Saturday 10 April 2021

FHDU 2021 megafest, new resources: Australia & New Zealand Genealogy Notes March 2021

Wow a huge month with more genealogy webinars to watch than programs on television! 

Plus I sneaked away for a week's holiday with a Canberra HAGSOC (now Family History ACT) friend to the Sunshine Coast. Lots of genealogy discussion over that week too. Had lunch with geneamates at Buderim which was good, catching up in person. Got home just before we went into the snap lockdown. 

Without fail my Easter orchid continues to deliver year after year. The colours are gorgeous but I think it is time to divide and have two Easter orchids next year. Or a bigger pot!


Also on holiday with me was Nathan Dylan Goodwin's The Chester Creek Murders: A Venator Cold Case which is the first installment of his new book series. 

I have yet to do my review but as usual Nathan has written a gripping read and I predict the series will be as big a hit as his Morton Farrier series. 

It was also a pleasure to listen to Nathan speak about how he does his research in the FHDU Methodology stream. Thankfully the motel's free wi fi was up to letting me watch it live.

During the month I also received the latest Traces magazine, Discover Your Ancestors No 9, and a number of digital genealogy journals and magazines. The paper ones sit on the chair, and the digital ones disappear out of sight. Despite my best intentions. 

My latest thoughts on how to manage my digital reading is to list items as they arrive in my inbox and then tick them off when I have read them. Also with the intention of reading them within 7 days so that they don't become a serious backlog. Discipline - not a strong point for me with so many other things to capture my geneattention.

Bribie Genealogy & Bribie U3A

Our March meeting was a success with Pauleen Cass our guest speaker giving us lots of tips for our Irish research. Pauleen also had a very useful handout for members.

Somehow I was talked into taking over the Bribie U3A beginners class. My fear is that I will be too much for them so I am making my weekly classes as basic as I can. I suspect that the attendees will have varied experience which just makes aiming the level of the class that much harder. Still it should be fun. The idea is that attendees will go from the beginners class to joining Bribie Genealogy

Our April meeting falls on Good Friday so I organised a military talk via Zoom for those interested. 


FHDU 2021 was the big event in March and was in the end a totally virtual event. But that saw more talks offered. Four streams on DNA, Abroad, Australia & New Zealand and Methodology meant that people could attend one, two or all streams. 

Being the geneaddict that I am, I have all four streams to watch. Now to find the time. Bit like my digital reading! Plus I need to write a blog post. 

In case you missed it and are interested, it is still possible to purchase access to the different webinar streams. See the link above.

My next conference is the AFFHO Congress 2021 on Norfolk Island. I am giving a paper on the Pyers/Johnson family. AFFHO have also asked me to speak at the launch of NFHM 2021 which is an honour. That should be an amazing week in a place that I love for its beauty and simplicity of lifestyle. 


I talk too much! I was pleased to accept a last minute offer to give a talk at The Surname Society's AGM and seminar day. Basically I reworked one of my previous talks into how to find surnames in archives downunder. It was also a good opportunity to hear talks on Library and Archives Canada, (now to look for more of my Canadian cousins), National Archives UK and Archives New Zealand presented by Fiona Brooker. A great tour of their online catalogue Archway.

Talks are coming up at Noosa Libraries, Moreton Libraries and other places but I can't mention those yet. Details of my upcoming talks are always on the Events pages of my website.

Plus those close by can come along to Bribie Genealogy on the 1st Friday of the month, 9.15am at Bribie RSL.


There hasn't been much action on my website in recent months as I was hijacked and it cost a small fortune to remove malware and whatever else. I am truly grateful to my IT person for sorting it all out and now I just have to start blogging again. 

There will also be a fresh look to reflect on my new approach to life post cancer and covid, although the latter may still be around for a while yet.

What's New in Australia & New Zealand

Do you subscribe to the Trove enewsletter? It is the easiest way to see what newspaper titles have been added to Trove during the month. For example in March 2021 they added: 

  • Sunraysia Daily (Vic: 1920-1927)
  • The Mildura and Merbein Sun (Vic: 1921)
  • The Mildura Irrigationist (Vic: 1892-1893)
  • The Merbein Irrigationist and Murray Valley Soldiers' Gazette (Vic: 1919-1920)
  • The Mildura Irrigationist and Murray River Agricultural Times (Vic: 1888)
  • The Mildura Irrigationist and Murray River Cultural Advocate (Vic: 1891 - 1892)
  • Noosa News (Qld: 1968-1974)
  • Noosa Advocate (Qld: 1911-1929)
  • Noosa Advocate and Cooroora Advertiser (Qld: 1929-1934).

Great news for those with Mildura, Victoria or Noosa, Queensland families. My son's GG grandfather John Barrow Atkinson was one of the early people to buy land at Noosa. If only the family had held on to it!

Similarly I subscribe to the enews from various state archives to see what has been indexed or digitised. In the March Now & Then from State Archives and Records New South Wales I discovered that the  Protestant male orphan school register 1850-1886 has been digitised and is online. These enewsletters are easy to read and often contain useful hints on searching or advertising a new webinar on a family history topic.

While not Australasian, the FamilySearch enewsletter each month has new records from around the world and is always worth a browse. There were new French and German collections and some for various English counties. By knowing what has been added, you can simply search that collection if it is relevant to your ancestral search areas.

April is a big month for talks, more doctor visits (check ups), U3A beginning family history classes, a 4 day visit from my brother, the Bribie Historical Society meeting and setting time aside to watch some of my FHDU webinars. I wonder what bright shiny object will grab my attention this coming month? 

Take care and stay safe. Happy geneasearching until next month.