Tuesday 28 January 2014

Genealogy notes 24-29 Jan 2014 - podcasts & blogs!

It is not quite a week since the last Diary but I am now in travel mode! Tomorrow I am heading to Canberra for a National Archives of Australia advisory committee meeting for the centenary of World War One then back to Bribie for the weekend before heading off to Sydney on Tuesday for the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise. There will be another Diary on Monday 3 February then every few days while on the cruise as lots of genealogy stuff will be happening!

On 27 January, Marian Pierre-Louis released the genealogy professional podcast interview she did with me earlier in the month. You can read about it and hear it here. It was a first for me to be interviewed by someone in the USA but we managed to find a time that suited us both!

Week 4 Memorial Cards is my blog post in my 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 blog challenge on my website and I am really glad that I set myself the challenge. Already I have discovered new information by revisiting some of my older research and seeing what is new, especially online. I am also pleased that a few of my blogging friends are taking up the challenge some weeks if the topic interests them and they have the time.

There are so many good bloggers out there now, you could spend all your time reading and being inspired by others. If you are new to blogging, then Geneabloggers is a great place to find a blog in your area - look under Genealogy Blog Roll in the top menu.

It was great to see that the Claim a Convict website was re-established and it is a remarkable tribute to Lesley Eubel who sadly died earlier this month. Lesley was the original creator of the site and it was taken down when she became ill in late 2013. It is now more interactive so if you have not visited the site for a while, take a look! There are also some great resources and links to other convict sites.

While in Canberra I will be dropping off my speaker acceptance form to the AFFHO Congress 2015 'Generations Meeting Across Time'committee. I have been asked to give two talks at the Congress and it seems ages since the call for papers. A close read of the agreement states that the papers are due by 30 November 2014 (so that they can be published in the Congress proceedings) and that is not that far away! Before we know it we will all be gathering in Canberra in March 2015 for yet another terrific AFFHO Congress. I hope everyone has it in their calendars!

My first talk for Moreton Bay Region Libraries is on Monday at the Albany Creek Library. It is looking at online newspapers for genealogy research and is the first of seven talks over the next two months. I am looking forward to seeing all the libraries in the Moreton Region and hopefully I will even know a few faces in the audience! All the dates and places of my talks are on the Services and Events page of my website. Moreton have a Your History Our History program and there are some great genealogy talks coming up all over the region.

I also finished going through the final proofs of yet another research guide with Unlock the Past. That means I will have two new guides out in February but UTP also has a number of other titles they are releasing at the same time. No doubt there will be some for sale on the cruise and also on the MacEntee/Paton roadshow around Australia but you can also check the ever growing list of titles online here. Actually I just surprised myself - there are 39 titles here already without all the new titles. Given that UTP only started up in 2009 and that my first research guide was also their first UTP publication in 2010, that is a lot of publishing in just a few years!

Finally, I have also been busy scanning photos and documents, naming, tagging and filing which all takes more time than you think. Plus it is a bit boring but essential. I need more rainy days or less interesting distractions! Happy researching until next time.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Genealogy Notes 16 -23 Jan 2014 - blast from my own past

It has been a week of surprises with my brother making a surprise visit which was good as it gave us a chance to start planning the surprise 80th birthday party for our mother. We went through some old photos and starting selecting photos that we want to scan and put together as a slide show - almost a 'this is your life'. Her birthday is not till April so I have some time to scan, arrange and put it all together but the hard part is selecting the photos and it is obvious we have some gaps. Next visit to Mum's I will have to have a sneaky look in the back room to see what I can find in her collection of photos!

Another surprise was that Max and I realised we had been in our new house a whole year and I have to say that went super quick. I downloaded the real estate photos from when our house was on the market (luckily they were still there) as we have made quite a few changes especially to the gardens, driveway and side access. I need to take some new photos so that we have some before and after photos as I am sure we will not remember a few years down the track.

Fortunately I had written, before my brother's visit, my Week 3 Probates (wills and administration) blog post as part of my 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records blog challenge before he arrived. Rereading some of my probate files for the blog was interesting because I realised I had not fully appreciated things listed in inventories and what they were really telling me. Items of furniture and lists of personal effects can give us an idea of where and how they lived. I also participated in Cassmob's Australia Day geneameme challenge C'mon Aussie so I am well and truly ahead on writing blog posts as compared to this time last year.

I have been working on my talk for the Bribie Island Historical Society in March on my Carnegie Family from Toorbul and in reviewing all my notes on the family, I am discovering new information and relooking at some of my previous interpretation of the family's history. This will be the first time that I have solely talked about one of my own families so I know it has to be interesting for those not related but still interested in the area in which they lived. Putting the talk together has been a challenge but a great way of telling the family's story. I might even try it for other families just for my own benefit.

I completed the National Institute of Genealogical Studies course on Connecting Families Online. I can proudly say I received 100% on the exam which was a bit of a surprise as some of the questions were a bit tricky and could have been taken two ways I thought.  Now theoretically I have some free time!

My online reading has been Dick Eastman's e-newsletter (and good to see him up and about again), Lost Cousins, Society of Australian Genealogists e-newsletter, Queensland Family History Society's Snippets and e-news from the Genealogical Society of Queensland to mention just a few.

I have been trying to trace down some Spencer descendants for Max and it now looks like there was even a Spencer family connection here on Bribie Island back in the 1930s. So that means that both Max's mother (Burstow and Eldridge lines) and his father's families have connections to Bribie even though his Mum and Dad didn't meet each other until World War 2! It is either a small world or everyone passed through Bribie at some point!

I am heading out to the hairdresser's this afternoon for a new look. Then it will be photo time as I want to update the photo on my website (now quite dated) and the one on my social media accounts is also a bit dated). I am not fond of having my photo taken but 2014 is the year for a new image all round. The last time I was going to do it was Easter 2013, we took the photos then lost the camera. Stay tuned for the new me.

Next week I will be fine tuning my talks for the  Unlock the Past Genealogy cruise and there is a quick trip down to Canberra. I am a member of the National Archives of Australia advisory committee for the centenary of World War One and a key program is their new Discovering ANZACS website. It will be good to see what progress they have made since the last meeting.

Happy researching this week.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Genealogy notes 8-15 January 2014 New Year date changeover & other news

Silly me - I forgot that with the start of a new year, we also see the archives and BDMs changeover their systems. This means new records are released having entered the open access period and in most cases another year to search for BDMs. This can often be the break through that we have been waiting for although in my case, I am still waiting for 2018 as that is when I can apply to see a file on my great great grandfather (100 years access). So have another look, just in case something exciting has turned up for your own genealogy research!

My friend Hazel Edwards has also been busy and has been looking at writing 'non boring junior history' which is all about getting our grandchildren interested in history. In this article in this article in The Looking Glass she explains how she goes about it. I like the idea of real heroes as I have never really been into fantasy heroes, and I believe some of my ancestors fall into the category of real heroes when I think about some of the obstacles they overcame in their lives.

I am still on track with my personal blog challenge - 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records - Week 2 Internal Migration (but then it is only week 2!). It has been really good receiving comments on the blogs and having people suggest other records for the week's theme. So far I have the tips already in my upcoming list of topics but I am sure that as we progress other tips will not be, but they can form the basis of next year's blog challenge!

It has been a week of techno firsts for me. I managed to do an interview for a genealogy podcast via Skype and all will be revealed on 27 January. My new piece of technology allowed me to hear quite clearly by connecting my laptop to my hearing aids and I was actually surprised at how well it went, having had some disastrous Skype chats in the past. I have not heard the interview back yet so this is just based on my impressions.

My other techno first was a Google hangout with friend Geniaus and Unlock the Past about the 4th genealogy cruise leaving in a few weeks - hear the hangout here. I was supposed to participate but could not link into the hangout. However, after thinking it was just me doing something wrong, I found out that others could not link either. So a dreaded technology glitch which can be a nightmare if you are giving a live presentation which is why I prefer to do Powerpoint slides rather than rely on the internet. The other thing about the hangout was that I could hear and see more clearly on the IPad than I could on the laptop so I am not too sure what that means. I guess I will just have to be brave and attend another hangout!

The technology we have available to us now is really simply amazing and I am looking forward to Geniaus' presentations on the cruise as she always manages to introduce me to something new in the techno world. We also have on board another techno master Thomas MacEntee and I suspect he will simply blow my mind with ideas although I will be writing it all down with my trusty pen in my paper notebook (a Luddite to the end, sob).

My National Institute of Genealogical Studies on Connecting Families Online exam is this coming weekend so I had to quickly complete the last modules' exercises and start to get my head thinking about the exam. Just the thought of an exam sends shivers through me, and even at university I had this thing about exams. The last two NIGS courses I did I received a Fail because I did not complete them but that was because, inadvertently, they ended up coinciding with our big move north and life was just too chaotic. I really should re-enroll and finish them. Another thing on the to do list!

The January issue of Irish Lives Remembered is out and has my article on South Australia in it and I have been busy working on Western Australia for the next issue. I have not done too much online reading but I have curled up by the pool with Ancestor from the Genealogical Society of Victoria, latest issues of Australian Family Tree Connections and Inside History Magazine, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly and the Journal of One Name Studies from the Guild of One Name Studies. As usual every time I read something I jot down things I want to follow up - it is never ending - and I feel a bit guilty when my partner says 'you could spend 24/7 doing genealogy'. I deny it of course, there are other interests in my life like travel and wining and dining, but he may have a point!

I have accepted another two talks for the first half of this year - on Bribie Island (where else) and also at Inverell in New South Wales. Check out the Services and Events page on my website for details.

On a final note, I have been working on National Family History Month 2014 and I am very pleased to say that the website has now been moved to the new domain. This means that you need to change your bookmarks so that they point to the new domain. I have also changed the name of the Facebook page as well so check that out too. There are no events in the web calendar yet but I am hoping that will change soon and I will be following up sponsors to see if I can get them on board again for 2014. Perhaps we might even get some new sponsors too! Make sure August 2014 is in your diaries! Happy researching everyone.

Monday 6 January 2014

Genealogy Notes 1-7 Jan 2014 - 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 blog challenge

As I wrote last week, I want to get back to some regular blogging on my families and I was toying with doing my own blog challenge to keep me focused. With a bit of effort I have come up with 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 and I even managed to get the first Week 1 blog post done in time for this Diary update. 

What is my blog challenge? Briefly it is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

The 52 different types of genealogical records I finally decided on are listed in no particular order (each week will be a random surprise). Anyone is welcome to do all or part of this blogging challenge.  Let me know if you are participating and I will put a link to your post under each week's challenge. 

Read Week 1 Military Medals. Wish me luck with the next 51 weeks, especially when I am travelling (the Unlock the Past 4th genealogy cruise is only a bit over three weeks away and there will be lots to blog about there too!)

I also managed to write up my response to GeniAus' Accentuate the Positive 2013 Geneameme - read my response here.

I have almost finished my talks for the UTP cruise although I will still have to do a quick check of URLs just before sailing as some websites seem to change all the time! I am participating in a panel session with Chris Paton and Thomas MacEntee and we have been given the questions in advance to allow us time to think about our responses. It should be an interesting session with viewpoints from the UK, the USA and Australia. For those not going on the cruise, remember that both Chris and Thomas are doing DownUnder day seminars in Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth. Not to be missed, although I do feel sorry for those in Darwin as it is the only state/territory missing out. Hopefully they will be reading some of the various blogs that will be written about the cruise and day seminars.

I am sitting here watching a pair of rosellas feeding in a tree just outside my study window and there are a pair of doves foraging on the ground below them. The butcher birds and magpies (and their babies) will be flying in soon too. There are sparrows lined up on the pool fence too. It is a great view and I positioned my desk so that I could look out over the pool, the palms and the orchard but it is a bit distracting! The humidity is building again and there may even be another storm out there. That was the long way of saying I am signing off and going for a swim! Happy researching, until next time.