Monday 21 March 2022

Women's history month, History For Ukraine & Other News: My Genealogy Week 15-21 March 2022

More or less back to weekly recording. Can't believe how many talks I committed to in the first three months of 2022. For those who like statistics I did six talks in February - 2 in person and 4 via Zoom. I also will do six talks in March - 1 in person and two recorded and three live webinars. Thank goodness U3A 1st term was cancelled or I would be talked out. 


Finished my blog post on my RootsTech Connect 2022 experience and you can read it here. Of course with the sessions online until next year, it hasn't really finished. My plan is to try and watch at least one a week to get through my playlist of talks. 

Catching up with 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks will be my next blogging challenge. I have done Weeks 1-7 so far and you can see them on my website's blog page.


At the Bribie Library I found the latest Louise Penny book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. Book 16 no less so I grabbed it off the shelf. How could I resist? Currently reading and enjoying All the Devils Are Here. The really good news is that Book 17 is on the way.

After that it will be back to Book 3 in the Ela of Salisbury series. 


I have just confirmed that I still want to be a speaker at Family History Down Under 2022 in November and I will be doing two talks. Certainly hoping that this will be an in person event as well as the online stream. It has been way too long since we have had a megafest of genealogy in Australia. 

The beauty of Norfolk Island

Before that I will be enjoying the AFFHO Congress on Norfolk Island in August. I hope I remember how to find my way around the airport. 


I have volunteered to give a presentation at the History For Ukraine 24 hour history/genealogy fundraising event. My session is on Ukrainians in Australia and I will be using documents from the National Archives of Australia to tell some of their stories.

Other downunder speakers are Fiona Brooker, Michelle Patient and Rachel Croucher. Fiona, Michelle and Maggie Gaffney are also co hosting the down under session. Check out all the details and times on the History for Ukraine website. Thanks to Michelle for working out the correct times for us.

Times for the Down Under part of the program

There are some great speakers from all over the world and it is a very worthy cause. This coming weekend so make sure you find some time and join us if you can.

New Resources

Trove is celebrating Women's History month in March and their latest blog is Remarkable Women in Trove which features three interesting women. 

Back in 2016, I wrote a Women's History month blog post on my four great grandmothers. Read about them here. Have you researched your female ancestors this month? If not, there is still a week left in March. 


I have prerecorded a talk on Australasian probate records for THE Genealogy Show Spring Event 1-3 April. That same week I will be doing a live webinar for Legacy Family Tree Webinars on free genealogy websites. Plus at the end of the week another trip to Noosaville Library for a session on military ancestors. A mega week for me. Check the Events page of my website for details.

Denis Patrick Finn my 2nd great uncle was underage when he enlisted in WW1

The good news is that the rest of April is free from speaking engagements. Although I will be tutoring a 9 week course on English genealogy at Bribie U3A.

What's Coming Up?

Don't miss the History for Ukraine event. It starts 10pm Brisbane time on the Saturday night 26 March and my session is 5pm on the Sunday 27 March afternoon. 

Tidying up my records is temporarily halted as I have rediscovered my medieval ancestors (thanks to Ela of Salisbury). Some decades ago now I was given our Cornish family history back to William the Conqueror (yes I know its perhaps dubious). However I still find it fascinating and of course now there are more online resources for me to check the accuracy of the previous research. 

Have a wonderful week of research, webinars or simply reading a good book. Until next time, Shauna

Wednesday 16 March 2022

RootsTech Connect & Other News: My Genealogy Fortnight 1-14 March 2022

What a fantastic fortnight which included the geneamegafest of RootsTech Connect. It was good to watch some live stream but my personal preference was to watch in my own time. I hope you all had a chance to participate and remember the sessions will be available for the next 12 months. 

I also liked the Connect with Relatives and managed to have a few good connections on Mum's side. Should help with some of my DNA matches. 


Well behind with my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks genealogy blog challenge but I do have some posts drafted. My main problem is trying to find images to suit the posts. I mostly have to go with images of places as I don't have many photos of my families. 

A week away with limited internet plus I try to have down time when away, meant I did more touristy things than genealogy. 

Meet the Big Pelican at Noosaville. A great restaurant strip nearby on Gympie Terrace.

Bribie Genealogy

Given all the flooding and the uncertainty of the weather, we changed from an in person meeting to a Zoom meeting. 

Our guest speaker was Judy Lofthouse and she spoke about using Findmypast and also looked at the 1921 census. I like that we can record Zoom sessions with the speaker's consent but I also miss the in person chat and lunch afterwards.

Bribie U3A

First term was cancelled due to covid, but second term is going ahead and I agreed to do English Genealogy this term. Most of the sessions have been completed as it was meant to be last term. Although I will have to check as there have been changes to a number of sites since then. It will be nice working with a group of people again and trying to help them with their English genealogy.


Finally read The Foundlings by Nathan Dylan Goodwin and really enjoyed it. 

Now onto the Ela of Salisbury medieval murder series by J G Lewis. I like starting a new author and book series as I know that there are more books to follow when I finish one. Or at least until the series runs out. 

One of the things I really did enjoy on the hols was having a number of the Ela books on my Ipad. Now on to Book 3. 

Spotted this cute little houseboat while cruising on Noosa River - imagine how many books you could read there uninterrupted.

The Ela mysteries have also led me to dig out my medieval family lines as they cover the same time period which makes it even more fascinating to me.


Just going back to RootsTech, Fran Kitto (fellow member of Caloundra Family History Research) posted a blog RootsTech 2022 Conference Update to remind our members that the sessions are still available. All societies should encourage their members to have a look at the sessions. So much to learn.

 I attended the Scottish Indexes Conference last weekend which was really good as usual. The handouts are useful to refer back to. The next conference is on 3 September 2022 which seems ages away. Registration is already open and its free - although if you value these conferences, a donation is always appreciated.


My two sessions at RootsTech were Mining Ancestors and Making the Most of the National Archives of Australia. There is a handout for both talks as well.

My first talk for Moreton Libraries in 2022 will be at Caboolture Library on organising your DNA matches without the headache. 

I have also agreed to give a short talk on Ukranians in Australia as part of the History for Ukraine 24 hour event. It will be on 26 March.

My talks and where they are being held are listed on the Events page of my website. 

What's Coming Up Next?

My new research guide Australian Genealogy Online is now available for sale from Gould Genealogy & History. Click here for details. My copies should arrive this coming week. Looking forward to seeing the final result.

Also excited about some new work projects which should kick off in late March.

Should be back to weekly updates now that I am home.

Have a wonderful week researching and until next time take care and stay safe. Shauna

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Shipboard diaries, ancestral epidemics & other news: My Genealogy Week 22 - 28 February 2022

February is always a short month but it still went faster than anything. 

We were trapped at home by floodwaters and almost driven mad by incessant rain for six days. Watching all those who lost their homes and businesses all the way along the south east Queensland coast was heartbreaking. The weather event is still going on in NSW with towns flooded and isolated. Brisbane is starting her big clean up. 

Mother Nature in February at her worst. Also a very stark reminder to make sure our family history records are backed up, stored safe and accessible to others.


Trying to keep up with my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks genealogy blog challenge. Here is Week 7 which looked at my GGG grandfather Robert Fegan/Fagan from Glasnarget South, County Wicklow, Ireland. Week 8 will be next after this blog post. 

There was also an additional blog post this month as a guest blogger for the Genealogical Society of Queensland. I do this twice a year. The topic for my first 2022 post was ancestral epidemics. My ancestor was the only one in her family to survive a cholera epidemic. Do you ever think about all the coincidences in life and brings us to where we are today? If she had died, I wouldn't be here and that is probably repeated in other family lines. Enough philosopy, read about the 1832 cholera epidemic in the UK Midlands here. 


Back in December as a Christmas present to myself, I had a buying spree on Amazon and purchased Nathan Dylan Goodwin's The Foundlings and the seven book series Ela of Salisbury medieval mysteries by J G Lewis as ebooks. Then promptly forgot about them as ebooks are not the same as print books piled up on the bedside table to read. 

Almost finished The Foundlings and as always a great Morton Farrier story. The Ela of Salisbury books I purchased as my White family were from the Salisbury area and I liked the Brother Cadfael mysteries. Plus Ela was a real person and has an entry in Wikipedia Ela of Salisbury. The series is next on the list to read.

Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, founded by
 Ela of Salisbury in 1229 via Wikipedia


RootsTech Connect is almost upon us and I will be giving two talks. There is an amazing range of topics and speakers plus they are offering some talks from 2021 as well. 

I also love the Relatives at RootsTech app and when I first looked I only had 50 connections, then that jumped up to 187 connections but none closer than 4th cousin once removed. Some were even from Australia and New Zealand which was interesting but most were in the USA. That can be useful for working out the more distant DNA matches.

New Resources

Front cover of the Yelland diary
that I received decades ago 
During the week I was contacted by someone who reads my blogs. Nothing new there but her ancestors were on the same immigrant ship as my John Finn and Sarah Fegan. Her ancestor wrote a shipboard diary of his time on the Mairi Bhan and she sent me a copy. 

I already had a copy from another descendant and was able to share that. Shipboard diaries are not that common and we have two for the 1878 voyage of the Mairi Bhan. While similar, both diarists commented on different aspects of the voyage. 

If I didn't blog, I would not have this exciting new insight into my GG grandparents voyage to Queensland. Everyone should be blogging their stories.


No talks this week but I did prep some talks for March.

I also hosted on Zoom the monthly meeting of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Australia and New Zealand. It is always good to see each other and catch up on the news.

What's Coming Up?

My new research guide published by Unlock the Past is now available from Gould Genealogy & History, either in print or ebook. So that is very exciting news. 

Bribie Genealogy's March meeting is on Friday 4 March and we have Judy Lofthouse from Brisbane talking about the 1921 Census. There will be our usual lunch afterwards which is a good way to end a busy week.

I have also had a bit of a breakthrough on the unknown biological father of my great grandfather James Carnegie. I have now connected a DNA match to that family line so it is now a matter of trying to work out how and where the intersection happened. That should keep me busy!

Happy researching until next time. Stay safe and well, Shauna