Ten Months of Tinkering

It’s ten months since I recorded my progress with the CurryAus surname study. I last wrote about my experiment with the import of my data from Family Historian into the Legacy software program so that I could use the feature in Legacy to connect with and share and extract data with Familysearch. This was quite an easy process that took me a couple of weeks.

However, when I looked at the messiness and inconsistencies of some of the data I had imported from Familysearch , I realised the folly of my ways. I experimented by exporting a gedcom from Legacy and importing it into a new Family Historian project but, on examination, found that the amount of effort required to clean up the imported data was just too great.

I shelved the Legacy experiment and retreated to my Family Historian project realising that the best solution for me was to search the Familysearch Family Tree for Australian Currys, check the sources attached to those records and then manually enter selected records into my database.

Apart from the foray into Familysearch I have been tinkering with my database adding extra entries to my CurryAus Resource Progress spreadsheet which I wrote about here. Keeping a record of my progress on this spreadsheet saves me from repeating searches and allows me to relieve the tedium of concentrating on one resource at a time.

While I have added many extra entries the CurryAus database hasn’t grown enormously because when I confirm that two entries belong to one person I am able to merge those entries. There are currently 9794 entries in the database but, as I merge more entries this will likely remain static.

I enjoy tinkering with the CurryAus project and taking a break from my other geneactivities to try and link up the various Curry family groups in Australia. I hope, in the future, to be able to post the CurryAus data online.


Although I love Family Historian, the software I use to manage the CurryAus data I am frustrated that copying data from other programs into Family Historian requires a lot of data entry or copying and pasting from a second screen.

I was recently helping the host in a Zoom session about Legacy Family Tree Software, I only had a passing interest in this product as I was satisfied with Family Historian. Curiosity made me pay attention, my interest was piqued when I saw how the direct connection to share and extract data with Familysearch was demonstrated. I hadn’t yet looked for CurryAus people on Familysearch, it was in the too hard basket! Legacy seemed worth further investigation.

So, being someone whose mantra is Just do it, I purchased a copy of the Legacy program, imported my CurryAus gedcom into it and started playing. I found Legacy to be a program rich in features but difficult to navigate, I soldiered on.

It wasn’t too difficult to work out how to check my records against Familysearch, it’s just a matter of clicking on little arrows in the respective databases to move data from one to another and all in one screen view. One does not have to share data that is considered unreliable but only take what is reasonable.


Single screen view to exchange data

Both CurryAus and Familysearch benefit from this exercise. I like that this is a give and take activity,  I am growing my database and at the same time contributing to Familysearch by adding data and merging many duplicated in their database as I go along.

legfs01I know I will be importing problems from Familysearch with name variations but especially with the location fields, these can be fixed with the tools in Legacy (when I get to know them better). For an outlay of around $AU50 I got more than my money’s worth.

Concurrently with searching Familysearch I am merging duplicates and correcting errors in Legacy. One day I will have a cleaner database!

It’s early days in my matching as I have only checked 8.8% of my Currys in the Familysearch database. What will I do when this number gets to 100%? Will I go back to Family Historian or will I stick with Legacy Family Tree?  I will stay with Family Historian for my own  GeniAus family database.

What to do with CurryAus is a decision for another day. 

Avoiding the Keyboard

I grew up in the years when one had a secretary to do one’s typing so I never really learnt how to touchtype. I am a hunter and pecker on the keyboard. With loads of data entry to do for my CurryAus study I came up with an idea to avoid some typing.

I created a new private tree on Ancestry and uploaded a gedcom with just a few Curry records to kickstart my process. While I have several private and public trees on my ancestry account I have never done any data entry directly into an Ancestry  tree so this was something new for me.

My idea was to do a broad search for the Last Name : Curry and Place your ancestor might have lived : Australia. My Collection Focus was Australia. It was to be a fishing trip with no real method, this was a test run. Of course with such a broad search I was overwhelmed with hits. There are so many Currys in Australia!


I had no intention of looking at all of these records. All Ancestry Trees in my results were ignored, I concentrated on Records. I added several unrelated Curry records after I worked out how to add a new person. I was eventually after hints, those shaky green leaves. My thoughts being that I could avoid keyboarding if I added people from the Ancestry Records and then at back and waited for the hints to appear.

When the shaky green leaves came on I could once again ignore the Ancestry Trees and add those hints that I thought valid and worthwhile to my records. I tried to avid individuals that I knew were in my Master list in Family Historian because I wanted new people to add to that list.

After several hours down the rabbit hole I downloaded the gedcom of my new tree from Ancestry and merged it into my  Family Historian tree.

Will I do this again? Definitely – I avoided lots of typing and ended up with about 300 new Currys in my database with multiple life events with sources firmly attached. Of course there were a number of duplicates that I have to merge into existing records in Family Historian but there is no typing involved for this.

What will I do differently? I will start a new tree so it is easy to produce a gedcom with just the new results for merging into my Master list in Family Historian. I may create an Ancestry tree concentrating on people on Electoral Rolls or Births, Deaths or Marriages but as I practice Tangential Genealogy I may just follow a whim.

Trove Tuesday – They died on Tuesday


1938 ‘MR. T. CURRY.’, Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 – 1954), 14 October, p. 7. , viewed 15 Jul 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169398292


1944 ‘OBITUARY’, Glen Innes Examiner (NSW : 1908 – 1954), 1 June, p. 4. , viewed 15 Jul 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article185408348


1905 ‘CARRINGTON.’, Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954), 27 July, p. 7. , viewed 15 Jul 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138382068

Surname Studies at THE Genealogy Show

Together with Janet Few and Kirsty Gray I presented a panel session at THE Genealogy Show 2019.


Fuzzy photo of the three panelists  (L-R) Jill, Kirsty. Janet

Our topic was Surname Studies – the why, the how and much more!  I had great time sharing details of my study and giving a few tips to would be Surname Studiers; of course I learnt quite a bit from my co-panelists as we discussed our methodologies. Thanks to Kirsty for her invitation to speak on this topic and to Janet for coordinating the slides and organisation of our presentation


So what did we talk about?

Firstly Kirsty gave a brief introduction and indicated how she had met Janet and me.

We then introduced our studies and discussed  their scale, size and what got us started. We told whether our studies were worldwide or a restricted geographical area, or a restricted time period and if we were a one-man band or part of a team. Each of us had a very different story about why we got started and our motivations for undertaking a surname study.


Our research and data collection methods were discussed; we talked about the sort of data we collected and where found it. We also covered our methods for storing data. It was interesting that as mine was a newer study I made a lot of use of spreadsheets and technology whereas the others, who had started their studies quite a while ago used more traditional methods.

We talked about reconstructing families and whether this is a priority. Do we start with the families and then look for data or vice versa or both? Do we aim to put all our data into family trees? Once again this was dependent on the age and size of the studies we discussed.

We touched on the use of DNA for surname studies but, as of yet, the panelists have not gone down this path.

We also talked about the Problems of researching in a country/state/province/county we aren’t living in. These include not having local knowledge of the geography of an area and the resources available in an area.

We all seemed to have done fairly well with promoting our studies by using a range of online and print resources including on-line trees,websites/blogs, social media, journal and newsletter articles and giving talks/presentations about our studies. We all agreed that membership of a surname organisation provided great support for those undertaking studies.


Finally we each shared some advice for prospective studiers. Mine was “Just do it”. 

My only regret is that we didn’t record this session as I would dearly love to once again hear what my co-panelists had to say.





CurryAus on Stage

The nerves are kicking in as I prepare go on stage later this week to talk about my Surname Study, CurryAus.

I will be joining experts Kirsty Gray, Sillifant Study, and Janet Few, Braund One-Name Study, in a panel presentation “Surname Studies – the why, the how and much
more! ” at THE Genealogy Show 2019 on Saturday this week in Birmingham. As the newbie on the panel I hope to learn some tips from Kirsty and Janet. I will also share my experiences as a beginner Surname Student using 21st century tools to manage her study.

My message will be “If you are contemplating a Surname Study – JUST DO IT!”

THEgshow header

If you are in the area please call unto THE Show where you will meet and hear from a gathering of genealogists from all all around the world.



Dangerous Times

When trawling through Trove to find more Currys I have come across a reports of several mishaps. Our forebears certainly lived in dangerous times.


“Mr. Ernest Curry, while hay carting, had the prong of a pitchfork driven through his leg, necessitating anti tetanus treatment.”

1938 ‘COOLAMON’, Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (NSW : 1881 – 1938), 23 December, p. 5. , viewed 28 Apr 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119433056
“On Saturday morning last Mr Joseph Curry, a local engine driver, met with a very painful and serious accident. He fell on to an iron fender, striking it with such force as to almost sever his nose from his face and lacerating bis forehead. The unfor-tunate man was removed to the hospital, where Dr. Bray, after removing the broken bone, replaced the feature. He is progressing as well as can be expected.”
1903 ‘ACCIDENT TO MR. JOSEPH CURRY.’, Leader (Orange, NSW : 1899 – 1945), 15 June, p. 2. , viewed 28 Apr 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article252316560
Mr. Jim Curry, Buchanan street, Kandos, who is employed at the Kandos coal mine, was on Wednes-day admitted to Rylstone District Hospital with the index finger of his right hand badly crushed. While clearing away coal, etc., from the rails under a skip, to which a horse was attached, the animal moved forward, and the wheel of the skip passed over his finger. It is prob-able that portion of the finger will have to be amputated.
1938 ‘ACCIDENT’, Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 – 1954), 9 June, p. 7. , viewed 28 Apr 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162501637
George Curry, of North Hill, met with, a serious accident last evening, while training on Forbes showground, He, was riding a bicycle round the track, when one of the wheels ran on to the wheel, of the machine in front of him, and he fell heavily, sustaining a broken collarbone, besides being cut about considerably.
1915 ‘CYCLING ACCIDENT.’, The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 – 1954), 21 December, p. 2. , viewed 28 Apr 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article100289350
Joseph Thomas Curry, of ‘Apanie’ via Oberon reported to Bathurst police that his car ran off the road while travelling to Bathurst on Monday. He sald the Incident occurred on
a left hand bend -about 17 miles from Bathurst. * The car suffered minor damage and! no one was injured.
1953 ‘CAR ACCIDENT’, National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW : 1889 – 1954), 5 August, p. 2. , viewed 28 Apr 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161712188
Donald Curry, 26, of Edgecliffe Road, Woollahra, was badly beaten up by a gang of  hooligans at The Entrance on Saturday night. Dr. Wallace King treated Curry for a fractured nose, concussion, and severe lacerations. The ambulance took Curry to Gosford
and the police sent him to Sydney by train.
1938 ‘MAIN BADLY HURT’, Man on the Land (Gosford, NSW : 1936 – 1938), 19 April, p. 4. , viewed 28 Apr 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162533463

The Amateur on the Panel

I’m an amateur genealogist, I don’t profess to be an expert but I try to be diligent  in my research efforts. I enjoy dabbling with CurryAus, my Surname Study, because it gives my brain cells a real workout as I try to merge the jigsaw of all the Curry records I find into a coherent collection of family trees.

It was a pleasant surprise when I was invited to join two professionals and Surname Study experts in a panel presentation, Surname Studies – the why, the how and much more!, at THE Genealogy Show 2019 in Birmingham in June.

THEgshow header

I am sure that I will learn more from fellow panelists, Kirsty Gray, Founder of the Surname Society and Janet Few, The History Interpreter,  than I will contribute to the session. I aim to enthuse a few beginners to start up a surname study and share some tips that rookie surname studiers can employ as they start out on their Surname journeys.

Whether you are already undertaking a Surname Study or you just want to know the whys and hows of Surname Studies I can promise that this will be a lively and entertaining session.



I’m a little disorganised with my approach to the CurryAus study. If I find a new useful resource I go off on a tangent and see if I can find any Curry references in that resource.

Although I suggest this as a good resource for general research I had never checked AHPRA, The Australian Health Protection Agency Register of Practioners, for details of my Currys.

I dipped into this resource today to see who I could find. Firstly I put Curry into the Family Name field of the search box and was rewarded with 50 results in alphabetical order. I got a message telling me that 50 was the maximum number of hits displayed and, that if I wanted more, I should narrow my search. That I did.

ahpra search

AHPRA Search Box

I narrowed by State/Territory and found these Currys:

  • ACT – 3
  • NSW – 35
  • Queensland – 10
  • South Australia – 4
  • Tasmania – 2
  • Victoria – 18
  • Western Australia – 4

I was able to tie two of the results to people in my database

Among those in the full list were 50 nurses,  1 dentist, 2 occupational therapists, 2 pharmacists and 6 medical practitioners.

As I really should be doing other things I added AHPRA to my CurryAus Resource Progress spreadsheet to be checked, noted what I had done and went back to the tasks at hand.


CurryAus Resource Progress. Green indicates completed