Monday 30 April 2018

Newgate Calendar, DNA talks & other news : Genealogy Notes 24-30 Apr 2018

My goody bag from the Caloundra
Family History Research Inc last week
Reviewing old society journals can be rewarding - finally relocated my membership card for Genealogy SA. I obviously was using it as a book mark in one of their journals, it's now safe with all my other membership cards. Sometimes it is useful just to browse and check out urls or other resources and stories.

For example, in the Genealogical Society of Queensland's journal Generation, December 2014 there was an article 'Serious Crimes in the United Kingdom 1700-1825' from The Newgate Calendar.

Although most of my ancestors were criminals with a variety of crimes, none of them were too serious. However I'm fascinated by these types of records. The article finished by saying that the book is online free although it is a multi volume work. You can download volume by volume or browse the thematic contents including sneak thieves, highwaymen, smugglers, traitors, abductors of maidens, body snatchers and much much more.

Some of the entries are really quirky but fascinating. From the Ex-Classics home page, you can do a Google search such as Newgate and the surname of a person if you think one of your ancestors might be listed.

Received some nice feedback on my Australian Trade Union Archives blog post for The In-Depth Genealogist. It's always nice to know that people are reading and learning something from our writings.

Tuesday's resolve is to do another Trove Tuesday post. The hard part I find is trying to pick a topic, so many interesting things to write about. Of course, it is also very easy to be distracted while searching in Trove.

I've just finished reading Nathan Dylan Goodwin's The Suffragette's Secret, a Morton Farrier short story (and enjoyed it - review to follow) and now I've started on The Wicked Trade, another Morton Farrier adventure looking into Kent and smugglers in the 1820s. For me the attraction of Nathan's books is the combination of genealogy, history and a good story plus the development of his lead character as he progresses through his own life. I think we can all relate to crying babies and sleepless nights.

Last week I mentioned that I'm speaking at a Gold Coast Family History Society seminar at the end of May. Should have checked my diary - there are two talks for the Cooroy-Noosa Genealogical and Historical Research Group in conjunction with Noosa Libraries on 14 May.

Since moving back to Queensland I've done a few talks for Noosa Libraries but it has been quite a while since I last did talks for the Cooroy-Noosa group. It was in their old premises so I'm looking forward to seeing the new premises.
Cooroy-Noosa Genealogical & Historical Research Group premises

Moreton Libraries have booked me to do my blogging for family history talk at the Strathpine and Caboolture libraries later in the year. Plus I received my first request to do a presentation in 2019. No wonder time goes so fast!

What's Coming Up?
Front page of the bible Sarah Finn nee Fegan
brought to Queensland
I've just booked for the Queensland Family History Society seminar on Genetic Genealogy with Maurice Gleeson on 19 May. He is giving two talks - Managing your matches: a step by step approach to interpreting your DNA matches and Marrying DNA and Irish family tree research.

Learning more about how to read my DNA results and what to do with them is something I really need plus I have Irish ancestors from Wicklow - John Finn and Sarah Fegan. Should be a great day and a chance to catch up with geneafriends from Brisbane.

Until next time have a great genealogy week.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

ANZAC day, genealogy talks & other news - Genealogy Notes 16-23 April 2018

Another week and another email from someone who found me via a blog post. This was exciting and I jumped up to grab an album of my mother's that was packed up when she went into the nursing home last year. But the one I wanted wasn't with the others, now the big question is where is it? There are boxes and boxes of photos for me to sort and digitise but with no real deadline they have just been sitting in the cupboard. With this motivation the coming week is going to be all about photographs and digitising them.

Having just written the above paragraph on the value of blogs, I haven't had a chance this week to write anything. Tomorrow is ANZAC day and in past years I have written about my military ancestors.

In 2013 I wrote about The Brothers Finn and World War One - with this the final anniversary year of WW1 it is fitting to highlight this post again. Research (and blog posts) are not static and in 2016, three years after my first post, I wrote a Trove Tuesday blog World War One and the Finn Brothers.  In this blog I wrote about my excitement at finding a photograph of all three brothers in the same newspaper The Week, 31 Jan 1919. They all returned home but the youngest, Denis had been wounded and spent time in a German prisoner of war camp. The other two brothers never married. Lest we forget.

With the mornings getting darker, I'm no longer leaping out of bed and fumbling around in the dark trying to make a cup of tea without waking anyone else up. However there is no chance of going back to sleep so I have been having a reading feast of genealogy journals and magazines that having been piling up in the study. There are so many good stories and lots of tips and advice and URLs to check out on the laptop. One journal can hijack your day as you start exploring whatever the topic was.

Of course this is my print journals and to read my digital journals I have to actually sit at the study desk, not as comfy as being snug in bed. But the time will come when all journals will be digital as it is a much cheaper option for societies. Plus if I'm honest I won't need as many bookshelves! I just need to schedule time to read but so often I am hijacked by the desire to actually do research.

My talk at Caloundra Family History Research Inc went well with a packed house and interested audience. Received a lovely certificate, purple (what else) photo frame, a silky oak bottle stopper and a nice bottle of sav blanc to use the stopper with.

I stayed on to hear one of their own members talk about his family connection to some well known criminals. He was very entertaining and had people laughing and as someone who also has lots of criminals in the family, it can be hard talking about them. But there are some fantastic records with lots of family information and of course they are always in the newspaper!

The Gold Coast Family History Society have invited me to speak at their next seminar day on 26 May and one of the talks is my favourite - Skeletons in the Family which looks at convicts, prisons and asylums. My ancestors will be on display yet again. The other talk is on Archives You Should Know. Full details about the event are here. The Society meets at Nerang which is about half way between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Looking at their advertising I need to update my photo. That one was taken in Inverell, NSW in April 2014 and hard to believe that was four years ago. I will need a hair cut before the Gold Coast talk so time to take another good photo of me. Just wish it wasn't so hard.

What's Coming Up?
Memorabilia at the AFAQ cottage at Bongaree
There is no U3A this week due to ANZAC day but I am chairing the local history class this week and telling them all about the first five Presidents of the Amateur Fishing Association of Queensland. There is a family history element and it is a talk I gave to the Bribie Island Historical Society last year. Then in the afternoon, the current President of the Historical Society is giving a talk on Women of Bribie which should be fascinating. The U3A serve a wonderful afternoon tea for the modest gold coin entry.

On the writing front there are blog posts and an article for The In-Depth Genealogist. Weeks go fast but then months seem to go even quicker.

Until next week time a great genealogy week with many happy findings.

Monday 16 April 2018

DNA connections, blogs as cousin bait & other news - Genealogy Notes 8-15 April 2018

Mum, my brother and I a long long time ago
A lot of the last week was out and about so not a lot of desk time. U3A starts again this week so Wednesday afternoons will be Advanced Family History and Friday mornings Local Bribie History. Two week breaks seem to go so quickly.

Mum had a great 84th birthday with two cakes - one with us and one at the aged care centre. My brother and his son came up for coffee and cake. Then Max and I took Mum to lunch so she could have nachos and a wine, treats not often on the menu!

Blog Reading

My blog post on the Australian Women's Register for The In-Depth Genealogist was listed on Gail Dever's Genealogy a la Carte for 14 Apr 2018. It's always nice to see that people are reading things I write. Plus I like to browse these compilations to pick up other blog posts of interest to my own research.

One I thought would be useful if only I could find a spare day was The Legal Genealogist's post on why we should all find Time to Paint. It's all about DNA Painter and how you can match up known relatives. My problem is not knowing who my relatives are!

Elizabeth Price nee Judge born Pollard
Although blogging about your known relatives can also help connect up in conjunction with DNA testing. A couple of years ago I wrote about my great grandmother Elizabeth Price nee Judge born Pollard - a brick wall that took a while to fall. I also posted a photograph of her.

At the weekend while checking my Ancestry DNA messages I found an email from someone descendant from the same Pollard family in Croughton, Northamptonshire. They had written to tell me how similar my Elizabeth was to her Croughton cousins and sent two photos to show the resemblance.

Blogging is definitely cousin bait and if you have both done DNA tests and submitted family tree charts then it all comes together quite nicely.


Kerry Farmer is the Director of the Australian Studies certificate with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies and quite often does free webinars. There is another one on Wednesday morning (18 April at 9am Sydney time) on Trove and how it is more than just digitised newspapers. It is free and open to all but you need to register. There is no user name or password required. Just type in your first and last name and click Enter as a Guest. Link to attend. Kerry usually advertises these on various Facebook sites so keep a watch out in the future.

What's Coming Up?

Thursday is my Sporting Ancestors talk for Caloundra Family History Research. It is always a great monthly meeting and I will also be able to find out what is happening with the Waves In Time Conference in Caloundra in May 2019. This is one of my favourite areas of Queensland and we nearly settled here so it is definitely in my diary for next year. Although it is only an hour and a half  up the highway I will be staying locally to maximise all my networking time with geneafriends.

There is a meeting of the Professional Historians Association of Queensland  at the weekend and it's on the north side of Brisbane so I'm planning to attend.

Until next time, have a great genealogy week!

Sunday 8 April 2018

Oxfordshire Finds, New Books & Other News - Genealogy Notes 1-7 Apr 2018

Instead of writing this blog post over the weekend I was busy searching and finding my Oxfordshire families in Ancestry. It's been quite a few years since I last looked at this family and now the parish they came from has been digitised. Not only can I search for them but I can also see the original parish register images myself. My GGG grandmother was Mary Ann Cooper from Deddington, Oxfordshire and I could find indexed entries for all her siblings but not for her. A little bit of hunting and I discovered her indexed as Gasper which is a bit different from Cooper. This is the 1790s and the handwriting is not always easy to read so be creative when you can't find someone where you expect to.

North end of market place, Deddington, Oxfordshire
with the parish church in the background,
photo courtesy of Motacilla, Wikipedia Commons
It's also useful to then have a look at Wikipedia for an outline of the parish history and any photos. Wikipedia Deddington stated that the parish includes two hamlets - Clifton and Hempton and this helped to explain why I was finding Clifton as a place of birth in the census records.

Understanding the geography of an area and places names are all key to establishing you have the right family. Plus there were some photographs of various buildings in the parish.

When you can't just drive down the road and visit a place, this is the next best thing.

John Trevaskis
My second Trove Tuesday blog post for the year was Gone Home to Ireland But Still Remembered Here was a real genealogy find. My great grandmother's brother John Trevaskis was killed in a mining accident in Charters Towers and his wife Mary (nee Kelly) went back to Tipperary, Ireland taking their two children with her. This was about 1906 and when she died in 1944 her son published a death notice in the Townsville Daily Bulletin to let any friends and family know. Thanks to Trove I now know when she died and that she probably still had friends or family in North Queensland.

Thanks also to Crissouli who regularly mentions my blog posts in her weekly Friday Fossicking in That Moment in Time. These weekly roundups have all kinds of links to blogs, resources, news etc so if you are having trouble keeping up, check up her weekly roundup.

Well it was a bonanza week at the post office. Just like Christmas. First Nathan Dylan Goodwin's review copy of The Wicked Trade and the Suffragette's Secret genealogical crime mysteries is sitting here tempting me. I like to read Nathan's books with no distractions so waiting for an opportune time.

Unlock the Past sent author copies of the second edition of my It's Not All Online: a guide to genealogy sources offline and it looks very nice in the new style. Hard to believe that was first published in 2011 and it is still very true today. I have a standing order for any new Unlock the Past titles - I find them very useful for research, talks and keeping myself across a range of genealogy topics. New editions include So You Are Totally New to Family Tree Maker 2017 by John Donaldson; Papers Past New Zealand's Yesteryear Newspapers by Coral Shearer; and Paul Blake's Discover Protestant Nonconformity in England and Wales.

Totally new titles from Unlock the Past include Discover The Poor Law in England and Wales by Paul Blake; Manorial Records for Family Historians by Geoffrey Barber; Hiring a Professional Genealogist You Can Trust by Legacy Tree Genealogists and The Madness of 'Mac' Surnames by Carol Baxter. Yes the whole book is for anyone with a Mac surname and it looks at all of the possible surname variants with lots and lots of examples. All Unlock the Past titles can be purchased online from Gould Genealogy & History as print or e-copies.

I have been busy doing some talks for the second term of my Advanced Family History class at Bribie U3A in 2018  - there are 10 weeks so rather than a mad weekly panic to have something ready I have prepared sessions in advance. I may even start giving some of these talks in a wider context if they are well received and the students like the approach. Plus there are the presentations from last year which new class members won't have seen. It starts up again next week with about double the numbers we have had previously. I'm a little nervous or perhaps I'm just used to our little group around the table.

What's Coming Up
This is a big week for meetings with the Bribie Island Historical Society on Wednesday and the Bribie Island Family History Group on Thursday. The Society's blog has everything you ever wanted to know about Bribie history and remember a local historical society may have information on your ancestors too. Plus it is Mum's birthday on Saturday and we are hosting coffee and cake here for the family.

This week has been absolutely fabulous for new genealogy information on quite a few of my family lines. So glad I decided to review some of my older research and discover what is now available online. Until next week, have a great genealogy week with lots of exciting finds.