Two Today

It’s my blogiversary!


Considering I’ve had  plenty of other stuff going on in my life and limited time, it has sometimes been difficult to keep up with posts.   But remarkably I wrote 110 in the last 12 months and I really don’t know how I managed it.

It could have had something to do with  the genesis of Trove Tuesday thanks to Amy Houston of Branches, Leaves and Pollen.  I have prepared a post for every Trove Tuesday, a total of 33.  With so many quirky, cute and downright outrageous (thinking George Gladstone April 2  ) articles tagged at Trove, the weekly post has been reasonably easy to come up with.  Particularly so  in those weeks when I was totally lacking in inspiration.

Was it my biggest thrill for the year, having Western District Families named as one of Inside History Magazine’s Top 50 Genealogy Blogs?  This was a wonderful endorsement of the work I have put in and has inspired me to keep writing.  Thank you once again Jill Ball and Inside History Magazine.

Or maybe it was the simple fact that the history of the Western District of Victoria is full of interesting people, places and events.

I would have to say it was all the above.

TOP OF THE POPS – The Top 5 Most Viewed Posts:

Fastest Ship in the World – Holding the number place  two years running,  this post is about the clipper ship Marco Polo, often mistaken for Marco Polo the explorer.

Old Portland Cemetery – Part 1 – The interesting thing about this post is that it had over 250 more views than Old Portland Cemetery – Part 2, the forgotten chapter.

Alfred Winslow Harman – Stepping Out of the Shadows – The youngest son of Joseph and Sarah Harman not only stepped out of the shadows after his post, he stood in the spotlight.

Left Behind – Joseph and Sarah Harman left children in Cambridgshire, both living and dead, when they came to Australia.  Research for this post lead to one of my favourites for the year, Everybody Happy.

Passing of the Pioneers – It was pleasing to see one of the Passing of the Pioneers posts in the Top 5.  April 2012 Passing of the Pioneers contained obituaries of some prominent gentleman of the Western District.  There was James Dawson, the Protector of Aborigines in Victoria, pastoralist James Thomson of Monivae, near Hamilton and James Kirby of Mt Koroite station, near Casterton.  His obituary inspired me to write another of my favourite posts, A Western District Melbourne Cup.


Each of my favourite posts required more research than the rest, particularly at Trove.  There is something relaxing about Troving and a regular need to relax led to posts such as:

Everybody Happy – My 2nd cousin 3 x removed Rupert Hazell was a vaudeville and broadcasting star.  This was such an enjoyable post to write and I loved hearing from relatives of his wife Elsie Day and their memories of the couple.

On the ALG Trail – A tour of  landmarks in the South East of South Australia and Western Victoria frequented by Adam Lindsay Gordon.

Alice Hawthorne – The Western Mare The small grey mare that won races for the Chirnsides in the 1870s and raced in a match race that would lead to the first running of the Melbourne Cup, had previously been a work horse at Mt. William station when my ggg grandfather James Mortimer worked there.

A Western District Melbourne Cup – The story of 1911 Melbourne Cup winner, The Parisian was a chance to indulge in my interest in the history of Victorian horse racing.

My regular need to Trove also resulted in seasonal fashion posts, Spring, Summer and Autumn.  Hasn’t it been fun to see what our female ancestors wore through the decades?  I look forward to the Winter post in June.

Passing of the Pioneers has grown and I have now shared over 300 Western District pioneer obituaries.  I just love the stories I find, especially of the ordinary people and those that time has forgotten.

A goal I set for myself when I started Western District Families was to post twice a week.  I have achieved that in the past year but in doing so I have often broken one of the rules I set for myself, to respond to comments promptly.  Sorry if you have posted a comment and I haven’t got back yet.   I have set today aside as “comment” day and I am going to get back to each of you.  Thank you so much for your comments, I do appreciate them.   Special thanks to Anne.  Your regular comments are encouraging, informative and fun.

Thank you to the 65 followers of Western District Families.  This time last year I couldn’t  have imagined  that the blog’s followers would more than double from 29.

The question I now ask myself is can I keep up the pace?  Despite being about to embark on a Diploma of Family Historical Studies, I can see some light at the end of the tunnel time wise.  So while I  continue to find stories about our Western District Families, I will give it my best shot.

19 thoughts on “Two Today

  1. Happy Blogiversary Merron. Our ancestors lived in similar places and surely some of them knew each other – no common names yet though – keep up the good and very interesting work!

    • Thank you for your comment Jackie. I would be interested to know your names because I’ve only really touched on a few. I beginning to think of have some sort of family link to half the Western District. It has been interesting to find I am related to people I went to school with and never knew. Merron

  2. “give it my best shot” – well your best shot is pretty darn good.
    Congratulations and Bravo for your achievement, and thanks for all the reading pleasure.

  3. Happy Blogiversary Merron. I have enjoyed reading your posts (even if i don’t comment all the time).
    I agree that Trove is very relaxing (and time wasting). I can get distracted very easily.
    I would appreciate if you could let me know how you find the Diploma of Family History as it is something that I am looking at today (by coincidence it is todays post)

    • Hi Sharon, thank you for your comment. I enjoy your blog too and I’ve just checked out your latest post. I really enjoyed the Certificate course (a prerequisite for the Diploma course) and it was a reasonable cost. The Diploma course goes until the end of June 2014, followed by an exam. It consists of a 20,000 word thesis for which I need to submit a synopsis by next Wednesday. Yeek. I would be happy to let you know how it goes. I have done a couple of units thought the NIGS too, but I thought the SAG courses were better suited to what I wanted to do. Merron

  4. Congrats Merron!
    I always enjoy your blog and wonder where you find the time to be so prolific. Regarding your personal favourites, the ALG blog stirred up lots of memories of my own first visit on a school trip.
    Good luck with the studies!

  5. Woo hoo! Congratulations Merron! I’m glad Trove Tuesday has helped, it certainly helps me try to write something at least once a week.
    Sorry it has taken me nearly a week to congratulate you! Well done :) Amy.

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