Friday, 30 September 2016

Geneaenvy, research queries & other news - Genealogy Notes 22-30 Sep 2016

Geneaenvy - I'm not sure if there is such a word but I think I have it.Perhaps I need to stop following some people on Facebook but it seems that a lot of my US and Canada geneafriends are going to genealogy conferences, seminars, cruises and other events every weekend.Whereas most of us here in Australia only get to a geneaevent maybe once or twice a year.

The AFFHO genealogy congress is held every three years and we have to wait until 2018 for the next one - Bridging the Past & Future to be held in Sydney. The call for papers closes on 31 October and I put in three proposals this week so I'm hoping one gets up. History Queensland has a conference every two years and the next one is 2017 on the Gold Coast with a theme  of  Footsteps in Time. The NSW & ACT Association of Family History Organisations holds an annual conference with the next one in Orange, NSW with a great theme Your Family Story: Telling, Recording, Preserving.  Unlock the Past usually has a genealogy cruise once a year with the next one heading to Papua New Guinea in 2017 and occasionally they have an Expo with the next one in Adelaide just a week away.

Lots of societies hold an annual seminar day but these are usually are smaller, mainly local and don't attract people from a greater distance. So depending on where you live, you may not even get to some of the larger events. Webinars are starting to get more popular here but to me don't have the same ambiance of being in a room with a lot of like minded people. I suspect that our population would not support any more geneaevents so thank goodness for social media. We can read blog posts, tweets and Facebook links from those who are lucky enough to have a geneaevent every week.

There have been a few research enquiries over the past few weeks which have taken me to places my own research doesn't go. Always good to learn new things and I have to say NSW Family History Transcriptions run by Marilyn Rowan is excellent. Within a few days of placing my order, the transcripts were in my inbox. So much cheaper and quicker than certificates. The Biographical Database of Australia is also good if you have early NSW research. You can search for free but to see the full entries you need to subscribe but it is a modest amount and worth it if you find lots of interest in the searches.

I rejoined the Genealogical Society of Victoria (I knew I should never have let it lapse when I moved to Queensland) as I was missing their journal and access to their online member resources including GIN, (Genealogical Index of Names). A lot of what is available on there is not available elsewhere making it a great resource for Victorian ancestors.

Henry Spencer's brother,
Adkins Robert Spencer,
image courtesy
State Library of Queensland
It's good to revisit blog posts from time to time and this week I added the Search for Henry Spencer to my own website. It was originally written for a brick wall site in Sep 2010. Since then I have managed to find long lost cousins, learn lots of new things about the family and discover exciting photos not seen before.

Nathan Dylan Goodwin's The Spyglass File is on my weekend reading list and if it hooks me like the earlier works, then not much else will get done.

The first part of this week will be busy writing modules for the Education Records online course and working on research reports. But then it will be off to Adelaide for the last big geneaevent in Australia for this year. The Adelaide Expo program has just been revised with more exhibitors and some changes of rooms to accommodate attendees at some talks. With five streams it's a bit tricky at times to work out which sessions to go to plus I want to leave time to visit all the exhibitor stands. A full report will follow once I'm back home.

The family have started talking about what are we doing for Christmas this year - I'm still trying to work out where has this year gone. It's been a brilliant year for new family history discoveries, so much so that I haven't kept up with updating all my draft family histories. Perhaps that's a job for the quiet end of the year when societies close down over the summer holidays. But then the internet never closes down so no real down time for genea addicted people like me.

Until next time, have a great genealogy week.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Scottish discoveries, Adelaide Expo, Book review,& Other News - Genealogy Notes 15-21 Sep 2016

It's been a week of catching up on lots of things. My reading pile has been reduced and lots of journals and magazines neatly filed on the bookshelves. Just about everyone one that I read had an idea to follow up or URLs to check out. Which of course then leads to those distractions as you check out new information. For example, a site that I had not come across previously was Scotland's Places which searches three national databases to access historical resources for places in Scotland.

My great grandfather James Carnegie -
his mother Helen was born in Montrose
Looking for Montrose, Angus where most of my Scottish families were from led me to maps, photographs and references to various resources . I hadn't seen horse tax rolls before, not that I think my ancestors had horses but lots of people seem to have. In fact under historical tax rolls there were male and female servant tax rolls, cart tax rolls, dog tax rolls, clock and watch tax rolls, and all kinds of other tax rolls mostly for the 18th century but some earlier or later. Some documents you can see but others you need a Scotland's People subscription. You can also offer to help transcribe some of the documents! Lots to explore and do in Scotland's Places if you haven't already done so.

My two talks for the Unlock the Past history and genealogy expo in Adelaide next month are now done. Every time I look at the program and list of exhibitors it has grown and it will be a mega geneaevent. Lots of friends are also planning to travel there and it seems a few of us have booked into the same motel, the closest to the venue. It's an easy walking distance so I get some exercise as well!

If anyone else is going, let us know and perhaps we can organise drinks or a dinner on Friday or Saturday night.

I've finished reading Me & My Family Tree by Jackie Moss and my review is on the Resources page of my website - direct link here. With Christmas coming up, it would make a nice present for any young grandchildren who share a love of books and are interested in the family. If they are not already interested, they will be afterwards.

I'm making good progress on the Education Records module for the Australian certificate offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. It's amazing what I learn myself along the way, especially what is available online. Until you actually go looking for something you don't always know that it is online. Students should find it quite interesting (available early next year).

At the AFFHO Skype meeting on Monday night I gave my final report on National Family History Month 2016. I hadn't realised that the June issue of AFFHO's Newsflash had not gone out. This meant that societies were not given my final reminder to get their events into the web calendar and to remind members to enter the prizes giveaway. It probably explains why our numbers were a little down on last year's.

Adkins Robert Spencer via Trove
Next month's meeting of the Bribie Island Historical Society will be where I present my research on the early Presidents of the Amateur Fishing Association of Queensland which has its headquarters at Bongaree on Bribie Island. Max's great uncle Adkins Robert Spencer was the 3rd President so there is some family history in my talk. I've also looked at the families of the other Presidents up to 1950 and it is wonderful what you can learn about people when you only know a name and a place. Trove has given me clues that were easily followed up in other resources and I've been able to find out quite a lot about most of those early Presidents.

There's a nice quiet week ahead and I'm hoping for some research time possibly on my Cornish families - a bit of a review before the Adelaide Expo. One of the key speakers that I really want to hear is Philip Payton an expert on Cornish history and the Cornish in Australia. So it would be nice to have all of my Cornish research fresh in my mind before attending his talks. Otherwise it is back to some serious writing time.

Until next time, happy searching. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Rockstar Genealogists, Camden Conference & Other News - Genealogy Notes 8-14 Sep 2016

What a huge genealogy week! I'll start with the really exciting news first. Each year, John D Reid (Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections) conducts an online poll for Rockstar Genealogists around the world. It is always an honour to be nominated in the Australia/New Zealand category along with other well known speakers and bloggers. This year I was excited to learn that I was the Silver medallist while Jill Ball (aka Geniaus) took out the Gold and Michelle Patient and Helen Smith tied for the Bronze. The top ten is also a who's who of well known Australasian genealogists. It is also interesting to see the other Country categories and we have been fortunate down under to have some of the medallists give presentations here.

I am also indebted to Michelle Patient for designing this wonderful badge and I have already seen other medallists using it. Thanks to everyone who voted for me and all those who received nominations are winners too and if you get the opportunity, try to attend their presentations or read their blogs.

Before the exciting news broke, I was in Camden New South Wales for the annual NSW & ACT Family History Organisations conference. It was a great event, with good speakers, exhibitors, venue, food and was definitely a chance to catch up with lots of geneamates. My Report on the Camden Conference goes into more detail about the three days.

Reading Room, AIATSIS Sep 2016
While briefly in Canberra (which was cold and wet and I remembered clearly why I left there) I visited AIATSIS, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. There have been changes since my last visit some 15 years ago, but there is a lovely reading room looking out over Lake Burley Griffin. The online catalogue allows you to work out what you want to look at and there is also an online family history tool kit. A great place to start researching Indigenous family history and it's also useful to everyone doing family history.

A friend contacted me this week asking me to check the local paper for any death or funeral notice for a relation who had died in nearby Redcliffe. I'm forever telling people that not everything is online so it is a bit ironic that I couldn't find the notice in the paper. Instead I found it online on one of my favourite sites for recent funeral notices. Heaven Address can be used to look for recent funeral notices (Memorials) or for Resting Places

The postman delivered Chris Paton's new Unlock the Past guide A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy so another book on the pile to read. Still waiting for Nathan Dylan Goodwin's new genealogy crime mystery The Spyglass Thriller - I ordered it a couple of weeks ago but obviously on a slow boat. Nathan has since offered me two copies for lucky door prizes at speaking events so I will have to work out where and when.

This coming week is catching up with family, seems ages since I saw my brother and mother but then it has been a couple of hectic months. Some quiet writing is also on the cards now that I have finished bits and pieces of research. It is much easier to write when not distracted by lots of other things. Until next time, happy researching.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Exciting Irish News, Camden Conference & Other News - Genealogy Notes 3-7 Sep 2016

The Society logo
Tomorrow I head off for Canberra and my visit to AIATSIS (Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) before heading to Camden in New South Wales for the Cow Pastures and Beyond genealogy conference and family history fair. It is organised by the Camden Area Family History Society and I love their logo. As well as ACT and NSW friends, I also know that some from SA and QLD will also be there. A great three days coming up and a report will follow next week.

My week has been spent catching up on some genealogy magazine reading and exploring lots of new URLs. That's probably the main reason I never catch up with the reading because an article sends me to the laptop. Of course that also happens with tweets and Facebook posts too. This was going to be written this morning when I saw Chris Paton's British Genes Blog post and it totally hijacked my day.

Why? The headline was Historic Irish BMD Records Freely Available Online and how could anyone with Irish ancestors go past that. Several hours later I have managed to find out a lot more about my GG Grandmother's sisters family in Ireland. Sarah Finn nee Fagan had a sister Mary Fagan who married Patrick McCormack and they looked after my GGG grandmother Sarah Fagan nee Cane in her old age. As it was a collateral line I have never bothered to get certificates, relying on the 1901 and 1911 census records for the family. Now thanks to these new records online, I have Mary and Patrick's marriage certificate, birth certificates for all of their children and death certificates for Patrick and Mary.

I believe my great grandmother Mary Carnegie nee Finn was named after her aunt Mary McCormack nee Fagan. They never met and I wonder if Sarah ever wrote back home to her sister Mary? No letters survive here but now that I have more information on the McCormack's, perhaps I should try and track down any descendants?

I haven't been as successful with my Finn and Beakey families - I've got some possible entries but the certificates are not online yet. Once they are there might be enough information for me to confirm a relationship. Plus I've been jumping all over the place in my excitement, looking for quick hits. A more steady approach is required, not to mention some spelling variation searches. In the past I have found Finn under Funn. Still that will have to wait until I get back home again. As will entering all the data into my genealogy program.

The other thing I get from magazines and journals are blog post ideas and now that NFHM is over for another year I want to get back to some blog writing. Also high on my priority list is a new course module for the Australian Certificate offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. It is on Education Records and I am looking forward to it as education records have long been a favourite of mine. One of my popular presentations is on school records and I use lots of my own family discoveries.

I'm also half way through a new research guide for Unlock the Past which was also abandoned for NFHM. Hopefully after I reread what I have done so far, it won't take too long to finish. Perhaps I need to stop checking social media for new releases?? Those people who don't use social media for genealogy and family history are missing out but then they probably get more other things done like housework, gardening and food shopping.

Time to go and pack a suitcase and get all my travel documents together for an early start tomorrow. The Bribie shuttle is picking me up at 5am to get to the airport on time. Traffic on the highway is always the unknown and I would prefer to have breakfast in the Qantas Club than be stuck in Brisbane's early morning traffic and worrying about missing the flight. Enjoy the weekend and if you are in Camden, come up and say hello.

 Until next week, happy searching!

Friday, 2 September 2016

End of National Family History Month 2016 & Other News - Genealogy Notes 25 Aug - 2 Sep 2016

A super big week and this blog is a little late but I have been busily notifying excited winners in the National Family History Month sponsors prizes giveaway. The draw took place after I gave my 18th talk for the month at the Noosaville Library. It was my Love Sex and Damn Lies talk which generated a good deal of chat afterwards. All of my talks for August can be found on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

Noosaville Library generously agreed to host the drawing of the prizes and I offered two lucky door prizes - one was Jackie Moss' Me & My Family Tree which is a children's book introducing them to family history. Every time I have used one of Jackie's books as a NFHM prize, the grandparents in the audience are all keen to win one. The other prize was a copy of my own Discover Your Sporting Ancestors - so many people assume that their ancestors didn't play sport. Everyone has sporting ancestors who fished, hunted, attended gun clubs, or played local cricket or football. School sports days are another place to find ancestors involved with sport.

It takes quite a while to draw all of the individual prizes and only one lady stayed to the end, apart from the librarians so I gave her one of my Finding Ancestors in Church Records for her assistance. Since then I have put the winners names up on the website, made announcements in social media, notified winners and sponsors by email and started to write up a final report on NFHM 2016 for AFFHO.

Week 4 of Alex Daw's NFHM 2016 blogging challenge was on places and landmarks. My contribution was Family Places and I think my own research is the richer for having travelled to see some of my own ancestral places in Australia.

John D Reid from Canada's Anglo Celtic Connections is again conducting his Genealogist Rockstar awards and voting is now open. It is exciting and humbling to see my own name amongst so many great Australasian speakers and bloggers. Not to mention all those US, Canada and UK people. Everyone is worthy of an award. If some names are new to you, check out their blogs/websites or maybe even listen to one of their webinars.

It has been a long month as voluntary coordinator of NFHM and I felt I deserved a reward (considering I can't go into the prizes giveaway). I ordered a copy of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's fourth volume on the fictional adventures of his forensic genealogist, Morton Farrier in The Spyglass File. It's quicker and cheaper to get the ecopy but I have all the others as paperbacks, plus I am still one of these people that like to curl up in bed with a good book.

By the end of the this weekend I hope to get back to doing some more of my own research. With the various events I attended during the month, I have quite a list of things to follow up. My desk also needs a good tidy up as I have piled lots of things collected during the month for a closer look or read.

Next weekend is the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Organisations annual conference Cowpastures and Beyond at Camden. It will be a great opportunity to catch up with old geneafriends and learn new and exciting things. I'm hoping to visit AIATSIS in Canberra before heading off to Camden. At Noosaville the other day two of the questions were about Indigenous genealogy and it's a while since I last visited AIATSIS.

Another busy week ahead and I might try and get another Diary done before I go, otherwise it will be late again. It is just too hard trying to keep up with blogs and social media while travelling and attending events. I hope everyone had a great NFHM 2016 and make sure August is in your calendars for next year. Until next time, happy searching.