Family History, Blogs, Genealogy

Family History

Family Group Sheet

I have been asked to share this form so I thought this would be the easiest way to share and allow others to download the form.

I enjoy discovering my ancestors as it gives me a sense of where I have come from.

Sharing is my best attribute and I would like to share, with those who are interested, the Family Group Sheet I have created.

I personally us it to do research then transfer all the information onto my family history programme. Prior to the digital age I completed the FGS and filed it in the appropriate family folder.

The document is double sided so you can make notes on the reverse side. I hope this benefits your research and I am happy for you to share the document.


SS Montevideo Maru Found after 81 years

SS Montevideo Maru has been found. At last the resting place of more than 900 POWs is located. This is a great relief to so many families.

Arthur “Toss” Parker (1923 -1942) now has a known resting place.

Lest We Forget.

You can read about Toss in my previous posts.

Australia, Blogs, family, Family History, Genealogy, Oral History, Queensland

Oral History

Myself and Dad on his 92nd birthday, taken August 2019 at Warwick, Queensland

Preservation of Life.

Hello there,

Back in 2016 when I was studying for my Diploma in Family History I decided to put my studies to the test and do an oral history interview with my Dad, Jack Apps.

Dad was 89 years old when I interviewed him. He worked for another year before he retired.

I find it very comforting to listen to him talk about his life, especially now that he is no longer with us.

1926 International Truck with 1800 dry sheepskins loaded
This is the truck that Dad talks about that has 1800 dry sheepskins.
This is the coal truck that Dad spoke of that he drove for R. W. Miller. The little boy is my older brother, John. Taken about 1951 at Bay Street Botany.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed listening to his stories. Click on the triangle at the left of the box below to listen to the recording that is 33 minutes duration.

This is an oral recording of my father, Jack Apps, recorded 8 December 2019

It is my intention to collect more oral history stories.


Describe something you learned in high school.

Evolution. This made me think about God. In primary we had scripture and was taught that God created man. In high school our history lessons told us we came from the sea. This is when I questioned all I had learned about religion.


It’s a busy life when one is retired.

Of days gone by.

When I was working I use to think that I could never retire. “What would get me out of bed each day”, I use to think to myself. I was so regimented that the norm was to get up, go to work, crave for the weekend and repeat.

Most of my travel is now done solo and I stay with friends or family or motel/hotel accommodation.

It has been over a decade since I retired and I have never missed working. Travel took over my daily work schedule. Travelling around the countryside in our caravan was a memorable time. We visited many beautiful places and met several like minded people of whom we are still in contact with. I have had two trips to the UK which were also very memorable times with lots of laughs and treasured times that will be with me forever. Bali was the place to go with my daughter and the USA was a fabulous holiday our family enjoyed on 2018/9 and made everlasting memories.

I often wonder how I found time to work. But, in saying that, my housekeeping skills have improved since retirement. When I was working time was of the essence and several chores were not completed as regular as they should have been done.

I enjoy my own company and on long journeys love to listen to podcasts or my selection of playlists that I have downloaded onto my phone. I am happy to take myself to a restaurant for dinner alone. I find it interesting to people watch, without judgment, of course.


Thinking about this week, there has not been a day without an event happening daily. Oh well, there is always next week and I’m sure the housework won’t disappear or the grass will stop growing.

Until next blog, enjoy yourself and keep smiling.



Another form or Oral History.

How many of you listen to podcasts?

I find them great to listen to when I am in the car travelling distances. Recently, I had a 3-1/2 hour solo trip. I listened to three podcasts. The time just flew by and I was at my destination in no time.

The Podcast I listened to was Australian Seniors, Life’s Booming with James Valentine. They are very different but the same and were all from different walks of life. By that I mean, they talk about people of every day life and how their lives differ so much. It certainly made me think about how fortunate I have been throughout the decades.

Listening to those podcasts also made me aware of other people’s ‘normal’. I believe that there is no such thing as normal as every one is unique and we all do and see things differently.

The first podcast was Tod Russell, one of the two men trapped for days in an underground mine in Beaconsfield, Tasmania and how his life changed in a single second.

Another was about Christine Henry, from Allora, Queensland (the town I am familiar with) and the events that lead her to a fruitful role in life.

Rosie Batty was another outstanding story. Her son Luke was murdered by his father. My heart went out to her as she tells of her struggle in life since 2014. A remarkable woman!

Bridget Sakr lost her daughter when a driver crashed into her and her cousins. Bridget is another remarkable woman who who draws on her faith and forgave the driver who killed her child. She taught me a lot about forgiveness!

Rosemary Kariuki, a lady who came to Australia from Kenya and what a difference she has made to the community. She now works with the police and community to educate people within the diverse multi cultural country we live. Her laughter is so contagious!

Tim Baker, a journalist, surfer and family man diagnosed with stage four cancer and how he has survived the diagnosis. A couragous man!

This is just one podcast station. Over time I have listened to podcasts on photography, genealogy, DNA, cooking. You name it, there is a podcast out there for you.

Most people have mobile phones today where podcasts are available to listen to when travelling by car, plane, train or boat. Download them to your device if you are going somewhere remote where wifi or the internet is not available.

That’s my view on podcasts and I think they have given me a better understanding of who I am and how we all deal with life challenges uniquely.

Don’t forget about your life! It is important to preserve your story for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and future generations.

I am very fortunate to have a recording of my maternal grandmother who was in Prince of Wales Hospital whilst recovering from a leg amputation, when a news channel was interviewing the wonderful work the nurses carried out and how they were understaffed. She was interviewed and our family can still listen to her voice and her beautiful laugh. Due to the technological age we live in, the recording has been shared around to her grandchildren. Her great grandchildren and future generations are now privileged to see her in an almost real live situation.

I also have a recording of my father. You can read about that in a previous post, Oral History back in September, 2022.


So, don’t hesitate in making a recording of your children, parents, uncles and aunts. Once they are deceased, you may recall ‘what’ they have said but their voice will fade over time.

Oral history is part of family history research. It is just as important as the names and dates.


The Living Years

Photo by Kaique Rocha on

Say it loud, say it clear, you can listen as well as you hear. Because it’s too late, it’s too late when we die. To admit we don’t see eye to eye.

Mike + The mechanics – 1988

It’s raining again, here on the South Coast of New South Wales. I was driving to the shop to get some comfort food as I have been stuck indoors for the past few days.

A song came on the radio that I had heard several times before. I have sung the words but the words had never really penetrated my subconsciousness. I just sang it! How many of us do that? I hear songs on the radio and I can sing them word for word but once it has ended, I can’t even remember the tune, let alone the words.

Well, not today! This song – The living Years by Mike + The Mechanics was released in 1988. No wonder I know the words! It’s an oldie.

You can find the lyrics and the song on YouTube or Google.

“You must always do what ‘you’ think is right”
Vidal Sassoon.