Sunday, 15 March 2015

WW1 Soldier Portraits, the first AFFHO Congress and women - Genealogy Notes 9-15 March 2015

I love blogging. I actually relax when I write and this week I managed to do two blogs. Week 34 in my 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2015 is on Maps another fascinating resources for genealogy and family history research. The second blog was Thoughts on the 1977 AFFHO Congress (the first ever Congress) and its proceedings and speculating on how many people who went to that will be at the 14th Congress in Canberra in a week or so.

I started researching my own family history in March 1977 so I have been lucky to hear many of Australia and New Zealand's top conference speakers since then. Plus I have always bought the proceedings to refer to later. The genealogy world has changed so much since then.

The State Library of Queensland has been digitising soldier's portraits from WW1 as published in The Queenslander as part of their QANZAC 100 Memories for a new generation project. They are doing detailed images and as such the images and soldier's names are much clearer than what is in Trove. For example, I have been unable to find Denis Patrick Finn's photo in Trove but thanks to the SLQ's project, I now have his image and the reference to the page and date of The Queenslander. Denis was wounded and served time in a prisoner of war camp so I am really glad to now have a photo of him in uniform. He looks so young but then he was only 17 years old. I have more WW1 soldiers to find so that is another project I am closely following.

March is Women's History Month and my geneacolleague Hazel Edwards (author of How to Write a Non Boring Family History) sent me some wonderful ideas from her annual Witty Women's lunch and this year guests had to bring a plate of food to share with a quote from an historic female. Hazel has been doing this for 36 years with different themes, that's a lot of celebrating women of the past. Here are some examples and I have tried to keep to a family history type theme:
  • Actress & inventor Hedy Lamarr developed a patent for frequency hopping now used in Wifi & Blue Tooth
  • DNA researcher & biologist Rosalind Franklin, was mentioned three times, with double helix fruit platter, corkscrew cheese sticks and rice rolls in genetic patterns. Her male colleagues Watson, Crick & Wilkins got the Nobel Prize for the double helix model in 1962.
  • Family historian Kath Ensor wrote ‘The Blue Family history with Indigo and Skye’ 
  • Nurse Florence Nightingale was quoted in connection with ‘Notes on Nursing: What It is, and what it is not,’ translated as having a little of what you fancy, has and always will, do you good.’ 

Reading Hazel's list of women, food and quotes started me thinking about my female ancestors and could I associate them with a food or a quote. Something to work on for next year's women's history month. Thanks Hazel for the reminder of all those talented women from the past and present.

Two talks this week and both on Bribie Island which made a pleasant change from all the driving I have been doing lately. It is always nice to speak at my local library (part of Moreton Bay Region Libraries) and it was a good turnout with some new and familiar faces. Plus a blast from my past - the 60s - a lady came up and introduced herself as the daughter of the family who lived across the road from us in Bardon (Brisbane suburb) back then. There is also a family connection as her brother married my cousin and they and their two children lived two doors up from us in the same street.

My other smaller talk was at the monthly meeting of the Bribie Island Historical Society. It was a members night and a number of people got up and talked about various families and events. My focus was on Max's Burstow, Eldridge and Spencer families and their connection to Bribie in the 1920s and 30s. It was amazing how many of the members stories interconnected. Max has now met one of his Eldridge cousins still living on the Island and we have swapped notes over a yummy carrot and walnut cake which I made. I As I have been a bit stressed with all his medical issues, I reawakened my domestic goddess as I do find cooking and creating meals relaxing.

Regular readers will remember that I was going to be involved in a mini genealogy do over based on promptings from Thomas MacEntee. I was really shocked yesterday when I looked at where I was at - Week 3 - and when I visited his website they are up to Week 11. If you ever want time to fly, nurse someone with a broken leg. So I'm a bit behind there and the other thing I missed out on finishing was my free trial of Family Historian. That month is well and truly over and I had only really started looking at it when priorities shifted. But my mind was almost made up to purchase and swap over so that will be a post Congress task.

In my spare five minutes I always try to do a quick search in Trove and without fail, I am turning up new articles on my families. Some of the new titles added recently have just been fantastic. The Brisbane Telegraph is coming soon and that is going to be a geneafest of family info.

Only one more week or so before I head down to Canberra so it will be a catch up/tidy up kind of week so that I am totally prepared to simply sit back and enjoy Congress. If you are there too, come up and say hello! Till next time, happy researching.


  1. I've news for you - with all you're doing you won't be relaxing at Congress but you will have FUN.

  2. I've news for you - with all you're doing you won't be relaxing at Congress but you will have FUN.

  3. Look at that photo. He's just a kid. It will be good to see you in Canberra Shauna. At least you are up to Week 3 in the Do Over. I think I'm still at Week 1!

  4. Thanks Shauna..will look the photos yours, mine are from years ago.