Saturday, July 22, 2017

#NFHM Blogging Challenge Week 1 - Poor Man's Orange

It's week 1 of the National Family History Month Blogging Challenge.  

Take what you will from the title of Ruth Park's novel Poor Man's Orange published in 1949. 

The novel was set in Surry Hills, Sydney about a Catholic Irish Family.  

Perhaps there were Irish Catholics in your family. 

Perhaps your ancestors lived in Surry Hills or Sydney.  

Have you got a tale of making do? Or a tale of working class ancestors?

The book caused quite a stir when it came out as you can see from the Letters to the Sydney Morning Herald in July 1949 - nearly 70 years ago.


Courtesy of the National Library of Australia, Trove
 Letters
READERS' OPINIONS OF NOVEL (1949, July 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved July 22, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18121842
Join in our challenge.  We welcome bloggers from near and far.  August is National Family History Month in Australia but you don't have to be Australian to join in.  However, we would prefer your post to be about Family History ! And don't worry if the meme/theme doesn't grab you.  Please blog about anything you want.  The idea is to....JUST BLOG!  


Friday, July 7, 2017

2017 NFHM Blogging Challenge

August is not so very far away and that means....


HOORAH!!

Who's up for a blogging challenge??  Some of us thought a literary theme might be the go given that a few of our more well known authors were born 100  years ago e.g. Ruth Park (okay she was born in NZ but we adopted her as our own), Sumner Locke Elliott, Nancy Cato and Frank Hardy.  

So this is the plan:

Week 1 - Poor Man's Orange - take what you will from this title of Ruth Park's novel published in 1949.  Poor Man's Orange was set in Surry Hills Sydney about a Catholic Irish Family.  Perhaps there were Irish Catholics in your family.  Perhaps your ancestors lived in Surry Hills or Sydney.  Have you got a tale of making do?  Take the theme as laterally as you like or ignore it altogether.  We just want to see you blogging.

Week 2 - Careful He Might Hear You - Sumner Locke Elliott wrote this haunting tale about PS and his aunts, custody battles, secrets...where will this meme take you?  Shot in the more salubrious Sydney suburbs of Darling Point and Neutral Bay than last week's meme, the 1983 movie was captivating.  Is there a story about childhood you want to tell or the Depression?  We can't wait to see what posts it inspires.

Week 3 - All the Rivers Run - Nancy Cato's saga spanned eight decades and four generations.  Your blog post doesn't have to do that but was there a matriarch in your family that inspires you?  Or maybe you want to focus on a particular river that played a part in your ancestors' lives.  Where will your imagination run to?

Week 4 - Power without Glory - Frank Hardy's novel covers a wide range of notorious characters from criminals to Archbishops and politicians, wrestlers to gamblers and everyone else in between.  One of the themes is conscription during WW1 but you can interpret the title as broadly as you like.  Were your ancestors powerful in some way? Legitimately or  not.  Did they have a stoush with the authorities or strong political beliefs? Lets hear their story.

Let's blog every Saturday if we can.  See you then.

And thanks to Canva for the great meme picture.  It reminded me of a neighbour popping their head over the fence for a chat with a kid hanging off them. And thanks to AFFHO and the lovely Shauna Hicks for organising National Family History Month so we can all have so much family history fun. 

PS You don't have to be an Aussie to participate.  We welcome one and all in this great big genealogy family.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bloggers united! We'll never be defeated!

Or words to that effect.

There has been a bit of debate in the geneablogging community about whether our blogging days are over.

Julie Cahill Tarr's post here got the debate going, although James Tanner says he has raised this issue before and been howled down.  Thomas MacEntee announced recently that he's changing the way he's doing business on Geneabloggers.com.

For the affirmative, Amy Johnson Crow has weighed in and said it's not dead it's just different.  And the lovely Alona Tester has identified the pros and cons of Blogging versus the suggested villain of the piece Facebooking.

It's a very interesting and important debate and I don't begin to pretend to know the answer. What I will say is that 25 people turned up to attend a QFHS seminar this morning where we talked about how blogging your family history can maximise your research and why you might consider doing it. 

The social media landscape is a crowded one and it will probably have more players in the future.  I'm flat out maintaining my Instagram account, still trying to get my head around the value of Snapchat and monitoring Facebook, grieving the wasted hours but acknowledging that it is, by and large, my news source for both my own personal community and the world. Pinterest anyone?

And yet I still want to blog.  Why? 

Because I want to leave a legacy to my descendants and a legacy that can be found.  Have you tried searching Facebook for that post you saw, thought you didn't need and then two days later decide you need it?  Frustrating.

Because I have met so many great fellow researchers virtually and or in real life just through blogging - and some of them are even related to me.  Bonus!

Because by committing to writing stuff down AND publishing it, I am more conscientious about exploring every angle, thinking about how I go about my research and acknowledging my sources. 

Because the dialogue I have in response to the comments on my blog and on other's blogs expands my knowledge about this fascinating hobby.

At the beginning of the seminar this morning three participants told the group they had blogs. By the end of the seminar many participants expressed a desire to join them in the blogosphere. Make them welcome won't you and tell them what you love about blogging and why they should jump in.

Long live blogging! 

PS Family History Month is just around the corner.  Anyone up for another blogging challenge? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, April 21, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - R is for References, Reviews and Rights


How many of us still have encyclopedias at home?  How many times have you used them lately?

There are all sorts of references available online now through your local library.  You don't need that encyclopedia taking up all that shelf space.  If you go online you will find all sorts of things there.  Membership of Moreton Bay Region Library Service gives you access to Brittanica Library and lots of databases through SLQ.  Do you want to see if that awful vase Aunt Dot left you is worth anything?  Check out Carter's Price Guide for Antiques.  See what's on offer here or check out your own local library.

Don't know whether to buy a book or not?  Plenty of family history magazines have book reviews as do family history blogs or social media sites for readers such as Goodreads. Have you read a good book lately?  Share it with us so we can all benefit.

Rights 
Not sure where you stand with regards to using those old photos...or letters....?

It might be worth investing in the Australian Copyright Council's publications e.g. Historians and Copyright or Writers and Copyright or Websites and Social Media.  

There are some information sheets here.

Right on.  Sorry couldn't resist.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Q is for quotations and QFHS


I have spoken before about citations and mentioned a couple of books to help you with this in your work.  If you wish to quote somebody else's work in your own you will need a tool to keep track of all your quotations.

There are some tools which are freely available in case you don't wish to invest in citation software.  The Moreton Bay Region Library service (and I am sure many others) provides a link on its website to citation, bibliography and reference builders here. Just scroll to the bottom of the page to find them or you can see them on the links below:

Bibme

Citation builder

Harvard Style Reference Generator

Reference Machine

Give me the letter Q and I am always going to promote the QFHS - my family history society.  

Did you know that you can search the Society's library catalogue online?

If you ever visit the library in person you will need to understand its cataloguing system which is borrowed from the one designed for SAG.  The guide to the system is here.

And here's a tip.  You may know that QFHS has a long-gunning project to index pupils in Queensland schools.  There are 6 CDs containing the names of 2,400,000 pupils in over 1200 schools.  Maybe you know which school your ancestors went to e.g. Kingaroy.  Which CD would that school be on?  Have a look at the index here.

If you are a member you can access electronic journal subscriptions online...this fortnight for example the latest issues of the Canberra HAGSOC's journal, The Cockney ancestor, Hurstville Genealogist, Orkney SIB Folk news, Sakatchewan Bulletin and West Wyalong Mallee Stump were added to the collection.  Last fortnight the Caboolture FHS Hindsight, Gladstone FHS Timeline, Ormskirk District FHS Family Historian, RHSQ Bulletin and the Sunshine Coast Kin Tracer were added.  It's not just Australian society journals....we're talking all over the world.

It's wonderful really isn't it?  Just amazing. One subscription gets you all these. I love my Society.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - P is for Periodicals, Podcasts, Preserving and Publishing


You could say that I have covered Periodicals already under J for journals.

However, while I've been compiling these posts, I have also been walking the dog every morning and listening to some Podcasts.

What podcasts do I listen to?  Anything and everything really but you might be interested in the following genealogy podcasts....

Genealogy Guys

Genies Down Under

Genealogy Gems

The National Archives

Anyways, I was listening to the Genealogy Guys and I kept hearing them mention the PERSI Index on Find My Past.  It's amazing what you don't know about tools that you use on a regular basis.  So I will mention it now for what it is worth.  You can access the PERSI index on Find My Past!!!  You can search it here. You can read about what it is here on the lovely Family Search wiki.

If you have invested in resources for your genealogy library be they books, CDs, certificates...whatever you are probably interested in Preserving them or at least looking after them for posterity.

State Library of Queensland's website has some easy to read guides here. Whether you want to know how to choose shelving, handle books, preserve your digital content or deal with an emergency, there's a guide to help you.

Library of Congress has the most beautiful bookmarks to remind you how to preserve your family treasures here.

I have, of course, invested in some books as well.  I think I have already mentioned Shauna Hicks Your Family History Archives.  And I also have a copy of Stopping the rot: a handbook of preventive conservation for local studies collections by Helen Price.

Publishing 
This could as easily come under W for Writing but I think it is worth mentioning that at some stage you might also be interested in writing and publishing your own family history. Whether you choose to self-publish online through a blog or in a hard copy there are many publications to help you.  We've probably all got some books on writing/publishing on our shelves.  I have Peter Donovan's - So, You Want to Write History ? and Joanna Beaumont's How to Write and Publish your Family history.  Noeline Kyle is also very popular in this area. I have recently invested in Blogging for Dummies, just to make sure I've got the basics covered and I am very impressed with Ros Petelin's How Writing works: a field guide to effective writing which I think I am going to have to purchase.

Have you any pronouncements or pearls of wisdom you would like to share with the family history community in this regard ?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - O is for Organizing, Oral History and Online Catalogues


Oh my goodness.  Here we are...the difficult bit.  No, not really.

You want to arrange your collection so that it looks more professional and things are easier to find. 

It's much easier to do so than it used to be with an online service like Librarything. 

First of all decide how are you going to organize your library.

Dewey Decimal?

Library of Congress?

Librarything can sort your books for you according to LCC or Dewey. You can also tag your books in Librarything according to whatever description you want to give them.  You can give them lots of tags, not just one.

If you wanted to arrange your books as per the Society of Australian Genealogists or QFHS classification scheme then that might take a bit more time.  You would need to add the call number as a separate field of information but would then still be able to sort it by that column once you had exported it as an XML file.

Some people have left comments on this blog recommending Calibre for an electronic collection.  I haven't got my head around Calibre yet but I thank them for sharing this with us.  Don't forget when you don't know how to do something, there will always be a YouTube video somewhere to help!

Why don't use tinycat and make your collection searchable online?  That way you won't have to worry about buying duplicates.  Read more about it here.

Most importantly you should organise to interview elderly relatives as soon as possible.  You will need to be organised when you do this and there are many great publications to help you in this task.  

I have a book called Once Upon a Memory: Your Family Tales and Treasures by Jean Alessi....but there are hundreds of sites online to guide you through the process with suggested questions.  Oral History Australia's website is here.

O what a beautiful morning! O what a beautiful day!