Saturday, 6 August 2011

Genealogy notes 5-7 August 2011 Everything Irish

The weather in Brisbane is absolutely perfect, you wouldn't even know it was winter. We haven't even put a cardigan on since we arrived and on our morning and afternoon walks along Enoggera Creek we even manage to work up a sweat! Going back to Melbourne is going to be hard.

Friday was a e-reading day (in between family interruptions) and I caught up with Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter (mostly US), QFHS Snippets (Queensland Family History Society), Lost Cousins: Putting Relatives in Touch (mostly UK), Professional Historians Association Queensland, Proformat News (Adelaide Proformat, South Australia), newsletters from, and Genes Reunited and I still have more catching up to do. Now that I have started to put all e-newsletters into a single folder for reading it is easier for me to see just how many I actually receive - it's a bit of an eye opener.

Saturday was the Genealogical Society of Queensland annual seminar Ireland: Unlocking the Mystery so it was an early start to get to the Queen Alexandra Home at Coorparoo. Amazingly I still remember the way from Mum's place. First speaker was an old friend from Canberra Cora Num talking on Irish Research on the Internet which is a talk she gave on the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise but I missed it as numbers were limited and I wasn't quick enough. As usual she has a handout on her website (click on the gopher) which is just as well as she mentioned lots of sites I was familiar with but also some I wasn't aware of. So lots of follow up research on my Irish families is now on the To Do List.

I was second speaker with my talk The Colonial Irish Loved a Beer or Two and Pauline Williams was next talking about Irish Resources at the GSQ. Lunch followed and I must say the catering was fantastic at both morning tea and lunch - I don't think anyone went hungry.

After lunch Richard Reid's talk was From the First Fleet to the Rose of Tralee - The National Museum of Australia's Irish in Australian exhibition. His talk provided some of the background to the Just Not Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia exhibition which recently closed at the National Museum of Australia (lots of Irish family history tips on this site too). Richard's anecdotes about some of the Irish objects in the exhibition and some of the issues associated with curating an exhibition of that size made for a very interesting talk. Having seen the exhibition myself in Canberra it brought back memories or added a new dimension to what I had been lucky enough to see.

Final speaker of the day was Jennifer Harrison on Releasing Irish Convicts which was an overall view of a life of an Irish convict and at each stage (crime, arrest, gaol, transportation, etc) Jennifer gave examples of the types of records which might be available to provide more details. By constructing a timeline like this it is easy to see where the gaps are and then focus your research to close those gaps.

It was good to see Queensland State Archives represented there, although they were the only exhibitor apart from the GSQ.

The seminar was a good way for me to catch up with friends and even some relatives and the GSQ's book sales table seemed to do a roaring trade. I didn't win the raffle or the lucky door prizes but then I never do. Still you have to be in it to win it.

This morning I am catching up with my emails, tweets, and blog reading (see Unlock the Past's list of blogs in Australia and New Zealand for some interesting reading). This afternoon we are having a family gathering at my brother's place which will be good as I haven't seen his kids for a while and my son and his girlfriend will also be there. Almost like Christmas in August and there will be seafood too! Must remember to take the camera and unknown to everyone we have DVD copies of our old videos when everyone was so much younger. There will be a few laughs and it's good to be home.

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