Saturday 22 April 2017

Outback History, Archives & Other News - Genealogy Notes 15 - 21 Apr 2017

My Ancestry DNA  profile
A big week with lots of interesting things happening. Friend, genealogist and DNA expert Helen Smith visited me in my Island paradise over Easter and helped me to understand my DNA results better. I have done autosomal tests with Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA and had my brother do a Y DNA test with Family Tree DNA.

If I am going to puzzle out my father's origins then I also need to get Mum and my brother to do autosomal tests too. The order is placed and hopefully they will both agree so that I can narrow down possible connections on Dad's side.

While analysing some of my top results we did find a second cousin on my mother's side. I had researched that line back in the 1970s and nobody was that interested then but now someone has done some research and DNA testing so I need to get back in touch. They are descended from my grandmother's eldest sister. So I can see how DNA can be used to locate more distant cousins. It was a very useful few hours and I really did appreciate the one on one chat about my own results. Thanks Helen.

Moya Sharp asked me to do a guest blog post on her Outback History website which I was pleased to do. Quite a few of my ancestors went to Western Australia during the 1890s gold rushes and I have found references to them on Moya's site. It is free to search and there are lots of resources for the WA goldfields. Read my blog post Queenslanders in Western Australia to get some more tips on using the site and tracing mining ancestors.

I was a bit teary when I read the proof of my last article for Inside History Magazine, although totally honoured to be part of the very last issue. As I reported last week, the Magazine is stopping publication although their website will continue with news and other information from time to time. I won't spoil the surprise of what my last article is about but I hope it generates lots of discussion.

Chocolate & wine - thanks Caloundra
My annual trek to Caloundra Family History Research to talk at their monthly meeting was as usual a wonderful afternoon. If nothing else, I should join just so that I can savour those wonderful home cooked slices they serve at afternoon tea. On a more serious note my talks was on Archives You May Not Know But Should and quite a few people said they hadn't realised there were so many archives and that they had such wonderful records. It definitely is not all online. As usual my presentation is on my website, go to the Resources page and scroll down to Presentations.

My first session as a U3A tutor on advanced family history went well and the 90 minutes went super fast. I'm not sure that an afternoon session is best as I am a morning person but it was the only time slot available. It's a keen group of people and I'm looking for this week's session too.  I will be gathering their wish list of what they want to see discussed and hopefully it can be incorporated into our sessions. I've also asked for any brick walls as actual exercises so that should be fun too.

It's a fishing weekend so I have been able to sit down and read Nathan Dylan Goodwin's latest novella The Missing Man in a single sitting. What bliss as they are usually hard to put down once you start. I haven't done the review yet but probably by next week.

Coming up this week I have the first of two talks for Ipswich City Libraries so anyone in the Ipswich area is welcome to join us at the Central Library on Thursday 27 April at 10am. It's free with details here.

National Family History Month is a bit quiet with only one society entering their genealogy events for August 2017 so far. I certainly hope we get some more participation soon. Societies who do participate usually report that they get more new members and more people visiting their premises and attending their sessions so it does pay to advertise.

Another busy week coming up with the trip to Ipswich, tutoring at U3A and hopefully writing a blog post or two. Have a great genealogy week and good luck with your searching. Until next time.

Friday 14 April 2017

WDYTYA Speaker handouts, Inside History Ends & Other News - Genealogical Notes 7-14 Apr 2017

Happy Easter everyone. We spent yesterday helping Mum celebrate 83 years and catching up with other family members. Family occasions seem to be where you most notice the passing of the years. It has been a while since I last saw my nephew and he is now sporting a moustache and looking much older. Yet I can still easily remember him as a baby and surely he was only at school last year. Mum is talking about wanting to see a great grandchild but none of the three grandchildren look like settling down anytime soon. But then my brother and I were a bit tardy there too so we will be waiting a while to be grandparents. Every family is different but we should all be recording these family stories while we can.

Photo courtesy of Noel and Del Bergman
On Thursday I went to the Bribie Island Family History Group meeting to hear the talk on the 1865 voyage of the Susanne Godeffroy from Hamburg Germany to Moreton Bay. Noel and Del Bergman gave a fascinating talk on their research which led to a 522 book The Passage of Time: the 1865 voyage of the Susanne Godeffroy not only on the voyage but also all those on board the ship.

Some of the case studies were fascinating. Noel and Del gave some really good research advice during the talk including the following points:

  • you need to visit archives and libraries (it's not all online)
  • you need to visit cemeteries - online indexes, transcripts or photos still don't give you context of who is buried close by (and that's true for any record series)
  • you need to use more that just the usual family history resources - they mentioned some of my favourites including police gazettes (it really is staggering how many different resources there are when you see them listed in a publication).
My only regret was that I didn't have someone on the Susanne Godeffroy. If you get a chance to hear the Bergman's talk, definitely go and you can also visit their website on the Bergman/Eckersley family history. A small group of us stayed on to have lunch at the Bribie RSL and continued talking about research. A great day out.

On a sad note I received an email from Inside History magazine this week advising that the next issue will be their last. We can all appreciate how hard it must be to continually produce and publish such a quality print and digital magazine and it is a shame that it was not financially sustainable. I have been a supporter from the beginning and had the pleasure of writing many articles, blogs and expert queries for them over the years. I was especially honoured to be part of the last issue. Cassie wrote:

I would like to thank our subscribers and advertisers who believed in Inside History from the start; without your support the magazine would not have lasted as long as it did. I would like to thank our talented contributors, who generously gave their time and expertise to write for us. And to our readership, all 60,000 of you across our print, digital and social platforms, thank you for reading the magazine, and for telling us how much you loved each issue.  We’ve loved hearing your stories, how we’ve helped you overcome research brick walls, and connected you with new family members.

I would just like to say to Cassie that Inside History magazine will be greatly missed and on the positive side, it is really good news that the Inside History website will continue and be updated from time to time. They are also working on an exciting photo dating website which will be launched later this year. Sounds fascinating.

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WDYTYA 2017 - photo courtesy Alan Phillips
Who Do You Think You Are 2017 looks like it was another fun event and it is good to see the social media posts and photos even if we can't get their ourselves. I followed Alan Phillips' (from Gould Genealogy & History and Unlock the Past)  photos on Facebook. So many different exhibitors and such a large venue. It's on the 'must do' list for the future.

Of particular interest is that the handouts from the various speakers are available free on the website. While it is not as good as hearing someone's talk you can still learn a lot from the handouts. There were some interesting sessions - check them out here. You can also see 2014 and 2015 talks as well. Why not binge out on WDYTYA handouts instead of Easter chocolates?

I have been sent a review copy of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's new book The Missing Man so I am looking to find some quiet time to read uninterrupted. From what I have seen on social media, this one is another 'you can't put it down' book.

A busy week coming up with a talk at the monthly meeting of the Caloundra Family History Research, my advanced course in family history starts at the Bribie U3A and my ongoing local history course starts up again after the holiday break.

Have a safe and happy Easter, and if you do find time for some genealogy research, good luck. Until next time, happy searching.

Friday 7 April 2017

New Wiltshire records, more newspapers coming & Other News - Genealogy Notes 1-7 Apr 2017

There is nothing more exciting than finding out about new collections online. All of the major databases have free enewsletters or blogs that alert you to what's new which can be distracting. To be honest anything would take me away from the housework at the weekend.

Findmypast announced in their Friday 7 April update that there are new Scottish Roman Catholic parish records and new Wiltshire parish records online.

My great grandfather Herbert William White (on the far left in the photograph) was from Pitton & Farley in Wiltshire. I have a few lines in Wiltshire and neighbouring Hampshire that are stuck so this was welcome news.

I've discovered a few more things but one family still eludes me in the 1841 census. I know they are there but I simply can't find them in any of the transcript/indexed sites.

Not even using approximate ages and given names only. The surname is Pragnell and that can be written in lots of different ways.

Another area where I can spend lots of hours is digitised newspapers and the list of titles coming to Trove includes the following:
  • Daily News (Tweed Heads, NSW: 1938-1940) ); [State Library of New South Wales Digital Excellence Program]
  • The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW: 1879-1906); [State Library of New South Wales Digital Excellence Program]
  • Labor Daily (NSW: 1924 - 1938); [State Library of New South Wales Digital Excellence Program]
  • Millthorpe Post (1900-1901); [Millthorpe and District Historical Society]
  • Tribune (Communist Party of Australia: 1955-1974); [State Library of New South Wales Digital Excellence Program and The Search Foundation]
  • Moreton Mail (1886-1889); [Moreton Bay Regional Libraries]
  • The Citizen (Port Adelaide, SA: Nov. 1938-May 1940); [Renewal SA]
  • The Gateway (Port Adelaide, SA: 30 Aug. 1946-29 Nov. 1946); [Renewal SA]
  • Port Adelaide District Pictorial (14 Mar. 1952-14 Jan. 1954); [Renewal SA]
  • The Progressive Times (Largs North, SA: 16 May 1949-Feb 1951); [Renewal SA]
  • Seaport News Review (21 Jan. 1954-29 Apr. 1954); [Renewal SA]
  • The Evening Echo (Ballarat, VIC: 1914-1918); [State Library Victoria]
  • The Star (Ballarat, VIC: 1856) [Ballarat Library]
  • Hamersley News (180-1987) [State Library of Western Australia]
I'm particularly excited about the Moreton Mail and the South Australian titles. Now to be patient until they are finished. 

This coming week there are meetings of the Bribie Island Historical Society and the Bribie Island Family History Group and there will be a talk on the Susanne Godeffroy which arrived in Brisbane from Hamburg, Germany in 1865. Not one of my family ships but I always enjoy hearing about different voyages. 

There are two of my own talks coming up this month in Caloundra and Ipswich so I need to finalise those talks. To see where I am speaking over the next few months visit the Services and Events page of my website. I have started writing again for Going In-Depth, an online genealogy magazine published by The In-Depth Genealogist. I had a few months off as it is not always easy coming up with articles on a regular basis. A bit like blogging.

Trove Tuesday is a regular blog challenge and this week my piece was titled Why You Can't Find Someone because I finally found a newspaper report on my great grandfather Thomas Price's accidental death. He is the dapper gentleman on the right in the photo. 

Why did it take so long to find, given that I had a date? Because it was recorded as William Price and I wasn't searching for a William! Read the post for the whole story and how I found it.

Easter is next weekend and it will be a chance to catch up with the family and celebrate Mum's 83rd birthday. Seems like only yesterday we were planning the big 80 and now the big 85 is looming. Should be a good time. Cake and Easter eggs together!

Enjoy the coming week and try and find the time to check out all the new resources coming online. 

Until next time, happy searching.