National Family History Month 2017


First of all many thanks to Coordinator of National Family History Month, Shauna Hicks. She does an amazing job single-handed but with great financial support from the Sponsors. Did you submit your interest in winning one of the excellent prizes? I did and we’ll all know the outcome soon.

The month has seemed quite crazy and reflecting on what’s happened that’s no surprise. What did I get up to?

On a personal note it was very exciting to meet up again with one of McCorkindale 2nd cousins after “only” about 55 years. We had a great chat and are looking forward to meeting again to swap more stories and family information.

Learning Opportunities:

During the month I indulged in quite a few:

  • Two days of the Unlock the Past Roadshow in Brisbane, with the focus on Scottish/Irish records by Chris Paton and German/European research by Dirk Weissleder and local speakers Helen Smith and Rosemary Kopittke. Not only did I learn heaps but got to hang out with genimates and meet new people as well. Thanks to My Heritage for the discount special from the Roadshow, and Rosemary for revealing its benefits.
  • At the Toowoomba and Darling Downs Family History Society, I was able to hear Janice Cooper’s thought-provoking talk about citations and how to assess sources. Lots to think about now the month’s dust has settled. The Society also launched the third volume of their “Our Backyard” books which tell the story of some of the people buried in the Drayton and Toowoomba cemetery. If you have ancestors on the Darling Downs you really need to look at the books they’ve published…they’re excellent.
  • Caloundra Family History Research Inc (CFHRI) had two presentations from members of Genealogy Sunshine Coast: one on DNA and the other on Google Photos and its usefulness. It seems that I’m progressively getting to grips with DNA for genealogy as it sometimes even makes sense! There was lots of potential in Google Photos and I’m going to have a play with it to see how I can use it to my advantage with both my family history and One Place Studies.
  • The Noosa library service hosted a presentation by Judy Webster at Cooroy Library on Court Records in Queensland…a subject that always offers many research opportunities and we benefited from Judy’s extensive archival knowledge. I was sorry that my jaunts to Brisbane and Toowoomba meant I missed the first two presentations this month by genimates Carmel Galvin and Shauna Hicks.

My contributions to NFHM:

  • I presented my talk on “The marriage of family and local history” in Toowoomba. It had a focus on my One Place Study, Murphy’s Creek which was well known to most attendees as it’s just down the range from Toowoomba.
  • Yesterday I was the final speaker in the Noosa library Services NFHM program. My topic was “Writing your family history…things I learned along the way
  • My genimate Alex from Family Tree Frog set us a NFHM weekly Blog Challenge which tested our creativity in telling our families’ stories.
  • Alona from LoneTester blog presented us with a meme: An A to Z of Ancestral Places. It was an interesting one to complete and a good reference point to follow up on research, as well as comparing notes on the overlap of places with our mates.
  • Jaunting around the Darling Downs gave me an opportunity to revisit some of my ancestral places in person. I had a good chat to the historian at the Woolshed at Jondaryan where my ancestor, George Michael Kunkel, worked for a while as a lamber.If you had ancestors who worked or lived there, the historian would like to hear from you at this email.
  • Of course we never go past Murphy’s Creek without visiting my Kunkel ancestors at the cemetery and later on a recce of the Fifteen Mile where they lived.
  • I rejoined the Genealogical Society of Queensland where I started my research in 1986. After my long sojourn in the Northern Territory it was time. I was amused that my new membership number is a scramble of my initial membership but in the thousands, not hundreds.

All in all, August has been a great month for family history…no wonder I feel a bit weary.

Now it’s time to focus on the living family and spend some time with them. Happy days.

 

 

 

 

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