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