Friday, 15 July 2016

National Family History Month 2016 & Other News - Genealogy Notes 9 - 16 Jul 2016

With only two weeks to go till August and the start of National Family History Month 2016, I have been working mostly on NFHM tasks. Approving events for the web calendar takes time and as of today, there are 95 events in VIC; 32 in QLD; 31 in NSW; TAS 22; WA 20; Online 4; ACT 3; SA 2 and NT O. That makes a total of 209 events across Australia and no doubt more will be added in the next two weeks.

Launch arrangements in Perth are progressing and I've started finalising my 18 talks during August. Fortunately there are no new talks so it is more a matter of updating and amending existing talks for audiences that have not heard them before. I will be travelling to Perth, home for a few days then off to Auckland for the Auckland Family History Expo and then back home for some presentations at various venues on the Sunshine Coast. A full list of talks and where is on the Events page of my website.

I will be putting the details of how to enter the NFHM prizes giveaway up at the end of July. Entries for the giveaway open on 1 August but n the mean time, you can check out the prizes for both individuals and societies on the NFHM Sponsors page. Only 24 societies took advantage of the early bird prize for putting events up before 30 June. Their prize will be winging its way to them next week.

A year ago I had just broken my right elbow while overseas which required surgery back home. It meant that I missed the launch in Adelaide but I still managed to keep NFHM going during August, including my presentations. Looking back I wonder how I did it with only one arm and post surgery rehab. Touching my wooden desk, I'm hoping for a less dramatic NFHM 2016.

What a difference a year makes
Thanks to Helen Smith for capturing this photo the day after my fall.
It's a wet and surprisingly cold weekend here so the plan is to do some of my own family history. I have been working on a Momento photobook trying to tell a person's story using just photos. There are just so many different templates, colours and looks but the quality of some of my photos are not good. But they are the only ones I have so it is more a question of how to use them to best advantage. This is where I wish I hadn't failed art classes at high school!

Not being involved in any blog challenges at the moment has meant that I have not been writing up family stories, no pressure to meet certain time frames. I'm definitely one of those people who need a theme and challenge to follow. Even Trove Tuesday seems to fly past before I notice. Once NFHM is over and I have recovered I will be looking for an ongoing blog challenge to focus on telling more of the family stories.

There's the usual mountain of catch up reading to do but that usually leads to the laptop to look at new URLs or new resources online. Or I list them down on a to do list and never get back to them. The internet has certainly changed how we do research. My two recent visits to the archives has reminded me of just how much is not online and ideally we should spend equal time there too. But on cold wet days, the laptop and the internet win! Until next time, happy researching.

Friday, 8 July 2016

World Indexing, DNA, NFHM & New Publications - Genealogy Notes 1 - 8 Jul 2016

This Diary is a day late due to a research trip to Brisbane and the National Archives of Australia Brisbane office. Again I was amazed to see that there were few other researchers but I have decided that's OK. It simply means that I get the staff's undivided attention and records get delivered quickly.

While waiting for the files, I used the old microfiche electoral rolls for a query. What a pain, a different fiche for every year then finding the right spot on the fiche. How much easier is it now just to type in a person's name. By the time I finished looking, my files were ready to collect.

Vincent Carnegie 1946 
I had already worked out what I wanted to look at - six files located using name searches and the files were all who I thought they would be. One document, an application for a seaman's document of identity, had a photograph of the person I was researching. I only have vague memories of Dad's Uncle Vince and an older photo of him. I had not seen a photo of him as a young man so I was very happy. He was a seaman and the document was part of his application to leave Australia. My digital camera came into use again capturing key documents.

I had also promised a friend a look up in return for an earlier favour. Her document was an Italian passport, complete with photo and of course all in Italian. I took a few photos but have no real clue as to what the pages mean.  I hope she has some experience reading Italian.

It is really amazing the diversity of records within the National Archives of Australia. It was a great visit and I'll have to plan another trip soon.

A trip to the post office was also rewarding with new Unlock the Past publications:

  • Neil Smith - Understanding Australian Military Speak
  • Noelene Kyle - Researching Your Ancestor's Childhood
  • Janet Few - Harnessing the Facebook Generation
So some reading to catch up on. 

The NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies next conference is in Camden on 9-11 September and the program is now up on their website Cow Pastures and Beyond. I had been thinking of going but it is a long road trip from here and even if I fly, I can only get to Sydney or Canberra and then have to hire a car to get to Camden. If I still lived in Canberra I would definitely be going as Camden is a lovely little town. I hope somebody will be tweeting, blogging or posting on Facebook highlights from the conference.

FamilySearch have a World indexing event for 72 hours from 15 - 17 July and anyone can participate. The more records indexed, the easier it is for us all to find our ancestors and knock down brick walls. They are hoping to get 72,000 team mates and you can do as few or as many batches as you want or have time for. I've joined the team and put a note in my calendar so that I remember on the day.

I was pleased to see that my blog post for The Indepth Genealogist on the State Library of Queensland made That Moment in Time's Friday Fossicking 30 Jun 2016. It is always good to know that people benefit from reading a particular blog post.

Finally my big news is that my brother's DNA results are back from FamilyTree DNA so now to get my head around what the results tell me and to see if we match up with anyone.

National Family History Month is continuing to keep me busy approving events for the website and organising the launch which is now only three weeks away. I have entered my two regular NFHM online events - 31 Activities for Researchers and 31 Activities for Societies. With 18 talks during August I suspect there won't be much time for me to blog my own activities but I hope to do some. For a full list of all the talks and where I am speaking see the Events page of my website.

This coming week will be processing all my new information into my files and database. I also have a new tablet to set up - it is smaller than my I Pad and will be easier to travel around with. And of course NFHM is going to get busier as we are now only three weeks away from one of the most exciting months of our genealogical year. Until next time happy researching.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

5 Years of Genealogy Notes 23-30 Jun 2016

Tomorrow 1 July marks the 5th birthday of this blog. Five years have gone incredibly quickly and there are so many new resources available online. Like any Diary it is good to go back and see what has happened and there have been lots of fantastic genealogical adventures and discoveries. I have made some wonderful new friends both in Australia and overseas and lots of happy memories are captured within this blog.

I am also grateful to the National Library of Australia who in 2013 selected this blog for permanent preservation within the Library's web archive Pandora . Thanks to the Library's wonderful Trove, my blog posts are searchable through Trove and Archived Websites (Pandora). This is in addition to Google so more people can find my family stories.

This blog started as a result of my telling others that blogging was easy and anyone could set up a blog in half hour. It was easy to set up but thinking of a name was much harder. In some ways I didn't really expect it to continue but it has grown into a real genealogy diary. Some of Australia's biggest genealogy conferences, seminars, cruises and library talks are all recorded in its pages. As well as my own genealogy success stories and discoveries.

Where to next? I still have a week to decide if I want to change what I am doing. If anything I would like it to be more than once a week but some days fly past so daily is probably too optimistic. Of course some days nothing exciting happens and I don't always do any research. Hopefully inspiration will come just as it did 5 years ago.

This week has been super busy with lots of people adding events to the National Family History Month web calendar. The early bird prize for genealogy/family history societies closed 30 June so I will be sending out the National Institute for Genealogical Studies gift certificate to them this week. The certificate can be used for fundraising during NFHM or to reward a society volunteer.

Plans for the launch in Perth are progressing. While over there I am participating in the Western Australian Genealogical Society's Making History seminar. One of NFHM's major sponsors Finders Cafe will also be there.

My next task is my regular article and blog post for The In-Depth Genealogist and I have a few research enquiries keeping me busy. Doing research for others can be fascinating as you often have to look at resources that you don't use for your own research. Never boring which is why I like genealogy so much I suspect.

The warm sunny blue sky winter days have seen me out and about in the garden. Two full trailer loads of palms and other foliage have gone to the tip but looking at our backyard you would never know. It's still a jungle but at least some of the taller palms leaning over sheds and fences have gone. The last storm saw a lot of trees come down on Bribie so best to tidy up before the next one. I would really like to remove the really tall palms between the house and pool but that would take away the tropical ambiance somewhat. Why do they have to lean towards the house?

Until next time, have a great genealogy week.