Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2016

What's On - Friday 1 April - Thursday 7 April 2016

Welcome to this week's calendar of local and family history events for Brisbane and surrounding areas. Anyone who knows me well will know that I am a dead cert for registration for the QFHS seminar this Saturday with Jenny Joyce about family history photographs.  From dating your photos, to organising them and keeping them safe, I can't wait for Saturday!

Other events this week include a local history night at Annerley library featuring the history of Yeronga State School, a conservation clinic at State Library of Queensland and a talk at Ashgrove Library about the evacuation of Gallipoli.  I haven't been to the Museum of Brisbane for a while and was interested to see that they have a new exhibition coming up called Facing World War One.

Also, if you belong to a society or museum that needs help with preserving your collection you might want to think about applying for a Community Heritage Grant funded by the Australian Government through the National Library of Australia.  …

A to Z theme reveal

Okay - it is well and truly time for me to reveal my theme for this, my first participation in the A to Z challenge.  I thought I would be the last to sign up for sure, being number 1459 - but there are now 1612 bloggers who have signed up for the festival.  It's not too late to join in.  There are 6 days left.

So, my theme is all things Naval or the Navy.  I am researching my great-grandfather and my great-great-grandfather and their time working for the Royal Navy.  

I will be looking at everything from ships to job descriptions and from records to places so....grab your cutlass and standby for some fun.  I hope you find the posts helpful for your own family history research or at the least amusing and/or interesting.

HMS Waterwitch

My father is currently cruising around the South and East China Sea and it reminded me that 115 years ago, his grandfather was also sailing in that general area on a very different kind of boat.   Edwin Conner was on board the HMS Waterwitch.  

Wikipedia records several incarnations of the HMS Waterwitch.  This one is the one that fits my ancestor's timeline.  Edwin Conner's service record shows him being on board from 12 March 1910 to 4 April 1911.  I have spent much of today trying to determine what HMS Waterwitch was up to at that time.

But first, a bit of background.

According to this meaty little article found on Trove, HMS Waterwitch was purchased by the Royal Navy from the Messrs James in 1893 for £10,000 and re-fitted and altered to suit her new purpose - hydrographic surveying.  She made her way to the Australian station from Portsmouth in August 1894 and reached Hobart in early 1895.

In 1898 she was transferred to the China Station.  

Edwin was on board when the 1911 Cens…

What's On - Friday 25th March - Thursday 31st March 2016

Guess what folks?  It's Good Friday tomorrow so there's very little to show on our calendar this week.  

The gazetted public holidays for Queensland are Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday. This means GSQ will be closed all weekend as they don't have any special interest groups on Sunday.  QFHS Central European Group will be meeting on Saturday and the topic will be Easter traditions and customs. 

Moreton Bay Region Library services will be closed for the four days.  Brisbane City Council Libraries will also be closed for the four days.  State Library of Queensland will be closed on Good Friday but open on other days, so all is not lost.

But you know what this's an excellent time to catch up with your family! Or to keep ploughing on with family history research.  Hoorah!  Or to take yourself on some historical trails around the Brisbane or Moreton or Ipswich.  

And don't forget that the Medieval Power exhibition at the Queensland Museum closes in …

What's On - Friday 18th March to Thursday 23rd March 2016

Can you believe that it's Easter next week?  Plenty to choose from this week as we head down the slippery slope - from Nobblers and cracksmen to Australian women and their professions.

And don't miss the tour at the Queensland State Archives if you haven't been on one before.  Nancy and I were lucky to catch one last Saturday.  We weren't allowed to take photos but I can tell you that the vellichor was magnificent.  (Thanks to the  Maleny Bookshop that put me on to that term) And yes, I know, that State Archives isn't a bookshop but you get what I'm saying, I'm sure.  

A very big thank you to Cynthia and her team at Queensland State Archives for making our day a busy yet satisfying one....more of that in another blog post...I'm still wading my way through all the digital images !

What's On - Friday 11th March to Thursday 17th March 2016

You never know what you might find unless you get out from behind that computer screen and out into the real world yes?  Which is why Nancy and I are heading off to the Queensland State Archives this Saturday for their Saturday opening from 9am til 4:30pm.  We will be thoroughly organised, of course, and will have searched the catalogue for what we want.  While we can't pre-order items before we go, at least we will be "hot to trot" as they say.  

This is Nancy's first visit, so she will need to bring two forms of identification with her (one containing a signature) to obtain her researcher ID card.  She will also have to fill out this form.  Anyone who knows me well will know that I tend to cart around everything but the kitchen sink in my handbag.  Archives are quite strict about what you can and can't take into the Reading Room, so I won't be taking my handbag.  But I can take a USB, a camera (with flash disabled), my mobile phone (with flash disabled and t…

Sepia Saturday 320: 5 March 2016

Alan Burnett from Sepia Saturday says:

A public fountain in Queretaro, Mexico. Wheelbarrows that look like a left-over prop from the Flintstones carrying pottery jars that would not be out of place on an archaeological dig. And let us not forget the hats that look a little like traffic cones. There are a number of potential themes you might want to highlight in this week's Sepia Saturday theme image (which comes from the Flickr stream of Cornell University). All you need to do is to post an old image and some new thoughts on or around Saturday 5th March 2016 and then add a link to the list below.
Well, I wonder how many of us are going to use the Trevi fountain today?

I haven't been to Mexico, but I have been to Rome - does that count?  And yes, I am wearing socks with sandals.  I was dressed by my mother - that's my excuse.  And yes, I will never be wearing a dress that short again!

This is an extract from my mother's letter to her father shortly after our sojourn in Ital…

Another piece of the puzzle...

Did you like doing jigsaw puzzles when you were a child?  I did.  I'm such a hoarder that I have even kept my favourites...I have very fond memories of a Mary Poppins jigsaw and I even have one of the Oriana, the ship we went overseas in when I was a baby.  That's the ship's prow you can see next to the passenger terminal at Circular Quay in that piece just above....if you turned the piece anti-clockwise you would see it better....

Well, I found another piece of my family history jigsaw puzzle last night - quite unexpectedly, whilst looking for something else...isn't it always the way?  
You may remember, that this time last year, I was researching my maternal grandfather's working life - Thomas Joseph Benedict McLoughlin.  One of the "bits" that eluded me was what happened between school and his eventual employment at the Commonwealth Aircraft Factory in the 1940s.  Tom did very well at school and I've blogged about that before, finding several newspa…

What's On - Friday 4th March - Thursday 10th March 2016

It's the little things in life that make it special isn't it?  Like weekends with a friend.  Not that my friend is especially little.  But Loani is very thoughtful and puts little touches like flowers in the bathroom as pictured above.  

Oh yes, and I survived my first foray into teaching.  Of course I wish I had done a better job.  I was sick with nervousness beforehand - but thankfully had my brother-in-law and sister-in-law to wish me well and toast my good health on my return to their abode.  Thanks Pat and Terry for "putting me up" or "putting up with me" while we roll out this first Beginners course at QFHS. We already have 5 people on the wait-list for the next one.  How about that?

But the BIG news in town this week is that Judy Russell (known as the Legal Genealogist) and Carol Baxter (known as the History Detective and internationally acclaimed and award-winning author specialising in genealogy and history) will be presenting a one-day seminar on Ci…