Tuesday 30 December 2014

Genealogy Notes 26-31 Dec 2014 New Year Thoughts

I hope everyone had a great Christmas with family and friends and now we have a new year on the horizon. Somewhere between Christmas and New Year our local supermarket started selling hot cross buns (traditionally associated with Easter) and other stores will have them on sale from the New Year. No wonder we think our years are speeding up, but obviously the buns are a good seller!

The end of a year always has me thinking about what I have done and what I am looking forward to in the coming year. I like to set some basic goals because as a procrastinator, I like to remind myself from time to time of things I really want to do. So here are my Genealogy Aspirations for 2015. Nothing too ambitious and lots of room to do other things as they come up over the year.

Each year geneafriend GeniAus organises a genealogy blog challenge Accentuate the Positive 2014 Genememe and I like to take part in this as well. The questions always prompt me to think about genealogy finds that I may have forgotten over the course of a year or they give me a chance to tell others, someone else might benefit from my experiences. I am still pondering my answers so look out for that response soon. Anyone is welcome to do it and if you do, let Jill know as she collates all the responses.

I have completed another AFFHO Congress 2015 speaker interview, this time with David Berry from the State Library of New South Wales. And fast forwarding, in three months time Congress will be winding up for another three years. So if you don't want to wait that long, make sure you get to Canberra at the end of March!

With so much happening in the second half of 2014, I totally missed my 5th anniversary of blogging. SHHE Genie Rambles started in Sep 2009 and records a lot of my genealogy adventures as well as blogs telling my family stories and other bits and pieces. Through it I have made contact with long lost cousins, tracked missing branches of families and made some great friends. I really can't imagine family history now without blogging.

Back in September, the Lovely Blog award was doing the rounds and I was fortunate to receive two awards (one for Diary and one for SHHE Genie Rambles) and my responses are here and here. Just recently I received another one from Chris Wright and rather than do another response, I will simply direct you to her blog post The Ancestor Digger One Lovely Blog Award where she nominated me. In her list of nominated blogs she has some of my favourite bloggers so check them out, especially if you have not come across them before.

One of my projects over the last week has been to continue to catalogue my library into Library Thing and this has been a useful exercise but does seem never ending at the moment. Surprisingly I have turned up duplicates (where I have two of something), outdated editions and I kept the earlier edition, books that are truly out of date but still with some useful knowledge, and some books that are now in a pile on the floor. Some I no longer want but still have relevance so will be offered to a society, some I will offer to others and some will go into the bin.

But what has truly surprised me is what I have forgotten I had and by handling each book, pamphlet, journal or whatever again, I have been struck by how useful some of them are, even in today's Google world. I bought a family history back in the 70s with distant connections to my White family and I probably haven't looked at it since.Surprise surprise, all the work I have done since then now makes this book extremely relevant to my own White family. Going back to basics and looking at research with new eyes can be rewarding, not simply a waste of time.

I now have another pile of books that I want to go back through again - at least with Library Thing I can find them all now, or will be able to, when I finish the last four bookcases!

There have been some fantastic Christmas/New Year specials from all the big companies, Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage, Eneclann and so on. I have seen most of them via Facebook when friends share posts on bargains and Geneabloggers has written a blog Genealogy Bargains which sums up a lot of the deals on offer.

It is super hot here and humidity is way up so time to escape the geneacave for a swim! If you are wondering about any of my genea words then check out the GeneaDictionary. Wishing everyone a fantastic geneayear in 2015 and I hope to meet some of you at the AFFHO Congress in Canberra, the NSW & ACT conference in Port Macquarie or the History Queensland conference in Brisbane. Or the really lucky ones on the Unlock the Past Baltic cruise! Until next year, happy researching.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Genealogy Notes 19-25 December 2014 - Christmas thoughts

Christmas Eve and we are getting everything ready for tomorrow's lunch at my mother's place. All my brother's family will be there and all of mine too - the only one who may not be there is our mother. A week or so ago she had a fall, needed some stitches in her head and after a few days in hospital it was back into rehab to make her strong enough to go home. But she developed pneumonia over the weekend and it is now a wait and see how she goes to whether or not they will let her out for Christmas lunch. The antibiotics have helped and she is looking better but we will get the doctor's decision later today. So we might be all trooping up to the hospital before we tuck into our seafood feast.

Christmas is always the one time of the year when we do try to come together as a family but it has not always been possible with my living interstate for so many years. Plus we have extended families - my son usually alternates Christmas between us and his other grandma but this year he is managing to fit us both in, although they are not planning to eat two Christmas lunches! Max's families are all interstate so there will be lots of phone calls and there are packages under the Christmas tree.

So no matter how you are celebrating Christmas this year, take the time to think about your families and all the memories you are creating. Capture those images and memories on your cameras so that you can remember those moments in the future. Merry Christmas everyone and I hope there are some genealogy goodies in your stockings.

This time of year I also start thinking about 2014 in retrospect and looking ahead to 2015 and what it might be bringing. Regular readers will know that I try and capture this with my Genealogy Aspirations blog posts - here is my 2014 Genealogy Aspirations. I will be reviewing those five aspirations and thinking about what I want to focus on in 2015. Hopefully I will have that done before the end of the year, only a week away now.

There are lots of exciting genealogy events happening in Australia in 2015 and I am lucky to be giving talks at all of them. See where I am speaking in 2015 on the Services & Events page of my website. Additional talks may be added as I accept invitations throughout the year. I have also got some new and exciting writing projects lined up too but more about that in the New Year.

I have done completed two more interviews with speakers from the AFFHO Congress 2015 mega genealogy event next March in Canberra - Cora Num and Jennie Norberry. There are still a few more to come but probably not until the New Year. It is really interesting to see the tips for attending Congress that the speakers are giving. For me, to make the most of it you just need to be a sponge, and soak it all up but it also helps to be prepared and that's why I think these speaker interviews are so useful.

The National Family History Month 2015 website and NFHM Facebook page are updated as much as I can until sponsorship is finalised, hopefully in January. Then my goal is to try and convince every genealogy and family history society in Australia to have an event. I may need some help with that, so if you are a member of any societies, make sure you mention NFHM  August 2015 to them.

Thank you to all my regular readers and to those who dip in from time to time. I enjoy passing on news and details of the genealogy events I am lucky enough to attend. I go into 2015 more convinced that social media is the way of the future and hopefully we will see more genealogy and family history societies joining in and reaching out to their members and others in the online world.

Have a safe and happy Christmas everyone, until next time.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Genealogy notes 11-18 Dec 2014 - more AFFHO Congress interviews

Hard to believe Christmas is now only a week away and the New Year a week after that - but then I say that every year. We have hosted a party for the neighbours and most of the shopping is done, the tree is up and the lights flashing around the yard and house. So definitely looks like Christmas even if I am still wondering where the year went.

I have done two more AFFHO Congress 2015 speaker interviews - Robyn Williams from New Zealand on New Zealand topics and Kate Bagnall who has been researching Chinese Australian families. I still have a couple more interviews to do next week and I have been sending out reminders to others on my list to interview. Pauleen Cass, my fellow official Congress blogger with Jill Ball, has posted her interview with me - see it here.

Time does fly as since the photo I sent to the Congress organisers which must have been back in 2013, I have changed my look. Always odd seeing photos of yourself and that is something I have done a lot of over the past week. I have been going through photo albums selecting photos to digitise and at the same time, generating so many memories.

There has been a sustained attack on all my paper genealogy magazines and  journals, although each one I read has just given me new ideas to follow up. Once I am on a new website hours can go by and of course there are all the leads from Twitter and Facebook posts too. In an attempt to capture some of the #genealogy tweets I started a Shauna Hicks Genealogy Daily Paper-li but for some reason, even though I only selected people I follow for genealogy, I have ended up with some strange additions.

So that needs a bit of tweaking and of course I still follow Jill Ball's The Australian Genealogists Daily. I noticed that some key tweets weren't showing up in that which is why I started my own. We have so many good online social media enthusiasts in Australia we should try and capture more of what they are sharing with us.

MyHeritage issued a press release about their new Instant Discoveries which

"provides information about one's ancestors and relatives while signing up to MyHeritage, giving a free, fun and immediately gratifying introduction to the fascinating world of family history. First-time users to provide very basic information about 7 family members: themselves, their parents and grandparents and then powerful technology automatically searches for information about their family in MyHeritage’s vast databases of billions of records. Within seconds, users are then presented with an Instant Discovery™, showing a person likely to be their ancestor, together with a wealth of related information including the entire family branch, names, facts, photos and documents. Users can then apply it all to their family tree in a click." 

They tested it on people in New York and you can view the video here. I am wondering how it would actually work here in Australia and at the moment it is only available to new MyHeritage users. I have had a MyHeritage account for a few years so I can't check. So if anyone here in Australia has tried it please let me know.

While I can see the appeal of instantly finding someone, especially in this day and age, I am not sure if that is better than some of the research thrills and satisfaction I have had over the years as I have painstakingly tracked people down. For me the path has been the challenge, not just the family knowledge at the end.

Findmypast had a very handy family historian Christmas gift guide for the  which I hope my family noted and of course I am also hoping for Nathan Dylan Goodwin's new novella The Orange Lilies. I have also mentioned a new orchid several times and there is that wonderful red and white toadstool statue at the local nursery which would be perfect in the back garden. Boxes of chocolates or electric toothbrushes will not be accepted! I do hope that Santa is more receptive than the family.

My other big task is getting the website and Facebook account for National Family History Month changed over for 2015. I have made some changes to wording on the home page but got stuck changing over the banner so I have called in the cavalry to assist.  Sponsors are still being finalised so I have left 2014 sponsors for the moment.

Events for 2015 can now be added to the web calendar - see here. The Family History Month Facebook page has been updated to and I will start to post any NFHM 2015 news as it comes too hand (or I generate as the voluntary coordinator).

Finally as part of the Kiva Genealogists for Families team I made another three loans for Christmas - two were from repayments from earlier loans and the other $25 loan was my Christmas gift to others. Join me by clicking here. $25 has the power to change peoples lives and it is so
nice to be part of this team helping families.

Very hot and humid here today and a storm predicted for the afternoon. We have seen some very bad storms the last few weeks so I hope everyone stays safe. There will be one more Diary before Christmas so have fun with all those last minute preparations. Remember to find some time for genealogy, it doesn't take too long to read a blog or two! Until next time.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Genealogy Notes 4-10 Dec 2014 blog posts & 2015 events

The last week has seen three very different blog posts. The first was a So This is Christmas 2014 geneameme challenge from Sharn White (FamilyHistory4U) and it has been interesting reading the various responses from other Geneabloggers. My response was 2014 Christmas Genealogy Geneameme and I found it very hard to remember any of my childhood Christmas dinners. So this Christmas I will have to ask my brother what he remembers and to see if Mum has any old Christmas photos to jog my memory!

My next blog post was a book review of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's first two genealogical crime mysteries with Morton Farrier, a forensic genealogist - Hiding The Past and The Lost Ancestor. Read my review of both books here. Since I finished the review, I have discovered there is a new Morton Farrier adventure, a novella ebook The Orange Lilies and I have been dropping hints to the family. Certainly a more interesting present than the electric toothbrush I received last year!

The final blog for the week was another interview in my AFFHO Congress 2015 series of interviews with speakers. Read my interview with Michelle Nichols here. I have some more interviews to put up but there have been severe storms here every day and it is just not worth being online with so many lightning strikes around. Pauleen Cass one of the Congress official blogging team is doing a similar interview with me although I am still considering my own answers to the questions!

I have received some sponsor confirmations for National Family History Month 2015 which is fantastic. Hopefully I will hear from the others in the next week or so and then I can change the website over for 2015. Make sure you have August marked in your diaries as NFHM.

All my known speaking engagements for 2015 are now on the Services & Events page of my website.  I have three major conferences, two genealogy cruises, some society seminars and library talks so far and as I commit to any other presentations I will add them to the list. But it looks like being a big year for genealogy in 2015 especially if you live in Canberra, Port Macquarie, Adelaide or Brisbane or can travel to those events!

I went to the Bribie Island family history group meeting and Christmas lunch today and everyone spoke about what they had been doing. Sometimes that is a great way to learn about new sites or to get other peoples ideas on your family history problems. No more meetings now until next year.

Another storm is rolling its way in and it is now so dark I almost need the lights on and it is still afternoon. We are fairly lucky here on Bribie Island as the main storm cells seem to go around us and as a sand island, the water usually just goes straight through. The winds can be pretty full on depending on the direction they are coming from.  Thunder, lightning, rain and wind now here so time to log off and stand by with the mop and a torch! Happy researching until next time.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Genealogy notes 24 Nov - 3 Dec 2014 Congress 2015 speaker interviews

The last week or so has totally got away from me. But yesterday I did make the Bribie Island Family History Group meeting where the speaker talked about his own convict families and how wonderful the Australian Joint Copying Project was. This reminded me of the talk I gave on AJCP earlier this year for the Genealogical Society of Queensland - the presentation is still on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations and it was in May 2014.

There are now two interviews in my AFFHO Congress 2015 speaker interviews - Richard Reid interview and Sue Reid interview (no relation to Richard). Over the next week or so I will be doing another two interviews and all up I have 12 speakers in my list. The other two official Congress bloggers Jill Ball and Pauleen Cass are also doing a similar number of interviews. Some fantastic speakers are lined up for Congress so watch out for all the latest news.

There is an AFFHO committee meeting tomorrow night. I am a member with my role as voluntary coordinator for National Family History Month. Meetings always prompt me to do things so I wrote a small piece on NFHM 2015 for the December News Flash and I have contacted all of last year's NFHM sponsors and invited them to sponsor us again. Of course we always welcome new sponsors too!

Another new experience is looming for me too. I have been asked to participate in Maria Northcote's Genies Down Under podcasts - January and February episodes to be exact. In the past I have done podcasts with the State Library of Victoria and the Genealogical Society of Victoria for members only (more just recording my talks at those institutions). This is a bit different so I have said yes so look out for them in the New Year.

I have been busy writing some Q&A pieces for Inside History Magazine and Family Tree Magazine UK and as usual, always amazed by some of the tricky ancestors out there doing their best to stay hidden!

Findmypast have been adding lots of Scottish records over the last month so I did a quick search and was pleasantly surprised to find three references to my Scottish GGG grandfather. The references prove that he was a merchant seaman (an occupation on one of the certificates I have for him) and one of the references had his birth date so I know it is definitely him. I just wish I could work out what all the abbreviations and squiggles on the entries mean. One of the entries looks like US which might explain the American colours tattoo he had, I always believed he must have travelled to the US prior to marrying and coming to Queensland.

Unlock the Past Cruises sent out a media release for the seven cruises they have in 2015-2016 - something for everyone. You can see their 16 page catalogue here. It would be great to do them all but not really an option time or money wise for most of us. So I am definitely doing the Baltic cruise in July 2015 as it is a while since I last went to Europe.

I have never been to America so I am also doing the Trans Atlantic cruise in November 2015 plus I have always wanted to celebrate my birthday at sea. The Melbourne Cup is just going to have to miss me next year. It is a while since I was in New Zealand too so I am going to do the New Zealand to Australia (including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth) cruise in February 2016.

I am missing out on Western Australia, Queensland and the Barrier Reef cruises and I am still undecided on the European river cruise which goes from Amsterdam to Basel in Switzerland through France and Germany. My issue is timing - it is late July early August 2016 which is of course National Family History Month but perhaps I will no longer be voluntary coordinator by then??

Now that I have my next research guide with Unlock the Past's editor, I am going to have another big tidy up in the study, get back to cataloging more of my books into Library Thing and do some of my own research during the 'quiet' holiday season. The other half has a significant birthday coming up and I have something planned which I need to start working on or it won't be finished in time.

So lots to keep me going next week.Happy researching.

Monday 24 November 2014

Genealogy Notes 17-23 Nov 2014 AFFHO congress papers due

Back home again and trying to get back into normal mode again but playing catch up with emails, blogs and things that should be done. Amazing how fast weeds grow when you have been away for a few weeks. One of my orchids also flowered while I was away and then got battered in the storm just before we got back.

The most pressing deadline is the end of November when all the AFFHO Congress 2015 speakers have to get their papers in so that the organisers can arrange publication in time for the Congress in March. The deadline for presentations is later so I have not given them any thoughts yet. My two papers are on sporting ancestors and court of petty session records for family history and I have my drafts here ready to go. I like to read them a few times before sending off because I quite often want to make last minute tweaks.

Still on Congress, I have been in touch with some of the presenters who I will be featuring in blog posts between now and Congress. Along with my official blogging team partners Jill Ball and Pauleen Cass we will be doing interviews in blogs, hangouts and YouTube. It will be interesting to learn more about everyone over the coming months. By Congress they will seem like old friends!

Speaking of AFFHO, I was asked to provide copy for the next News Flash on National Family History Month 2015 which I have not given much thought to yet. But I must get on to changing the website over in preparation for 2015. Contacting NFHM sponsors is also on the must do list. What I can say is that NFHM 2015 launch will be in Adelaide in 2015 so slowly moving around Australia now with previous launches in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Make sure August 2015 is in your diaries!

I have also done a couple of ask an expert queries for Inside History Magazine and as usual they are challenging. Some people's brick walls are bigger than the Great Wall of China and in some cases it would be fantastic if we could simply go back in time and ask our ancestors why? In my post office box on my return was the latest issue of Inside History Magazine so when it gets too hot today I will be curling up with that for a good read.

While on the caravan trip I managed to read both of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's genealogical mysteries and I totally enjoyed them. Still in the process of doing a review but hopefully that will be completed in the next week.

Also managed to read quite a bit of Carol Baxter's new reference book - I'm providing pre publication feedback which is a great opportunity to see how another author works. I have to finish that by early December.

Of course my own new research guide is still nearing completion. I like to find dedicated time to do that and travelling in a caravan doesn't give you that luxury. So that is the major task this week - to finish it and send it off to the wonderful editor at Unlock the Past. Finishing a guide always seems to take me longer than writing the whole thing in the first place!

On the good news side I have been asked to present a master class on Public Record Office Victoria at the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies annual conference which is in Port Macquarie in October 2015. It is still early stages in their conference planning so the website is not up yet. There will be a link from the Association's website soon. There is a Facebook page for the NSW & ACT 2015 conference. I try to get to these conferences whenever I can, usually determined by their location which changes each year. Port Macquarie is one of those places we nearly settled in so it will be a great opportunity to revisit this historic area.

My speaking calendar for 2015 is full on and I hope to put all the dates on my website soon, still waiting on some confirmation of presentation titles. So far I have 15 events with more than one talk at some of those events. So a busy year ahead.

There hasn't been any opportunity for my own genealogy research but I am planning to give up television. At home we seem to have got into the habit of just flopping in front of the TV at night and while in the caravan we didn't too that. Other things occupied us so my new resolve is to try and be a little busier at night rather than just flopping!

Until next time, happy researching and think about attending some of the great conferences happening in Australia in 2015.

Friday 14 November 2014

Genealogy notes 10 -16 Nov 2014 family visits & keeping up to date

Well this has been another week on the road travelling by caravan with friends and taking the opportunity to visit family on the way. This is currently being written in beautiful Bargara on Queensland's Coral Coast. Max has a 93 year old aunt in nearby Bundaberg as well as some cousins living nearby. So lots of morning teas and passing around of old photos.

By coincidence a friend and former colleague from Canberra saw that I was visiting Bargara and as she now lives here, we took the opportunity to catch up over coffee. We last saw each other in 2003 but have kept in touch over the years via email while she lived in Cairns and I was in Melbourne.

Now for an even greater coincidence at the Bargara bowls club last night Max recognised his former next door neighbour from when he lived in Adelaide after leaving Darwin in the early 70s. So  another opportunity to catch up on news of what each has done over the last four decades.

Bargara is such a small place and yet within a few days we have both caught up with people from our pasts. Now planning another visit early next year as we are heading back tomorrow and no more time for catch ups.

While here we walked through the National Park to the Mon Repos turtle rookery and just inside the park we came across a pod of some pretty big kangaroos. We walked quietly passed while they just stood and watched and on the way back they were still there. Lucky they were just happy to keep eating while keeping an eye on us. In the dry creek bed we spotted some huge emu prints but didn't see them, just their tracks. The bird life was fantastic with lots of green parrots.

The next day we drove round to the Mon Repos Turtle Centre to see the displays and there were some young European tourists there. They did not believe that the big loggerhead turtle on display was a real one (sadly dead but preserved as part of the display). They could not believe loggerheads get that big despite us saying so and other photos also showing rather large turtles.

Back in the 80s we had friends in Bundaberg so I have been to Mon Repos many times and seen the females laying eggs and also the babies hatching and making their way down to the sea. Both are fantastic experiences and truly amazing that the females might take 30 years to come back to the same beach and start reproducing. No wonder so many of our species are endangered.

Also visited Bert Hinkler's house in Bundaberg (shipped out here from England) and the huge Hinkler's Hall of Aviation which is a must visit. Of course we also visited the Bundy Rum Distillery and also the Big Barrel where they make all that great ginger beer. They now have a pineapple and coconut flavour and while doing the test taste I couldn't help thinking that they should go into partnership with the Distillery and put some rum in for the perfect cocktail! But then they probably would not be a kid's venue although plenty of adults there too.

So mostly tourist things this week but I have been reminded by AFFHO Congress 2015 that my two papers are due at the end of November. They appear to have set up Dropbox accounts for all Congress speakers to put their papers into. A new idea and also a good one as you can then also put your presentation in as well but that is not due until next year.

One of the official Congress geneabloggers, Pauleen, has written about the Congress 2015: Be a Winner in the Ballot which closes on 30 November so have a look and don't miss out.

This coming week I am still on the road but should have more time to focus on genealogy. At the least I always try to read Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Daily Newsletter, Chris Paton's British GENES blog and Jill Ball's Australian Genealogists Daily so that I am at least aware of what is happening around the  genealogy world. Until next time happy researching.

Sunday 9 November 2014

Genealogy Notes 3 -9 Nov 2014 lots of blogging & celebrations

The first week of November is always a big week for me. I am a year older and this year my brother joined me in celebrating the big day. The last time he did that was my 21st nearly 40 years ago so we spent a lot of time talking about our childhood. Amazing what memories come back when you start chatting about the past.

My big day is either on or next to Australia's big racing event, the Melbourne Cup so I have always embraced that as my one day of betting on the horses. I managed to back first place so that was a bonus but this year's race was overshadowed by the deaths of two horses after the race. I have always thought it was a dangerous occupation but then most sports are dangerous and people/animals can get hurt or killed.

I guess it is all about choice and my choice is genealogy. It is not dangerous but it is addictive. Most of this week I have spent writing blogs. For those who missed my Twitter, Facebook or Google+ notices here are the links to my reports on the Eastern Australian Unlock the Past cruise, the Norfolk Island genealogy and history conference. It was a fantastic 10 days away.

This week we have Remembrance Day and I usually have an Anzac Day/Remembrance Day blog focusing on one of my military ancestors. Most of my direct ancestors have been written about so this November I wrote about my great grandmother's (Dorcas White nee Trevaskis) nephew Frederick Trevaskis. He died at the Western Front in 1917 never having married. If someone dies without descendants, we as family historians, need to tell their stories as perhaps no one else will or can.

As part of the official bloggers team for AFFHO Congress 2015 next March in Canberra, I will be doing a series of interviews/blogs with some of the Congress speakers. My team bloggers Jill Ball and Pauleen Cass have already started some of their interviews. We hope to have everyone done by Christmas and it will be a great way to know more about the speakers before you get to meet/listen to them next year.

As well as blogging myself I also like to read other people's blogs too and one blog I follow on a semi regular basis is The Legal Genealogist. The last two posts It's Not Sharing and It Bears Repeating: Just Say No should be read by everyone, including the comments. As someone who has found her own work on other websites word for word with no acknowledgement, I totally identify with the first post and with the second post, we do need to read, accept and abide by terms and conditions of websites, applications or whatever we use.

However I am not going to stop blogging my family stories as only this morning I opened up my email to find yet another distant cousin had found me via a blog post. She is thrilled and it is reciprocal as I believe the family bible in her possession, was given to my GG grandmother (new cousin's G grandmother) by her mother in 1861 in Ireland. Therefore, once we can arrange a visit, I will get to see my GGG grandmother's handwriting! Plus there are photographs.  

I have so many commitments at the moment I am feeling a bit overwhelmed but then I am off on a caravan trek with friends for the next two weeks and hoping that I can do things along the way! I find it hard to say no to requests from geneafriends especially when something is of interest to me. I am having a read of Carol Baxter's new book out in time for AFFHO Congress 2015 so stay tuned for more details. Carol is one of the speakers with me on the Unlock the Past Baltic cruise in July next year. Lots of other great speakers too so should be another fantastic genealogy cruise.

Watching the most amazing sunset as I type this. At last the rosellas and other birds have fallen silent and it has been another perfect day in Paradise. Time to wander out and see what is in the fridge for dinner although Sunday night is usually home made pizza night if we are not having our Sunday roast. Happy genearesearching until next time. Next post will be from Bargara, another one of those perfect little spots on Queensland's Coral Coast.

Saturday 1 November 2014

Genealogy Notes 23 Oct - 2 Nov 2014 - back online

Well I am back home after a genealogy cruise followed by a history and genealogy conference on Norfolk Island. All up we were away for ten days and I presented ten talks during the five days and one night which were genealogy days. So I am a bit talked out! However as usual I have put the talks up on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

The whole purpose of my talks is to show attendees a broader picture and to get them thinking of how they can apply what I am saying to their own research when they get home. Feedback from both the cruise and the Norfolk Island conference attendees was exactly what I hoped for with people telling me they could not wait to get home and try out some new resources or search strategies. Makes all that preparation worthwhile.

I still have to do a report on both the genealogy cruise and the Norfolk Island conference but hope to get them done over the next few days. As usual internet connections are either expensive or you need to buy a package although the venue for the conference did generously allow wi fi access to attendees during the day.

But regular readers will know that I like to turn off my online access at least for a few days each year and it is usually easiest to do this when I am removed from temptation. So over the last ten days I only had one day of access in between the cruise and the conference. Does it make a difference? I find that I slow down as I am fitting less into my day and perhaps doing more things outdoors (touring and seeing the sights).

Although I do miss what all my geneamates are doing but that is part of the fun of coming home and catching up. There are lots of emails to catch up on, genealogy enewsletters to read and lots of blogs to skim from some of my favourite bloggers. One of my talks on Norfolk Island was about social media so it will be interesting to see if any attendees follow up on my suggestions.

I still have to finish unpacking and sorting out my notes and handouts from the trip so I will finish this Diary with a brief para on Norfolk Island which is a convict world heritage site. There were two convict settlements and the resettlement of the Pitcairn Islanders (descendants of the Bounty mutineers) so the Island is rich in history and heritage. We went on a progressive dinner to the homes of some of the descendants of the Pitcairners and it was fascinating to hear the stories of their ancestors and to see some of the memorabilia that some of them have from Tahiti and Pitcairn.

As some Islanders are of American descent they celebrate Thanksgiving and Halloween on the Island so it was interesting to be part of a Halloween celebration the night before we left. Although I am not sure about all that fake spider web and plastic spiders hanging everywhere to scare unsuspecting tourists.

The other major attraction for us is Norfolk Island's sheer beauty and incredible bird life. The weather was fantastic although they do need to see some rain soon. Of course there is all of that duty free shopping and some fantastic dining experiences with authentic Island food. We have now been twice and it would not surprise me if we do another trip in the future. Back next time with more of a genealogy update. Happy researching until then.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Genealogy Notes 15-22 October 2014 Geneacruising again

Most of the last week I have been reviewing my talks for the 6th Unlock the Past cruise which is a three night cruise out of Sydney which is basically a genealogy conference at sea. So no sightseeing or foreign ports but lots of genealogy talks and research help sessions. I will be giving 5 talks over 3 days and I am not the only speaker so definitely full on for all attendees. A blog report will follow in early November.

Why so long to wait? Well straight after the cruise I am heading over to Norfolk Island for the Unlock the Past history and genealogy conference. We will be on the Island for 5 nights and the conference itself is only 3 days so plenty of time for sightseeing although I have been to Norfolk before. Again I will be doing 5 talks in 3 days so no rest for the wicked although I suspect that is really no rest for the geneaddicted. Again a blog report will follow in early November as I am not sure what internet access I will have or how much spare time there will be.

This is my last geneafling for 2014 so I am going the whole geneahog. I do hope Geniaus is reading this as I would love to see myself credited with a new genea word in her geneadictionary.

The other thing I have been doing is trying to avoid seeing comments by geneamates on Nathan Goodwin's forensic genealogy novels which I have been given to review. I hate spoilers so I will need to think about how to review a novel without giving it all away. So far everyone has said they can't put it down so I am thinking of reading them when I get back after all my geneadistractions.

Week 25 Immigration records in my 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 was completed but there won't be another post in that series until early November. That week is also my birthday and Melbourne Cup so perhaps I should not be promising too much as it usually is a party week for me.

I can go for weeks with no one asking me to do anything and then all of a sudden everything happens. This week I have seen requests to speak next year, a request for research from someone, to do some more articles for magazines (Inside History Magazine) and I still have two more to go for Irish Lives Remembered and I have agreed to write another course in the Australian certificate for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I learnt a lot from writing the last one I did and this time around I will be more familiar with their requirements and style etc. So lots of interesting things to finish the year with.

I have one more talk for the Genealogical Society of Queensland on 22 November in Brisbane and I have two papers to write for the AFFHO Congress 2015 due before 30 November so my birthday month is shaping up to be very busy. The Congress early bird closes on 31 October and it really is the genealogy conference not to miss (only every 3 years) and Canberra in March is simply stunning with all those autumn colours we don't see here in the north. 

Well time to go and pack and get myself totally organised for an early morning flight to Sydney and 8 days of genealogy fun and some fantastic sightseeing on Norfolk Island. Stay tuned for my return and reports on all the geneaction. Sorry couldn't help myself! Happy researching until next time.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Genealogy notes 8-14 October 2014 - More Great Seminars & Backing Up

Since last Diary I have had a great time on the Gold Coast at the Angling for Ancestors genealogy seminar. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and to hear some great talks. My report on the seminar is here and fellow geneablogger Helen Smith also did a report and you can read it here.

I was all set up to tweet and Facebook this seminar as usually I am a speaker and don't get the chance to just sit back and do comments while in progress. However I was a tad over eager - I put my fully charged mobile wifi and Ipad in my handbag the night before so that I would not forget them. It was a bit of a rush in the morning so I did not check that all was ok. Sadly somehow the on button on my wifi was activated in my handbag and when I pulled it out to start tweeting I realised it was about to go flat! Of course, the charger was back home. Just as well I still had by trusty pen and notebook.

Over the years I have been watching the developments in the big subscription databases such as GenesReunited, Ancestry.com.au, MyHeritage and Findmypast.com.au and the amount of indexed and digitised records continues to grow. But what is also fascinating is how they have become more interactive and allow people to store their family information online and put them in touch with others researching the same families.

Early on I put my family data into Genes Reunited and have had many many contacts over the years. I had limited information in Ancestry for years but earlier this year I put all of my information there although I still maintain a separate genealogy program which has all the up to date information and sources etc. As with Genes Reunited, I have found relatives this way and shared information.

I have limited information in MyHeritage but it put me in touch with relatives in Ireland that I suspect I would never have found any other way or certainly not as easily. This is a program that I want to look at more but at the moment I have been looking at Findmypast's family trees which I first put data into back in 2012. I have just uploaded a gedcom of Max's families and it only took one minute and 44 seconds to load nearly 2000 people. I certainly could not re-enter that data anywhere near as quick. Plus you can attach records, photos and it will even calculate kinship for you. Read about the new and improved Findmypast family tree here.

Now that we are living in Queensland Max is interested in knowing more about his mother's Queensland family although he does already know some of his cousins. Surprisingly we have also found that his paternal grandfather has family here too. We have chosen the public option as we want people to find us but have also chosen to suppress the living.

So why have your data in so many places (and there are more choices than those listed here)? Because I have found relatives in all four of these subscription sites it shows that people are choosing different systems but if you only use one of them, you miss the others. Full membership of all four of them is expensive although you can choose free or limited options and of course, some of them are also available to use in libraries.

If anything happens to my laptop, or my backup disk, or my remote hard drive, at least some of my data is available on all of these sites. However I also use BackupMyTree which is a free MyHeritage application which allows me to store my data online (outside of MyHeritage) and there is no public access to it. Another plus is that each time I update my genealogy software program it automatically syncs to BackupMyTree.

So my data is retrievable (although the scanning of my photos and documents continues) and we are waiting for other family members to contact us, hopefully. Whenever I start playing with my own families, you know that I am procrastinating and this time it is finalising my new research guide for Unlock the Past. I always agonise in the final stages of a guide, am I too boring, have I missed something, got it wrong or whatever else. Fortunately their wonderful editor usually soothes all those silly nerves.

There will be one more Diary before we are off on the next Unlock the Past cruise and the Norfolk Island history and genealogy conference. Happy researching until then.

Monday 6 October 2014

Genealogy Notes 1-7 Oct 2014 Online but Not Online

Another super big week but a highlight was the Queensland Family History Society seminar on asylums, prisons and hospitals at the weekend. I gave two talks Family Skeletons or Just Old and Sick: Looking at Asylum Records and Missing an Ancestor? Try Looking Behind Bars. As usual both my presentations are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations. The other speaker was Pauleen Cass on hospital records and her presentation can be found on her blog Family History Across the Seas under the Presentation page.

Alex (Family Tree Frog) has done an in-depth review of the day (read it here) so I won't repeat any of that here. What I do want to say is that I took the opportunity to do a quick survey of the audience and their online habits. When asked the general question is everybody online most hands went up, although surprisingly a few people still don't use computers. My next questions were about who used Twitter, read or wrote blogs, Google+ and Facebook and Facebook was the only one where more than a few hands went up. It seems that most only used their computers for email, web searching and not for social media although both Pauleen and I did try to encourage them during the day.

I also took the opportunity to mention that Pauleen, Jill Ball (aka Geniaus) and myself are the official bloggers for Congress 2015 in Canberra in March 2015. This is the must attend genealogy event in Australia/New Zealand every three years. We will be using social media to promote Congress and its wonderful sponsors over the coming months. But if people don't use social media it is hard for us to get all the exciting messages out in a timely way.

After every talk I usually pick up a few followers or my blogs are viewed by more people so obviously some people do go home and at least have a look. I have been using social media for just over five years now and can't imagine how I could possibly learn about all the great new resources without finding out through social media. In Australia the genealogy community does not seem to have embraced social media. Do people know what they are missing out on?

I noticed this lack of engagement with social media during National Family History Month too. Or have I got it wrong? Is it there and I just haven't picked up on who to follow?

Pauleen also took the opportunity to mention that we are both members of the Kiva Genealogists for Families project and it was good to see a few other hands go up for that. If you would like to join us follow this link. $25 can make a big difference to other families and I have relent my $25 over and over.

A great day. QFHS have really embraced the online world - they even sent Pauleen and I virtual thank you cards by email using Jacquie Lawson notecards.

This coming weekend I have the Angling for Ancestors genealogy weekend with the Gold Coast Family History Society with key speakers Jan Gow QSM and Graham Jaunay. I am not speaking so will be quietly sitting back and absorbing the knowledge. There will be a review of the day coming up next week.

Week 24 of my personal genealogy blog challenge is on post office directories - read about it here.

My LibraryThing cataloging is going slowly and having to do three trips to Brisbane took away a lot of time. It is not that far but an hour there and back plus time waiting around for appointments means that virtually a whole day is gone by the time we get back.  Now that the weather is so gorgeous I have been swimming every day and doing some more gardening. No rain also means time spent hosing all our gardens, thank goodness we have bore water.

It is just over a week until my next Unlock the Past cruise so the focus will be finalising my five talks for that plus I have another five talks for the Norfolk Island conference to finalise too. My two papers for Congress 2015 are due at the end of November and while I have been thinking about them  I have yet to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard to be more specific.

Amazing how fast this year has gone. Until next week, enjoy your genealogy research and why not try and encourage more of our Aussie geneamates to try social media. If we all recruited just one person that would make a difference. Until next time.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Genealogy Notes 23-30 Sep 2014 - LibraryThing & Guest Blogging

Extreme satisfaction this week as I am finally tackling something that has been on my To Do list for years if not decades. But more on that later. First up I want to start with some blogging news. Week 23 Electoral Rolls was this week's challenge in my personal genealogy blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014. I am a big fan of electoral rolls for solving where people move to.

I also did a guest blog for the Genealogical Society of Queensland and took the opportunity to convince a few more people to start blogging their family stories. Read my post here. It really is a fantastic way to find lost lost relatives and get to know other Geneabloggers.

From time to time I am asked to do a book review and past reviews can be seen on the Resources page of my website (towards the end of the page). My next book review is a bit out of the ordinary as I have been asked to review one of Nathan Goodwin's genealogical crime mysteries which sounds absolutely fascinating. Hiding the Past is Nathan's first book in this series and a review on Amazon said A good reminder that you just never know what you will find once you embark on an ancestral hunt! I know that feeling so looking forward to a good read.

Which brings me to what I have been doing most of the week.

In the last 40 years since I left home, I have carted my genealogy, history and other cannot part with books, including novels and cookery books from home to home, city to city, state to state. Packing up and moving nine times you tend to jettison a lot of stuff along the way, so I hate to think what my house would have been like if I had not had a wanderlust.

So now that we are in the home we are never moving from, I am fulfilling my lifelong ambition to have all my books catalogued and easily findable no matter what bookcase they are in throughout the house. One of the attractions of this house was that two walls of the study have built in book cases, in fact I could not go past this house once I had seen the study which also overlooks the swimming pool area and our palm and fruit orchard. Although the birds are a bit of a distraction!

Over the years people have given me all kinds of suggestions on how to do this but I have gone with LibraryThing which is free and many geneafriends also use. I think there is something nice about being able to see (virtually) what other people have on their bookshelves and already I have two LibraryThing friends.

Setting up the account is easy and to add your books you simply select a group of libraries that you think will have the books and then you enter the ISBN and hopefully one of your libraries has the book and you get all the library cataloguing details which saves a lot of keying in of author names, titles etc. You can add your own tags and there is a private comments field where I enter the Bookcase number and shelf number.

I gave all the bookcases and shelves numbers which allows me to know which shelf a particular book is located on. Many of my research guides and other finding aids are small pamphlett size and hard to spot so this means I will be able to grab something quickly once I look it up on LibraryThing.

So all very positive and exciting and somewhat addictive. I have spent hours doing this and rearranging my books. But like everything, there are two sides to cataloguing your library collection.

I am using the National Library of Australia (NLA) as my main library choice with support from various State Libraries for my Australian books and similar libraries overseas for my New Zealand, UK and USA books. With legal deposit I expected to find most of my books in the NLA or the relevant State Library but I am surprised at how many of my books are not where I expect a copy to be held. With one of my books, in desperation I tried the University of Queensland and they had a copy so universities are now my fall back position.

You can enter books in manually but I prefer to have all the cataloguing details as well and it is quicker if you can find it already in a library somewhere.

But that is not what is taking me the longest time. I am rediscovering each and every one of my genealogy reference books and some of them are quite ancient and precomputer and internet times. It is fascinating to read them and see how we did genealogy in those far off days. At one point I was going to say they were all superseded and simply toss them, but there is some good advice and the records are the same, just the way we look for things has changed. So the weeding and decluttering  is not quite going to plan.

It will probably take me months to do all of my books so I will give updates from time to time on progress. LibraryThing is my new best friend and we won't be parted anytime soon!

For those in Brisbane don't forget the Queensland Family History Society seminar on Saturday with Pauleen Cass (Family History Across the Seas) and myself talking about asylums, hospitals and prisons. Should be a great seminar and if you are in the Gold Coast area, I am also attending the Angling for Ancestors seminar although I am not talking. Graham Jaunay and Jan Gow are the two speakers for that day long genealogy fest so I can just sit back and soak up all their genealogy knowledge! Blog posts to come on both seminars.

Until next week, happy genealogy searching or in my case, LibraryThing.

Monday 22 September 2014

Genealogy Notes 15-22 Sep 2014 more lovely awards & great blogs

Well it has been a big week for receiving some wonderful tributes for my blogs and my presentations. First up I received a One Lovely Blog Award from Alex Daw (Family Tree Frog) for this Diary blog and if you have not seen my response, read it here. My second One Lovely Blog Award was from Helen Smith (Helen Smith's Keyboard) for my other family oriented blog SHHE Genie Rambles and my response is here.

As part of the Awards we each nominate other blogs that we like to read or admire and that  way we all get to find out about all the fantastic blogs out there. It really is good to see so many people using blogs to tell their family stories and make them accessible via Google.

The highlight of my week was finding out that I was the Gold Medalist Rock Star Genealogist in Australia and New Zealand in John Reid's (Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections) annual survey. The Top Ten list for ANZ is also a line up of some of our best bloggers and speakers although a few northerners also made the list probably due to their down under tours with Unlock the Past in the last few years.

All this recognition has inspired me to get back to blogging and I have managed to restart my personal genealogy blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014. Week 22 is on Family Letters and Correspondence and I share two family letters that I am fortunate to have found during my research.

My Ancestor was in an Asylum: Brief Guide to Asylum Records in Australia and New ZealandMy next big project is a new research guide and I am trying to get a section each day as well as finalise my two talks for the Queensland Family History Society seminar on 4 October. One talk is on asylum records and I have done a version of this presentation on a number of occasions as it is based on my guide My Ancestor Was In An Asylum: Brief Guide to Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand.

My second talk is on prison records and I was surprised to find that the last time that I only spoke about prison records was in 2002! Normally I combine it with convict records so my October talk is a reworked version of one of my most popular talks over a decade ago. It has been interesting updating it (although my family stories haven't changed) but so much has changed online!

My talks for the next Unlock the Past genealogy cruise and Norfolk Island genealogy conference in late October are also done but I will probably keep tweaking them between now and then. I have a couple of new talks which is always a little nerve wracking as you never know if people will like them and find them useful.

At the weekend I took my own advice and finally decided to tackle my Irish brick walls (yet again). In 37 years of researching I have yet to learn anything more about my Irish GGG grandparents apart from their names.In my brick wall talks I tell people to try tracing siblings if you can't track back a direct ancestor so over the years I have managed to identify some siblings but never traced them.

So using the National Archives of Ireland for wills and census records, Findmypast for a wide range of Irish records for County Wicklow, FamilySearch, Ancestry and Roots Ireland I managed to put together a reasonable framework for two of the siblings. If I purchase marriage certificates it should prove they are siblings but that won't advance me back. It is unfortunate that Irish death certificates are not more informative. I now have possible deaths for all four of my Wicklow GGG grandparents but unless a family member was an informant purchasing a copy may not actually confirm it.

I have always been a bit of a gambler so I will apply for photocopies (the cheaper option to certificates) and see what I get. Nothing ventured nothing gained so wish me luck. I still have to look at my four GGG grandparents in Northern Ireland but that will have to wait for another free weekend.

There have been lots of useful Tweets and Facebook posts too and quite a lot of these are picked up in Geniaus' The Australian Genealogists Daily which I subscribed too as it usually provides a good snapshot of relevant tweets.

Time for some lunch and exercise - some days it is too easy just to sit at the laptop and do that last bit of research or read one more blog or check Twitter for new sites! Until next time happy researching.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Genealogy Notes 5-14 Sep 2014 exciting new resources

Just back from a relaxing week long holiday at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast where I revisited many of my childhood holiday haunts. Over 50 years on there is a lot of change but it is amazing how simply being in a place can bring back memories long forgotten. But then some things haven't changed and you wonder how they have survived all the development around them. Fleay's Wildlife Park is now under National Parks Management and surrounded by suburbia but is an amazing refuge for some endangered species and they still have their platypus display, one of my most vivid childhood memories.

The only genealogy (apart from childhood memories) I did was to check in with Twitter and Facebook each morning to note any exciting news (more in a moment) and to take time to vote in John Reid's (Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections) Rockstar Genealogists survey. Voting is now closed so it will be interesting to see the results of his third year of doing this global survey. The other thing I had to do was thank Alex Daw (Family Tree Frog) for nominating Diary for a Lovely Blog Award - see my response here.

I know some people think that spending time on social media is a waste of time but it is where I catch up with most of my genealogy news. For example, through Facebook I found out that Findmypast.com.au now has the NSW will and testament books online from 1800 to 1952. Totally fantastic news and now that I am home, looking forward to some serious searching.

Another exciting resource is the 1894 and 1897 women's suffrage petitions which were indexed by the Queensland Family History Society in a project with the Queensland Parliament and now all online to search free. Again discovered via Facebook.

Through Cassmob's blog Family History Across the Seas, I discovered that Diary was listed in Jill Ball's (Geniaus) list of  50 Best Genealogy Blogs published in the latest issue of Inside History Magazine. Given that I was away from home, I had to wait patiently till we got home and collected our mail. There are some great blogs on the list and I don't know how Jill manages to keep it to 50. It is an honour to be among such great company.

One of my Twitter discoveries was Connected Histories 22 digital resources for British History 1500-1900 and one of the ways I pick up these genealogy tweets is by looking at Jill's The Australian Genealogists Daily. I find this so useful as a catch up that I retweet it each day and also post it to Facebook.

This weekend was the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies annual conference and this year it was hosted by the Illawarra Family History Group with the theme Illawarra Remembers 1914-2014. This is a conference that I try to get to every other year and as I went to the one in Canberra last year, Illawarra was just a little too hard to get to this year. However, next year it is being hosted by the Port Macquarie & District Family History Society which is where we almost settled. I think everyone enjoyed the conference as I have seen some very happy faces on Facebook.

This coming week I have to seriously finish all my talks for the Unlock the Past 6th cruise in October (5 talks) after which I am going to the UTP Norfolk Island Conference (another 5 talks). Some are revamped talks but I am also doing some totally new talks and that takes a good deal of preparation.

I also want to get back to my personal blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 and regular Diary updates. And perhaps a spot of research with some of those lovely new resources. Happy researching until next time.

Monday 8 September 2014

Lovely Blog Award

Diary is usually my blog for my genealogy news and adventures and my other blog SHHE Genie Rambles is where I place all my personal stories and write about my families. However I have to make an exception as my long time geneafriend Alex Daw of Family Tree Frog has nominated Diary for a Lovely Blog Award which is really exciting. Alex's enthusiasm for genealogy is as keen as mine and it is always terrific to visit her library and give talks to all her genealogy library members. Thanks Alex.

Here are the Rules for the "One Lovely Blog Award":

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog
  2. Share Seven things about yourself - refer below
  3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!) - also listed below
  4. Contact your bloggers to let them know that you've tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award
Seven things about me:

1. Throughout my adult life, I have moved around a lot (at least 9 homes and 3 cities) and recently settled into our 'retirement' house on Bribie Island. Will it be the last? 

2. Our family always had a thing about visiting animal sanctuaries and it is something that I still do. And yes that is my one and only baby brother.

3. I always wanted to be a librarian but after leaving school I applied to the Brisbane City Council for a library position but was told that I was not the kind of person who worked in libraries. Disappointed I joined the Queensland Public Service, got married and a few years later discovered genealogy, which totally changed my life and a few years further on again, I found myself working at the State Library of Queensland with the person who told me that I was not the kind of person who worked in libraries. Small world!

4. Fishing is another one of those long term passions I seem to have inherited and my father was a keen fisherman all his life. He would have really loved the boat we recently purchased to fish around Bribie Island which is where Dad first taught me to fish.

5. Another lifelong passion is reading and I can read anything but losing myself in a good book is a fantastic way to spend a few hours. Over the years I have bought thousands and every time I move, lots go to the local charities. I have always been a member of a library and regularly borrow books but somehow having to give them back seems wrong. Which is probably why I keep buying books! 

6. My son seems to be following in my footsteps and I do not expect to see grandchildren any time soon. My parents used to despair that they were never going to be grandparents as both my brother and I were tardy but then we did not know that cancer would come along and take those years from our father. One of my favourite shots of Dad taking photos of my son dancing with Mum at my brother's wedding.

7. Travel is also something that I have done all my life and I am currently writing this in a unit at Surfers Paradise where I used to go with my family in the early to mid 1960s. It does not seem like 50 something years ago but then I look outside the window and yep, a lot of years have changed this place. Amazingly the Pink Poodle is still here!

6 Bloggers I admire

This is tricky as the genealogy blogging world is a very supporting community and many of the people I regularly read have already been nominated . I tend not to read other blogs as I simply do not have the time but one area that I do dip into is Australian history. So although I am allowed to nominate up to 15 bloggers, I am going to do 3 history and 3 genealogy. But check out everyone who has been nominated for a Lovely Blog Award as there are hundreds and hundreds of interesting blogs out there.

1. Stumbling Through the Past by Yvonne Perkins - Yvonne has just moved to Singapore and fortunately we met at the Australian Historical Association conference in Brisbane in July 2014 just before she left. Yvonne's posts often alert me to new Australian history books that I want to read and exhibitions that I might want to go to as well as all kinds of other Australian history news. 

2. History and Philosophy in Queensland by Neville Buch - This is a brand new blog with only the Welcome blog and a piece on why it has been set up. However it is one that I intend to follow as I recently met Neville through the Professional Historians Association of Queensland and again at the AHA conference in July. We have been discussing the value of blogging and social media and the lack of it within the professional history arena in Queensland so I hope that his fellow Queensland historians take note. 

3. Historians Are Past Caring by Marion Diamond - Marion was one of my Australian History lecturers at the University of Queensland and I managed to meet up with her at the AHA conference in July and personally tell her how much I like reading her posts. She did not remember me, not surprisingly amongst all those students she must have had, but her lectures were always interesting and I am happy to say her blog posts are equally interesting.

4. Geneabloggers by Thomas MacEntee - this has probably been nominated by many others but it is almost the bible for anyone wanting to find a blog, look for blogging prompts or simply to find out what is happening in the blogging world. 

5. Inside History Magazine Blog by Cassie Mercer - one of my favourite history and genealogy magazines all rolled into one and often they feature past stories as guest blogs. This allows the stories a much wider audience as Google can search them and I have had some amazing feedback on stories I wrote that were published a couple of years ago but are now more accessible online.

6. The British GENES Blog (GEnealogy News and EventS) by Chris Paton - I have had the pleasure of meeting Chris a number of times on his trips down under and find his blog an excellent way to keep up with all the news in the UK. 

One final word from me, if you have not tried blogging your family stories, why not think about it. The new family contacts and new friends both in person and online have all made blogging a fantastic experience for me. Thanks again Alex for nominating me for the Lovely Blog Award.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Genealogy Notes 27 Aug - 4 Sep 2014 NFHM 2014 ends

Sorry Diary is a couple of days late but my internet had a melt down (too much use over National Family History Month) but full service now restored. Plus I have been super busy notifying all the prize winners and letting the sponsors know too.

The NFHM sponsors prize draw was done after my talk at Redcliffe Library. Here is a happy snap of the audience listening to my talk on the Golden Rules of Genealogy and Demolishing Brick Walls.  After the talk we had a lucky door prize draw for one of my books and some Inside History Magazines and Australian Family Tree Connections magazines and then some of the audience stayed to assist with the NFHM sponsors prize draw. Good fun all round. Photos courtesy of Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

I received some very excited emails from the lucky winners and some thanks and feedback on organising the whole month for AFFHO. You can read about the winners in my NFHM wrap up blog and it also includes some statistics on number of events and participating organisations. I thought it was a bigger month than last year and the numbers proved that. 

Then the next big thing I had to do was a report  for AFFHO and already I am thinking about what we can do next year to continue to build on this success. All suggestions welcome. 

I am still adding some items to the NFHM Pinterest board when people draw my attention to activities that I haven't picked up myself yet. 

Tomorrow I am heading to Brisbane to give a talk on Ancestors in Church to the North Brisbane Branch of the Genealogical Society of Queensland. I have known some of them for decades so it will be a good catch up. Then I am planning a few days of rest!

I also hope to get back to my personal genealogy blog 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 which I had to suspend due to all my NFHM activities. It will be nice to get back to some research and writing just for my own pleasure. 

One blog that was brought to my attention was John Reid's Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections. John does the Rockstar Genealogists survey and you can see the 2014 nominations here. Other nominations/suggestions welcome but close 6 Sep 2014. There are quite a few Aussie speakers and bloggers that I like here as well as some that I have cruised with on Unlock the Past Cruises.

NFHM wrap up has consumed most of my time this last week so nothing much else to report but my genealogy life should go back to normal in the next week or so. Happy researching while I lose myself in a good novel or two and the odd nanna nap!