Saturday, 20 June 2015

Tasmania, NFHM & Trove - Genealogy Notes 15-21 Jun 2015

Another big week and some amazing family discoveries in Trove (Australia's free digitised historical newspapers for overseas readers). More and more titles are being added - see the latest update of newspapers here. Now whenever I have a spare 15 minutes I do a quick Trove search on a family name. Of course this is a trap as it is very rare for me not to find at least one new story.

Yesterday I decided that I would have another look for Max's elusive grandfather and this time I looked for the names of each of his three wives. What a bonus! Articles on all of them and most of the stories also included Henry Spencer's name  ONLY the OCR was poor and the articles were not showing up under a search of his name. I didn't have time to correct the text but I did add tags for his name.

I am beginning to think that Henry lived at the District Court as there was another court appearance with his brother as the plaintiff and another one with his first father in law. I will now have to spend a whole day at the Queensland State Archives looking at court records, with these new cases on top of what I already had.

This is where Trove is so fantastic - it gives you the clues, dates, places and topics that you can then use to find original records and learn more about what ever it is. BUT you need to remember the disadvantages of OCR and do searches from all angles and maybe it is only an initial and not a full given name. Anyway my 15 minutes before dinner turned into a late dinner so maybe do your quick 15 minute search at a more convenient time or risk the family's wrath.

Tasmania has also been on my mind this week and not because that is where we first started tracking Henry Spencer. The University of Tasmania is again offering its free online introduction to family history course and you need to enrol before 6 July. I know others who did this last year and they said it was fantastic. So I have signed up for this round and I can start it when I get back from holidays. But I have to catch up quickly on my return. Sadly the list of things I have to do as soon as I get back is growing, I will probably need another holiday later in the year!! Still I think it will be good to do an introductory course as family history has changed a lot in recent years and refresher courses always motivate me with new ideas and resources.

In 2013 I was given a print copy of Michael Piggott's book Commonwealth Government Records About Tasmania to review. At the time the launch was delayed so instead of publishing the review, I saved it till after the launch.Yes out of sight out of mind and as Michael is the keynote speaker of this year's National Family History Month launch I was thinking about the review and wondering why I could not find it on the Resources page of my website. I forgot to publish it but better late than never. Read the review here and the guide really is a good resource if you have Tasmanian families. It is also a good insight into the usefulness of the National Archives of Australia's research guide series.

Last but not least National Family History Month was the big time taker this week with adding events to the website, promoting them on the NFHM Facebook page, liaising with Genealogy SA who are helping me with the launch preparations and chatting to sponsors. I have to say I am a bit disappointed that more genealogy and family history societies, libraries and archives have not put their events in the web calendar yet. I had hoped there would be more before I went overseas as nothing will be added in my absence. Perhaps there will be a mad flurry this week.

We have no events for WA, TAS or the NT yet and QLD has 27, NSW 26, VIC 57, SA 5, ACT 4 and only 1 online event so far. Why not remind your society, library or archive and get them to add their August events to the NFHM web calendar? Remember it has to be before early July or it will get added at the end of July which will still in time for NFHM but some people like to plan so that they can attend as many events as they can.

Well it is a beautiful winter's day here in Paradise and my garden looks much warmer than my coolish study. I am going out to enjoy the sunshine and maybe even a coffee before I tackle the dreaded weeds! Happy researching and please help me spread the word about NFHM 2015.

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