Jan 112017

Ancestry in a recent media release announced they have now passed the THREE MILLIONTH  autosomal DNA test.

Last year (22 June 2016) Ancestry announced they had just passed the two million people tested mark. Eleven months prior to that it was one million.

They also announced that they had sold 1.4 million tests in the last three months of 2016 and to put this in perspective they sold 390 000 more tests in the last three months of 2016 than they had sold in 2015. There has been mass advertising in a number of countries along with some pretty decent discounts so not a surprise for the good sales. 

The expansion of Ancestry DNA test kit sales early last year into 29 new countries will have also had an impact on those new kits being sold and hopefully new cousins being found.

It is unknown how many of those tests are still to come back for testing but it would not be any surprise if the four million autosomal mark was passed well before June.

This can only be a positive thing for all of us looking for those new cousins. 

With three million tests for comparison Ancestry is a pool you should be fishing in to find your cousins.  Have you tested yet?

Nov 302016

Queensland Newspapers digitised on Trove as of 30 November 2016

Remember that fuller runs of these and going past 1954 and other Queensland papers will be at the Queensland State Library and at least some at other libraries including University libraries around the country.

  • Balonne Beacon (St. George, Qld. : 1909 – 1954)

  • The Beaudesert Times (Qld. : 1908 – 1954)

  • The Border Star (Coolangatta, Qld. : 1929 – 1942)

  • Bowen Independent (Qld. : 1911 – 1954)

  • The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933)

  • Brisbane Telegraph (Qld. : 1948 – 1954)

  • Bundaberg Mail (Qld. : 1917 – 1925)

  • Bundaberg Mail and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1892 – 1917)

  • Cairns Morning Post (Qld. : 1907 – 1909)

  • Cairns Post (Qld. : 1884 – 1893)

  • Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 – 1954)

  • The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 – 1929)

  • The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1930 – 1956)

  • The Charleville Courier (Qld. : 1896 – 1898)

  • The Charleville Times (Brisbane, Qld. : 1896 – 1954)

  • Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser (Qld. : 1903 – 1922)

  • Cloncurry Advocate (Qld. : 1931 – 1953)

  • The Coolangatta Chronicle (Qld. : 1926)

  • The Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1861 – 1864)

  • The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 – 1954)

  • The Daily Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1903 – 1926)

  • Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 – 1954)

  • The Daily Northern Argus (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 – 1896)

  • Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 – 1936)

  • The Dalby Herald (Qld. : 1910 – 1954)

  • Dalby Herald and Western Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1866 – 1879)

  • Darling Downs Gazette (Qld. : 1881 – 1922)

  • The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1858 – 1880)

  • Dayboro Times and Moreton Mail (Qld. : 1937 – 1940; 1945 – 1954)

  • The Evening Advocate (Innisfail, Qld. : 1941 – 1954)

  • The Evening News (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1924 – 1941)

  • The Evening Telegraph (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1901 – 1921)

  • Geraldton Advocate and Johnstone River Guardian (Qld. : 1895 – 1896)

  • Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette (Qld. : 1868 – 1919)

  • Humpybong Weekly and Advertiser (Redcliffe, Qld. : 1927 – 1932)

  • Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861)

  • Johnstone River Advocate (Geraldton, Qld. : 1906 – 1908)

  • Johnstone River Advocate and Innisfail News (Qld. : 1928 – 1941)

  • The Leader (Brisbane, Qld. : 1918 – 1919)

  • Logan Witness (Beenleigh, Qld. : 1878 – 1893)

  • Logan and Albert Advocate (Qld. : 1893 – 1900)

  • Logan and Albert Bulletin (Southport, Qld. : 1896 – 1901; 1909; 1921; 1922; 1928)

  • The Longreach Leader (Qld. : 1923 – 1954)

  • Mackay Mercury (Qld. : 1887 – 1905)

  • Mackay Mercury and South Kennedy Advertiser (Qld. : 1867 – 1887)

  • Maryborough Chronicle (Qld. : 1947 – 1954)

  • Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 – 1947)

  • The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 – 1861)

  • Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 – 1954)

  • Morning Post (Cairns, Qld. : 1897 – 1907)

  • Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser (Qld. : 1922 – 1954)

  • Nashville Times, Gympie and Mary River Mining Gazette (Qld. : 1868)

  • National Leader (Brisbane, Qld. : 1916 – 1918)

  • The North Australian (Brisbane, Qld. : 1863 – 1865)

  • North Australian and Queensland General Advertiser (Ipswich, Qld. : 1862 – 1863)

  • The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser (Ipswich, Qld. : 1856 – 1862)

  • The North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 – 1905)

  • Northern Argus (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1865 – 1874)

  • The Northern Herald (Cairns, Qld. : 1913 – 1939)

  • The Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 – 1954)

  • The Northern Mining Register (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1891 – 1892)

  • The Northern Sportsman (Innisfail, Qld. : 1928)

  • Pittsworth Sentinel (Qld. : 1919 – 1954)

  • The Proserpine Guardian (Qld. : 1935 – 1954)

  • Queensland Country Life (Qld. : 1900 – 1954)

  • Queensland Figaro (Brisbane, Qld. : 1883 – 1885)

  • Queensland Figaro (Brisbane, Qld. : 1901 – 1936)

  • Queensland Figaro and Punch (Brisbane, Qld. : 1885 – 1889)

  • Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 – 1954)

  • Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 – 1908)

  • The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 – 1939)

  • Rockhampton Bulletin (Qld. : 1871 – 1878)

  • Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 – 1871)

  • South Coast Bulletin (Southport, Qld. : 1929 – 1954)

  • The South Coast Express (Surfers Paradise, Qld. : 1949 – 1951)

  • South Coast News (Southport, Qld. : 1952 – 1954)

  • Southern Queensland Bulletin (Southport, Qld. : 1888 – 1891)

  • Southport and Nerang Bulletin (Qld. : 1893)

  • The St. George Standard and Balonne Advertiser (Qld. : 1878 – 1879; 1902 – 1904)

  • Sunday Mail (Brisbane) (Qld. : 1926 – 1954)

  • The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947)

  • Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (Qld. : 1875 – 1902)

  • The Toowoomba Chronicle and Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 – 1875)

  • Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 – 1954)

  • Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 – 1954)

  • Warwick Argus (Qld. : 1879 – 1901)

  • Warwick Argus and Tenterfield Chronicle (Qld. : 1866 – 1879)

  • Warwick Daily News (Qld. : 1919 -1954)

  • Warwick Examiner and Times (Qld. : 1867 – 1919)

  • The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 – 1934)

  • The Western Champion (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1922 – 1937)

  • The Western Champion (Blackall/Barcaldine, Qld. : 1879 – 1891)

  • The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 – 1922)

  • Western Star (Roma) (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1948 – 1954)

  • Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1875 – 1948)

  • Worker (Brisbane, Qld. : 1890 – 1955)
Nov 272016

As an Ambassador Family Search gave me a Rootstech pass to give away. I asked the entrants to chose a session they really wanted to attend at RootsTech and tell me why that session appealed to them.

There are so many wonderful sessions on such a range of topics. These are just a few of the range of topics picked by entrants and for a range of reasons:

Presentation: ‘Using Autosomal DNA to Help Extend a Linage’ – Friday 11am session. Why? DNA is becoming a widely accepted method for tracing family lines, proving and in some cases disproving relationships. I would like to know how to get more from my results and in doing so be able to share this with others so they do can get more from their results.

Presentation: RT1490 Kitty Cooper on Triangulating DNA since I continue to be befuddled.

Presentation: “The Scottish Poor Law: a source for genealogists”. This is of interest as it’s something I haven’t tapped into yet, and heavens knows many of my Scottish ancestors were poor.

Presentation: RT1337  Thomas MacEntee “Can I Use That In My Genealogy? A Copyright Primer”

Thomas MacEntee is a very interesting well researched speaker and while a lot of the copyright information he presents would be US specific the principles would apply in Australia with the relevant legislation.

Presentation: “Using Evernote for Capturing Notes and Ideas” by Drew Smith would most certainly be beneficial for me. I’m still struggling with Evernote, so I have no doubt I’d learn oodles.

Presentation: Handwritten Text Recognition Technology, Eric Pfarl, Qidenus

I’m very interested in this class. Some of the toughest research problems arise in transcribing and translating handwritten records.  I’m volunteer at a local Family History Center and often researchers come in a brickwall that involves the misinterpretation of a handwritten record.
Presentation: Family Storytelling – High Touch and High Tech. In the past, there have only been a few of my family members who were interested in family history research, and only slightly more who were a vaguely willing to listen to our latest finds or answer questions. 

Then out of the blue a few years ago, my sister produced a New Testament that had belonged to her mother. We had begged to see that book ever since us younger ones learned of its existence, but she had never been willing to get it out for us. Two years ago our family reunion was held at her home. Not only did she produce her mom’s New Testament, but she came up with a couple of things that she didn’t even know she had – including a crocheted bookmark with our grandfather’s initials in the pattern. (I can guess that my mother probably made it and Grandpa obviously never received it. Mom never met him since he lived on the other side of the country. Did she make it and learn of his death before she could mail it to him?). I suspect that there was a story there, but we will never know. At that reunion, I passed out a questionnaire about our family – just from Dad and both wives (not polygamist!) and their descendants. That got everyone’s attention. Even those who refused to fill one out got involved with helping their kids, nephews, nieces, grandkids or by just listening. Everyone insisted that I provide the answers and discussion and stories flowed! But the neatest things were that each one, even the genealogists in the group, learned things about the younger generations and there was a unanimous request for family history to become a regular part of our reunions from now on!!!!

While I wished I could have given every entrant this amazing prize valued at US$299, with the aid of an online random number generator I am pleased to announce that Roger Moffatt of Michigan is the winner!

Note as a Rootstech Speaker I have been given a free personal registration to Rootstech. I would also have been given a free registration as a Rootstech Ambassador. 

Nov 152016

I’m feeling a bit like Santa Claus as being a Rootstech Ambassador I have been provided with one four-day pass (US$299 value) to give away to one of my wonderful readers.

RootsTech 2017 takes place February 8 – 11, 2017  in Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, home of the amazing Family History Library.

It’s the world’s largest family history event with over 200 classes for all family history and technical skill levels. There are classes to help you bring your ancestors’ stories alive, as well as classes to help you discover more about them. Regardless of your research experience, there are classes and labs for you!

RootsTech is  an amazing time with 200+ classes, the Innovators Summit, the large Exhibition Hall with so many interesting vendors and many, many genealogists! Meeting up with online genealogy friends is always an amazing highlight!

The pass includes keynote and general sessions, over 200 classes, including Getting Started classes, the Innovator Summit, and evening cultural events.

So what do you need to do to be in the draw ( done using a random number generator) from the entries received. If you have already paid your registration and you are the winner you will be refunded your registration.

So to enter you need to go to the site have a look around and then tell me a class you want to attend and why you want to attend it.

Email your response to HVSresearch@bigpond.com by 25th November midnight (New York time)

Your entry must contain :

1. Your name
2. Your email
3. The presentation you want to attend and why it interests you

By entering you give permission for your name to reported on this blog and on Facebook and Twitter.

Good luck to everyone!

Special presentation by  LeVar Burton.  Buddy Valastro better known as “Cake Boss” will be celebrity guest judge for the first ever cake decorating competition!

 As an Ambassador and speaker I  also get a complimentary pass for myself. I have to pay for my travel, accommodation and other expenses  as will the lucky winner of  this free RootsTech Pass.

The RootsTech’s 2017 cultural opening evening will be  at the beautiful Conference Center at Temple Square and listening to featured musical guests: Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the Orchestra at Temple Square.

These are just some of the exhibitors you will find in the Expo Hall.

Sep 112016

I have recently posted about the Librarians day and Society Day held prior to the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference. 

Now for the Conference proper. There were 72 presenters for this conference and I was one of those 72 giving three presentations and a luncheon talk. 

DNA as you can imagine was an important stream of presentations with nine presentations. There was also a British Isles and Commonwealth stream with 22 presentations. Methodology, Records, Research Strategies, Ethnicity, Repositories,  Technology, Writing were topics with multiple presentations.

After the Plenary session you went to one of the concurrent sessions. This entailed a fair bit of decision making as unfortunately I have never been able to clone myself which would have been of great use here!

Luckily many (but not all) of the presenters have agreed to their sessions being recorded and these are available for purchase from Fleetwood onsite  

They record many different conferences, so click through to Federation of Genealogical Societies  and you are able to buy recordings of the last five FGS conferences either as every talk that was recorded or as individual talks. Currently the 2016 (as of 11 Sep) is available at a reduced price of US$249 for all that were recorded (individual talks not listed as yet). This is a discount as previous years full recordings are at US$349.

So one of the ways of choosing was to determine which of my choices were not being recorded and going to that one. Some familiar names to Australian and New Zealand audiences were among the presenters: Judy G. Russell, Paul Milner, Thomas MacEntee, Carole Baxter, me to name but a few.Because of the concurrent sessions the program committee were able to have the larger more popular topics but were also able to have specialist topics where it was not expected to fill a room but made the twenty or more attendees very happy that their topic was available.

All of the presentations are a major part of any conference but another very important part is the Exhibitor Hall with the very many exhibitors, societies, specialist repositories, Maia’s Bookshop! (with the large Unlock the Past book display), and so many, many more!

The FGS gave time for the attendees to visit the exhibition hall and also instituted an Exhibitor Bingo Card where if an attendee got a stamp from each exhibitor on the card they could be in the prize draw for some pretty decent prizes. The other thing given to each attendee was a $10 exhibitor note. You could spend this at any of the exhibitors, they stamped the back and you could then go and hand in your note for a $10 refund. Both of these initiatives worked very well and I heard many positive responses from the exhibitors.

Springfield Illinois was the home of Abraham Lincoln prior to him becoming President and I never realised how tall he was until I stood next to his life size image.

The FGS conference may not have had the number of attendees of some previous FGS conferences but all who attended had a wonderful learning experience, great networking, managed to spend a few dollars among the various exhibitors and best of all netwrked with other family historians whose eyes did not glaze over in boredom and who did not sneak slowly and silently away when you started talking about your family!

Congratulations to all who were involved in the organisation!

Sep 112016

I have just attended the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference in Springfield, Illinois. This was my second FGS conference and there are two different things about a FGS conference.

One is the Librarians Day where there is a special day supported by ProQuest for Genealogical Librarians who are a special breed that provide support for genealogists everywhere.

The morning comprised a series of presentations and the afternoon visits to two libraries in the local area.

This was the program:
8:30am – 9:30am | Family History Beyond the Family Tree | Mark DePue
The session discusses the value of oral history narratives in family history research.

9:45am – 10:45am | FamilySearch Family History Resources for Librarians | Robert Raymond
There are many family history tools and resources available to librarians. This class introduces some provided by FamilySearch and provides example LibGuides adaptable for your library.

11:00am – 12:00pm | A Capital Idea: A look at the Sangamon Valley Collection, the regional collection of genealogy and history for Lincoln Library | Curtis Mann
An overview of one of the premier Illinois local history collections covering History of Springfield, Illinois and the Surrounding Region

12:15pm – 1:30pm – Lunch – ProQuest Presentation | William Forsyth, Director of Product Management, ProQuest

Tour of Sangamon Collection with Curtis Mann
Lincoln Library | 326 S. Seventh St A first-hand look at this well respected local history collection

Proper Environment, Proper Storage, Proper Handling with Bonnie Parr
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum | 112 N. Sixth St
Basic preservation guidelines and tips for caring for collections of family history materials – documents, books, and photographs

It was a very well attended day (Thank you ProQuest for the sponsorship and lovely lunch) and there were librarians from a wide variety of library types: family history societies, museums, archives, Universities, specialist societies.

The second day was a Society Day. This was a day devoted to presentations to help societies in ways of providing to their membership, to outreach programs, to running special projects, to ways of running seminar days, of helping volunteers, to using technology to reach remote members and so much more. There were thirty eight presentations solely designed to help societies in these difficult times. (see below for some of the presentations on offer)

Many societies are seeing falling membership numbers and the increasing belief of some that “it is all online and you can just click on the leaf” which means they are less inclined to even think of joining a society. Many societies have remote members and are unsure of how to give them benefits that will help retain them as members.

Volunteers join committees and can become burnt out with the various duties involved in running a society.

Having very sadly been recently involved in the closing of a society that had been going for over thirty-five years I know it is a real problem. Seeing this level of support for the future of  societies and the volunteers that run those societies was wonderful.

Congratulations to the Federation of Genealogical Societies for this day and also the many other things they do to support societies who join them. They even have a section of downloadable resources which are freely available to all. These include around 50 Society Strategy papers on things that should be considered when running a society. Certainly some of these are US-centric but the majority should be essential reading for anyone involved in a society. They also have a free newsletter that talks of various societies activities. There is also the FGS Forum which is a subscription newsletter that is available for anyone to subscribe.

A genealogical society, even one listed as a non-profit, has to run on business-like principles  if it is to survive.

I sincerely hope that other conference organisers (AFFHO please think about this!) consider doing something similar, maybe they can’t run a whole day but run a number of presentations that focus on helping societies.

All in all these were two very useful days and this is before the FGS conference actually starts!

Aug 292016

I am currently in Chicago 90% of the way to the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Springfield, Illinois.

This is my second FGS conference and I am looking forward to meeting up again with many of my genealogical online friends and also learning from them. There are many  names familiar to Australians among the presenters including Audrey Collins, Chris Paton, Paul Milner, Judy Russell, Thomas MacEntee and so many others among the 72 presenters who will be informing us during these few days.

This is also the Federations 40th birthday year.

I am giving three presentations:

1 September  5pm: Lost in Australia
2 September 11am: My Job is Killing me!
3 September 8am: In The Workhouse

And also on 3rd I am the luncheon speaker for the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History speaking on Lenses of Time: Battle of Bossenden Woods.

Springfield is also where Abraham Lincoln lived before becoming President he is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. 

Jan 022016

2016 came in with a bang (neighbours had fireworks).

I spent New Year’s Eve day working and then came home to dinner. 

Then a night at the computer working on my presentations for the Unlock the Past cruise which less than six weeks away and also naming some digital files I had scanned.

There is an old saying that what you do on the first day of the year will reflect the year so I am set for 2016.

I have mixed feelings when I see posts from people saying “I didn’t achieve everything I had planned for x year” and they list what they said they wanted to achieve and whether they did so or not as I feel this is only part of the story. 

They often beat themselves up for not getting it all done as if their life was only a planned To-Do List but what I don’t see them doing is listing everything they had achieved for the year whether planned or not.

I think we all spend too much time regretting what we have not as yet completed (those to do lists can be negative things at times) without taking some time at regular intervals to see and reflect on what we have done. 

Life is not a always a straight road, there are lots of turns, detours and even U turns. 

Sometimes opportunities arise that were not expected or part of a plan. 

Those opportunities are still achievements and should be counted and celebrated.

 So along with working full time, I am happy with the 58 presentations I gave last year ranging from RootsTech, three Unlock the Past cruises, Australasian Congress, New Zealand Family History Fair, Western Australian Guild of One Name Studies seminar and to a variety of family history societies in Australia.

My continued education is well on track. While I didn’t quite complete the National Institute’s English certificate (have two subjects to go) I did complete the Basic level and a number of subjects in the Intermediate and Advanced parts of the Professional Development Certificate, the  Basic and Intermediate levels of the Librarian certificate, the Basic and a few subjects in the Intermediate levels of the Australian certificate. I completed the Introduction to Family History at the University of Tasmania and am halfway through the Introduction to Writing Your Family History at the same institution. And I attended a number of conferences and learnt lots from the excellent presenters.

I have watched a number of the webinars in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar. My subscription to this is a must have as it means I can watch and re-watch seminars of interest (and have the handouts) and there are many of interest by the headline presenters of  our genealogy world. Legacy also has seminars available for free for seven days from publication for non-subscribers, subscribers also have access to some extra seminars. 

Then there are all the journals, the Facebook groups, the blogs, and mail-lists so many opportunities to further my knowledge. The joy of the Internet is that even if you are unable to go to a conference due to family commitments, finances or other reasons there is no reason why you can’t continue your education.

Then there are all the wonderful people I have met in person and online, some relatives by blood, some  genealogical family due to shared interests. We live in a world which can be scary at times but I firmly believe that while people are talking to each other and helping each other around the world it will be a better place. 

I am a member of the Kiva group Genealogists for Families where we make microloans of $25 to help other achieve their dreams. 311 genealogists have made over 6000 loans (when the $25 is repaid it can either be taken out or re-loaned to someone else).

I, ably assisted by Geoff Doherty, started a DNA Special interest group at the Genealogical Society of Queensland. I also had success in getting some people to DNA test and have found some linkages to other people who had tested via Ancestry and FTDNA. Still working on some matches in Gedmatch.

I finally was able to finish and publish the second edition of my “Death Certificates and Archaic Medical Terms” book and was asked to write a chapter on the 1919 Influenza Pandemic in Brisbane for a book being published in 2016 (this was one of those turns in the road not expected but welcome).

I even managed to add some names to my tree and add more life and colour to people already on my tree. 

So looking back although those To-Do Lists are still present and have many entries I did achieve a lot and did have a great 2015.

I don’t do resolutions but I do make goals and my goals are to continue in 2016 as I have is 2015, to be a good, helpful member of online forums, to continue my genealogy education (just because I have been doing it for thirty years does not mean there are still not things to learn and skills to perfect) to continue to share via presentations, articles, blog posts and hopefully some new books.

I’ll be speaking on two Unlock the Past cruises this year, the Auckland to Fremantle one and  then the Barrier Reef, a number of family history societies and I will also see a number of you at the Federation for Genealogical Societies conference in September.

So I am ready with my goals, prepared to travel whatever road the year may bring and I want to have another wonderful year with all of you in 2016!

Dec 162015

Today marks thirty years of employment with the Department of Health as a public health microbiologist.

Hard to believe I started on a two week Christmas vacation fill-in. Only two of us wanted to do the two week placement when offered it during our exams. The others all wanted a break. Finished the exams on the Friday and went into the job on the Monday. 

Had a good time and they apparently liked me as at the end of the two weeks they said to come back the next Monday!

I went for an actual interview in April the following year and got a permanent position. 

Suddenly in the July they realised that I had not had my medical so I rock off to that and now I have to confess a guilty secret.

I have lied on a government form.

They measured me and told me I was five foot tall. Being an honest person I said “No I am 4 foot 10 and a quarter inches (hey that quarter is important!)”

“No you are five foot”

“No I’m not”

“Look do you want the job or not?”

“Yes I do”

“Then you are five foot tall now sign this form”

And I did. In the 1980s the Queensland Health Department still had a height restriction. Females had to be five foot plus to be employed. 

So my thirty years might not have happened for the sake of  an inch and three quarters.

How many of your ancestors worked thirty years for the same employer? 

I have a few who have worked for the railway and some government departments. Many others have worked in the same occupation such as being agricultural labourers, granite quarrymen, shoemakers etc.