Tuesday 29 August 2017

End of NFHM 2017, book review & other news - Genealogy Notes 23-31 Aug 2017

On the eve of the closing of National Family History Month (NFHM) all I can say is that it has been very hectic. I finished my series of talks for Moreton Bay Region Libraries this week with an enthusiastic audience at Caboolture Library. Two people even came down from Caloundra to catch my Ancestors in Church talk. The presentation can be seen on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations. It was also good to see that Findmypast is now available free at the Caboolture, Strathpine and Redcliffe libraries although there is a limit of two hours access per day per customer. Still you can do a lot of searching in two hours.

An early Spencer home in Adelaide (family photo)
My one piece of blog writing was to take part in Alona Tester's alphabetical ancestral placenames geneameme - read my Ancestral Places Geneameme to see where some of my families are from. I managed to find at least one place for every letter of the alphabet except X.

Part of my NFHM activities was to do a review of Lynette McDermott's historical novel Perseverance which is about two First Fleet convict families, the Garths and Belletts,  after they were removed from Norfolk Island to Tasmania. Read the review here. Lynette donated a copy of the book as a prize for NFHM.

Another NFHM activity was a guest blog for MyHeritage, another prize sponsor of NFHM. Read my guest post Family Memories From Down Under. All the boxes of Mum's stuff in the back bedroom still needs to be sorted but there are no visitors on the horizon so it can wait a little while longer. Not a job to be rushed.

Mum, my brother and I - a lifetime ago (family photo)
The NFHM prizes giveaway is being drawn on Saturday 2 September in Townsville so there will be some excited people next week when the winners go up on the NFHM website. Louise Coakley will be giving two talks on DNA and I'm talking about archives and skeletons in the family so it is going to be an interesting day in Townsville. On the Sunday I'm attending the Family History Association of North Queensland DNA special interest group meeting which will be good too. I really do need to sit down and really examine my results and work out which matches to follow up. There will be a blog post to follow.

Once I get home again my focus will be on the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Organisations annual conference Your Family Story: Telling, Recording & Preserving which is on in Orange, New South Wales in three weeks. My conference paper is Weaving Your Family History on the Web. There is a great program plus the Friday Fair where there will be all kinds of temptation.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful family history month and managed to attend an event or visit a library or archive. If you have an entry in the prizes giveaway good luck. Until next time, happy researching.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Family Memories, Nick Vine Hall Awards & Other News - Genealogy Notes 15-22 Aug 2017

We are now into the third week of National Family History Month in Australia. So far I have done talks in Caloundra, Nambour, Maleny, Beerburrum, Noosaville, North Lakes, Albany Creek, Arana Hills and Strathpine. That's quite a few kilometres around south east Queensland and I have one talk left next week at Caboolture. It is fantastic to see the local libraries providing a great range of talks and speakers during NFHM. My presentations are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

Mum Dad me and my baby brother
Lone Pine Sanctuary ca 1960
Also as part of NFHM, I was asked to do a guest blog for MyHeritage one of the major sponsors of NFHM2017. My Family Memories post draws on my recent experiences clearing out my mother's home. No doubt more memories will surface as I now work my way through all the boxes stacked in my own back bedroom. Something to look forward to in September after I finish all of my NFHM activities.

Next week I will be heading off to Townsville for the closing event for NFHM. An all day seminar in conjunction with the Family History Association of North Queensland where I am giving two talks along side Louise Coakley a DNA specialist from Cairns. See her Facebook page Using DNA Testing for Genealogy & Family History Research Australia & New Zealand. It should be a great day and I am also staying on for the Society's DNA special interest group meeting on the Sunday. By the time I get home I will well and truly be motivated to try and work out my own DNA results. There seem to be so many matches it is a bit overwhelming.

So far this month I have managed to read two family history related novels. The first was a review copy from the Moreton Region Libraries Book Club and as a member I get offered from time to time review copies. When I selected this one from the list I was attracted to it because it was set in medieval times and I hadn't realised there was a family history element too. Anyway I found Ian Mortimer's The Outcasts of Time a great read and it starts off in 1348 with England in the grip of the Black Death and the hero is given six days to live. Either in his own time or one day every 100 years ending in 1945. He chooses the latter option and it is fascinating and had me thinking about my own family history over 600 years.

Max and I as part of the 200th anniversary commemoration
on Norfolk Island 2007
The second book is Lynette McDermott's Perseverance which is Book Two of the Garth Trilogy. It is an historical novel based on the lives of two First Fleet convict families who are first exiled to Norfolk Island (Book One) and then exiled again to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in Book Two.

This was of interest to me as Max's convict ancestors Samuel Pyers and Sarah Johnson were also sent to Norfolk Island in the First Settlement and then forced to leave and resettle in Tasmania around the Richmond area. So again it was easy to picture our own families living through the same experiences as the Garth family.

Lynette has kindly donated one of her books as a NFHM prize - see the sponsors page to enter the giveaway and remember it closes on 29 August and is only open to Australian residents.

Announced at the launch of NFHM in Sydney were the winners of the annual Nick Vine Hall Awards. Congratulations to the winners.

  • Category A winner  Botany Bay Family History Society; The Endeavour No 129 December 2016 editor John Levy
  • Second Australian Society of Lacemakers of Calais; Tulle Volume 34 No 4 (November 2016) editor Jim Longmire
  • Category B winner Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies; The Genealogist Vol 15 No 4 December 2016  editor Carolann Thomson 
  • Second Queensland Family History Society; Queensland Family Historian Volume 37 No 4 November 2016 editor Lyndal Cosgrove 

If you have run out of ideas for NFHM have a look at my 31 NFHM Activities for Researchers which explores some of our sponsors websites and other activities. It's an online event and anyone can participate.

The next week will be hectic as I prepare for Townsville and the closing of NFHM but then it will be spring, not that we have had much of a winter. Still swimming in the pool most days, solar heating is wonderful. I always think I will have lots of time post NFHM but other things always crop up to keep me busy! There are talks coming up for the Professional Historians Association of Queensland and also for the Bribie Island Historical Society and I also said I would tutor again on advanced family history for the local U3A. No I won't be bored!

Until next time, enjoy the last week of NFHM and good luck with the prizes giveaway. 

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Genealogy cruising, NFHM talks & other news - Genealogy Notes 1-14 Aug 2017

It is really good to be home and sitting at my desk and watching the birds outside my window while I ponder what to write.

The last two weeks have been very hectic. First I was away on the Unlock the Past military and genealogy cruise to Papua New Guinea which was fantastic. It was really good seeing Rabaul and Milne Bay where we had family members during World War 1 and 2.  There were also port stops at some of the really scenic islands so there was something for everyone. Blog post to follow this week on the genealogy and military talks. I have already booked into the next genealogy cruise to Alaska.
Got home to some domestic issues which needed to be sorted which meant that I had to miss the Researching Abroad Unlock the Past roadshow in Brisbane the day after we got back. Thankfully some genimates were also there and have blogged the event. See Pauleen Cass' blog posts on Day 1 and Day 2

For the next three days I gave six talks in six different towns in South East Queensland, which might be some kind of record. It was really good to give talks for both Sunshine Coast Libraries in Caloundra, Nambour, Maleny and Beerwah and Moreton Region Libraries in Albany Creek and North Lakes. All of the Sunshine Coast sessions were fully booked and attendees were enthusiastic about National Family History Month too.

Today I gave another talk on starting family history research - this time at Noosaville Library so I am really getting to see south east Queensland's most iconic tourist spots. And the winter weather has been almost like summer. I really loved the brochure the Noosa Library service did to promote NFHM 2017 with four speakers and some fantastic talks.

All my presentations are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.
I had to miss this year's launch of National Family History Month but thanks to Jill Ball there is a blog post A Long Drive to Chester Hill about how smoothly the event went. Even in my absence people were keen to enter the prize giveaway so I've been busy processing all the entries so far. I also need to do a blog post thanking all of our wonderful sponsors for helping to promote NFHM. 

My 31 Activities for Researchers during NFHM is an online event and there are other online events so remember to look at that category of events as well as your local state.

Coming up at the end of this week is a tour of the Woodford Museum with the local Woodford Historical Society. I always love visiting these places as often so much of what they hold is not digitised, catalogued or online and therefore you really do need to visit and see what resources are held for research.

I keep getting notifications of DNA matches so I am just going to have to set aside some time and really study them to see where the connections are. This will probably have to wait until after NFHM as organising that does take up quite a bit of time. 

Time to start writing up my cruise blog so enjoy the 3rd week of NFHM in Australia and remember to enter the prize giveaway - click on the Terms & Conditions to see how to enter and it's only open to Australian entries. Until next time, have a fantastic week of research.