CrissouliAm pleased to have found a few moments to respond to Crissouli’s request to fill out a questionnaire which I hope will help others, as they continue with their search for Ancestors and the Ancestral Stories. Hopefully some reading this, who are also genealogy/ family history researchers, may find the time to join in. No time limit.

Chris wrote:


Working with family historians/genealogists daily, I see the same questions being asked on a regular basis. I often wonder what has led this or that person to researching their ancestry.

No prizes for answering the questions below… but it could be of interest to all of us who help others on a regular basis.

You may answer on your own blog, in the comments section below or on Facebook which will have a link to this blog.

Please let me know if you answer on your own blog, so I can keep a list for others to follow… no time limit…



1. What is the most important detail you want to find about your ancestors?

Their beliefs, activities and daily life, the times they lived in and especially what it is that they were passionate about.

2. Do you buy certificates?

Sure do… It’s absolutely essential to be clear when documenting the lives of our families and there is also a great deal of additional info on Certificates which can lead to even more discoveries e.g. my paternal grandparent’s marriage certificate had the name of his UK Army Regiment which enabled me to track him down and find a whole heap of additional living relatives in Canada… and what a joy that is.

3. Do you belong to a paid subscription site, if so, which one?

“Ancestry UK” and “Find My Past”

My subscription to Ancestry is via their UK site because it’s half the price for accessing exactly the same information through their Australian site. I find “Ancestry Family Tree Maker”, which synchs with my Ancestry Tree, to be most valuable in creating reports, on selected parts of my large tree, which I then either print out and “snail mail” or email direct to other family and genuine researchers.  My Ancestry Tree is private, which enables me maintain it’s integrity and stop people “swiping” branches off my Tree and incorrectly grafting onto their own. Genuine researchers can always make a personal request and so we share, and share, alike.

“Find My Past” provides access to information not available on Ancestry and also serves as a double checking mechanism which I find invaluable.

4. What has been your ‘best’ find?

Oh… there are just so very many it’s impossible to select a “best“. However some of my research has led to amazing amounts of information which is valuable to many, apart from me. Here are a few examples which I hope will encourage many new researchers in their detective work.

Tracking down my paternal Grandfather, Henry Eden Crout  jnr,  and finding so many living relatives in Canada, connecting with them and forging great friendships is indeed a highlight. That came about through accessing his marriage certificate I found on “free BMD” then purchased, contacting his Army Regiment, accessing his Canadian Attestation papers for WW1 and once I knew where, in Canada, he lived I trawled the Internet and left a message of a Veteran’s Redevelopment Housing Estate Website and some 9 months later I got a reply. I’ve now found more “Canadian Cousins” than “you can shake a stick at” and am far happier than I can say    😥

Finding all the children of my Irish 2x Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher, was another delight. Initially my problems were because she had been married before wedding my 2x Great Grandfather, Susan first married Edward Nicholls, had 3 children and was widowed when the youngest was just a baby. Much sorting and sifting, trips to Country Family History Centres, communicating with others and online research reaped a rich reward. What a joy to be contacted by a direct relation of Susan’s only son, who lives in Queensland and to be told what pleasure my research had given to her aging Grandfather. There was some sort of mixed up family story that he had been “on the run from the police” but my post “Of Scabs and Riots” showed that they had every reason to be very proud of our Andrew Rowen.

Another highlight, which I must mention, was being contacted by a woman in Queensland who had found my information about hubbie’s Grandmother on Ancestry. She was researching this Hembury family in support of a woman, here in Adelaide, who was writing a book on Nana’s family. They knew nothing about this branch of the family other than that which was published on my Ancestry Tree. Agreeing to see who else I could find was challenge but with a huge payout when so many of Nana’s living relatives joined us for the Hembury Family Reunion and Book Launch  some 12 months later.  What a joy!!!

5. Who is your favourite ancestor and why?

My Susan Kelleher… indeed she is. Well, that is apart from my darling mum, of course.

Susan is my 2x Great Grandmother who at the age of 18 arrived from County Clare, Ireland, on the “bride ship” the Nashwauk which was wrecked off the coast of South Australian, on 13 May 1855, just 40 miles from their destination of Port Adelaide. As a child I thrilled to the stories of the girls being carried ashore on the backs of the sailors and many holidays were spent in the vicinity of the Wreck Site and family photos taken around the “Nashwauk Anchor”. It is Susan who began my love of/ obsession with Family history and saving her daughter’s grave at Cheltenham Cemetery has led me to help others save the graves of their Ancestors as well. I “feel” Susan very close to me all the time and many with even a “touch of the Irish” know what I mean by this.

Next is my Marie…and I must mention her. Marie is my dad’s mother and she is the person who was “the wind beneath my wings” encouraging me to keep on keeping on, one tired step after another to eventually find dad’s childhood home in Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England and bring back the photos which delighted, and comforted, him in his declining years. I have a sense that Marie was pleased and also that she’s satisfied I’ve discovered where her errant husband disappeared to and that the family has finally become whole. Incidentally, when I asked June what  our Grandfather would think of us tracking each other down, she said he would probably say… “Nosey little buggers…”  but we sure are smiling with the happiness of it.

6. What are you looking for on a regular basis?

A number of things. Most important, to me, is finding the links to bring our estranged family back together again, particularly those of us who are still living.  Then finding the family stories, understanding the period in which the Ancestors lived and trying to understand who they were as people, what motivated them and what it is they were passionate about.

From time to time there have been individuals I’m particularly curious about whom seem to have “fallen of the planet“, particularly female ancestors whom we know can be very difficult to track down.  One such person is Rosa Patience Crout who was a first cousin to my Great Grandfather Henry Eden Crout snr. As well as being cousins, Rosa and Henry also married, I lost track of them and finally found Henry with a “visitor” and her child, Henry Eden Moody (whom ultimately became my Grandfather, Henry Eden Crout jnr), on a Census but his wife/ cousin Rosa Patience had disappeared, I could not find her anywhere and did “fret”.  I wrote about the missing Rosa HERE but have not had a chance yet to write the follow-up story i.e. about 2 months ago, along with one of my Canadian cousins, I found Rosa had become Rose Crout and had  “married” another man.  That made me SO happy but then Rosa (now Rose) has disappeared again. My newly discovered Canadian cousin Jane and I think Rosa may be a “serial bride”, for want of a better description, and we chuckle over the thought of it.

7. Do you belong to any genealogy group, or family history society?

For decades now, ever since I started researching my family, I’ve been a member of the “South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc” and also their Irish Group. I’d often thought about joining one, or maybe both, of the local Family History Groups nearby but kept thinking there was not much to be gained as none of my Ancestors ever lived here which has been the home of me, hubbie and our children, for the past 40 plus years. Then, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I discovered that the “Adelaide Northern Districts Family History Group” has not only local family history resources but a wide range of resources, on hand, and also internet access to even more… so I joined “lickety spit” and have discovered a great group of people with the same interests. Why John even taught me how to say “Portsmouth”, where many of my dad’s Ancestors lived for generations, with the correct Hampshire accent. He delights in giving me a little “test” each time we meet up. I found much to be gained, apart from accessing resources, when joining a local Family History/Genealogy Group.

Twenty years ago I joined the South Australian “Irish Australian Association” and spent many happy hours banging on the “Bodhran” and tweeting on the “Tin Whistle” in their Celtic Music Group… not to mention singing songs, rhymes, ditties and having  conversations in “the Irish” in their Irish Language classes and attending a number of  “Language Summer Schools” interstate and making a whole heap of other wonderful friends. So, an obsession with Family History can indeed lead to other friendship groups, is what I’ve found.

8. Do you belong to any Facebook or other social media genealogy groups? Would you join if there was one available?

Oh yes… and maybe too many I’m thinking and may need to begin to “cull”.  As well as membership in many “groups” I’m also an Administrator for two small “dedicated” and “secret” groups which is an effective tool sharing research information with just a few.  I’m also a Joint Administrator for another far more demanding “group“. Thank heavens for having loyal people working with you because this one I’d certainly not be able to manage on my own.

As well as having a Facebook page “South Australia matters”, which is lots of fun, includes genealogy and family history but much more also. In addition,  I’ve “liked” very many Genealogy Facebook pages which was a bit over-whelming initially but once you learn how to “manage” them it’s a breeze and so much valuable information comes to you via these “pages”. 

Facebook is a comfortable place for me, probably because many, many years ago my eldest Grandson who was then 11 years old said, “Mamo, you have to go on Facebook” and there and then he set me up.  Sometimes I think that now he’s older her may regret this action…  So, it’s been my children, and grandchildren, who introduced me to the joy of Facebooking, showed me the pitfalls, advised where I’ve “gone wrong”, and all the rest of it… including ways to maintain security without falling for the endless “scare campaigns” which appear from time to time. My personal page is deliberately small and is where I enjoy to meet with family and close friends and especially delight in seeing photos of the “littlies” as they grow up and get to hear of their achievements which I’d miss out on without the wonder that is Facebook. I do understand, however, that Facebook is not a “comfortable place” for others.

Worth mentioning also is that I use “Twitter” for accessing, and sharing, information on a whole range of topics which are of interest. Some happen to be genealogical / historical, in nature, some are not. Twitter is not a place where I go to socialise.

Finally, another valuable source of online information, which I enjoy, are the Internet Newspapers to which I’ve subscribed.  One example is our Jill Ball’s  ” Australian Genealogist Daily” but I also subscribe to a range of others whose content is not  focussed on geneaology.

9. Have you ever volunteered to transcribe, index etc.? Would you be interested in doing so?

No, although I certainly admire, and appreciate, the work of  people who donate their own valuable time to do this transcribing for others and try always to show my appreciation. I have some information which I’m thinking the Clare Roots Society, or maybe some other similar Group, would appreciate but am not sure how to go about it. Maybe this post will result in contact from someone advising how best I can do this.

10. What is your personal reason for being involved with genealogy/family history?

For me it’s about knowing who you are, where you come from and what the forces are that shaped you. Also it has a lot to do with the fact that, after my Nana died, mum split from her very large family which has left me with a childhood longing to “reconnect” with the lost “rellies”. I was only 6 at the time and have very fond memories but, as an adult, understand exactly why mum made that very difficult decision.

After decades of research, clarifying the truth in the many “family stories” and especially debunking the nonsense with “verifiable” information, I then needed to find a way to pass this information on. I believe that I owe this to my Ancestors.  Many of their other descendants I don’t know and there are others I rarely meet up with nowadays so, once again, it was my children who showed me the way forward… i.e. “blogging”.  It took a while for me to work out the “blogging platform” which best suits me but it was well worth all the time and tryouts.


Well there you have it and hope it’s helpful to others…  🙂


Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

20 thoughts on “A FEW MOMENTS IN TIME…

  1. Fascinating. I let my ‘Find my Past’ subscription die when I came to a halt but kept Ancestry going. From what you say maybe I made a mistake. i’ll have to look at it again. I also started getting certificates but found they become expensive so now I only get direct line ones. I started this to trace my family tree back but came to a halt, so I had a quick look at Ju’s . To my horror it kept going and going and going back an included someone hanged at Tyburn after which the Pilgrim Fathers decided to beggar off to the US. I used to blame her for starting the rebellion.
    I’d advise anyone to try this as there’s so much information out there. You’ve done a fantastic job with yours.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Thanks David, delighted to get your comment. I reckon “Find my Past” is excellent because you can check the index for free and then “pay as you go”. Eventually it became cheaper for me to take out a subscription 🙄 Yep, I too only buy the certificates when it’s essential to confirm and/ or search for info.
      ha ha ha… no way would your beautiful Lady Ju have had “bad blood” in her ancestry 😯 you cheeky dude you!
      It’s been a delight hunting them all down David… Glad you enjoyed reading about it. xxx Huge Hugs xxx boomeranging right back to you.

    • So glad you enjoyed it Frances … I sure am somewhat obsessive, eh? 😆 I know that for some folks it’s important for them to go back as far as possible with their research but mine seems to be kind of wider, rather than deeper… if that makes sense.
      Making the connections is what I love and especially helping the “living” to find their family. I always enjoy, and appreciate, your comments Frances. Thanks so much for taking the time 🙂

  2. Thank you for being part of this questionnaire, Catherine.. I appreciate the time you’ve taken with your answers and the stories of your research and reasons.

    Now I’m wondering about the audacious Rosa… 😉

    As for the information you think Clare Roots might be interested in, please contact me… I’m the Australian Diaspora Coordinator and would be happy to help if I can.

    • Thanks Chris… appreciating the huge amount of work you do for others I decided to respond to and intended for it to be brief but… as mum would say, it turned into “a Squire McGuire” 🙄 However the upside is that it provided a perfect opportunity to reflect on my work and hopefully sharing some of the strategies will be helpful to others.
      Oh, “audacious Rosa” … I like the sound of that. Rather than being called a “brazen hussy”, which was in my thinking 😆 Must get that follow up story written because not only did she lower her age but, the second time around, married a “toy boy”… a veritable “cradle snatcher” this Great Aunt of mine was. ha ha ha… and to think I was worrying about HER!!!
      Of course the other plus is that responding focussed me on my long held intention to transcribe and pass on info from South Oz to County Clare but which became just too hard. Great to be in email contact and having you help me get it done. BINGO!!!

    • Oh, how wonderful Jo for you to follow me over here and especially to take the time to respond. Glad you enjoyed my responses… as you can see, I find it almost impossible to be brief. It’s a bit of a “family affliction” 😳 which mum always referred to as “a Squire McGuire” and we love it. 🙂 Chatting with my gorgeous son-in-law a few weeks ago he laughed and said… “yep, I know. I just tune out and let you all get on with it”. You gotta love that eh?
      I see you’re quite new to blogging Jo and am loving what I’m seeing. Good for you! Thanks for dropping by… much appreciated.

      • LOL, I’m also known, per my bosses, for not writing anything short. (It’s because we’re so interested in everything and think everyone else is too!)

        True, I’m new to blogging about genealogy (and new to genealogy). But I did have a prior blog for a couple years following my diagnosis with gastroparesis (on a platform that went under and no longer exists) because the only information I could initially find scared me to death and I wanted other newly diagnosed folks to be able to find something that was more positive than ending up on feeding tubes or IV feedings solely (thereby also setting the intention that I would find a way to not end up on a feeding tubes, etc. — which worked), even if I did/do have ups and downs.

        Thank you for you encouragement as to this blog. It is greatly appreciated.

    • Oh, I have sides to me that I haven’t even begun to reveal J.G. 😉 Think I may have “led you up the garden path” because I am a very bad “tin whistler”. Practicing in the back yard one day a rather nasty, and transient neighbour, shouted “just bloody shut up”!!! 😯 I almost replied with… “why don’t you try and get a job you (expletive)” but refrained.
      Seriously, I really am much better at “banging the drum”… no pun intended. Glad you enjoyed this post J.G… always enjoy hearing from you.

  3. Great post, thanks. I’m a big fan of Find My Past, especially as I can access it free at the State Library of NSW! Yes, I buy certificates as well; they tell you heaps, and the social media has a growing body of information, at times almost overwhelming. I think the first sentence of your point 10 neatly encapsulates what it’s all about: knowing who you are and why.

    • Thankyou Rose… “knowing who you are and why”… yes!!!
      The social media is indeed brilliant and I too still find it sometimes a little over-whelming but am getting better at learning to manage it, thank heavens 🙄 Guess I also should have mentioned our free digital newspapers TROVE… I can get lost in there for days 🙂
      Do you have to visit the NSW State Library or can you access it at home, through their site? Our SA Genealogy & Heraldry Soc is working hard to get more info on-line and making some of it accessible to only SAGHS members. I reckon that’s a good way for Family History/ Genealogy Societies and Groups to go.
      I’d love it if you could find the time to also respond to Crissouli’s request. Your blog is indeed fantastic and no doubt you have lots to share. Cheerio for now.

      • Hi Catherine,
        At the moment, I have to visit the State Library to get into FMP records. It would be great to access them from home and I’m sure this will come some day. Will have a look at Crissouli’s request. Thanks again for the positive feedback. Cheers, R

    • Oh Shelley, I thank you for sharing your experiences/ family history with us!!! Your life story, the part of the world in which you live and your history is so very different from mine.
      I tried to access the video you described in your blog… but it’s not available in Australia so I found other vids re: the origins of the “Slave Trave” in the USA etc… and was astounded and so kept going back to your Blog to read/ re-read your Family History so I could really begin to absorb it. History located within the lives of families makes it all so very real and understandable from a personal point of view. Thankyou xxx

  4. Great to see so many responses to your answers, Catherine… and nice to know the traffic between our two blogs has been busy…

    If there are still people who would like to participate, please do… there is no closing date for this… I created it to see what others would find most interesting. It certainly has been an interesting exercise for me as well.

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