Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Genealogy notes 11-18 Dec 2014 - more AFFHO Congress interviews

Hard to believe Christmas is now only a week away and the New Year a week after that - but then I say that every year. We have hosted a party for the neighbours and most of the shopping is done, the tree is up and the lights flashing around the yard and house. So definitely looks like Christmas even if I am still wondering where the year went.

I have done two more AFFHO Congress 2015 speaker interviews - Robyn Williams from New Zealand on New Zealand topics and Kate Bagnall who has been researching Chinese Australian families. I still have a couple more interviews to do next week and I have been sending out reminders to others on my list to interview. Pauleen Cass, my fellow official Congress blogger with Jill Ball, has posted her interview with me - see it here.

Time does fly as since the photo I sent to the Congress organisers which must have been back in 2013, I have changed my look. Always odd seeing photos of yourself and that is something I have done a lot of over the past week. I have been going through photo albums selecting photos to digitise and at the same time, generating so many memories.

There has been a sustained attack on all my paper genealogy magazines and  journals, although each one I read has just given me new ideas to follow up. Once I am on a new website hours can go by and of course there are all the leads from Twitter and Facebook posts too. In an attempt to capture some of the #genealogy tweets I started a Shauna Hicks Genealogy Daily Paper-li but for some reason, even though I only selected people I follow for genealogy, I have ended up with some strange additions.

So that needs a bit of tweaking and of course I still follow Jill Ball's The Australian Genealogists Daily. I noticed that some key tweets weren't showing up in that which is why I started my own. We have so many good online social media enthusiasts in Australia we should try and capture more of what they are sharing with us.

MyHeritage issued a press release about their new Instant Discoveries which

"provides information about one's ancestors and relatives while signing up to MyHeritage, giving a free, fun and immediately gratifying introduction to the fascinating world of family history. First-time users to provide very basic information about 7 family members: themselves, their parents and grandparents and then powerful technology automatically searches for information about their family in MyHeritage’s vast databases of billions of records. Within seconds, users are then presented with an Instant Discovery™, showing a person likely to be their ancestor, together with a wealth of related information including the entire family branch, names, facts, photos and documents. Users can then apply it all to their family tree in a click." 

They tested it on people in New York and you can view the video here. I am wondering how it would actually work here in Australia and at the moment it is only available to new MyHeritage users. I have had a MyHeritage account for a few years so I can't check. So if anyone here in Australia has tried it please let me know.

While I can see the appeal of instantly finding someone, especially in this day and age, I am not sure if that is better than some of the research thrills and satisfaction I have had over the years as I have painstakingly tracked people down. For me the path has been the challenge, not just the family knowledge at the end.

Findmypast had a very handy family historian Christmas gift guide for the  which I hope my family noted and of course I am also hoping for Nathan Dylan Goodwin's new novella The Orange Lilies. I have also mentioned a new orchid several times and there is that wonderful red and white toadstool statue at the local nursery which would be perfect in the back garden. Boxes of chocolates or electric toothbrushes will not be accepted! I do hope that Santa is more receptive than the family.

My other big task is getting the website and Facebook account for National Family History Month changed over for 2015. I have made some changes to wording on the home page but got stuck changing over the banner so I have called in the cavalry to assist.  Sponsors are still being finalised so I have left 2014 sponsors for the moment.

Events for 2015 can now be added to the web calendar - see here. The Family History Month Facebook page has been updated to and I will start to post any NFHM 2015 news as it comes too hand (or I generate as the voluntary coordinator).

Finally as part of the Kiva Genealogists for Families team I made another three loans for Christmas - two were from repayments from earlier loans and the other $25 loan was my Christmas gift to others. Join me by clicking here. $25 has the power to change peoples lives and it is so
nice to be part of this team helping families.

Very hot and humid here today and a storm predicted for the afternoon. We have seen some very bad storms the last few weeks so I hope everyone stays safe. There will be one more Diary before Christmas so have fun with all those last minute preparations. Remember to find some time for genealogy, it doesn't take too long to read a blog or two! Until next time.

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