Tuesday 13 July 2021

Irish Genealogy, Winter Blues, New Resources & Other News: Australia and Zealand Genealogy News June 2021

 During June I had a couple of private genealogy research jobs and both involved lots and lots of convicts going back to the First Fleet. Such a confusing time with so many convicts sharing the same name, no civil registration and a lack of newspapers in those early days. The Biographical Database of Australia can help to sort some of the convicts out but often there are still doubts and questions. 

Anyway I felt mentally drained so we decided to have a few days away and with uncertainty around border closures, we ended up holidaying at Caloundra and could see the northern tip of Bribie Island from our balcony. There is lots of history in the area and a day trip up to Rainbow Beach was a breath of fresh air, literally. No masks required and hard to get used to again on our return. 

My badges from 2018 Congress

July is a busy month workwise - one research enquiry, one genealogy mentoring client, preparing for the 9 week Irish genealogy class at U3A and doing presentations for National Family History Month in August - two are on Norfolk Island as part of the AFFHO Genealogy Congress (in person) and one for Caloundra Family History Research via Zoom. Finally, someone who won one of my two hour genealogy sessions at an earlier event has worked out where she needs help. Just hope that I will be able to help her.


The nice thing about a few days off is that you can escape with a good book or two. My brother has talked me into reading the five (large) volume work by Conn Iggulden on the history of Genghis Khan and his family. Fascinating, addictive and hard to put down once started. 

Back in 1996 I travelled through Inner Mongolia and China and found the history, architecture, costumes, culture and food so different from our own. In some ways the books are like a family history because they give such detail on the daily lives of the individuals and how they lived. And probably more like family history on steroids!

Irish Genealogy

My great grandmother - her
parents were from Wicklow

With the discovery that Dad's biological family were Irish, I have been more interested in Irish genealogy. One half of his ancestors are from County Antrim, one quarter from County Wicklow and the other quarter from Scotland (Angus). I have found so many interesting websites and resources that  I have turned it into a 9 week U3A course on researching Irish genealogy. The best part is that I am using my own family examples to highlight how the resources help to establish a family timeline from cradle to the grave. Plus I am looking forward to those attending sharing their own knowledge of Irish genealogy. 

New Resources

As usual, lots of new resources were released during June by the big database companies. FamilySearch added more entries to their Papua New Guinea and Samoa collections. 

Ancestry added more to their Australian records including one of my favourites - Sydney, Australia, Anglican Parish Registers, 1814-2021. Many people think this is just for Sydney but it is the Sydney Anglican diocese which stretches north, south and west of Sydney, much further than you might think. 

Check it out if you have Anglican ancestors as it is possible to see baptism and marriage registers. Certainly cheaper than paying for a certificate.

SHHE (Shauna Hicks History Enterprises) Free Enewsletter

With the demise of Feedburner as a enews reminder that a new edition of Diary is out, I have decided to start up my own free genealogy enewsletter. This will go out when there is a new Diary post or a post from my Genie Rambles blog on my website. Other news may also be included. You can subscribe for free from the Home page.

I would like to thank all those who have followed Diary via Feedburner over the years. The support was always encouraging and I hope to continue informing and inspiring readers for many more years. 

I have missed a few weeks of this but if you have a free Tuesday evening then think about joining #ANZANCESTRYTIME – an online event for Australian & New Zealand family historians to meet up on Twitter to chat, share ideas and help each other. Join Fran Kitto, Sharn White and Pauleen Cass for a chat on Tuesday evenings 7pm Brisbane time.  You need to sign up for Twitter, but you do not have to be an active participant just listen to what is being discussed.  Although it is hard not to want to add your own two cents worth. 

Convict connections on a
previous visit to Norfolk Island

What's Coming Up

My trip/holiday to Norfolk Island for the launch of National Family History Month and the AFFHO Genealogy Congress, covid permitting. 

U3A classes and my Zoom session with Caloundra on letters and diaries for family history research. Plus my second guest blog post for the Genealogical Society of Queensland is due in July. 

Time really flies when you are interested in family history. Until next time, happy searching.