Friday, July 14, 2017

Family History Feast at the State Library of Victoria

One again during Family History Month the State Library of Victoria is offering their Family History Feast, a wonderful day of free Family History sessions by a group of great speakers.  This year the Feast will be held on Monday 21st August, and bookings will open 9am on Monday 24th July.  While the Feast is free it is vital to book as there are only so many places and it does tend to book out.  If you do miss out, don't despair as the Feast will be filmed and broadcast live
To give you a taste of what the Feast has to offer, below is the program from the SLV's website.

Family History Feast 2017 Program

9.30am Doors open
Kate Torney, Chief Executive Officer, State Library Victoria
Exploring Koorie history and genealogyJohn Patten, Manager Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Museums Victoria
Overview of Public Record Office Victoria land records 
Charlie Farrugia, Senior Collections Advisor, Public Record Office Victoria
Care and preservation of your family history collection
Conservation staff, State Library Victoria
Farmland and manor houses to air fields and hospitals: military property acquisition during WWII
Terrie Page, Assistant Director Access and Communication, Victorian State Office, National Archives of Australia
From cattle yards to war workers: the plan collection of Bendigo Regional Archives Centre
Dr Michele Matthews, Archives Officer, Bendigo Regional Archives Centre
Family history on the map
Sarah Ryan, Coordinator Map Collection, State Library Victoria
2017 Don Grant Memorial Lecture – Families and land: land settlement and the role of families, Victoria 1870–1940
Dr Charles Fahey, Convener History Program, Department of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University
Introduced by Jan Parker, President, Victorian Association of Family History Organisations (VAFHO)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Family History Month Blogging Challenge

While looking through the many events listed on the National Family History Month website and asking myself if I can possibly fit anything else into August that I have not already committed to (answer - probably, but I may have to give up sleeping), I found the NFHM Blogging Challenge.

What a great idea!  I do like blogging challenges - they get me thinking and blogging about topics I wouldn't have come up with in my own - and I especially like the literary theme (I am a librarian).  I have read all four books listed - some many years ago - and I love the inclusion of All the Rivers Run, as I can remember the filming of the miniseries here in Echuca back while I was at school.

So now its time to revisit the books and start thinking about how I will respond to each for the blogging challenge.  Have a look at this and the many other NFHM activities and see what is there for you.  Thanks to everyone out there who is participating - the more the merrier!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Family History Month

August is Family History Month and Campaspe Library is offering a number of free classes at all our library branches during the month.  Below is the schedule and bookings are now open via our homepage.  Check out the Family History Month website for all the wonderful events taking place around the country and see what is available in your area - there is sure to be something to interest you.

LibraryTopicDate and Time
EchucaAncestry Library EditionTuesday 1st August 2.30pm
FamilySearchTuesday 1st August 3.30pm
GermanTuesday 8th August 2.30pm
IrishTuesday 8th August 3.30pm
National Archives Aust.Friday 11th August 2.30pm
WorkhousesFriday 11th August 3.30pm
TroveTuesday 15th August 2.30pm
PROVTuesday 15th August 3.30pm
Military RecordsFriday 25th August 2.30pm
ConvictsFriday 25th August 3.30pm
Online ResourcesSunday 27th August 2.30pm
Online ResourcesTuesday 29th August 2.30pm
Organising your researchTuesday 29th August 3.30pm
KyabramAncestry Library EditionWednesday 2nd August 10.00am
ConvictsWednesday 2nd August 11.30am
National Archives Aust.Wednesday 2nd August 2.00pm
RochesterAncestry Library EditionMonday 28th August 10.00am
GermanMonday 28th August 11.30am
ConvictsMonday 28th August 2.00pm
RushworthFamilySearchWednesday 9th August 10.00am
TroveWednesday 9th August 11.30am
GermanWednesday 9th August 2.00pm
TongalaMilitaryWednesday 16th August 10.00am
PROVWednesday 16th August 11.30am
IrishWednesday 16th August 2.00pm

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Researching Abroad - Upcoming Conference

For those of you who somehow don't know, August in Australia is Family History Month.  This year, along with all the other talks, events and sessions happening around the country, the wonderful people at Unlock the Past are holding a roadshow "Researching Abroad : Finding British Isles and European Ancestors".
Check out their website for the dates and details of the roadshow, which covers Brisbane, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth.

The two featured speakers are :
  • Chris Paton - British Isles stream
    Professional genealogist, author, international speaker and writer of The GENES Blog concerning Britain, Ireland, and their diasporas
  • Dirk Weissleder - German/European stream
    Coordinator of the German-Australian Genealogy Alliance and the International German Genealogical Partnership
I've booked my place at the Melbourne session and am looking forward to hearing these two wonderful speakers.  While I've had the pleasure of attending talks by Chris Paton before, this will be the first time I've heard Dirk Weissleder speak.  If you're attending the Melbourne session I hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cemetery Day

In a recent post Alona of Lonetester declared June 18th to be Cemetery Day.  As I think this is a great idea (thanks Alona) I decided my goal for the day was to go through some of my records looking for gaps and see if I could track down the graves of some of my ancestors that had eluded me.  Using Billion Graves and Find a Grave as my starting points, and newspapers such as Trove and British Newspaper Archive, amongst others, I spent a lovely couple of hours tracking down graves and finding photos of family headstones.  It was quite surprising how many gaps I had in my tree and how many I was able to fill.
Headstone of my great-grandfather John Clark
So come on board with Cemetery Day and research an ancestor's grave site, visit a cemetery and take some photos, share the photos you have with your family - or start planning for Cemetery Day 2018.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Moving House and finding (more) Treasures

Well, its done.  I have sold the old family home and moved to my new house.  There are boxes everywhere and I feel like it will take me MONTHS to unpack and settle in, but I haved moved house.  Closing the door on the old family home for the last time was quite an emotional experience - I was only 2.5 years old when my family moved in, and after several years away I moved back to care for my parents in their last years, so there are a lot of memories in that house.
I've posted a few times about finding treasures in the cleanout, many hidden amongst piles of rubbish and the final packup was no different.  It was amazing finding things that had fallen behind wardrobes and bookcases years ago or were stashed in the back of a drawer or under a bed and never recovered.  Given that I have been researching the family history since I was 16 years old, and have always been interested in my parents stories of their childhood, how some of these things were never mentioned, much less produced, escapes me.  I think my parents had forgotten about many of these treasures themselves.
A couple of examples.  The first was found in a pile of other papers - many equally fascinating and unseen before by me  - hidden in the linen cupboard behind some old sheets. Apparently my dad did some running while he was a lad at school - this certificate below dates from 1935, and dad would have been 9 years old at the time.
The second was an even more unlikely find.  It was only discovered when the removalists were loading up my furniture to take it to the new house.  This colored print of my father was taken from a photograph from when he enlisted in the Air Force, during World War 2.  It is hand colored on cardboard - and has spent who-knows-how-long lying behind a wardrobe in my parents bedroom.  Neither my sister or I can recall ever seeing it, although we are both familiar with the photo from which it is taken, and how or when it was created I have no idea.
While I am grateful I have these treasures now, I would have loved to have seen them when my parents were alive.  There are so many questions I have - and obviously stories I missed out on.

Monday, April 10, 2017

English Police records added to Ancestry

Was your ancestor a policeman?  Nearly 70,000 Metropolitan Police pension records have been added to Ancestry in a new collection which spans 1852-1932 and features scans of original records held by The National Archives.

Generally the registers will reveal information about the officer's length of service, whether he retired or was discharged, his pension amount and who his next of kin were. Other details may include place of birth, marital status and parents, and from 1923 birth and marriage details of the spouse are also included.

Among the papers are entries for notable detectives, including some of the senior members of the Jack the Ripper investigation unit. Frederick Abberline, chief inspector on the case, resigned in 1892 aged 49 with an annual pension of £206, 13 shillings and four pence.