Thursday, 29 January 2015

Military, Podcasts and Congress - Genealogy Notes 24-31 Jan 2015

What a week, four days without internet due to a provider issue. Nothing worse when you have a problem, make a complaint and then it does not get acted on. When you contact them again they are surprised that it isn't fixed, on checking it seems that it wasn't actioned so yes not fixed. Now resolved but it did make me realise how dependent we are on the internet. Some times I deliberately turn off and tune out, but this last week I was running to a few deadlines and it was inconvenient.

But where there is a will there is a way and I wrote various pieces without the internet and then once it was back, all I had to do was check and confirm links and do some blog posting.

It is sad to think that in two months time AFFHO Congress 2015 will be over and we will be waiting for 2018 and the next Congress which will be in Sydney. But before then we still get to attend 2015 and my interview with speaker Carole Riley is here. She is doing four sessions including land records, gold miners, social media and technology such as Dropbox and Evernote. I have heard Carole's talk on Evernote and it was very inspiring and to be honest, I was a little amazed at all the things she does with it.

I found time to write Week 29 in my personal genealogy blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2015. This week's topic was on Military Records and there are just so many aspects to this topic so I focused on dossiers as they have been indexed and digitised and are online free courtesy of the National Archives of Australia for the Boer War and World War one.

I remembered to check the January podcast from Genies Down Under as Maria had asked me to contribute a tip or two to Episode 39: Mistake stuff for genies - what to avoid to increase the quality of your research. Maria also asked me to contribute to Episode 40 on Superstar stuff in family history - messages from Aussie family history gurus which will be available in February. Lots of great advice coming up.

During my down time I also took the opportunity to input more of my own family data into Family Historian from scratch. Some of the certificates I entered I haven't look at in nearly 40 years and it really is amazing what you forget. My own birth certificate has the name of the doctor and nurse who delivered me and I was surprised to see that it was my old family doctor that I remember from childhood. He was assisted by Nurse Snowball which I thought was an odd name, unusual in itself but also odd for Queensland where it snows very infrequently and then mostly in border areas.

My mother, me and baby brother 
However I have to say redoing your data entry from scratch is very time consuming, although I was also getting used to Family Historian my new genealogy program. I am quite impressed with some of the features and I am scanning certificates and photos and linking as I go so that takes a bit more time. I did a Legacy Family Tree GEDCOM of my son's paternal side and simply imported that into Family Historian which was a much easier option but that was without any tidying up for consistency or looking for missing citations from an even earlier genealogy program. At some point I will have to do a clean up but for the moment the focus is still on reentering all my own family, including citations and standardising place names.

My article and blog for the Going In-Depth digital genealogy magazine published by The In-Depth Genealogist is due tomorrow. I have had both pieces written for about a week but keep tinkering with them as it is a bit nerve wracking writing for a new magazine who may not be so familiar with my style. Also their style and procedures are a bit different to what I am used to, but once I get into the swing of it perhaps those nerves will go away. There are a few 2013 issues on free access here if you are not familiar with this online magazine.

The other exciting thing for the week was that I joined the Bribie U3A (University of the Third Age) and enrolled in a Bribie Island history course. While one of my families were part of the Island's history, there is a lot that I don't know or have not thought about for years. So I am really looking forward to this in Term 1. The topic is so popular they have a ongoing group which also meets each term to talk about new discoveries, anniversaries, and anything else connected to the Island and surrounds.

I couldn't go on the 7th Unlock the Past genealogy cruise to WA but I have been enjoying Helen Smith's blog posts (plural so don't miss any) on the cruise and associated shore events. It is not quite as good as going yourself, but reading about it and seeing all the photos that Helen has taken is the next best thing.

I was also pleased to see that Helen is giving a talk at Bribie Island Library in June so that is in my diary as Helen's talks are always full of info. The Your History Our History program from Moreton Bay Region Libraries has lots of great genealogy talks from Feb to Jun so if you are in the area, all of their libraries are hosting talks.

Well that is my week in review and if there are no more internet dramas, I have a list of personal research follow ups I want to spend time on next week. I love the research, not so keen on the data entry but I love the option to press a key and generate great reports. Till next week, happy researching.


  1. Thank you for those kind words. We missed you Shauna on the cruise but look forward to the next cruise with you aboard and you will be doing the Trans-Atlantic cruise which unfortunately I am not able to do.

  2. Holler if you need help with FH. We can do a private Hangout.