Monday, 29 August 2016

FGS here I come

I am currently in Chicago 90% of the way to the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Springfield, Illinois.



This is my second FGS conference and I am looking forward to meeting up again with many of my genealogical online friends and also learning from them. There are many  names familiar to Australians among the presenters including Audrey Collins, Chris Paton, Paul Milner, Judy Russell, Thomas MacEntee and so many others among the 72 presenters who will be informing us during these few days.

This is also the Federations 40th birthday year.

I am giving three presentations:

1 September  5pm: Lost in Australia
2 September 11am: My Job is Killing me!
3 September 8am: In The Workhouse

And also on 3rd I am the luncheon speaker for the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History speaking on Lenses of Time: Battle of Bossenden Woods.

Springfield is also where Abraham Lincoln lived before becoming President he is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. 




Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Trove Tuesday: Hinxhill Kent and a Bushfire Tragedy

Last year after the Unlock the Past Baltic cruise and conference I hired a car and drove across from Southampton to go ancestor chasing in some churchyards in Kent before flying home. Having a GPS is a necessity especially on your own to find some of the churches.

I came across this headstone in Hinxhill, Kent.


A lot of sadness for this family but a wonderful memorial stone.


George was one of 68 people killed in the terrible fires that hit Victoria in 1939 after two years of very dry conditions followed by the highest recorded temperature. A disaster waiting to happen and it did. 

The Australasian 21 January 1939

The headstone also mentions Robert, their sixth son. Robert comes to Australia aged eighteen as an agricultural worker. He enlists on the 1 December 1939 in Melbourne and is sadly killed in Libya 3 January 1941 and this is reported in the Argus 23 January 1941.

BRUNDRETT, ROBERT. Lance Corporal, VX85959
2/5th Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force.
Killed in action at Gartha, Libya on 3 January 1941. Aged 33.
Born Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire, Wales 27 October 1907.

Argus 23 January 1941

Sunday, 24 July 2016

An Almost Famous Type of Week

It has been an interesting time recently for me with some behind the scenes things happening. Due to marvels of modern technology and the internet I have been interviewed twice and both these interviews have been released as podcasts this week.

The first was a live interview with Jane E. Wilcox from New York who hosts the Forget-Me-Not-Hour on BlogTalk Radio and is also available on iTunes (look for Jane E. Wilcox). 

The interview related to my two books. Luckily I am a night owl as it was done live and we finished at 1.15am! It was a lot of fun. 

Jane does two shows a month and is past her fifth year of doing the show.  I have been a subscriber for a number of years so this was a real pleasure and exciting to do.


The second interview was with Maria Northcote of Genies Down Under podcast, a great podcast for anyone with an interest in Australian research. Here is a link to the show notes 

This interview comprised a standard`set of questions and also touched on the books. You can subscribe to the  podcast via iTunes.

This interview was done using Skype and was easy to do. Maria at the start of this podcast talks about the process of producing a podcast.

There is also an addendum audio which gives a a special deal for listeners of both podcasts.

Order Helen's books:
E copies of the books are available at Gen e books, the e book division of Gould Genealogy Australia
http://www.gen-ebooks.com/

Special deal for Forget Me Not Hour and Genies Down Under listeners: Using the code EB2016-10 will give AU$10 discount on any order over AU$20. Expires 31 October 2016

North American Listeners
Print copies of the books are available at Global Genealogy http://globalgenealogy.com/

Australian Listeners
Print copies of the books are available at Gould Genealogy http://www.gould.com.au/

United Kingdom Listeners
Print copy of the book are available at
My History bookshop http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Unlock- the-Past- Booklets.html


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Trove 500 million resources and still going!

Trove from the National Library of Australia is an amazing free resource. It is more than just the wonderful digitised newspapers that we all know and love.

In fact as is shown in this image Trove contains more than 500, 005,853 Australian and online resources books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.


Certainly we know that trove's funding has been cut so their ability to digitise special community collections has been greatly lessened which is a major shame as it will slow the rate of new additions and potentially may mean access to some collections may be lost to the national and international communities. We all hope that this funding decision will be reconsidered.

Australia is the envy of the world in having Trove and the free access it provides to so much at any time of the day or night to anyone, anywhere with an Internet connection. Scholars, students, historians, sports fans all have found items of interest to them.

What is even more special are the volunteers from around the world who correct the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which at times depending on typeface and age of the paper can give some very interesting results! Just today there were, at the time of writing this, 9706 newspaper lines corrected by the wonderful volunteers.


The Hall of Fame shows the top correctors and I will never be in the top five (I don't think they do anything but correct!) but I am pretty happy at number 639 and 42, 246 lines of text corrected, which has been done intermittently over five years. It is one of the ways I choose to give back and "pay Forward" all the help I have received over the years.

Those who read my blog regularly will know of my George Howard Busby.

On the Discovering Anzacs site, his entry shows the photos of him from the Queenslander, his Attestation papers and if you look down on the bottom right hand side you will see some links to articles in Trove from my tagged list for him.  Other web links include a link to his Repatriation file and to the high resolution images from the Queenslander and also to his Embarkation file.

This integration of records together from across the digital sphere is what makes research today extremely exciting.

I wonder how long it will be before Trove has one billion reources?

Trove we all love you!