Sunday, 26 February 2017

Genealogy Seminars Coming Up & Other News - Genealogy Notes 4-28 Feb 2017

Traditional fabric making, Dili, Timor-Leste
Well finally home from the holiday (highlights at the end of this blog post and photos to tempt you to read further) and catching up with all the news. I have just said yes to seven more talks in 2017 - one in June for the local Bribie Island Family History Group and six for Moreton Region Libraries during National Family History Month.

The list of where I am speaking in 2017 has been updated and is available on the Events & Services page of my website.

Speaking of National Family History Month I have heard from a few more sponsors and I will be updating the website in the next few days. It's a little nerve wracking as this is the new website and I just hope I can remember how everything works. It is quite different from my other websites so wish me luck.

Inside History Magazine have asked me to write an article on a very interesting and challenging topic. Looking forward to it but the deadline is a fairly tight - two weeks. I find deadlines useful as it helps to focus priorities and my main priority this week will be finalising my three talks for the Queensland Family History Society seminar this Saturday 3 March. The talks are all based around different aspects of my research guide Family History on the Cheap. Should be a great day and an opportunity to catch up with friends too.
World War 2 war memorial, Dare, Timor-Leste

For those in Adelaide or those who want an excuse for a weekend away in Adelaide, Unlock the Past is running a two day seminar on 5-6 May 2017. Titled Exploring and Writing  Family and Local History there are nine speakers, eight local plus Kerry Farmer from Sydney. As well as looking at writing family history, there are topics on DNA, immigration,  oral history, military ancestors, historical photos and more. Check out the program here.

I'm already going to the Queensland conference Footsteps in Time in May otherwise I might have been tempted to zip over to Adelaide. The UTP expo in Adelaide last year was really good and worth the trip. Can't go to everything!

Now for a few words on the latest trip which ticked a few items off the bucket list. Cruised out of Brisbane and up the Queensland coast to Port Douglas (a bit weird sailing past Bribie Island) then on to the top end of Queensland. I'd always imagined it was a pointy bit of land but it really is a whole series of islands which seem to go for a long way. Torres Strait is really quite narrow in places so a fascinating area to see and it makes me wonder how those early explorers and later immigrant ships ever found their way through the Strait and then down the Queensland coast with all those coral reefs everywhere.

Then to Darwin where we caught up with family before heading to Dili, Timor-Leste. Here we saw some local markets, cultural dancing and visited the WW2 memorial to the Australian and Dutch soldiers.  I didn't know that Timor was invaded by the Japanese the same day they bombed Darwin. Next stop was the highlight of the whole trip (for me) a visit to Komodo Island, a world heritage site and the home of the famous Komodo dragons.

These amazing animals wander freely around and have right of way on paths and given that they are carnivorous I can't imagine why you would want to challenge them. Local guides are all around to ensure people's safety but all they have are wooden staffs so definitely best not to upset a dragon. We even saw a baby one but as soon as it saw us it scooted back into the bush.

The start of the crossing of the Equator ceremony
The next port was Bali a place we always like to visit, do some shopping and eat some amazing food.

Crossing the Equator by ship has a long established ceremony which was interesting to watch, if a little messy. How they got people to volunteer to be part of it amazed me, but then those people are now in everybody's photos of the event!

We were even given a crossing certificate signed by the ship's captain and King Neptune, and who knew he was a merman. The things you learn travelling.

The skywalk at the Gardens by the Bay  
Singapore was the final port and we had a few more days there with the highlight being a visit to the Gardens by the Bay (doesn't sound much but truly spectacular) and we also visited Chinatown, did a river tour and dined at Clarke Quay. We stayed at Boat Quay, which was easy walking to Chinatown not to mention an almost endless stream of restaurants/cafes on the river either side of the hotel. Amazingly most of them were super busy for the three nights we were there. No one must eat at home!

While I love travelling it is always good to be home and I'm looking forward to a great genealogy year in 2017.

By next Diary I hope to be back doing some of my own research and blogging the family stories.

Until next time, happy researching.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Talks coming up - Genealogy Notes 29 Jan - 3 Feb 2017

This week is a bit short as I am about to leave on holidays and will be largely off the radar.

Most of my time has been spent contacting sponsors for National Family History Month August 2017 and I had hoped to have this finalised but not yet. It always takes a while and often sponsors are waiting for budget updates, meetings to discuss and everything else that goes with sponsorship. I'm excited that most of our sponsors from 2016 have already agreed to sponsor again.  When I return the NFHM website will be updated and societies and other organisations will be able to start entering their events from March 2017.

My conference paper for the Footsteps in Time conference in May 2017 was submitted on time. I am now registered and I even signed up for the two workshops on DNA - Beginners and Advanced. That cuts into the time I have to spare at the Friday Fair but should be good and help me to understand my results more.

My first seminar for 2017 is fast approaching with three talks based on Family History on the Cheap with the Queensland Family History Society. It is on 3 March and should be a good day.

Rootstech 2017 is about to start so watch out for posts on Twitter and Facebook from the Aussie contingent over there. They have snow and it seems to be cold. Where I'm going is hot although I can't imagine anywhere hotter than Queensland at the moment. It is has just been blue cloudless days with full sun forever and I can't even remember what rain is like.

The poor garden will suffer but we have topped up bird baths and given everything a good drink. Hopefully there will be some rain while we are gone.

Until my return happy searching. 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Australia Day blogs & Other News - Genealogy Notes 22 - 28 Jan 2017

Some weeks fly past and with visitors in the house usual routines get left behind. We all went to Australia Zoo and it has become a lot bigger since I was last there. But then that was quite a few years ago. I could watch giraffes all day and the tigers are majestic and it was good to see the three tiger cubs all playing together in the pool with the trainers. I was a bit disappointed with the crocodiles but when you have seen crocodile shows in Darwin and Far North Queensland this was a little tame.

My Trove Tuesday blog post was Funeral Notices and Odd Fellows. My GG grandfather James Carnegie was an Odd Fellow and the only way I found out was from his funeral notice.

My intention to do an Australia Day blog post never happened but there seemed to be fewer this year. Perhaps we were all out and about. Geniaus did a round up  and you can read them here. I always enjoy Jill's list of blog posts to read and I have noted that she has promised to organise an Australia Day geneameme in 2018. I look forward to the challenge.

I always like reading my Lost Cousins enewsletter and the latest issue reports that Ancestry have now surpassed 3 million DNA kits so obviously DNA is going to be one of the big trends for 2017. I wonder what the stats are for MyHeritage and FamilyTree DNA. I still haven't had any direct matches although there are a few where we are connected, but haven't worked out yet what the connection is.

During the week I was reminded of the Internet Archive which is more than just lots of free digital books, movies and music. One of my favourite parts is the Wayback Machine where you can see earlier versions of some websites. It has been archiving my website since 2009 and I now realise it has been  capturing this Diary blog since 2011. It is really useful if a website has disappeared or content has been removed and there is a saved copy in the Archive.

A blog that caught my attention via a Facebook post was Gympie Regional Memories as I have lots of Gympie families.  There is even an interactive street map of Gympie with lots of the streets flagged and a short history of why they were named. Lots of old pioneers and information on some of the old mines.

This week I have to get a copy of my conference paper to the organisers of Footsteps in Time as they are publishing the papers. It seems ages away but May will be here before we know it. I also completed my registration and booked accommodation so I'm all set. Early bird registration closes on 1 March 2017.

There will also be lots of social media posts from those enjoying themselves at Rootstech. Quite a few have already arrived and lots of snowy shots of Salt Lake City. It's hot and muggy here and it is ages since it rained more than a light shower. Time for a swim. Until next time, happy researching.