Tuesday 9 February 2021

Diary is Back : Australia & New Zealand Genealogy Notes January 2021

It's hard to believe that the last time I wrote Diary notes was in mid October 2020. 

Between cancer treatments and covid restrictions, I seem to have lost my blogging spirit. There were many times that I have gone to write something but didn't quite make it. The other night on #ANZAncestryTime on Twitter, I was a little embarrassed when @geniaus tweeted she always liked reading Diary. 

I think Diary lost its way a little when I stopped flitting around from conference to conference, and giving talks here there and everywhere. The awful truth is that my life at home is not that exciting. So I have been thinking what purpose does Diary serve now in 2021. 

As life returns to normal, there are some in person events as well as virtual conferences. Plus I am always doing something with my own personal history - either new research or trying to make it all virtual and writing up those family history stories.

No more excuses - Diary is back. 


Nathan Dylan Goodwin's The Chester Creek Murders is next on my reading list. You can't go past a good genealogical crime mystery.

Genie friend Jenny has given me this book on Wicklow to read. Not one for going to bed with unless you are trying to knock yourself out when you doze off! It weighs half a kilo.

Bribie Genealogy

Bribie Zoom Genies are no more - we have merged with the Bribie DNA for Genealogists group to form Bribie Genealogy. We are an informal group meeting at the Bribie RSL once a month - 38 people turned up to our inaugural meeting and there were quite a few apologies too. 

March will be bigger again I suspect as we have Pauleen Cass as our first visiting guest speaker and she will be talking about Irish ancestors. Can't wait.

The group can be contacted via bribiegenealogy@gmail.com or we have a Facebook page - we are mainly for people living on Bribie Island and the mainland side of Pumicestone Passage. 


Let's not forget RootsTech Connect 2021 now just two weeks away in late February. It's free and virtual so why not register and enjoy a wide variety of speakers and subjects. I am honoured to be one of the speakers with a talk on Digging Deeper in Australian Archives

FHDU 2021 in March 2021 is now virtual and there are four streams to choose from or select all four. 

Prices vary so check out the website for the program and price structure. I have two presentations to record in the next few days - much prefer live audiences and the positive vibes in the venue. 


Not much has happened on the DNA front - I really need more close cousins to test so that I can work out all those non parental events. But slowly chipping away at Dad's biological families. 

Louise Coakley's monthly DNA newsletters are a must read for all the latest news on the testing companies, blogs to read and webinars to watch. 

Downsizing Project

This has continued even though I stopped writing up my progress. I am still weeding paper files, scanning photos and documents, tidying up my genealogy software and adding sources, and writing up the family histories. 

I think writing up the histories is becoming my preferred way to pass on my research. People are more likely to read the history than try to work it out from the database. Yes the software can print out all kinds of reports and includes images and citations but it seems artificial to me. Still writing it up is a lot of work too when you consider I have over a dozen immigrant ancestors. Currently working on Carnegie @ Pumicestone (front page at left and just over 15,000 words!


Over the next few months I am doing a series of talks in Moreton Libraries, (Bribie, Burpengary and Redcliffe) and for Noosa Libraries on the Sunshine Coast. To book a place you need to go to the Library websites.

It will be so good getting out and about again and talking to people about genealogy and family history.

What's New in Australia & New Zealand

A lot of work seems to have been done during 2020.

The easiest way I find to see what has been added recently to FamilySearch is to check by location. If you go to Location (use the map on the Records home page) and select Australia. Open up the list of 33 Indexed Collections and you can see what was added in 2020 and there are even some additions already for 2021. South Australia now has school records, prisons, passenger lists and wills and probates. 

Remember too that not everything is indexed yet in FamilySearch. Scroll down to the Image Only Collections and there are another four collections mostly for Tasmania.

Of course, Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage and The Genealogist have all been adding to their collections. The easiest way I find to keep us is to subscribe to the free enewsletters. 

Until next time happy searching. Stay safe and well.