Friday 17 May 2019

DNA, Talks, Conferences & Resources - Genealogy Notes 1-15 May 2019

So many interesting things happening at the moment. Simply loving the Bribie U3A classes and everyone is learning something and being motivated. It's like having your own little family history society and meeting weekly. Also had some interesting client research projects which have taken me into new areas.


Currently reading (via inter library loan) Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne. As I'm going to two of the DNA Down Under events (Brisbane and Sydney) I thought it was time to do some background reading. I already have my own copy of Blaine's The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy but the more you read, the more you learn and absorb/remember.


Waves in Time is next week so I have been dusting off the blogger beads, getting some of my books ready for sale (should anyone be interested) and making sure my talk is ready to go. It's a short time period with other free talks closely following each other so no going over time.

I've also been saving my dollar coins and small notes should anything tempt me on the secondhand book stalls.


Found baby Fred in the SA school admission
registers on FamilySearch
During the fortnight FamilySearch added more South Australian school admission register entries and South Australian will and probate records to their database. Two collections that I am following closely. Only indexed records no images.

Findmypast added almost 100,000 pages of updated digitised newspapers and some Scottish occupation records, but none relevant to my Scotsman who was a sailor. I have previously found records for him in Findmypast.

Ancestry have a new message centre for members and there are changes to the member profile with more setting options available. I need to have a look at both of these too.

Keeping up with the changes is often hard but everything online seems to be getting better and better.

Makes me wonder how we ever did genealogy back in the days before computers and the internet. I know because I still have four drawer filing cabinets full of paper correspondence and copies of documents  which I occasionally try to modernise into digital format.


Went to David Barnes talk on DNA at the Bribie Island Family History Group's meeting last week. I've heard David's talks before and he manages to pack a lot of information into his talks but he then shares those presentations with attendees so you can go over them again at your own pace. Everyone is at different levels of understanding and for some of the beginners, it can be overwhelming.

They have asked me to do a DNA talk in July based around my own DNA matches and analysis. So more of a practical approach on what to do with your matches.

David and I also had our first monthly meeting of the DNA Genealogists Group at the Bribie Island Library which was attended by 16 people. This was a good number for an inaugural meeting as there was time for everyone to introduce themselves and say a little about why they were interested in DNA and genealogy. We also watched an introductory DNA webinar from RootsTech and had a Q&A session plus a chat over tea and coffee (no biscuits). Will have to remedy that next time.

What's Coming Up?

A busy week with my writing family history and advanced family history classes at U3A, the Waves in Time conference and of course afterwards, I have to write up a couple of blog posts about the family history fair and the conference sessions. This next fortnight is simply going to fly past but lots of excitement and genealogy. Until next time, good researching and have fun.

Thursday 2 May 2019

Free Books, DNA, Conferences & New Resources - Genealogy Notes 16-30 Apr 2019

Wow so much is happening in the genealogy world at the moment. I'm torn between looking at new and exciting records, sorting my DNA matches or getting all my family history research for the last 40 plus years into really good order.


My last two speaker interviews for the Waves in Time genealogy conference (now only a few weeks away) were completed. Read about Cara Downes from the National Archives of Australia here and Barb Toohey from Canberra here. Barb's talk is on who wants my records and that is partly behind my current determination to tidy up all my paper based records and make sure they are in my genealogy database. To follow will be the tidy up of my digital files which also show a blend of different recordkeeping styles over the last 20 years I have had a computer.


Regular readers will know I am a fan of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's books and recently he has been advertising a free copy of The Asylum which is the prequel to his Morton Farrier Forensic Genealogist series of books. Click the link for a free download from his website. I loved it although I still struggle to read ebooks on my laptop. There is no curling up in bed or a comfy lounge chair - maybe I need to get a smaller device?


Only a few weeks now till Waves in Time and my talk on tips for beginners has gone to the organisers. I am the first talk on the Friday at the free public fair which is really good. This means that I then have the rest of the time to totally enjoy myself with no pretalk nerves.

I booked my Brisbane ticket for the DNA Down Under tour in August and made the decision to go to the Sydney 3 day DNA event at the end of August. Before then the aim will be to work out some really good questions to ask all those experts - I'm looking to find a biological grandfather and it is a bit trickier when you haven't got any surname to look for. There are lots of matches that are not on Mum's side and don't match known relatives on Dad's side. I am pleased to be one of the Ambassadors for this exciting event which is occurring during our National Family History Month.

New Records

Findmypast has added some new Queensland records - the WW1 soldier portraits from the State Library of Queensland. I have already found some of my soldiers on the Library site but the advantage of having them in the bigger pond of Findmypast is for those who don't know about the Library's wonderful resources. Judy Webster's Queensland hospital registers are now included and as a big fan of Judy's over the years, I have used these records before too. But for others they could be a breakthrough for missing ancestors, especially those from the Queensland goldfields.

FamilySearch are continuing to add South Australian school admission records which I have found quite useful on the Spencer side.


My talk on Soldiers in the Family was well received at the Caloundra Family History Research group. Although the traffic on Easter Thursday was a lot heavier than normal, I gave myself plenty of time to get there without stressing. The drive home was marginally easier and I had time to go home for a quick cuppa before going to the Bribie Island Library in case anyone turned up for our new DNA  meetings. There is a lot of interest in DNA on the Island and the first meeting in May should be good.

What's Coming Up?

My U3A advanced family history group and the writing family history group are keeping me busier than I anticipated. On the plus side, it's very motivating for me as I can't just do the talk, I have to do the walk too. Hence tackling the organisation of my family history records for the next few months.

The Waves in Time conference will be a lot of fun and I will be blogging about the three days but after the event. Too much going on and I don't want to miss anything while trying to blog at the same time.

There is a DNA talk next week from David Barnes at the local Bribie Island family history group and I will be attending that. There is a lunch afterwards which is a good time to chat to others about the meeting and swap tips.

So a busy two weeks coming up. Take time out where you can to keep your genealogy research going and if you are at any of the same events, please come up and say hello. Until next time.