Friday, 7 June 2013

Genealogy notes 27 May - 8 Jun 2013 - discovering relatives & photos

Well our two weeks of travel went well but I was surprised to find that for most of the time I was without mobile phone access (thank goodness that contract is up in August) and even my wi fi struggled just outside of Bundaberg even though we were only a 5-10 minute drive from the CBD! As it was a family history trip I wasn't too concerned with online access as we were kept busy visiting places our ancestors lived and talking to relatives and looking through old photo albums. I've come home with some cute baby photos of Max, photos of his parents in their courting days not to mention their wedding photo and even some photos of his maternal grandparents. His maternal grandmother's photo album has ended up with his aunt's eldest daughter who lives in Kingaroy so there is another trip on the horizon as that is the album most likely to have photos of their Bribie Island home and holidays there.

My Flip Pal mobile scanner got a work out and the batteries went flat but having learnt from past mistakes I had another set of batteries on hand! Now of course I have to upload all the images to the laptop, tag and label them which all takes time. However the trip proved you really do need to track down all the oldest living relatives because you just don't know what they may have that relates to your own direct families.

The trip down the Mary River as part of the anniversary celebrations for the 140th anniversary of immigrant ships to Maryborough was great and it wasn't hard to imagine what my Norwegian ancestors thought as they sailed up the river so long ago. There is still not a lot of development along that stretch of the river and it was amazing to see the flood debris so high up in the trees courtesy of the dreadful floods earlier this year. What really brought home the extent of the floods to us was the sight of a wrecked yacht in the middle of a cane field. The Maryborough Family Heritage Research Institute has already started planning for next year's anniversary celebration and we may try to attend again just because we had so much fun this time.

Of course coming home meant that I had lots of emails to catch up on and I was pleased to see a few more events for National Family History Month. Some states have quite a few events now but others have yet to list any. It was great to see Australian Family Tree Connections feature the NFHM banner in their June issue and in Genealogy News there is a piece on NFHM and the suggestion that local genie societies have a display at their local newsagents who usually stock all kinds of genie magazines. It certainly sounds a good way to advertise your society and perhaps even gain a few new members.

I have to put a few things into place next week which I hope will also capture researchers and societies attention and get more people talking about what they are going to do this coming August! Stay tuned.

One of the exciting pieces of news for me was the announcement that Queensland now has cheaper certificates ($28) and historical images ($20) which can be downloaded direct from the website. I haven't had a chance to try out the new QLD BDM website yet but I've always been a fan of Victoria's BDM online access and the ability to instantly follow a lead without having to wait for a certificate to be posted. Although you have to be careful to not get too carried away!

As usual I have my e-newsletters  to catch up on and I only wish I had some way of retaining a lot of this information easily although I do save them for searching later, assuming I can remember what newsletter I read it in.Not to mention the time it takes to look at all the URLs mentioned and going off on tangents!

For those who like to follow my travels we spent two days at Mooloolaba (where we almost ended up buying) and visited Underwater World and did a cruise on the canals which was fascinating. It even goes near Jake and Elle's home (runner up in recent My Kitchen Rules) and it just goes to show that local tourism benefits from having celebrities in the area. From there we were heading up to Hervey Bay (where the MKR winners were from) but we decided to spend a night in Tin Can Bay and visit Rainbow Beach as well.

We are members of Top Tourist Parks so we booked into the Tin Can Bay Tourist Park for one night and ended up staying for three nights as there is more to do in Tin Can Bay then you initially think. Next time we visit we will have to take the boat so that we can explore the waterways more. The owners advised us that it is actually easier to get to Fraser Island from there than going up to Hervey Bay so we booked into a Fraser Island Adventure Tours day tour to Lake McKenzie. It is only an 8 minute barge trip from Inskip Point to Fraser Island so definitely a quicker trip but I still managed to spot two dolphin pods on the way over.

The 4WD trip up the beach was great but it got a little bumpier once we started heading inland. We had a great BBQ at the lake and even spotted a dingo walking around Central Station (another tourist and picnic area) and as we came back out onto the beach for the trip home there was another dingo eating a coconut (or at least that's what it looked like). It was a great day and the bird life was amazing and you do have to watch those kookaburras - the man next to us had his BBQ sausage taken off his plate while the guide was busy warning us to watch out for them!

From our caravan park it was an easy walk to the foreshore and again the bird life was amazing and a guided walking trail helps you to know what the local trees are as well as some of the history. We also went down to the wild dolphin feeding at the Barnacles Dolphin Centre and this is a real draw card for tourism to Tin Can Bay. I hadn't realised they even did it there as I usually think of Monkey Mia in WA and Tangalooma here in QLD. It was a big crowd on Saturday morning and from there we headed up to Maryborough in time for the anniversary celebrations. Then we had a few days in Bundaberg before heading home.

It's great being able to travel and do genealogy things together but now that I'm home it's time to knuckle down as I have a talk on immigration records coming up at the end of the month for the Genealogical Society of Queensland and then two weeks later it is out to Chinchilla for two talks on Trove and Google. See my website Events page for details. They are predicting rain all next week so that is perfect weather to do some family history research and writing. I hope you find the time too!


  1. Re National Family History Month: thank you Shauna for your kind comments about our suggestion that the month could be of mutual benefit to Family History, Genealogy and Historical Societies and newsagents. We have also advised newsagents of the forthcoming opportunity and emailed most FH, G & H Societies in Australia. So far, several newsagents are keen, but not much response from Societies, hopefully because it requires committee consideration. Fingers crossed some Societies will give it a go, as it's a wonderful way of connecting with the general public when genealogy and history is top of their minds.

    1. Thanks AFTC - I will try to encourage more societies to think about doing this. Perhaps it is something they can look at doing in future years, if not this year.

  2. Hi Shauna - in reply to "As usual I have my e-newsletters to catch up on and I only wish I had some way of retaining a lot of this information easily although I do save them for searching later, assuming I can remember what newsletter I read it in.Not to mention the time it takes to look at all the URLs mentioned and going off on tangents!"

    I really recommend Evernote. You can have different notbeooks within Evernote to keep organised as well as tagging and contents of notes can be searched. You can email to yourself - so you could forward newsletters to your Evernote account.

    The free version is great, I haven't felt the need to upgrade to Premium.

    This is a link to how to email to Evernote: I am not associated in anyway with it other than an enthusiastic user. Dick Eastman writes about it in his blog and I think that is how I learned about it.


  3. Thanks Anne. Other friends have also suggested Evernote so it's on my list to investigate when I have time! Hope it's not too cold in Ballarat!