Monday 19 February 2024

RootsTech, New Resources & Other News: My Genealogy Weeks 16 January - 14 February 2024

Well January is done and dusted and we are half way through February. From now on it will be back to regular genie society meetings, attending special events and meeting new people. There is never a dull day when you research your family history.


The ship dwarfed by Alaska's
Inner Passage 2018 
My first guest post for the Genealogical Society of Queensland was completed and there were some interesting comments on both the blog page and on Facebook. 

Many people identified with some of my points. The post is called Shauna's family history A-Z and you can read it by clicking the link.

In the post I put C is for Conferences but now I am thinking perhaps it should have been for Cruises. The Alaska genealogy cruise was a stand out with Cyndi (from Cyndi's List - another C) and amazing Alaska scenery. 

I am planning to keep Diary more regular this year. My tip is to schedule in my calendar and then do it rather than whenever I remember or think of it. This will be my year to be organised! All good except I drafted the end of January post and then forgot to publish it. Hence the delay.


Reading so many interesting books for my PhD on Incarcerated Women in Colonial Queensland 1850-1900. Perhaps not surprisingly, many are also of interest to my family history research. A bonus. Interlibrary loans will get a workout this year. 

The Bribie Family History Association Book Club is having its first meeting in February. We have been readingThe Ancient Paths by Graham Robb. We had a good time discussing the author's incredible use of resources and the attention to detail. Not the easiest book to read but definitely one to make you aware of the need for thoroughness of research.

Our next book club read will be Kate Grenville's A Room Made of Leaves which I am really looking forward to. I am a big fan of her books. What if Elizabeth McArthur had a secret diary? What if indeed!


RootsTech 2024 is almost upon us and I am disappointed not to be there this year. So many more Australians going than last year. Still there are all the virtual sessions so it is definitely a genealogy feast for the last weekend in Febrary. 

2024 in person 

The big news is the 2025 AFFHO/History Queensland congress now has a website. The theme is Connections Past Present and Future and the dates are 21-24 March 2025 in Brisbane, Queensland.

Keynote speakers are the wonderful Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist), Nick Barrett (Who Do You Think You Are) and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart (Digital History Tasmania). 

Details of accommodation, call for speakers and other news is all online now. Check it out and book a space in your diary.

Also looking forward to the final Unlock the Past genealogy cruise in December 2024 with Chris Paton, Mia Bennett and others. It is a Southern Australia cruise and I have also seen it advertised as a wine and food cruise. Definitely my kind of cruise.

New Resources

Not quite a new resource but I have just done a 3 week workshop on Artificial Intelligence with Fiona Brooker and Andrew Redfern through the Family History Academy. Wow there are certainly ways to do some things more efficiently and quickly using ChatGPT and other AI tools. I think the issue will be indicating that you have used AI in a project or whatever. The ethics are an interesting topic all on their own. 

Great session and I love playing with ChatGPT which is free. That's my new technology toy for the year done and dusted.


So far I have given a Zoom/hybrid presentation to 93 people in Monash Library/virtual and in person presentation at Caloundra where they had their biggest turn out since pre Covid. Next week I have an in person presentation at Noosa which is fully booked. 

Perhaps we are getting back to our pre Covid lives?

Details of where I am speaking are on the Events page of my website.

Special Projects

I have been working with a group of people revising the Queensland Family History Society's library policy. Like any revision project, there are lots of things that need to be looked at and how these will be dealt with in future. Think ebooks and ejournals and archival records of the Society and donations and dare I say it, legacy issues and backlogs arising from moving premises more than once. 

The good news is that the revised library policy is coming along and a project plan for all the legacy issues will be developed and then it will be a case of one smaller project at a time. Boxes in storage sheds are not ideal conditions for books and archival materials. Looking forward to working more with the volunteers.

What's Coming Up?

Miegunyah 2014 via Wikipedia
A visit to Miegunyah (Queensland Women's History Association), an afternoon of talks with the Brisbane History Group and my regular weekly Genie Chats. This term is all about English Genealogy. 

Since starting my Ph D my own personal family history writing has come to a stop. I want to allocate time to completing my citations and drafts and getting them up into NED (national edeposit).

Until next time, happy searching. Do try and make some time for your own research, no one else will do it and others will benefit now and in the future. 

Take care, stay safe.

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