Don't miss the findmypast free Irish records searching from 27-30 June - this is to commemorate the loss of almost all of the 19thC Irish census records. To quote from their media release the "‘Ashes to Archives’ initiative which will provide Australians free access to its Irish Birth, Death and Marriage Records. Available from 27 until 30 June, 2013 Australians will not only have free access to over 21 million Irish birth, death and marriage records, but also plenty of useful resources for piecing together their Irish ancestry, notoriously one of most difficult genealogies to track."
Another new website to check out is the new Unlock the Past cruises website. Their media release says it all but in short there will be more cruises with different itineraries, prices to suit everyone and I'm already tempted by the Baltic cruise in 2015. I've got ancestors from that part of the world and I've always wanted to go there. Although regular readers will already know I'm a genealogy cruise addict. I find them more preferable than a land based genealogy conference as everything is on board and you don't have to travel to the venue each day or wonder where you will eat that night.
It was nice to see that I'm already listed as a blogging partner and I'm one of the presenters on the Feb 2014 cruise to southern Australia. I'm particularly excited to be catching up with Chris Paton again and meeting Thomas MacEntee for the first time, although I feel like I already know him from various social media interaction over the years. There are other new speakers as well as some of the regular favourites so it looks like being another great cruise. Roll on February!
I'm starting to get back into Queensland mode having connected up with Brisbane's Living Heritage Network. It's a great way to quickly see heritage locations within Brisbane and also outside Brisbane. So many places to revisit and even some new ones. I'd also forgotten about the Brisbane History Group and it's good to see that they are still organising events and looking into Brisbane's history. I probably should also rejoin the Royal Historical Society of Queensland too although it's a bit far to be attending meetings.
National Family History Month in August is keeping busy at the moment - the main task is putting all the events into the web calendar and I expect that will get a bit busier between now and August. The launch is under control and I've got all my travel plans organised for my trip to Melbourne to attend the 10th anniversary of Family History Feast at the State Library of Victoria and then on to Canberra to speak at the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra and attend the National Archives of Australia's advisory committee meeting on the centenary of WW1.
Of course before I do all that jet setting, I'm off to Chinchilla in two weeks for two talks, together with Sue Reid from the Queensland Family History Society. Max and I will also visit Miles while we are out that way. Why? Because that's where his dad met his mum, at the Miles Hotel during WW2. We got some nice photos of his parents from his Aunty Joyce while we were in Bundaberg -the handsome soldier and the hotel keeper's daughter!
But more immediate is my talk on Sunday at the annual Genealogical Society of Queensland seminar. The presentation is all done and I've been contemplating a hair cut but I think I'm in the 'grow in long again frame of mind'. One day I might find the perfect hairstyle for me but I'm not holding my breath.
I should also mention that I've done my final article in a 12 part series for Irish Lives Remembered on Irish Loved Ones Missing Downunder. That will be in the July issue but June is now on their website. I don't really know where the last 12 months went but moving from Victoria to Queensland and being homeless for five months was a big part of it. Looking back now I can't believe that I managed to keep the series going while travelling.
Finally I've been asked to host a Q&A session on National Family History Month for Inside History's regular Thursday night Facebook session. I haven't done one for ages but it will be a good opportunity to do a last minute plug for NFHM and get people checking the web calendar for events near them. It will be on 18 July so put that date in your diaries. Inside History is one of the many sponsors for NFHM and we are grateful to their support.
July is going to be a big month but I'm hoping to be a bit more regular with this Diary just to keep people informed of what's happening out there. If you can spread the word about NFHM in any way I will be very grateful. Until next time, happy genealogy searching.