Friday 16 November 2018

Centenary of End of WW1, book review & other news - Genealogy Notes 1-15 Nov 2018

It's been a big fortnight with a week away at one of my favourite beaches - Bargara near Bundaberg in Queensland. Lots of walks and swimming (not that I don't do that here at home) but it always seems different elsewhere.


My blog for The In-Depth Genealogist on Introducing Monuments Australia has been getting some love on Twitter. For Remembrance Day I reposted my military blogs on Alexander Thomas Davis and the three Finn Brothers - John, Robert and Denis Patrick. The centenary of the end of WW1 was marked by many blog posts as everyone remembered those that were lost.

I have been invited to a book launch (Who Answered the Call) at the Bribie Seaside Museum at the end of November. This is a collected work featuring all the soldiers in the Bribie area who enlisted in WW1 and WW2 and published by the Bribie Island Historical Society. Alexander Thomas Davis is featured in it and my blog post is also referenced. Unfortunately they never found a photograph of him either and he appears to be one of a handful of soldiers who never had their photograph taken in uniform before they left.


I finally finished my book review for The Promise of Tomorrow, the final volume in The Garth Trilogy by Lynette McDermott. I also reviewed the second volume Perseverance and you can read that on the Resources page of my website - scroll down to Book Reviews. The first volume was Of Angels and Eagles which I have also read but not reviewed. It is a fictional saga based on two convict families, the Garths and the Belletts who were on Norfolk Island and then Tasmania. It is an easy read and an interesting way to present a family history.


I am still trying to analyse my results and work out who is related to Mum and separating them out so that I am left with just those who must be related to Dad. I'm going to another GSQ DNA SIG meeting as Helen Smith will be back and Michelle Patient is visiting too. Lucky for my U3A advanced history group, Michelle has kindly offered to visit us here on Bribie Island so that will be an exciting opportunity for them.

New Resources
The bigger databases just keep on getting bigger and bigger. For example, during the fortnight FamilySearch added the 1901 Irish census and BillionGraves. Both of these are already available on other free websites so what is the advantage of adding them into something else. One stop searching is good because not everyone may know that these sources are available elsewhere. Or you may not think to search in them for someone.

Recently while searching for something in FamilySearch I found a reference to an ancestor who I thought would probably not have a tombstone. Yet there was a reference to him in FindAGrave and when I looked it was definitely him and there was a photograph. So a one stop place to look can be useful but you have to remember that no one database has everything - you need to look in all the big ponds and all the little ponds too.

What's Coming Up?

My last talk for the year is at Caboolture Library and it is all about blogging your family history. There are still a couple of classes for Bribie U3A and then the long hols over December and January. As everyone is keen to continue at U3A, I will be busy planning out some more classes. We are also thinking about doing a family history writing group to encourage all of us to tell our family stories. Motivation and inspiration shared are definitely useful to get you started.

Talks, book launch and research - lots of interesting things to keep me busy in the next fortnight. Until next time, have fun researching.

Thursday 1 November 2018

Blogs, 2019 Conferences & Other News - Genealogy Notes 16-31 Oct 2018

Lots of travel this fortnight, mainly to Brisbane to give presentations and attend meetings. The traffic leaving Brisbane on Saturday afternoon surprised me but once out on the open highway, we moved more freely. It is not far to travel but the traffic just makes it seem that much further.


John Trevaskis son of my
missing James Henry Trevaskis
My guest blog for the Genealogical Society of Queensland on genealogy cruising was published. Read it here.

I also managed to get my Trove Tuesday Body Discovered Unknown Identity blog post finished in time. Sadly there are lots of unknown people out there that belong in someone's family history. Is this what happened to my James Henry Trevaskis although you would think that his wife would have had some sort of search undertaken for him. Maybe his death is meant to remain a mystery.


I missed a meeting of the Waves in Time Conference as I was still not feeling great and there were so many other commitments I had to attend. Speakers not showing up has to be an organisers worst nightmare. Anyway the committee are very capable and it is shaping up to be an interesting program with some great speakers. A 3 day geneafest not to be missed.

The next NSW & ACT Family History Association conference has already sent out its first newsletter. So put 11-13 October 2019 in your diary and it will be held at Knox Grammar School and organised by the Ku-rin-gai Historical Society. The theme is Exploring the Past, something we all do with our family research.


Three years ago, just before I broke my right elbow I signed up to do a course on family history with the University of Tasmania - Diploma of Family History. Due to the accident I had to pull out and I have been looking at it ever since. This fortnight I have again applied and the first subject if my application is successful, will be Writing Family History. This is an area that I have been working on for years - trying to get all my stories, documents, photos into something that others might read. Starts later this month and goes through to the end of January. Something to do when it is too hot outside.

New Resources

I subscribe to the FamilySearch newsletter and the amount of records being added is staggering. For example, in September 2018 almost 13 million indexed new family history records were added and over 500,000 digital images from all over the world.

You can now access FindAGrave and Billion Graves through FamilySearch too and in a search I found one of our direct ancestors had a tombstone which was surprising. I might not have looked at FindAGrave or Billion Graves but as it came up in the FamilySearch search, I looked and it was the right person. So sometimes fishing in a bigger pond is a good idea, especially if you are not really looking for anything in particular.


It was a busy fortnight with a blogging presentation at Strathpine library, a webinar on mining ancestors for the Society of Australian Genealogists and a presentation on Probate Records in Australia, the UK and Ireland for the annual seminar of the Genealogical Society of Queensland. All three presentations are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

In addition I did my usual two talks at the Bribie U3A Advanced Family History class - genealogy software, paleography and non conformist records.

What's Coming Up?

Only one more talk on blogging at the Caboolture Library on 19 November and that will be the end for 2018. That's a total of 22 talks in 10 months (no talks in Dec-Jan). An average of just over 2 talks a month. So much for cutting back in 2018!

So far there are only 5 talks scheduled in 2019 but don't forget all my U3A advanced family history sessions which are 4 terms a year with 9-10 weeks per term. That adds up to a lot of talks but in a more informal class room setting.

We had a great Halloween class on Wednesday - chocolates, gruesome deaths and one student even came dressed in a fantastic Welsh costume. We have had so much fun it will be a continuing class in 2019.

Have fun searching in the coming fortnight - I will be away for a week at one of my favourite beaches in Queensland then back home for some serious work on my own family history in the December/January quiet time. Till next time.