Thursday 24 September 2015

Rockstars, Gems & Reviews - Genealogy Notes 15-24 Sep 2015

Still using only one hand so more reading than doing again this past week. I do like Geniaus' Gems or GAGs as she calls them - basically a weekly round up (when she has time and is not travelling) of interesting blog posts that she has read or seen in the past week or so. I usually find quite a few interest me and I might not have found them apart from Jill's round up. This link is to the GAGs post on 18 September. There should be another one soon.

A highlight has been the announcement of the 2015 Rockstar Genealogists - an annual listing by John D Reid (Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections). This year I was honoured to receive the Bronze medal for Australia and New Zealand and the top 10 for our area has an impressive list of speakers and bloggers. I was delighted to also find that I have personally heard 6 of the top 10 international Rockstar Genealogists right here in Australia. Great to see so many of them now travelling downunder. The Australia/New Zealand top 10 are here. Congratulations to everyone who made the top 10 lists and thanks to all those who appreciate the hard work that goes into giving presentations.

My review of the Port Macquarie genealogy conference is now online on my website and I have almost finalised my keynote paper for the History Queensland conference on 3-4 October in Brisbane. That will be a good catch up with all my Queensland geneamates and perhaps a few others from south of the border. Sadly it is the last conference for the year.
Family History Fair at Port Macquarie, 2015

On a brighter note I do have the 10th Unlock the Past genealogy cruise to look forward to in February 2016 which goes to New Zealand and the southern Australian capital cites ending in Fremantle, Western Australia. One of the key presenters I am looking forward to hearing is Judy G Russell (The Legal Genealogist) from the United States and also catching up again with Louis Kessler and some of the other regular UTP speakers.

This afternoon I am helping the Bribie Island Historical Society set up a blog so that will be interesting. There is a basic website but I think we can do more with a regular blog to share stories of the Island's fascinating past.

The study needs a bit of a tidy up. I seem to be able to pull books down from the shelves but getting them back up is a bit more tricky. The table has piles of stuff on it - lots of new info from Trove waiting to be data entered into my genealogy program and then filed in my family history binders. But that requires two hands! When I do get the go ahead, I will have to be careful not to overdo it but ease back in gently.

Have a great genealogy week - until next time.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Port Macquarie conference & other news - Genealogy Notes 1-14 Sep 2015

Hard to believe two weeks since by last update but I have been busy notifying prize winners and sponsors of the National Family History Month prize giveaway. There have been some very excited winners and I even had the pleasure of meeting some at the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies in Port Macquarie over the weekend.

I gave a Masterclass on using Public Record Office Victoria, attended the free family history fair, collected a very nice goodies bag, enjoyed the Welcome function and dinner, and went to all sessions on both days. I will do a full review this week as I learnt lots of new things. In the meantime my presentation is on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

As I still only have the use of one hand, everything seems to be in slow motion. Plus the piles around my desk just seem to be getting bigger and bigger, waiting for me to have two hands. I need a priority list on the to do list!

The biggest priority is my keynote address for the History Queensland conference in three weeks time. That will be the last opportunity in 2015 to catch up with geneafriends in the SE Qld area and I am looking forward to it.

I have a final blog post for NFHM to do for The In-Depth Genealogist who were one of our new prize sponsors. My report for AFFHO is also nearly complete and then it will be time to start thinking about NFHM 2016! I hope genealogy and family history societies start planning to include their events for next August. Every society usually has a monthly meeting or opens their library one or more days a month so everyone can participate without doing extra events. One society reported that they gained 60 new members during NFHM which is fantastic.

Time to get back to my arm exercises so have a great genealogy week and I'm hoping to get back to more regular Diary posts soon. Till next time.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

National Family History Month ends for 2015 - Genealogy Notes 24 - 31 Aug 2015

Time always flies when you are having fun.  August went super quick and there were hundreds of genealogy events across Australia during National Family History Month. From the feedback I have received many societies were very pleased with attendance at their events and gained new members. One society even said they had 50 new members sign up. Is that a record or can another society claim more?

The NFHM sponsors prizes giveaway was drawn on 29 August with the assistance of Genealogical Society of Queensland members as my right arm is still encased in a sling. Since then I have been busy contacting some very excited prize winners and letting sponsors know who won their donated prizes. All slow going with my left hand. To see the list of winning individuals and societies visit the Sponsors page of the NFHM website.

There is no NFHM committee, only me and amidst all the feedback there were some very nice comments about myself  which were appreciated as coordinating a voluntary project is time consuming. I would like to thank all the societies and individuals who assisted me in spreading the news about NFHM. Without the participation of the sponsors, societies, libraries, archives and others there would be NFHM for me to coordinate. We will be back again in August 2016 - mark it in your diaries now and start planning your events.

I don't like singling any one person out as so many participated but I feel that Jill Ball's 12 hour geneagala hangout deserves a special mention. Many others also helped Jill over that time and you can watch it all on Jill's You Tube channel. Judging by the YouTube view numbers lots have already watched it. Sadly I had to miss it but hopefully she will do it again in NFHM 2016!

Needless to say I haven't done too much other than NFHM but I did pick up from Facebook that John Reid's (Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections) is again conducting his search for Rockstar Genealogists. The nominations for 2015 are now open and it is great to see quite a few Australian speakers on the list already.

Last weekend I attended the GSQ's seminar It Doesn't Rain in the Cloud with three speakers - Geoff Doherty provided an introduction to the Cloud and what you can do in the Cloud, Judy Lofthouse explored genealogy sites within YouTube and my talk was on Apps and Blogs. As usual my talk is on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations and look for Are You Appy & Bloggy: If Not, Why Not? I think everyone went home to check out the Cloud!

I also did a very successful session at Caloundra Library on Family History on the Cheap. It was the biggest audience I have ever seen for a single talk so the Library must have a very good publicity machine. My NFHM talks for Moreton Bay Region Libraries are now finished and all these presentations are also on the Resources page of my website.

Now my thoughts are turning to the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies annual conference at Port Macquarie next week. I am presenting a Master Class on Public Record Office Victoria and I have almost finished the presentation, just a bit more tweaking here and there. Then in October there is the History Queensland Conference where I will be giving one of the keynote presentations.

My arm will be in a sling for another 4 weeks but I hope to get back to some more regular blogging now that NFHM is over. I miss the writing plus I have lots of notes to write up from the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise and the GSQ seminar mentioned above. Not to mention getting back to my 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2015 - at this rate it will be 2016 before I finish!

Have another great week genealogy searching. Until next time.