Saturday, 17 February 2018

Geneafiction, Freebies, Cornwall & Local Talks - Genealogy Notes 29 Jan - 18 Feb 2018

We had a week away tuning in to nature instead of technology which was fantastic. So much more relaxed but of course you do have to come back and read those emails, blogs and open up those bills. I hardly ever get mail via Australia Post these days and no more paper cuts!

It also means that there was nothing to report last week although I will comment on the book I read while lazing around. This week has been catch up and trying to get organised for some events coming up soon.

GeniAus' blog post Getting Conference Ready was a wake up call that Congress 2015 is almost upon us. I'm not going to Rootstech 2018 like so many of my other geneafriends but I will be following it via social media. It starts in a week or so and Congress a week or so after that. An exciting geneamonth coming up.

But back to the post - lots of good tips for newbies to Congress and a good reminder to old hands as we always want to try and fit in more than we possibly can over the four days. Already there are additional meetings, breakfast, lunch and dinner gatherings for various groups and you really can't go to everything. Plus you also want to just chat with geneafriends you only ever see at Congress every three years.

My tips are comfy shoes as there is a lot of walking and standing, money/credit card, business cards, notebook and pens (I'm a Luddite), camera, and try not to make your bag too heavy. I carry an across the chest bag to help distribute the weight more and not burden my shoulder/neck.

It's a while since I mentioned genEbooks but they offer a free download and this month's caught my eye - Ranks and Badges in the Australian and American Navy, Army and RAAF published ca 1943. It should be useful to help identify uniforms in family photos. It's a simple process to download, even easier if you are already registered which saves entering your email etc. You can usually find the free download in with the specials.

Rootstech 2018 is where about 30,000 genealogists will gather for four days of talks, explore or is that be enticed by exhibitors  and catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Probably more than 100,000 people will also participate remotely via livestreams and social media. The world's biggest geneaevent.

Check out the livestream schedule and remember to convert to your local time. If it is not too inconvenient time wise, you might want to attend some of the sessions. You need to register or you can wait till it is over and watch at your leisure.

My preference is to watch afterwards without the pressure of a busy week during Rootstech. You can still watch some of the 2017 sessions for free.

While on hols I read Marie Benedict's Carnegie's Maid which is a fictional story of an Irish maid who worked for the Carnegie family. While my grandmother on Dad's side was a Carnegie there is no connection to Andrew Carnegie and his family (unfortunately). The story is presented through the eyes of the Irish servant and how she was forced to leave Ireland and her family to seek work in the US to help her family. She connects up with Irish cousins who went before and sees their struggles to adjust to life in their new homeland.

We also see what life was like for the servants and what type of tasks they were asked to perform. As a lady's maid, the book's heroine has to help her mistress dress, undress, hair, makeup and accompany her places. Today we find it strange that people didn't brush their own hair or put their own hand cream on. It was an interesting insight into that type of world. I never give away the key story but this was a nice lighthearted look at the trials of being a lady's maid in the mid to late 19th century. 

I simply love geneafiction and once started, rarely put a book down until finished. So it was good to pick up some genealogical fiction 'must read' from Janet Few's blog post Genealogical Sleuths - Fiction for you to enjoy on the In-Depth Genealogist. I'm already a fan of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's genealogical books but there are some new authors for me to follow up.

There are always new resources each week and it can be hard to keep up with things. The best way I find is to subscribe to free emails that give you weekly updates from Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage and FamilySearch or smaller national/state archives and libraries.

For example, this week FamilySearch added collections for Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Panama, Russia and Slovakia. Now most of those countries don't interest me but the English collection was Cornwall parish registers 1538-2010 with almost 500,000 indexed entries. I usually use the Cornwall Online Parish Clerk but will also check out this new FamilySearch collection. I was also surprised to see that BillionGraves is now in FamilySearch as that is another resource used frequently.

What's Coming Up?
My immediate priority is a talk on blogging for family history which is 21 February at Arana Hills Library. There is a sizable audience already registered to learn the benefits of blogging - not only capturing your own family stories but also learning from the experiences of others. It should be a good afternoon and I just hope I don't get too lost again. Arana Hills Library is one of those places that is tucked away in suburbia. It is also the most far flung of the Moreton Region Libraries, almost Brisbane!

Then of course I have the weekly preparations for the Advanced Family History Session I tutor at Bribie U3A. It's another enthusiastic group and we are covering a wide range of topics suggested by those attending.

Plus I'm starting to work through my Congress 2018 preparations to make sure everything is ready to go. I don't think I will do any live blogging while there, too busy having fun but I will write up my adventures on the return home.

Have another great genealogy week. Until next time.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Samuel Plimsoll (ship), new archive releases, free webinars & other news - Genealogy Notes 21-28 Jan 2018

Last week I said that I would randomly review one of my families and see if I could take it back further in Hampshire and Wiltshire. Well there were some deaths post 1837 that might be mine but the information on UK death certificates is not going to confirm that unless my ancestor was the informant. So I haven't paid out any money yet.

All Saints parish church, Winterslow, Wiltshire
image Trish Steel via Wikipedia
On the plus side I did find digitised images of parish church records in Ancestry.  My GGGGG grandmother Hester Parrick's baptism was in 1727 and she married in 1747. Her mother (that's 6 Gs) Martha Parrick was buried in 1742, all in Winterslow, Wiltshire. Amazing that I can sit here and view these images. Somehow it makes my ancestors seem more real.

I also like to read up on a place and find Wikipedia useful for a quick overview of a parish. Plus there is usually a map showing where in the county a parish is located and a photograph of the parish church. Check out the entry for Winterslow.
Rootsfinder asked for permission to reuse one of my Trove Tuesday blog posts from last year in their How I Solved It series. Which Trove Tuesday blog post did they choose? It was the one where I found my great grandfather's accidental death, not by name (Thomas Price) but by the place name because the journalist recorded the wrong name (William Price)! Read the Rootsfinder post here and why not check out some of the other blog posts in this series for other ideas.

And speaking of Trove Tuesday, I managed to do my first Trove Tuesday blog post for 2018. It was a wonderful find - Samuel Plimsoll (ship) 1878 illustrated sketches. Thomas Price, paragraph above, arrived on the Samuel Plimsoll with his new bride Elizabeth Judge in Sydney in 1878. I'd previously located reports of the voyage out but on rechecking, I discovered these fantastic sketches. It might pay to see what else is under the Illustrated filter!

The internet provides so many ways to learn more about genealogy and family history and how to improve our searching skills. FamilySearch conduct free webinars on a monthly basis and you can see what's coming up in February here. Handouts from past webinars can also be downloaded and some of the sessions on using various aspects of FamilySearch more effectively are quite useful.

Although it arrived a few weeks back, I have finally sat down to have a good read of Traces: uncovering the past. This is a new magazine and Volume 1 reminded me a lot of Inside History which I also loved reading.

This is what the cover is like if you are trying to locate it in a newsagent. I've taken up a subscription as there are not a lot of newsagents on the Island and the range of genealogy/history magazines is not great. One of the things I miss about not living in a big city.

Once upon a time in my archives work life, I used to get excited about the 1st of January as that was the day new access releases were made. So this completely slipped my mind this year but there are another year of BDMs to search, and more items opened up in our state archives.

Public Record Office Victoria usually does a very handy list or blog post and this year it is an extremely interesting read with some great photos. Check out New Archival Records to Explore at PROV. There is also a complete list of all new releases under their Section 9 openings. If nothing else, the list will give you a wonderful idea of what can be found in our state archives.

What's Coming Up
Apparently the summer holidays are over, and the Bribie U3A resumes this coming week. On the grapevine I heard that my advanced family history class on Wednesday afternoon is fully booked and there is a waiting list. There has even been the odd email asking can I sneak someone in.

I also go to the local history class on Friday mornings so my weeks will be busier for the next 10 weeks, then the Easter holidays. Reminds me of my school days.

This photo was my first day of school in my new uniform, taken in the back yard. Just to the left of me was the 'old dunny' and it looks like it was before we got the 'hills hoist clothes line' as there is no shadow from it.

Until next time, have a great genealogy week.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Internet Archive, Occupations and Other News - Genealogy Notes 13-20 Jan 2018

One of those weeks where everything seems to happen at once, and none of it planned for. So catching up on a lot of household chores and other bits and pieces today including this blog.


The UK General Register Office is extending their pilot of supplying birth and death certificates in a digital format for a cheaper price. I picked that up in the WDYTYA magazine (read the notice here) and it motivated me to think about a lot of my UK research which was done decades ago. The cheaper price of 6 pounds (less than $10.50) means that I could look into some of the siblings or even kill off a few direct ancestors with a death certificate. They don't give much information but at least I would know cause of death and where.

East Dean is in the hundred
of Thorngate, image Internet
Archive Book Images on Flickr
Which family to review? I have a 4 drawer filing cabinet full of paper folders so I randomly selected drawer 2 and pulled out a file mid way along without looking. I've ended up with my Fox family from East Dean, Hampshire and it has been quite a while since I last opened this folder. Looking forward to some exciting discoveries with this family review.

This image is from the Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr - A history of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, by Herbert Arthur and published in 1900. The Internet Archive is a wonderful place to look for digitised books and images.


My January blog for The In-Depth Genealogist was on The Australian Cemeteries Index  (not to be confused with Australian Cemeteries) and the blog post was picked up in Gail Dever's Creme de la Creme round up for 13 January.

One of the reasons I like the Australian Cemeteries Index is that it includes images of all the graves in the South Brisbane cemetery tombstones.

I mentioned earlier that the Waves in Time conference is being held at Caloundra in May 2019. The website is now up and also their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Check the website out and follow updates via social media. I'm going to a conference committee meeting next week so things are moving along quickly.

The Bridging the Past & Future conference in March in Sydney is fast approaching and speakers have received their Dropbox accounts for their presentations. Due date is 8 February so finishing my two presentations is high priority in the coming week. As usual I have too many slides and keeping to time is a must. Nothing worse than missing the end of someone's talk or seeing them speed through the last slides.

One of the things I like discovering about my ancestors is their occupation as that allows me to think about how they spend their days. One of my Wiltshire ancestors was Robert White and he was a beadle. I had no idea what that was and if you Google you can find various occupation sites but one of my favourites is the Hall Genealogy Website: Old Occupation Names. It's arranged A-Z and beadle is a town crier and parish officer who kept order. From other documents he was also described as a clerk of the church. Possibly what we might call a desk job today, certainly not out in the fields or sweating in the blacksmith's shop.
This week's episode of Who Do You Think You Are Series 13 was on Warwick Davis and I really enjoyed it. He was confronted with an ancestor who committed bigamy and another who was a minstrel who 'blacked up' as he put it. We have to be careful not to put 21st century values on 19th century actions because the world has changed a lot since then.

One of my great great grandmother's was a prostitute and in and out of gaol on numerous occasions. I had the opportunity to sit in a cell in the old women's prison at Boggo Road and it could have been one that she occupied at some point. Her marriage had failed and she was destitute and prostitution has always been one way for a woman to support herself since the beginning of time. My ancestor went on to die a respectable old lady but if she had not had an illegitimate child, I wouldn't be here today.

This was something that Warwick also expressed in the episode. If his ancestor hadn't had the bigamous marriage he wouldn't be here, nor his children. We can't change our ancestors, we just have to accept them, and the times in which they lived. Great episode and I'm looking forward to next week's show.

What's Coming Up?
This coming week I'm determined to do a Trove Tuesday blog, at least one a month for 2018. I've already found the article that I want to write about, a ship that two of my great grandparents arrived on in 1878. It's an illustrated newspaper article that I recently found and want to share with others.

My two presentations for Congress as mentioned above and I should start on my February article for Going In-Depth and another IDG blog post.

Have a great genealogy week and if you are in one of the areas suffering these ongoing heat waves this summer, try and stay cool. Until next week, have fun.