Saturday 28 May 2016

Irish Death Certificates, NFHM 2016 & Other News - Genealogy Notes 22 - 29 May 2016

Part of our daily walk around the resort
After a relaxing week's holiday at a resort in the Gold Coast Hinterland, there is not a lot of genealogy news to report. The only thing I did was check my emails occasionally and update events on the National Family History Month web calendar. The National Institute for Genealogical Studies early bird prize for genealogy and family history societies adding their August NFHM events to the calendar closes on 30 June, just over a month away. I hope that motivates a few more societies to be part of NFHM 2016. Full details on the Sponsors page of the website.

During the week I accepted another two speaking engagements for NFHM - both in the Sunshine Coast area so fortunately not a lot of travelling time for me. This is probably just as well as I am now doing 19 talks for NFHM in Western Australia, Queensland and New Zealand. That may be a record for the number of talks given by any one person and it is almost a certainty that I will be the most traveled person that month. Still, I do love NFHM and seeing everyone so passionate about genealogy and family history. Please help spread the word and encourage your society, local library or archives to join in too by entering their August events in the web calendar.

An email from FamilyTree DNA left me in two minds - excited and somewhat pensive. My brother has finally done the Y DNA test for me and it has been received my FamilyTree DNA. Now we are just waiting for the results. I'm giving my Love Sex and Damn Lies talk twice during NFHM so will there be a different ending??

My four Irish death images arrived by email and very good quality digital images and ever so much cheaper than a certificate. I was right not to expect too much additional information but one informant was the son in law so that confirmed I had the right person. One informant was the husband so again the right person and the other two had informants where I don't recognise the name and no relationship is given. But names, ages and places all match so I am reasonably confident I have all four Irish GGG grandparents deaths.

The causes of death were the most interesting part.Sarah Fegan was 84 years old and died of senile decay and cardiac failure. I realised that she had lived longer than her daughter Sarah who came out to Queensland. I was left wondering if she had been informed of Sarah's death or had all contact with the family been lost. Her husband Robert Fegan had died earlier, aged 78 years from asthma, something I suffered from as a child. Rosanna Finn died aged 67 years from bronchitis another one of my childhood illnesses and her husband James Finn died aged 75 years from chronic Bright's disease and something else that I cannot read (yet). This had me reaching for Helen Smith's Death Certificates and Archaic Medical Terms to learn that Bright's Disease is an inflammatory disease of the kidneys (increased protein in the urine).

Coming up in June is Queensland Week 4-12 June 2016 (celebrating Queensland's birthday on 6 June) and I will be speaking at Noosaville Library about online sources for Queensland genealogy and family history. I'm looking forward to going back to Noosaville as it is another one of those places we almost settled. Watch out for other interesting events during the week.

History Week in New South Wales is 3-11 September and they are calling for events to be registered and also for groups who would like a speaker to visit them. Now in its 19th year, it has a Neighbours theme including stories of individuals, families and communities living near one another and links between suburbs, regions and countries. Full details on their website and it should be an exciting time for those in NSW.

Now that I am back home there are a few writing projects that need to be finalised before the end of June and regular blogs and articles to be completed. The weather is a little cooler but still not really autumn and with winter next week, I am still able to swim in the pool, although it is solar heated.

Tortoise enjoying a sun bake
Python also enjoying the sunshine
One of the great things about where we stayed on the Gold Coast Hinterland was that it had a natural lagoon with an amazing range of birds and tortoises which were fond of coming up for a sun bake during the day. I was not so fond of the huge python we came across on one of our bush walks. It really  was good to have a week off but now looking forward to a fantastic week of genealogy research. Until next time enjoy those genealogy moments.

Saturday 21 May 2016

AFFHO Congress 2018, NFHM 2016 & other news": Genealogy Notes 14 - 21 May 2016

Well the big news this week was the announcement of the AFFHO Congress date and venue. It will be held 9-12 March 2018 at the Darling Harbour International Convention Centre in Sydney. I've been to other conferences there and it is a fantastic venue with lots of accommodation nearby, easy transport and other fascinating Sydney things to do nearby.There is a Congress 2018 website and a Congress 2018 Facebook page to follow for all the news leading up to 2018. You can even watch the YouTube video. It seems like a long way away but time will fly. Not an event to be missed.

The other news I found exciting was that Roots Ireland now has a one day subscription. I don't have that many Irish families and would not really benefit from a whole year subscription. But if I sit down and work out all my Irish searches, a one day session just might  suit. Mind you, I would have to make certain there would be no family interruptions to distract me. Perhaps the next fishing trip away could be my time for an Irish weekend?

I'm eagerly waiting for an English marriage certificate and four Irish death certificates to arrive. With the marriage certificate I am hoping to discover the occupation of the groom's father. I have been unable to find anything on him other than his name and perhaps the occupation will help. If it says deceased that will be a clue to. With the death certificates I am interested in the cause of death and not expecting to learn anything else but it will help to finalise those lines.

It was nice to receive a small but welcome payment for my articles for Going In-Depth digital genealogy magazine published by The In-Depth Genealogist. My next article and blog for them is due at the end of the month so that will keep me busy. I was also asked to do another Q&A  for Family Tree Magazine UK which was interesting.

Also renewed my subscription to Dick Eastman's Plus newsletter which always has some great articles. Really looking forward to hearing him talk again at the Auckland Family History Expo in August.

National Family History Month is still adding events but we would really welcome more genealogy events for our August genea-extravanganza. Check out  the new website and why not also follow us on our NFHM Facebook page for all the latest news and events.

I'm away from home at the moment so not a lot of time to do much genealogy but will be visiting a cousin who has always shared family information. Will be good to catch up with them.

Until next week, have a great geneaweek.

Friday 13 May 2016

Killing Off Ancestors, Adelaide Expo & Other News - Genealogy Notes 7-13 May 2016

Mother's Day tulips
Mother's Day 2016 for us was a great family reunion with all of us turning up at Mum's place. There are not a lot of us - just me and Max, my son and his fiancee (not sure if I have mentioned this before but she now wears a rather dazzling ring), my brother and his wife, my nephew and his girlfriend and my niece. My brother has still not done the DNA test I bought last November but he is admitting to being slack. Fingers crossed he went home motivated. I need an ending to my Love Sex and Damn Lies talk!

Another date for your calendars is the Unlock the Past Australian History and Genealogy Expo in Adelaide 7-8 October 2016. I'm planning to go and I know some of my other geneafriends are planning a trip over and of course all our SA friends who don't have to travel.

Why am I making the trek? My Cornish ancestors arrived in South Australia in the early 1860s and my great grandmother Dorcas Trevaskis was born in Moonta in 1866. I have always been fascinated with Cornish culture and one of my favourite books is Philip Payton's Cornwall: A History. Philip Payton is going to be one of the speakers at the Expo and it will be so good to hear him in person. The other key presenter is Tom Lewis a military historian who I first heard in Darwin in 2012 at the 70th anniversary commemoration of the bombing of Darwin. Two excellent reasons to go plus there are other presenters and exhibitors for two days of genealogy in Adelaide.

Killing off John's parents
Some months ago now I discovered what I believe to be the death years for my Wicklow great great great grandparents, James and Rosanna Finn and Robert and Sarah Fagan. I have delayed getting the certificates because there is not a lot of information on Irish death certificates although it would be good to know cause of death and if the informant is a relative.

Re-looking at my paperwork in the Note section I find you can get a photocopy of the entry for 4 Euros instead of 16 Euros for the certificate. This option should be in the list of options available not in a note. Anyway now that I know for about $25 AU instead of $100 I can kill off my GGG grandparents I have gone ahead and ordered the photocopies. I have even asked for the copies to be sent email as I am now super keen to see if there are any surprises.

Getting Sarah's
death certificate at last
At the least I will know more about them than I do now which is only their names and their marriage information (sadly minus any parent details). So killing them off (getting their death certificates) may signal the end of the road for my Irish research. Although who knows what might turn up as more records are indexed or digitised.

Another piece of good news is that the National Archives of Australia replied to my enquiry re the wrong indexing of John James Carnegie's WW2 dossier. I was right and they have corrected it so that Carnegie is now the surname and not James. So if you do find indexing errors, always point them out and if it is a genuine error it can be fixed. If the name is wrong on the records then it can't be changed. For example, my great uncle Solomon Price has a number of Boer War documents but on one of them it is definitely Soloman not Solomon so I have to search both variants as he seems to have used both spellings at different times.

This coming week I have a Skype meeting with AFFHO where I will be giving an update on National Family History Month. My only wish is that more people will put their August events up into our new web calendar. NFHM can only work if societies advertise events such as their monthly meetings, library days or anything else they are doing during August. The early bird prize for all societies contributing an event ends on 30 June so don't miss out. Archives and libraries can also participate. Our media sponsor Inside History Magazine has given us a whole page advert in the May-Jun 2016 issue so that should get people interested.

Have a great week and remember to squeeze in a little genealogy. Until next time happy researching

Saturday 7 May 2016

Mother's Day, In Memoriams & Other News - Genealogy Notes 29 Apr - 6 May 2016

Mother and son, 1987
This weekend is Mother's Day and the only blog post I achieved this week was my Mother's Day 2016 post. My son was born just after Mother's Day and we tend to often celebrate the two events together. This is what we looked like back then and hopefully we will take some more good photos when we catch up on Sunday.

In Memoriam notices can be worth looking for and with Trove's digitised newspapers it is ever so much easier than trying to find them on microfilm. In my Mother's Day blog I have written about the In Memoriam notices that the daughters of my great grandmother Dorcas White wrote to remember their mother, long after she died. Even today the verses are moving and show that Dorcas was a mother greatly loved.

The end of a month always sees me finishing up my blog and article for The In-Depth Genealogist. I have been doing a blog series on Australasian archives and libraries for over 12 months now and the article series is about researching downunder with a different subject each month. It is a great way for me to keep up with what is new and quite often I end up doing some research on one of my own families as they were all over Australia and New Zealand at various times.

As voluntary coordinator of National Family History Month in Australia, I will be busy in August with the launch in Perth and talks here in Queensland. I'm excited to reveal that I will also be celebrating NFHM in New Zealand as I am a speaker at the Auckland Family History Expo. Even more exciting, Dick Eastman is a key speaker and the last time I had the pleasure of meeting Dick was in Auckland at the 2009 AFFHO Congress. It should be a great three days and I will also be giving a talk at the Auckland Library on the Monday. They have a fantastic family history centre there and I am looking forward to seeing it again. A busy August coming up.

Last Diary it was raining and I was about to do some serious filing and catching up on the Spencer family. Most of this information I had gathered over the last few years since we moved to Bribie. I've discovered lots on the family during this time and just kept piling it together and its amazing how much I had forgotten or not looked at closely because of other priorities.

It was only as I cross checked my database and the documents and filed in the binders that I could see how much of the Spencer families lives I have detailed. Thanks to Findmypast I even managed to flesh out a few generations in England. The sad part is that it does not look like there are any males of that Spencer line left in England although there are a few here. So many sons only had daughters or did not have children at all.

Mother and daughter ca 1974
As a female, I am not that interested in male only  lines, my female lines are equally interesting but it is sad to see a family name disappear. This also happened with my White family in Queensland. There are lots of White descendants from the daughters but the sons either did not marry or only had daughters. I'm now starting to look for any similar trends in my other families.

I hope everyone enjoys the Mother's Day weekend as we either visit them or remember them. In this photo Mum and I looked more like sisters and I'm guessing this is about 1974. Pity we didn't put dates, places and names on our photos back then!

Until next time, happy genealogy researching.