Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tolpuddle Martyr revealed in family tree (From Bournemouth Echo)

Tolpuddle Martyr revealed in family tree (From Bournemouth Echo)

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School Reunions and Celebrations

Reading this post "Crowds honour schools' amazing records" in the Daily Mercury from Mackay Queensland reminded me of the value of attending school reunions - not just one's own but those occasions that celebrate centenaries and anniversaries of schools attended by ones ancestors. As the cited article shows one can find photographs and records on display that give valuable information about our ancestors.

I need to watch out for celebrations in my parents' old schools. I don't think that my grandparents were all lucky enough to receive formal education.

I notice that on 1-3 May Molong Central School in NSW is celebrating its 150th Anniversary. If you have ancestors from Molong it may be worth a trip.

Readers in the Mist: National Biography Award winner

Readers in the Mist: National Biography Award winner

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Are you a digital collaborator?

Pew Research Center: Internet Typology: The Mobile Difference

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I enjoy the findings in Pew reports. The latest PewResearch Center Publication is all about Internet Typology. It concludes that 39% of the adult population are motivated by mobility: their reliance on mobile devices is increasing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Genealogy Events in Queensland

The Queensland State Archives, in its latest QSA Bulletin, has announced a number of events to be held in Queensland locations including Gladstone and Rockhampton.

This free newsy bulletin provides information on new resources of value to genealogists with interests in Queensland.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


One of the newsletters I subscribe to is Now&Then, from NSW State Records. This publication "provides up-to-date information about new research tools and resources, services and seminars, exhibitions and other activities taking place at State Records."

One of the interesting snippets in the latest issue is a nine minute presentation on researching family history at State Records that is available on YouTube.

You can watch it right here:

For further information on Now&Then click on this link:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

International Children's Book Day

This annual event sponsored by (IBBY), has been celebrated on or near Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, April 2nd since 1967.

Many years and a few careers ago, as a Children's Librarian I remember attending in The Rocks the Annual IBBY Dinner organised by Ena Noel for whom the The Ena Noel Award - the Australian IBBY Encouragement Award for Children's Literature was named. Although I have changed careers I have maintained an interest in children's literature.

After reading a wonderful post on a library blog , Readers in the Mist, about International Children's Book Day today I started wondering about my ancestors and what they might have read as children. Indeed some of my early 19th century ancestors are listed as illiterate on immigration records . I cannot imagine a life that is not enriched by the vicarious experiences one gains through reading.

Genealogists may be interested in this chronological list or works "
which have been sources of materials considered suitable for youthful readers" published by Roger Blackwell Bailey, Ph.D. Browsing through the list gives us an idea of the reading materials available to young people during various historical periods.

As an ancestor I enjoy sharing my childhood favourites with my grandchildren and have recorded for future generations a record of my reading on LibraryThing. I commend all genealogists to leave a similar record for their descendants.

Berwick Quarry and the Wilson family

At Casey-Cardinia Links to our Past Blog is an interesting article on The Back-to Berwick Quarry Re-union that was held on March 29th 2009 at Wilson Botanic Park in Berwick, Victoria. The report by gives an account of the quarry's history that was was on land owned by the Wilson Brothers who had purchased around 630 acres from the Crown in 1854.

What's in a surname?

Kimberley Powell reports on the 10 most common Australian surnames in use today.

Smith and Jones are still in the Top 10 while Nguyen "the most common surname in Vietnam, but is actually of Chinese origin, meaning "musical instrument." comes in a number 7.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Data Backup Day

Don't be an April Fool! Backup all your genealogy research! implores the blurb on Facebook for this event.

I am fairly conscientious about backing up the data in my genealogy program as I am prompted each time I log out to do so. Every few days I copy this to an external hard drive and email it to myself at Gmail. I think I have this backup covered.

But what of my other precious family resource - "Our Diary"? Our diary is an Excel spreadsheet detailing the family's activities during my lifetime. I only started keeping a diary in the mid eighties so have had to retrospectively create other entries. I have used old receipts, postcards, letters, programs, photographs and other ephemera to build this resource. Family members know that they are not allowed to throw out an old piece of paper before I check it for diary usefulness. When we are at a function and someone starts reminiscing I note down the memory to add to the diary.

I export my Outlook calendar into the diary at irregular intervals and embroider those entries for the diary where appropriate. I also copy and paste my status updates from Facebook into the diary. To date the diary has around 15,000 entries that I would hate to lose. I save this to the laptop and occasionally to an external hard drive with the file name ourdiary.

The family sometimes laugh about 'the diary' but when they have a need for a date they come running to Mum to check the diary.

As a response to Data Backup Day I have created a task in Outlook to remind me to backup the diary each week. I will be saving the diary to an external hard drive with a different file name each time in the format ourdiary20090202, ourdiary20090303 etc so that if one file is corrupted then I will have an earlier archived copy.

Thanks to Genea-Bloggers for organising this day as a memory jogger for those, like me, who may forget to take adequate care of precious family resources.

Should You Worry About Data Rot? - Pogue’s Posts Blog -

Should You Worry About Data Rot? - Pogue’s Posts Blog -

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I find David Pogue's post illuminating. This post about data rot has implications for genealogists who who not keep up with format shifting of their data.


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