One of my treasures is my Grandma’s autograph book. My Uncle D gave it to me the first time he and his family came to Australia to visit us.

autograph book cover

It has a burgundy coloured cover, and “AUTOGRAPHS” is embossed within a decoration. The inside cover reads:

With love to Sophia from Nellie xxx

autograph book inside cover

The earliest date accompanies the first entry, again signed by Nellie.

autograph book page 1

Tommy Tucker – Empire Westhartlepool 1927

Remember, Sophia. Parents are
like garden seeds you never
know their value until they
are under the soil

Yours for ever
your Pal,

Flicking through the pages, most of the entries appear to be from fellow dancers and players in pantomime and theatre. I will certainly look forward to researching the plots, theatres, and autographs.

I’m not sure how this part of my family history fits into GRAMPS, but I guess I’ll digitally archive it somehow.


roots ‘n all

And I don’t mean in the music sense or one of H’s favourites – JJJ’s Roots ‘N All. I mean my roots, as in family.

It’s amazing what turning out some cupboards and archive boxes shows up. I have found collections of documents and photographs, including a notebook of what looks like at least three attempts to write my family history. Embarrassingly, an envelope has a date stamp of 25 May 1993 (Newcastle Upon Tyne) containing a letter from Aunt M including a photograph, and documents to assist me with my family history.

I’ll have to ask my Dad, but it looks like Aunt M and Uncle P’s first visit to Australia sparked my interest in knowing who was who and what were their stories.

Then, I found a file of colour photocopies of old photographs, certificates and documents including what I believe is my great, great grandparents’ “Certified Copy of an Entry of Death”certificates, on my Mam’s side.


Spurred on with a place to begin the family history, I created a new GRAMPS (Genealogical Research and Analysis Management Programming System) database. This was a straightforward step after scanning the documentation on my computer, and reading a recent article on titled Track your ancestors with GRAMPS written by Alex Roitman, one of the GRAMPS developers.

What is not straightforward is seeing discrepancies between these documents, and others that I have found. For example, the spelling and capitalisation of my great, great grandparents’ names differs between their death certificates, marriage certificate, and birth certificate of their son.

I guess I adopt one form, move on, and see what other clues I find to solve the puzzle. Or, find more clues that create more puzzles 🙂