Saturday, 16 May 2015

Asylums, Societies & Land Records - Genealogy notes 9-16 May 2015

It has been a strange week as I have spent a bit of time without access to the internet which is extremely frustrating when you need to get certain things finished. Seriously thinking about my internet set up as I do need to depend on it at times and need reliability.

Max at AFAQ Cottage May 2015
On Friday we went with a group of U3A Bribie history lovers to the Amateur Fishing Association of Queensland's headquarters at Bongaree where Max's great uncle Adkins Robert Spencer was a President for over 16 years back in the 1920s and 30s. There were photos up on the wall, an honor roll with his name on it for all those years and copies of the minutes of meetings from when he was President. The cottage is basically the same as it was then except it has been raised up a floor. We find it incredibly moving to walk where our ancestors have been and to be in the same place that they spent time. A great outing.

One consequence of no internet access was that I didn't write any blogs in the last week which feels quite strange, perhaps it is like an exercise person who misses their daily run. All revved up but no place to go. Basically I focused on upcoming talks. I reviewed my talk Family Skeletons or Just Old & Sick: Looking into Asylum Records which I presented yesterday at an education seminar for the Genealogical Society of Queensland. You can see the presentation on my website Resources page, scroll down to Presentations.

It was almost a packed house and there were lots of questions and discussions over morning tea. The Society had copies of my book on asylum records for sale and it was nice to see people purchasing them. Copies of my other research guides sold too and I gave a shout out to Chris Paton's Down and Out in Scotland when someone asked about British asylums.
Presentation area GSQ Library 
It was my first visit to the GSQ's library and as always I was impressed with just how many resources are available to genealogy/family history society members. There are internet resources, microforms, old card indexes (not always in a database), books and magazines and not to mention the wonderful volunteers who give advice to people looking for information on their families.

It always amazes me when people say they don't need to join the local society as they have no Brisbane (or wherever the society is) connections. Australian society libraries have resources for all over the world but especially the UK and other Australian states and you can access Ancestry and Findmypast and perhaps other subscription sites there as part of your membership.

One of the things I keep forgetting is that many societies have resources online in members only sections of their websites. I rejoined GSQ when I came back to Queensland in 2012 and this was my first visit to the library and I have yet to visit their members only resources online. I really need to go back for a research visit as I spotted a few things I want to follow up and in the members only section one of the things I want is online - at least the index is and with the reference I can request a copy (for a fee) without making the trek down to the library.

How many people are not making the most of their Society membership? No time is one of my ongoing issues but it is also not consciously thinking of how best to use my memberships. Of course if you are not a member of a society you are totally missing out in the first place.

Perhaps the most exciting news I picked up during the week was the release of historical land information for South Australia. Historical Torrens titles and name indexes are now online and free to view and download. It is not searchable so you need to open page after page of the name index until you find the right entry. From there you get the CT reference (Certificate of Title) and then it is a simple to preview or download a copy. Have a look at the YouTube demo here or go direct to the SAILIS website to start your search. Thanks to my friends on Facebook for highlighting a great new resource.

Social media such as Twitter, Google +, Facebook and so on can show us some exciting new resources or how to use them as others pass the news along to their friends and followers. Are you missing out?

Trove have sent me a few messages telling me that articles I had flagged on Trove are now ready to see - remember if you see those 'coming soon' messages you can ask them to notify you when the article is available. I find it a handy reminder that I want to see something in particular.

This coming week I have my webinar with Society of Australian Genealogists members on Queensland resources so I am a bit worried about the dodgy internet connection at the moment. I have selected some interesting and not so well known online resources to talk about so it should be good, touch wood! Webinars are one of the members only benefits that SAG offers although you have to be quick to book as they are extremely popular.

Next weekend is a bit of a family gathering, my son's birthday and my niece is turning 21 so a catch up with Mum and my brother's family and dinner out to celebrate. As I am already in Brisbane for that I am taking the opportunity to meet up with a distant cousin who found me via one of my family blogs on the Finn family. She has my GGG grandmother's family bible which my GG grandmother brought out from Ireland with her. How exciting is that! Plus there is other information we can exchange so I am really looking forward to that.

Until next time have a great genealogy week.

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