Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Genealogy notes 21 Jan - 7 Feb 2012 - Lots happening

It has been unbelievably hard settling back into a routine after our five week trip. Even with the laptop permanently set up and connected to the internet again, I find that it is not as easy to spend as much time online as I did before. Probably a good thing!

Part of the issue is catching up with everything - all the emails, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and so on. I feel that I have missed so much and just reading the online newsletters takes a while, especially if you stop and look at links mentioned. This is especially true for Lost Cousins, Dick Eastman, Now & Then (SRNSW) to mention just a few.

Then I have my 'paper' genealogy journals and magazines to catch up on and the various books I bought on the cruise. Plus I've been down to the local library and took out two books that people suggested I read for information and background on convicts (Alison Alexander's Tasmania's Convicts: How Felons Built a Free Society and Babette Smith's Australia's Birthstain: The Startling Legacy of the Convict Era).

We've also made a decision that we are definitely going to sell up in a couple of months so a lot of my time has been tackling various rooms of the house in a bid to declutter and pack. It's also been a discovery process as we are now looking at some boxes that we never really unpacked from Canberra (yes I know it's been nine years). Max has an incredible number of photo albums, loose photos etc plus we 'found' all his mother's albums as well which Max received after she died. So I have been distracted by early photos of Max including his school days!

What I also discovered going through some of Max's boxes was that he has kept all my letters to him after I moved to Melbourne (he didn't have email) so that is bringing back a torrent of memories for us both (and what do I do with them - never imagined anyone would keep my letters!). So while it is relatively easy to clear out cupboards, repack and so on, it is also incredibly easy to get sidetracked. Another bag of letters were from his mother and included all sorts of correspondence from family and friends so I have a lot of reading and sorting to do. It is all Max's family, but that's not what he likes doing so it's up to me to be the family archivist for his side, as well as my own.

I also have some genealogy commitments coming up so I've been busy reworking a military talk I am giving in Darwin for the War Comes to Australia Tour and another three talks for the Unlock the Past Darwin family history seminar on 25 Feb 2012. The AFFHO genealogy congress in Adelaide is fast approaching (28-31 March) and I have to get my two presentations to them in advance. The congress should be good as lots of my friends from around Australia and New Zealand will be there and we are even having a Genealogists for Families catch up as well.

The Kyabram Regional Genealogical Society have asked me up there for a seminar on 3 Mar so I'm fitting that in between Darwin and Adelaide - one day I will learn to say no, but these small societies don't get the chance to hear 'external' speakers all that often so it is hard to say sorry, can't do. Plus I have been friends with one of their members for a long time and she is letting us stay with her.

As well as my talks, I also try to do a blog or two and I participated in Twigs of Yore's Australia Day Challenge with my Thomas Price - Wealth for Toil blog and I can never resist a Geniaus challenge so I also did a My Bucket List geneameme. I'm also writing an article for Inside History magazine.

My aim is to get back to doing this diary on a more regular basis as well as keeping on top of my emails and other genealogy news. It makes me wonder how I fitted everything in when I still worked every day - was I just more organised and focussed or am I taking more time out now to smell the roses (and overdosing!). Enough pondering for now, it's back to work - should I tackle all Max's mother's letters or her photo albums? Stay tuned!


  1. Shauna, I think you need to buy a Flip-Pal - you could take it and a bundle of letters or photos or maybe an ablum on your plane rides and scan away.

  2. Thanks Jill but I'd be worried about spilling champagne over it in the Qantas Lounge! Seriously great idea I've heard Judy talk about them so should investigate further.