Monday 22 September 2014

Genealogy Notes 15-22 Sep 2014 more lovely awards & great blogs

Well it has been a big week for receiving some wonderful tributes for my blogs and my presentations. First up I received a One Lovely Blog Award from Alex Daw (Family Tree Frog) for this Diary blog and if you have not seen my response, read it here. My second One Lovely Blog Award was from Helen Smith (Helen Smith's Keyboard) for my other family oriented blog SHHE Genie Rambles and my response is here.

As part of the Awards we each nominate other blogs that we like to read or admire and that  way we all get to find out about all the fantastic blogs out there. It really is good to see so many people using blogs to tell their family stories and make them accessible via Google.

The highlight of my week was finding out that I was the Gold Medalist Rock Star Genealogist in Australia and New Zealand in John Reid's (Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections) annual survey. The Top Ten list for ANZ is also a line up of some of our best bloggers and speakers although a few northerners also made the list probably due to their down under tours with Unlock the Past in the last few years.

All this recognition has inspired me to get back to blogging and I have managed to restart my personal genealogy blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014. Week 22 is on Family Letters and Correspondence and I share two family letters that I am fortunate to have found during my research.

My Ancestor was in an Asylum: Brief Guide to Asylum Records in Australia and New ZealandMy next big project is a new research guide and I am trying to get a section each day as well as finalise my two talks for the Queensland Family History Society seminar on 4 October. One talk is on asylum records and I have done a version of this presentation on a number of occasions as it is based on my guide My Ancestor Was In An Asylum: Brief Guide to Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand.

My second talk is on prison records and I was surprised to find that the last time that I only spoke about prison records was in 2002! Normally I combine it with convict records so my October talk is a reworked version of one of my most popular talks over a decade ago. It has been interesting updating it (although my family stories haven't changed) but so much has changed online!

My talks for the next Unlock the Past genealogy cruise and Norfolk Island genealogy conference in late October are also done but I will probably keep tweaking them between now and then. I have a couple of new talks which is always a little nerve wracking as you never know if people will like them and find them useful.

At the weekend I took my own advice and finally decided to tackle my Irish brick walls (yet again). In 37 years of researching I have yet to learn anything more about my Irish GGG grandparents apart from their names.In my brick wall talks I tell people to try tracing siblings if you can't track back a direct ancestor so over the years I have managed to identify some siblings but never traced them.

So using the National Archives of Ireland for wills and census records, Findmypast for a wide range of Irish records for County Wicklow, FamilySearch, Ancestry and Roots Ireland I managed to put together a reasonable framework for two of the siblings. If I purchase marriage certificates it should prove they are siblings but that won't advance me back. It is unfortunate that Irish death certificates are not more informative. I now have possible deaths for all four of my Wicklow GGG grandparents but unless a family member was an informant purchasing a copy may not actually confirm it.

I have always been a bit of a gambler so I will apply for photocopies (the cheaper option to certificates) and see what I get. Nothing ventured nothing gained so wish me luck. I still have to look at my four GGG grandparents in Northern Ireland but that will have to wait for another free weekend.

There have been lots of useful Tweets and Facebook posts too and quite a lot of these are picked up in Geniaus' The Australian Genealogists Daily which I subscribed too as it usually provides a good snapshot of relevant tweets.

Time for some lunch and exercise - some days it is too easy just to sit at the laptop and do that last bit of research or read one more blog or check Twitter for new sites! Until next time happy researching.


  1. Thanks for mentioning the Australian Genealogists Daily from As I find additional Australian Genealogists on Twitter I add them. I just added a new person yesterday. I'd love to hear of people who may not be on my list. Co tact @geniaus on Twitter.

  2. What a full on, exciting week you've had Shauna! Congrats on all of your awards. Very well deserved.

  3. Hoorah! Well deserved. So pleased you've been inspired to get back into blogging. Can't wait for the seminar on the 4th. It should be great.

  4. Thanks Jill, Alona and Alex - it is great to see that the Australian genealogy scene is so alive and exciting and so many more people are joining us online too which is fantastic.