Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Genealogy notes 25-29 Apr 2014 - Inverell military seminar

The last few days have been spent travelling down to Inverell, NSW and back to attend the Inverell District Family History Group's military seminar day. It is not a quick trip - 7 hours drive and on the way down we went via Ipswich, Warwick, Stanthorpe, Tenterfield, Glen Innes and finally Inverell. On the way back it was a similar trip except after Warwick we went Allora, Grantham, Gatton, Kilcoy and Woodford just to vary the trip a bit.

The great thing about the drive especially once we got to New England was all the autumn colours. The poplars, maples, oaks etc put on a truly beautiful display and by the time we arrived in Inverell we were homesick for our time in Canberra which always had the most magic autumns. The smell of wood smoke also brought back many memories. Of course here in Queensland there are no seasons (not really) so it was very good to see it all again.

It was the Inverell District Family History Group's 30th birthday and to celebrate they had a one day military seminar and a 30th anniversary dinner which we also attended. The registration satchel included various giveaways including pen, pencil, rubber, post it notes, notebook, flyers from NSW transcriptions agents, and various tourism leaflets.There was also a lovely set of black and white postcards On the MacIntyre: Homesteads and Gardens of Western New England and a CD Index to Misc Newspaper Items: People, Places & Events in the Inverell District.

There were five talks and four speakers (I gave two talks). As some people were travelling quite a way, morning tea was first and the talks started at 10am. I thought this was an excellent idea as to make a 9am start some people would have had to leave home before a somewhat chilly dawn. That was the other thing that travelling south reminded us of - it is colder down there!

First up was my talk on the Australian Women's Register and how it can be used when researching female ancestors and women's organisations. As usual I have place the Powerpoint slides on my website - go to the Resources page and scroll down to Presentations. The second speaker was Warren Skewes (Transcribing the Fischer Diaries) talking about war diaries he has transcribed. Warren also brought along a display of war memorabilia from his own private collection which was really interesting to look at. When ever someone holds up original diaries and other items I always hope they have them stored somewhere safe and that there is a back up copy.

After an excellent lunch, Jennifer Milward from the Australian War Memorial gave a talk on helping you to research Australian military service in WW1. Every time I hear a talk about the AWM, I am amazed at how much is on their website apart from the People databases. You really need to explore all the tabs on the home page! For example, check out what is under the War History tab.

The next speaker was Christine Bramble (Great War Nurses from the Hunter Valley) whose talk was 'Almost falling through the cracks - the wartime story of Matron Ida Greaves RRC'. The acronym is the Royal Red Cross and Christine's talk was fascinating and highlighted someone whose war history was almost forgotten until her research using an amazing personal family archive. I think Matron Greaves would be a worthy addition to the Australian Women's Register which my first talk was on.

I gave the last talk of the day and it was titled - To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question! This talk was all about blogging, what it is, why do it and how to go about it plus a few of my favourite blogs. It is also on my website, go to the Resources page and scroll down to Presentations.

Afternoon tea and the raffles draw ended an excellent day of talks and conversation. We also had a small display of Unlock the Past books for sale which was appreciated by the various local genealogy societies who don't always get the opportunity to see the books before buying. This kept Max busy during the breaks but he also had time to look at the various military displays around the room too.

The 30th dinner was enjoyed by a smaller group and I really enjoyed the roast pork, vegies and apple sauce with pavlova for dessert while others enjoyed roast beef and an apple pudding. After some brief presentations and speeches it was time to cut the 30th birthday cake which was then thoroughly enjoyed by those present. Not that we were still hungry! Then it was time to end a long but fantastic day remembering our military ancestors.

After the extended weekend we are back on Bribie catching up with things, then we have to go down to Brisbane for the funeral of one of Max's cousins. While sad affairs, funerals are also a time to catch up with family members and now that we are back in Queensland we have been catching up with his mother's family. We are also hoping to have Mum out of hospital in the next few days so I'm not too sure how much genealogy will be happening! Still these days it is amazing what you can do with tablet, wifi and just a few spare minutes. Until next time happy researching.


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