Friday, April 15, 2011

John Patten

I am proud to present the profile of John Patten, an Australian who is very proud of his indigenous heritage.

John is one of my Virtual GeniMates that I have communicated with via email, blogs, Linkedin and Google Wave over the last couple of years. I hope one day to meet him in a face to face situation.

Date April 7, 2011
Name John Patten
Hometown Grafton, NSW, Australia

Are you a Hobbyist or Professional Genealogist? I'm not sure hobbyist is the word. Maybe unpaid obsessive?

What, if any, formal or informal studies have you undertaken that are relevant to genealogical research? No formal genealogical qualifications, however I am looking at options to eventually study for my Masters relating to History and/or Indigenous Studies.

What are your areas of Expertise in Genealogy? Aboriginal Australian genealogy and history.

What is your day job? ICT Technician in Primary (Elementary) SchoolsAbout

How long have you been chasing ancestors? 7 Years.

How did you get hooked on genealogy? When I was a child my Dad would make tape recordings of various family members telling Dreamtime stories, speaking in Bundjalung and talking of our tribal, social, cultural and political history. He swapped those stories with an African American friend living in the Bronx. A few years back I found those tapes, including recordings of my paternal grandmother who passed away in the early 80's. What she said sparked my interest and I've been hooked on digging for answers and further questions ever since.

The other major contributor to my interest was my mother's lack of knowledge about her family history, as she was raised in an orphanage with no idea of her history.

Please outline your involvement in Genealogy Societies and Groups I'm not a member of any group or society at present. I have previously been a member of the Genealogical Society of Victoria, and I am looking to other options.

What are the lands of your ancestors? My mother's ancestry is English, Irish and Swedish. Bundjalung (Far North Coast, New South Wales & South East, Queensland), Yorta Yorta (middle Murray River, New South Wales & Queensland), Gumbaingirr (North Coast, New South Wales), Dhudhuroa (upper Murray River, Victoria).

What Family Names are you Researching? Patten, Fisher, McNamara, Avery, Charles, Little, Smith, Mortimer, Marshall, Dempsey, Betty, Gaunt, Tatham, Middleton, Simms, Geary, Ashmore, Morgan, Hallett, Moore, Crofts, Bolton, Collits, Rope, Pulley, Wilson, Ryan, Jones, Page, Morris, Lees, Milner, Forrest, Hardwick, Turner, Stevens, Haslam, Mathums, Oscroft, Day, Firman, Richards, O'Brien

 Who is your favourite ancestor? Why? My grandfather, John Thomas PATTEN (1905-1957). He was a great man and a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement here in Australia. See his profile at

What ancestral city or town would you like to visit? Not a town as such, but I'd love to see the southern part of England in which my Somerset, Devon and Dorset ancestors came from.

What is your favourite resource for genealogy? The Tindale Genealogies. It's a hand-scrawled collection of genealogies written in the 30's - 40's by an anthropologist named Norman B. Tindale. It documented Aboriginal people living on government reserves around Australia.

Do you keep your genealogy files on paper? Yes

 Do you keep your genealogy files on a computer? Yes

What genealogy software do you use to record your family tree? Family Tree Maker 2006. I've tried every version to 2010 but prefer the older version.

 Do you have your tree posted on the internet? Yes

If Yes What is the URL? Various

What Social Networking Sites do you use for genealogy? Ancestry, Facebook, GenealogyWise, Genes Reunited, LinkedIn, Twitter, Other

Do you have a blog? Yes

What are your blogs' URLs?

What are your Other Hobbies, Activities, Interests?  I probably have too many hobbies. I enjoy spending time with my family, brewing beer, writing, web design, cooking, sustainability and organic gardening. My latest project is to combine my interests in genealogy, history and web 2.0 multimedia by producing a web series 'Tales of My Ancestors', along the lines of WDYTYA, but concentrating on the research and not just the resultant stories.

What is your favourite lesiure time activity apart from genealogy? Reading

What is your favourite (non genealogy) book?  At the Mountains of Madness - H.P Lovecraft

What is your personal philosophy in a few words ?  If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

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