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.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Perth two day seminar, NSW crew lists & More - Genealogy Notes 1-15 Jun 2018

Changing over to a fortnightly blog post didn't quite go to plan as this is a few days late. Sometimes I wonder how I did everything when I was working five days a week. Yesterday was a total spring clean of the house so I can at least feel good about that. I've also been working on some of the brick walls for my U3A class - happy to say that I have broken one wall down and will be presenting the results at the class on Wednesday.

The second edition of my Where Do I Start:Researching in Australia and New Zealand is now available and I brought home some copies with me from the Unlock the Past seminar in Perth the other week.

The Western Australian Genealogical Society also gave me a copy of Family Reflections which is their silver anniversary anthology edited by Loreley Morling. I love reading family history stories and this is a collection of 35 family histories submitted by individual members. So many aspects of Western Australia's history is reflected in the collection and I will certainly enjoy reading the publication and getting some tips for my own WA families.

As always there are new resources online but the State Archives and Records NSW new online index has over 2500 names in the Crew & Passengers lists, 1828-1841 that were located in correspondence sent to the NSW Colonial Secretary's Office. So if you are missing a crew member in early NSW, check it out.

Day one venue State Library of Western Australia
The Unlock the Past seminar in Perth was over two days with Doug Elms, Kerry Farmer and myself giving talks on a variety of subjects including family history software, DNA, newspapers, immigration, mining ancestors, education records and more. My report on the geneaevent gives all the detail. I gave four talks and all four presentations are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

What's Coming Up?
My next talk is on 11 July from 10-11 am at the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum and I will be having a fishy look at Bribie Island - talking about our ancestral ties to the Pumicestone Passage. The event is free and for catering purposes they do like you to book. I can certainly recommend the yummy morning tea. Last time I went there was a chocolate cake to die for. Book here.

Then two weeks later my son will marry his long time girlfriend. So that will be a family event not to be missed! They are doing things quite differently - there will be the main event on the Monday and the wedding breakfast will be a real breakfast on the Tuesday morning. He tells me his life is modelled on mine and I have to admit that I'm not the most conventional person. All I want for them is to be happy together and to make the most of their lives. So far they have achieved way more than I had by my 30s so their goal of living and working in Europe looks like a winner. All I'm thinking about is the opportunity of having a white Christmas in the next year or two! Something definitely on my bucket list.

Until next time, happy searching.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Another insolvent in the family, more talks & other news - Genealogy News 18-31 May 2018

Where did May disappear to? This blog looks like becoming a fortnightly event as the weeks seem to go too quickly these days.


Since taking on the advanced family history tutoring at U3A, the preparation for each week's class seems to have taken over my blogging time. I enjoy the classes and have been making new discoveries on my own families while preparing the talks. Last week they wanted a session on insolvencies and bankruptcies and during the preparation I discovered that my great great grandfather John Finn filed for insolvency in northern NSW in 1897. I'm now waiting for a copy of the file from State Archives and Records NSW. The Archives doesn't have a copy service for this record series so I'm using NSW Family History Transcriptions who provide copies of key record groups. Certainly cheaper than travelling to Kingswood.

John is one of my favourite ancestors as he has left so many records - BDMs, passenger list, land files, court records, prisons, newspapers, asylums and now insolvencies. Yet there is no known photograph of him, just this newspaper sketch from when he was accused of arson. Thankfully he was acquitted but the records were still created.

Everyone's keen to continue so we have just signed up for another term. At the end of this term I will have done four terms, a whole year and some students have been with me the whole time.


Some were keen and took their places early.
The afternoon seminar with the Gold Coast Family History Society went really well with some good feedback. My two talks on Archives You Should Know and Skeletons in the Family had every body talking over the afternoon tea and post seminar. There were lots of questions too. As usual, both talks are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

The Society has a wonderful venue to host these mini seminars with lots of room. Behind the seating area there is kitchen space for morning or afternoon teas.  Afterwards I was fortunate enough to be given a tour of their library, also in the same building.

Great library facilities for the lucky members of
the Gold Coast Family History Society.
Then four of us went out for pizza, wine and more stimulating talk about family history. I stayed overnight as it was over a two hour drive down, and after three hours of talking I didn't really feel like driving home in the dark. That's the trouble with winter, I miss the longer days.

Due to a heavy cold I ended up not going to Maurice Gleeson talks in Brisbane which was disappointing. I spent most of the day in bed asleep which is most unusual for me. He provided copies of both his talks to attendees so at least I had those to go through. Everyone said I missed a really good day. I do have the chance to hear him again in Seattle and on the Alaska cruise so that is something to look forward to.

What's Coming Up?

Next Thursday I'm off to Perth for the Unlock the Past exploring family and local history seminar where I will be giving four talks. Kerry Farmer and Doug Elms are also on the program along with local speakers and exhibitors so it will be a full on two days.

Then it's a whole month until my next talk for Pine Rivers Heritage Museum where I will be having A Fishy Look at Bribie Island. Should be fun as its combining my family history with local history. I have been to talks there before and they always have a really nice morning tea.

Until next time, have a great genealogy time with lots of new discoveries.