Sunday, 15 June 2014

Genealogy Notes 12-16 Jun 2014 Canberra & NFHM news

Well it has been a very busy few days and considerably cooler than what I am used to. The trek to Canberra involved a bus ride to the Brisbane airport, small plane to Canberra (didn't realise they still used propeller planes) then a taxi to the Forrest Hotel and Apartments which is where I stay as it is a nice, if chilly walk to the National Archives of Australia where my meeting was. Because of the time it takes me to travel to Canberra I always come in the day before.

This usually gives me time for a coffee and chat with the President of AFFHO who are the organisation behind National Family History Month. It is a chance for me to report on how it is going and to get support back from the AFFHO members. So after a spirited discussion we both went away with a 'to do' list for this year's launch and to make sure every AFFHO member across Australia remembers to put their events up in the NFHM web calendar. My Facebook NFHM campaign has been going well and the number of Likes is steadily creeping towards 1000 (865 at the time I typed this). I am reasonably confident this target will be reached.

Dinner was with an old HAGSOC friend from my time living in Canberra and again the conversation was all about genealogy, societies and NFHM. Again I came away with some good ideas for this and future years. It was also the most divine pork belly on Asian vegetable broth and as it was raining we had dined at the Sherwood Restaurant at the Forrest Hotel. It took me a little while to realise why they called the restaurant that but I put that down to the cold!

Next morning it was even colder as I did the 20 minute stroll to the National Archives of Australia for the advisory committee meeting for World War One. This is always a good opportunity for me to catch up with some of old colleagues as I worked at NAA at the beginning of this century for a few years. The new Discovering ANZACs website is at the testing stage and should be live before August so stay tuned for more news. It will be replacing the old Mapping Our ANZACs website plus there are a lot of new and exciting features.

As National Family History Month is being launched in Canberra at the National Archives it was also an opportunity to discuss the arrangements in person which is always much nicer than just over the phone or by email. Everything looks on track so I am quite happy with all the organising side of NFHM but I will make a call to all those genealogy and family history societies, libraries and archives who have not yet put their events into the web calendar, please do so that people can start planning what they want to attend and when.

Whenever visiting the NAA I take the opportunity to go to their latest exhibition which is A Place to Call Home, about post war migrants and their experiences in Australia. While living in Victoria we had visited Bonegilla so I found the photos in this exhibition fascinating and could appreciate the comments of the migrants featured in the exhibition. The exhibition is also linked to the NAA website Destination Australia.

For some reason I could not get a cheap flight home so I stayed another night and caught up with the current president of HAGSOC for another genealogy and travel chat over dinner at Ginseng in Manuka. The Forrest Hotel is within easy walking distance of Manuka and I have been slowly working my way around all the fantastic restaurants there. There is also a great little bookshop there and as I walked through the door, there was Carole Baxter's new book up on a stand taking pride of place on the shelf. Great to see her book so actively promoted.

Then next day it was the long trek home again. Last Diary was all about my exciting discovery on my Gunderson line so I was interested to see if there had been any feedback. My cousin had been so excited he contacted the American researcher for me and this person was initially skeptical as they were not aware of the illegitimate son which was what I had thought. He tried to prove my conclusion but was unable to find the entry in the online digitised parish registers. I had bought the certificate back in 1983 so I knew the entry was there so a quick scan, an email and when he rechecked using the references in the certificate he found the entry.

The question still in his mind is - was there more than one Gunder Jorgenson from Toe in Seljord? I did look at this back in the 80s and could not find anyone else but that was all before computers, indexing and digitisation. I still think it is right but another search now won't go astray.

Everything else is piling up around me as NFHM starts to take over my life but I am going to the Caloundra Family History Research Group on Thursday for a presentation. I am looking forward to this as they are a really friendly group. The following week should be a little quieter. Happy researching till next time.

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