Friday, 7 December 2012

Genealogy notes 19 Nov - 7 Dec 2012 - Canberra news!

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. We moved into the rental unit and carried our stuff up all 27 steps but at least there is more room than the caravan. We finally found our 'dream' house and pending the pest and building inspection on Monday, we will settle on 14 January and then we will have the awesome job of unpacking our two container loads of 'stuff' now in storage in Brisbane. I have found it really hard writing articles for Inside History Magazine and Irish Lives Remembered without easy access to my own research files. It's not all in my database!!

We are getting into the swing of island life and attended the Blessing of the Surf at Woorim last weekend and have been sampling the various restaurants and clubs on the Island. Somehow when you are not in your own home, it seems that you are always on holidays even though we are not! The weather has been hot in south east Queensland but we always seem to have a breeze and are a few degrees cooler than Brisbane. However that didn't prepare me for two days in Canberra where it was 3 degrees in the mornings and snowing on the Alps.

Getting to and from Canberra was a bit of a marathon with the distance and time differences but it was all worthwhile. I attended the first meeting of the National Archives of Australia's advisory committee for the centenary of World War One. They really need an acronym for that! It was good to hear what they have planned between now and April 2014. The main project is a new website and the working title is Wartime Australians which will build on the existing Mapping Our Anzacs website but will include a lot more records than just the service dossiers. There will be lots of opportunities for individuals to input their own stories as it progresses so stay tuned.

As part of the overall briefing we were reminded about the various features of the Mapping Our Anzacs website and also a brief look at their Destination Australia website (which I first heard about back in August at the State Library of Victoria's Family History Feast day - you can hear Mark Brennan's talk here).

One of the hazards of this gypsy life I have been living is that I have missed all sorts of family history news and about a month ago NAA launched their ArcHive project which is where they have digitised accession consignment lists to increase access to collections. There are the usual OCR problems so they are asking the public to help them transcribe the lists (a bit like correcting newspaper texts on Trove) and quite a few people have already signed up. Another worthy project to be associated with and they have prizes!

It was strange being back in the Parkes building and attending a meeting in the Bruce Room and it brought back lots of good memories of my time with NAA - if only those winters weren't so cold! I also ran into a few old colleagues and found out whose doing what these days.

The other meeting I managed to squeeze in during my brief time in Canberra was with the President of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) and we chatted about National Family History Week (NFHW) which is in August each year. As the new co-ordinator I have written a discussion paper which highlights some issues and which I hope will get lots of comments and feedback. An edited version has been published in the December 2012 issue of NewsFlash and can be read here.

If you haven't yet liked the NFHW Facebook page you can do so here.

Historic Newspapers UK invited me to trial one of their newspapers so after some thought I selected the date my  GG grandfather Robert White died in Wiltshire and as I like illustrated newspapers I picked one of those. I don't expect to find any reference to him but it is just after the end of World War One and I thought it would be good to see what the news was at that time. The copy arrived quickly and I haven't had a chance to open the box but I might put it under the Christmas tree as a present to myself - I suspect none of the other family members would think of a present like that for me!

With most of January taken up with our move into the new house, I have started to give some thought to the talks I am giving on the next Unlock the Past 3rd genealogy cruise which leaves in February 2013. I'm already excited about going on the Voyager of the Seas as I have seen it on the news and current affairs programs not to mention the newspapers. So that plus the exciting genealogy program lined up means it will be another great trip.

Finally I've gotten behind with my KIVA Genealogists for Families project news because my email program was filing all the updates in the Spam folder. I've got quite a lot of repayments which means I can now take out new loans and help others. If you would like to join the project team click here for my invite link.

With Christmas fast approaching I'm not sure how much genealogy I will manage but at least I can now stop looking at real estate sites. So that must mean some free time! Until next installment, happy researching.


  1. You didn't say where the dream house was Shauna...Bribie? What fun unpacking all your belongings then remembering where you put them ;-)

    Must go and check some of your other links -I'm miles behind at present.

  2. Hi Pauline yes on Bribie Island at Banksia Beach. A nice leisurely walk gets me to the Beach on Pumicestone Passage where I can watch the dolphins play and look across the channel to where my Scottish ggg grandparents had their oyster farm back in the 1870s!

  3. You're one busy gal!

    Do you think you'll get some rest on the cruise? Look forward to hearing your talks at sea.