Tuesday 30 April 2024

Staggering additions to online collections, NFHM and other genealogy news: My Genealogy Weeks 22 Mar - 30 Apr 2024

 My holidays are fast approaching and as usual, all the things I have to do seems to increase. The last four weeks have flown.

Bribie Family History Association

As Hon President and unofficial Tech Girl, this keeps me busy every meeting day. I have to get the projector up and running, the remote controls and the speaker's presentation. At the same time I have to try and talk to the guest speaker and any members who want to chat to me. So far no one wants to take on the tech side of things and I can understand why no one wants to be out front as President. 

Still things are usually OK on the day. The May meeting will be interesting - I am Tech Girl, I am chairing the BFHA general meeting and then I am the guest speaker with a talk on finding my Irish family online. By the time the meeting finishes I will be somewhat wrecked.

The FamilySearch workshop I ran for the group was very successful. There are so many aspects within FamilySearch for researching and recording our family history. Booked out both sessions and some lovely feedback on both the morning and the afternoon. Feeling quite chuffed. A lot of work goes into preparing these workshops so it is really nice to see it appreciated.

  • All excellent, thoroughly enjoyed and learnt heaps
  • Shauna is an excellent speaker and knows her subject well
  • (enjoyed the most) depth of knowledge of speaker and humour in talk
  • Found out things I didn't know
  • All wonderful, enjoyed it immensely and very professional presentation
  • Took me to another level that I didn't expect
  • Very thorough and exactly what I didn't know I needed
  • Shauna is an excellent teacher and she makes the talks very interesting
  • Extremely well done Shauna is a wealth of knowledge

BFHA Book Club

One of our members has taken over the organisation of the club for me. This saves me additional visits to the library to pick up and drop off our book sets. Plus she will be suggesting the books which will be a surprise to me. So far we have had very different books each month. 

Our next selection is Judy Nunn's Khaki Town based around the bombing of Darwin in World War 2. Perfect holiday reading.

There is no May meeting as a couple of us will be away and the June meeting is put back a week so that I can attend.

Also loaded up my reading apps for the trip. Not ideal reading on my phone, but certainly beats carrying books around in my suitcase. I have enough Bluey books as it is.


Downloaded from Diahan Southhard So Far Genetic Genealogy: The first 25 years 1999-2024: Reflections from DNA Leaders and Luminaries. Yes another book to read (only 90 pages) but so interesting to see the changes in our own lifetimes. Although DNA has only been on my own radar since 2015 and that fateful test. 

Nick Vine Hall Awards

The awards closed on 30 April 2024. As the new convenor, on behalf of AFFHO, I am super excited to say that we have 22 entries from member societies. These have all been sent off to our three judges who will have the big job of reading and scoring the entries and then I collate the scores, organise the plaques and certificates and hand over to the AFFHO President. The Awards are announced during National Family History Month in August. 


I was somewhat shocked to read the latest newsletter from the British Newspaper Archive - they added half a million new pages in just one week. Staggering. Digitised newspapers are the gift that just keeps on giving as you find snippets or longer stores abour your ancestors and their families. What a great time to be researching your family history.

Another great mind explosion since last Diary was attending the FamilySearch 130th anniversary in Brisbane and finding out that they are using AI with free text collections. This will save enormous amounts of time indexing and will make everyone mentioned in a document accessible not just the primary person eg in wills. 

Here is an example from my FamilySearch workshop. The will is for Mary Hayes but I searched for Trevaskis and as you can see the words are highlighted in the transcript and in the original document. How good is that? Still experimental in their labs but coming soon.


Another great session at Noosaville Library on military ancestors just in time for Anzac Day. 

Just updated my website to reflect some of the new talks for the second half of the year. That includes events for National Family History Month in August, always a busy time for me. Go to the Events page of my website to see what is coming up - both in person and virtual.

What's Coming Up?

A mad week making sure I have everything I need for my trip. Ticking off a few items from my bucket list as usual - one of the big highlights is visiting Lerwick in the Shetland Islands (love Shetland the series) and a personal tour to Islandmagee in County Antrim where Dad's paternal family is from. The icing on the cake is seeing my little grandson and giving him his 2nd birthday presents in person. 

My 'to do' list for when I return is starting to look a little daunting and I always wonder should I slow down. Maybe in a few more years. Until next time, happy researching, Shauna

PS Next Diary will be the end of June.