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National Family History Month

August is National Family History Month. This is an initiative of   Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc.  It’s aim is to promote family history and give the ever increasing numbers of people interested in family history, an opportunity to get along to their local societies, to do a course or gain further knowledge.

So during the month of August, the calendar of genealogical talk and events is always huge throughout Australia. August has been a busy month for me, so I haven’t been able to get to as many events as I would have liked. The highlight for me was the Family History Feast at State Library Victoria.  This is an annual all day conference. The theme for 2015 was The Centenary of World War 1, a subject of huge interest for me. Following are the sessions that were available:

Victoria’s Journey of Remembrance,  “Stories and things that unite generations” by Gideon Perrott, State Trustees

“No damned females” How to find Australian women in World War 1 by Dr. Kirsty Harris, University of Melbourne

4th Light Horse Regiment, by Dr. David Holloway, military historian

Soldier Settlement by Daniel Wilksh, Public Records Office of Victoria

WW1 Records held by National Archives of Australia – Grace Baliviera

The First Shot, First World War Collection at State Library of Victoria – Steven Kafkarisos

THE DON GRANT MEMORIAL LECTURE – Bringing The War Home, Repatriation records and the family historian.

given by Professor Bruce Scates, Monash University

All I can say is that I was in my element, soaking up all that information, from experts in their field, for a whole day. It’s not all that often that I get to do that, and particularly on a topic that I’m passionate about.

I will definitely be attending this event again in 2016. In my opinion it’s definitely not to be missed.

 

 

Geneabloggers Do Over Week 5

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I have decided to participate in The Genealogy Do-Over, organised by  Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers, This 12 week project has come along at exactly the right time for me. I have been thinking of how messy and disorganised my research materials and results have become, mainly due to the spasmodic and casual way I have approached my family history in recent years. It’s been doing my head in trying to decide where to start.

Week 5 is about finding and organising online research tools and understanding sources as a research tool.

This is the week I’ve been waiting for. I really need to get my sources more under control. Even though I understand sourcing and the need for them, I’m sure my system of sourcing could do with a do over.

Geneabloggers Do Over Week 4

Screenshot_2015-07-05-00-48-17~2-1I have decided to participate in The Genealogy Do-Over, organised by  Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers, This 12 week project has come along at exactly the right time for me. I have been thinking of how messy and disorganised my research materials and results have become, mainly due to the spasmodic and casual way I have approached my family history in recent years. It’s been doing my head in trying to decide where to start.

Managing Research Tasks and tracking searches are the topics for Week 4. We are told that some researchers may consider these topics to be non-essential, and if so, to continue on with working on week 3 topics.

For me, these topics don’t really seem relevant at this time,so I’m going to be one of those that skip them. I’m a bit snowed under with Do Over tasks at the moment, but will definitely  come back to this week’s topics a bit later, probably when the do-over has been completed

Geneabloggers Do Over Week 3

 

Screenshot_2015-07-05-00-48-17~2-1I have decided to participate in The Genealogy Do-Over, organised by  Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers, This 12 week project has come along at exactly the right time for me. I have been thinking of how messy and disorganised my research materials and results have become, mainly due to the spasmodic and casual way I have approached my family history in recent years. It’s been doing my head in trying to decide where to start.

The topic for Week 3 is a favourite of most genealogists – research of course. We are asked to track our researchusing the interviews from Week 2 and our family group sheets, proving and disproving all information before recording it.

We are asked to create a Genealogy Research Log. We are given an example of a research log that has been successfully used. I am going to trial it this week, but am pretty sure that it will cover all that I need.

During the Do Over, I plan to revisit my paperwork, and make sure everything is entered imto my family history program correctly, and also ensure that sources are cited correctly and fully.

Geneabloggers Do-Over Week 2

Screenshot_2015-07-05-00-48-17~2-1

I have decided to participate in The Genealogy Do-Over, organised by  Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers, This 12 week project has come along at exactly the right time for me. I have been thinking  of how messy and disorganised my research materials and results have become, mainly due to the spasmodic and casual way I have approached my family history in recent years. It’s been doing my head in trying to decide where to start.

The task for Week 2 was to conduct a self interview. This sent me into a bit of a spiral, until I realised that the “When I was Young” Geneameme I completed  recently for fellow blogger, Alona told part of the story of my life. If you’re interested you can see my geneameme here. 

I probably need to do another on the topic of “When I was a grown up” to complete the story. Will put that on the ever increasing to do list.

The next topic was to conduct family interviews . 

I have this underway, having had discussions with a couple of family members, and more planned to come.

We were also expected to set research goals this week. This, I need more time to think over. Will revisit goals in the next few days. I have so many research goals that I need to spend a little time getting clarity around them.

 

My Bastille Day Baby – 38 years ago

CRAIG GEOFFREY DEMPSTER  14.07.1977 – 02.11.1995

Yesterday was Bastille Day and on that day 38 years ago, my son Craig was born. I’ve posted previously about Craig  here

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This photo is bad quality as it was taken from a VHS tape featuring Craig just a few days before his death

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This song of Nat King Cole’s  says it all. I heard it on radio recently. It says everything about how I feel about losing Craig, and living the past almost 20 years without him.

I’ve spent those 20 years trying not to think every day about the way Craig died or the fact that he died. When I think of him, I try to think about the good times and how much joy he bought to my life, and how lucky I was to have him for 18 years.

I don’t want anyone to think that I’ve always been sad for the past 20 years. That isn’t the case at all. But there is a tiny piece of me that suffers just a little.

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

 

 

Geneabloggers Do-Over – Week 1

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I have decided to participate in The Genealogy Do-Over, organised by  Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers, This 12 week project has come along at exactly the right time for me. I have been thinking of how messy and disorganised my research materials and results have become, mainly due to the spasmodic and casual way I have approached my family history in recent years. It’s been doing my head in trying to decide where to start.

Below are the topics for Week 1:

1.   Setting previous research aside

This wasn’t really overly difficult as I recently moved and most of my genealogy papers are still packed away in storage. But the papers I do have with me are in a big disorganised mess, so the first job was to get them packed away into a big box. Just for now! It seems strange having all my precious documents  packed away out of sight, but I have committed to do the do-over whole heartedly. So in that box they will stay.

2. Preparing to research

It might seem a bit strange to make preparations before beginning research. But I’m hoping this will make a difference to the quality of research getting done. For me, in recent years, its usually 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there, whatever piece of time I can grab, and lately, all with very little focus.

My work area has now been tidied. The desk is clear and organised. Shelves have been re-arranged ready for the colour coded folders which I will get sorted this weekend. I’m surprised at the transformation,  The  work area is now calling me to get started. Previously, I felt in a bit of a muddle, and couldn’t really see my way clear to get started.

I have printed out Thomas McEntee’s research logs, templates etc and have them in a folder within easy access. At the moment, I’m using a laptop until my new computer arrives. I havee ordered a hard drive to back up my precious files. I have also puchased this week, a Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner, from Gould Genealogy, so need to get it set up, ready to use.

I am planning on using Evernote to store files and photos etc  and have downloaded it to my Ipad. Will put it on to the desktop of new  computer.

Put current digital files into a “do-over holding folder” – out of sight is out of mind

I need to update Family Tree Maker, so will get that done this weekend

3.  Establishing base practices and guidelines

Track all work, keeping a research log, to avoid duplication, as so often happens, wasting valuable time.

Prove all evidence before entering into FTM

Attach source/citation to all recorded evidence

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