Linux In Genealogy

I’ve been using the Linux operating system on my desktop pcs and laptops since about 2002. I used to administer Linux systems and a network as well as building computers and teaching computing using the Linux operating system. Now I’m more of an ‘end user’.  There are many flavours of Linux operating system.  I’m currently using the Debian Linux distribution but will soon be changing to Linux Mint.  There are several benefits to using Linux on your computers but the main ones I like are that it is Free and Open Source Software, people don’t tend to write viruses or spyware for it, and it works well on older hardware.  I don’t have to keep updating my hardware to work with the latest operating system version which means less E-waste going into landfill.

I haven’t heard much about genealogists using Linux lately so I did some searching this morning to see what people are saying about it and how popular it is these days.  At first what I found was mostly outdated but with a few changes of search terms I got better results.  The bulk of what I found was about genealogy software programs and no real discussion on the benefits of using Linux or Free and Open Source software in genealogy.

I found this article from May this year Six of the Best Free Linux Family History Software Programs which provides a good review of the genealogy software programs available.


I’ve tried using the GRAMPS program recommended in the article above and I find it difficult and non-intuitive to use for data entry.  I do like some of the reports and search functionality in it so I do use it sometimes.  I use to create my family tree and collaborate with my sister and I upload the GEDCOM to PHPGedView on my own website so that more people can find it.  Naturally there is a lot of focus on genealogy software for Linux, Windows and Mac and other software programs aren’t discussed as much.  I wrote this blog post in 2012 Software I Use For Genealogy and the only things which have changed since then are that I rarely use Picasa now and I use the Chrome for Linux web browser.

Would you consider changing your computer operating system?  Are you dependant on one particular operating system to run your gadgets and computing peripherals?  What do you think of the almost monopoly that Microsoft has in the computer operating system department?  I am interested to hear people’s responses and start some conversation on using a different computer operating system.



Grandson Number Two

My second grandson, Ilijah Leon, was born on Thursday 24 July at 8:05AM. He weighed 8lbs. I’m not including a photo because Mum and Dad don’t want a lot of photos online. He’s just as gorgeous as his big brother Josiah and looks very similar to him too.


I Am Grateful For An Indoor Dunny

It’s been bitterly cold in Adelaide of late and when I went to the loo the other night I remembered our outdoor dunny at Flaxley where I grew up and thought how grateful I am for an indoor dunny. I haven’t been able to find a photo of just the dunny but here is one of the house.

Our house at Flaxley

Our house at Flaxley, South Australia

I remember my Mum saying if it has to be outside I’m glad it’s a flush toilet and not a ‘long drop’. It wasn’t far from the house but it backed onto the cow paddock and the cows would stand near it and chew their cud or eat grass but all you could hear, whilst enthroned, was their chomp, chomp, chomp which was most disconcerting to us young ones. Possums would sometimes climb on the roof and stomp around too. I remember many a night tearing back into the house scared of some real or imagined creature!

Kylie 7 years old

I was 7 years old here

The front room of our house was the local post office, you can just see the post boxes on the wall in the above photo. I won’t go into more detail about the post office now, I’ll save that for another post.



I have always loved maps so when I started researching my ancestors I could indulge my love for them even more.  I found the following prints at a market in Port Adelaide recently.  They were drawn by Thomas Moule in 1830.  I hadn’t heard of Moule but looked him up when I got the maps.  I’ll need a magnifying glass to be able to read the small print and mark the towns where my ancestors lived.

Thomas Moule (1784 – January 1851) was an English antiquarian, writer on heraldry, and map-maker. He is best known for his popular and highly decorated county maps of England, steel-engraved and first published separately between 1830 and 1832.

Moule was born in Marylebone, London. He sold books in Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, from 1816 to 1822. Later, he became an inspector of ‘blind’ (illegibly addressed) letters at the General Post Office. He died at his residence in St.James’s Palace, to which he was entitled as Chamber-keeper in the Lord Chamberlain’s Department.

Kent, England

Kent, England

Cornwall, England

Cornwall, England

Northamptonshire, England

Northamptonshire, England

Derbyshire, England

Derbyshire, England


My Tribute

I’ve taken some time before writing this, to remember and to grieve.  I miss my friend Catherine Crout-Habel and this is my tribute.  I’m reading other people’s blog tributes and this is proving harder to write than I thought it would be.


I met Catherine through our mutual love of genealogy and blogging.  We soon found that we shared a passion for teaching, remembering, recording and saving history also.  We commented on each others blog posts but this one I remember especially.  Here is the post  “Trapped” and then our comments.


I worked with Catherine on Saving Graves South Australia to inform the public of the re-use of graves in South Australia.  Here is an early newspaper article Catherine did. The Financial Cost of Resting in Peace

For a small group of concerned South Australians, the recent creation of South Australia’s Burial and Cremation Act has failed to solve one very important issue – the right for a person to eternally rest in peace.”

We also made this website Saving Graves Australia and we have a Facebook Group.  I am continuing the work Catherine began with the able assistance and friendship of Phil Beames.

Catherine and I were both members of Genealogists for Families a group on Kiva which makes loans to borrowers all over the world to expand their small businesses, support their families, save for the future and raise themselves out of poverty.  Today I dedicated this loan to Catherine.  Fatima is a teacher in Nicaragua.

Here is one of Catherine’s Friday Funny posts from Facebook.  I loved her sense of humour.



We both loved the TV show Time Team and when Professor Mick Aston passed away, 24 Jun 2013, we shared our favourite memories of Mick and our favourite episodes.  Mick was famous on the show not only for his brilliant archaeology but also his bright stripey jumpers and hats.  I made two hats in honour of Professor Mick one for myself and one for Catherine which she loved.  When I wear my stripey hat I’ll think of you and Professor Mick.

Catherine’s second to last blog post in April again shows her great sense of humour, being able to make jokes about her illness.

“However I am “on the mend” and just wanted to let my blogging friends and regular readers know that I haven’t “fallen off the twig” yet… Lucky me, eh?…  As my energy returns I will catch up on reading your blogs which I’ve missed terribly.”

Now you’ve gone and I still had so much left that I wanted to say.  I’ll visit your grave and we can have a chat one day soon.  When you “fell” I pray it was a soft landing!!


Being A Grandma

I’m extremely proud of my kids and always thought that being a Mum was the best thing ever.  Now that I’ve been a Grandma for 21 months I think they’re about equal.  Josiah is 21 months and my daughter is due to have another boy next week!!!


Josiah driving Grandma's car

“Driving” Grandma’s Car


Josiah on Boxing Day 2013

Boxing Day 2013


Josiah playing in paddling pool

Water Play


Josiah playing in the yard

He loves being outside

So this is one of the reasons why I haven’t been posting on my blog very much.  I can’t wait to meet my new grandson soon!