Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Memo




As I travel down the genealogical or family history highway, I find myself wishing I could post more on my blog.

Life seems to be zooming by.  I chose the above image from Flickr because it also represents how I'm feeling at the moment vision-wise i.e. a bit blurry.  I purchased a new set of glasses this week and I'm trying to get used to them.  They are those kind that have the different types of lenses in them  - you know the kind - you have to tilt your head up to read stuff on a screen or in a book - and then tilt down to look long distance.  It's driving me a bit mad but I'm persevering.  

Anyway I just wanted to note a few things because I have this internal dialogue with myself about what I should be doing but never actually get round to doing it.  So this is an attempt to step outside my head and put down some notes.  I hope they are useful in some way to you too.

Advertising related to Marquis de Rays' La Nouvelle France

First off, I caught up with a friend of a friend on the weekend and was very impressed with his latest project (one of many I understand).  I saw Steve post something on Facebook last week (See! Social Media works!) and couldn't wait to see this work in real life on Saturday when we had dinner with our mutual friend GrandPurlBaa.   Steve gave me a sneak preview of an exhibition that will be launched this Sunday at the New Italy Museum in Northern NSW.  Steve and his brother and his nephew have all been working together on this great presentation of their family history.  They are descended from one of the Italian families that:

"were beguiled by the Marquis de Rays to purchase homes and fertile land in a phantom paradise of the Pacific named La Nouvelle France (an imaginary kingdom in the Bismarck Archipelago).

Cleverly worded advertisements spoke of sunshine, lush vegetation and beaches and the promise of freedom, not living under dictatorship. Despite warnings of the unsuitability of the proposed land and the Royal Investigation Bureau in Milan issuing a direction that no passport would be issued to any Italian participating in the scheme 50 families boarded the “India” in Barcelona in July 1880 (Niau, 1935). They were the third expedition to leave for the shores of Port Breton and were reassured with claims that two shipments of other people from elsewhere in Europe were already settled." (from the New Italy Museum website)

It's a fantastic effort.  

To find out more, read his blog here.



What else?  Well we've been kind of swamped at QFHS with research requests.  We received 14 last month.  Thank goodness we've got a team and it's not just one person who has to deal with the inquiries or it would be more than a full-time job.  I am continuously impressed by my colleagues on our team; their enthusiasm, their perseverance and their knowledge.  And of course I am also really impressed by just how many volunteers it takes to keep our Society running.  For starters there are over 70 members who volunteer as library assistants to keep our library open.  Then there are the hard working Committee members and other members who volunteer to do a myriad of other tasks from running the bookshop, editing and publishing our journal, organizing the indexing of material and publishing CDs, organizing and running special interest groups, educational workshops and the like..the list goes on.  A special shout out to everyone who is actively involved with their Society in some way.  You rock!


I have been really challenged in my research efforts this month on behalf of a member of QFHS.   I don't have any German ancestors in my family tree so it's new territory for me.  I tend to defer to the better judgement of fellow members in the QFHS who head up the Central European Group.  And they have made some excellent suggestions.
However this member is keen to travel to Germany in a couple of months and find out what she can about her ancestry.  In my endeavours on her behalf I have relied heavily on the fabulous Wiki on Family Search particularly this article.  If you haven't ever used the Family Search wiki, you really should explore it here.  Part of my reluctance to head down this path is that I don't speak German.  But I took the plunge and emailed one of the societies I found on the Wiki...in English...and I got a response very quickly.  Hoorah!  I also viewed the FGS webinar by Jen Baldwin's on using Twitter to "connect, engage and educate in Genealogy" so I'll let you know how I go with my new engagement in that quarter.


Last month I was delighted to see Pharos Tutors take the plunge and join the blogosphere with their new blog.  Helen Osborn launched into the discussion broaching the question "Who are the serious genealogists?"

These characteristics were posed as a measure of your seriousness as a genealogist:

Interested in finding out more than just names and dates
Talks of the addictive nature of genealogy
Does not follow just one ancestral line or surname
Visits record offices in person
Spends money engaging others to help their research
Has more than one website subscription
Member  of a family history society
Volunteers their time to genealogy
Runs a website/blog devoted to genealogy
Writes about their research, or writes up their research
Has a small library of books on genealogy
Wants to improve their research methods
Recognises the need to find out about more obscure sources
Takes courses to improve their knowledge
Wants to turn professional or is already professional
Wants to work to an agreed standard

What do you think? Can you tick the box next to all of these?  Which would you like to tick?  John D Reid continues the discussion on his blog here.



So what could you put on your To Do list this month if you lived in Brisbane, Queensland and considered yourself a serious genealogist/family historian????  Here are some ideas....

Do a walking tour of a suburb. Check out some here , here and here.

Register for a training course this Friday at QFHS on the Education Department and School Records for the Family Historian. 

Attend a local history society meeting such as the Kenmore and District Historical Society meeting on Thursday 17 April where Deb Drummond will talk about her book "Lingering Doubts" about Brisbane's Arcade Murder in 1947.

Spend a night at the John Oxley Library on Tuesday 22 April finding out what it was like on the homefront during the Great War.

Register for one of the many free genealogy events at Moreton Bay Region Library service such as Shipping Records Made Easy at the end of the month at Arana Hills Library.

So much to do, so little time.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I can tick many but there are some I can't and probably won't. I have no plan or desire to be a professional - that is be paid to do research. Don't take courses. Do site sources for information but that's about as agreed upon as I am.