Friday 23 June 2017

Talks, Genie Cards & Other News - Genealogy Notes 8 - 24 June 2017

Another couple of weeks where family and health issues were the priority. Time seems to go even quicker and time away from the computer means that you simply can't keep up with what's new or get that blog post out. Two weeks ago I discovered something super exciting on the Spencer family in Trove and was all set to write a Trove Tuesday blog post when I was sidelined. Now I'm getting ready to reveal it next Tuesday.

My talk on my own DNA experience went well and the Bribie Island Family Interest Group had one of their biggest meetings and even picked up some new members. Obviously a lot of interest in the subject. I was relieved to get an email this week from Family Tree DNA to say that they had received my mother's DNA test. By testing Mum I can rule out any matches on her side and any unknown matches should be then on my father's side. I also need to track down some Carnegie cousins to rule out any connections from Dad's mother's side. Anything other matches will be Dad's father's side of the family assuming of course that someone tests.

I did manage to make it to Ipswich Central Library for my session on Demolishing Brick Walls. It was a smaller audience but I think that was due to the change of venue from Redbank Plains to Ipswich Central - some people only received the notice the day before. As usual the presentation is on my website Resources page, scroll down to Presentations.

There are no more talks now until the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise to Papua New Guinea in July where I will be giving five presentations. Then there are the 11 talks for National Family History Month during August at various places in the Moreton, Sunshine Coast and Noosa areas. I'm doing a closing event for NFHM this year in Townsville with another two talks at an all day seminar organised by the Family History Association of North Queensland. It should be really good and a fun way to end NFHM 2017.

While I have been offline, it was good to see more societies and libraries adding their events to the NFHM web calender. My apologies for the slight delay in making those events visible and I hope that we get lots more before the start of August. Remember that the National Institute for Genealogical Studies early bird prize for genealogy and family history societies entering their NFHM events onto the web calendar closes on 30 June. You can still add events after that date, but just won't be eligible for the prize. Full details on the NFHM website.

My thanks to the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office for helping me out with a couple of research problems recently. I was all excited to find a reference to someone but the link was pointing to the wrong page. For the first time I used their online chat and the person confirmed that the link was wrong and gave me the correct one within 60 seconds with the promise that the staff would correct it permanently. The next time online chat was offline so I used the email form to report that only one page of a will had been copied and that I thought there should be another page or two. Within a day I had an email reply with the missing images attached. What fantastic service and it shows that if you do spot something not quite right, report it and after investigating the staff will fix it if it is definitely wrong. They can't fix errors in original records but if it is an indexing or digitising error then they can.

I had to cancel the last Bribie U3A advanced family history class but was still amazed that the nine weeks had gone so quickly. Seems like only yesterday I was wondering if I should do it. The majority of students were all still keen so I will be running it again in Term 4 for another 10 weeks. The interesting thing is that I discovered new material on my own families as I prepared the classes each week. Using my own examples also helps to show students what you can find and how to do it themselves.

Finally I've received my new genie cards courtesy of Gould Digital. I was pleased to accept their offer to try out this new business venture and the hardest part was selecting a design and working out what I wanted to put on the front and back of the card. They actually look nicer than my business cards but then I designed them 8 years ago and my approach has changed since then. At the moment they have free shipping if you sign up to the enewsletter and 100 cards cost for $27. The cards are handy to give out to people when you meet at genealogy events and are not as easy to misplace as scraps of paper.

This coming week there will be more medical dramas and family issues but there are no talks or travels so I'm hoping to write up some of those new discoveries, catch up on emails, promote NFHM and even do some blog posts. The warm sunny winter days are also beautiful for sitting outside and catching up on my journal reading. Have a great genealogy week and until next time, happy searching.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

More Talks, New Resources, DNA & Other News - Genealogy Notes 30 May - 7 Jun 2017

It's been another busy week with two talks. First I gave my Love Sex and Damn Lies talk to the Sunnybank District History Group. Whenever I talk about the scandals in my own family, there are always lots of comments and nearly everyone else has their own family scandals to share. Does nobody have a boring family history?

The second talk was done in the luxury of my own study. Not that the study is luxurious, just the fact that I didn't have to drive anywhere! I participated in the Society of Australian  Genealogists Virtual Lost Weekend looking at Black Sheep via a series of eight webinars. The technology can be a bit daunting especially when things don't go quite right but after a shaky start everything settled down. My section was on Asylum records for Missing Ancestors and I did a round Australia tour of asylums and where to find the records. Feedback has been good and you can see a copy of the slides on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations. The talk was the same one I did the previous weekend in Coffs Harbour.

In preparing for this week's U3A session I discovered yet another sibling of Henry Spencer (Max's grandfather) came out to Queensland. His sister Elizabeth came out with her husband and family and I've never looked for them as Henry was supposed to be out here by himself. Now I have found his brother Adkins Robert Spencer (who left no descendants) and I will have to trace his sister's family to see if there are any other cousins. Obviously the two brothers were in contact back home and mentioned what a great place Queensland is to live with its blue skies and warm winters. Had to be better than the Midlands of England!

James Carnegie - father unknown
Coming up this week I am giving a talk on my personal view of DNA for family history research to the Bribie Island family history group.

Preparing the talk has been useful as it has helped me to clarify my thinking about my own results so far and where I should go next. If I really want to try and identify James Carnegie's father then I need to track down my male Carnegie cousins and see if one will consent to a Y DNA test.

Mum has now down a DNA test for me and still waiting for those results. This will mean that if I get any matches that don't also match with Mum then they will be on my father's unknown paternal side.  Actually the Carnegie DNA will help to narrow that down further again so perhaps I need to test more than one Carnegie cousin.

Last week's Diary blog was included in Crissouli's Moments in Time Friday Fossicking for 2 Jun 2017. I like these compilations of what other bloggers have seen as interesting during the week. When I am pushed for time it is good to scroll through the roundups and just quickly look at interesting posts. Crissouli has a particular interest in Irish research and there are always new posts on Ireland and all matters Irish.

New projects and resources seem to be happening daily. The latest FamilySearch research news has Victorian cemeteries - transcriptions 1850-1988 listed which will be a good resource once finished. Volunteer indexing projects certainly make it easy for us to find those elusive ancestors especially if we can't travel to search in person.

Findmypast announced Scottish Post Office Directories were now available, over a hundred different directories. Looking at the full list I found several that I want to look more closely at. Directories don't provide a lot of family information but they can confirm where people were living and what their occupations were. You can also see who else was living nearby.

National Family History Month in August is fast approaching so make sure your organisation's events are added to the web calendar so that others know what is happening. Societies often get new members during the month as others find out how rewarding being a member of a society can be.

Next week is a quiet week of catch up and personal research. There is a small pile of papers relating to some of my discoveries in recent weeks which need to be entered into the database, filed or followed up. And my reading pile, plus the e-reading file. My final talk for the financial year is at Ipswich Central Library on 20 June on Demolishing Brick Walls.

Have a great genealogy week and until next time, happy searching.