Thursday 31 January 2013

Genealogy notes 24-31 Jan 2013 genealogy talks coming up

Well last Diary entry I said that things were getting back to normal now that we had moved into our new home on Bribie Island. Silly me didn't factor in ex cyclone Oswald heading down the coast and hovering over us for nearly 30 hours of relentless wind and torrential rain. I don't think I've even seen a 'weather event' that went for so long and travelled all the way down the Queensland coast and on into New South Wales creating total destruction along the way. Bribie was lucky in that we mostly had beach erosion, downed trees and palms, some roof and rain water damage and of course loss of power. Others were not so lucky especially all those within river flood plains.

We were extremely grateful for the SES coming out on the Saturday night to help secure a front section of our roof otherwise we would have suffered a lot more rain water damage than we did. So glad (in a way) that it happened last weekend and not when we are away next weekend on the genealogy cruise - we would have come home to a house completely swamped as the rain was also coming through the front door or under it I should say, as well as all the windows on the sides the wind was blowing from, not to mention the leaks from the roof in two rooms. At least the study doesn't leak and is sheltered at the back of the house.

Apart from all the mopping up over the weekend we managed to continue unpacking and it's almost finished now - the trick is to remember where we have put everything! I've tried to keep things similar to the old house and that helps. My books are everywhere but I thought it was more important to get things out of cardboard boxes and onto shelves where I can at least see them. Rearranging them can come later and this time (as this is our final move, fingers crossed) I am going to use software to catalogue and make them really easy to find! Any suggestions for a good, easy to use system?

Yesterday I realised that the Queensland Family History Society online newspapers seminar is this Saturday so it was a frantic run through of my Trove and Other National Library of Australia Treasures updating where needed. QFHS have over 130 people booked so far so that is fantastic and a great way to start their education program for the year. I also have to talk to them about when we can redo the session for the Chinchilla Family History Group (at their request) but it looks like mid year now. Stay tuned for the date if you live out that way.

Of course the other thing I have to do is check my 9 talks for the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise which is now only a week away. January was a blur with moving and everything else but I did manage to do a run through of most of them. Hopefully not too many websites have done major changes over the last month. I'm so looking forward to the cruise - I love anything genealogy so with our own conference centre on board Voyager of the Seas it will be fantastic and I also love cruising so hopefully there will be a bit of relaxation on board as well not to mention catching up with lots of genealogy friends.

No doubt there will be lots of blogs coming out of the cruise so stand by for them but with limited internet coverage that may be after the event although I do know some really keen bloggers will be doing 'live' blogging. Geniaus aka Jill Ball has asked Helen Smith and myself to be part of a social media panel to discuss why social media can really help your genealogy research. So looking forward to that as I've had so much success with people finding me via my website and my family blogs.

Don't forget that Paul Milner one of the international speakers on the cruise is doing a British Isles genealogy tour to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra so you may be able to attend one of those if you live close enough to a capital city. I always feel sorry for Hobart and Darwin as they miss these kind of tours and yet they have some of the more wonderful Australian scenery. I could probably throw in just about any major town in North Queensland there too but I guess it is a question of distance and cost recovery. Maybe in a few years, or maybe not even that long, everything will be virtual!

Well I haven't done too much else on the genealogy front except stockpile paper genealogy magazines to read and red flag e-copies I receive so that I can go back and read them. I haven't even kept up with Dick Eastman this week so that's not good! I did take time out to read the National Archives of Australia's e-magazine Memento Jan 2013 and noticed that Shake Your Family Tree Day is on 16 April 2013 (usually it's in February) so put that date in your diaries. I will be in Maryborough (QLD) that week so looks like I'll miss the Brisbane event unless I travel back down.

I may be tempting fate again but I'm going to predict that things will return to normal on my genealogy desk again over the coming week. Happy researching.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Genealogy notes 10-23 Jan 2013 Back to normal

Just as I was getting back into genealogy blogging and interacting with all my genealogy friends on various social media sites, and enjoying it immensely, we slipped back into the big black 'moving' hole. We are out of our caravan and temporary unit and into our new home at last. Overall it's been a good two weeks as I think we will be very happy here but I have to say that I'm disappointed at how much of our furniture was damaged or even totally destroyed and I suspect that happened going into and out of storage for five months.

The removal guys in both Melbourne and Bribie were excellent and so careful and helpful so the damage either occurred during transit or storage. Of course this is also where you enter the murky world of insurance and find out that your understanding is different from their understanding. Of course the company was sorry to hear that we would never use them again but I don't think they are in a hurry to find the missing wheels to our bed, or the missing TV remote or any of other missing items, not to mention fixing/replacing any damaged items.

Surprisingly there was very little damage to boxes that I had packed but then I have had lots of practice at packing over the last decade or so! But Murphy's law was in operation and the only coffee cup to break was the one Max treasured most as it was a special gift from his son. After a mild panic about not finding the filing cabinet keys we remembered we had taken them with us in the caravan which is still parked down at Burpengary. So there was a quick trip back to the mainland and thankfully the keys were there. I'm still slowly unpacking all of the study stuff and all of my books! After a week we still don't have TV, seems we need a booster whatever that is but the TV technician will be here tomorrow. But after a day of unpacking and racing around we are usually too tired to watch anything anyway but I do miss the news and weather.

Our stuff was only in storage for five months but even within that time it gets a musty smell so although people say sell first and then buy a new place, I think that only works if it is done quickly. In our case the house sold quicker than expected and before we even knew where we were going! However now that we live in Paradise I can't see us moving any time soon!

So now back to my genealogy world - during all this chaos I still managed to write Part 7 of Missing Irish Loved Ones Down Under for Irish Lives Remembered so look out for that next month. In just over two weeks  we leave on the third Unlock the Past genealogy cruise so I have to finish two more talks and then just recheck the other nine for any website changes. And thinking of those dates reminded me that I will have to write Part 8 of my Irish series as I will be away when the deadline happens!

Helen the Queensland chair of the Guild of One Name Studies is having a meeting this Australia Day weekend in Brisbane and I would love to attend but I suspect that it will be more unpacking - I would hate to go away on the cruise and come back to cardboard boxes and all that work! The meeting is at a Sizzlers and I don't know what it is with Queenslanders and Sizzlers but I know I'm home!

Helen has also issued a 2013 Australia Day blog challenge and I've accepted so I'll have to give myself a wee break time to do that. It's on first ancestors here but I've already written about mine in other blogs so I'm picking my two Cornish ancestors to write about. Hopefully those files will surface before the weekend is over.

We've been asked to repeat the Queensland Family History Society February seminar on online newspapers and Trove out at Chinchilla so that will be a good opportunity to visit Miles which is where Max's parents met during World War 2. His dad was in the army and his mother in the air force. Max hasn't been out that way before so it will be a nice opportunity to do some touring in south western Queensland.

Well I'd better get back to the unpacking but I thought I should let everyone know that the move is over and we survived and things are heading back to normal! Until next time.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Genealogy notes 8-9 Jan 2013 blogging awards

Well this morning we woke up to a blanket of smoke as the Bribie Island fire is into it's third day but this is the first day where the smoke has not been blowing towards the mainland. It's in the national park so campers have been evacuated and for the moment it's under control with back burning and eleven fire units. The cool breeze seems to have given way to the higher temperatures but we still have quite windy conditions.

After a brief excursion to the shops I'm now bunkered down for an afternoon of genealogy and working on the last four talks for the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise in just four weeks time. I'm past the half way point with five talks already finished. So far I've still got the windows open and the fan on but I'm starting to look at the air-conditioner.

Yesterday I was honoured to receive a nomination for Blog of the Year 2012 Award and you can read how I was nominated by Geniaus and my response on my website here. As part of the Award I had to nominate some blogs that I thought worthy of the Award and this was hard to narrow down as there are so many good genealogy and family history blogs out there. Also some had already been nominated by other recipients and I always think it is good to spread the encouragement around as I can't be the only blogger who wonders if anyone reads what I write. So be sure to read my response and check out those I nominated and also those nominated by other recipients.

Today's surface mail brought my copy of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly journal which I always like reading. It can be a little US centric but there aren't that many Australian members I don't think. A lot of the articles are quite global and one article that I'm keen to read is Harold Henderson's Genealogy Education on a Shoestring as most of us try to do things as cheaply as possible. A quick scan of the article looks like he is using the internet as a basis which is great as most of us have access to that eithr at home, work or the local library.

I'll finish up this blog on a sadder note as yesterday I made two more loans to the Kiva Genealogists for Families Project started up by Judy Webster and later co-captained by Joan Miller in Canada. The loans were in memory of Joan who lost her fight with cancer last week. If you would like to join the project you can click here and remember to link to the Genealogists for Families project.

Joan was one of the first people I started following on Twitter three years ago as my GGGG grandfather's Carnegie family went to Canada from Scotland and I was looking for Canadian research tips. I also liked reading her Luxegen blogs and we exchanged tweets and emails and she gave me some good advice on locating those Scottish ancestors. So I'm sad to see one of my earliest cyber geneabuddies gone but I'm glad to see so many people have taken the opportunity to take up a Kiva loan in Joan's memory which was at the suggestion of her family.

Tomorrow is the final inspection of our new home and settlement is on Monday then we have to move out of this unit and get ready for the delivery of our two container loads of furniture and other worldly goods on Wednesday. I'm going to be very relieved to see all my books and family history records again. Though I'm not looking forward to all that unpacking. Until next time.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Genealogy notes 4-7 Jan 2012 Reading catchup time!

As I'm still recovering from my recent fall, I've spent the last few days propped up on the lounge surrounded by books and magazines (heaven)! I've managed to finish Children of the Occupation: Japan's Untold Story by Walter Hamilton (his own website dedicated to the project) and my review is here.

I'm now onto Hazel Edwards' Authorpreneurship: The Business of Creativity which is aimed at authors and so far it looks like it was almost written for me and other similar writers.I think I'm going to learn a lot from this book. Stay tuned for a review soon.

Every so often our surface mail catches up with us (only one more week till we move into our new house and no more delayed mail). This time I was especially pleased to see the latest issue of Inside History Magazine which includes an article I wrote Crime Does Pay: At Least in Genealogy It Does which is all about having criminal ancestors. It's almost hard to believe that this is Issue 14, seems like only yesterday Cassie was talking to us about starting it up! There's lots of other great articles so that kept me happily entertained for a few hours.

My January 2013 issue of Australian Family Tree Connections also arrived and that's always good for finding out what talks and other events are coming up. It was also good to see in Letters to the Editor AFFHO seeking feedback on my article about making changes to National Family History Week and also advertising the Nick Vine Hall Awards. All genealogy and family history societies should consider entering their journals - after all you can't win it if you aren't in it!

My old printer up and died the other day so I had to install a new printer. This one is wi fi so we can use it in the caravan when we are travelling or according to the literature I can also send print jobs to it via my phone or iPad. All sounds very futuristic to me but at least I can print in the kitchen while writing this in the lounge room.

I was at a bit of a loss on Sunday afternoon when Trove was down (thankfully back up again today) so I started to look at some of the websites listed in the Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2013 according to Genealogy in Time Magazine. This is UK/US centric so you won't find Trove and other good Australian sites on it but it is still worth a browse. Some of my favourites are there and some I'm familiar with it but don't visit often, and then I'm amazed at how much new information has been added since last time. The internet is great for genealogy and family history but keeping up with it is almost impossible.

Well time to get back to that reading so until next time, happy ancestor hunting!

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Genealogy notes - 1-3 Jan 2013 Blogs & other things

I'm starting the New Year well with several days of genealogy related activities. It's after the festive season and still two weeks before we move into our new home so I've been indulging myself while the other half has been fishing and motorbike riding. With all that peace and quiet I've been catching up with some of my favourite bloggers. I was really impressed with Chris Paton's genealogy review of 2012 in three parts (go into his 2012 archive to locate them) and I was surprised at how much I missed not being online every day. Still I wouldn't have missed all that travelling for anything but there must be a way to balance the two!

I totally missed contributing to Cassmob and Alona Tester's blogging challenges during 2012 so I'm hoping they will come up with something new for 2013 or even a repeat - I don't mind! It's been good reading through some of their challenges and I find you can always learn from what other's are doing or even see how easy it is to tell your own family stories.

Also Kuringai Historical Society celebrated it's 50th blog post and while that probably doesn't sound like a great achievement it's actually quite significant in that Kuringai is leading where all other historical societies should be going in my opinion. Blogs are a great way to tell local stories (same for family history blogs too) without a great deal of effort or expense if you use a free blogger like Google Blogger and then best of all it's searchable by Google and anyone looking for information or events in the Kuringai area can find it and the Society. I won't stay on this hobby horse but I really do think that historical societies and genealogy/family history societies should all be getting more involved with social media outlets so that researchers can find them more easily.

While on historical societies we finally managed to visit the Bribie Island Seaside Museum which is very much set up for the tourist. It is quite modern and spacious (only opened in 2010) and gives an overview of the history of the Island and the various settlements. From my own family history research I know quite a bit of the early history but I wasn't all that familiar with Bribie's role in WW2 so I found that interesting. The Bribie Historical Society meets monthly so I hoping to go along to a meeting but it won't be until April as we will be away for the first two meetings. I hate it when dates clash!

I've made a start reading Children of the Occupation: Japan's Untold Story by Walter Hamilton which was sent to me to review by New South Books last year. Usually I try to do reviews quickly but finding reading time on the road is never easy! I'm actually finding it hard to put down so expect a review soon. I've still got three other reviews  to do and I'm hoping to get them done before the big move in two weeks. Otherwise they won't get done until we get re-organised again! No more moves for me - Bribie is stuck with me!

The other really nice thing is that I have started to do research for a client again and it's one of those tricky research questions. Is it the right family or not? Even more interesting is that it is Irish and spans Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and New Zealand. Are they all related? I think they are but not quite the way they are currently presented but it's an interesting challenge.

Finally I've also got back into blogging this Diary more frequently and I've answered another one of those Geniaus geneameme challenges (although I notice that she is now spelling it GeniAus which is even more clever). I mentioned the Accentuate the Positives 2012 geneameme last Diary entry and since then I have managed to answer (positively) all 20 questions. Read my Accentuate the Positives 2012 geneameme.

I've missed the blogging and the interaction with social media friends by not being online more often the last four months. It's only when you get back into it again that you realise what you are missing out on. So roll on 2013 I'm keen to be more genealogy active again!