Monday, 21 March 2016

16 Websites, St Patrick's Day & Other News - Genealogy Notes 15-21 Mar 2016

My great grandmother 
For St Patrick's day, I wrote up my research on the Finn family of County Wicklow, Ireland into a blog post. I've made quite a few discoveries recently so writing everything up helped me to see where the gaps still were and what else I could follow up. Read about the family and my efforts to tie all the pieces together here. It's a tale of spelling variations, missing records and a family that seems to have moved around but mostly within a small area.

Work is continuing on the new National Family History Month (the URL will stay the same but it will look different) website and I am now happy with how events are added. It should save me a lot of time once people start adding their events after we launch the new site, hopefully very soon. I am  pleased to say that the National Archives of Australia is again sponsoring the launch which will be in Perth this year. It is their 11th year of launch sponsorship and it is fantastic to see that ongoing support for family history.

Many people only ever go to the National Archives of Australia main website (the link above) but did you know they actually have lots of websites. From the Home page, select the Engage option and then Connect with us option. This is a quick route to all the other websites including:

  • The arcHive website -  this is where you can help the Archives to list some of their records that are not online yet. As a reward, you earn points towards Archives publications or copies of Archives files for your research. 
  • Australia's Prime Ministers - everything you ever wanted to know (or not)
  • Banned - read about the secret history of Australian censorship
  • Constitution Day - a blog about the Constitution
  • Destination Australia: sharing our post war migrant stories - if you have someone who arrived after WW2 there are over 20,000 photos of migrants here plus lots of stories
  • Discovering Anzacs - joint project with Archives New Zealand covering the Boer War and WW1. You can upload your photos and stories as well as see government records on soldier ancestors.
  • Faces of Australia - this site features 227 images from the Archives' collection - help them to identify people, places and events
  • Forced Adoptions History Project - learn about the history and experiences of forced adoptions in Australia. Includes information on accessing adoption records and support services.
  • Mildenhall's Canberra - early Canberra photographs that you can comment on and pinpoint locations if you have any information 
  • Montevideo Maru - this Japanese ship was sunk in July 1942 by the USS Sturgeon not realising that it carried over 1,000 mostly Australian prisoners captured in Rabaul and who were being transferred to Hainan off southern China. A really tragic story and a great memorial to those soldiers.
  • Paper Research - includes a history of papermaking, research on paper quality and a database of watermarks 
  • PhotoSearch - as the name suggests, browse, discover, map and share 
  • Soda - newly scanned records that you can view, share and get updates 
  • Uncommon Lives - the stories of famous and not so famous Australians as revealed in files held by the Archives
  • Vrroom: Virtual Reading Room - resources for students and teachers on Australian history, civics, citizenship and more.
How many of NAA's 16 websites are you familiar with? There is a lot of family history information in the National Archives of Australia, make sure you are not missing any of it.

During the week I had a Q&A request from Family Tree Magazine UK which is always fun and often challenging to do. At the AFFHO meeting last night (via Skype) I reported on NFHM progress and the AFFHO AGM is on 21 April. Last year the AGM was in Canberra at the Congress, this time it will be virtual. Amazing technology and times that we live in.

My blog post for National Women's History Month (March) is almost finished and it is a tribute to my four grandmothers. Easter is the end of this week and we are staying home so I will be doing my monthly blog and article for The In-Depth Genealogist. Plus continuing to work on my new guide but there will be time for the Easter Bunny to visit. Great that there is a bridge to our island!

My orchids are starting to flower just in time for the Easter orchid show. I find it amazing because Easter changes each year but that doesn't seem to bother orchids. They always seem to know when to bloom. One of the many wonders of nature that continues to delight us.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Easter with family and friends and that you manage a little genealogy research too. Until next time.


  1. A very informative post which I have listed in Interesting Blogs, Shauna... thank you.

    1. Thanks Chris and for the mention in That Moment in Time. Really glad that I am making some progress with that Wicklow family and the NAA has lots of good information and all of those websites let you see it from different angles.