Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Genealogy Congress

Ardent genies are gearing up for Congress next week. The 14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy & Heraldry  will be held in Canberra 27 – 30 March.  This major genealogy conference for Australia and New Zealand is only held every three years.  The hosts are the The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra (HAGSOC), under the auspices of AFFHO Australasian Federation of Family History Societies.
I will be attending and will be reporting back on my experience via this blog and Twitter.  I expect it to be a busy time.  I have had to choose to attend sessions from a wide variety of four concurrent sessions per time slot.  I have considered these according to speaker, topic and relevance.  I have also included sessions on topics absolutely new to me.  I am looking forward to visiting vendors in the Exhibitors hall, sharing and networking with colleagues and Congress delegates.  We are fortunate to have access to international authoritative speakers as well a chance to meet people representing the commercial businesses in the genealogy industry as well as the non- commercial organizations represented.
I attended the 13th Congress in Adelaide in 2012 when the theme of the conference was “Your Ancestors in their social context”.  I have a copy of the proceedings which I have been reviewing recently.  I was reminded of one of the highlights of that conference Colleen Fitzpatrick’s presentation “The unknown child of the Titanic”.
After attending RootsTech 2013 and Who Do You Think You Are Live 2013, I am probably more spoiled than most.  Family History Conferences are ideal opportunities to expand your knowledge on resources available for your research, as well as an opportunity to learn about new tools, search techniques and programs and meet like minded people.  Ultimately, I hope as before to come away inspired and looking forward to discovering what is new in this ever evolving world of genealogy.  

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Book review: Not my Father's son by Alan Cumming

Scottish Actor Alan Cumming’ family memoir; Not my father's son: a family memoir is quite compelling reading.  I had a been a fan of the actor mainly from his work in The Good Wife and was chuffed to learn that he was actually Scottish when his episode of Who Do You Think You Are?  was aired a few years ago. (Series seven - episode nine – view it on You Tube.) In that episode he traced his maternal grandfather Thomas Darling and it is this particular time in his life inter-weaved with episodes from his childhood that is recounted in his memoir.
An extraordinary life that surprisingly draws you in. Alan’s life at times was not very pleasant and as a result parts of this book are quite heart wrenching.
I often advise researchers when they start out on a family history research journey to be prepared for the unpleasant aspects of life that they will invariably uncover (and give thought to how they may share it).  Alan Cumming lived this, recounts it and tries to understand it.   If you like biographies and have dabbled in family history research this memoir is a read for you. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

British Newspapers Archive

British Newspapers Archive have released a terrific little video with a step-by-step guide showing you how to search the online newspaper archive for an ancestor or particular person from history.
Access over 9.5 million newspaper pages on BNA and other genealogy e-resources on any PC at all our libraries.  Recent additions include Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, the Lincolnshire Echo, the Waterford Chronicle and Irish newspapers.  Most of our genealogy e-resources are being constantly updated with new collections.
Access the video here

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New newspapers on Trove

The National Library of Australia is pleased to announce that the following newspapers, digitised by the National Library through the Australian Newspaper Plan program, have been recently added to Digitised newspapers and more on Trove. Many of these newspapers are currently being added to Trove and further issues will become available shortly.

New South Wales
*         Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW : 1891 - 1954)
*         Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938)
*         Le Courrier Australien (Sydney, NSW : 1892 - 1954)
*         The Ulladulla and Milton Times (NSW : 1891 - 1917)
*         Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser (NSW: 1871 - 1912)
*         Man on the Land (Gosford, NSW : 1936 - 1938)
*         The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954)
*         The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 - 1860)
*         Sydney Mail (NSW : 1860 - 1871)
*         Sydney General Trade List, Mercantile Chronicle and Advertiser (NSW : 1830)
*         St George Call (Kogarah, NSW : 1914 - 1924)
*         Temora Star (NSW : 1881 - 1883)
*         The Hillston News (NSW : 1882 - 1883)
*         Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 - 1954)
*         Guang yi hua bao= The Chinese Australian Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1923)

*         Dayboro Times and Moreton Mail (Qld. : 1937 - 1940; 1945 - 1954)
*         Humpybong Weekly and Advertiser (Redcliffe, Qld. : 1927 - 1932)
*         Logan and Albert Advocate (Qld. : 1893 - 1900)
*         Logan Witness (Beenleigh, Qld. : 1878 - 1893)
*         Logan and Albert Bulletin (Southport, Qld. : 1896 - 1901; 1909; 1921; 1922; 1928)
South Australia
*         Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
*         The Victor Harbor Times and Encounter Bay and Lower Murray Pilot (SA : 1912 - 1930)
*         Times Victor Harbour and Encounter Bay and Lower Murray Pilot (SA : 1930 - 1932)
*         Victor Harbour Times (SA : 1932 - 1954)
*         Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931)
*         Leader (Angaston, SA : 1918 - 1954)
*         Quiz (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1890)
*         Quiz (Adelaide, SA : 1900 - 1909)
*         Quiz and the Lantern (Adelaide, SA : 1890 - 1900)
*         Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954)
*         Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania (Hobart, Tas. : 1847)
*         Circular Head Chronicle (Stanley, Tas. : 1906 - 1954)
*         Tasmanian Morning Herald (Hobart, Tas. : 1865 - 1866)
*         Tasmanian Morning Herald (Hobart, Tas. : 1865 - 1866)
*         Critic (Hobart, Tas. : 1907 - 1924)
*         Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911)
*         Daily Post (Hobart, Tas. : 1908 - 1918)
*         Hobarton Guardian, or, True Friend of Tasmania (Hobart, Tas. : 1847 - 1854)
*         Van Diemen's Land Chronicle (Hobart, Tas. : 1841)
*         Ouyen and North West Express (Vic. : 1918)
*         Birregurra Times (Vic. : 1918)
*         Seaside News (Melbourne, Vic. : 1915 - 1918)
*         Sporting Judge (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1918)
*         Norden (Melbourne, Vic. 1914 - 1918)
*         Port Fairy Times and McArthur News (Vic. : 1917 - 1918)
*         Chronicle, South Yarra Gazette, Toorak Times and Malvern Standard (Vic. : 1892 - 1893)
*         Brighton Southern Cross (Vic. : 1896 - 1918)
*         Gippsland Chronicle and Crooked River and Stringer's Creek Advertiser (Vic. : 1866)
*         The Chinese Advertiser (Ballarat, Vic. : 1856)
*         The English and Chinese Advertiser (Vic. : 1856 - 1858)
Western Australia
*         Gnowangerup Star and Tambellup-Ongerup Gazette (WA : 1915 - 1942)
*         Southern Times (Bunbury, WA : 1888 - 1916)
*         The Norseman Pioneer (WA : 1896 - 1897)
*         Camp Chronicle (Midland Junction, WA : 1915 - 1918)
*         Norseman Esperance Guardian and Dundas Goldfields Advertiser (WA : 1896)
Through Trove, the national resource discovery service,  there is now free online access to over 15 million pages from over 700 Australian newspapers. All of the digitised newspapers are fully text-searchable and users can enrich and enhance the data through subject tagging, text correction and annotations. To find out the latest titles which have been added to Trove, subscribe to one of the Web feeds.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Common mistakes in your family history

Hit a brick wall in your family history?  One of the first strategies to thinking about how to strike through that brick wall is to review the information that you already have.  But also have a think about common mistakes that sometimes happen and whether these may have impacted your own research journey:
Not talking to other family members and gathering oral history.
Not confirming family stories by purchasing historical birth, marriage and death certificates. (Sometimes family stories are not or only partially true).
Accepting other people's research without reviewing.
Using the same spelling when searching indexes and websites.  Remember use spelling variations and where possible wildcard searching, particularly for family names, but also first names.
Having a narrow research view, especially by geographic area, in a similar vein, another common mistake is presuming that our ancestors did not travel widely or move about.
Not being organised.  If you have a software program, be sure to keep it updated.
Becoming unfamiliar with your research.  If it has been a while since you researched a particular line, re-visit your information to date.  Have you transcribed all relevant documents?
Presuming if it is not online, the information does not exist.
If it is in the newspaper, it must be true.
Family Search adds some advice on Rookie Mistakes and If I'd only known! Beginner Genealogy Mistakes. Regular posts from The blog Genealogy Tip of the day also are good reminders and insights into our search strategies.
What is a common mistake you have found in your family history research journey?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Genealogy Software

One of the keys to successfully researching family history is to stay organised.  In the beginning a lot of information can be fairly easily gathered in a short time.  Blank family group sheets are a terrific first step to document each family, but soon you will be looking for something better.  Consider then a software program.  A number of options are available. Victorian GUM (Genealogists using microcomputers) are a special interest group of the Genealogical Society of Victoria who provide advice and sales of the most popular software programs.  These include Family Tree Maker which is owned by and compatible with, so particularly handy if you wish to also maintain a separate online tree.   Legacy Family Tree is available as a free download, after which a deluxe version is available for purchase.  For more information about genealogy software programs visit the Genealogy software guide.

Monday, December 08, 2014

New Guide to research Chinese Family History

A new guide has been published on the Yarra Plenty Regional Library website to assist people with Chinese Australian family history research.  Be sure to talk with family members and and look for records around the home to get started on your research journey.
Check out Researching Chinese Family History and other guides we have available.