Thursday, 3 October 2013

Genealogy Notes 25 Sep - 4 Oct 2013 digitised newspaper success

Just as well I wrote up my two reports of the NSW & ACT conference quickly (here and here if you missed them) as I've been laid low with a dreaded virus since. On the good side I've managed to catch up with all my unread issues of the QFHS Queensland Family Historian and the GSQ Generation plus I have been reading Oceans of Consolation by David Fitzpatrick. This book is based on personal accounts of Irish migration to Australia from 14 families and no, I'm not lucky enough to have my ancestors within that collection. But what those various families experienced is probably similar to what my Irish ancestors went through so it is good background information and helps to provide more context to my research.

I also indulged myself with some genealogy searching in my more wide awake moments and I'm so glad I did. Trove is forever turning up new things in my family history as new papers are being digitised and added online all the time. I'm sure I've looked for my gg grandmother Helen Chick/Ferguson/Carnegie many times before but this is the first time that I've found a probate reference for her which was two years after her death. She died in Queensland where she spent most of her life but she did spend a few years in New South Wales with her second husband Charles Chick. I've not thought of looking for a will and probate for her in QLD or NSW (as she never appeared to have had any property or to settle anywhere for long) but the references in Trove quickly sent me to the State Records NSW website to check their online catalogue for probate references to Chick. Not only was there a probate reference for Helen but there was also one for Charles so after a quick dash for the credit card, I order both probate packets and I now sit patiently waiting for the postman.

The news that now had Irish newspapers also aroused my interest and a quick search for Jeffers of Portadown revealed a number of entries which I believe belong to my gg grandmother Maria Jeffers' family. Being able to do a keyword search on a digitised newspaper is so fantastic as we probably wouldn't find some of these stories simply winding through microfilms. When I feel a bit better I'm going to spend more time looking for some of my other ancestors.

While on the subject of historic newspapers, there is an offer (until the end of the year) from Historic Newspapers - they are offering a UK 5  pound credit with with every newspaper order. More information on the offer here. Readers may recall I was offered a review copy from Historic Newspapers last year and I have to say they do make an unusual and different present for someone as they even come packaged in tissue paper in a gift box. Christmas is fast approaching!

Speaking of presents for genealogy loved ones, I also received display copies of the latest releases from Unlock the Past. I always have the UTP titles for sale at my talks and seminars and of course, the first two UTP titles were my own books! Now there are dozens of titles from a whole range of authors. You can check out all the new (and existing) titles here. Some of them are even available as e-books. I was supposed to have my new book with them by the end of September but I simply haven't been able to think, let alone write, with my stuffed up head!

I did manage to put up a new blog post on my website, Researching the State Library of Victoria from Afar which was a guest blog for their Family Matters blog. It really is amazing just how much information is available on our State library websites so check them out for whatever States your ancestors were in.

For those who don't follow me on Twitter and Facebook I'm going to start recording in this Diary some of the links I share through those social media forums. Perhaps I will just simply list them:
The Community Archive: National Register of Archives and Manuscripts, New Zealand
Founders and Survivors (Tasmanian convicts project)
Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy (some great genealogy sayings and often funny and true!

Finally I would like to thank my two Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra friends for helping me out with a National Family History Month 2014 task. I've arranged for a special flyer to go into the conference satchel for the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) Conference which is in Canberra in just over a week. Being sick I hadn't got around to getting the flyer printed and posted off to meet their deadline. My two friends arranged the printing and delivery for me for which I'm really grateful. As national coordinator for NFHM, I'm a one person band but that doesn't work so well, when the band needs a tune up! I still haven't heard from AFFHO about my evaluation and recommendations post NFHM 2013 but I'm hoping to set up the 2014 website soon.

After being sick for over a week, I'm off to the doctor's again - I'm rarely sick these days and I find it frustrating not having a clear head and more energy. Still catching up on my reading and lying in bed with the IPad and Trove isn't all that bad either. But I am attending the ASA conference week after next so I do have to get better for that. Happy researching! 

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