Monday 25 December 2017

Convict Records, new conferences & blogs - Genealogy Notes 19 Nov - 26 Dec 2017

I had a wonderful break and it is actually harder to sit and do nothing than you think. Sitting and watching mother nature is fascinating and I never realised just how many different types of sand crabs come out to play/feed at low tide and there are more birds than just seagulls at the beach. The determination of female turtles is amazing - they wait 30 years before first heading back to the beach they themselves hatched on to lay their own eggs. Then they swim away and do it all again the following year. The sad part is that over the last 30 years that I have been doing this, erosion has taken away many of the sand dunes and now the Rangers and volunteers try to move the eggs to higher ground so that the eggs are not lost to the next incoming tide. A very worthy project and great to see so many tourists supporting turtle conservation.

Totally refreshed I am now getting ready for 2018 and making sure I don't double book any speaking engagements and that they don't clash too often with my Advanced Family History class at Bribie U3A. Quite a few of last year's students are returning and I'm pleased to say that two of them broke down brick walls after we discussed them in class. It definitely pays to discuss a brick wall with others and get alternative views and suggestions.

An old, but still relevant and interesting article about the destruction of convict records in NSW in 19th century - article was written by Christine Shergold and it is available online at State Archives and Records NSW where Christine worked for many years.  It is a timely reminder that if you are looking at a specific group of records, take the time to read any online guides about the records for background information and context. It might just explain why you can't find a particular record.

This last week of 2017 I'm busy finalising my two papers for the Bridging the Past & Future Congress in Sydney in March 2018. I'm really looking forward to four days of amazing talks and meeting new and old friends. My airfare and accommodation is all booked and paid and it is within easy walking distance of the venue. More time for looking at the exhibitor stalls or catching up with people for coffee and a chat.

There is another new conference on the Australian scene in 2018. There is the inaugural GAGHA conference in Adelaide on 17-19 August - if you are like me, you hate acronyms and are sitting there trying to work out what it is. Pat yourself on the back if you got German - Australian Genealogy & History Association which will be exciting for all those with German ancestors. The call for papers is open until 31 December 2017 so be quick if you want to present a paper but otherwise note the dates and plan a trip to Adelaide. Registration opens in February and I imagine that they will also be promoting it at the Sydney Congress.

I managed to get one more Trove Tuesday blog post done for 2017 and its about The Queenslander Cot Fund which helped the Hospital for Sick Children in Brisbane. Amazingly this one newspaper article mentioned my GGG grandmother, my GG aunt, her two sons and my G grandfather and his fiancee, later my G grandmother. Three generations of a family connected in time and place by one newspaper article. Thanks Trove and if you want to know what titles are coming up in 2018, click here. It's a bit disappointing that there are no Queensland titles but I am excited about the Ballarat ones.

After a break, I have started writing blogs and articles for The In-Depth Genealogist again and my first blog post was Introducing The Ryerson Index. It gives just some of the reasons why and how I use the Index for genealogy and family history. Check out other In-Depth blog posts here. I'm also happy to say that my article on Starting Out in Australian and New Zealand Genealogy made it onto the front cover of the December issue of Going In-Depth.

Unlock the Past have a new range of Handy Guides which are low cost 4 page guides on a range of topics and these are in addition to their guide books where there are now over 80 titles. I'm looking forward to checking these out in Sydney in March. My absolute favourite Unlock the Past activity in 2018 is their Alaska cruise in September. I've not been to America before so I'm also looking at a post cruise trip but so many places to consider.

My son ca 1991 - now he is getting married
and moving to Europe to live. White Christmas coming up!
Christmas lunch was out our place this year and my brother and his family joined my son and Mum for a magnificent seafood feast which literally went on for hours as we tasted oysters, crab and a range of different prawns with avocado and freshly baked rolls. Followed by a yummy creamy fruit pavlova for dessert. For the traditionalists we also cooked a piece of port with our best ever crackling. All I managed for Christmas dinner was a cup of tea and a shortbread biscuit! Given the heat yesterday we were all glad that we had broken with tradition although Mum did keep saying it really didn't seem like Christmas.

There are lots of exciting things on my genealogy agenda for 2018 and I look forward to sharing them with everyone. Enjoy the last week of 2017 and try to squeeze in some family history, especially if you have relatives visiting. Until 2018 have fun.