Wednesday, 6 January 2016

New Access Releases, Book Reviews & Other News - Genealogy Notes 1-7 Jan 2016

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016. Diary has had a bit of a makeover and when I can decide on a personal new look, I will post a new image of me too.

I love the first week of January because BDM Registries and State Archives open up another year of records to access. Already I have some new data from Queensland BDMs which I then use to search Trove. This often allows me to pin down an exact date of birth, marriage or death (assuming I haven't already found it in Trove) or to discover the names of children born in collateral lines.

This year Public Record Office Victoria received some excellent coverage from ABC News with their new releases for 2016 but then with a headline 'Bigamy Madness Murder: 75 year old files opened' it was sure to get people's attention. If you missed it, read about it here.

What this means is that we should all have a look to see what's new. A bit time consuming every yearas I have research in most States but there are lots of exciting new finds waiting to be discovered.

I finished my book reviews - somehow they take longer to write up than actually reading the books. Both were a great read and as usual I could not put down The America Ground: a genealogical crime mystery by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. It is the fourth Morton Farrier, forensic genealogist story and I can't wait for the fifth. Read the review here.

The other review was Hazel Edwards memoir, Not Just a Piece of Cake: Being an Author which was easy to read and inspirational. It triggered many memories from my own life and family experiences and it shows that memoirs do not have to be written from birth onwards in chronological order. Read the review here.

So far I am sticking with my resolution to not commit myself to anything ongoing this year but I have been very much tempted by Dear Myrtle's Finally Get Organised weekly checklists for 2016. The first week looks good so I will probably follow on an ad hoc basis rather than signing up.  The benefit of registering is that it does make you more aware of keeping up with the checklists and how much you do always depends on you but with last year's health issues dragging into 2016 I need to be more of an observer.

There are other great blogging participation programs out there so have a Google or check Geneabloggers. A real Aussie one is Trove Tuesday where people blog about their finds on Trove every Tuesday using the hash tag Trove Tuesday. Speaking of Trove, there are lots of great new titles coming up in the next six months. Have a look here to see what will be available by June 2016. The North Queensland papers will be fantastic for my own research.

Where I am speaking between January and June 2016 is now on my website Services & Events page and although I have only have three events listed I am giving ten talks! The second half of the year will be busier including talks during National Family History Month.

Speaking of which, this coming week I have to really start thinking about National Family History Month in August and the new website we will be showing off at the end of January. There has been a good response from some of our usual sponsors but I still need to follow some up and of course, new sponsors are always welcome. I feel sure that our new logo and website will make NFHM 2016 the best ever yet.

It's been a big week with some welcome rain and for the first time in the three years we have been here, we have seen green frogs. Full grown not just babies so very exciting and I have to report they are not the easiest to photograph. Every time I tried to take a photo he hopped further away, it was almost as if he knew.

A big day of gardening down the back revealed a dreaded cane toad, thankfully we have not seen many. It was humanely dispatched according to RSPCA guidelines. The coming week will be warming up so I'm planning on staying inside and doing some genealogy research in the new resources. Have a good genealogy week and hopefully some exciting discoveries! Until next time.


  1. Your blogs are looking great, Shauna.. nice and fresh.

    1. Thanks Chris, always hard trying to do a new style. All the best for 2016

  2. G'day Shauna,
    I am doing a genealogy do over at the moment and starting to add all my data into Legacy with correct sources etc. What citation method is used mainly in Australia? On Trove, we can choose APA, MLA or Harvard/Australian which is the one I have been using on my previous database.

    I know the Americans usually use Chicago which is in the book by Elizabeth Shown Mills but I would prefer to use the most commonly used one in Australia.

    My Blog:

  3. Hi Sue I personally use Trove for my citations where possible and select the Harvard/Australian option. I think the important thing is which ever method you use, do it consistently and try not to mix styles.

  4. I began my genealogy research as a hobby last year and I have read your blog with much interest and thank you for the links added, especially National family history month as I was able to attend online events. I also recently read Hazel Edward's 'Not just a piece of cake: being an Author, and your review was spot on!

    Blanca Hoffman @ Marketing The Product

  5. I must agree that The America Ground is an incredibly empowering and wonderful read. Although The America ground is a fictional crime drama it does offer some fantastic insights into the processes and investigative resources at hand for genealogists to use. I would recommend this superb book to anyone who has a passion for understanding the origins of family history.

    Brenda @ Firs Marketing

  6. It's so frustrating when you 'lose' an ancestor such as Mary Frasier. I've been looking for my Great Great Grandmother. I can trace her birth and she's on the 1871 census, she has my Great Grandfather in 1872 then disappears. My Great Grandfather next appears on the 1901 census. I'm going to try newspaper archives next to see if they give any clues.

    Steven @ Cambridge Local Marketing

  7. What a great post. My wife and I were looking into doing some research of our ancestors. Recently got hold of a book from my grandmother. Seems to have a lot of information in it that might be helpful Will be spending the weekend indoors. Thank you so so much for a great informative post. All the best for 2016.

    Gerard Reese @ Kafe Digital Marketing