Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Presentations, heritage walks & other news - Genealogy Notes 1-7 Mar 2017

February is always a short month and hard to  believe that we are now in autumn.  Still some high temperatures here, blue skies and no rain so it still feels very much like summer.

Last Saturday's seminar with the Queensland Family History Society on Family History on the Cheap was very successful. There has been some wonderful feedback on the three presentations I gave with most people saying that they had not realised there were so many websites to research. Because I cover so much in my talks I have again placed the presentations on my website so that attendees can go through them at leisure. I find that it is just too hard to write down URLs and listen/watch a presentation. I also find that just having the URLs in a handout is not quite the same as having a visual image of what the speaker was talking about. Attendees seem to appreciate that they can see the talks again. To see the presentations go to the Resources page of my website and scroll down to Presentations.

My GGG grandmother's bible
A distant cousin was also at the seminar and she had found my research on the family by using Google and discovering my blog posts. Blogging really is cousin bait. We met up a while back and she came along this time with a photograph of my GGG grandmother Sarah Fegan from Glasnarget, County Wicklow, Ireland.

It was fantastic to see the original photo in its original frame and I am now looking forward to receiving a copy of the photograph. It is the same distant cousin who shared Sarah's bible with me. Now I know what she looked like as well as handwriting. It definitely pays to contact distant relatives because you just never know what has survived in families.

One of the changes while I was away was that both Queensland State Archives and Public Record Office Victoria have changed their websites. Although they both say their websites are now easier to use, I can't seem to find anything anymore, even reading the new instructions. I am still having difficulty with the New South Wales State Archives & Records website which changed last year so I'm not overly happy. I'm not sure what testing they do but it can't be with regular users because I'm not the only one grumbling.

Unlock the Past and MyHeritage have just announced a tour and genealogy conference in Israel which sounds interesting. They have even set up a website for Holy Land 2017 Tour & Genealogy Conference in late October. Two of my favourite speakers, Caroline Gurney from the UK and Judy Russell from the US are keynotes so I'm tempted but I've got the  Unlock the Past Papua New Guinea genealogy cruise coming up in July. As I keep telling myself, you can't go to everything!

Last week I said that I would be making changes to the National Family History Month website for 2017.  This is where I discovered that there is a bug in the events calendar and I have been trying to find a way to resolve it. I've made some text changes to the site but ignore any events as they are all 2016 even though they are showing as 2017. I manually changed some but can't do that for all 2016 events so I am still looking for a quicker way or a solution to the bug. Stay tuned!

Deception Bay heritage walk
I did a heritage walk at Deception Bay with the local U3A Bribie local history group. I thought it was only going to be a couple of hours and it ended up over four hours with a break for refreshments. The local council have put heritage plaques along the walk but we were lucky to have two long term residents with us and they told us lots of other stories as we did the walk.

They were so knowledgeable and such good story tellers the time went quickly but it was incredibly hot and humid with not a lot of shade. Local history really does complement family history. Also nice to see that Moreton Bay Regional Council has put all its heritage walks online.

This coming week will include a couple of research requests, working on my Inside History Magazine article and continuing with my new research guide. Lots of writing and research if I don't get distracted with look ups on my own family names as I go.

Until next week, happy researching.

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