Wednesday 21 September 2022

Sands of Time Speakers, FHDU 2022 & Other Genealogy News: My Genealogy Week 15 - 22 September 2022

There is so much happening at present that a few extra Diary posts are needed.

Bribie Genealogy

We have been an informal group that grew out of the genealogy group at Bribie U3A and went onto Zoom during Covid. We met weekly and motivated each other. Since the end of lockdowns we have gone back to in person monthly meetings at Bribie RSL. Now I am part of a working group that is looking at incorporation for the group. There are advantages to this not least the ability to apply for grants. I would love to see a genealogy fair on Bribie. As well as the constitution and by laws there is the discussion over what will our logo be? Interesting times.

Bribie Genealogy September meeting


Sands of Time at Redcliffe on 21-23 October 2022 is almost here. Just four weeks away! I am so excited about a local conference so close to Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Not to mention that it is a good excuse for a holiday in Queensland. As Ambassador I have had the pleasure of interviewing some of our speakers and presenting them through this blog. Check past blogs for Michelle Patient, Eric Kopittke and Liesl Harrold.

Now meet Mark Finnane Professor of History at Griffith University in Brisbane.

Tell me a little about yourself and your interest in history?

I am an academic historian, Professor of History at Griffith University. For me history is a fundamental knowledge, most basically it’s about the stories we tell about ourselves in the world we live in. And just as the world is constantly changing, the stories we tell also change, helping to explain ourselves to others as well as provide a way of thinking about our place in the present and the kind of future we want or wish to avoid.

With my colleagues in this presentation (a number of staff and students associated with the Harry Gentle Resource Centre and the Prosecution Project, both hosted at Griffith University) we are providing an overview of the ways in which academic history is using, and producing, records that are commonly also used in family and community histories more generally.

Your talk sounds fascinating - what led to your interest in this topic?

As researchers who are working every day with archives and genealogical sources in our various projects we thought it would be useful to reflect on our work for an audience that is different from the academic world in which we collect and interpret historical sources. We want to highlight the work that historians do in contextualising the data we access. We want to demonstrate also some of the products of this work, especially in digital form, accessible to all those able to access the web.

What do you hope to experience/learn from attending Sands of Time?

We are particularly interested in hearing from those using genealogical sources about the kinds of challenges they face in accessing material that answers their questions – and what they know that might be useful in our future research collecting and making accessible data about individual, family and community histories

Is there anything else that you would like attendees to know?

We are keen to let people know about resources we are working on that provide information that may be useful for family and community histories – particularly the new Harry Gentle Resource Centre Dictionary of Biography focussed on the peoples who lived in colonial Queensland. We are also interested in highlighting the role of community volunteer historians who assist in the transcription of historical sources including data for the Prosecution Project.


Next is my keynote address at the Sands of Time conference at Redcliffe.

I have four talks for the Coffs Harbour & District Family History Society at the end of October.

At Family History Downunder 2022 in Sydney in November I am giving two talks. So many of my favourite speakers all in the same conference venue. 

Choosing which session to attend will be hard but I can always watch the others later. Plus the chance to catch up in person with so many friends and colleagues.

That will then make a grand total of 37 talks in 2022! Perhaps I talk too much!

U3A Bribie

For the 4th term we are going to try something new. Instead of me just sitting there lecturing the group we are going to try and tackle brick walls together. There is good wifi access so we will be able to do live searches and a white board to note key points. It should be a good interactive learning experience for all. The hard part will be getting people to not be too shy in putting forward their thoughts/experiences. 

By popular demand Irish Genealogy will be the focus of Term 1 2023. Why am I not surprised?

What's Coming Up?

Christmas at a fast pace but I don't mind so much this year as I will be in Sweden having a white (hopefully) Yule time with my son and baby grandson. We haven't seen each other since they moved there three years ago so it will be a wonderful catch up. 

Before then I hope to get more of my draft family histories completed and printed for final edits. I cannot edit without a red pen in my hand and a paper copy. Talk about a dinosaur but reading on paper just highlights errors for me. 

Have success with your searching or whatever other genealogy activity you do this week. Until next time Shauna

Theo at four months, supercute.

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Sands of Time earlybird extended & other genealogy news: My Genealogy Fortnight 1-14 September 2022

 Attending genealogy conferences and expos always motivate me. I come home and I'm superexcited to follow up on the tips and tricks from the speakers. What else can I find out about my ancestors? But new research always takes me away from downsizing and tidying up my 45 years of research. My writing up of the family histories falls by the wayside as I chase new records. This month the plan is to do more scanning and writing and less research - not sure I can do that but that's the plan.


No missing our hotel!
Finally got around to writing up my notes from the AFFHO Congress on Norfolk Island and the family history expos in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand. Read Geneatravel in National Family History Month.


The trouble with reading Diana Gabaldon's books is that they are so big and with small print. That takes up a lot of reading time. Still I am almost at the end of the first book Cross Stitch aka Outlander and I have the second book from the library. I will have to tackle that in case someone else wants to reserve it. I would hate to return a book I hadn't finished reading!


As a Sands of Time ambassador I have the pleasure of introducing another one of the speakers at the conference in October in Redcliffe. 

Meet Liesl Harrold

Tell me a little about yourself and your interest in history?

I grew up listening to my family discussing family history and brick walls. By the time I was in high school, I was doing family history research unsupervised and getting close to 100% in history. At university, I completed a Regional and Town planning degree which included writing a thesis titled, The Recycling of Public Heritage buildings for commercial purposes: A [Queensland] Treasury building case study. I have worked in historical and statistical research roles including managing the work histories team which was tasked with researching the histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to support their claim for the Stolen wages class action. I have also completed both the certificate and diploma courses with the Society of Australian Genealogists and taught various family history courses.

Your talk sounds fascinating - what led to your interest in this topic?

In working with beginner researchers, I have found that mistakes are often made because their methodologies are missing key elements. The missing elements are vital for unlocking evidence and proof. Left long enough, the omission becomes habitual and we find ourselves forever looking but never finding. My presentation aims to showcase the essential elements of the proof standard, research cycle and research techniques which will hopefully help the researcher make discoveries.

 What do you hope to experience/learn from attending Sands of Time?

I am looking forward to the opportunity of hearing from some great speakers and share some of my adventures in research. I am especially looking forward to meeting people face to face and having a good yarn about all things history.

Earlybird registration has been extended to 23 September so don't miss out. It will be at Redcliffe (close to Brisbane), Queensland on 21-23 October 2022. 

New Resources

FamilySearch have added two expanded Australian collections :

  •  Australia, Albany, Inward passenger lists 1873-1924 (also available from the National Archives of Australia website)
  • Australia, Victoria, Wills, probate and administration files 1841-1926 (also available from the Public Record Office Victoria website)
The British Newspaper Archive added more new titles including:
  • Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Commercial Daily Advertiser 1846-1849, 1851-1872, 1874-1876, 1880, 1885-1897, 1899
  • Harrogate Advertiser and Weekly List of Visitors 1865,1877,1880, 1889
Note the missing years. It is always necessary to check coverage to see if the dates that you want are covered by whatever database you are searching.


Sally Romano our September 
guest speaker
The September meeting of Bribie Genealogy had Sally Romano from Brisbane telling us all about writing a family history. Sally shared how she had written her own Days of Yore and gave tips and tricks that she learnt from that experience. She also stayed to lunch with some of our members and it was good to socialise again.

It seems I am having a rest from talking in September (apart from U3A). But I do have my keynote session at Sands of Time in October to finalise.

Also in October I have the road trip down to Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales. Giving several presentations on the Saturday for the Coffs Harbour District Family History Society. 

Also a bit strange to be booking in talks for 2023 but I now have some for Moreton Libraries and one for the Association of Professional Genealogists. 

What's Coming Up Next?

Fourth term of Bribie U3A will be about Family History Brickwalls. I'm hoping that as an interactive class we might be able to help each other solve our genealogy mysteries. Sounds better than me doing all the talking all the time.

Bribie Genealogy 
Our October meeting of Bribie Genealogy has Helen Smith as our guest speaker talking about dating photographs. This is a topic of huge interest to our members so it will be great to have Helen in person. Last time covid reared its ugly head and we had to Zoom. 

As I said at the beginning, I am ignoring all bright shiny objects for the time being, and doing some serious family history writing this month. And scanning, which is not as interesting as writing but just as important. Wish me luck. 

Happy researching until next time. Shauna

Sunday 4 September 2022

Geneatravelling, NFHM & upcoming geneaconferences & other news: My Genealogy Weeks 1-31 August 2022

 Where did August go? There was a feast of genealogy events across Australia and New Zealand and I hope that you managed to attend at least one or two.

Auckland Expo



Christchurch Expo
in the Library 
Thanks to all my travelling over the last four weeks I haven't written anything. But I have notes from the AFFHO Congress on Norfolk Island and the family history expos in Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand.

 Next on my list of things to do is a write up of the three events which were excellent. Some great speaker sessions and so good to talk to exhibitors in person again. 

Wearing a mask was still a pain but I have managed to successfully dodge covid so far.


I have finally discovered Diana Gabaldon's series of books on historical Scotland. Currently reading Cross Stitch (title in the UK) but more commonly known as Outlander in the US. The local second hand bookshop had a number of titles in the series so I scooped them up and managed to get Book 2 from the Bribie Library.

Of course everyone just says why don't you just watch the series? My preference has always been to read the books first. Often I am disappointed in the television version. Although one exception to that would be the Poldark series with Aidan Turner! I had heard of the series Outlander but never felt compelled to watch.

Sunset on Norfolk Island
before theconference fish fry

The opening speaker for National Family History Month (more later) was Larissa Behrendt and she gave an excellent address on writing fictional family history. I had not come across her books before so I checked out the local Moreton Libraries and there were two sitting on the shelf in other libraries. 

My reservation of both books meant they were delivered to Bribie Library the next day. Amazing service. The only bad news was Moreton Libraries didn't have her first book and again I am a bit of a stick in the mud. I like to read books in order. Might buy the ecopy if there is one.

Either way I have a heap of books to read.


Our own Sands of Time Conference is coming up quickly on 21-23 October. Early bird registration has been extended so not too late to make plans to attend. Redcliffe is a bayside suburb of Brisbane and just across the waterway from Bribie Island so I won't have to travel far. I have been working on my keynote talk and also undertaking my ambassador duties for the conference. 

November sees me travelling to Sydney for the Family History Down Under 2022 conference which will be mega. Check out the program and it is a hybrid so you can participate from anywhere. 

National Family History Month

Both the opening and closing events for National Family History Month are available under the Videos tab on the home page. I really recommend both events if you want to hear some thought provoking views of family history.

During August Alex Daw (aka Family Tree Frog), and coordinator of NFHM, ran a blogging challenge. See her first post outlining the challenge here.


I seem to have done a lot of talking lately at Norfolk Island, Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand and Noosaville the day after I got back home. No rest for the wicked. As usual the slides from the presentations can be seen on the Resources page of my website.

I have also been giving my sessions on Scottish Genealogy to the Bribie U3A group.

What's Coming Up Next?

In two weeks we have the Riding the Waves of History Conference which is the virtual conference from the NSW &ACT Association of Family History Societies.There is an excellent program to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own homes. 

Term 4 at Bribie U3A will be all about demolishing family history brick walls. I wonder how many will sign up for that class?

Plus I want to find some more time to write my own family histories and continue my scanning saga of documents and photographs. I also need to resist the urge to do additional research which is why I never seem to finish any family history draft. 

Enjoy all the geneaoffering available online and I hope you make some exciting discoveries with all the new resources.

Until next time, take care and stay safe. Shauna