Monday, 7 December 2015

Good News, Bad News & What's New - Genealogy Notes 29 Nov - 7 Dec 2015

Some weeks are just so busy it is hard to keep up with everything. But first the good news. The winner of the Momento Christmas competition which featured in the last two Diary posts was Liz Pidgeon from Victoria. Many of you will know Liz as Infolass on Twitter and if you are not following her already have a look. Liz has some great tweets as she is Local & Family History Librarian at Yarra Plenty Library. Congratulations Liz and I hope you enjoy creating your photo book.

Although we have been living here for three years now (where did they go), we still hadn't managed to visit The Abbey Museum. Last weekend they had their Christmas markets and free entry to the Museum. I love markets especially if you are looking for special home made gifts for Christmas and who can resist free entry and saving money. It was really good seeing the Museum again and after trekking around all the stalls we settled down to a nice Devonshire tea and scones.

Finally caught up with my son for a belated birthday lunch at their place. They moved into their new home the same day we moved into ours which was a coincidence but at least it helps us to remember the date. They have done an amazing amount of renovation and it is incredible what a new kitchen does for a place. Built in wardrobes, paint and carpets have turned their old fixer upper into something really nice.  But at our age we just wanted something to walk into and not do too much to, apart from the gardens.

The good news about that trip to Brisbane was that just a couple of streets away from my son's place we passed the new premises of the Genealogical Society of Queensland. So I already know where it is and I can't get lost. The bad news is that it is still over an hour's drive even using the ring road around Brisbane.

The Bribie Island Historical Society committee had its last meeting for the year and I now have my committee member badge. The Christmas party for members is this week then no more meetings until February next year.

While on bad news the other night as I was shutting the laptop down I had a blue screen of death which I haven't seen in years. I have been doing a lot of writing for the Church Records course in the Australian certificate for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies and hadn't bothered to back up as I was working on all the modules every day. That blue screen made me feel real sick but luckily it restarted and I spent the next hour or so backing up onto different remote hard drives. I usually back up weekly but I might start doing it daily at least until I finish that course.

There has been no problem since the blue screen, but the laptop has been in almost constant use for the last 3 1/2 years so perhaps it is time to start looking for a new one. Or should I go back to a desktop now that we are permanently settled again?

Hazel Edwards (whose memoir Not Just a Piece of Cake: Being an Author I am currently reading) has done a review of my research guide Discover Your Sporting Ancestors: It Was Not All Work and No Play and the review is available on Good Reads. Quite a few of my online (and in person) friends also use Good Reads but I am only just discovering how it works. Sadly I have already found more books that I want to read, somehow I am just going to have to make more reading time.

As I do each year, I like to look back on what I have done during the year. So it was interesting to reread my Genealogy aspirations 2015 for the first time since I wrote them last December. Little did I know that my partner would break his leg in two places and I would break my right elbow with surgery to pin it back together again. So not surprisingly my aspirations were a bit off.

The good folks from Momento are letting me extend my photobook voucher so that is still going to happen. I did visit Wiltshire before breaking my elbow in Germany and I did start Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do Over but I couldn't keep up the pace. I think I need to do just one family at a time. Almost 40 years of research is not redone quickly!

Similarly cataloguing my books into LibraryThing still needs to be completed and I still have a few (nine to be exact) weeks of my personal genealogy blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2015 to complete in 2016.

On the plus side I did a lot of things that I didn't expect to do genealogy wise. My DNA test with Ancestry sent me down a path that I have no idea where it will lead. It also led to my best talk ever on Love Sex and Damn Lies so perhaps it was meant to be. I hope my brother likes his DNA test kit from Family Tree DNA for Christmas! There's more but I will put it all together in my 2016 Aspirations.

Christmas shopping still awaits me and fortunately we are a fairly small family and most of us don't want gifts. It is more the young ones we get presents for but as we are young at heart, we have the Christmas tree up, and the front yard decorated with tinsel and solar lights. Good luck with all your end of year tasks and try to fit some genealogy in, especially if you are visiting relatives. Until next time


  1. Have a great Christmas, Shauna. Thanks for all you do for the family history community.

  2. Thanks Judy. Have a great Christmas and New Year and I hope we catch up again soon.