Sunday 26 February 2017

Genealogy Seminars Coming Up & Other News - Genealogy Notes 4-28 Feb 2017

Traditional fabric making, Dili, Timor-Leste
Well finally home from the holiday (highlights at the end of this blog post and photos to tempt you to read further) and catching up with all the news. I have just said yes to seven more talks in 2017 - one in June for the local Bribie Island Family History Group and six for Moreton Region Libraries during National Family History Month.

The list of where I am speaking in 2017 has been updated and is available on the Events & Services page of my website.

Speaking of National Family History Month I have heard from a few more sponsors and I will be updating the website in the next few days. It's a little nerve wracking as this is the new website and I just hope I can remember how everything works. It is quite different from my other websites so wish me luck.

Inside History Magazine have asked me to write an article on a very interesting and challenging topic. Looking forward to it but the deadline is a fairly tight - two weeks. I find deadlines useful as it helps to focus priorities and my main priority this week will be finalising my three talks for the Queensland Family History Society seminar this Saturday 3 March. The talks are all based around different aspects of my research guide Family History on the Cheap. Should be a great day and an opportunity to catch up with friends too.
World War 2 war memorial, Dare, Timor-Leste

For those in Adelaide or those who want an excuse for a weekend away in Adelaide, Unlock the Past is running a two day seminar on 5-6 May 2017. Titled Exploring and Writing  Family and Local History there are nine speakers, eight local plus Kerry Farmer from Sydney. As well as looking at writing family history, there are topics on DNA, immigration,  oral history, military ancestors, historical photos and more. Check out the program here.

I'm already going to the Queensland conference Footsteps in Time in May otherwise I might have been tempted to zip over to Adelaide. The UTP expo in Adelaide last year was really good and worth the trip. Can't go to everything!

Now for a few words on the latest trip which ticked a few items off the bucket list. Cruised out of Brisbane and up the Queensland coast to Port Douglas (a bit weird sailing past Bribie Island) then on to the top end of Queensland. I'd always imagined it was a pointy bit of land but it really is a whole series of islands which seem to go for a long way. Torres Strait is really quite narrow in places so a fascinating area to see and it makes me wonder how those early explorers and later immigrant ships ever found their way through the Strait and then down the Queensland coast with all those coral reefs everywhere.

Then to Darwin where we caught up with family before heading to Dili, Timor-Leste. Here we saw some local markets, cultural dancing and visited the WW2 memorial to the Australian and Dutch soldiers.  I didn't know that Timor was invaded by the Japanese the same day they bombed Darwin. Next stop was the highlight of the whole trip (for me) a visit to Komodo Island, a world heritage site and the home of the famous Komodo dragons.

These amazing animals wander freely around and have right of way on paths and given that they are carnivorous I can't imagine why you would want to challenge them. Local guides are all around to ensure people's safety but all they have are wooden staffs so definitely best not to upset a dragon. We even saw a baby one but as soon as it saw us it scooted back into the bush.

The start of the crossing of the Equator ceremony
The next port was Bali a place we always like to visit, do some shopping and eat some amazing food.

Crossing the Equator by ship has a long established ceremony which was interesting to watch, if a little messy. How they got people to volunteer to be part of it amazed me, but then those people are now in everybody's photos of the event!

We were even given a crossing certificate signed by the ship's captain and King Neptune, and who knew he was a merman. The things you learn travelling.

The skywalk at the Gardens by the Bay  
Singapore was the final port and we had a few more days there with the highlight being a visit to the Gardens by the Bay (doesn't sound much but truly spectacular) and we also visited Chinatown, did a river tour and dined at Clarke Quay. We stayed at Boat Quay, which was easy walking to Chinatown not to mention an almost endless stream of restaurants/cafes on the river either side of the hotel. Amazingly most of them were super busy for the three nights we were there. No one must eat at home!

While I love travelling it is always good to be home and I'm looking forward to a great genealogy year in 2017.

By next Diary I hope to be back doing some of my own research and blogging the family stories.

Until next time, happy researching.

Friday 3 February 2017

Talks coming up - Genealogy Notes 29 Jan - 3 Feb 2017

This week is a bit short as I am about to leave on holidays and will be largely off the radar.

Most of my time has been spent contacting sponsors for National Family History Month August 2017 and I had hoped to have this finalised but not yet. It always takes a while and often sponsors are waiting for budget updates, meetings to discuss and everything else that goes with sponsorship. I'm excited that most of our sponsors from 2016 have already agreed to sponsor again.  When I return the NFHM website will be updated and societies and other organisations will be able to start entering their events from March 2017.

My conference paper for the Footsteps in Time conference in May 2017 was submitted on time. I am now registered and I even signed up for the two workshops on DNA - Beginners and Advanced. That cuts into the time I have to spare at the Friday Fair but should be good and help me to understand my results more.

My first seminar for 2017 is fast approaching with three talks based on Family History on the Cheap with the Queensland Family History Society. It is on 3 March and should be a good day.

Rootstech 2017 is about to start so watch out for posts on Twitter and Facebook from the Aussie contingent over there. They have snow and it seems to be cold. Where I'm going is hot although I can't imagine anywhere hotter than Queensland at the moment. It is has just been blue cloudless days with full sun forever and I can't even remember what rain is like.

The poor garden will suffer but we have topped up bird baths and given everything a good drink. Hopefully there will be some rain while we are gone.

Until my return happy searching.