Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Sands of Time keynote speaker Michelle Patient, AFFHO Congress 2022, NFHM & other news : My Genealogy Weeks 1-15 July 2022

Where did June disappear too? And now it is almost halfway through July. I have been totally absorbed in my project to downsize my family history library and family folders and binders. Not to mention trying to sort boxes of photographs and work out who is who in family albums. Most have been inherited from my grandmother and mother and simply put into the too hard basket. It is amazing how fast time goes when you are totally focussed on something. Plus it has been too cold to do anything outside. Can't remember when Queensland was last this cold!


Obviously I haven't written anything in the past month but I have committed to doing the National Family History Month blog challenge. Alex Daw is the new coordinator for NFHM in August and to support a good friend, I put my hand up. Most of August will be away from home in Norfolk Island or New Zealand, also on NFHM activities, but I will take a laptop and hope for some quiet time.

Bribie Genealogy

Our June meeting had a guest speaker from the National Archives of Australia, Brisbane Office which went really well. There were lots of questions and with the help of my phone, we even did some online searches of the database. Afterwards one of our members can up to me and said that when she put in her maiden name, she came up with a reference to herself. You never know what you might find in the archives!

Bribie U3A

For third term we are looking at Scottish Genealogy so that will be a challenge. I have only researched in Angus and Kincardine which is where my Carnegie and Stratton ancestors are from. 

John Carnegie and his wife Helen Stratton came out to Queensland in 1865 and their grave in the old Toorbul cemetery is the only surviving grave. It is a solid concrete base and the tombstone now lies flat on the grave. Toorbul is across Pumicestone Passage and opposite Bribie Island where I live. Strange to think they settled there back in the 1870s.


I have booked my seat at the virtual NSW & ACT Conference Riding the Waves of History in September. There is a great line up of speakers and interesting talks and all very affordable with no travel costs or accommodation needed. I had been looking forward to doing some research in Newcastle on Dad's family connections but may have to be a separate trip now.

Sands of Time is coming up and I am an ambassador for the conference as well as a keynote speaker.

One of the other keynote speakers is a friend, Michelle Patient and her session looks at DNA and emerging technology and is titled Where to Next. Michelle has a very interesting background as the following bio outlines. What she hopes to gain from attending Sands of Time is also included.

"Descended from engineers, blacksmiths and mechanics it seems inevitable that Michelle has an interest in technology as a tool for researching family history. Apart from being a genealogist and DNA enthusiast, she has qualifications in Chemistry, Geology and Family History and has worked in engineering laboratories and IT.

Growing up with a grandmother whose family stories, photographs, and memorabilia sparked her life-long interest in genealogy. In 1987 Michelle began searching for her English half-sister whom she met in 1993, and in 2005 she reconnected her mother with her birth family. With ancestry ranging from Deep English on her paternal side, she has early Australian military and convicts, Australian & New Zealand early colonists on her maternal side, her personal research covers a wide range of British Isles Diasporas and early Down Under research. She has separated facts from fiction, uncovering stories of will disputes, adoptions, children being given away, bankruptcies, and murder-suicides.


Adding DNA research to her genealogy tool kit has increased the range of Michelle’s methods, revealed skeletons, and broken down many brick walls. Michelle is an active member of the Society of Australian Genealogists and the Guild of One Name Studies, is a member of APG and is the DNA consultant behind the Australian SBS TV series Every Family has a Secret . Since March 2020 Michelle co-hosts the fortnightly Talking Family History virtual lounge with Fiona Brooker."


What am I hoping for?

I hope my closing address will help motivate and inspire attendees to focus the information they have learnt over the weekend, improving their research skills and by applying new technologies, help gather new evidence and as well as become more efficient and effective in their genealogy practice.

Personally I am really looking forward to chatting with people in real life and feeling the vibe and buzz of the event, so excited to be able to being with so many from around Queensland, as well as interstate.


One thing I did do in June was talk and both in person and virtual. The lovely people at Monash Library in Melbourne asked me back for a session on online newspapers both in Australia and in Britain and Ireland.

It was great to visit the Strathpine Library family history group again and my talk there was on convicts. 

The slides to both talks are on my website under the Resources page. 

What's Coming Up?

In our convict outfits with the Commandant
Starting to get excited about the AFFHO Congress on Norfolk Island which is now sold out. We fly out at the end of July for a week and I have one talk on Max's convict ancestors Samuel Pyers and Susannah Johnson who married there during the First Settlement. 

We have been twice before but looking forward to another visit. 

After a quick trip home, we are heading out again to New Zealand for the Family History expo  where I am giving a session on Trans Tasman miners and a talk at Auckland Library on Where Else Can I Look.

 After some time at Rotorua it is down to Christchurch for there NFHM expo and some time at Queenstown before heading back home.

These will be our first trips overseas since covid so hopefully everything will go smoothly. I am really looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues in person. Email and Zoom is not quite the same. 

Hoping everyone stays safe and well in this third covid wave. Keep researching and writing those family stories. Until next time, Shauna

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