Thursday, 10 April 2014

Genealogy notes 5-11 April 2014 talks and travels

My time at the moment is taken up with doing some new talks. Later this month I am giving two talks at the Inverell Family History Group seminar day. One is on researching women ancestors and the other is on blogging, both topics where you can probably talk for hours! Then in May I have four talks - one on Bribie with the local society, one in Adelaide (part of Carol Baxter's research and writing history seminar with Unlock the Past) and two in Brisbane at the Genealogical Society of Queensland's seminar. Details on the Events page of my website.

I often wonder if people realise how much work actually goes into a 45 minute presentation. It is almost like writing an article or a book except you have to do it with less words and still get the message across. I also try to do the presentations so that attendees can go home and try out their own searches. Still it will be good to have some new topics available in the future. Recycling talks makes sense!

I have done another installment of 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014. Week 12 is on Gazetteers and their use in family history. One thing about doing a personal blog challenge is that you soon realise how quickly a week goes and where did those last 12 weeks go? But on the positive side I have done 12 pieces looking at various examples from my own family research and revisited research I last did decades ago.

Time has also been spent doing more articles for Inside History Magazine - I really love working on their 'archives series' as there are so many great places to research beyond the usual suspects. Some of the 'ask an expert' questions they send my way are truly challenging and sometimes I believe our ancestors do not want to be found! I am still thinking about my talk last month to the local historical society on my Carnegie family - why did the security alarm go off twice during my talk? This month's speaker was not interrupted once!

I have made my travel arrangements for the 6th Unlock the Past cruise and we are also going to the Norfolk Island conference so airfares and accommodation booked for that too. Both events are going to be good and next week I am going to do my early bird registration for the AFFHO Congress 2015 in Canberra next March. That is a fantastic program with so many good speakers and presentations.

Does anyone feel that we are starting to live on our phones, tablets, laptops? One of my emails this week was from the British Newspapers Archive inviting me to download their free app so that I can view daily fascinating historical articles, images and adverts on my phone for free. Or you can read these daily stories on their Facebook page! How tempting is that? I simply love reading and searching the historic newspapers  but if I also had access on my phone I would never get any work done but then it could come in handy when sitting around waiting for the doctor. If I don't log on to Trove everyday for a quick search I feel like I am missing something.

We had a very bad storm here last Sunday and we lost power due to trees falling down all over the island. No power meant no charging phones, tablets or laptops so one lesson learnt was keep everything fully charged! Luckily we were only without power for a few hours but dinner on the gas BBQ by candlelight was interesting and we must buy a better torch. As I write this there is a category 5 cyclone bearing down on the Queensland coast near Cooktown and I sincerely hope that everyone stays safe although the property damage will probably be massive. Mother Nature can be very destructive and it is a sobering reminder to us all to make sure that we have our precious heirlooms and research backed up and stored somewhere safe.

Finally I have started promoting National Family History Month and sending out invitations to participate to genealogy and family history societies, archives, libraries and so on. Don't forget to like the Facebook page if you have not done so yet. Happy researching until next time.

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