Thursday, 13 October 2016

Adelaide Expo report, Book review & Other News - Genealogy Notes 8-14 Oct 2016

My little trip to the Unlock the Past Genealogy & History Expo in Adelaide last weekend was fantastic but not without drama. I'm actually wondering if they are good for my health or am I just a little accident prone. We flew in on Thursday afternoon and I noticed that the rings on my fingers were very tight and there was a bit of swelling. My partner was the same and we both thought it would go down in the evening as Adelaide was hot and humid that afternoon.

Before bed I managed to get all but one ring, my engagement ring, off. The finger was still swollen and the ring was very tight. Hoping that all would be well in the morning we went to sleep until I woke up in a fair bit of pain and an extremely swollen finger about 12.30 am. We didn't hire a car so we couldn't drive to a hospital and there was no night reception so after a chat with the Ambulance folk they suggested we probably needed the Fire Service to cut the ring off. To cut a long story short, I was the one wearing only a nightie, with bare feet on the footpath on Anzac Highway in the wee hours of the morning while the lovely firemen worked every so carefully to cut me free without further damage to my finger. While I was extremely embarrassed at having to call on their services, they graciously said it was good to come out and be able to help someone.  Emergency services people really are wonderful. Thank you all.

Thankfully the rest of the weekend went better and you can read my Day One and Day Two reports for all the details. It really was a good event with lots of lectures, exhibitors and networking with friends and colleagues. My partner spent the time with his son and grandkids so a great weekend all round.

While in Adelaide I went without checking emails, spent practically no time on social media and generally did things the old fashioned way. I managed to read Nathan Dylan Goodwin's new book The Spyglass File and you can read my review here. The trouble with his fictional forensic genealogist Morton Farrier is that I want to read all his adventures straight away but of course, each book takes time to research and write. If you are only just discovering Nathan's books, there are three earlier Morton Farrier adventures and a novella. May the fifth book appear as soon as possible.

The University of Tasmania is offering a family history unit over Spring and Summer as part of their Diploma of Family History, entitled 'Writing Family History'. The unit is fully online and has a 100% HECS scholarship for domestic students, meaning that you will not incur a tuition fee or debt for studying the unit. It provides an introduction to writing non fictional and fictional narratives based on genealogical records. Applications are open now and you can apply here.

I'm thinking of enrolling in this unit but the last time I enrolled in one of their family history subjects I broke my right elbow (on another Unlock the Past event) and had to withdraw. Thanks to the 'firies' I still have my finger on my left hand so perhaps all will be well this time.

Last night I gave a presentation to the Bribie Island Historical Society on the early Presidents of the Amateur Fishermen's Association of Queensland, giving it a family history twist. There was lots of interest and questions and my research on the Presidents will expand to take in all the suggestions. It was my last talk for the year. A quick count shows that I did 28 presentations in 2016, that may be an all time record and they can be seen on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

It's been a full on week and I'm still catching up on research reports, blog and article writing, and the online Education Records module. This week will also have my fingers on the keyboard as I have a holiday coming up in November and I want to go away with a clean desk!

Until next time, have another great week geneasearching.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Genealogy Expo Bound & Other News - Genealogy Notes 1-7 Oct 2016

This Diary post is being written in advance as I am about to leave for Adelaide and the Unlock the Past Adelaide expo on Friday and Saturday. It will be genearaging while you read this. Wondering if this will get me another entry in Geniaus' geneadictionary? Last week's geneaenvy made it and if you haven't caught up with Geniaus' latest inclusion, read it here.

I'm giving two talks at the Expo - one on digitised newspapers which seems to be the most popular talk after the organisers did a survey of who was attending what session. Sadly my other talk on sporting ancestors didn't poll as well and I'm now in a smaller room. Most people automatically assume they have no sporting ancestors but the reality is that they have probably never looked. It's not just cricket! All those fishermen, hunters, shooters, swimmers and others must belong to someone. My book is available from Gould Genealogy & History and on sale at the Expo.

Usually I try to do daily posts when I attend these types of events, but since breaking my right elbow last year travel has been more complicated. It's hard to tow a suitcase, laptop and handbag with only one arm so I need to become more techno with the tablet. I have an old model IPad but was given a smaller Android tablet which I haven't quite got the hang of yet.

I could do photos easily with the IPad but the new tablet only seems to take selfies and I'm not quite into that. You can't seem to turn it around and take photos and see what's in the frame. Others have looked and confirmed its not just me being silly. I could use my phone but then I have to get my reading glasses out and as they are a new addition to my wardrobe, I quite often find they are at home!

There will be a full report once I get back but in the meantime I'm sure there will be lots of tweets and Facebook posts from other geneabloggers at the Expo. As well as local South Australians, I know others travelling from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria so it will be a busy time with all the talks, exhibitors and catching up with geneafriends.

If you want time to go fast then get involved in following a daily blog or challenge. I'm a fan of Amy Johnson Crow and she is currently doing 31 Days to Better Genealogy with a different post each day. It's National Family History Month over in the USA and it's similar to what I have done here as a NFHM online event for the last few years. The timing is not great for me with the trip to Adelaide and other projects but each day gives new ideas from someone else's perspective. I can always follow up at a more leisurely pace. The first five days have gone so quick that when I see the email pop up I can't believe it is 24 hours later!

This week saw me send off my monthly blog and article for The In-Depth Genealogist. These are always on Australasian topics and the blog posts tend to favour archives and libraries (no surprise there) and what you can use online.

Max and I as part of the 200th anniversary of
the closure of the First Settlement 2007

We are thinking of going back to Norfolk Island (for a third trip) with some of our Bribie friends. It seems we have raved so much they now all want to experience it themselves. A friend on Norfolk Island reminded me that next year is the 10th anniversary of our convict reunion over there. Seems like 2017 is the year to go back but where have the last 10 years gone?

Last week the family were hassling me about Christmas but now they seem to have twigged that I'm about to enter a new decade, which I had thought I could slip quietly into. I wonder if the swinging 60s still applies or, now that 60 is the new 40, is it back to the 40s? Not sure that I could deal with another mid life crisis.

Either way over the last few weeks of my 50s I thought it might be interesting to try and find photographs from each decade. This might keep the family amused if they insist on the big party. The hard part is that having been a gypsy for a good part of my life, there is not a great photographic store to choose from. Perhaps some of you who have known me through family history for the last 40 years have some interesting photos of me?

Have a great genealogy week and if you are in Adelaide, do say hello. Happy searching until next time.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Geneaenvy, research queries & other news - Genealogy Notes 22-30 Sep 2016

Geneaenvy - I'm not sure if there is such a word but I think I have it.Perhaps I need to stop following some people on Facebook but it seems that a lot of my US and Canada geneafriends are going to genealogy conferences, seminars, cruises and other events every weekend.Whereas most of us here in Australia only get to a geneaevent maybe once or twice a year.

The AFFHO genealogy congress is held every three years and we have to wait until 2018 for the next one - Bridging the Past & Future to be held in Sydney. The call for papers closes on 31 October and I put in three proposals this week so I'm hoping one gets up. History Queensland has a conference every two years and the next one is 2017 on the Gold Coast with a theme  of  Footsteps in Time. The NSW & ACT Association of Family History Organisations holds an annual conference with the next one in Orange, NSW with a great theme Your Family Story: Telling, Recording, Preserving.  Unlock the Past usually has a genealogy cruise once a year with the next one heading to Papua New Guinea in 2017 and occasionally they have an Expo with the next one in Adelaide just a week away.

Lots of societies hold an annual seminar day but these are usually are smaller, mainly local and don't attract people from a greater distance. So depending on where you live, you may not even get to some of the larger events. Webinars are starting to get more popular here but to me don't have the same ambiance of being in a room with a lot of like minded people. I suspect that our population would not support any more geneaevents so thank goodness for social media. We can read blog posts, tweets and Facebook links from those who are lucky enough to have a geneaevent every week.

There have been a few research enquiries over the past few weeks which have taken me to places my own research doesn't go. Always good to learn new things and I have to say NSW Family History Transcriptions run by Marilyn Rowan is excellent. Within a few days of placing my order, the transcripts were in my inbox. So much cheaper and quicker than certificates. The Biographical Database of Australia is also good if you have early NSW research. You can search for free but to see the full entries you need to subscribe but it is a modest amount and worth it if you find lots of interest in the searches.

I rejoined the Genealogical Society of Victoria (I knew I should never have let it lapse when I moved to Queensland) as I was missing their journal and access to their online member resources including GIN, (Genealogical Index of Names). A lot of what is available on there is not available elsewhere making it a great resource for Victorian ancestors.

Henry Spencer's brother,
Adkins Robert Spencer,
image courtesy
State Library of Queensland
It's good to revisit blog posts from time to time and this week I added the Search for Henry Spencer to my own website. It was originally written for a brick wall site in Sep 2010. Since then I have managed to find long lost cousins, learn lots of new things about the family and discover exciting photos not seen before.

Nathan Dylan Goodwin's The Spyglass File is on my weekend reading list and if it hooks me like the earlier works, then not much else will get done.

The first part of this week will be busy writing modules for the Education Records online course and working on research reports. But then it will be off to Adelaide for the last big geneaevent in Australia for this year. The Adelaide Expo program has just been revised with more exhibitors and some changes of rooms to accommodate attendees at some talks. With five streams it's a bit tricky at times to work out which sessions to go to plus I want to leave time to visit all the exhibitor stands. A full report will follow once I'm back home.

The family have started talking about what are we doing for Christmas this year - I'm still trying to work out where has this year gone. It's been a brilliant year for new family history discoveries, so much so that I haven't kept up with updating all my draft family histories. Perhaps that's a job for the quiet end of the year when societies close down over the summer holidays. But then the internet never closes down so no real down time for genea addicted people like me.

Until next time, have a great genealogy week.