Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Genealogy Notes 12-18 Mar 2014 topographical dictionaries

Last Diary I was nervous about giving a presentation on my Carnegie family to the Bribie Island Historical Society meeting. Well the talk went well and a number of people told me it was interesting but the security alarm went off twice during the meeting. First time was about half way through the talk (was this the family trying to stop me telling their secrets?) and the second time was just as I started taking questions and being told information from those present. A few people said that they could tell me more but it was hard to hear over the security alarm so they promised to email me - I hope they do. First time only security turned up and the second time both security and the police, so it was definitely the end of the meeting.

The next day I went to a presentation at the Bribie Island Family History Special Interest Group meeting where a member was giving a talk on 'Build a Family Picture of the Period That One is Researching'. This was all about placing the family into the context of their time and community and looking at timelines so that you know what was happening in the family and in the wider context. The speaker mentioned using Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionaries published from 1837-1849 which I remember using at the State Library of Queensland back in the 1980s. Fantastic information on the places I was researching and it struck me that these publications should be online now.

So during the coffee break, out came my phone and a quick Google search later I had located free online copies of both Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionaries. The one for Ireland published in 1837 is on Ask About Ireland and the one for the England published in 1848, Scotland published in 1846 and Wales published in 1849 is on British History Online plus there are lots of other good resources on both websites. I have also added new places to my family history since the 80s so yet another thing added to my to do list. We should always be able to learn at least one new thing from every talk or meeting we attend which is a great incentive to make the effort to attend local genealogy and family history society meetings.

I am still keeping up with my 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 and Week 10 is on Occupation Records and I used John Carnegie my oysterman is the main example but there are other useful hints in the post as well. The previous weeks are all on my website if you want to catch up with the challenge.

New Zealand friend Seonaid (Kintalk) has issued her annual ANZAC Day blog challenge and this is something that I have done each year, honouring different military ancestors. As this year is the anniversary of the start of WW1 it would be good to have more people participating.

Another friend and colleague Mark from the City of Sydney Archives made an exciting announcement about the Sands Sydney Suburban and Country Commercial Directories being free online from 1858 to 1933. There are other great resources online as well for anyone with Sydney interests. Quite a few States now have these directories or almanacs online and a quick Google search will find them or try the relevant State Library website.

My final talk for the Moreton Bay Region Libraries it tomorrow at North Lakes and I am happy to say that they have asked me to do some more talks in the second half of this year which is great. I am finding out so much about where we live now! I am also very pleased to announce that they have asked me to be their National Family History Month speaker this year. Details still to be finalised.

Speaking of NFHM I have been delayed a bit trying to finalise sponsors and prize donors but I hope to have the 2014 NFHM flyer out in early April. Then it will be full on trying to promote NFHM and getting as many societies, libraries, archives and so on organising events for August. NFHM is an initiative of AFFHO (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations) and it is a not for profit organisation and it really does need sponsorship to continue to fund the basic costs associated with organising and promoting this annual event. I am the voluntary coordinator and do this in my 'spare time'. One day I will find out what that is! But getting back to sponsors, if there are any potential sponsors out there please contact me for details.

This weekend we are hosting a meeting of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). We are giving them a drive around some of the interesting historic features of the Island and I have drawn up a tour guide so hopefully no one will get too lost. My main worry is all the roundabouts on the Island - we only have one set of traffic lights and all the other intersections are roundabouts. After the tour it is back to our place for a BBQ lunch and after weeks with no rain, it is forecast for Saturday! This could make things a little cosy inside as we were planning an outdoor setting under our palm trees. After lunch it is a tour of the Bribie Island Seaside Museum and a talk by the President of the Bribie Island Historical Society. A big day but I am sure I will learn lots more about Bribie and reconnect with all my old PHAQ friends.

A couple of my articles have been published in recent editions of Irish Lives Remembered (free online) and Inside History Magazine (a great sponsor of NFHM and a fantastic magazine which only gets better and better). I have more to write plus some new talks I need for April and a few other priority work items so next week looks like being busy too.

I celebrated St Patrick's Day and my Irish ancestors with a Guinness and lamb casserole and mash. No time to do an Irish blog but I did buy myself the cutest little leprechaun (about 15 inches high, with a green jacket, green boots and red cap and a pint in his hand) and he now resides in the palm tree outside my study window near the bird feeder. Talk about distractions, every time I look up now I find myself starting to think about other things! Until next time, happy researching.


  1. Hi Shauna, I love the 52 weeks idea and have started following along at Campaspe Genealogy. I've blogged about Occupation records and hope to go back and look at your earlier topics as soon as I find time. Cheers, Victoria

  2. I'll bet the birds are mystified by the leprechaun! I know all about those Bribie roundabouts...they've caught me out before.

  3. Thanks Pauleen. I am sitting here now watching the rosellas and had not realised that the leprechaun is virtually the same colours but a bit bigger. It is a Kodak moment but the rain is pouring down here, so I will wait for a drier moment.