It wasn't a big year for blog posts but I managed at least one post a month and occasionally two if there was a lot happening, like the Alaska genealogy cruise with Unlock the Past. The last fortnight of 2018 saw two blog posts - a Trove Tuesday John Finn Charged With Incendiarism (now there's a candidate for a good story as poor John had so many things go wrong in his life) and I finally did a DNA post on Finding Truth in Family History which explains why after 42 years of family history research, I am now looking for a biological grandfather.
I'm currently reading Kate Grenville's The Secret River. It's an historical novel but inspired by her convict ancestor Soloman Wiseman who settled in the area now known as Wiseman's Ferry.
None of my ancestors did anything famous or have anything named after them but I can't help thinking about what kind of historical novel could I write about their lives. Or should I just try for a straight family history although one has to make that an interesting read too.
We have formed a genealogy writing group at the local U3A so these will be the kind of questions we can discuss and motivate each other with.
One of the last things I did in 2018 was to have a professional photo shoot with a local photographer Deb Neill. She does some really lovely photos of Bribie which I see through various Bribie Facebook sites. I have been wanting to update my profile picture for a while but I hate getting my photo taken and I can never really find one that I like. That's why I am still using the 2014 photo taken of me while in Inverell for a talk. Deb has done a series of photos that I can use on social media, website, blogs, books or seminar flyers. The hard part is trying to decide which one to use as there are a couple that I really like or maybe I should use different ones on different sites. Anyway there will be a new me coming soon!
Conferences & Talks
The events page of my website has been updated with talks and conference sessions I'm doing in 2019. As the year progresses new dates will be added. For me the most exciting event will be the Waves in Time conference at Caloundra under the auspices of History Queensland and Caloundra Family History Research. It is only an hour or so up the highway but I will be staying up there to maximise the time at the family history fair and the conference.
New Resources - 1 January record releases
Remember that a new year means new archives & BDM resources as another year comes into the open access period. It was good to see the ABC News story on Public Record Office Victoria's newly opened mental hospital files. Some states like New South Wales update their BDM indexes throughout the year while others simply update at the end of the year. It is always worth checking for any new births, deaths or marriages and it is a great way to keep your research current.
What's Coming Up?
My U3A classes in advanced family history (weekly) and writing family history (fortnightly) will keep me busy and motivated. Plus I have even enrolled in how to use a smart phone as I'm sure there are lots of tips and tricks to learn. That's only a 5 week course.
The first genealogy seminar for the year is with the Queensland Family History Society with the theme Taking Your Australian Research Further. I am looking at what you can discover in Australian archives and other resources people might not be using for their family history research. Janice Cooper is the other speaker on the day advising us how to place our families in their communities and in the times they lived.
Until next time, I hope you find time for some genealogy research with lots of exciting discoveries.