Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Is it really Easter? : My Genealogy Weeks 22 March -12 Apr 2022

That was a speedy three weeks and Easter is upon us. I can't believe how busy it's been with presentations and preparing for my English genealogy class at Bribie U3A. I have done very little research or writing which was going to be my priority in 2022. Time to stop talking!


Mum & Dad early 1950s

Week 8
of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was completed - Branching Out - Courting which was a look at my own parents and how they met. Week 9 was about Women and my focus was Helen Carnegie my GG grandmother. Click on the links to the week to read those stories. 

Although I have enjoyed the first nine weeks of the blog challenge, realistically I know that I can't keep up a weekly blog at present. Maybe when I retire!


Perhaps my fascination with the Ela of Salisbury medieval murder mysteries is one reason why I am not writing very much. Totally love this easy to read series and Book 3 The Lost Child and Book 4 Forest of Souls were both fascinating. 

What I like most I think are references to what they ate (jellied eels) and how they spent their days in 12th century Wiltshire. With four books read, I'm half way through the eight books in the series. Next is The Bone Chess Set which will be my Easter reading.

If my medieval Cornish genealogy is correct (compiled by someone else last century), then one of my ancestors was a Sheriff of Cornwall around the same time. He would have led a similar life to Ela. The big difference, of course was that Ela was a woman and very unusual for her time. 

My research guide Australian Genealogy Online is available for sale from Gould Genealogy & History. Click here for details. Managed to sell a few at events but thanks to Covid no one seems to carry cash anymore. I just hope they all follow up and order online with a credit card when they get home.

No exciting big matches but Bribie Genealogy held a workshop for Gedmatch Tier One Tools which was very good. Finding the time to sit down and play with the new concepts hasn't been easy. Plus my notes never seem to make sense a week later. 

New Resources

Findmypast added 169 new and updated newspaper titles to its collection this week. It is almost impossible to keep up with digitised newspapers. New titles means perhaps more on our ancestors so we do have to have another look. 

Never ending indeed but super exciting at the same time. Who knows what you will find. 


I was honoured to be part of the History for Ukraine 24 hour genealogy event on 27 March that raised money for the British Red Cross. So many great speakers and talks over the weekend.

Trips to Noosa are always fun and it was a good audience for my military talk at Noosaville library. Back there again next month with a look at mining ancestors. The presentation is on the Resources page of my website. 

Recorded my first ever webinar for Legacy Family Tree Webinars - My Top 20 Free Genealogy Websites. That got some good feedback too and it is now part of a number of talks I have on their platform. Sessions I do for The Surname Society are also recorded and added to the offerings from Legacy Family Tree Webinars. 

Finally I went to THE Genealogy Show Spring Event and gave a talk on Australasian probate records. Plus I am still trying to watch some of the other sessions before the link expires.

What's Coming Up?

Remember to check my website for talks coming up over the next few months. Go to the Events page of my website for all the details.

Have a good Easter with family and friends, stay safe and take care until next time. Shauna

Monday, 21 March 2022

Women's history month, History For Ukraine & Other News: My Genealogy Week 15-21 March 2022

More or less back to weekly recording. Can't believe how many talks I committed to in the first three months of 2022. For those who like statistics I did six talks in February - 2 in person and 4 via Zoom. I also will do six talks in March - 1 in person and two recorded and three live webinars. Thank goodness U3A 1st term was cancelled or I would be talked out. 


Finished my blog post on my RootsTech Connect 2022 experience and you can read it here. Of course with the sessions online until next year, it hasn't really finished. My plan is to try and watch at least one a week to get through my playlist of talks. 

Catching up with 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks will be my next blogging challenge. I have done Weeks 1-7 so far and you can see them on my website's blog page.


At the Bribie Library I found the latest Louise Penny book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. Book 16 no less so I grabbed it off the shelf. How could I resist? Currently reading and enjoying All the Devils Are Here. The really good news is that Book 17 is on the way.

After that it will be back to Book 3 in the Ela of Salisbury series. 


I have just confirmed that I still want to be a speaker at Family History Down Under 2022 in November and I will be doing two talks. Certainly hoping that this will be an in person event as well as the online stream. It has been way too long since we have had a megafest of genealogy in Australia. 

The beauty of Norfolk Island

Before that I will be enjoying the AFFHO Congress on Norfolk Island in August. I hope I remember how to find my way around the airport. 


I have volunteered to give a presentation at the History For Ukraine 24 hour history/genealogy fundraising event. My session is on Ukrainians in Australia and I will be using documents from the National Archives of Australia to tell some of their stories.

Other downunder speakers are Fiona Brooker, Michelle Patient and Rachel Croucher. Fiona, Michelle and Maggie Gaffney are also co hosting the down under session. Check out all the details and times on the History for Ukraine website. Thanks to Michelle for working out the correct times for us.

Times for the Down Under part of the program

There are some great speakers from all over the world and it is a very worthy cause. This coming weekend so make sure you find some time and join us if you can.

New Resources

Trove is celebrating Women's History month in March and their latest blog is Remarkable Women in Trove which features three interesting women. 

Back in 2016, I wrote a Women's History month blog post on my four great grandmothers. Read about them here. Have you researched your female ancestors this month? If not, there is still a week left in March. 


I have prerecorded a talk on Australasian probate records for THE Genealogy Show Spring Event 1-3 April. That same week I will be doing a live webinar for Legacy Family Tree Webinars on free genealogy websites. Plus at the end of the week another trip to Noosaville Library for a session on military ancestors. A mega week for me. Check the Events page of my website for details.

Denis Patrick Finn my 2nd great uncle was underage when he enlisted in WW1

The good news is that the rest of April is free from speaking engagements. Although I will be tutoring a 9 week course on English genealogy at Bribie U3A.

What's Coming Up?

Don't miss the History for Ukraine event. It starts 10pm Brisbane time on the Saturday night 26 March and my session is 5pm on the Sunday 27 March afternoon. 

Tidying up my records is temporarily halted as I have rediscovered my medieval ancestors (thanks to Ela of Salisbury). Some decades ago now I was given our Cornish family history back to William the Conqueror (yes I know its perhaps dubious). However I still find it fascinating and of course now there are more online resources for me to check the accuracy of the previous research. 

Have a wonderful week of research, webinars or simply reading a good book. Until next time, Shauna

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

RootsTech Connect & Other News: My Genealogy Fortnight 1-14 March 2022

What a fantastic fortnight which included the geneamegafest of RootsTech Connect. It was good to watch some live stream but my personal preference was to watch in my own time. I hope you all had a chance to participate and remember the sessions will be available for the next 12 months. 

I also liked the Connect with Relatives and managed to have a few good connections on Mum's side. Should help with some of my DNA matches. 


Well behind with my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks genealogy blog challenge but I do have some posts drafted. My main problem is trying to find images to suit the posts. I mostly have to go with images of places as I don't have many photos of my families. 

A week away with limited internet plus I try to have down time when away, meant I did more touristy things than genealogy. 

Meet the Big Pelican at Noosaville. A great restaurant strip nearby on Gympie Terrace.

Bribie Genealogy

Given all the flooding and the uncertainty of the weather, we changed from an in person meeting to a Zoom meeting. 

Our guest speaker was Judy Lofthouse and she spoke about using Findmypast and also looked at the 1921 census. I like that we can record Zoom sessions with the speaker's consent but I also miss the in person chat and lunch afterwards.

Bribie U3A

First term was cancelled due to covid, but second term is going ahead and I agreed to do English Genealogy this term. Most of the sessions have been completed as it was meant to be last term. Although I will have to check as there have been changes to a number of sites since then. It will be nice working with a group of people again and trying to help them with their English genealogy.


Finally read The Foundlings by Nathan Dylan Goodwin and really enjoyed it. 

Now onto the Ela of Salisbury medieval murder series by J G Lewis. I like starting a new author and book series as I know that there are more books to follow when I finish one. Or at least until the series runs out. 

One of the things I really did enjoy on the hols was having a number of the Ela books on my Ipad. Now on to Book 3. 

Spotted this cute little houseboat while cruising on Noosa River - imagine how many books you could read there uninterrupted.

The Ela mysteries have also led me to dig out my medieval family lines as they cover the same time period which makes it even more fascinating to me.


Just going back to RootsTech, Fran Kitto (fellow member of Caloundra Family History Research) posted a blog RootsTech 2022 Conference Update to remind our members that the sessions are still available. All societies should encourage their members to have a look at the sessions. So much to learn.

 I attended the Scottish Indexes Conference last weekend which was really good as usual. The handouts are useful to refer back to. The next conference is on 3 September 2022 which seems ages away. Registration is already open and its free - although if you value these conferences, a donation is always appreciated.


My two sessions at RootsTech were Mining Ancestors and Making the Most of the National Archives of Australia. There is a handout for both talks as well.

My first talk for Moreton Libraries in 2022 will be at Caboolture Library on organising your DNA matches without the headache. 

I have also agreed to give a short talk on Ukranians in Australia as part of the History for Ukraine 24 hour event. It will be on 26 March.

My talks and where they are being held are listed on the Events page of my website. 

What's Coming Up Next?

My new research guide Australian Genealogy Online is now available for sale from Gould Genealogy & History. Click here for details. My copies should arrive this coming week. Looking forward to seeing the final result.

Also excited about some new work projects which should kick off in late March.

Should be back to weekly updates now that I am home.

Have a wonderful week researching and until next time take care and stay safe. Shauna