Susie’s Five Faves Geneameme

If there is one thing that GeniAus could really get me motivated about it has to be books – but what a challenge … FIVE????  … Five Faves Geneameme.

FIVE books?  My Library Catalogue contains 3,008 items.  Oh, I have heaps more – they’re just the ones that are catalogued at this stage!

How is it humanly possible to choose just FIVE from that collection?  Now that’s what I call a challenge.

I have other priority things I should be working on but decided doing this blog would get me in the right mood!  So here is how I reduced it from 3,008 to just 5!

First I tried the books I pulled off the shelves more often than others.

Then I looked at the books that weren’t fully available on the web.

Next I looked at the books that I used for ‘local’ research [VICTORIA] when I did research for others, and my own personal family research [NOT local].

Finally I tried to look for a real variety.

GeniAus I hope you realise the sleepless night(s) you caused!  So finally here they are …

Book No. 1
Title Pastoral Pioneers of Port Phillip
Author(s) R V Billis and A S Kenyon
Description From the foreword: In this work the names of the true pioneers of Port Phillip, and of the properties they held under depasturing licenses, are perpetuated.

It is in two main parts: Part I – Pastoral Licensees [the people]; Part II – the Port Phillip Runs [the property names].  And don’t skip the Notes at the end – additions to both Parts.

Details include the name of the District and potentially a number of different runs.  Other information could include: years / dates the run was held, arrival, birth or death, and sundry other data.



Book No. 2
Title Dielheimer Familienbuch 1648-1900 mit Horrenberg, Balzfeld, Unterhof und Oberhof
Author(s) Klaus Ronellenfitsch
Description If you don’t have German ancestors then you mightn’t be interested in this one.  BUT if you have any non-English speaking ancestors this may perhaps get you thinking and encourage you to tackle this type of research.

To ease you into the Familienbuch, have a look at ‘The Ortssippenbuch (OSB)‘; and the ‘Local Family Books (The OFBs of Germany)‘ on Family Search.  Then get a little more adventurous with the ‘Family Book‘; the Dielheimer Familienbuch 1648-1900 and the ‘Online Local Family Books‘.

How did I learn about these books?  Jenny Paterson from the Burwood and District Family History Group has written many excellent articles on (Australian) German research for their journal ‘Ances-tree’.

I can’t stress how important it is to follow every ‘lead’ – footnotes, references, sources and bibliographies.  This is the golden rule for every book, database, website etc. – you will learn so much doing this.

I believe that because of Jenny’s work, the Society of Australian Genealogists has the larges collection of Famillenbuch in Australia.

I was able to purchase the one relevant to my own family and location of Oberhof in Germany via the web direct from the author.  Using the book I was able to confirm a possible ancestor from Family Search adding siblings, parents and another generation to my family.  I can’t wait until someone produces the book for Epfenbach!

And don’t forget to use Google Translate and/or the browser Chrome to translate entire web pages and site.



Book No. 3
Title London’s East End: Life and Traditions
Author(s)  Jane Cox
Description How good does it feel – browsing through maps, sketches, history and lots of photographs from the East End of London where my French Huguenot Silk Weaver ancestors lived for so many years? From the various Censuses I know that for some years they lived in Brick Lane – 37, 43, 45-7, 49, 117, 120, 142, 147, 179, 186 – all entries from the index.

Using this book I can immerse myself into their world – an absolute joy that literally gives you goose-bumps.



Book No. 4
Title A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland
Author(s) Brian Mitchell
Description  If you don’t love maps you are really missing something in your family history research.

Some people put Ireland in the ‘too-hard’ basket, however understanding the various geographical, ecclesiastical and administrative boundaries will help you with your research and selecting the right resources.

Bounties, Baronies, Poor Law Unions, Civil Parishes, Dioceses and Probate Districts are all important to your research.

It is also so important to become familiar with ‘the neighbourhood’ – those places that are so close to where your ancestors lived.



Book No. 5
Title Shipping Arrivals and Departures, Victorian Ports

Vol. 1 1798-1845

Vol. 2 1846-1855

Vol. 3 1856-1860

Author(s)  Marten A Syme
Description OK – I know there are three physical books but it IS one series – you just can’t separate them.

Just because you’ve found a digital copy of a passenger list which shows your ancestor you haven’t finished your family history research if you haven’t looked at the entry for that specific journey in Syme’s books.

What port did it come from, when did it depart, when did it arrive, and where did it go next and when.  What was the cargo?  Was it a special voyage for Assisted Immigrants? Who was the Master?  What was the source of the information provided?

And Volume 3 includes a huge amount on the minor ports of Victoria – you will learn so much from the cargo on arrival and departure.

Don’t rush – absorb and learn from this wonderful series!


Don’t forget to use your local library or inter-library loan to access these books!


  1. Thanks for the post. Sorry about the lost sleep…I’m sure you had fun getting reacquainted with some old favourites. I need to find and consult Syme and perhaps go exploring in London’s East End.


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