches with her first cousin.

I hadn’t yet expanded our family tree to include her branch of the family although I have a lot of that on my desktop program and was thinking … I must add that before the next TOFR update by MyHeritage.  Of course she had no TOFRs at this stage which was to be expected.

For some reason I did some clicking – remember my title for this blog – Test more and Click more?????????

I looked at my nephew’s TOFR – and to be honest I don’t think I’ve looked at them before – too obsessed with looking and investigating my own TOFR.  So I should have been surprised but I was – he had 11 TOFRs!

That’s when it all came back to me – test as many people in your family that you can.  Of course I knew we would have different matches and of course chromosome segments because my brother (his father) and I had inherited different DNA from our parents.

I just hadn’t expanded that knowledge to TOFRs!

Hooley Dooley – do you know how much work I’ve got ahead of me????

On MyHeritage:

  • I have 5,295 matches
  • I have 4 x Theory of Family Relativity
  • My nephew has 5,276 matches
  • My nephew has 11 x Theory of Family Relativity
  • My brother has 6,278 matches
  • My brother has 14 x Theory of Family Relativity

I didn’t recognise the names of the people who matched the TOFRs but most of them appeared to go back to some paternal and maternal lines back to 3xgreat grandparents.

I’m starting to count up the hours between now and DNA Down Under – do I have enough time to check them all?  I hope so!

Remember the basics and don’t forget to go back and check them!

Hope to see you at DNA Down Under!

It feels great to be an Aussie!



I’ve just finished watching the wonderful memorial service for Bob Hawke – it engendered every emotion imagineable but most of all – pride to be an Aussie.

If you missed it, make a point of watching it when you can.

Especially the rendition of Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’ by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and William Barton playing the didgeridoo – just magnificent.

Valé  Bob.

Important news from Vic Registry of BDMs


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vicbdmlogoWe now have direct contact with senior management at the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

To keep abreast of the current and changing status of the Vic BDM website and searches, follow the VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisations) Blog site at:


Simply search for BDM to locate current and previous blogs on this subject.

DNA Downunder – early bird closing


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Has 2019 been disappearing very quickly for you too?

I confess I can’t believe that one third of the year is just about gone already.

I’m absolutely thrilled that I’ll be at the Melbourne 1-day event on Friday 23rd August and the Sydney 3-day event Thursday 29 – Saturday 31 August.

Early Bird discount bookings close on Tuesday 30 April so if you want to benefit from them you need to book NOW.

Blaine Bettinger is considered one of the world gurus on DNA and this will be such a great opportunity to benefit from his incredible knowledge.

I’ve also be fortunate to have heard some of the other speakers on the Sydney program – Helen Smith, Kerry Farmer, and Louise Coakley.  Our local Geelong Family History Group has been spoilt with TWO webinars by Louise Coakley and Heather Cox so I know I’m going to have a dilemma deciding on which sessions to go to – I just know that I won’t be disappointed whichever ones I choose.

Do I sound excited?  You bet I am.  I’ve been chatting to Blaine via Messenger since his participation was announced and he is so looking forward to bringing his two boys to Australia with him.  I’m also excited because DNA Downunder falls in our Australasian National Family History Month so August is going to be full-on for me!

By attending the Melbourne AND Sydney DNA Downunder events that means I’m doing DNA TO THE MAX!

You have a choice of:

  • A Single Day Event – DNA in your local city
  • Diving Deeper – a Journey through DNA in Sydney
  • DNA To The MAX – the ultimate DNA experience – your local city AND the Sydney event

As I said, I was excited when DNA Downunder was first announced and I was delighted when I was invited to be a DNA Downunder Ambassador.

The first third of the year has whizzed by and I KNOW the second third will disappear even quicker – by then we’ll all be talking about how much we’ve learnt about DNA testing and using those results to the MAX!  I can’t wait for #DNADU .

Farewell to my mate of 14 years



Today I had to make that heart-breaking trip to the vet – the one when you take your best friend and know that he won’t be coming home with you.

Pinni’s name was so appropriate:

  • Pinni – because when I first got him as a tiny kitten his tail was so pointy it reminded you of a pin
  • Maloppio – because he came from the animal shelter at Point Henry (my favourite place of research) and Maloppio is the aboriginal name for Point Henry

I miss him already!  Goodbye my darling mate.

Memorial Service for Dr Joan Elizabeth Hunt



Memorial Service for Dr Joan Elizabeth HUNT

The Memorial Service for Joan Hunt will be held this Thursday 20th September at 12 noon at the Ballarat Mechanics Institute, 117 Sturt Street, Ballarat.


This suggestion has been put to Gary and his response was “yes most definitely”.

It will be a wonderful way of showing just how much Joan helped groups around our State.

If you know of any group that won’t be at the Memorial Service but they have a banner, ask if you can take their banner.

It would be great if we can have as many banners as possible displayed around the room at the Memorial Service.

Special Memories


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This morning I received a very special email from the Gisborne Genealogical Group – they sent me a photo from just two weeks ago – a VERY special photo reproduced here with the permission of the Gisborne Genealogical Group.

The reason it is so special – Joan Hunt and I were the presenters at the Gisborne Genealogical Group’s Land Records seminar.  It was a terrific day with a terrific audience.  It was also the last time I saw Joan.

I spoke to her the following week when she and Gary were generously chasing up photos from Linton for another friend who had just lost his father and brother in a fire at Ocean Grove.  His late Mum’s ancestors were from Linton and he had lost his family and most of his family history archives in that fire.

This is a special photo because of the smile it brings to my face remembering Joan.  It’s how I remember her – vibrant, generous, knowledgeable and constantly teaching all who heard her speak.

It also reminds me of two people I feel most for at a tragic time like this – Gary – Joan’s soul-mate, and Jamie who lost his father and brother – the last members of his immediate family.  My thoughts and prayers go to both of them.

Vale Dr Joan Hunt


I’m still numb with shock – my heart goes out to Gary and my thoughts and prayers are with Gary and their family.

My thoughts are also with the myriads of people and groups who have been touched by Joan’s incredible knowledge and support with both local and family history.

Facebook pages:

See my Special Memories of Joan.

Still some vacancies – Thursday 30th August 2018 – see you there?


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I’m talking about the National Family History Month Closing Ceremony being held in Geelong tomorrow, Thursday 30th August 2018.  It’s free and full of great entertainment, including afternoon tea.

It’s being co-hosted by the Geelong Family History Group and the Geelong Heritage Centre.  Members of the Family History Group have had a special preview of our keynote speaker – Col Hutchinson – he spoke to our group about local (Geelong) football families.  Even a couple of non-football-loving members said how much they enjoyed Col’s presentation!

It’s all about Football Families and the amazing family connections.

And a special thank you to groups around Australia who have contributed images and details of their National Family History Month events for the special slideshow that you’ll see tomorrow – during the prize draws and afternoon tea.

A great afternoon ahead – hope to see you there.