Wednesday, July 1, 2020

From the Archives - July 1 2010.

From time to time I will be reposting old posts from the GeniAus blog.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Aussies celebrate Canada Day

Amongst the highlights of our more recent family history were a couple of visits to Canada in 2008.  This snap of Mr Geniaus and family members was taken on Canada Day, July 1 2008, which we celebrated enjoying the festivities at historic Rocky Mountain House. Our traditional lunch included corn on the cob. We joined in the spirit of the day by wearing Maple Leaf tattoos and Canadian flags.

We have a soft spot for Canada which is in many ways similar to Australia and have fond memories of our travels there.

A Mobile Library

At night time I indulge in an activity that is not family history. I can often be found taking to my bed directly after dinner to indulge in this passion. 

My Mum loved her Books
One of the genes that I inherited from my mother was a love of reading that continues to this day. My commitment to this activity has ebbed and flowed over the years but currently, as I am largely confined to quarters due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, I have more time to devote to the printed word.  

As a child I can remember accompanying Mum to a subscription library in Kings Cross where she borrowed books. When we moved to the Randwick Municipality we used to borrow from their mobile library which stopped at Maroubra Junction on a Saturday morning. That was when I got my first library card and became a regular borrower. As an adult a career working in public and school libraries afforded me easy access to large collections for no outlay.

Since becoming a retired old biddy I haven't made many visits to local libraries except for genealogy related activities. I have purchased many books and dropped so many hints for gifts of books or book vouchers on birthdays and other special occasions. As new books are rather expensive I have been able to pick up many near new books at op shops, charity book fairs and my favourite online charity bookstore, Brotherhood Books. I keep a list of recommended/wanted books and every so often check Brotherhood's catalogue to see if these are listed. 

I love physical books, the smell and feel of the paper adds a pleasurable and familiar element to the reading experience. During Covid time most of the places where I sourced my books dried up - op shops and libraries closed and no book fairs . I had to find some other way of satisfying my appetite for reading.

My Mobile Library
When going on holidays I had been in the habit of downloading a few eBooks from local libraries in case I read through the half dozen "read and ditch" books I usually pack. So Covid-19 made me turn to eBooks. After a few months of reading the books I had borrowed on my smartphone I decided that I needed some sort of eReader. I did a bit of research and decided to purchase a lightwieght inexpensive, Android tablet which would give me more flexibility than a Kindle or similar device.  Then I struck a problem as the Samsung tablet I wanted to purchase was out of stock in Australia. 

Finally around a month ago I found that some local retailers had the desired tablets in stock. I phoned the closest store, got them to match the lower price of another shop and quickly dispatched Mr GeniAus on a mercy mission to buy one. I am enjoying reading on the new device, it's not too heavy to hold up in bed, I can more easily see the text I am reading and I don't have to turn the pages so often. 

My tablet is set up with apps from several local libraries and vendors of eBooks like Amazon and Google. I have also copied all of the other eBooks I had on my hard drive to the device. I have installed just a few other apps: a browser, email and Facebook. My 21st century version of the mobile library is truly mobile and has access to more titles than were available on those Saturday mornings at Maroubra Junction.

The initial purpose of this post was to share my pride in having read 63 books in the first half of 2020 but I digressed. You can see what I have read this year here on the fabulous, free site Librarything

Saturday, June 27, 2020

A Decade of Digging

My poster girl moment at The National Library of Australia's digital launch (watch the full launch here) of the revamped Trove Australia lasted for 24 seconds as a video of me declaring my love for our national treasure was played. 

I was honoured to receive an invitation from a PR company inviting me to participate in the launch. They wrote several weeks ago  "We're looking to gather short 20 second vox pops from a range of Trove users giving a quick snapshot of why they love Trove and what they use it for.....The library recommended that we get in touch with you to see if you'd be keen to participate." As am not shy about sharing my love for Trove I replied YES immediately. I don't know why I got a chance to be part of this event but I was absolutely thrilled to be asked. I was chuffed to represent the army of amateur genealogists whose daily activities include digging on Trove.

In my clip I mentioned fishing for ancestors on Trove and getting a small bite or a big haul of ancestor stories to add to my personal history. To suppport that analogy I selected, as a background for my clip, Lake Macquarie which is known for its many great fishing spots. In conclusion I said that my reason for loving Trove was because it breathes life into my ancestors. 

My Clip recorded at  Lake Macquarie

My relationship with Trove goes back to before its birth in 2009 when I would use the Picture Australia and historic newspaper collections from The National Library of Australia. The first instance I can find of myself promoting Trove was in a blog post in February 2010 when I said "I am a regular user of this site, the information found there adds some flavour to the rather dry facts in my family tree. I have found birth and death notices, sickly sweet in memoriams, saucy divorce proceedings and articles that give places and times to ancestors." I followed that with "I exhort those who use Trove to consider adding to the treasure there by correcting lines of text in articles you read."

From ten years of digging in Trove I have 190 blog posts in which I have mentioned Trove, I have given many presentations to genealogy groups and at conferences in which I sing Trove's praises. I have created many lists and tagged articles but my record at correcting text is not outstanding. When I am not travelling I am a regular Trove user.

As I have only scratched the surface of the treasure there I look forward to many more years of Digging on Trove.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Value from our Vaults

Image by kalhh from Pixabay
Many longterm geneabloggers have a huge vault of interesting and valuable past posts. The value of these is, that if someone is searching on Google for a particular person, place or topic mentioned in our posts, the posts will be found. We all get rather excited when we reel in a contact with our "Cousin Bait". Are you getting more value from your posts?

Instead of leaving our posts to languish on some distant server and relying on Google to attract new readers for us we should be proactive in focusing attention on our earlier writing.  This was brought home to me this week when I read and enjoyed old posts from two of our fellow geneabloggers who have used other social media platforms to share links to their posts.

I had not previously read the Milo post posted on The Dusty Box blog by Jess in 2016, I somehow missed reading it until I saw her recent tweet with the post's link on Twitter. As I was captivated by this story about an Australian icon I shared Jess's post on my Facebook Page and was pleased that it initiated a conversation about Milo. 

Canadian Geneablogger, Lorine, today posted a link on Facebook to the first in a series of four posts she wrote mentioning her Australian links (You can see all 4 posts here I had read these posts back when they were posted in 2009 or when Lorine posted them again in 2016 but I am sure that many Australian genies who would have been interested in their content may not have been reading blogs or even interested in their family history then. 

Lorine and Jess have this week demonstrated how easy it is to get more value from the blog posts in our vaults. 

How about going through your past posts, updating them if necessary and sharing links to them on your social media channels? 


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