Saturday 6 March 2021

Short month, lots of genealogy: Australia & New Zealand Genealogy Notes February 2021

Wow the 28 days of February went past so quickly. But a huge month for doing nothing but watch webinars. One of the reasons this blog post is a week late.


Hard to believe but I still haven't started The Chester Creek Murders by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. I have been waiting for some extra spare time so that I can read uninterrupted. I have a week away at Noosa and Caloundra at the end of March. It will be perfect motel reading. 

Bribie Genealogy

Time was spent on putting together an email list (doubles as membership) and preparing for the March meeting. 

Our April meeting is Good Friday so we will be having a Zoom meeting on Easter Saturday instead. We have even started to think about having a second meeting a month in the evening. It is really good to see so many enthusiastic people.


This is where most of my time has been spent. Finalising handouts for the FHDU conference in March as well as trying to record my presentation using Powerpoint rather than Zoom. I found it really limiting and stopped the flow of my usual style when giving a talk. Still a learning exercise and technology continues to get better and better. Now that it is virtual, the overall package is cheaper than it was in person. That's a plus but I will miss the personal catch ups.

Of course RootsTech Connect took up three days and nights and it was amazing how you could get caught up in the frenzy of trying to do everything. I scored a few freebies in the Exhibition Hall but will do a blog post soon on how I found the whole experience. The Twitter #ANZAncestryTime topic last week (Tuesdays 7pm Brisbane time) was on RootsTech so I picked up more tips to follow up. 

The talks are still online and if you search for Oceania you will pick up most of the Australia and New Zealand talks. My talk on Australian Archives was well received and there were a few people in the chat room and one person even found her ancestor after hearing one of my tips on spelling variants. 

All RootsTech Connect speakers were sent a gift package which was unexpected and a lovely way to end an amazing experience. Thanks to all the people behind the scenes. 

Plus on the spur of the moment I decided to attend The Family History Show on 20 February which was only about $10AU. I have done a blog post on the conference and it is funny how it took about to 2011 and an article I wrote for Discover Your Ancestors. Small world. Read the report here


My talk at Bribie Island Library on What's In A Surname was well received and the Where Do I Start beginners session at Noosaville Library has a very enthusiastic audience. Both events booked out. Another talk on Using Ancestry's DNA Tools is coming up for Noosaville. I have been asked to do a webinar for The Surname Society in March. 

I'm also back at U3A as the person doing the beginners course can no longer do it. Therefore in Term 2 I will be trying to confine myself to beginner methodology. Hope they don't find me too overwhelming. Actually it will be good to get back to basics. Another plus is that  they can come along to Bribie Genealogy meetings. 

See where I am speaking on the Events page of my website. 

What's New in Australia & New Zealand

If you subscribe to the free Trove enews, you can get the latest on what's new in Trove. There is also a link to the enews on the home page of Trove. For example, the February news was that four newspaper titles for each of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia were added, varying date ranges. 

I was interested in these three in particular:

  • Nowra Colonist (NSW) 1899-1904
  • The Telegraph and Shoalhaven Advertiser (NSW) 1879-1881
  • Windsor & Richmond Gazette (NSW) 1888-1961.
Two of my great grandmother Elizabeth Price's children were born in the Shoalhaven area in the 1880s. 
Sign up to Trove at the bottom of the February newsletter

Also remember it is a new calendar year and many of the BDM indexes are now available for another year. Some states like NSW update through the year, while others don't. This also applies to state archives and that means another year of closed series is now available. You really do need to go back and check for additional records at the start of each calendar year.

FamilySearch added New Zealand electoral rolls 1865 to 1957 adding just over 3.5 million names to the records for New Zealand. With trans Tasman families there's another search I need to do. 

Findmypast added quite a few interesting records for my English and Irish families and Ancestry updated its Australia and New Zealand Obituary Index 2004 to the present. Also some UK WW1 pension records which interest me. 

If you subscribe to the free enews from the archives, libraries and resources that are of interest to your research it really is easy to see what's new. However, beware of bright shiny objects which may tempt you away from a planned research strategy. 

Have a wonderful research time in March. Stay well and safe.