Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Scottish discoveries, Adelaide Expo, Book review,& Other News - Genealogy Notes 15-21 Sep 2016

It's been a week of catching up on lots of things. My reading pile has been reduced and lots of journals and magazines neatly filed on the bookshelves. Just about everyone one that I read had an idea to follow up or URLs to check out. Which of course then leads to those distractions as you check out new information. For example, a site that I had not come across previously was Scotland's Places which searches three national databases to access historical resources for places in Scotland.

My great grandfather James Carnegie -
his mother Helen was born in Montrose
Looking for Montrose, Angus where most of my Scottish families were from led me to maps, photographs and references to various resources . I hadn't seen horse tax rolls before, not that I think my ancestors had horses but lots of people seem to have. In fact under historical tax rolls there were male and female servant tax rolls, cart tax rolls, dog tax rolls, clock and watch tax rolls, and all kinds of other tax rolls mostly for the 18th century but some earlier or later. Some documents you can see but others you need a Scotland's People subscription. You can also offer to help transcribe some of the documents! Lots to explore and do in Scotland's Places if you haven't already done so.

My two talks for the Unlock the Past history and genealogy expo in Adelaide next month are now done. Every time I look at the program and list of exhibitors it has grown and it will be a mega geneaevent. Lots of friends are also planning to travel there and it seems a few of us have booked into the same motel, the closest to the venue. It's an easy walking distance so I get some exercise as well!

If anyone else is going, let us know and perhaps we can organise drinks or a dinner on Friday or Saturday night.

I've finished reading Me & My Family Tree by Jackie Moss and my review is on the Resources page of my website - direct link here. With Christmas coming up, it would make a nice present for any young grandchildren who share a love of books and are interested in the family. If they are not already interested, they will be afterwards.

I'm making good progress on the Education Records module for the Australian certificate offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. It's amazing what I learn myself along the way, especially what is available online. Until you actually go looking for something you don't always know that it is online. Students should find it quite interesting (available early next year).

At the AFFHO Skype meeting on Monday night I gave my final report on National Family History Month 2016. I hadn't realised that the June issue of AFFHO's Newsflash had not gone out. This meant that societies were not given my final reminder to get their events into the web calendar and to remind members to enter the prizes giveaway. It probably explains why our numbers were a little down on last year's.

Adkins Robert Spencer via Trove
Next month's meeting of the Bribie Island Historical Society will be where I present my research on the early Presidents of the Amateur Fishing Association of Queensland which has its headquarters at Bongaree on Bribie Island. Max's great uncle Adkins Robert Spencer was the 3rd President so there is some family history in my talk. I've also looked at the families of the other Presidents up to 1950 and it is wonderful what you can learn about people when you only know a name and a place. Trove has given me clues that were easily followed up in other resources and I've been able to find out quite a lot about most of those early Presidents.

There's a nice quiet week ahead and I'm hoping for some research time possibly on my Cornish families - a bit of a review before the Adelaide Expo. One of the key speakers that I really want to hear is Philip Payton an expert on Cornish history and the Cornish in Australia. So it would be nice to have all of my Cornish research fresh in my mind before attending his talks. Otherwise it is back to some serious writing time.

Until next time, happy searching. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Rockstar Genealogists, Camden Conference & Other News - Genealogy Notes 8-14 Sep 2016

What a huge genealogy week! I'll start with the really exciting news first. Each year, John D Reid (Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections) conducts an online poll for Rockstar Genealogists around the world. It is always an honour to be nominated in the Australia/New Zealand category along with other well known speakers and bloggers. This year I was excited to learn that I was the Silver medallist while Jill Ball (aka Geniaus) took out the Gold and Michelle Patient and Helen Smith tied for the Bronze. The top ten is also a who's who of well known Australasian genealogists. It is also interesting to see the other Country categories and we have been fortunate down under to have some of the medallists give presentations here.

I am also indebted to Michelle Patient for designing this wonderful badge and I have already seen other medallists using it. Thanks to everyone who voted for me and all those who received nominations are winners too and if you get the opportunity, try to attend their presentations or read their blogs.

Before the exciting news broke, I was in Camden New South Wales for the annual NSW & ACT Family History Organisations conference. It was a great event, with good speakers, exhibitors, venue, food and was definitely a chance to catch up with lots of geneamates. My Report on the Camden Conference goes into more detail about the three days.

Reading Room, AIATSIS Sep 2016
While briefly in Canberra (which was cold and wet and I remembered clearly why I left there) I visited AIATSIS, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. There have been changes since my last visit some 15 years ago, but there is a lovely reading room looking out over Lake Burley Griffin. The online catalogue allows you to work out what you want to look at and there is also an online family history tool kit. A great place to start researching Indigenous family history and it's also useful to everyone doing family history.

A friend contacted me this week asking me to check the local paper for any death or funeral notice for a relation who had died in nearby Redcliffe. I'm forever telling people that not everything is online so it is a bit ironic that I couldn't find the notice in the paper. Instead I found it online on one of my favourite sites for recent funeral notices. Heaven Address can be used to look for recent funeral notices (Memorials) or for Resting Places

The postman delivered Chris Paton's new Unlock the Past guide A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy so another book on the pile to read. Still waiting for Nathan Dylan Goodwin's new genealogy crime mystery The Spyglass Thriller - I ordered it a couple of weeks ago but obviously on a slow boat. Nathan has since offered me two copies for lucky door prizes at speaking events so I will have to work out where and when.

This coming week is catching up with family, seems ages since I saw my brother and mother but then it has been a couple of hectic months. Some quiet writing is also on the cards now that I have finished bits and pieces of research. It is much easier to write when not distracted by lots of other things. Until next time, happy researching.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Exciting Irish News, Camden Conference & Other News - Genealogy Notes 3-7 Sep 2016

The Society logo
Tomorrow I head off for Canberra and my visit to AIATSIS (Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) before heading to Camden in New South Wales for the Cow Pastures and Beyond genealogy conference and family history fair. It is organised by the Camden Area Family History Society and I love their logo. As well as ACT and NSW friends, I also know that some from SA and QLD will also be there. A great three days coming up and a report will follow next week.

My week has been spent catching up on some genealogy magazine reading and exploring lots of new URLs. That's probably the main reason I never catch up with the reading because an article sends me to the laptop. Of course that also happens with tweets and Facebook posts too. This was going to be written this morning when I saw Chris Paton's British Genes Blog post and it totally hijacked my day.

Why? The headline was Historic Irish BMD Records Freely Available Online and how could anyone with Irish ancestors go past that. Several hours later I have managed to find out a lot more about my GG Grandmother's sisters family in Ireland. Sarah Finn nee Fagan had a sister Mary Fagan who married Patrick McCormack and they looked after my GGG grandmother Sarah Fagan nee Cane in her old age. As it was a collateral line I have never bothered to get certificates, relying on the 1901 and 1911 census records for the family. Now thanks to these new records online, I have Mary and Patrick's marriage certificate, birth certificates for all of their children and death certificates for Patrick and Mary.

I believe my great grandmother Mary Carnegie nee Finn was named after her aunt Mary McCormack nee Fagan. They never met and I wonder if Sarah ever wrote back home to her sister Mary? No letters survive here but now that I have more information on the McCormack's, perhaps I should try and track down any descendants?

I haven't been as successful with my Finn and Beakey families - I've got some possible entries but the certificates are not online yet. Once they are there might be enough information for me to confirm a relationship. Plus I've been jumping all over the place in my excitement, looking for quick hits. A more steady approach is required, not to mention some spelling variation searches. In the past I have found Finn under Funn. Still that will have to wait until I get back home again. As will entering all the data into my genealogy program.

The other thing I get from magazines and journals are blog post ideas and now that NFHM is over for another year I want to get back to some blog writing. Also high on my priority list is a new course module for the Australian Certificate offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. It is on Education Records and I am looking forward to it as education records have long been a favourite of mine. One of my popular presentations is on school records and I use lots of my own family discoveries.

I'm also half way through a new research guide for Unlock the Past which was also abandoned for NFHM. Hopefully after I reread what I have done so far, it won't take too long to finish. Perhaps I need to stop checking social media for new releases?? Those people who don't use social media for genealogy and family history are missing out but then they probably get more other things done like housework, gardening and food shopping.

Time to go and pack a suitcase and get all my travel documents together for an early start tomorrow. The Bribie shuttle is picking me up at 5am to get to the airport on time. Traffic on the highway is always the unknown and I would prefer to have breakfast in the Qantas Club than be stuck in Brisbane's early morning traffic and worrying about missing the flight. Enjoy the weekend and if you are in Camden, come up and say hello.

 Until next week, happy searching!