Thursday, 11 January 2018

Worcestershire archives, historical children's books & other news - Genealogy Notes 6-12 Jan 2018

Thanks to everyone who commented on my new look - we are all agreed that headings are useful and they do help me to remember what I want to comment on.

It was good to see other bloggers getting back into Trove Tuesday challenges and quite a few are doing the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. If bloggers are using hash tags you should be able to Google and find some of these posts. Tuesday came and went before I even realised it and a weekly blog challenge has to wait until all the family dramas are behind me.

However I did manage to complete my review of the Worcester Archives and Archaeology Service's new e-publication - read Discovering Worcestershire Archives and see what you might be missing in English county archives. The types of records and access are similar so it has broad appeal. It is available to download for £6.

Whenever I am holidaying in Bargara (at least once a year) we pop into the local Vinnies to get some reading material. For $1 there was a copy of Bryce Courtenay's The Family Frying Pan. The title caught my eye and I am a fan of Courtenay but I hadn't seen this book before.

While fiction, it is based on the story of Mrs Moses who escapes from Russia pre WW1 and the stories of those who make the trip with her. Every night they gather around the camp fire and tell the story of their life over whatever they have managed to cook in the frying pan.

The book's dedication gives a clue as to why you should read this novel - to my two sons Brett and Adam who would not be who they are if their great great grandmother had not walked across Russia carrying a large cast iron frying pan. A great read and I couldn't put it down.

While we might not have Courtenay's writing skills, we should all be trying to capture our own family stories before they are lost in the mists of time.

This week saw the return of a new UK series of Who Do You Think You Are? A must watch series even though we know it is much harder than it looks and most of us don't have the money to just pop off and do a spot of research in another country. Hard to believe this is the 13th series, where do the years go.

This week it was Sir Ian McKellen and coming up are Sophie Raworth, Sunetra Sarker, Greg Davies, Liz Bonnin, Danny Dyer, Cheryl, Ricky Tomlinson, Warwick Davis and Amanda Holden. Some of these celebrities I haven't heard of but there is usually something you can learn from most episodes. On SBS and I won't give the time  as we are all on different time zones.

WDYTYA reminded me that I still haven't read the January 2018 issue of the WDYTYA magazine. I did a Q&A for them and was sent a complimentary copy of the issue. One of the main articles is 50 Websites to Watch in 2018 and while I was familiar with quite a lot of them, there were some that I had never heard of and some that were definitely of interest to my own research. Now all I need is a rainy day to do some research instead of spending hours hosing my gardens in this incredible heat. While it's nice to live on a quarter acre, you do have to keep the vegetation alive plus the birds and other wildlife appreciate our little oasis in suburbia.

Social Media
Open Culture highlighted the release in a blog post of 6,000 historical children's books all digitised and free to view online. I can vaguely remember my own children's books (Enid Blyton was a first love) and all the old fairy tales but by the time of my son it was definitely Thomas the Tank Engine and friends. At least that was more entertaining than Spot the Dog. But what books did my mother read as a child or her mother? I have no idea but we can explore these questions with this new resource. I also love just looking at all the old time illustrations.

If you have ever struggled to work out Land Grants in NSW 1788-1856 then this online guide by State Archives and Records NSW will certainly help. It's much more complex than I ever realised. But then most land records are not easy to identify or access.

What's Coming Up?
Caloundra talk, 2017
I've been invited to attend the next meeting of the Waves in Time conference which will be held in Caloundra on 24-26 May 2019. It is being hosted by Caloundra Family History Research. There will be a website coming soon and some of the people who organised the very successful conference at Southport last year are on the organising committee. So save the date and watch out for updates.

Caloundra are a fun group and their members all wear purple shirts. I give a talk there every year which means I too must wear purple. My next talk for them is in April - must start looking for a new purple shirt!

Unbelievably I am now preparing my classes for the advanced family history sessions at Bribie U3A - holidays and terms seem to go super quick. The class will be a mix of ongoing students plus some newbies and should be a lot of fun.

Until next time, happy searching.

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