Saturday, 7 January 2017

Genealogy Good Habits, Geneamemes & New Records - Genealogy Notes 1-7 Jan 2017

Well the first week of 2017 went by in a flash. Last week I mentioned the nephew with the interest in family history, well he emailed and a spent a bit of time organising information to send him along with an ancestors chart and descendants report. It is so easy when you use genealogy software and email. Now I'm hoping he will come back with some information on his branch of the family.

There have been lots of genealogy announcements and the good news from the Ryerson Index to death notices and obituaries in Australian newspapers from 1803 to almost the present.  There are now nearly 6 million entries in 320 newspapers but remember to check the coverage for the newspaper you want. The really good news is that they now have a new facility whereby you can search on the given name only. This should make it easier to find women with uncommon given names and you don't know their married name.  It can also help if a male has an uncommon given name. Other filters include year, state and name of newspaper.

I enjoyed participating in the Accentuate the Positive Geneameme in 2016.  Everyone should take the time to reflect on what progress you have made on the family history over the year. In some ways I'm lucky that I do this regular blog because I usually tend to include any exciting news on my own family history. I also have my SHHE Genie Rambles blog where I tend to write up some of my new discoveries although I didn't do as much family history blog writing in 2016. It was more reporting on genealogy events I attended which are also good to look back on.

The Findmypast Fridays don't always include records relevant to my research, but last Friday I was thrilled to see Ireland Petty Sessions Court Registers with over 227,700 new entries. There are now 22.8 million entries in this record series and last time I looked there were lots of references to my GG grandfather John Finn. He liked a drink, and then a fight or perhaps just a bit of swearing or disorderly behaviour. Even after his marriage and emigration to Queensland, as I have found references to him in court records here. While it's a tad embarrassing, bad boy ancestors leave more interesting records!

I subscribe to the free email newsletters from Findmypast, Ancestry, MyHeritage and FamilySearch so that I can see what new collections have been added. We are so lucky having these big companies working on giving us more access to Australian and overseas records. Remember too that Trove is adding new material and so are our state archives and libraries. Following them on social media or their blogs are great ways to keep up with what is happening there.

The Brisbane Office of National Archives of Australia
This coming week I have a planned trip to the National Archives of Australia, Brisbane office and on the way home I want to visit the Queensland Family History Library so it will be a big day out. At least in summer I can still get home in daylight, although it is good if I can miss that peak hour traffic on the highway in the morning and the afternoon.

2017 is my year of genealogy good habits and my first habit is to get into the regular practice of backing up on the first of the month. A lot of people do this and should the worst happen, you only lose one month of your work. The first of the month is easy to remember and  you can put a little reminder in your calendar/diary/phone or whatever you use.

My back up at the moment is more irregular - if I have added lots of data to my genealogy software I do a back up to a remote hard drive and I also use Backup My Tree a free online program which automatically does it when I'm online. With all my other work and emails I tend to do it at least once a month, or more often if I am working on something big and important and don't want to risk losing it. What is your back up plan?

I am finally getting to the end of the modules for the Education Records course in the Australian certificate for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Then it will be the rereading and editing stage, checking links and writing exam questions. But should all be done and dusted by the end of January.

Which will be good because I need to start focusing on National Family History Month 2017 and updating the website, seeking sponsors and finalising details for the launch in August. This year it will be in Sydney as a prelude to the AFFHO Congress, Bridging the Past & Future in Sydney in March 2018. When we were all gathered in Canberra for the 2015 Congress, 2018 seemed so far away. Now it is just next year so I hope it is in your calendars and you are making plans to attend.

Until next time, have a great genealogy week.


  1. Hi Shauna. For the database from my genealogy software (The Master Genealogist) I do a backup to a USB thumb drive every time I close the programme, and to an external hard drive at least once a month. I also use the thumb drive to back up any document, database, spreadsheet etc that I've worked on for more than an hour.

    1. Thanks Judy yes I use thumb drives too. I always have one in my handbag which has my family history, talks and publications and it comes in handy if I want to copy something when out and about.