Tuesday 26 March 2013

Genealogy notes 15-26 March 2013 online newspapers

Well being home is a nice change but there is so much to do around our new house and we are still unpacking. Not to mention the paperwork involved in changing over things like vehicle registration, car licenses, electoral rolls and so on. And if we want refunds for the pro rata on on Victorian regos and licenses there are even more forms to fill in (once you manage to find them on the internet).

But I'm still finding time to do some research and two clients recently gave me a couple of challenges which had happy endings. I really do love it when you find something unexpected and with all the online indexes and digitised records online it can happen quite quickly.

For example, I was trying to find the death of someone in Ireland and not having much luck and then I decided what if they followed their daughter out to NSW. A quick look at immigration indexes at State Records NSW revealed a few suspects then checking the digitised passenger lists confirmed one as a real possibility. A check then of NSW BDMs then revealed a death entry in the right locality. I'm now waiting for a transcript to prove that it is the right person but I feel fairly confident.

I've also been looking at online newspapers and regular readers that I'm a huge fan of Trove and the National Library of Australia's e-resources for British newspapers. I hate to think how much time I spend reading newspapers! Then of course there is Papers Past for New Zealand which I use whenever looking into my NZ connections.

But this week I looked at the British Newspaper Archive for the first time. I'd heard about it and read bits and pieces but never sat down to look for anything. Well after a few hours of searching I was addicted to yet another online site! I found references to births, deaths and marriages I didn't have and even found a first wife of Max's great grandfather who we didn't know about as she died within the first year of marriage, probably from child birth as she was only 26. There were references to family members in the court sections and even an inquest into the death of a brother of a direct ancestor. Newspapers really can help fill out details of our families lives.

This also reminded me that I was yet to open my Christmas present which was a complimentary copy of a newspaper from Historic Newspapers. I've been waiting for the time and opportunity to really have a good look but with our moving, travels and that I haven't had the chance. Perhaps I should take off the Christmas paper wrapping and replace it with Easter paper? Anyway it has now moved down from the shelf to my desk so that I do open it for Easter!

Now that I'm back in Queensland old friends have been contacting me and I was pleased to have Merle Grinly visit this week. Merle and I go back to the late 1970s and we met through the Genealogical Society of Queensland. She also kindly gave me copies of her new publications on CD which I will review shortly (or should that be in the fullness of time?). They are

I have been to meetings of the Bribie Island Family History Special Interest Group and they have asked me to speak in November so I'm looking forward to that. I also went to the U3A Bribie Island family history group meeting and I now have to join that. Attending meetings is a great way to find out what's new and also to share any research problems.

Next week I have a meeting of the National Archives of Australia centenary of WW1 advisory group meeting in Canberra which I'm looking forward too. I also hope to catch up with a few people to discuss National Family History Week which I need to start promoting as I'm the voluntary National Coordinator. I'm still hoping that AFFHO will decided to make it a month but I haven't had a response yet so perhaps that's not looking good.

I had all sorts of good intentions today but noticed on Facebook that Ancestry had added a whole lot of Wiltshire records to their website and FindMyPast.com.au have added a whole lot of New Zealand records. So the call of research has been too strong and I have been checking out all the new info. I really think you could do 24/7 genealogy research these days, but who would feed me? The other half likes hearing about all the new info but isn't so keen on the time that researching takes! Where as time just slips by when I'm looking online.

This afternoon it is the hairdresser as I am going to update my website - there are lots of changes I want to make and I think I really need a new profile picture too. The current one was probably taken about 8 years ago and I've aged a bit since then! The image on Diary is about 4 years old and the one on Twitter and Facebook is about 3 years old. The last few years have just vanished. So watch out for the new me!

Have fun researching, I know I am!

Thursday 14 March 2013

Genealogy notes 1-14 March 2013 reading and talking

Well I'm back from Bali and totally relaxed having had no access to TV, mobile phone, laptop or tablet while I was away. I didn't mean to be so totally cut off but I inadvertently left the phone on the charger!!

Coming home I found a small mountain of surface mail which included new issues of some of my favourite genealogy magazines - Inside History, Australian Family Tree Connections and the Genealogical Society of Victoria's award winning Ancestor. Of course there was a similar virtual  mountain of emails and online e-magazines including Irish Lives Remembered and this month it includes a 16 page Irish-Australian research supplement (wow), Queensland Family History Society's Snippets and the Society of Australian Genealogists' journal Descent along with a reminder that my subscription is about to expire! How quickly a year goes!

Then there are my e-newsletters from State Records NSW, Queensland State Archives and Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) - these are all free and don't take that long to read but they are great for letting you know what is new. For example here is the 2013 list of newly released records from PROV.

I've also rejoined the Genealogical Society of Queensland now that I'm back home and they have asked me to speak at their June seminar. I'll be looking at 19th century immigration records which is always a popular topic. The Chincilla family history group should be finalising the date of their seminar in July on online newspapers very soon and I'm really looking forward to heading out west again.

I've also been asked what topics I would like to cover on the 4th Unlock the Past genealogy cruise in 2014 and I'm working on some new topics and new books so that will all be new and exciting next February. I'm already looking forward to that especially with Thomas MacEntee and Chris Paton as the international speakers.

Also on the looking forward front, I've already booked for the NSW/ACT genealogy conference in Canberra in September. I missed last year's as I was in the middle of moving out of our Melbourne home and as this year's is being held near where I first lived when I moved to Canberra I'm keen to see that area again.

Yesterday I went to the Bribie Island Family History Special Interest Group meeting and caught up with everyone there. They will probably get me to give a talk in September or November and they seem to have a fondness for something Irish! I also met the convenor of the U3A Bribie Island family history group on and she has also invited me along to their meetings which are every week on a Monday at 8.30am (who said retirees get to sleep in???). I've got medical appointments next Monday but I'm a definite starter for the following Monday.

As part of my getting back into genealogy again, I went and joined the Bribie Island Branch of the Moreton Bay Regional Council Library Service. Sadly they don't seem to have a great genealogy collection and I'm told the Redcliffe Branch is better but then that's a bit further to drive. I've written 7 genealogy guides now and sadly none are in the local library but Redcliffe has two of them and Caboolture and Strathpine have one each. When I launch the next research guide I will have to make a bigger splash in my new pond!

I'm really more interested in the local history collections so I've got to make contact with the Bribie Island Historical Society and also visit the Caboolture Historical Village which I haven't done in decades. Visiting the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology at Toorbul is also on my list but finding the time to do all of this seems to be a challenge!

In our absence and all of the rain, the weeds seem to have taken over the yard and we still have some unpacking and sorting to do from the move. Plus new things we want to do around the house. It's funny but I never believed my friends when they said they were busier than ever in retirement - now I know that it really is true but then who wants to be bored? Can someone doing genealogy ever really be bored?

As you can see I've really thrown myself back into my genealogy research and there are all those notes and new ideas to follow up post genealogy cruise that I need to work through. Stay tuned for lots more news as I settled back into genealogy in my new home.