Monday 18 March 2019

Conferences, publishing & DNA update - Genealogy Notes 1-15 March 2019

Super effort to catch up this fortnight and stay organised. Another study tidy up and rearrangement of furniture, books and family history folders. So neat and tidy and no place to just pile up anything. Yes neatly labelled draws with my only fear that it will be 'out of sight out of mind'.


Niles when he visited Bribie Seaside Museum 
It was actually good to get back to some blog writing. March is International Women's Month and it is a long standing practice to write about my female ancestors. This time I have written about Finding Female Ancestors which includes some of my favourite resources for locating women in the family.

Also completed the first of my Waves in Time conference interviews with speakers is Niles Elvery from the Queensland State Archives. Next up is Jason Reeves from Ancestry with Dan Kelly from Boolarong Press to follow.


Apart from the Waves in Time conference, there is also a book publishing conference in Brisbane on 27 April 2019 which looks interesting. There is a modest registration, it is only one day although a long day if I add travel time from Bribie.

Most family histories won't attract a commercial publisher, but more and more are opting for the self publishing option as either ebooks or print. We still need to know about editing, and what the various production methods are these days.

My writing family history classes at U3A have a wide range of student projects, so something like this conference might help answer some of their questions. Seriously tempted.

Cousin Visiting

The Eldridge girls on the steps of
their grandparent's house on Bribie
In this online world we should not lose sight of the need to make personal contact with distant cousins. Last week our second cousins on the Burstow line visited Bribie and we caught up for the chat and swapping of information.

Then we went for a drive and they were able to show us where the original Burstow home was at Woorim on the other side of the Island. Where the house was is now a block of four units but at least we know that the family story of just being able to walk down the stairs and across the dunes to reach the beach was totally true.

DNA Update

We are probably all aware of the new DNA tools announced during RootsTech 2019. There are various papers from the conference available for download and not just on DNA - so check out the Conference Syllabi.

As a way of looking at these various new tools, I used my own families to illustrate them to my U3A class in advanced family history. While it is possible to talk about Ancestry's Thrulines it is much more meaningful when you can show people how it relates to real examples. Many of my Cornish lines have extensive paper trees, and this is now being confirmed by DNA matches with distant cousins.

MyHeritage's new cluster groupings were mostly on my mother's side of the family. Of my 27 clusters, only two were on Dad's side. Wondering what this means?

There is also a new DNA interest group established on the Island and we will be meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month at the Bribie Library starting in May. This should be a great way to ask questions, learn about new tools, and share our own experiences.


Court sketch and only known
image of John Finn
My next talk is at the Bribie Library and will be on convicts and criminals, a topic of interest as most of my families were behind bars at some point. The records are similar and provide a wealth of information not always found in other records. Sometimes they were acquitted but the records were still created while they waited for their day in court. Where and when I am speaking can be found on the Events page of my website.

What's Coming Up?

Only two more weeks and U3A breaks before starting Term 2. Easter is just around the corner and Mum will celebrate her 85th birthday. Apparently she wants fish and chips down by the passage. The aged care centre also provides a cake for Mum and the other residents so it will be a full on weekend.

I have been working on an update to the Price family history for her but there is so much new material I'm not sure it will get finished in time. There are still three weeks, so no more bright shiny objects of distraction!

Until next time, have lots of geneafun.

Monday 4 March 2019

School records, archive resources & other news - Genealogy Notes 15 -28 Feb 2019

I'm cheating a little bit with this fortnight by including the first weekend in March. Hopefully I will get back to a normal blogging routine during the month.


No blogs this fortnight but I did note Alona's Women's History Month challenge for March. Surely I will be able to get at least one post done and be part of this worthy challenge. Previously I have written about my four great grandmothers so perhaps it's time to look at my GG grandmothers or at least those who came out to Australia. Why not join me and take up Alona's challenge?


My first Waves in Time speaker interviewee has returned their questionnaire. Watch out for Niles Elvery from Queensland State Archives telling us about why he became interested in history and why he is excited to be speaking at the conference in May. Blog post within the next two weeks, I promise!

Also over the last week we have had Facebook and Twitter posts from various Aussie geneamates who attended RootsTech in Salt Lake City or who stayed home and just did the live streaming or catch up videos. Lots of announcements have been made and I'm still trying to catch up with them.
all the news.


Perhaps the most exciting announcements from RootsTech were the new DNA tools released by Ancestry and MyHeritage. So far I have managed to have a play with Ancestry's cluster tools and their new ThruLines look like they are going to sort out some of my more distant Cornish lines. Anyway I have a whole lot of 'to follow up' notes from my brief play. Haven't even looked at MyHeritage yet. Why aren't there more hours in the day?


Fred as a baby on his mother's lap
Another exciting South Australian collection from FamilySearch is the school admission registers 1873-1985. There are now over 185,000 entries. The indexing looks a bit doubtful. I searched for Max's father but could not find him (possibly not indexed yet).

But then I looked for his brother and found him, but with indexing errors. Frederick was Frederich which is an easy mistake but their father was Henry and that is indexed Stenry which doesn't even look right. Frederick's date of birth was correct 10 December 1909 and it showed that he enrolled in school on 16 May 1922 in Adelaide, but didn't give the name of the school. He would have been 13 years old.

While the record says there is a digital image it does not appear to be connected to the indexed entry yet. Another follow up task!


At the weekend I gave two talks as part of the Queensland Family History Society education seminar - both talks were about using archives and libraries for Australian family history research. Both presentations are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations. I meant to take some photos for this blog post, but was too busy catching up with friends or answering questions. A cousin I hadn't seen in decades turned up to say hello as well. Good to see others in the family are still chasing their ancestors.

What's Coming Up?

My next talks are in April so my focus in the short term will be on doing some blog posts and tutoring my U3A family history classes. Once term starts, the weeks just seem to fly past. The writing group is doing well and we have just agreed to do another term. Everyone has a different type of project and already we can see progress as they discuss what they are doing and we run through some standard writing and style tips.

Have a great fortnight and until next time, happy searching.