Saturday, 23 May 2015

Webinars & Blogging magic - Genealogy Notes 17-23 May 2015

Sometimes I wonder if my fear of technology is real and attracts things to go wrong or I am just unlucky. During the week I gave a webinar on Queensland resources online for the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG). Two days before we did a rehearsal to overcome my fears (it was only my second webinar presenting) and there was no problem. Everything went well and was familiar to me from the previous time. Come the night I could hear them but they could not hear me! After a little bit of fuss on both ends we managed to both hear each other and I gave the talk.

I still find it hard to get into a webinar without seeing the audience but I was very pleased the following day to see feedback on Facebook and Twitter with people following up some of the tips for Queensland resources online. SAG also got good feedback on the night and it really is a good way for people to attend talks if they can't personally travel to the venue/speaker. The presentation is on the Resources section of my website, scroll down to Presentations (slides only, no dialogue).

Week 38 Trade Union Records continues my personal genealogy blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2015. Participating in a blog challenge does help you to focus on what to write about but it also helps to stay committed to writing regularly. My family stories have led to many new discoveries that would not have happened if I was only writing in a paper based journal or magazine.

My GGG Grandmother's handwriting in her bible
In preparation for my meeting with newly discovered cousins, I tidied up some of my Finn family research and worked out what I would take along.  They are my father's generation and descended from my great grandmother's sister. One of the things you hear repeatedly with family history is that you should trace all the siblings too as you just don't know who ends up with what. How true in this case as I was able to see my GGG grandmother's diary in which she had written her name, Mrs Sarrah Fegan of Glasnargit (Ireland).

Sarah gave the bible to her daughter (also called Sarah) and when Sarah (the younger) and her husband John decided to emigrate to Queensland, Sarah brought her mother's bible with her. Their daughter Sarah Jane later became custodian of the bible and it is now with one of Sarah Jane's granddaughters (not called Sarah thankfully as it can be confusing). It was fantastic seeing the bible and reading something that was written in 1861 by my GGG grandmother. Did she ever contemplate that the bible might end up on the other side of the world or that it would still be treasured over 150 years later?

Sue White my cousin on the Finn side of our family tree
But how did we find each other? In 2013 I blogged about the three Finn brothers who went to WW1 (see my blog post here) and my cousin googled their names looking for some military information on them. She discovered my blog post and my website and realised that we shared common ancestors. A quick email to confirm and even though we live in different states, we met in Brisbane and swapped information, scanned some photos and even took some new photos. Great day.

We have some distant cousins on Max's side coming for lunch this week. We met them on our 2007 trip to Norfolk Island for the bicentenary of the closing of the first Norfolk Island convict settlement. We have kept in touch ever since. But as my first example shows, you don't have to travel thousands of miles to meet your relatives, all you need to do is blog and they will find you. Magic!

This coming week I am giving a talk at the Redcliffe Library for Moreton Bay Region Libraries as part of their genealogy program and one further talk to do before the end of the program. I am pleased to say that they have also asked me to do ten talks during National Family History Month in August so that will keep me busy. I wish I was busier adding events to the NFHM web calendar with Victoria currently leading with the number of events. Some states and territories have yet to see any events added.

There is a Skype meeting of AFFHO (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations) on Monday so I will be doing a report on NFHM 2015 progress so far and hopefully getting some more society support from AFFHO members. But you don't have to be a member of AFFHO to add your August events to the NFHM web calendar and to be in the running for some great prizes.

Until next time, happy researching.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Asylums, Societies & Land Records - Genealogy notes 9-16 May 2015

It has been a strange week as I have spent a bit of time without access to the internet which is extremely frustrating when you need to get certain things finished. Seriously thinking about my internet set up as I do need to depend on it at times and need reliability.

Max at AFAQ Cottage May 2015
On Friday we went with a group of U3A Bribie history lovers to the Amateur Fishing Association of Queensland's headquarters at Bongaree where Max's great uncle Adkins Robert Spencer was a President for over 16 years back in the 1920s and 30s. There were photos up on the wall, an honor roll with his name on it for all those years and copies of the minutes of meetings from when he was President. The cottage is basically the same as it was then except it has been raised up a floor. We find it incredibly moving to walk where our ancestors have been and to be in the same place that they spent time. A great outing.

One consequence of no internet access was that I didn't write any blogs in the last week which feels quite strange, perhaps it is like an exercise person who misses their daily run. All revved up but no place to go. Basically I focused on upcoming talks. I reviewed my talk Family Skeletons or Just Old & Sick: Looking into Asylum Records which I presented yesterday at an education seminar for the Genealogical Society of Queensland. You can see the presentation on my website Resources page, scroll down to Presentations.

It was almost a packed house and there were lots of questions and discussions over morning tea. The Society had copies of my book on asylum records for sale and it was nice to see people purchasing them. Copies of my other research guides sold too and I gave a shout out to Chris Paton's Down and Out in Scotland when someone asked about British asylums.
Presentation area GSQ Library 
It was my first visit to the GSQ's library and as always I was impressed with just how many resources are available to genealogy/family history society members. There are internet resources, microforms, old card indexes (not always in a database), books and magazines and not to mention the wonderful volunteers who give advice to people looking for information on their families.

It always amazes me when people say they don't need to join the local society as they have no Brisbane (or wherever the society is) connections. Australian society libraries have resources for all over the world but especially the UK and other Australian states and you can access Ancestry and Findmypast and perhaps other subscription sites there as part of your membership.

One of the things I keep forgetting is that many societies have resources online in members only sections of their websites. I rejoined GSQ when I came back to Queensland in 2012 and this was my first visit to the library and I have yet to visit their members only resources online. I really need to go back for a research visit as I spotted a few things I want to follow up and in the members only section one of the things I want is online - at least the index is and with the reference I can request a copy (for a fee) without making the trek down to the library.

How many people are not making the most of their Society membership? No time is one of my ongoing issues but it is also not consciously thinking of how best to use my memberships. Of course if you are not a member of a society you are totally missing out in the first place.

Perhaps the most exciting news I picked up during the week was the release of historical land information for South Australia. Historical Torrens titles and name indexes are now online and free to view and download. It is not searchable so you need to open page after page of the name index until you find the right entry. From there you get the CT reference (Certificate of Title) and then it is a simple to preview or download a copy. Have a look at the YouTube demo here or go direct to the SAILIS website to start your search. Thanks to my friends on Facebook for highlighting a great new resource.

Social media such as Twitter, Google +, Facebook and so on can show us some exciting new resources or how to use them as others pass the news along to their friends and followers. Are you missing out?

Trove have sent me a few messages telling me that articles I had flagged on Trove are now ready to see - remember if you see those 'coming soon' messages you can ask them to notify you when the article is available. I find it a handy reminder that I want to see something in particular.

This coming week I have my webinar with Society of Australian Genealogists members on Queensland resources so I am a bit worried about the dodgy internet connection at the moment. I have selected some interesting and not so well known online resources to talk about so it should be good, touch wood! Webinars are one of the members only benefits that SAG offers although you have to be quick to book as they are extremely popular.

Next weekend is a bit of a family gathering, my son's birthday and my niece is turning 21 so a catch up with Mum and my brother's family and dinner out to celebrate. As I am already in Brisbane for that I am taking the opportunity to meet up with a distant cousin who found me via one of my family blogs on the Finn family. She has my GGG grandmother's family bible which my GG grandmother brought out from Ireland with her. How exciting is that! Plus there is other information we can exchange so I am really looking forward to that.

Until next time have a great genealogy week.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Immigration & Getting Ready for NFHM 2015 - Genealogy Notes 1-8 May 2015

Last Diary I was getting ready for Southern Suburbs Branch of the Genealogical Society of Queensland's immigration seminar. It was a great day and I learnt a few new things and you can read my report on the seminar here. I've also spent a bit of time exploring (playing) with my new Queensland Customs House Shipping 1852-1885 passengers and crew CD.

Thanks to Rosemary's talk on it, I have been doing different searches plus I wanted to check out what was on it for the 1864 voyage of the Legion of Honour which I had spotted in her talk. Imagine my surprise when I put in the date and name of the ship and nothing came up. Not all databases use soundex and bring up similar spellings and when I put in Legion of Honor there she was. The ship's name is spelt both ways in a variety of sources so it was a simple thing to find. It is a useful reminder that the difference of one letter might be all that is stopping us from finding what we are looking for. So remember to search for name variations!

National Family History Month 2015 was my other priority this week as I want to get as many events in the web calendar before I go on holidays in July. As it is a manual process to put events into the calendar and a voluntary position I do for AFFHO, I am not taking NFHM on holidays with me! So I am encouraging all genealogy and family history societies, archives, libraries and others to put their events up early so that people can plan what they intend to go to during August. Read more about what's in store in my NFHM blog post and please note that NFHM is in August so only August events will be listed.

I seem to be having some allergy issues at the moment, lots of sneezing which makes it hard to concentrate or do anything as it is non stop sneezing. The chemist sold me some tabs which control the sneezing but then your head just feels like it is full of concrete. We had prebooked on a trip to North Stradbroke Island with the Bribie RSL Branch and I did not want to miss out so I popped a tablet and went.

Why North Stradbroke? Last time I was there was back in the late 1970s and not a lot has changed accept the more modern ferries, love the Big Red Cat (a vehicular ferry). But back then I did not know that my great great grandfather John Finn had lived at Dunwich Benevolent Asylum for a time, nor did I know of his time in Brisbane Gaol and Woogaroo Asylum - all of that was waiting for me to discover ten years in the future. Next weekend I am giving a talk on asylum records for the Genealogical Society of Queensland so I have been thinking of John as his story is in my presentation.

The only trouble with travelling with a bus load of other people is that you stop at the scenic places (we went to Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout) and drive straight past the cemetery and any of the other historic places. I would have loved to visit the museum but there was no time. Still it was a good day out although an 11 hour round trip! I will certainly plan to go again and do the historical things we missed out on this time.

Mum and I ca 1975 (where did 40 years go?)
Tomorrow is Mother's Day so I will be visiting Mum and letting her know she still has two cousins older than her. I expect she will be surprised. My son is also going to go to Mum's so a chance to all see each other at the same time. My brother might even be there, a real family day.

As I mentioned above I have my asylums presentation next weekend and then I am doing a webinar for the Society of Australian Genealogists on Queensland resources online. So another technologically challenging session for me but one way to learn about new technology. Personally I think I prefer nodding heads in an audience rather than a laptop screen at home by myself.

Everyone have a great Mother's Day either being with our mothers or remembering them. Until next time, have an exciting genealogical week.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Serendipity & new resources - Genealogy notes 23-30 Apr 2015

I am starting this week's Diary post with one of the best blog posts for genealogy/family history societies I have seen in a while. It is Long Lost Relatives aka Susan Petersen's An open letter to genealogy societies and I can relate to all of her points and mostly agreeing. Although regular readers will know that I am still pretty much a paper based reader but then that is probably because I do most of my reading in bed and the only technology in the bedroom is the ancient clock radio. I am a member of five societies at the moment and renewal is coming up and I am seriously thinking of letting my membership lapse for some of them. Why pay for something that you don't use or get value for?

Part of the Anzac Day parade on Bribie 2015
Anzac Day was huge on Bribie Island and Max also had his RAAF reunion here so there was lots of social activities over the weekend. The parade on Bribie was bigger again this year and it is great to see all the schools involved too. For a small island, Bribie has two primary schools and one high school and an amazing number of children when seen all together. The distance was too far for Max and his walking stick but we watched the parade and attended the service at the Bribie RSL.
Max before the service at Bribie RSL

Last week I wrote about her I was trying to see if Mum was the last of her generation and I said there were two olders cousins still unaccounted for. The very next day I received an email contact via Ancestry from the son of one of those cousins (which was a little spooky or is that serendipity) to say that his mother and her older sister are still alive. Wow. Since then he has updated me on that side of the family as I have not been in touch with them since the 1980s.

Finding cousins (several times removed) is so much easier these days, especially if they have put their family history interests online in a subscription database or one of the free sites. If they are blogging their family stories that is another plus as Google can search and find them for us. I find it ever so much more effective than the old genealogical research directories that we paid to put our names into together with a broad date range and county.

In the last month I have been contacted on three different family lines because they have found my interests online somewhere. The information all three has filled gaps in my own knowledge of the family and I am going to meet one of them in a few weeks to see family memorabilia in person. We live a few hours apart but will be meeting somewhere in the middle. All very exciting.

Serendipity also played a role in my Week 37 Military Histories and Unit War Diaries entry in my personal blog challenge 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2015. While I knew about those resources I had not used them before so if I hadn't gone to the talk, I would not have been inspired to look. We never know when and where we are going to find clues for our family history. If you have not seen or used these resources read my Week 37 post.

Work continues on my Occupations course for the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. When you start to focus on a particular subject area it is amazing how many 'new' resources you discover as one thing always leads to another. This is my way of saying I am easily distracted by fascinating websites and start looking for my own families instead of keeping up the writing. Really the internet just has to be the most fantastic resource for family history but it's not all online yet.

Updating my talk on what the voyage was like for Sunday's seminar at Southern Suburbs Branch of the Genealogical Society of Queensland also made me realise how much easier research has become as I first gave a version of this talk back in the 1980s. Newspapers are now digitised and online (but not all), as are photographs of ships, many shipboard diaries have been digitised and again, I was distracted and went looking for information on my families. However, my talk now has some fascinating new snippets on my own research so a win win.

My next blog post and article for The In-Depth Genealogist were finished just in time (end of the month is the deadline). The blog is a series of posts on some of my favourite research institutions in Australia and as we have so many great archives and libraries I suspect it will go on for quite some time. With the articles I am taking a subject approach and like the examples above, I am finding new information myself just researching and writing these posts and articles.

I am pleased to say that some events are starting to come through for National Family History Month which is now only three months away. Next week I will be doing a blog post on it to let everyone know what is new this year and what they can look forward to in August. Remember to remind your local society to add their August events into the web calendar to be eligible for the wonderful sponsors prizes for societies.

It is a very wet weekend here so I have stacked up all my paper genealogy magazines received over the last couple of months and am planning a nice time sitting back reading. I also have quite a few digital copies to read too but sitting at this desk is not quite as appealing as the recliner lounge. I must learn to use my IPad better - I do have some digital books on there but most of my magazines are on the laptop.

No doubt there will be lots of things I will want to follow up from my reading so I'm guessing before too long I will be back at my desk, one of my family history folders on the table beside me, looking up a website to see if I can find anything on the family that I have not already got. Just as well we need to eat, drink and sleep otherwise I would always be at this desk!

Only one more month of autumn then winter will be upon us. But then winter up here is not quite like it is down south. While I miss those wonderful autumn colours, I don't miss those frosty mornings. Have a great genealogy week and I hope you are making as many exciting discoveries as I am. Until next time.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

ANZAC Day, Digital Memories & Death Records - Genealogy Notes 17-23 Apr 2015

Another huge week with lots happening on my own personal genealogy as well as going to genealogy seminars and National Family History Month ramping up. First up I went to Colleen Fitzpatrick's three Brisbane seminars and you can read my review here.

I also participated in Kintalk's Trans Tasman ANZAC Day blog challenge. This year's tribute was to Alexander Thomas Davis my cousin three times removed who received a gun shot wound to the head in France and died of wounds shortly after arriving back home at Toorbul. Read my tribute to Alexander here.

The Queenslander, 8 Jan 1916 courtesy
State Library of Queensland
The latest issue of Queensland's Registry of BDM's Family History Journal has a military article on my three great uncles Robert, John and Denis Finn who all enlisted in WW1. The Registry describes me as an 'avid supporter' - my online dictionary says that is someone who is enthusiastic, keen, ardent, devoted, dedicated, zealous and fanatic. Yep, I guess that is me! To subscribe (free) and read their really interesting journal and find out what's happening in Queensland BDMs visit this link.

My mother's draft family history progresses and I bought her a small book Dear Mum from me to you: journal of a lifetime which is basically a series of questions about her childhood, parents, marriage, children and so on. I thought it would be a good idea if Mum jotted down her memories in this journal and I could incorporate some of them into the family history. Well she did short answers to the first three questions and then it was all a bit hard with her arthritic fingers.

Not to be defeated I went back with a digital recorder and said all she had to do was read the question and then give her answer. I showed her the on/off buttons and away she went. I came back a little while later and she had totally finished the whole book, when I had been expecting her to take days, if not weeks. I haven't worked my way through the questions yet but some of her memories seem quite short. Perhaps I can go back with further questions after she has thought about things more. At least I am getting a bit more than the usual 'what do you want to know that for?'.

The other thing I was trying to confirm (or not) was that Mum is the last of her generation. I have thought this might be true for some time so I set about trying to get death dates for her cousins if I didn't already have them. This led to some interesting discoveries in Ancestry and My Heritage where I know some of my relatives have put their family trees. For those lines were no one is actively following the families, I did searches in Brisbane City Council's Grave Location Search, Moreton Bay Regional Council's cemetery database and the Ryerson Index and picked up a few more death dates.

Mum's youngest brother Cyril who saw service in WW2,
Mount Thompson crematorium  
I had heard that Mount Thompson crematorium was also now online but had never looked before. Well there went a few hours! Not only is it online but there are images of the plaques so even though I have photos taken back in the 1980s I was able to see more up to date images and in quite a few cases, additional people had been added to some family plaques. However, if your person does not have a memorial then they don't appear in the search results. At least mine don't.

The interesting thing about the Heaven's Address site is that it also links to other crematoriums and memorial gardens (not just Queensland) and is definitely worth a visit to see if one of your families final resting places is included.

I was then left with only a couple of names other than Mum's. So I did a Google search on their names using inverted commas around the names. Worked a treat for one of them! I found Betty Isabel White listed on the Gympie Funerals website and the last time I corresponded with the family they were in the Gympie area. The information is basically what would have appeared in the local newspaper announcing the funeral. I wasn't so lucky with the other two cousins (sisters) but if still alive, they would be older than Mum. Looks like I will have to try and find some of my own cousins to solve the question of whether Mum is the last of her generation.

There are quite a few talks coming up in May so I will be out and about again. The first is a seminar being held by Southern Suburbs branch of the Genealogical Society of Queensland. It is on 3 May and includes 4 talks all on immigration topics. Details are here but it is a great opportunity to hear Eric and Rosemary Kopittke, Helen Smith and myself. Great value at $20 (in advance) for the day but you do need to bring your own lunch or buy it nearby. Other talks coming up can be found on the Events page of my website.

I have been adding some events to the National Family History Month web calendar but I would love to see more events added. Genealogy and family history societies who enter an event before 30 June 2015 will receive a gift certificate from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Full details on the Sponsors page.

Tomorrow we have the ANZAC Day dawn service and parade on Bribie Island plus there is the RAAF reunion which kicks off tonight with dinner at the Bribie RSL and ends on Sunday with a BBQ lunch. So not a lot of genealogy will be done this weekend but I am hoping to catch some of Max's military stories. Now that I have dusted off the digital recorder he is next on my list of subjects.

We will all be remembering our military ancestors this weekend, the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli. One of Max's cousins, Tasman Jarvis died on 25 Apr 1915 at Gallipoli, My tribute blog post to him was on 24 Apr 2010 and you can read it here. Until next week, happy searching.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Maryborough, Memories & the Unexpected - Genealogy Notes 11-16 Apr 2015

Maryborough Family Heritage Research Institute
Maryborough Family Heritage Research Institute
This week's Diary is a little early as it is Mum's 81st birthday party this weekend and I know I won't get time to write this at her place. The three talks went well in Maryborough (QLD) and I think there are some lessons for all genealogy and family history societies in my trip. So I blogged about the experience, why not read Genealogy Society Seminars - Why You Should Have Them. As usual, I put the talks online and you can find them on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

After last week's Diary I was thrilled to receive some advice on including photos in my mother's draft family history from fellow geneablogger Library Currants. It sounds so easy reading her notes, but when you are working alone at home things can seem difficult and too hard. So remember there is an online circle of geneafriends out there to seek advice from and this is yet another example of how blogging can pay off.  Yes it is great for cousin bait but we can also seek assistance from others who are doing the same things we are.

I neglected to mention that I took Nathan Dylan Goodwin's Orange Lilies with me to the AFFHO Congress in Canberra. The plan was that I would read it at night before bed but each night I arrived back at the hotel too tired to read anything. Anyway I have now managed to catch up with the adventures of Morton Farrier, forensic genealogist (fictional) and his investigations into his own family history. Now I can't wait for the next book to come out.

I also managed to finish The Convict Theatres of Early Australia, 1788-1840 by Robert Jordan recently republished as an e-book by Currency House. Read my review here. I didn't think this book would have anything directly relevant to my own family history research but I was wrong. There is a whole chapter on Norfolk Island and as we have a convict family in the First Settlement this started me wondering if they were theatre goers.

Tonight there is a Google Hangout with Geniaus looking back on Congress which I am planning to attend. It is a little easier now as daylight saving has finished and it is a more suitable time for me. Plus I won't get confused as to what time it really is on. Details here.

As well as Mum's party at the weekend, I am also going to the Colleen Fitzpatrick (real life forensic genealogist) seminars in Brisbane, co-hosted by the Genealogical Society of Queensland and the Queensland Family History Society. There are three talks which I have not heard before and an opportunity to catch up with my Brisbane geneafriends. No doubt both societies will also be selling their publications so temptation will probably be present as well.

The other major occupier of my time is Trove as they have now started to release some of the digitised issues of the Brisbane Telegraph and there are literally dozens and dozens of references to my families in the newspaper. Some of the information I have already got from the Courier Mail but in a lot of cases there is more information in the Telegraph or it is only in the Telegraph. This means I need to check every reference. Some entries are not yet available and some look really exciting so I have asked to be emailed when they go live.

anzac poppies AWM 2Next week I have to do my contribution to Kintalk's Trans Tasman ANZAC Day blog challenge and on the ANZAC day weekend there is an RAAF reunion on Bribie Island so we will be going to quite a few functions between Friday and Sunday. The march is on Saturday but Max won't be walking this year as his ankle and leg are still recovering from his fall at the end of January. I have offered to wheel him in the wheelchair or he could go with the older guys in the community vehicles but that is not quite the same as marching himself.

The must do item on my list is to continue the Australian occupations course I am writing for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I had been doing quite nicely with that but Max's broken leg, Congress and Easter were all big distractions. Hopefully I will slip easily back into where I was up to and complete it over the next few weeks. I need to clear the decks as National Family History Month will be gaining momentum from May onwards as I add events to the web calendar and start doing some publicity. How quickly a year passes!

Until next week, happy searching.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Blogs, Awards and Progress - Genealogy Notes 4-10 April 2015

An interesting week with some genealogy research progress. While at Congress I had asked Sylvia from FIBIS (Families in British India Society) about our Tasmanian convict who died in Darjeeling India and since then she has helped me learn a bit more about the Oakley family in India.

In one of my talks I tell people not to have tunnel vision and to broaden out their thinking. This is MY example of tunnel vision because Sylvia also said I could have found out some of this information earlier by doing a Findmypast search. When I use FMP I think of the UK, Ireland and Australasia but of course it is much more than that. I feel a little silly now but that is one way we learn, by talking to others about our research and by making sure we make the most of websites we visit. No matter how many years of research we have under our belts, it is hard to keep up with everything new and sometimes we forget the obvious.

My other big learning exercise for the week was tackling my mother's draft family history in Word. I have made some good progress on revising text, style and I have inserted lots of photos. And that is where I started to come unstuck. I have always had trouble with images in Word and adding captions seems that little bit harder. Previously I had all the end notes at the end of the draft but I thought it would look better at the end of each chapter. That's not quite working out either. But then again I have learnt lots of other things about Word so still making progress.

I have started writing Australasian articles and blog posts for the In-Depth Genealogist and my first article appeared in the March issue of Going In-Depth and two blog posts have been published. I need a better way of raising my notifications about when they are published as I keep missing them. It is probably in my settings and with the Congress rush I haven't had time to sort myself out. I have also been exploring the resources on their website and although mostly US centric at the moment, there are some resources I want to explore further when time permits. And there is my GGG grandfather in Minnesota to follow up.

My personal genealogy blog challenge continues and Week 36 was on Hospital Records. Kintalk's Trans Tasman Anzac Day genealogy blog challenge is on again and I have already chosen which military ancestor I will write about this year. Anyone can join in and honour one of their military ancestors. Alexander Thomas Davis is also featured in a military display at the Bribie Island Seaside Museum and as he has no descendants, I will write up more about his military service and how he died of wounds not long after he arrived back home at Toorbul

A good bit of my time was again spent on National Family History Month (NFHM). I now have all the new sponsors information on the website and details of the prizes to be won in August. That's a reminder that the competition does not start until 1 August although I know there are some eager people out there already!

I also sent an invitation email to 186 genealogy and family history societies throughout Australia so I hope some of them decide to participate if they don't already. I also have another 50 or so societies for whom I don't have an email address so I am still working on those. Why not encourage your society to participate too, simply refer to all your August activities as NFHM events and enter them into the NFHM web calendar.

I once jokingly said that I needed a medal for all the work I do for NFHM voluntarily and now I have my medal, but not quite for NFHM. Back in 2009 I was awarded AFFHO's (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations) meritorious service award for my family history endeavours in QLD, ACT and VIC over the years. The award is actually a trophy but from this Congress they are also giving a medal which can be worn at AFFHO events which is a nice way of recognising past recipients. Look out for me wearing mine this August!

Tomorrow I am in Maryborough giving three talks for the Maryborough Family Heritage Research Institute and I believe that there are also attendees from other groups as well. Should be a great day but after three talks and however many questions I will be looking for a quiet Sunday. Perhaps even a spot of research or more work on Mum's family history book. Until next time happy searching.