Saturday, 22 September 2012

Genealogy Notes 5-23 Sep 2012 - I'm still here, more or less

Apologies to all my regular readers for the last 20 days missing in action but it has been a pretty full on time. I won't bore everyone with all the last minute moving dramas but will say that our entire life is now inside two shipping containers currently waiting for us in Brisbane. We left Melbourne after a final dose of cold, wet and windy weather and headed up the Newell Highway stopping at Finley, Forbes, and Narrabri in New South Wales, then across the Queensland border to Goondiwindi, Toowoomba, Burpengary and finally into Mooloolaba! But we could only stay a few days there as it was almost school holidays and they were booked out so we are now at a caravan part just outside of Tewantin. We leave there Thursday and are yet to decide where to go next as it will still be school holidays!

Nothing much has been happening on the genealogy front although ironically I have received four small job offers since I left Melbourne but they all came just a bit late which is a shame as some of it would have been interesting and a bit challenging. I have mentioned to do the next installment of my article series for Irish Lives Remembered and I did see in the latest Inside History Magazine that they had published another one of my Q&A pieces I do for them from time to time.

I was a bit disappointed to find out that the Unlock the Past Queensland Coast roadshow was cancelled due to personal issues although I totally understand that family matters come first. The only part of the roadshow still happening is the Townsville day on Saturday 29 Sep 2012 so I have to check my talks later today. I'm always amazed at how often websites change. Rosemary, Eric and I will be flying up on the Friday, doing the roadshow on the Saturday and then flying home Saturday night so a really full on two days. My problem is I don't have a home so I don't know where I will be going Saturday night post airport so we need to sort that out over the next day or so.

I was thrilled to receive an email a few days ago asking if I would mind someone promoting my latest book Trove: Discover Genealogy Treasure in the National Library of Australia! Of course I don't mind, I'm sure all authors would love to have their books promoted! It was from the editor of the VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisations) newsletter and she also does the newsletter for the West Gippsland Genealogical Society. Words like 'excellent' and 'must have' really cheered me up as I have been finding it hard not being connected to my laptop 24/7!

My other new book Finding Ancestors in Church Records: A Brief Guide to Resources is also attracting some feedback. One Victorian friend worried me when she said she was having trouble finishing the book - she then went on to say that was because she was too busy hopping online to check out the resources and look for her own ancestors! Both books came out the week before our move so I haven't really had time myself to look at the final product.

Nice to see that the National Family History Week page on Facebook is still attracting a few new likes. When I get a little more time I have to get back to planning what to do in 2013. I'd like to see that page have more activity all year round.

I've also missed tweets, blogs, Google+ and Facebook and there is no hope of ever catching up but the priority at the moment is trying to find a new home. But it is amazing how many houses don't look like their photos on the internet, there are a lot of clever photographers out there, they can even move gardens from the right side to the left side! Still it's early days although it would be good to find something before we head back down south for the Deniliquin Genealogy Muster on 12-13 October.

I will be blogging the Townsville day so look out for that and hopefully I will find some time this week to catch up with my emails, heaps of online genealogy newsletters that I haven't read and some must read blogs. Those who know me will recall that I have always said that it was my genealogy passion that kept me looking so young. Well I've only been genealogy deprived for three weeks and already I have more grey hair than when I was dyeing it back in the 60s so that I could look like Leon Russell (Mad Dogs & Englishmen) for those who were around then! Maybe a hair cut will help or just some dedicated genealogy time!

Stay tuned.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Genealogy Notes 29 Aug - 4 Sep 2012 Sydney adventures

Well today is the eve of our last day in this house. In 24 hours the removalists will be here and we still have lots of things to do but I simply have to take time out to report on the Sydney trip and my two talks at the Society of Australian Genealogists. I simply love visiting Richmond Villa (the Society's home and where talks are presented) in The Rocks area which is so historic. As usual my two talks on church records and Victorian resources are on my website under the Resources tab, scroll down to Presentations and if you scroll all the way to the end of the page you will see some of my favourite Victorian links.

I had two new publications out last week and Unlock the Past tried to get copies to my Thursday talk but they arrived after most people had left but quite a few of Thursday's attendees also came on Saturday so I still managed to get a few sales on Finding ancestors in church records: a brief guide to resources ($15.00) and Trove: discover genealogy treasure in the National Library of Australia ($14.50), both available from Gould Genealogy & History along with my other publications.

I also had the opportunity to have lunch with Heather, SAG's very efficient Executive Officer and to brainstorm some of my ideas with her for National Family History Week 2013. Later that day I had another chat with Brad and crew from (a major sponsor of NFHW in the past) about some of my new ideas for a revamped program now that I am the national co-ordinator. I also took the opportunity to ask various people what they liked or wanted to see during the week as well and all these ideas will find their way into my report to AFFHO (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations) on ways to further highlight the week in future.

I missed a catch up with Ben and Cassie from Inside History Magazine as they were in the throes of getting their new website up and running. Plus there is a new issue due out and they've been busy with dispatch over the weekend. I hope my copy arrives before we leave on Thursday. I have to see the post office today and get our mail held until we have a forwarding address. Everyone keeps asking for one but we really don't have one - we don't even know what caravan park we will stay in once we get up to the Sunshine Coast. Thank goodness for email and mobile phones, how did they ever manage in the old days!

My travel plans in Sydney didn't go quite to schedule but when travelling you do need to be flexible so when I found I had a totally free day on Friday I took the opportunity to do a ferry trip round the harbour stopping off at Taronga Park Zoo and at Darling Harbour to see the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM). I always love visiting zoos and the Sky Safari Cable up to the top of the zoo gives one of the most amazing  views of Sydney not to mention looking down over the various animals as you go up.

I particularly wanted to see the Remembering Titanic 100 years memorial exhibition at the ANMM and it was really sad seeing all the names of those who died listed up on the wall. I found it fascinating to watch some of the outtakes from the James Cameron Titanic movie (was that really 1997, years going too fast for me) as it showed how they recreated the sinking and so on. Made me want to watch the movie again and I think I have seen all the other Titanic movies as well. None of my own ancestors were involved with a shipwreck but I have visited many memorials to shipwrecks especially on King Island (yes there is history there as well as all those yummy cheeses and lobsters).

After the Saturday talk at Richmond Villa I couldn't resist the lure of the arts and crafts at The Rocks market and spent a pleasant few hours in the Sydney sunshine looking at all sorts of wonderful things. The fact that I had to travel home by plane curbed my buying spree and also the fact that I didn't really have a home to go back to just yet!

Cleaning out the food cupboard (do I really have that many herbs and spices not to mention sauce bottles) and the fridge and freezer isn't going to get done unless I get a move on. The other half is tackling dismantling the BBQ and other similar type chores plus we have to move all the 'stuff '  we want to keep with us out to the caravan and the two cars today. Somehow I don't think it is all going to fit but it is hard to know what we might need over the next few months!

The Diary posts on our way north will probably be more like a travel log than a genealogy blog as I can't see myself getting to much genealogy in while driving the car! However I do have to review my talks for the Unlock the Past Queensland Coast roadshow in Sep/Oct (full dates, places and details here) so I'll have to find some time for that. Wish us luck with the removal tomorrow! Till next time.