Thursday, 2 August 2018

National Family History Month & Other News - Genealogy Notes 16 - 31 Jul 2018

Exciting news - this blog was listed by Feedspot in the Top 10 Australian Genealogy Blogs which also includes some of my favourite bloggers including individuals and genealogy societies.


I have started reading Lynette McDermott's third volume in her Garth Trilogy The Promise of Tomorrow and I'm hooked again. This time the setting is the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria. This is an area where we had some wonderful fishing trips when we lived down that way so I'm familiar with a lot of the places. I hadn't thought I would relate as much to the third volume as I had with the first (Norfolk Island) and second (Tasmania). The only problem is that it is an ecopy so I have to read on the laptop and not curled up in bed, my preferred reading spot.


Pauleen Cass, one of my fellow social media ambassadors for the Waves in Time conference on the Sunshine Coast in May 2019 has written a wonderful blog post on what's happening - read Catch a Genealogy Wave in Queensland for a total update and make sure you put the dates in your diary. It will be a conference not to be missed.


In a few weeks I'm off on the Unlock the Past Alaska cruise and it should be a really great time. There will be a few days in Vancouver, Canada then a few days in Seattle. While there I'm attending the UTP one day conference with Blaine Bettinger and other speakers. Then the 7 night cruise with lots of onboard talks and wonderful scenery and onshore days. I will be doing my usual post cruise blog with all the highlights and learnings.

Unlock the Past have started to publicise their next cruise which is from Sydney to Singapore and you can check out the key speakers and what else is happening here. If that one doesn't tempt you, then there is a second cruise in 2019 going from Southampton to the Mediterranean.

National Family History Month

I almost forgot that August is National Family History Month now that I have retired as voluntary national coordinator. This year I can just sit back and enjoy events and even enter the NFHM prizes giveaway. My big event for the month is attending the FamilySearch Discovery Day at Forest Glen where I'm giving two talks and listening to two of my favourite speakers. Looking forward to a great day of genealogy tips and motivation.

Moreton Bay Region Libraries have a range of free talks on offer during August and I'm booked to attend a DNA talk with David Barnes at the Caboolture Library and Helen Smith is coming to Bribie Island Library to talk about brick walls and breaking them down. It's a nice to sit back and enjoy NFHM.

Image courtesy Hazel Edwards
Well known children's author (and grandmother) Hazel Edwards is also known for her How to Write a Non Boring Family History.  Hazel is keen to interest children in history and their own family history and she is keen to see other families foster this interest in the past.

NFHM is a perfect opportunity to try some of Hazel's ideas - why not do a picture book with a few highlights of an event/s in the family. Create a special birthday book. Or help them to draw the family tree. I love  Hazel's grandson's family tree.

If you are stuck for ideas, or need some guidance on how to start, check out Hazel's handy hints.


Findmypast has added some Cheshire, Cumberland and Derbyshire records plus added more records to the 1939 Register and more newspaper titles. Ancestry and MyHeritage are major supporters of NFHM so remember to check out the Sponsors page to see what prizes are on offer during August.

What's Coming Up?

Another trip on my bucket list is to the Midlands area of England (I have been to London a couple of times and been to Oxford, Kent and Wiltshire but always seem to run out of time). Next year The Genealogy Show is in Birmingham in June 2019 so I have started to plan out a trip to see all my Staffordshire ancestral places and then head up to York, then Edinburgh and a trip to Montrose where my Carnegie ancestors hail from. I'd like to include Cornwall in this trip but it is at the opposite end of the country. Plus there are all those places in between!

There will be one more Diary before my Alaskan trip and on my return I hope to get back to regular blogging with a new theme. I need a focus to help me write those family stories. Until next time, have a great genealogy time during National Family History Month.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Free Irish magazine, Waves in Time & Other News - Genealogy Notes 1-15 Jul 2018

Winter is half over and still not that cool here - ever so glad we moved north. Those lovely minus temperatures in Canberra this week were a reminder of why I moved on, I loved the city but too cold for me. We even have a visiting seal who seems in no hurry to swim away and the whales are still on their way north. Blue skies, warm sun but a few drops of rain occasionally would be welcome.


It's official - if I don't participate in a regular blog challenge I seem to find no time to write blog posts. I'm still doing research but just not writing about it. With the genealogy cruise to Alaska looming, now is not the right time to start a new blog theme. But it will be on the agenda once I get back in September.

I even keep missing Trove Tuesday but then every day is very much the same for me these days. I need a visual reminder - not a clock in the room but a sign saying 'today is'!

What will also spark my interest again is teaching a couple of blogging sessions to my Bribie U3A advanced family history class.


The Garth Trilogy
My latest book to review is Lynette McDermott's Book 3 in her Garth trilogy - The Promise of Tomorrow.

Book's 1 and 2 dealt with their transportation, life on Norfolk Island in the First Settlement, then the move to Tasmania and now the final book concludes the family's story. I enjoyed the first two volumes and now to try and find some time to read the final volume. It must feel really good to have completed three novels based around your own family history.

I'm not sure that my families have enough interest for three volumes but then again, there is a lot of crime, tragedy, mystery and travel. Maybe in my retirement!


With the two week term break for U3A, I was able to attend the Waves in Time conference committee meeting and the organisation so far is very impressive. Venue sorted, sponsors found, exhibitors lining up and speaker proposals coming in. There are three exciting keynote speakers and as usual there will be both local and family history presentations.

Four ambassadors for social media have been endorsed - Pauleen Cass, Caitlin Gow, Helen Smith and myself so you will be hearing a lot about the conference as it looms closer.


Did every one get their free copy of the latest issue of Irish Lives Remembered - hard to believe you can get such an interesting genealogy magazine for free. A few years back I was writing regular features for Irish Lives Remembered so I have a digital copy of every issue I think. Must check.

These days I write regularly for Going In-Depth for The In-Depth Genealogist and writing a monthly article and blog posts is quite challenging. Trying to think of a theme that you can write about over a period of months with suitable images is not as easy as it sounds.


Pine Rivers Heritage Museum
My presentation on A Fishy Look at Bribie (a mix of my family history and local history) was well attended at the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum. Two cousins who found me via a blog post on my Bribie/Pumicestone ancestors (Carnegie and Davis families) attended. It was really good to meet them in person and chat about the family. Another reminder that blogging pays fantastic genealogy dividends.

That same night I went to the Bribie Island Historical Society meeting to learn more about the Island's boarding houses. Another ancestor, Thomas Stephen Burstow, had cottages for rent over at Woorim (ocean side) and in one of those amazing coincidences, a different cousin who was at my Fishy talk  said he had photos of these cottages and the family home. So we should all be telling our stories because you just don't know who is listening/reading and what they have on the family.

My next talks will be at the Forest Glen family history discovery day in August for National Family History Month. Then after that it will be Alaska. Starting to get excited.

What's Coming Up

This has more or less been covered but in preparing for my third term U3A talks I have been revisiting my Scottish ancestors and discovering lots of new information. I'm trying to update my database and write the stories as I go, rather than piling up information but that is not always easy time wise. So there is a lever arch binder beside my desk just waiting for a few spare hours.

Some time before the end of the month I need to write another article and blog post for Going In-Depth and I'm aiming for a Trove Tuesday blog post too.

Have a great genealogy week and remember revisiting your research may lead to new discoveries. Until next time, enjoy.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

South Australian records online, conferences coming up & other news - Genealogy Notes 16-30 Jun 2018

The end of another financial year and part way through winter. Not that we have had a lot of cold weather here yet. I did put a jumper on one day but then it was also raining so definitely a cooler day.

Lots of things on the family front seem to be keeping me busy with little personal time for my own research.

My son marries his long time girlfriend in a few weeks and she has just shown me her family tree for the first time. I knew that the family were from The Netherlands but never realised that the family line goes back to the mid 16th century. They never moved around much and Dutch records seem to be good. I am so glad that my son has Australian royalty (convicts) and a nice sprinkling of English, Irish and Scots ancestors although none of our lines go back much past the 18th century.


The Waves in Time 2019 conference committee have asked me to be an ambassador for the event along with four other social media geneabuddies.

It will be our job to make sure people are aware of the conference, the speakers and the sessions. Less than a year to go and there is another planning meeting in early July.

The Sunshine Coast is a great place to host the conference and you can plan a holiday alongside the three day geneaevent.

Recently I was asked was I attending the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Organisations annual conference Sailing Into History in Bateman's Bay this year as I usually do try to attend their conferences. Sadly this year I will be winging my way home from the Unlock the Past Alaska genealogy cruise so miss by one weekend. It looks like another good conference and I used to love weekends down at Bateman's Bay when we lived in Canberra so really sorry not to be going. But then Alaska and my extra days in Vancouver and Seattle will be fantastic too.


The Spencer family home in Adelaide
Anyone with South Australian ancestors will know that it is not the easiest Australian state to do research in. That seems about to change with the exciting news of records from the State Record Office of South Australia being made available through FamilySearch.

Alona wrote about the release in her blog post Millions of South Australian records added to Family Search.With a title like that I simply had to have a look and most of the records are not yet indexed into FamilySearch but you can browse the registers as if you were in the search room. I have been browsing probate records but there are also prison records, insolvencies, passenger lists, inquests, asylums, courts and more. A veritable feast which will be totally wonderful when indexed and more easily searched.


Adkins Robert Spencer
Next week I will be speaking at the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum with A Fishy Look at Bribie - while this has local history throughout it is also very much a part of our own family history. My great great great grandparents John and Helen Carnegie were oyster farmers in Pumicestone Passage in the late 19th century and Max's uncle Adkins Robert Spencer was President of the Amateur Fishermen's Association of Queensland at Bongaree for many years in the early 20th century. Plus there are lots of other fishy stories. Should be a lot of fun and I always enjoy visiting the Museum as it has so much to see.

My contribution to National Family History Month this year is giving two presentations at the Family Discovery Day at Forest Glen. There are four sessions throughout the day with four talks in each session with some good speakers. So 16 talks to choose from but you can only attend one talk in each session so some tough decisions to make. Attendance is free but you need to register (just enter Forest Glen Queensland).

What's Coming Up?
It is a two week break from tutoring advanced family history at Bribie U3A, but it is never really a break for the tutor as they are preparing for the next term. Not sure how long I can keep delivering a new talk every week based around the needs of the class but it is always fun trying.

I've got some topics in advance from the group as almost all of them are continuing and some have been with me since the beginning two years ago. So with luck I will get a few talks ahead before term starts again.

Until next time, happy searching.