Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#NFHM2017 Blogging Challenge - Week 3 - All the Rivers Run

It's Week 3 of the #NFHM2017 Blogging Challenge. How are we all going?  I suspect we are all very busy because there is so much on at the moment.  I know I am finding it difficult to find the time to write on my blog.  Working full time, participating in my local family history society events, studying another unit in the great UTAS Family History course, organizing a 40th school reunion for next year, celebrating birthdays for various family members...there's always so much to do.  And yet, every blog post I write, I learn something new or add a bit more to the family tree.

This week our meme comes from Nancy Cato's saga All the Rivers Run.  It 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?

We can't wait to find out.  Remember - you don't have to be an Aussie to participate.  We welcome all nationalities/citizens of the world - even Aussie politicians....that's an insider joke if you haven't been following Australian politics lately.  

Don't forget to link your particular post using the Mr Linky widget below so we can find all the stories in one place.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

French Letters #NFHM2017

There that title got your attention didn't it?  Really I will stop at nothing to get hits on this blog. ;) Just joking...

Queensland Family History Society had an Open Day yesterday as part of National Family History Month.  It was a beautiful day and despite competing with the ever popular Ekka we had plenty of visitors and lots of people signing up.  Hoorah!

I was delighted to see some of my friends from other parts of my life come and have look around and sign up - thank you Majella and Jeanette!

There were prizes and booksales and discounts...what more could you ask for?

My job was to show newbies around the facilities and perhaps help them with their research a little bit.  It's always a bit scary when you ask someone about their research...will you be able to help them?  Will you be stumped?  Luckily there are so many knowledgeable folk at QFHS that I have learned to relax a bit and, if I am stumped, I just turn around and ask the person next to me for their advice.  Societies are good like that.

I was interested that two groups of people were researching ancestry in France which I don't come across very often.  It's not an area that I'm familiar with but I always tend to recommend Family Search's Wiki when I am stumped.  I do hope you know all about it.  

And then my wise friend Sue also recommended Cyndi's List which I frequently forget - even though I have a hot link to it on my blog for goodness sake.  

The first gentleman with French ancestry wanted to research his grandfather's death in France (near Lille).  He was concerned about being able to get any information due to his lack of French language skills. I was trying to find letter templates for him on the Family Search Wiki but was having difficulty.  

I found a couple of books in our print library. You can search the QFHS catalogue online here.  Margaret Audin's Barking up that French Tree and French and French Canadian Research by J Konrad looked useful.  These books are a bit old I confess.  Audin's was published in 1980 and Konrad's in 1993.  There's Claire Bettag's French Genealogy Research which might be a bit more up to date; it was published in 2012.  It's available at Strathpine Library and Brisbane Square Library but is not for loan.

Today when I looked at Cyndi's List, it was much easier to find and this particular link took me back to Family Search (of course) so...if you're interested in writing some letters to French archives or record offices - here is all the information I think you'll need.

How's your Sunday going?  What are you doing to celebrate #NFHM2017? Do you have French ancestry?  What resources have you found helpful in your research? Have you entered the prize draw for NFHM?  Point 5 in the Terms and Conditions on this page has the critical information.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ancestral Places Geneameme #NFHM

The lovely Alona Tester from Lonetester HQ has thrown out the challenge to see how many letters of the alphabet you can assign to an ancestor's place of work or home; not necessarily where they work born but where they lived or worked.


Arncliffe, Sydney - where Kate Amelia Ellis died.
Arana Hills - where I work
Aranda - the suburb I grew up in Canberra or 
Avondale - the name of our house in Glebe, Sydney where I finished school and went to Uni.


Bannockburn, Scotland for the Forfars who cause me no end of trubble. 
Bathurst, NSW  - the birthplace of my maternal grandfather (McLoughlin). 
Barbados for my husband's family (Donovan/Proverbs). 
Bishopsgate, London, England where the Cooks lived in the 1860s. 
Bondi, Sydney for my grandmother in her later years and where both sets of my grandparents were married.(McLoughlin) and Conner 
Bourke, NSW - where John McLoughlin and Margaret Taylor were married.
Bowenfells, NSW - where John McLoughlin was born.
Bradninch, Devon, England where the Daws come from. 
Brixton (Carretts) and 
Bustard Head, Queensland where Harriet Conner worked as a teacher. 


Camperdown where the Stores lived in the 1860s.
Canada where one of the Forfar brothers lived. 
Campbell - the first suburb we lived in when we moved to Canberra
Canberra (did I mention I grew up there?)
Carnarvonshire. Wales - where my ancestor Margaret Jones the convict came from.
Chapel Hill - where we live now.
Cork, Ireland where my Flannagans are from


Deptford, England - where Edward Connor and Rebecca Foyne married.
Dubbo, NSW - where many of the Carretts lived. 
Dulwich Hill - where Daisy Carrett (nee Taylor) died.


Earlwood, Sydney - where the Parkes and Nobbs settled and eventually the Conners. Eastbourne, Sussex, England - where the Hollingham and Forfar families lived.
Enmore - where Daisy Taylor and George Henry Carrett III were married.


Five Dock, Sydney - where the McLoughlins lived after Orange.


Garden Island, Sydney - where my paternal great-grandfather worked - Edwin Conner. Gilston - where my husband's ancestors lived - Hinde and Duncan. Gundaroo - the Case family in the 1860s.
Gundaroo, NSW  - where Margaret Taylor was born.


Halesowen, Worcester - where my ancestor John Parkes came from.
Hobart, Tasmania - where the Forfars lived for a while. 
Hong Kong - where my great-grandfather Edwin Conner was stationed for the 1911 census in the Navy on board the Waterwitch.
Hurstville, Sydney - where I was christened and where the Ellises lived.


Inverary, Argyllshire - where the Sinclairs and Birrells come from.


Jamaica - where my ancestor James Cook was stationed on the Magicienne in 1894


Katoomba, NSW - where we spent many happy family holidays in my childhood and where my mother was evacuated during WWII. My 2nd great-grandmother Isabella Ellis also had a property there as per her probate.


Lidcombe in Sydney - where my grandfather Tom McLoughlin worked during WWII at the De Havilland factory testing engines.


Malta - where my 2nd great-grandfather served in the Navy and where my great-uncle was born - Edward G Conner.
Manchester, England - where my ancestor Margaret Southern came from.


Newtown, Sydney - where Sarah Stores was born and lived and where my maternal grandmother was born, Helen Kate (Kit) Forfar.


Olney, Buckinghamshire - where my husband's ancestors the Lords and the Hindes come from.
Orange, NSW - where my grandfather went to school and where some of his siblings were born (McLoughlin)


Parsley Bay in Sydney - where my grandmother grew up (Carrett). 
Portsea and Portsmouth, Hampshire, England  - where my Conner ancestors lived for many years.


Queensland, Australia.  My home and those of my great-aunts - Harriet and Clara Conner.


Randwick Destitute Asylum - where the Forfar children lived after their mother died.
Readville, Queensland - where Harriet Conner taught.  


Southport, Queensland - where the Daws lived.  
Surry Hills - where Sarah Stores and George Henry Carrett II were married.  
Swineshead, Lincolnshire - where my ancestor George Ellis was born.


Taemas, NSW - the property on which Samuel and Margaret Taylor lived
Taringa - where we bought our first home.
Tingalpa in Brisbane - where Thomas and Mary Bray Daw are buried with their children and where Edward Daw had his dairy farm.
Toowong - where I used to work at the ABC

Flinders Road Undercliffe where Ethel Conner nee Carrett was born 1904
"The house where I was born 1904 Flinders Rd Undercliffe" Ethel Conner (nee Carrett)


Undercliffe in Sydney - where the Carretts and Conners lived.


Vaucluse in Sydney - where my great-aunt and uncle the Morrisons lived and where I went to school when I was 4 years old.


Walloon, Queensland - where my husband's ancestors the Grieves lived.
Williamstown - where the Conners first lived in Melbourne when they came to Australia. 


Xiānggǎng - see H for Hong Kong.  


Yass, NSW - the closest town to where Margaret and Samuel Taylor lived.
Yorkshire - where Harriet and Clara Conner taught and where Clara was married to William Smith.


barp - fail.

Monday, August 7, 2017

#NFHM Blogging Challenge - Week 2 - Careful He Might Hear You

Sumner Locke Elliott wrote a haunting tale about PS and his aunts, custody battles and secrets called Careful He Might Hear You.  

It's Week 2 of the National Family History Month blogging challenge and we challenge you to write about an aspect of your family history that caused your ancestors to whisper.

The film adaptation of the book was shot in the more salubrious Sydney suburbs of Darling Point and Neutral Bay than last week's meme set in Surry Hills.  

Perhaps there a story about childhood you want to tell (from memory PS was only about 8 years old) or the Depression (the era in which the story is set).

We can't wait to see what posts it inspires. Don't forget to link your story below using the Linky widget so we can find all the posts at a glance. And remember, we love stories from all over the world.  You don't have to be an Aussie to participate.  We just want you to blog.

Poor Man's Preacher - Thomas Gainford

I have been agonizing over how to write about Week 1's prompt for National Family History Month.  At first, I was going to write about the McLoughlin family in Orange. Whilst not in Surry Hills, they were Irish Catholics.  But the pickings were slim in terms of stories...so I turned to other sources.  I am sure stories do exist- I just couldn't find them or make them stick, so to speak.

Going through my family records I noticed that a couple of my ancestors were married in Surry Hills so I decided to pursue that angle instead.

Introducing George Henry Carrett and Sarah Stores.  These two are effectively my paternal grandmother's paternal grandparents - got that?  Or my great-great-grandparents on my father's side of the family.  

So - who were George Henry Carrett and Sarah Stores?

Well, according to their marriage certificate, George was a bachelor.  He was 21 years old and born in England and his occupation was bricklayer.  His parents were George Henry Carrett (cause we like to keep things simple) - also a bricklayer and Mary Ann Pasby.

Sarah was a spinster from Newtown.  She was a servant and aged 21.  Her parents were Edward Stores, a Labourer and her mother was Mary Ann Nobbs.  

George and Sarah were married by Thomas Gainford according to the rites of the Congregational Church and their marriage was witnessed by George Preston and Mary Stores (I'm assuming that Mary Stores was Sarah's Mother).

So, why did they get married at 145 Foveaux Street in Surry Hills?  Their usual place of residence is shown on the certificate as Sydney (most unhelpful).  I know that Sarah Stores was born in Newtown.  Her father died at his daughter's residence at Riverview Road Marrickville in 1905 according to this In Memoriam notice in Trove.

But let's get back to Surry Hills.  Who lived at 145 Foveaux Street?

The Sands Directory for 1879 shows that Rev.George Preston lived there.  Remember he was one of the witnesses? Maybe Sarah was a servant in his household.  Maybe we will never be able to confirm that but it's a thought.

When I searched for "George Preston" on Trove I found lots of articles.  There was this one in 1876

1876 'Advertising', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 14 December, p. 1. , viewed 06 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13386095
and, very importantly

1878 'The Government Gazette.', The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), 7 December, p. 912. , viewed 06 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162697853

So I guess you could say that George Preston was learning how to officiate at marriages under the tutelage of Thomas Gainford.  And Thomas Gainford himself was an interesting chap.  Keep in mind that I am trying to work out why my ancestors would have married this way or chosen this minister to marry them. Let's go back a bit again.  

Sarah's paternal grandparents were Edward (called Ted) Stores and Sarah Parkes and her maternal grandparents were John Hobbs and Mary Boswell.  These people were not insignificant players in the region of Earlwood or Undercliff where my father grew up.  

If you read some local histories for Earlwood (Parkestown to Earlwood by Ron Hunt and/or Earlwood's Past by Brian Madden and Lesley Muir) the picture begins to pull focus.  

Sarah Stores' grandmother, Sarah Parkes, was the second daughter born to Margaret Southern and John Parkes - both ex-convicts.  John Parkes was from Worcesterhire's Black Country - named after ts iron-ore.  He was a nailer by trade and worked at the Government Dockyards for many years before moving on to the land.  

One of twelve children Sarah and her husband Ted Stores lived at Parkes Camp (now Earlwood) - a "timber-gatherer's Camp..destined to become the vanguard of three generations of sawyers."  according to Ron Hunt.  Her brothers William, Isaac and Thomas were boxing champions; Bill earning the title of Australian middleweight champion in 1845 before travelling to England to fight Nat Langham the middleweight champion there.  

Here is a map of John's Estate. 

Madden and Muir's history advises us that the 1870s were the beginning of a building boom for Sydney and that the Parkes and Nobbs families made their money from supplying sandstone from the Canterbury Quarry in River Street.  George Henry Carrett III, my grandmother's father and his father before him, were bricklayers and made their living from building many houses in the inner-western suburbs. So the Stores and the Carretts really were a match made in heaven, all things considered.

You can see my great-great-grandfather's home in 1886 at 7 Fairfowl Street Marrickville as it was in 2014 when Google took their photo.  It looks very dilapidated doesn't it? I don't know if it's improved since then.  According to the Sands Directory he called it Brixton Villa, after his birthplace Brixton in England, no doubt.

Obeyed Call from Beyond the Grave (1933, September 10). Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 - 1954), p. 22. Retrieved August 6, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198661710

But back to Thomas Gainford.  How did he fit in?  Well I haven't found any direct links but having read his biography in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and a lengthy obituary in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate, he seemed to share many of the Parkes/Stores and Nobbs interests and life experience.  Born in Workington, Cumberland in 1823, by the age of 19 he was a champion wrestler for Cumberland - a couple of years before Bill Sparkes (the Parkes family has many monikers from Parkes to Perks to Sparks) was fighting Nat Langham.  

Thomas Gainford then went on to study shipbuilding and became a master mariner.  His experiences at sea, witnessing the uncertainty of life, motivated him to convert to Christianity and he became variously known as the "praying sailor" and the Black Preacher because of his physical appearance and his fortitude in all weather.  

In 1853 he migrated to Australia and co-owned a sawmill on the banks of Duck Creek on the Parramatta River.  It was so successful that another branch was formed on the Richmond River.  He sojourned to the Victorian goldfields and then to Newcastle before he returned to Sydney in 1867 and then became minister of the Mariners Church in 1870.  

So whilst it seems strange that a bricklayer and a servant would be married by a preacher in the Mariner's Church, I feel certain that their paths would have crossed somehow given their shared interests and Gainford's concern for those who felt isolated through their occupation or the trials and tribulations of life. 

I am now a bit wiser about one of the witnesses on George and Sarah's marriage certificate and have a greater understanding of the times from having researched Thomas Gainford and the area in which they lived. I did not realise until now how deeply embedded the roots of the Carrett family were in the area of Earlwood/Undercliffe.

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
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....


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 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.

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:


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.

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! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

#AtoZChallenge N is for NLA, Nonbooks, Num and Newspapers

Libraries aren't just about books, librarians are fond of saying.  I remember being shocked when I first saw my children's school library and it was full of computers.  It wasn't even called a library - it was called a Resource Centre. 

But it was run by a fantastic librarian with an unpronouncable name and boy did my kids learn about technology. By Grade 3 they were creating PowerPoint presentations.  I was amazed.  This was obviously well before I was a librarian.  I was a library lover but I didn't know much about what went into libraries or how access to information was managed.  

By now you're probably beginning to appreciate that you won't be able to have everything you want in your own personal genealogy library (nor would you want to)....there just isn't enough room.  But it is possible to gain access to the vast resources of other libraries to complement your own collection.

So I have highlighted the National Library of Australia to remind you about access to its e-Resources.  Most people think of Trove when they think of the NLA but it is so much more than Newspapers (although I can't imagine life without Trove now can you?).  

If you haven't got a library card yet for the NLA you need to get hopping. You can sign up for one here.


You can tell I was desperate using this word can't you?  I confess I've been using a dictionary of library terms to help me with this  A to Z challenge and this one stuck out. 

We've already spoken about maps and images but don't forget all the other things that could conceivably be in your genealogy library - CDs, slides, movies, audio recordings, pamphlets, files.  

I have CDs such as Extracts from Portsmouth Records 1891 and Queensland Passports Index 1915-25, not to mention the giveaway CDs that come with magazines.

Gould Genealogy offers a whole bunch of resources through Archive Digital Books Australasia and gen-ebooks often at quite substantial discounts in comparison to the hard copy e.g. to purchase Shauna Hicks Your Family History Archives book is only $3.95 in the soft copy or on PDF but $8.25 in hard copy.  So you're saving money as well as saving space.

I will talk about the preservation of items like these in a future post but you do need to start cataloguing or recording and/or digitizing what you have so when you down-size or that wretched bus comes around the corner, your family know what's what.

Num (Cora)

I hope you aren't going numb with boredom.  We're more than half way through this challenge and we're on the downhill run.  

When I first started making notes about what I could use for each letter, I thought about authors or authorities in the family history area that I should mention.  Cora Num came to mind.  I have a few of her publications:

eRecords for Family History

Irish research on the internet


Internet Family History

I was lucky enough to see Cora Num speak at the 14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry in Canberra - albeit virtually.  You can read my summing up of her sessions on this post.

Her books on shipping and migration are on my wish-list.

If you haven't visited her wonderful gateway website, hop to it now.

Why don't you start with her Newspaper gateway?