Monday, 4 February 2013

Genealogy notes 1-5 Feb 2013 online newspapers

Well my genealogy year has started with a great online newspapers seminar organised by Queensland Family History Society with speakers Sue Reid and myself. I missed Sue's two talks on online newspapers and how to search them more strategically when she gave them at last year's Unlock the Past expo in Brisbane so I was really glad to finally here them. Sue also mentioned that the talks are also the basis for an upcoming article in Inside History magazine so watch out for that.

The day started with my talk on Trove and Other National Library of Australia Treasures and the slides can be viewed on my website Resources page (scroll down to Presentations). No matter where or how often I give this talk there are always lots of people who don't have an NLA library card for e-resources or aren't members of Trove so that they can do comments, tags, lists and so on. No doubt quite a few went home to investigate these wonderful free resources further! I don't do handouts (saving a tree or two plus paper weighs a lot and is one extra thing to carry when I travel to talks) but by putting the slides up on my website attendees can go home and relook at the talk and study the slides in greater detail.

Sue did have handouts for her two talks and these were included in the Queensland State Archives goodies bag given to all attendees. Sue's first talk was an overview of the big four which are all free - Trove, Papers Past,  The Times London (via the NLA's e-resources) and the London Gazette. She used a case study to highlight the wealth of information that can be found and the second part of her talk was focused on why you might not be able to find what you are looking for.

Sue's second talk was a round up of other online newspaper sites, some free and some pay to view and I found this part really interesting as some of her portal sites for America will probably useful for my own research as a GGG grandfather went to Minnesota in the USA in 1850. I've never looked for the family in US newspapers so it's now on my to do list when I get time!!

There were about 150 people from all over south east Queensland so that was a great start to QFHS's seminar program for 2013. Most people returned the evaluation forms which were mostly positive with the negatives such as signage something that the organisers can do better for the next seminar. During the morning tea break I sold copies of my books and I certainly missed Max doing this for me. It's really hard trying to answer people's questions, say hello to people welcoming me back to Queensland and sell books and give correct change all at the same time. I had to sneak morning tea during the first part of Sue's second talk I was that busy. The QFHS sales table was also kept busy so the printed book is still in demand!

Their next seminar is on Military Records for Family Historians on 20 April and the third seminar is on Convict Lives: Finding Our Founders on 1 June. Both seminars have great speakers on a range of topics withing those themes so definitely not to be missed.

I've just completed my application form to join the Cornish Association of Queensland and unfortunately their first meeting for the year is on 9 March and I am returning from Bali that day. The date is the closest they could get to St Piran's Day, Cornwall's national day but hopefully I'll be able to get to their next I'meeting. It's not that far to Brisbane and traffic is not too bad at the weekends.

Today there is a meeting of the Bribie Island Family History Group (an informal meeting group) which I will go along to. I missed the last meeting last year as I was in Brisbane but I'm hoping to attend most meetings if I'm on Bribie. The other thing I'm working on today is my next article for Irish Lives Remembered as the deadline falls while I'm away on the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise. I'm continuing with County Waterford examples as I found so many in my last search for interesting examples to write about. The free January issue is now online.

Well must go as I've still got some unpacking and sorting to do before I head off to my meeting. Happy researching till next time.

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