Monday, 9 October 2017

Conference report, NSW webinars & Other News: Genealogy Notes 15 Sep -10 Oct 2017

Well an action packed few weeks and I have a new laptop. My old one had been experiencing blue screens of death for some time, the odd one and then more frequently but as the last few months have been so hectic I kept putting off doing anything. I was still using Windows 7 and Microsoft 2007 so just getting used to Windows 10 and Microsoft 2016 has been daunting, not to mention copying everything across and setting up the new laptop with all my other programs. But there comes the time when you simply have to do it. I always back up in a number of ways so no data files have been lost but it has been a time consuming exercise. My fingers are still getting used to the new keyboard which is slightly smaller and I have to check for typos more often.

Exhibitors located throughout Orange Library
Catching up on my emails I realised that I had won a prize at the recent Unlock the Past Researching Abroad roadshow. My prize was one years membership of Victorian GUM (Genealogists Using Microcomputers) which was a blast from the past. When I was living in Victoria I was a member and went to some of their meetings and I particularly liked their journal which mainly focuses on using FamilyTreeMaker and Legacy. They were established in 1984 and we have come a long way since those early computer times. It is going to be good getting their journal again.

It was a long drive down to Orange for the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Organisations (and back home) but I am really glad we made the trek. It was a really good conference and a number of speakers that made you sit up and think. My blog post on the conference is now on my website - read Report on Recording Your Family Story. My great grandparents Thomas and Elizabeth Price were in Orange in the late 1870s and early 1880s so it was good to visit and try to imagine what the town looked like back then. The conference venue was the Civic Theatre which is right next door to the Library which is where the Fair was held on the Friday and the exhibitors were located during the weekend. Next door to that was the Gallery and the Museum so during breaks you could explore the local history which was excellent and I really liked the old photos of Orange in the Museum.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Orange (did my ancestors attend here?)

One thing I have picked up on is that State Archives & Records New South Wales webinar program and the next one is on 7 November 10am (obviously NSW time so if you are in a different time zone remember to make the adjustment). It will be on NSW probate records which are a little complicated to work your way around so a webinar to tune into. If you forget or can't make the live webinar, remember you can always view earlier webinars in the library. There is also a quick start tutorial if you are not sure what a webinar is or how to access them.

For the 4th term of Bribie U3A I am again doing an advanced family session class with the first one last week. It is a 9 week term which must mean that Christmas is fast approaching and 2018 just around the corner. I can only hope that there will be less family drama next year although my son has announced (finally) that he is getting married. So I have a date that must be kept clear!

James Carnegie and Mary Finn
(my great grandparents)
Tomorrow night at the Bribie Island Historical Society meeting I am giving an update on my Carnegies @ Pumicestone talk which I gave in March 2014. Thanks to a few blog posts and sharing my brick wall, I have got lots of new information which reveals all the family secrets. Plus I even have some photos to share so blogging definitely pays off.

Not surprisingly I haven't done any family history research or even made a start on all the photos and albums I cleared out of Mum's house. The hardest part is always starting but I also need to digitise as my brother wants some too. Mum and Dad always took photos of our children (their grandchildren) when they babysat so lots of photos that neither my brother or I have copies of.

Touching my wooden desk, life should return to normal for me and I will get back into a nice routine of household chores, family history and gardening. Perhaps even a bit of exercise and social activity. Have a great week searching and Diary will get back to regular reporting. Until next week.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Townsville seminar, Orange conference, UTP guides & other news: Genealogy Notes 1-14 Sep 2017

At the end of August everyone says to me you must be glad that National Family History Month is now over, all that spare time. I wish! Actually the first two weeks of September are usually super busy as I am notifying sponsors and prize winners, following up any issues and writing up a report for AFFHO on the month. There was an AFFHO meeting (via Skype) last night and I'm almost finished the report. Then starts the planning for NFHM 2018!

Display tables kept everyone busy!
Another NFHM  activity was writing up a report on the closing event held with the Family History Association of North Queensland in Townsville. It was a great weekend with a full day of talks on the Saturday (Louise Coakley from Cairns was the other speaker) and we both attended the DNA special interest group meeting on the Sunday. Read my report on the weekend here. I still have to write up the family history aspect of the trip as Mum's Price family lived in Townsville and Charters Towers. The visit to the Army Museum North Queensland in the Jezzine Barracks precinct was really good but I will save the details for the blog post, coming soon.

There is no rest for the weekend because next week I will be off to Orange, NSW for the annual conference of the ACT & NSW Association of Family History Societies. The theme is Your Family Story: Telling, Recording and Preserving and it is an interesting program on the Saturday and Sunday with workshops (now all fully booked) on the Friday as well as a Family History Fair. One of my mother's uncles was born in Orange, NSW so I am looking forward to visiting a place my family once lived.

Eric's new guide
I love getting parcels of books or magazines (ebooks/emags are never quite as exciting). One small parcel contained four new research guides from Unlock the Past. I read Carol Baxter's To Trace of Not to Trace: a family history overview for the curious on the plane to Townsville, and Rosemary Kopittke's My Heritage ...My Story on the way home. I heard Rosemary's talk on select features of MyHeritage on the Unlock the Past PNG cruise in July so I was keen to learn more. The other two guides are Eric Kopittke's Introduction to German Family History Research for Australians which should be very popular and Chris Paton's 2nd edition of Discover Scottish Land Records. All can be purchased online from Gould Genealogy & History.

Another exciting mail delivery was a copy of the Who Do You Think You Are magazine, August 2017 which had my article on Australian Gold Rush Ancestors. An article always looks more interesting when laid out by editors and my text turned into a five page spread. So far only one Australian friend has congratulated me on the piece, but perhaps it is not widely read here. I have never seen it in my local newsagent but perhaps I will look next time I visit Brisbane.

My grandfather Henry Price was in the Kennedy Regiment
lots on them at Jezzine Barracks Townsville
I've been waiting for an English marriage certificate since 24 August - it is so frustrating that it takes so long to be mailed out when I can order a Queensland or Victorian certificate and see it 60 seconds after I have paid for it. If some BDM registries can do it, why not all of them? Still in the good old days I had to wait months so I guess there is some improvement. Just have to learn patience all over again.

This coming week will see yet another desk clean up - everything seems to go everywhere when I am busy and travelling. Little piles to work through when I have time!

Have a fantastic week searching and until next time, have fun too.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

End of NFHM 2017, book review & other news - Genealogy Notes 23-31 Aug 2017

On the eve of the closing of National Family History Month (NFHM) all I can say is that it has been very hectic. I finished my series of talks for Moreton Bay Region Libraries this week with an enthusiastic audience at Caboolture Library. Two people even came down from Caloundra to catch my Ancestors in Church talk. The presentation can be seen on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations. It was also good to see that Findmypast is now available free at the Caboolture, Strathpine and Redcliffe libraries although there is a limit of two hours access per day per customer. Still you can do a lot of searching in two hours.

An early Spencer home in Adelaide (family photo)
My one piece of blog writing was to take part in Alona Tester's alphabetical ancestral placenames geneameme - read my Ancestral Places Geneameme to see where some of my families are from. I managed to find at least one place for every letter of the alphabet except X.

Part of my NFHM activities was to do a review of Lynette McDermott's historical novel Perseverance which is about two First Fleet convict families, the Garths and Belletts,  after they were removed from Norfolk Island to Tasmania. Read the review here. Lynette donated a copy of the book as a prize for NFHM.

Another NFHM activity was a guest blog for MyHeritage, another prize sponsor of NFHM. Read my guest post Family Memories From Down Under. All the boxes of Mum's stuff in the back bedroom still needs to be sorted but there are no visitors on the horizon so it can wait a little while longer. Not a job to be rushed.

Mum, my brother and I - a lifetime ago (family photo)
The NFHM prizes giveaway is being drawn on Saturday 2 September in Townsville so there will be some excited people next week when the winners go up on the NFHM website. Louise Coakley will be giving two talks on DNA and I'm talking about archives and skeletons in the family so it is going to be an interesting day in Townsville. On the Sunday I'm attending the Family History Association of North Queensland DNA special interest group meeting which will be good too. I really do need to sit down and really examine my results and work out which matches to follow up. There will be a blog post to follow.

Once I get home again my focus will be on the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Organisations annual conference Your Family Story: Telling, Recording & Preserving which is on in Orange, New South Wales in three weeks. My conference paper is Weaving Your Family History on the Web. There is a great program plus the Friday Fair where there will be all kinds of temptation.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful family history month and managed to attend an event or visit a library or archive. If you have an entry in the prizes giveaway good luck. Until next time, happy researching.