Saturday 30 December 2023

2023 ending, 2024 beginning & what's new: My genealogy weeks 15 - 31 December 2023

2023 went by in a blur. So many great things happened and keeping this Diary helps me to remember just how much I do in a year. 


Jill Ball aka Geniaus has again offered her Accentuate the Positive Geneameme for 2023. Another great way to think about what happened in your genealogy research in 2023. Read my response here.

I have a guest blog for the Genealogical Society of Queensland coming up in January. The big question as always, will be what to write about.

Books & Magazines

For various reasons my attention has been drawn to Charles Dickens and his association with Australia. To my shame, I suspect, I have only ever read Great Expectations for school. To redress this I am currently reading Tom Keneally's That Dickens Boy. Not quite a Charles Dickens novel but a great insight into the Dickens family. It may even inspire me to read a real Dickens book again.

Books are piling up around me, season gifts and Ph D works plus the number on my IPad is growing at an alarming rate. It seems I may have been converted to the convenience of the ebook. 

Also using Moreton Region libraries more and their app Libby which lets me read all those genealogy magazines as part of my library subscription. Not to mention all the ebooks they have.


Not too many on my horizon this year. However, there are lots of webinars and online sessions that I can catch up on. 

Legacy Family Tree Webinars have just announced their 2024 program. Good to see the Down Under series continues with some good Aussie/Kiwi speakers. You can register to watch live for the whole year and its free to watch for the first week after the session. Check it out here.

New Resources

The Australian Home Beautiful
Vol 29 No 7 July 1950
Findmypast added new Kent records, plus opened up more redacted entries in the 1939 Register. There are almost 188,000 of these previously closed records now open. Family history is indeed never ending. Over 90,000 more newspaper pages have been added.   

Trove Treasure in December 2023 and January 2024 and for all our holiday cooking, they have now digitised over 100 classic cookbooks. Confession time. I can spend hours looking at cookbooks, not necessarily cooking, just looking. I can't wait to explore this new collection of cookbooks. 

Or you could read all those wonderful magazines that have also been digitised. Remember the 1950s and all those wonderful hot winter puddings. I loved the pineapple upside down cakes although mine never quite looked like the recipe image.

Over 800,000 images were added to Trove in 2022-2023. More will be coming in 2024 and here is a preview list. Good to see the community cooperation between Trove and regional genealogy societies as well as school and local history groups.


  • Border Morning Mail (1952) [Albury City Libraries]
  • Coolamon Farmers' Review (1910-1917) [Coolamon and District History Group]
  • Coolamon-Ganmain Farmers' Review (1906-1910, 1917-1918) [Coolamon and District History Group]
  • The Pastoral Times and Deniliquin Telegraph (1895-1950) [Deniliquin Genealogy Society Inc]
  • The Seagull (1957-2015) [Tweed River High School]


  • Australijos Lietuvis - The Australian Lithuanian (1948-1956) [Australian Lithuanian Archives]
  • People's Weekly (1890-1926) [State Library of South Australia]
  • Port Lincoln Times (1982-1986) [Port Lincoln History Group]
  • Seasider (1956-1963) [National Trust of SA - Wilunga Branch]
  • South East Kingston Leader (1962-1976) [Kingston Branch of the National Trust of SA]
  • The Standard (1959-1965) [Prospect Local History Group]


  • Gippsland Farmers' and Glengarry, Toongabbie and Cowwarr Journal (1923) [Latrobe City Libraries]
  • Sun News Pictorial (1922-1954) [State Library Victoria]
  • The Journal: Glengarry, Toongabbie and Cowwarr journal (1923-1929) [Latrobe City Libraries]
  • Yarrawonga Mercury and Lake Rowan, Tungamah and Mulwala News (1882) [Yarrawonga Mulwala Historical Society Inc]
  • Yarrawonga Mercury and Mulwala News (1882-1897) [Yarrawonga Mulwala Historical Society Inc]
  • Yarrawonga Mercury and Southern Riverina Advertiser (1897-1905, 1921-1927) [Yarrawonga Mulwala Historical Society Inc]


My list of talks for 2024 so far are now up on the Events page of my website. As usual I am looking forward to presenting and catching up with friends at these events.

My Genie Chat sessions here on Bribie are continuing in 2024 and the first term will look at English genealogy.

What's Coming Up?

January is traditionally a quiet time and there are lots of little catch up tasks on my list. Like sorting out all my travel and family photos from this year. I tend to download them into subject folders and promise myself I will get back to delete the not so good and identify the ones I want to keep. No surprises but I rarely do that so I have quite a bit of tidying up just in my photo folders.

Alice Price and her daughters

I could mention the scanning word, but there are too many projects there. I managed to sort Mum's photos into categories and give my brother some that related to his children. But the little piles of scanning are still sitting on the shelf behind me. In the photo above I am reasonably sure that my son could not identify anyone. Even I'm not sure if that is Mum on the far left, she was a lot younger than her siblings. I do know the rest - from left to right Alice Price nee White, her daughter Beryl, daughter in law Peggy, daughter Mavis and daughter Hazel. 

The Genealogy Squad and Cyndi Ingles has her Filing Friday Facebook challenge and occasionally I have set aside a Friday to just tackle things like filing and scanning. Could I keep it up every week? No for starters the Bribie Family History Association has its monthly meeting on the first Friday. Then there is lunch afterwards. But 3 out of 4 Fridays might make a difference to my photo projects. Have a look at their last post for 2023 and the plan for 2024.

Thank you to all my readers over the year - I have not been as regular with blogging as I hoped. Travel took up quite a few weeks and you can follow those travels through my Facebook page. Your ongoing support of this blog is very much appreciated.

I hope that you have all had a fabulous genealogy time in 2023 and that 2024 will be equally fabulous. Stay safe and well until next time, Shauna

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Parties, Books & Other News: My Genealogy Weeks 21 November - 14 December 2023

 It's party season as every society and group wind down for December and January. 

One of my new projects in the latter half of the year was setting up Genie Chats where a group of locals join me for 90 minutes on Zoom on a Wednesday morning. We record the sessions for those who can't make that time. I decided to throw a Christmas morning tea at my place and it was good to catch up with all those who attended. Lot's of great food and I think when we say 'bring a plate' it should be 'bring a small plate'. But all delicious and the weather was kind.

Dessert at the
Slimmers Christmas party
Also attended the Bribie Family History Association lunch at Botanic at Bribie RSL. We occupied two tables and again great chats and delicious food and drinks. 

The Bribie Slimmers lunch was chicken and ham with potatoes, pumpkin, beans and gravy. For dessert there was the most delicious pavlova. 

Then there was the Bribie Island Historical Society party which was catered by the RSL. The fish fry was magical and all the other plates of hot food and sandwiches were nice. The bar had white and red wine flowing but the orange juice ran out quickly. Less people are drinking and of course, someone has to drive home.


As per usual, I am participating in Jill Ball's annual geneameme Accentuate the Positive which is a recap of our genealogical highlights during the year. I'm part way throught with some questions easier to answer than others. I hope to finish it by Christmas.

Another annual blog challenge I accept is the Genealogical Society of Queensland's guest bloggers list. The lovely Bobbie has me signed up for two guest blogs - one in January and one in June.

I do seem to have lost my blogging mojo. Instead of writing up family stories as a blog post, I am more concentrated on my draft family histories which are largely written. The hard part is adding in sources and adding citations which weren't noted at the time I wrote the draft. I'm getting there but the moral of this story is, note your citations as you go. Ever so much easier.


I have bought more books in the last month than I have all year. Many of them are connected to my PhD research but also some for pleasure. Plus as our local library was closing for a couple of months for building renovation, I ordered in a number of books. Fascinating. Searching the catalogue turned up books in other Moreton libraries which I probably would not have looked for. 

Plus I have to read our designated text for the Bribie Family History Association book club, Graham Robb's The Ancient Paths

Thank goodness I don't have anything on for the rest of December and January.


No new exciting big matches but lots of little ones (over 20cM) are helping me to fill out Dad's side of the family. I am reasonably sure where we fit into those families but it would be good to have a nice Y match. 

Mum's DNA is continuing to throw up Welsh matches and yet I don't have any Welsh in the paper trail. Am I looking at some non parental event or is it further back on a line where I have a brick wall. Something to explore more in 2024.


Christmas dinner last year
in Sweden
Hard to believe but this time last year I was on my way to my son's place in Sweden. My hopes for a white Christmas were dashed but it was frosty. Meeting my little grandson was the highlight of the year. 

The plan for 2024 is to visit them in May when both my grandson and my son celebrate their birthdays. In the meantime I have watched his first steps and now see him marching round the house as if he owns it. Amazing how quick he learnt to walk and he is definitely an active child.

New Resources

Another thing that continually amazes me is all the new records that are added each month to the various online sites. Trove had a downtime of 2 whole days and it was then that I realised I am addicted to Trove. Every day I find myself looking for something for my own genealogy, or a talk I am planning to give or my Ph D research. It has opened up so many stories for us.

What's Coming Up?

No more talks until February but I still have to prepare the talks and that can be time consuming. Check out the Events page of my website to see the dates, places and titles of talks.

With Genie Chats next year I am doing English Genealogy in Term 1.  As I am planning to travel in May there probably won't be a set subject for Term 2 but we might do a few one off topics. 

The plan is to finish at least one of my five family history drafts by 2024. They are all so close but citations are giving me grief. Queensland State Archives have new identification numbers so everything has to be updated and sad to say, some of my orginal citations are not complete.

Stay safe and well and enjoy whatever spare time the Christmas season has for you. 

Until next time, Shauna

Monday 20 November 2023

Travels, books, workshops & other news: My Genealogy Weeks 16 Oct - 17 Nov 2023

Half this month was spent travelling in China. We did the usual things in Beijing and then went to the older areas of Hangshou and Souchou before ending in Shanghai. It was supposed to be autumn and cool but while we were there, they had some of their hottest days in years.

Touring the Imperial Palaces

The Great Wall of China

So many people, cars, bikes and very few accidents that we saw. Traffic was heavy but not gridlocked as their road systems are amazing and mostly above the ground. You only go off the freeways if you want to visit a particular place.

AFFHO & the Nick Vine Hall Awards

One of my new challenges for 2024. I have agreed to convene the NVH awards and I have a report for Council consideration at the November meeting. The plan is to have regular articles in the AFFHO newsletter to remind societies about the Awards which recognise published articles and society journals in Australia and New Zealand.


Bribie Library is closed for some repairs so I ordered in a few books to tide me over until the end of January. A mix of easy reading by the pool to more heavier tomes for my PhD thesis.

Plus the book I selected for the inaugural Bribie Family History Association Book Club via Moreton Libraries also arrived. Thankfully that is not due back till February so I have time to recruit a few more people to make up our ten.

I used to hope for rainy days so I could stay inside and read. Now I turn on the aircon for these incredibly hot and humid November days.

New Resources

Roots Ireland have added some new Cork records - the exact details are in their blog post. I was hoping for earlier records but they all seem to be more later releases.

I've registered for the next Scottish Indexes conference - they are free but with excellent speakers and topics you can give thanks by making a donation. Each presentation is shown twice so you watch all the sessions at a reasonable time no matter where you live.

A Christmas wish to find a photo of my Scottish GGG grandparents John & Helen Carnegie,
buried Toorbul cemetery

We are coming up to the end of the year so not a lot happening. However, one exciting new speaking engagement for me was an appearance at the Really Useful Family History Show held in the UK but virtual. You had to buy a ticket but lots of great talks over last weekend. My slot was Saturday night and all about researching family history in Australia. From the virtual exhibition area I was able to download a society journal from a number of exhibitors and I'm looking forward to having a good read.

2024 calendar is starting to fill out and with the PhD commitment plus my local Genie Chats, I don't want to be too busy with talks. Always hard to say no when it is usually a friend asking for their society. Or it is a paid presentation as that all helps to pay for my travel expenses.

What's Coming Up?

The Christmas tree with lights is already up and all that is left is to put  some more presents under the tree. Even if it is only for us and our inner child.

Love the lights changing colours

My Genie Chats finish for the year next week and I have decided to resurrect the Christmas party at home with the traditional goodie bag. This was something I did back in the day when we were Bribie Zoom Genies. That should be a fun morning.

The last meeting of the year for Bribie Family History Association is a Christmas Quiz hosted by Judy Lofthouse. Afterwards a number of us are staying on for lunch at the Bribie RSL restaurant Botanic. I always feel lost with no meeting in January but as we meet on the first Friday that is early in the month and too close to New Year's Day.

Until next time, stay safe and happy researching. Shauna


Tuesday 17 October 2023

Books, Resources, Talks & Other News : My Genealogy Weeks 1-15 Oct 2024

As I write this we are having a very hot spring day and have had little rain for weeks if not months. 
The garden is suffering even though we have bore water. 

Our beautiful native birds are visiting to drink and swim in our bird baths (fresh water), a real distraction from writing this blog post. There is a bird bath just outside my office window. But I am off to China so this blog post needs to be finished. 

My Ph D thesis is in sync with my family history, so every book or article I read is relevant to one of my family lines. The temptation is to then do more family research. Plus there are so many other resources mentioned in the References and Bibliographies that I don't know what to read next. My PhD completion date is at the end of 2026 so the next three years will be fascinating. 

For example, Janet McCalman's Vandemonians is a great read for anyone with Tasmanian convicts, especially if they then went over to Victoria. 

The Brisbane History Group's publication Brisbane Diseased: Contagious Cures and Controversy (see cover photo below) has a number of relevant articles on alcoholism and venereal diseases. 

My thesis looks at prostitutes, female vagrants and female habitual drunkards in colonial Queensland gaols. One of those was my GG grandmother and I have even found one of Max's distant cousins on the Billson family line. 

We are booked for the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise for December 2024. It is also called the Celebrity Edge Australian Wine Cruise so I will be able to indulge both my passions. 

Seriously it leaves from Sydney, then Hobart, then over to Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, on to Melbourne and finally back to Sydney. Four at sea days devoted to good speakers and topics. May need a holiday after that!

New Resources 

Now here are some serious distractions. 

If you get the Trove newsletter, you find out what is new for the month. For example, the September list of New South Wales digitised newspapers included:

Findmypast released three more Oxfordshire record sets, more baptisms, marriages and burials. Plus almost 100,000 paged from digitised newspapers. My Sweatman and Cooper families were from Deddington, Oxfordshire and my Prickett family were from Fritwell, Oxfordshire. Definitely will have to check these updates out.


There have been talks for Strathpine Library, Legacy Family Tree Webinars and Queensland Family History Society. 

Yesterday was a talk at Caboolture Library on Gedmatch and when I get back from China I am giving a talk Researching in Australia at the Really Useful Family History Show in the UK (virtual). That is looking like a really good weekend of genealogy with some excellent speakers and topics.

That will be my last talk for 2023. The fastest year ever but then I did a lot of travel and the PhD takes up time too.

What's Coming Up?

Christmas! Not quite yet but at Bribie Family History Association we have asked Judy Lofthouse to run her Christmas genealogy quiz at our December meeting. Plus stay on for our Christmas lunch at the RSL's Botanic restaurant.

I have also mapped out our 2024 speakers and members meetings. Maybe that is why I feel that the years go quickly? Planning the next one before the end of this year.

My first and last visit to China was back in 1996 so it will be interesting to see the changes in Beijing and I have not been to the other places on our trip. So all new and exciting.

Until next time, stay safe and happy researching. Shauna

Sunday 1 October 2023

Genie books to read, DNA cousin date & other genealogy news: My genealogy weeks 17 - 30 September 2023

Gorgeous spring weather, the only thing missing is some rain occasionally. My orange crucifix orchids are just beautiful at the moment. The hippeastrums are starting to flower too.

Yet anothe attempt to get back to a fortnightly blog post. Only a couple of days late.


It has been a Kate Grenville feast this fortnight as I finished The Search for the Secret River and Sarah Thornhill the sequel to The Secret River. Both books hard to put down but you need to have read The Secret River first.

Also started reading and finished Ancestry by Simon Mawer. What a great way to write a family history. I was engrossed from beginning to end.

Borrowed all those books from the local library. Did have to put in a request as they were not on Bribie but still within Moreton Bay City Libraries collection. 

So many good books, so little time.

Bribie Family History Association

The next meeting is on Friday 6 October at 9.00am at the Bribie RSL in the Anzac Room. Our speaker is Caroline Jamieson with a talk on writing your own story. Most of us probably think we lead boring lives but we all have stories to tell and leave for our grandchildren and those that follow them.

I have been busy organising the 2024 speaker program and where has this year gone.


This week I met a 4th cousin of my Mum's and we went out to lunch and chatted about all kinds of things. However, we are not sure where the DNA link is. It is only one segment and 14cM in size. The interesting thing is that neither my brother or I inherited that piece of DNA. 

A search on Gedmatch revealed that there are 111 matches to both Mum and her 4th cousin. Sorting through those might give us some clues but as the cousin has Uren in the family, then my guess is a Cornish connection. Mum's 7x great grandmother was a Uren but that seems a long way back and perhaps the connection is closer. Stay tuned.

New Resources

Had an interesting time looking up my North Ireland families in Findmypast's new 1912 Ulster Covenant collection. There are nearly 500,000 names in the dataset. My families were out here in Australia by then but they did leave brothers and sisters behind, as well as parents.

RootsTech 2024 

I'm not going to Salt Lake City in person in 2024 (planning a trip to England and Ireland instead). 

Hard to believe but I have agreed to host a pyjama party, either live, hybrid or virtual at some point during the weekend next year. It is hard to get excited watching a conference session by yourself. Also given that the sessions will mostly be when we are asleep, the idea of a nightime party suggested itself. More thought is needed to keep myself and guests awake. Stay tuned.


Received some lovely feedback from my session on Gedmatch to the Strathpine Library family history group.Th City of Moreton Bay libraries has a wonderful local and family history program throughout the year, and free to attend.

Thank you so much for presenting your talk on GEDmatch at Strathpine Library on the 12th of September. We had some lovely feedback: 

 Lots of new information on a subject I know little about

Easy to understand presentation

The information shared was helpful.

Great Speaker
Shauna Hicks can always be relied on to give a clear explanation of the topic. She explained features of the site and showed information from the pay to view and use section which was interesting.

The speaker is always very knowledgeable and presents the information in a clear logical interesting way

Shauna Hicks presented an excellent summary of how We could use Gedmatch.

Presenter systematically explained the topic in detail, including examples.

I am giving the Gedmatch talk again to the Caboolture Library family history group in October.

Also excited about my October webinar on Legacy Family Tree. All about gold fever and looking for miners down under. That is on this Wednesday 4 October and you can register for free and watch for a week after.  Whenever I see the photo below I wonder if that's what my great grandfather looked like when he first came out from Wiltshire to the gold fields of Charters Towers.

Image courtesy State Library Queensland

My 2024 list of talks is slowly being added to. Trying to avoid being too rushed next year as my Ph D research is taking up more time than I expected. Five days a fortnight doesn't sound much but fitting that in with family events and work needs and talks is tricky. My thesis topic is fascinating, colonial women in Queensland gaols, has lots of scope and I'm discovering so many stories of women who have largely been forgotten by family and history.  

What's Coming Up?

China! Going on a 10 day trip taking in Beijing (and the Great Wall), Hangchou and a trip on the fast train, then      and finishing up in Shanghai. I first went to China in 1996 for an archives conference so it will be interesting to see any changes in Beijing. All the other places on this trip will be new to me. So excited but then I like travel and seeing different cultures and eating different foods.

Another birthday as I inch closer to one of those birthdays with a 0 on the end. Yet I still feel like I am in my 40s except for the arthritic thumbs and a few other aches and pains.

Then it is Christmas and we will be sharing a week's holiday in the Gold Coast hinterland with one of Max's sons and his family. They are all athletic and looking forward to bushwalking, swimming, golfing, kayaking etc. I am taking a stack of books to read and exercise my brain.

Have fun researching this week. Until next week, take care Shauna

Saturday 16 September 2023

NFHM, guest blog, talks & other genealogy news: My genealogy months 16 July to 16 September 2023

Two months have disappeared just like that. But there were very busy months.

National Family History Month is over for 2023. I hope everyone had a great time at their local family history society or online with the many virtual offerings. I gave two talks - one at Caloundra on convicts and criminals in the family and the second at Noosaville on making the most of archives. Both days were well attended and with good feedback.

If you haven't seen the opening presentation by Hamish Maxwell-Stewart and Andrew Redfern it is still on the website until the end of September. All about AI (artifical intelligence) and using it for genealogy.

An added bonus for the month was that my family were visiting from Sweden and I got to spend some special time with my little grandson.

Blogs & Draft Family Histories

Sometimes I think I have lost my blogging mojo. Even if I have spare time, I don't seem to want to write smaller pieces. The exception there is my guest blogs for the Genealogical Society of Queensland. My next post is entitled The Agony and the Ecstasy with all due reference to Michaelangelo. Here is the link to my guest post 

Honestly my writing time is taken up with sorting and updating my sources in my draft family histories. I was truly slack in the early days about citing sources especially births, deaths and marriages. Still nothing finalised but working on several at the same time. When I get bogged down or bored with one, I swap to another. At this rate I won't finish anything. 


My usual love of reading is now coupled with reading for my PH D on women in colonial gaols in Queensland in the 19th century. Almost a reverse of my Masters thesis which examined female philanthropists in colonial Queensland who helped fallen women. 

Now there really isn't enough time in the day.

However I must mention Kate Grenville's Searching for the Secret River an ebook I borrowed from my local library. The Secret River was a fictionalised account of her family history and this ebook tells how she went about finding her family history. An insight that we can all relate to.


So many good geneacruises
I have booked on the next Unlock the Past genealogy cruise but that is not until December 2024. It is the 18th cruise and Chris Paton is the key speaker with a host of other overseas and Australasian speakers. 

Before then we have RootsTech 2024 from 29 February to 2 March and sadly I am not going in person. 

Instead I am thinking of hosting a live pyjama party here so that we can watch live sessions in the middle of the night! 

That might be better than watching on Zoom by myself and risk falling asleep in front of the computer.

Registration is now open. It seems a long way off but will be here in no time if the past year is an indication. 

Nick Vine Hall Awards

These awards are an AFFHO initiative to promote the publication of society journals and family stories. Previous winners are on the website. I have just taken over the organisation of these awards as I have fond memories of the chats I had with Nick Vine Hall over the years and especially when we were both in Melbourne. Lunch on the lawn outside the State Library of Victoria dodging pidgeons. Those were the days. 

I will be doing a review of the criteria for judging the NVH Awards and finding three new judges, preferably not associated with a society that publishes a journal either in print or ecopy. Once that is all sorted then it will be time to promote the Awards to societies and encourage them to enter. How hard can that be?


Thomas Price died
at the Wee McGregor mine in QLD
My last talk was for the GSQ on the Midland Counties of Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. It is interesting to have indepth looks at individual counties. 

The next one is for Legacy Family Tree Webinars on Gold Fever and Finding Miners Down Under. That is 4 October at 11am Brisbane time. The dreaded daylight saving time will be back by then.

What's Coming Up

We have a trip to China in October and I was last there in 1996. Excited to be seeing the Great Wall of China again. So spectacular and I love Chinese food. That will be our last getaway for the year. 

Finally, I have just had another basal cell carcinoma cut out of my face, just to the left of my nose. The other one was on the right side of my face. 

Seriously thinking I should have done a new speaker portrait before the surgery but too late now. All will be revealed next Thursday when the stitches come out. 

Make sure you find time for annual skin checks, so important in our country.

Until next time, happy searching


Friday 21 July 2023

Blogs, talks & other genealogy news: My Genealogy Month 12 June to 15 July 2023

 Another month has flown past. My cataract surgery went very well and I can easily see distance and read without glasses. Makes a big difference when I am giving talks. 

However my brain seems to be a bit dithery as I wrote this a week ago, but never hit the publish button!


Some nice feedback on my GSQ guest post in June. In case you missed it, here it is again. Does researching our family history change us? How do we want to be remembered?

My brother and myself ca 1960


I was super lucky on a recent visit to the second hand bookshop on Bribie. I managed to pick up both volumes in excellent condition of Lost Brisbane published by the Royal Historical Society of Queensland for only $8 each. If only they didn't weigh so much I could read them in bed. Fantastic for anyone interested in the history of Brisbane. 

Genealogy Cruising

Exciting news hot off my email but too good to leave until next time. There will be another Unlock The Past genealogy cruise in December 2024. It leaves from Sydney to Hobart to Kangaroo Island to Adelaide to Melbourne and returns to Sydney. Chris Paton is the lead presenter for the cruise. Read more about it here.

National Family History Month

Not long now until August and NFHM when there will be a range of genealogy activities across Australia and New Zealand. The opening and closing presentations have been announced. 

My involvement kicks off early on 5 August with a convicts seminar at Caloundra Family History Research where I am giving a talk on Discover your family behind bars: were they convicts, criminals, victims or witnesses?

Check out the NFHM website for other events and remember that there are virtual events as well as in person events. Plus some great prizes to win.

RootsTech 2024

In person in 2023

I am pleased to say that I have been appointed to the RootsTech Media program for 2024. I doubt that I will get there in person next year, but I will be participating from home. Get the latest updates here.


My talk at the Bribie Family History Association monthly meeting went well. It was A is for Alias and was a case study of families who change their surnames. It involved my Carnegie family of Pumicestone Passage which separates Bribie Island from the mainland.

What's Coming Up?

I have another talk coming up in August at the Noosaville Library on researching at Australian archives. That is also part of NFHM events.

Apart from that I have been steadily working on my family history drafts and finalising endnotes. The temptation not to keep adding bits and pieces is really hard. Maybe I am not meant to finish them.

Sunday 11 June 2023

Guest blog, blurry eyes, DNA update & other genealogical news 8 May - 12 June 2023

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get back to weekly blog posts. Life keeps throwing curve balls which have their various challenges. 

For some time, I have had blurry vision - was it the medication I'm on (a known side effect), am I spending too much time on a computer, did I just need to upgrade my glasses script and get new glasses (both reading and distance). After much procrastination I went to the optometrist and discovered that I had cataracts in both eyes and the left eye needed urgent attention and the right wasn't far behind. In the last three weeks both eyes have been done, I've worn sunglasses to meetings, and I hate the taste of the eye drops which seem to seep down from the tear ducts and into my throat. On the plus side I can now read all that information on food jars and tins from across the kitchen. I kid you not! Everything is so much brighter and clearer. Very pleased with the results.


Writing blog posts has definitely dropped off over the last twelve months or so and I am now wondering if part of the issue was not being able to see clearly? 

First day at school & no clue
what I wanted to do when I grew up

Getting back on track with this one and I have done another guest post for the Genealogical Society of Queensland. Does Researching Our Family History Change Us? How Do We Want To Be Remembered? It's a continuation of a post I did for them last November. 

Books & Journals

These too have dropped off in favour of ABC and SBS crime dramas. I definitely think it was easier to watch TV then to read books and ejournals on my IPad. The question now will be what will win - the big stack of books I have to read or all the drama titles I have listed to watch. I've been loving the Swedish ones and the original Wallander series was filmed near where my son lives today in southern Sweden. It has hardly changed in the 20 something years since it was first filmed. 

I have also been watching and enjoying, the latest Australian series of Who Do You Think You Are? You can catch up with the episodes on SBS on Demand. 


Not much to update on my own DNA research, but Max has an intriguing 2nd cousin match on his father's paternal side. It is in the UK and I have researched those lines back multiple generations and nothing jumped out at me. A puzzle for a quiet afternoon and probably several cups of tea.


Author photo May 2023

On 20 May we went for a private tour of the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology followed by a delicious morning tea. The Museum is not that far from where we live and each year, they host the Medieval Festival which attracts large numbers from all over Australia. 

The Abbey Church has some very significant stained-glass windows brought over from England and they are truly beautiful with the sun behind them. A shame that bullet proof glass is necessary on the outside, but a sign of the times we live in no doubt. Never have understood vandalism.

History Queensland had their AGM in Caloundra last month and I gave a small session on visiting RootsTech in person as well as virtual attendance. Societies can have their own groups watching live or recorded sessions. 

The only drawback to live was that it would need to be a pyjama party due to the time difference. But what fun for 2024!

I also attended the AFFHO AGM and noted that Rosemary Mckenzie from the ACT is the new President. Some committee positions are vacant and I'm sure that she will be able to fill those positions shortly.

The Bribie Family History Association Inc has regular board meetings and they kindly fit my surgery schedule into our committee meetings. We have about 45 members which is good considering we only formally established in February this year. Monthly guest speakers bring people in and in July I am the guest speaker with A is for Alias (all about ancestors who change their names and how you can find them again).

New Resources

Findmypast have released a new set of records Britain: School and University records which contains almost 152,000 records unique to Findmypast and spanning from 1264 to 1926. I wonder how many people can trace back to the 1200s? Plus, they added six more Yorkshire newspaper titles. 

The Genealogist added an intriguing release of records for Guilds, Societies and People of Note. So if you have Freemen, Liverymen, Aldermen, members of the Masons and Oddfellows or Worthies then this is a collection to search. I was curious to know who were included as Freemen and they seemed to be tradespeople - pewterer, draper, glover, smith, cooper, weaver, hatmaker, shoemaker, tanner, capper, baker, butcher, merchant and so on. The Rolls of Freemen reminded me of directories which are always good to search for occupations. 

MyHeritage introduced Reimagine a mobile app for both iOS and Android that lets you scan photo album pages and restore, enhance, colorise and animate your photos easily. I haven't used it and must admit that I do find colorising and animating old photos a bit creepy but I can see how those features make it more interesting when telling stories. Being a mobile app makes it ideal when visiting relatives and they bring out the old photos.


Since my last diary update, I have spoken at the Noosaville Library. I never get tired of watching all the fruit bats in the trees around the Library but do take care not to park under the trees. So noisy for such small creatures.

Plus I tutored a few sessions on advanced Irish genealogy at Bribie U3A. 

What's Coming Up?

Quiet time! Apart from the talk at Bribie I don't have anything planned for July.  

The time is going to be spent on scanning docs/photos, writing, editing, adding/checking citations and perhaps even doing a little bit more research on my draft family histories. There are five family history drafts that I would like to see self-published as a first edition on my website and perhaps even in Trove. They are:

  • Carnegie including Davis/Ferguson (Scottish- Angus)
  • Guy, Rosewarne and Trevaskis (English - Cornish)
  • Finn and Fegan (Irish - Wicklow)
  • Price including Pollard (English - Staffordshire)
  • White and Titt (English - Wiltshire)
The hardest part is trying to stop myself looking for new/missing information. Plus, early citations are not what they should have been, so I often have to look them up again. 

I first started each of these when I lived in Brisbane, 24 years ago. Since then, they have travelled to Canberra, Melbourne and now here on Bribie. For someone who started researching her family history 46 years ago, it's time to publish something! Wish me luck.

Until next time, happy researching. Shauna

Monday 8 May 2023

New WDYTYA Australian series, Cite-Builder & Other Genealogy News 16 April - 7 May 2023

So much for fortnightly updates - this is three weeks but again I have been super busy. So much genealogy happening. I never seem to be home either.     

My twice a year guest blog for GSQ is coming up so I have put fingers to the keyboard. It's nice to tick off something early. Also helps those who have to put the blog online. 

Definitely never enough time to read all the books I keep piling up. At Bribie Library I saw an Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley book I hadn't read. Simply had to check it out and of course, it is hundreds of pages long. 

Takes after his 'farmor'
(father's mother)
For Mother's Day I have been promising myself a couple of new books - put the order in to Gould Genealogy and now await their arrival. 
My son lives in Sweden and he has promised a FaceTime chat with my little one year old grandson. So presents and a visit - what more could I want? 

Bribie Family History Association Inc 
As President I chair the monthly meeting on the 1st Friday of the month at the Bribie RSL. 

We had 36 members out of 48 members turn up to hear Sue Reid talk about resources available after 1954 when digitised newspapers generally cut out in Trove. It was great to see so many people attend and a smaller number stayed on for lunch and more geneachat. 

Bribie U3A
The Irish genealogy class is going well with 13 attendees. I am updating/changing the course from what I did in 2021 as there has been so much change since then. New resources and more digitised newspapers. I use my own Irish families to find examples so it is an excellent way for me to do my own genealogy research at the same time.

The NSW & ACT annual conference in Wyong clashes with a talk I am doing for GSQ so I will just  have to attend from afar.

Virtual/hybrid conferences certainly cut the cost of travel and accommodation. Watching things later is the catch - I still have RootsTech 2023 and 2022 talks I wanted to watch. Not to mention Legacy Family Tree webinars that are featuring Australian and New Zealand speakers. 

At the Family History Down Under conference last year, I won a prize. A free premium account with Cite-Builder designed and maintained by Jenny and Andy Joyce. Sad to say this is the first day that I have had a chance to sit down and  have a closer look at how it creates citations for you. It would certainly help with consistency as that is a problem with all my draft family histories. See below.

There is a free version as well which might be all that you want. Try it out and see will it be useful for your family history writing. 

History Queensland 
2023 in person

The AGM is coming up this month and as Patron I will be attending. I'm also going to be doing a short talk on attending RootsTech 2023 in person. An amazing experience and the size of the Salt Palace Convention Centre was simply staggering. 

New Resources 

All those RootsTech sessions are online to view free. Never watch television again when you have a smorgasbord of genealogy webinars to watch.

For example, you can find out what's new at FamilySearch by watching the webinar here.

Do a search for Irish, English, Scottish or simply browse to see what might be relevant to your own research. Some of the previous year's sessions are still available. 

Another Noosa talk on FamilySearch coming up. So many people don't use all the various search features and other resources on this website. 

My Website 
Pleased to say that my website has been sorted out again following a move to a new server platform. Now I have a bit of updating to do but at least it looks good again. Many thanks to my tech guy Joannes who is local. 

What's Coming Up
Herbert William White 
from Pitton & Farley

I'm hoping to finish the first edition of my White's of Wiltshire family history. It has taken me quite a bit to locate and do my citations which I don't seem to have bothered too much with before the days of the internet. 

Thankfully I have managed to locate most of them and it was lovely to see Wiltshire records digitised on Ancestry where as before I only had transcripts from a UK researcher. After that, I only have another four main family drafts to finish not to mention some maternal lines that I would like to write up.

The end goal is to have all my research available online for free in various places. I don't want it ending up in the bin.

Enjoy your genealogy research over the next couple of weeks. Stay safe and take care.


Friday 21 April 2023

Legacy Webinar Marathon, Trove update, Noosa talks, 2024 invitations & more genealogy news 1-15 April 2023

 Hello everyone

I am moving back to fortnightly posts as there is so much happening in the genie world at present. It is all very exciting. April used to be a big birthday month - both my mother and my paternal grandmother had birthdays. We always used to have birthday parties with cake. I think the photo below is ca 1976/77. Strange I can really see my father in this photo of me and my mother.

April 14 would have been Mum's 89th birthday


Some of my geneamates are participating in the April A-Z blog challenge. There are some great posts and I am trying to keep up with reading Pauleen Cass blog posts. So many great ideas and suggestions for our own family history research. 


I have been doing a massive catch up with journals from all the societies I belong to. And a blitz on Family Tree Magazine UK and Who Do You Think You Are. Did you know that you may be able to get paper copies from your local library and even perhaps an e-copy? Check out what is available online via your local library. It is afterall a free resource.

Bribie Family History Association Inc

Bribie Genealogy has taken the next step and formalised into an incorporated family history association. No surprises that I was elected President. We still meet at the Bribie RSL on the first Friday of the month, except January. There is an excellent speaker program for 2023. There is also our Facebook page

New Resources

Is anyone keeping up with all the new resources at FamilySearch, Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage and The Genealogist? What about Trove updates or the British Newspaper Archive?  It's exhausting and some days I can't decide which family I want to review and update.

Wasn't this wonderful news? From the Trove press statement - 

The National Library of Australia welcomes the commitment made by the Albanese Government to provide $33m over the next 4 years to maintain Trove, with $9.2m ongoing and indexed funding from July 2027. We are delighted that Trove’s future has been secured. 


I am starting to get requests for talks in 2024 which is amazing. 2023 is not almost into May and life has definitely sped up. Perhaps it will slow down now after all my overseas trekking.

There are more talks coming up at Noosa and Moreton libraries and for the Genealogical Society of Queensland. Normally I would say check my website but as you will see below, that's a bit tricky at present.


Legacy Family Tree Webinars held a 24 hour genealogy marathon and I was one of the speakers. The sessions are available for one week free. After that you need to take up a subscription which is modest or it would make a great birthday/Christmas present. A wide range of fantastic speakers and topics. 

My session looked at Australian online indexes for family history research which you might not know. Here is the link.

Thanks to the 269 viewers so far


This month my website was moved to a new hosting service and the move has not gone well. You can still see most of the pages scrolling down but it looks like a dog's breakfast. My wonderful website guy is going to try and restore how it looks. 

What's Coming Up?

More Irish genealogy sessions at Bribie U3A. It's amazing how much new material I find while preparing this talks. 

Another talk at Noosa on FamilySearch which will be an in depth look at using all the features that FamilySearch offers.

More time will be spent on updating and finalising my draft family histories. Last weekend I worked on the White family history - adding missing citations, inserting photos and despite my resolution not to do new research, I managed to expand from 90 pages to 115 pages. And I have five of them to do. I need more weekends which is what I used to say when I worked full time.

Front page of my draft White family history 

Until next time, happy geneasearching


Friday 31 March 2023

Genealogy Updates for March 2023: in person conferences, new resources, & other news

 March was a huge month travelling to the USA for my first ever in person Roots Tech conference. The rest of the month was mainly spent travelling and I would like to thank all those who followed my Facebook photos of the trip. It was fantastic and good to know that others enjoyed my experiences. The most genealogy I did was via emails - reading enews and genealogy ejournals and checking Ancestry and MyHeritage for new DNA matches.


FamilySearch Library books and more books 
& even one on an area that I am researching in County Antrim, Ireland

My review of the RootsTech 2023 genealogy conference from an in person perspective is here

As always I kept a travel diary so I can go back and see what I did and given that RootsTech was so full on I'm glad I did that. So many experiences!


Very proud of myself in that I only bought one book over there. Diahan Southard's Your DNA Guide.

To be honest there wasn't a lot of temptation as it is too expensive to ship books to a conference. So many exhibitors had order forms or referred you to Amazon. Nathan Dylan Goodwin was the only one with a pile of books around him at the start but by the end those piles had dwindled. I am an impulse buyer so his strategy worked better - the bird in the hand. 

Also good to finally meet him in person. 


Although Roots Tech 2023 is over, you can still view the sessions online at home. There is enough to keep us all interested until next year. The dates for Roots Tech 2024 are 29 February to 2 March.

The next Australian genealogy conference is the NSW Association Annual Conference and this year it is hosted by the Wyong Society. The there is The Running Waters of History between 8 - 10 September 2023. Speakers include Martyn Killion, Michelle Patient, Mark Bundy, Geoffrey Potter, Michael Bell and Jeffrey Madsen. The conference is in person and virtual. This year I will be a virtual attendee, as I have conflicting dates with a talk for the Genealogical Society of Queensland that same weekend. 

New Resources

Do you ever check the new additions to the British Newspaper Archive? I get their enewsletter but I usually skip over as I'm busy but then of course I never revisit the email. One of my new promises to myself is to read things as they come in. Not always practicable but worth trying for.

For example, in March they advised that they had added more to the Birmingham Mail which was first published in 1870. Almost another half million digitised pages which made me quite excited as both Max and myself have Black Country ancestors. Years covered include from 1871 to 1999 with gaps. I particularly like that newspapers post 1954 (Trove cut off) as it can lead to discovering more recent cousins. 


First week home was busy with talks to Strathpine Library on genealogy for beginners and Noosaville Library on resources for women as part of International Women's History Month. 

Next is my talk as part of the Legacy Webinars 24 hour genealogy marathon on 13 April. My session is Australian Indexes Online for Family History Research That You May Not Know About. The event is free but you must register to receive the link. Check out all the speakers and topics here.

What's Coming Up

Due to all my travels I have agreed to run the Irish genealogy course again at Bribie U3A. The first term missed half the lectures due to my absence so they have enrolled again.

Salt Lake City in person 2023

The rest of April will be spent sorting my notes from Roots Tech and following up on all of my action points. 

Easter is next week and the school holidays are always an opportunity to catch up with my brother. Not to mention that I also have a fondness for hot cross buns which I never buy outside of  March/April.

Have a great genealogy month and I hope to be back to regular reports now that all my big trips are out of the way. Until next time, stay safe and well. Shauna