Friday, 5 April 2013

Genealogy notes 27 Mar - 5 Apr 2013 Canberra news

Well it's been busy on the home front and my recent visit to Canberra has made life even more hectic but I'm fast realising that my life in retirement on Bribie Island is never going to be less than action packed. Over Easter we finally go to do the 6 hour eco cruise on The Ferryman and I just love sailing past my Scottish ancestors home on the Toorbul side of Pumicestone Passage. As there was 6 hours of sailing we went almost to the tip of Bribie Island and could easily see Caloundra. The bird life is amazing and must have been even more amazing back in the 19thC before the settlers arrived.

It's a great trip and amazing value as it also included morning tea (hot cross buns, chocolate ones no less), a delicious roast chicken and salads lunch  (and I must get the wombok salad recipe it was amazing) and afternoon tea with home made cakes which were so good. I don't think we have ever eaten so much in a single place before! Well done Ferryman and I hope others do the trip because the 6 hours goes very quickly with so much to see. Definitely worth a day trip from Brisbane.

Easter was also a time to catch up with family and a visit to Mum ended up with us coming home with a car load of pot plants and all her African violets as Mum is no longer able to care for them. This was all great for our new home but it did mean that we then had to spend a couple of days planting them out in our orchard/rainforest or repotting them for indoors! My son has also been doing amazing things in his new house and has tackled his overgrown yard with amazing vigour and it is good to see them settling into their new home. We also took the opportunity to give them a few more boxes of our unwanted goods but no matter how much I declutter, we still seem to have heaps of stuff.

Before I left for Canberra I sent in to the local newspaper a small article on my Carnegie family at Toorbul hoping that they might publish it. They say it pays to advertise and I was really excited to find that it was published in the Island and Mainland News  and they included the two pictures of my ancestors tombstone in Toorbul cemetery. It's the only one left in the historic cemetery. This also led to me being contacted by the Bribie Island Historical Society and I will be going to their next meeting on Wednesday. So I'm really looking forward to that.

While in Canberra I met up with the president of AFFHO to discuss this year's National Family History Week and I have big news there but all the members of AFFHO have to be notified first so stay tuned. All I can say at this point is that NFHW 2013 will be bigger and better than ever before and I hope everyone will also follow us on Facebook NFHW as well as putting their events on the website calendar. I will also need everyone's help to promote it as we are operating on a real shoe string budget this year. Still I'm a firm believer in the power of social media and I know I have some great online geneafriends.

But now for the real reason for my Canberra trip. I'm on the National Archives of Australia's advisory committee for the centenary of WW1 so we were there for a progress report on their new Wartime Australia website. The draft pages look fantastic and are user friendly so that everyone can add in their own stories. It was also good to hear about the activities being undertaken by other State Archives and places like the Australian War Memorial. It's going to be easier than ever to trace our military ancestors and most of these projects and activities will start to roll out in 2014 and then continue through to 2018.

Another new website and exhibition planned by the NAA will feature forced adoption stories and they are calling for expressions of interest for anyone interested in assisting with the project. It is due for launch in 2014 on the anniversary of the Government's formal apology. Read the media release for full details.

While sitting in the Qantas Club waiting for my flight home I was really surprised, and delighted to find the new paper issue of NAA's Your Memento Highlights Vol 2. This paper edition features the more popular stories from their Your Memento free online e-magazine and I do have to say that I prefer reading the paper issue. All too often with the digital notifications, I file the e-mag or e-news and then don't go back to read it whereas the paper copy sits there in a pile on my cupboard making me feel guilty until I read it.

Also spotted was a new glossy paper magazine from the National Museum of Australia simply called The Museum: Behind the Scenes and Vol 2 is a great read with some really good photos and stories. I'm only sorrow that I didn't see Vol 1 but all is not lost. The issues (some articles only) are also online and Vol 3 is now out as well! Like libraries and archives, museums are also great places to find background information and context on our ancestors and where and how they lived.

An email from the local Bribie Island Family History Special Interest Group (no website) also got me quite excited as it included news from the local Bribie Island (Bongaree) Library. They have a series of free genealogy talks planned for the rest of the year under the banner Finding Your Family: Who Are You? There are workshops on handwriting (reading all that old colonial writing), Irish ancestors, beginners sessions and even a session on Bribie's WW2 bunker and other military records. So I will be booking in for most of those! For those interested see their what's on calendar.

I rejoined the Genealogical Society of Queensland and received a very nice welcome back including a paper journal which has joined the pile on the cupboard! I also received my renewal notice for the Genealogical Society of Victoria and as I like using their online resources, I will be renewing but I am glad that I am a lifetime member of Queensland Family History Society as that is one less subscription to pay. Still being a member of key societies is so worth while and really does help further your family research not to mention make new friends.

Instead of buying the family Easter eggs this year, I decided to take out another $25 loan with the Genealogists for Families project and as I had received repayments on previous loans, I was able to make two further loans to needy families overseas. I'm still surprised how easily this project sustains itself. Once you have made a few loans the repayments then allow you to fund still more loans. Of course you can take back the repayments if you want, but I've never missed the original $25 I used for my first loan so why not let it keep on helping others. Occasionally I make additional loans to mark special occasions like Christmas and Easter and since I joined the Genealogists for Families project I have made 28 loans! So that's 28 families I have helped with whatever their loans were needed for.

As usual I have made this Diary too long and I really am going to have to do it more regularly (like I used to before the big move)! I've got a genealogy to do list beside me that I really must tackle. Plus the other half has just left for fishing so now is the perfect time to do some research - trying to decide what new lead to follow up is the problem. There's so much new information out there! Wish me luck and as always, best wishes with your own research.


  1. Your posts are Never Too Long. Thanks For keeping Us informed. Look forward To hearing More About NFHW.