I also realised that I had signed up for my free online genealogy course with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGS) on Connecting Family: Online and Virtually. I picked December as I knew that I would be home for most of the month but the first two modules were already underway before I opened up my online briefcase. Fortunately they were both fairly easy and things I have already done or am currently doing so I could catch up very quickly. Module 3 is where it starts to get more new and interesting for me so I'm looking forward to that next week.
Also next week, on 18 December, is International Migrants Day and the National Archives of Australia are asking people to contribute their migrant stories for an exhibition. They are looking for contributions from now until 31 January 2014. I'll have more info next week and will be sending some tweets and links etc.
More good news and this time from the Queensland Registrar of BDMs. They have released AIF deaths abroad for World War One with 9169 records and Registrations of Death on the War Service Act 1942 (World War Two) with 4905 records. It's really sad when you look at those numbers and realise that is only for Queensland. So many families were impacted by the wars.
Findmypast.com.au have brought back Family Tree Week - every day between 26 December and 1 January they will be sharing hints and tips on starting your family tree and making the most of their records. As I have been doing my family history for the past 36 years you may be wondering why I would even participate in beginner level activities. So much has changed over the last four decades (scary thought) plus it is always good to go back and revisit your research or look at different aspects of it. Christmas is often the time when we catch up with family members so remember to ask see all those old photo albums and whatever else they have hidden away at the back of cupboards.
As always I was pleased to see the December issue of Irish Lives Remembered as it is a great free online Irish genealogy magazine but this month the focus is on Armagh records. My great great grandmother Maria Jeffers was from Portadown County Armagh and I've never really been able to trace her family back, but I always live in hope. So I will be having a close look at that article over the holidays.
I've also been busy writing a piece for Inside History Magazine, another one of my favourite genealogy magazines and Moreton Bay Region Libraries have asked me to do eight talks early next year on Google Tools and Online Newspapers. Once the dates and places are confirmed I will put the details up on my website under the Events tab so watch out for that in the next week or so.
The other thing that I must start working on is finalising my talks for the 4th Unlock the Past genealogy cruise which is now only about seven weeks away. I'm doing five talks and some of them are totally new talks and the others updated versions of my popular talks. I'm getting excited as it will be great listening to Chris Paton again and I'm a fan of Thomas MacEntee so hearing him in person will be fantastic. One of Thomas' many interests is Hack Genealogy and there are all kinds of free and interesting resources on that website. As it is an Australian cruise I should be able to do Diary blogs on board (when in port) assuming there is a little spare time to write. It looks a full program!
We are off visiting friends this weekend and next week we have Max's son and his family staying with us for eight days. It will be strange for us to have children in the house for that long a period, especially a two year old so we have been trying to make the house a little more child proof and of course, lots of Christmas decorations and lights.
Most of our Christmas preparations are done although I do have to finalise some Christmas cards for those relatives not online. I'm still not sure where 2013 went but it's been a big year and 2014 is looking like another great year (minus the big house move). I hope everyone else is preparing to enjoy the festive season and catch up with their families and loved ones. Until next time.