Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Merron Riddiford

For a short time I have been following our latest GeniMate on Twitter and thought that I would like to know more about her.

Thanks, Merron, for submitting a profile to Genimates.

To learn even more about Merron take a look at the About Me page on her blog.

Date April 26, 2011
Name Merron Riddiford

Are you a Hobbyist or Professional Genealogist? Extreme Hobbyist

What is your day job? Tourism Industry

How long have you been chasing ancestors? About 17 years

How did you get hooked on genealogy? I enjoyed stories from my Nana about her childhood and family and looking at her old photo albums full of photos which I never tired of looking at.  I started researching my family history to fulfill my own curiosity but also to give Nana an insight into her ancestors.  I know she was proud of her Scottish bloodlines.  Nana passed away only three weeks ago at almost 92 years and I will miss sharing my discoveries with her.

What, if any, formal or informal studies have you undertaken that are relevant to genealogical research? I have previously completed two units of study with the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and I am almost finished the unit Social Media for Genealogists.

I am looking forward to starting a Certificate of Genealogical Studies with the Society of Australian Genealogists soon.

What are your areas of Expertise in Genealogy? Social Media...or is just because I am always using it?

Please outline your involvement in Genealogy Societies and Groups. I am a member of the Society of Australian Genealogists.

What are the lands of your ancestors? Most of my ancestors are from England - Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire and Kent but I do have some Scottish and Irish ancestry

What Family Names are you Researching? Bishop, Diwell, Gamble, Hadden, Harman, Riddiford

Who is your favourite ancestor? Why? That is a difficult question and the answer changes continuously.  Apologies to my other favourites, but at the moment it would have to be Ellen Barry (Gamble) my wild Irish great, great, great grandmother.  She is my earliest Australian arrival in 1840 and I recently read court records from Colac, which record numerous charges against her of swearing and drunkenness.  She eventually died in a house fire in 1882 age 56.  The coroner found she was most likely drunk and knocked over a candle.  While she met a sad end, Ellen is a colourful character in my tree who would have shocked some of my staunch Methodist ancestors.

What ancestral city or town would you like to visit? Why? Cuddington in Buckinghamshire, England to visit The Crown Inn a pub where my great grandfather Thomas William Cooke Riddiford was born in 1875.  His father was the publican at the time. Many English pubs are closing but The Crown Inn is still operating and the exterior looks unchanged since the Riddifords where there.

What is your favourite resource for genealogy? It is with no doubt the National Library of Australia's Trove. I mostly use the digitised newspapers and they have given me a much better understanding of life in early Victoria and the activities my ancestors participated in.  I also find the Family Notices fill in many gaps particularly from the 1920s onwards.

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? I began with the The Master Genealogist which I really liked.  When it was time to upgrade I went for Family Tree Maker because I was interested in the interface with  However I do prefer the reports generated by TMG and I recently downloaded a trial of the most recent edition which I did like, so it looks like I will be buying more software!

Do you have your tree posted on the internet? Yes
If Yes What is the URL?      (It is a private tree)

What Social Networking Sites do you use for genealogy? Ancestry, Facebook, Genealogy Wise, Twitter

Do you have a blog? Yes
What are your blogs' URLs?

What are your Other Hobbies, Activities, Interests? Animals, Sport, Australian Comedy and the Media.

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

What is your favourite (non genealogy) book? All That Happened at Number 26 - Denise Scott

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