Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Big Day Out

There were three genealogy related events in my day yesterday and I traversed quite a bit of the northern part of Sydney to attend them.
My day started with a 9:15 departure from my home in Galston (E on map) to Hawkesbury Library (B on map) for 10:00am, then I drove for about 50 mins to my next destination, Ku-ring-gai Historical Society (C on map) after spending a few hours there I set out for Hornsby Library (D on map) where I arrived at 6:00pm. I finally reached home around 8:00pm. Google maps estimate that I drove around 98 km. and it was worth every centimeter.

So how did I amuse myself?

Siobhan and her book
At Hawkesbury Library  I attended the monthly meeting of the Hawkesbury Family History Group. The guest speaker was Dr Siobhan Lavelle whose talk was about the 1813 crossing of the Blue Mountains. The content of the talk was different from what I expected but was fascinating; I had expected to hear a straight history of the crossing by Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson but Siobhan put a different slant on her talk. She discussed the various celebrations that have been held to mark anniversaries of the crossing and demonstrated, with references to books, newspaper articles, pictures and other resources, the influences that society and members of the explorers' families at various periods had on shaping those celebrations. I was most impressed by Siobhan's presentation; she was a lucid and entertaining speaker with a dry and irreverent sense of humour.

I purchased and look forward to reading a copy of Siobhan's book, 1813 a tale that grew in the telling, that is available from the Royal Australian Historical Society and bookshops in the Blue Mountains.

After chatting with a few fellow group members and Michelle Nichols, the local studies librarian, I popped into my Bambino and headed for Ku-ring-gai Historical Society where I spent a pleasant few hours scanning historical photographs and adding them to the Society database. I also managed to have a chinwag with members of the Preservation Group who were beavering away at various tasks.

Because at talks I habitually sit behind tall gentlemen who block my view of slides on the screens I like to arrive early to snag  a seat near the front of lecture rooms. I arrived 30 minutes early for the talk at Hornsby Library and was able to catch up with Peter Booth, Kim and his wife from Ku-ring-gai Historical Society and Neil Chippendale the local studies librarian. Guest speaker at the Hornsby talk was one of my favourite speakers, Dr Carol Liston, whose topic was "The Links between Local and Family History". Carol was in fine form and gave a great talk.

What I found interesting in Carol's talk was that she covered some of the same themes that Joshua Taylor had addressed in his talk last Saturday particularly the importance of Place in family history research.

Thanks to  Michelle and Neil, two of my local history heroes, for organising these great Family History Month events.


Julie Goucher said...

You had an interesting day!

Tanya Honey said...

Ah Jill, I wish I had access to such interesting speakers as you have. These are things I didn't think about when we decided to leave Sydney. :)


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