Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Genealogy notes 3-15 May 2013 hooked on digitised newspapers

Well the last fortnight has made me realised what's wrong with living in paradise! Living on Bribie Island is like being on a permanent holiday - the weather has been fantastic so lots of swimming, fishing, walking, biking etc not to mention the pubs and clubs with their cheap meals and free entertainment. Not surprisingly we have had three lots of visitors in the last fortnight (funny no one ever visited us at Hoppers Crossing) so not much genealogy has been done!

As we are about to head off to Bundaberg to visit an elderly aunt to capture her memories of holidays to the family cottages here on Bribie Island in the 1920s and 30s, I have spent a bit of time on Trove looking for bits and pieces on the Burstow family to help stimulate her memory. Although on the phone she seems totally with it for someone who is approaching her 92nd birthday but then her sister is heading for 103 this year and she is an inspiration! Definitely good genes in that family.

But Trove, although wonderful, is a trap. I managed to spend the whole day looking for info on the ten Burstow children and their families and I found all kinds of information which then sparked searches in online BDMs for both Queensland and New South Wales, as well as online cemetery databases in Brisbane and Moreton, not to mention the Queensland State Archives and State Records NSW. In fact I had so many leads I then spent the next day doing more Trove searches and before I knew it, it was dark and I was fumbling around in the dark trying to remember where the light switches were. Two days gone!

If the other half hadn't out bike riding and fishing I probably wouldn't have spent so much time but now that more regional newspapers are online in Trove, I really need to do that kind of searching with all my families.

We went to the Bribie Island historical society meeting and I was fascinated to chat with someone who knew a lot about my Carnegie ancestors and what is in the Society's database on them. It seems they know info I don't and of course, I have info that they haven't but I have promised them copies. When I was doing this research back in the 1970s and 80s the Society didn't even exist and it wasn't established until 2008 which is quite late for a historical society. Most local areas have had a historical society for decades. Again this highlights that you do need to revisit your research as things change, especially over 35 years.

The other thing I realised after going through my paper files of documents on the Carnegie family is that I haven't put all the info into my family history program and I've forgotten a lot as well. There are lots of things I could follow up now that weren't easily searched way back then. So as I sort my info out for the historical society, I'm also going to input the data myself and follow up some of the new leads. If I do that for all my families, my son's and my partner's, I'm going to need more than another 35 years!!

But what has been really nice about this massive overdose of genealogy research over the last few days is that I'm still as passionate about it as I was when I started back in 1977. The only real difference is that now it is more instantaneous and you can follow that trail now instead of waiting for the mailman!

I still have some research enquiries, reviews and articles to do and I'm procrastinating there because I really like the research more than writing but I do need to keep this part time business moving along. Plus I'm partway through a couple of new books which I should finish but I seem to get to a certain point and then I start to procrastinate over the finish. I'm obviously not an athlete as I'd never get to the finish line!

The other half is planning a trip to see his brother and will be away for 4-5 days which will be the perfect opportunity for me to catch up on the business side of things or will I succumb to the lure of Trove and my own personal research?

On the reading side I simply loved the latest edition of Inside History magazine with its Irish theme. I only have two more parts to my Missing Irish Loved Ones Downunder for Irish Lives Remembered which is a bit sad as I've loved doing that series. I took out two books on medieval genealogy from the local library as I love that period of history and have a few Cornish lines that wander into that era. Research and reading - probably my two biggest time consumers!

Lastly just a quick mention of National Family History Month - I've finished the campaign letter and poster and sent it off to all key genealogy and family history umbrella groups for further dissemination but sadly no influx of events on the NFHM calendar yet. The campaign letter and poster will next be sent to key historical society bodies and archives and libraries as I'm hoping to raise the profile in a variety of sectors. So don't forget to make your local society aware of NFHM and ask them to do an event this year even if it is something as simple as calling the August monthly meeting 'NFHM meeting'!

Well that beautiful sunshine is calling me for an afternoon walk to the beach - it's either that or bring up Trove again and I really should get some sun and exercise after the last few rainy days. Until next time happy searching.

1 comment:

  1. I can completely relate Shauna! I too love historical newspapers and spend a lot of time in our digitized collections here in the states. :-)