Monday, 28 July 2014

Genealogy Notes 22-29 Jul 2014 getting ready for National Family History Month 2014

As some of you may know I am the voluntary coordinator of National Family History Month which is an initiative of AFFHO, the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations. As it is only three days to the start of NFHM 2014 just about everything I am doing at present is NFHM related.

I am working on a few things that I cannot put up on the website until 31 July as we do not want people jumping the gun which makes it a bit hard for me as last minute stuff is always tricky. What if my internet plays up or I get sick or my laptop dies? Yes I am a worrier but I do want this NFHM to be bigger and better than previous years.

I did a media interview with the Seniors newspaper so I hope that we get some publicity in their August issue. It is often hard to attract media attention but we send out media notices and hope that it is a slow news day. All of our NFHM sponsors also help promote NFHM through their own enewsletters and social media.

Events are still going up and the launch is all organised. Although last night's weather did not thrill me. There was some talk that it might even snow in Canberra on Friday as a cold front is coming in. It will probably be frosty and that often reminded me of snow when I lived here. But fortunately for me most of the really frosty days seem to be after I leave and return home to sunny warm Queensland.

I came to Canberra early because I was attending the launch of Discovering ANZACs but it was postponed when the Governor General went to the Netherlands following the MH17 air tragedy. So I have some unexpected free time on my hands and a return trip to Canberra at some point.

I have been a member of Genes Reunited for years although I don't often go on and see what's new. So I have been trawling for some of my family names and finding that there are quite a few new people researching the same families. I have sent contact emails and already received some positive responses and when viewing their trees it is obvious that we are descended from the same ancestors just down different lines. A timely reminder to recheck databases from time to time as new material is continually being added.

The closure of State Records South Australia's reading rooms took me by surprise as I had not seen anything about it until after the event. The city search room closed on 18 July and the Gepps Cross reading closes on 1 August which is a bit of a sad start to NFHM. State Records is relocating its public access services to the State Library of South Australia so it will be interesting to see how that works. The State Library has some great events planned for NFHM so perhaps that will help fellow family historians get over their disappointment with State Records. See SLSA list of events on their website here.

I have been following the 5th Unlock the Past cruise with lots of great photos from them on Facebook and the occasional blog from Helen Smith and Alona Tester. It has almost been like I was there but not really. They seem to have had fantastic weather judging by the short sleeves which surprised me as I always think of the north of Scotland as cold and bleak. Too much Hamish Macbeth perhaps!

When I do return home at the weekend there will be no rest as on Monday I start the first of my 11 presentations for the Moreton Bay Region Libraries to celebrate NFHM and they have other speakers too so at this early stage I think Moreton is going to take out the title of most supporting public library for NFHM 2014. This also reminds me that I will need to finalise my talks  between now and then. The Events page of my website has where I am speaking and the NFHM web calendar for Queensland has all the Moreton events listed.

Only three more sleeps to NFHM 2014 - get ready for a huge month of genealogy and family history across Australia and New Zealand. Happy researching everyone.


  1. Yay! Can't wait to see what goes up on the website! Looking forward to seeing you soon :)

  2. Shauna, sending a quick note to wish you the best for Family History month. Looks like you will be super busy. Fran