About cassmob

I'm a Queenslander by birth and after nearly 20 years in the Northern Territory I've returned to my home state. I've been researching my Queensland ancestors for nearly 30 years and like most Aussies I'm a typical "mongrel" with English, Irish, Scottish and German ancestry.

Time’s ticking in August

Isn’t it amazing how this year has galloped away? Or is it just me?

August is past the half-way mark and I’m just reminding you of a couple of timelines.

National Family History Month (NFHM)

National family history monthAugust is the month when we celebrate all things family history and there’s been plenty of events on around the country. However, you haven’t missed out as there’s still plenty to come until the end of the month. You can find a list here on the website.

There’s also prizes to win for individuals and societies including annual memberships to Ancestry and My Heritage as well as DNA kits and other great prizes including certificates. You can find the prizes listed here – closing date is on 20 August so best get onto it today if you haven’t already. All you have to do is send an email to nfo@familyhistorymonth.org.au, including your name, postcode and Email address.

Have you visited one of your local family history societies this month? If not, why not pop in and see what they can offer you – journals, microfiche, advice and online access to pay-to-view genealogy sites.  Why not make it your resolution to join a local society and meet fellow enthusiasts?

I was lucky to take advantage of the Family History Discovery Day at the local Latter Day Saints chapel earlier this month. There’s always something new to learn, or be inspired by, and a chance to see your genealogy friends. Life events have taken over a bit for me in the past week or so but in between times I’ve been dedicating some time to cleaning up my genealogy database and doing further research into my McCorkindale family. There’s also been a couple of gatherings of 2nd cousins from this family so that’s been inspiring as well.

What have you been doing to celebrate family history during National Family History Month?

Waves in Time 2019

WiT-Page-Call-for-Speakers-Launch

It’s also an opportunity to remind enthusiastic genealogy speakers that 31 August is the deadline for speaker submissions so put your thinking caps on and submit your proposal before the deadline. And remember there’s opportunities for rural delegates to apply for funding to attend.

The Conference is being held at the newly renamed Venue 114, formerly the Lake Kawana Community Centre – same place, different name. Dates: 24 – 26 May 2019. Join us – it’s going to be great fun!

 

 

Thinking “out loud” online

Do you ever have the feeling that your more distant branches on the family tree are rather like Swiss cheese, full of holes with tenuous structure? Please bear with me while I think online – I’d be interested in any feedback other genimates can offer.

I’ve been revisiting my McCorkindale (aka McCorquodale and many variants) branches and correspondence with a Canadian cousin. In a lightbulb moment I’ve concluded, tentatively, that I was missing a sibling for my 2xgreat grandfather, James McCorquodale later McCorkindale.

I absolutely love Scottish Records for their broad information especially when one gets to civil registration from 1855. Another virtue is that the woman’s maiden name is retained in the documents (generally). McCorquodale etc is a relatively uncommon name except in their heartlands of Argyll so maiden names can be very helpful. And then there’s the traditional Scottish pattern for the children’s names. However, can you be sure you have the first, or only, marriage for your person?

Let me get down to nuts and bolts, but first let me give you a summary of the cast of this story. Throughout this post the surname McCorquodale can be implied unless otherwise stated.

The cast

I was lucky to have received a copy of my great-grandfather’s (James’s) baptism record from my grandmother. It was also obliging of him to state his birth place, on the census, as Inistrynich near Cladich on Loch Awe. This gave me confidence that Duncan McCorquodale at Cairndow was my correct ancestor.

This enabled me to find his parents Duncan#1 McCorquodale (aka MacQuorquodale etc) and Anne Campbell who married in the parish of Glenorchy and Inishail on 25 April 1791. Son James was born on 14 March 1808 and only today have I deciphered where the register says his parents lived: the Gatehouse near Cladich. Previously I had Drimuirk.

Given we’re in Campbell country my chances of pinpointing the correct parents for Ann are slim to none. Searching the LDS microfilm for the parish of Glenorchy and Inishail, I long ago identified the following children to Duncan #1 and Ann[i].

  Birth Christening Place Parish Married
Hugh 7 Nov 1791 9 Nov 1791 Tervean G&I Ann (Nancy) Bell
Mary 19 Jan 1794 20 Jan 1794 Achnacarron G&I Nicol McIntyre in Glasgow in 1823
Anne* 27 Dec 1798 Illegible G&I Unknown
Sarah** 4 April 1802 4 April 1802 Cladich G&I Unmarried to 1851
Betty 12 Feb 1805 13 Feb 1805 Cladich G&I John McDonald
James 14 Mar 1808 Drimuirk G&I Isabella Morrison

But wait, was Duncan’s marriage to Ann in 1791 his first marriage? And was his father therefore called Hugh?

There is another marriage of a Duncan#1 McCorquodale to Margaret Keith/McKeich and this couple had two children: Dougald b 8 March 1788 christened 20 March 1788 and Sarah b 2 Jan 1790 christened 4 Jan 1790, both in Glenorchy and Inishail.

There are no further children to this couple and for some time I’ve considered the possibility that Margaret died after Sarah’s birth, and that Duncan’s marriage to Ann Campbell was his second. Unfortunately, our research at this time is constrained by the absence of burial registers and I found no indication of mort cloth rentals in the Kirk Session records for Inishail. This ambiguity will probably remain into the future.

I’ve managed to find marriages and/or death records for James’s siblings and there is a track record of longevity in the family.  Duncan#1 is shown as 80 on the 1851 census[ii], making it feasible that the marriage to Margaret could be his. Unfortunately he dies between 1851and the comprehensive certificates of 1855….drat!! However, his children’s death certificates (from Scotland’s People[iii]) all show his occupation as a weaver, even though he listed himself as an ag lab on the census records…possibly seasonal occupations.

Duncan and Ann’s son, James, my ancestor, married Isabella Morrison from Strachur in 1832. The family lived on/near the Ardkinglas estate on Loch Fyne for many years. James and Isabella’s children were:

Name Birth date Christening Place
Catherine 16 Aug 1832 Strachur
Anne 21 April 1834 Strachur
Euphemia 3 July 1836 Kenmuir
Malcolm 15 Sept 1839 Strachur
Duncan #3 31 Oct 1841 Baichyban
Janet (Jessie) 16 Feb 1845 Kilmorich
Isabella 14 Sept 1847 Kilmorich

You’ll notice that Duncan #3 here is the second son, named after his father’s father whereas the first son is named after Isabella’s father, Malcolm Morrison. James’s brother Hugh had also had a son named Duncan #2 who was born on 20 Feb 1832 at Inveraray.

My Canadian cousin sent me two transcribed letters ten years ago. Somehow, at the time I missed the relevance of a key point in the letters. In 1851 Duncan McColl (Duncan #4) writes to his cousin Duncan#2 McCorquodale at Inveraray Castle where the latter worked as a gardener. In his letter Duncan#4 McColl speaks of his own family and their experiences since arriving in Ontario, Canada in 1850. His cousin had asked him about gardens where he lived in Ontario and Duncan#4 McColl refers to Kenmuir (Kenmore) where his family had lived before emigrating. He also tells his cousin that “We all join in sending our kind love to your Father, Mother and Sister not forgetting yourself and our friends at Cladich and Grandfather and all enquiring friends”. The mention of Cladich and grandfather in one sentence rang bells with me and sent me off tracing Duncan McColl’s family. But first…

The cousin written to, Duncan McCorquodale #2, is the son of Hugh (above) and grew up near the McColls and was a similar age to Duncan#4 McColl. Duncan#2 was a gardener. He is found with is another cousin, Malcolm (born Strachur, son of James) working as a gardener with Duncan #2 (born Inveraray) at Kilbride in the parish of Dunoon, Argyll in 1861. Malcolm and Duncan#2 are cousins[iv], which tends to imply that Duncan#4 McColl is also a cousin of Malcolm’s[v], my ancestor James (Malcolm’s brother), and Duncan #3[vi]. The nice thing is that Duncan#2, who received the letters, is the great-grandfather of my Canadian cousin.

1861 Census McCOrquodale Duncan and Malcolm

1861 Census Piece: SCT1861/510 Place: Dunoon & Kilmun -Argyllshire Enumeration District: 3
Civil Parish: Dunoon & Kilmun Ecclesiastical Parish, Village or Island: Dunoon
Folio: 0 Page: 58 Schedule: 318, Address: 12 Kilbride on freecen.org.uk

So, my question became: Is Duncan#4 McColl a cousin through his father or his mother? Allan McColl had married Catherine McCorquodale in 1829 in Inveraray and Glenaray Parish. By the time of the 1841 census, they had four children: Duncan#4 born 1830, Dugald born 1833, Nancy b 1835 and Evan born 1838. Catherine was 35, making her YOB between 1801 and 1806[vii].  The family don’t appear in the 1851 Scottish census and this is clarified by the notation on Canadian census records[viii] which state Duncan#4 McColl arrived in 1850.

1841 freecen McColl

Image from freeCen.org.uk

Allan McColl is the son of Dugald McCall and Mary Cameron so that eliminates the cousinship at paternal first cousin level at least. This in turn adds weight to Catherine McCorquodale being a sister to Hugh and James, and daughter of Duncan#1 and Ann Campbell. The birth years of the other children don’t preclude her being part of this family, but it’s unfortunate that I’ve not found a suitable baptism for her when I trawled the parish registers. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to locate a death for Catherine McCorquodale McColl in Canada…this may be down to my novice experience with Canadian records, or her death may fall in the pre-1869 period when civil registration didn’t apply (experts please feel free to add/correct).

I’ll be writing more about the McColls in another post. However, meanwhile I’d appreciate my genimates’ opinions on the logic behind my argument, thoughts for proving it somehow, and any other feedback. And if you’re confused about all those Duncans and Hughs, you’re not alone…and that’s without getting into the Catherines, Euphemias etc. How I’d love to visit the Duke of Argyll’s archives at Inveraray Castle…one day.

———————————

[i] Parish records of Glenorchy and Innishail, microfilm 1041008, Items 1 – 3

[ii] Piece: SCT1851/512 Place: Glenorchy-Innishail -Argyllshire Enumeration District: 6
Civil Parish: Inishail Ecclesiastical Parish, Village or Island:
Folio: 401 Page: 7 Schedule: 31 Address: Drimuirk on freecen.org.uk

[iii] https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[iv] Verified by Scottish Marriage certificate 1859 644/7 124 of Duncan (#2) McCorquodale and Jane Ann Shaw in Glasgow.

[v] As an aside, Malcolm and his wife would later migrate and raise his family in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire before emigrating to Sydney, Australia. Throughout Malcolm retains the original surname spelling of McCorquodale. I wondered sometimes if this was too big a leap of faith in the connection, however his death certificate in Sydney records his parents correctly as James and Isabella. Not at all coincidentally he had named his home “Cairndow” after the home of his youth.

[vi] Meanwhile, James’s second son, Duncan#3 (confused yet?) migrated from Argyll to Glasgow, typical of the era. Duncan#3 was my great-grandfather. He died in Glasgow but his widow and all but one of his family emigrated to Australia in 1910.

[vii] This census rounded down the ages of adults to the nearest 5 years.

[viii] 1901 Census, Ontario, District 95 Northumberland, Village of Campbellford.

Exciting news for genealogy & DNA fans world-wide

UTP DNA picIn breaking news from Unlock the Past, I’m excited to learn that the genealogy conference to be held in Seattle USA, will now be livestreamed to DNA enthusiasts world-wide. The presenters will be Blaine Bettinger (USA), Maurice Gleeson (UK), Cyndi Ingle (USA) and Wayne Shepheard (Canada). What a stellar lineup!

The program features:

  • One whole stream (five talks) on DNA – by Blaine Bettinger (US) and Maurice Gleeson (UK)
  • Three Irish talks – by Maurice Gleeson (UK)
  • The hidden web: digging deeper – by Cyndi Ingle (US)
  • Genealogy and the Little Ice Age – Wayne Shepheard (Canada)

Unlock the Past is now offering an online package which enables us to watch all the talks presented in Seattle, either in real-time or subsequently for those of us in very different time zones. Of course for those who can readily travel to Seattle there’s the option of attending in person – lucky people.

At $US65 ($A90 or Euro57 or GBP51, approx) for 10 livestreamed presentations, it looks like a tremendous bargain to me. No matter where we live we can share in the experience and learning with those at the venue. I know I’m going to be watching the presentations, either live and/or afterwards and I now feel like I’m not missing out on all the fun.

You can read all about it here, check out the program here, and book for the livestreaming through this link.

Isn’t it great how technology lets us all share in these events?

Enter the date in your diaries:  Thursday 6 September 2018, 9am-5pm (Pacific Daylight Time)

Trove Discoveries: The Skirl o’ Pipes

Many years ago, I found occasional references to my great-uncle Peter McCorkindale on microfilmed newspapers. It was apparent that he regularly “smashed” the competition at various Highland Games. While I’d written a blog post about the McCorkindale pipers a long time ago, I’ve recently found even more on Trove.

That’s what happens when I putter away on the McCorkindale section of my database and turn to Trove for more details. The best bit is some of the photos I’ve found. Peter Sim McCorkindale (1877-1945) was the second eldest son of Duncan McCorkindale and Annie Sim. Born in Glasgow, Peter emigrated with his older brother, Duncan, in 1900. Both made their marks in the Caledonian societies Down Under.

 

McCORKINDALE Peter photo1939

CALEDONIAN PIPE BAND SUCCESS (1939, April 15). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947), p. 9 (SECOND EDITION). Retrieved August 3, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-

 

McCORKINDALE Peter Jan 1937 Sunday Mail

SKIRL O’ PIPES (1937, January 24). Sunday Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1926 – 1954), p. 9. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article97892641

What is both intriguing and puzzling is that Peter’s role as Pipe Major comes and goes over the decades. At present I have no idea how that position was determined. Also intriguing is that his brother Malcolm appears as Pipe Major in some stories. My Dad always said Malcolm was the better piper but he suffered from performance nerves.

McCORKINDALE Pipe Major M

CALEDONIAN PIPE BAND. (1921, June 28). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947), p. 10 (SECOND EDITION). Retrieved August 3, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179199539

In earlier years, Malcolm is shown to be the Pipe Sergeant of the Brisbane Caledonian Society and Burns Club Pipe Band.

McCORKINDALE Malcolm nla.news-page000019296678-nla.news-article177786181

BRISBANE CALEDONIAN SOCIETY AND BURNS CLUB PIPE BAND. (1912, July 13). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947), p. 18. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article177786181

Malcolm (and Peter) also won a number of prizes at different Caledonian Events.

 

McCORKINDALE Malcolm Warwick Daily News 1919

WARWICK CALEDONIANS. (1919, December 27). Warwick Daily News (Qld. : 1919 -1954), p. 8. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article175750812

 

McCORKINDALE P and M Warwick 1914

At the Warwick Highland Gathering WARWICK SPORTS. (1914, December 28). Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 – 1936), p. 5. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article178857520

What I hadn’t appreciated previously is that there could be substantial prizes to be won in individual events. While two pounds may not seem much now, it would have been worthwhile at the time. It may well have been another way to bring in funds for their young families.

Peter McCorkindale also seems to have been a regular performer with Monty Bloom’s concert and vaudeville group which gave hundreds of performances to a wide array of gatherings from prisoners to old people’s home, charities and hospitals. Peter was also scheduled on the radio at different times – how I’d love to hear a recording! I can imagine my grandmother listening in and bursting with pride in her big brother. No wonder Dad also said the family had trouble with accommodation in Glasgow with all those boys practicing on their pipes!

McCORKINDALE Peter radioMcCORKINDALE Peter and Monty Bloom Telegraph

ABOVE LEFT: Broadcasting (1927, January 5). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947), p. 3. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article180607762 RIGHT: Monty Bloom’s Party Giving 200th Concert To-night (1937, December 18). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947), p. 26 (SECOND EDITION). Retrieved August 3, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article184100998

 

 

 

The Backrow Shooting Case 1872

Backrow farmhouse Sim home 2

Backrow farmhouse, Bothkennar, taken during a visit to Scotland. © Pauleen Cass 2003

Quite some time ago, I found a family story among the British Newspaper Archives on Find My Past. It’s taken me ages to get to it, but I finally transcribed the whole story[i]. It involved the prosecution of my great grandmother’s brother, William Sim aka Sym, for feloniously shooting Hugh Cowan on 12th July 1872. It seems to me that the prosecution did their best to get a conviction. However, the charge was rather more elaborate than that, including inter alia:

 

 

SIM William Glasgow Herald 16 July 1872 p4

Glasgow Herald, 16 July 1872, page 4.

“…. yet true it is and of verity, that you the said William Sim are guilty of the crime first above libelled, aggravated as aforesaid , or the crime second above libelled, actor, or art and part: in so far as on the 12th or 13th day of July 1872, or on one or other of the days of that month, or of June preceding, at or the near the farm house of premises at or near Back-row aforesaid, then and now or lately occupied by the said James Sim, you the said William Sim, did wickedly and feloniously, attack and assault Hugh Cowan, miner, then and nor or lately residing at or near Kinnaird, in the parish of Larbert, and shire aforesaid, and presented at the person of the said Hugh Cowan a gun or other kind of firearm, loaded with powder and shot, or other hard substance to the prosecutor unknown and did wickedly and feloniously shoot at the said Hugh Cowan the contents of one of the barrels of said gun or other fire-arm, whereby the said Hugh Cowan was struck and wounded on or near the right shoulder, or other part of his person to the effusion of his blood and serious injury of his person…”

 

William Sym aka Sim, the 19 year old son of James Sim of Backrow farmhouse in the Parish of Bothkennar was thus charged. The early news reports had stated it more succinctly as we can see in the image from the Glasgow Herald of 16 July 1872.

A Letter to the Editor from a Mr Meikle to the Falkirk Herald, published on 27 July 1872, makes it clear that it wasn’t quite as clear-cut as the earlier news reports suggests.

SIM William Falkirk Herald 27 July 1872 p3

Falkirk Herald, 27 July 1872, page 3

In this context it’s helpful to have a sense of the local geography:

BACKROW Bothkennary Ord SurveyXXIV12.JPG

This is an extract of the Ordnance Survey Map of Stirlingshire XXIV.12 (Bothkennar) Completed in 1859, it was published in 1862, so very relevant to the case in point. Backrow farm steading is in the lower left, Skinflats on the lower right, and the Bothkennar kirk is in the top right. National Library of Scotland.

As we can see from a current Google Maps satellite view, the geographic layout remains very similar. Having read the reports, I believe the miners were on the direct path between Skinflats and the rear of the Backrow property, rather than on a normal road.

Backrow and Skinflats

The case came before the Stirling Autumn Circuit Court on 13 September 1872 when those involved were brought before the court. One of the advantages of court reporting in newspapers is that it should be accurate, or risk all sorts of legal penalties. Each of the people involved in the event was interviewed by the prosecution and the defense:

John Jenkins, a miner from Kinnaird, also part of a band which had played at a miners’ meeting in Skinflatts (sic).

Hugh Cowan, who had been shot in the shoulder.

James Penman, another of those who’d attended the miners’ meeting.

Robert Jenkins, a pit-bottomer, also from the meeting.

James Sim, farmer of Backrow, Bothkennar, my 2xgreat grandfather.

Ann Sim nee Wood, wife of James Sim, farmer (my 2x great grandmother).

James Sim, son of James and Ann, also of Backrow.

Dr Haig from Airth, who treated Cowan, described the Sim family “I known the Sims, and have done so for ten years. I never heard anything against the panel or his family. They are very respectable people altogether. The prisoner, so far as I know, is a quiet, inoffensive lad.”

Mrs Duncan, a local resident who provided water to Jenkins for the injured man.

Constable Campbell of Carronshore, who’d been called out by Annie Sim.

The Rev. Mr Stevenson, minister of Bothkennar, “bore testimony to the excellent character borne by the prisoner. He was a quiet inoffensive lad.”

William Sim’s testimony after his arrest was tabled:

I am 19 years of age. Am son of, and reside with James Sim, farmer, and Back-row in the parish of Bothkennar, and county of Stirling. Last night, about 11 o’clock, I was in bed and asleep at home, when I was awakened by hearing my mother crying out to some men who were making a noise outside our house to let our dog alone. I had previously heard stones rattling against the dog-house. I arose and went down stairs, and followed my father out of the house. On going out I saw nearly a dozen men around the door of the house, and some of them having large sticks or stack props in their hands. I found them still throwing stones at the dog, and threatening to drive the life out of it with their sticks. My father told them to let the dog alone, and they then turned upon him, and he received one blow upon the face from a stick. Three of the men then seized hold of my father and threw him down among some corn, after dragging him across the road. I then went forward to assist my father but before I reached him two men attacked me on each side, each pair of men having a stack prop in their hands, and I was struck upon the elbow by one of these, and prevented from assisting my father. My sister, Ann Sim, then came out, and she was threated in the same way, but she succeeded in getting my father away, and we all three escaped inside the house door. Upon this all the men turned upon eth dog worse than ever. My father then opened the door again, and I called out that I would bring a gun to them if they did not leave the dog alone. They swore and said they would knock both me and the gun to hell. The gun was then brought to me by someone from within. I know that the right barrel was loaded with powder and small shot – I think number two – but there were no caps on. I first held up the gun in order to frighten the men. I then put some loose powder into the left barrl, and put on a cap, and tried to snap it in the air. I then put a cap on the right barrel, and tried to snap it in the air, but it also hung fire. Upon this I was turning into the house when the gun went off as was fetching it down from my shoulder. I declare that I did not aim at anybody, or intend of hit anyone. As soon as the gun was discharged some of the men came still nearer the house, threatening us with sticks, and calling out that the house would be no longer ours. They remained at the door threatening us, and in about ten minutes, while they were still there, a man came up to the door and asked if we knew what we had done. I said we had not done much, and he replied you have shot a man. I replied that it was not intended then, for I fired in the air, and the gun hung fire. Some of them then cried out to draw us out and take our life. Upon this we shut the door, and they again yoked on the dog with their sticks. Shortly afterwards some of the party came back accompanied by a Police Constable and asked for a cart to take away the wounded man. We got him a cart and I accompanied it to the place where they man was lying at a quarter of a mile or less from our house.

My great grandmother, Annie Sim later McCorkindale, gave her experience of the events:

Ann Sim deponed – My mother cried to the men to go away. There was a great noise. There be about a score of men. I was standing at the garden when father was dragged past me. William went out behind my father to help him but I saw nothing done to my brother -only, I believe, some of them kept him back. I went to help my father. They were kicking him in the field. I dragged off two and one fellow had hold of him by the finger with his teeth. There would be five of them in the cornfield and there were others about the premises. My brother brought the dog on the chain and we got my father in. The men then came rushing to the door. I had not gone for the constable then. They threatened to break open the door, and were asking matches from each other to set fire to the town (Note: I assume this to mean the farm-steading including out buldings). I went for the constable after the gun was fired off. I told him they were killing my father. I did not know any of the men. The constable came and I afterwards heard a person had been shot. During the struggle one of the men caught hold of me and said he would knock my brains out.

I am proud of my great-grandmother’s feistiness that she took on the men who were threatening her father and managed to get him inside the house safely, despite personal threats, before going to fetch the constable.

One day I will get to read the actual court documents in the Scottish Records Office for myself, but for now I’m content to have been privy to a rather scary experience of my ancestors in the middle of the night. Shooting Cowan was not a good thing, even if accidental, but they must have been more than a little frightened in the middle of the night, fairly isolated, to have to deal with this threat.

The conclusion to the case?

‘….the jury retired, and after an absence of about 20 minutes returned with a verdict, which was read by the foreman, as follows :_ “On account of great provocation the jury find the prisoner not guilty.” Sim was accordingly discharged. The result seemed to give great satisfaction.’

————————————

[i] Falkirk Herald, 14 September 1872, page 3 through the British Newspaper Archives on FindMyPast.com

 

 

Catch a Genealogy Wave in Queensland

It may be winter but it’s sunny and warm-ish in South-East Queensland right now – and it’s also less than a year until the Waves in Time 2019 Conference being held on the glorious Sunshine Coast from 24 to 26 May 2019.

Behind the scenes a lot has been happening to ensure you have a great time with your genealogy surfing at the conference.

HOT NEWS FOR REGIONAL ATTENDEES[i]

WiT-Page-Regional-DelegatesThanks to the generous support of History Queensland, regional attendees beyond South-East Queensland may wish to apply for one of the two “grants” of $500 on offer. Recognising that more remote genealogists may find it financially difficult to travel and attend, these will be offered competitively based on the following conditions:

To apply for regional support

  • You must be a resident of Queensland.
  • You must belong to an organisation that is a member of History Queensland (HQ)[ii].
  • Your application must be endorsed by that organisation.
  • If you are successful, you must do a presentation to your society after the conference and write a short piece to go in HQ News about the conference.
  • You must be a resident of a local council area outside south-east Queensland. That is, outside all the following local council areas:

City of Brisbane, Gold Coast City, City of Ipswich, Logan City, Lockyer Valley Region, Moreton Bay Region, Noosa Shire, Redland City, Scenic Rim Region, Somerset Region, Sunshine Coast Region

If you wish to apply for support, download the Support for Regional Delegates PDF Application Form[iii], scan/copy/photograph, complete the form, and email the completed form to info@wavesintime2019.org.au. Alternatively post to Waves in Time 2019 Conference, P0 Box 968, Caloundra QLD 4551 to reach the committee before the closing date – 14 September 2018.

The Committee will consider all applications and make a decision on 15 October 2018.

Successful applicants will be advised by 18 October 2019. In addition to the

The Committee’s decision regarding the successful applicants will be final. Further enquiries can be made through info@wavesintime2019.org.au.

SPEAKER DEADLINES

  • Time is ticking for those who wish to submit Speaker Proposals for Waves in Time.
  • The Call for Speakers closes on 31 August 2018 and all proposals received will be acknowledged.
  • The decision on speakers will be made by 31 October 2018 by the Conference Committee.
  • Successful speakers will be advised by 12 November 2018 and will be entitled to a free conference registration.

You can learn more about the Call for Speakers here[iv]. Don’t forget to consider your topic in the context of the Waves in Time concept.

ACCOMMODATION

The Conference organisers have negotiated special rates from the closes accommodation providers to the conference: Best Western Plus Lake Kawana Hotel and the Aquarius Kawana Apartments. You can check these out on the Waves in Time website here[v]. (You will need to check the arrangements for booking on this site).

Of course there are many options further afield on the coast if you want to explore other choices[vi] or you may already have a favourite you visit on holidays.

SOCIAL MEDIA and AMBASSADORS

waves in time ambassadorJoin us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GenimatesWiT2019/

Twitter at https://twitter.com/wavesintime2019 Hashtag #wavesintime2019

The Social Media Ambassadors for the conference will be well known to many of you:

Pauleen Cass blogging here and on Twitter @cassmob

Caitlin Gow blogging here and on Twitter @caitieamanda

Shauna Hicks blogging here and on Twitter @HicksShauna

Fran Kitto blogging here and on Twitter @travelgenee

Helen V Smith blogging here and on Twitter @DragonGenealogy

You’ll be hearing more from each and all of us as the conference draws closer. Don’t forget you can use the Waves in Time 2019 Facebook group to ask questions about the conference or the Sunshine Coast from your fellow genimates and the locals who live here.

CONFERENCE FUN

Apart from the joys of learning new skills to help with your genealogy/family history, geneaconferences are great places to spend time with fellow genimates, meet new (and “old”) friends, and talk about your research. It’s going to be FUN!!

LINKS

[i] https://wavesintime2019.org.au/support-for-regional-delegates/

[ii] http://www.historyqueensland.org.au/members/

[iii] https://wavesintime2019.org.au/wp-content/uploads/WiT-Regional-Delegates-Application.pdf

[iv] https://wavesintime2019.org.au/call-for-speakers/

[v] https://wavesintime2019.org.au/waves-in-time-accommodation-options/

[vi] https://www.visitsunshinecoast.com/.

Ostrich-ing the GDPR

ostrich-3292655_1280I don’t know about you, but I’ve been something of an ostrich in recent times. Legalese makes my brain fry and my eyes cross so the implications of the GDPR or Global Data Protection Regulation have turned me into a cross-eyed ostrich.

However, the internet’s boundaries are porous and we don’t always know where our blog readership comes from unless we burrow down into our site’s statistics. This means that to be compliant we need to ensure do our best to ensure that our blog meets the relevant privacy regulations and that our readers are aware of how we’re treating their personal data.

Specifically our readers need to know:GDPR

  1. What we do with their names, emails and IP addresses if they comment or subscribe.
  2. Give them the option to unsubscribe if they choose to do so at any point.
  3. Give them an option to have their personal data removed from the blog by contacting the author.
  4. Let them know that cookies will track them if they give permission – and give them the ability to opt out.
  5. Clearly state which programs we’re using.

My blogging approach:

  1. Firstly, my blog exists to share my research discoveries or a story.
  2. I want it to continue to be available as long as possible, thanks to being archived by the National Library of Australia’s Pandora Archive (which I why I haven’t changed my domain name).
  3. Hopefully over time my descendants will read and be interested in what I’ve discovered about their ancestors.
  4. I do not sell products or services via my blog. To this end, I have selected a Premium plan with WordPress.com so my readers are not inundated with advertisements.
  5. Nor am I overly concerned about statistical analysis as that is not my main goal.
  6. I want to share research steps, as well as discoveries, with fellow enthusiasts.
  7. To achieve all of this, and continue to publish my blog, I need to ensure that I am compliant with regulations.

The actions I’ve taken:

  1. I’ve introduced a Privacy Policy page on my blogs (should have done this long ago). In this I’ve explained what programs I use and what my approach is.
  2. Set up a cookies warning bar which means the reader can accept or reject cookies. Once accepted the reader will not need to choose again for a further 180 days.
  3. Readers who’ve subscribed to blog posts can choose to unsubscribe or contact me to remove their personal data.
  4. Be assured I will not share your email with anyone without your permission and only then if it’s relevant to your research comments.

If you have any further questions or concerns about privacy issues in relation to your personal data on my blog, please contact me directly via the “Contact Me” link at the top of the page.

To conference or not to conference

GLOBE wwg MINE_edited-7In the aftermath of #Congress_2018 and as Caloundra Family History Research gears up for the 2019 Queensland Conference, Waves in Time, it seemed appropriate to re-post a story I wrote for the Worldwide Genealogists a few years back in 2015. I’d be interested in your views.

To conference or not to conference?

That is indeed the question!

Over the last few months (of  2015) I have been heavily tied up with family history conferences.

DSC_2893 cropFirst it was RootsTech-FGS in Salt Lake City in February and before I knew it the triennial Australasian Congress of Genealogy and Heraldry (the equivalent of the USA’s FGS conference) had arrived.

At RootsTech-FGS I was just there to learn, hit the family history library, maybe do a blog post or two, have fun, and meet up with genimates. Congress 2015 was a little more pressured with responsibilities as one of the three official bloggers (Jill Ball aka GeniAus, and Shauna Hicks) and also because I was presenting two papers. You can meet the speakers and learn about their topics by looking at this summary by TravelGenee, Fran.

We’ve had post-Congress blog reports from many genimates (you can see a list here – thanks GeniAus) as well as a Congress review hangout by GeniAus this week with its “kiss, kick, kiss” approach.

More recently others have been hanging out at WHYTYA Live! in Birmingham.

PROs and CONs

All of which has made me think in general about the pros and cons of attending genealogy conferences and how we make the choice.

This decision differs in some ways from work-related conferences where we have to convince managers and purse-holders that our attendance will benefit us, but also the organisation, and that we will add value in some way by either presenting or reporting back to colleagues. Even if we pay for it ourselves, it becomes a tax deduction (usually).

So here’s my “five bob’s worth” (Aussie-speak for opinion) on decision-making considerations for a family history conference, whether a local, national or international one.

FINANCIAL

money imagePut simply, dollars will be the first consideration for most people. Is there even enough money in kitty to consider it at all?

The funds may be available, but what are the competing priorities or possibilities for the individual or the family? What other travel opportunities are in the mix? (See the later section, touring).

What will the person gain from attendance? How will it improve their family history research, their skills and knowledge? Will the genea-obsessive be joined by other family members?

KNOWLEDGE: SHARING & LEARNING

No matter how long we’ve been researching, whether we’re internet-driven or like to do on-site visits to libraries, archives and cemeteries etc, we will always have something we can learn from others.

Each of us develops special skills and interests, largely driven by the need-to-know basis of figuring out information relating to our ancestors. Depending on how wily they are at hiding from us, we will utilise, but also develop, brick wall strategies.

Others have suggested that it’s good to attend sessions which aren’t applicable to your own family. This doesn’t work for me simply because I don’t get many chances to attend such events as I live a long way from the hub of such activity. When I am spending significant amounts of family money on a conference I want to get maximum bang for my buck, and focus on presentations which will increase my knowledge and understanding of topics. This is why DNA talks were high on my list at RootsTech.

I also look for depth of content from speakers with a wide knowledge of their topic as well as a passion for it. Yes I’ll learn from every talk I attend, but I also want to be stretched.

Probably my key criterion to assess a presentation is whether the speaker has inspired me as well as imparting knowledge. For these speakers I will have notes which include “think about….”and maybe some mind-maps on how it might come together.

IMG_0595 edit

RootsTech 2015.

In the 21st mind-set of entertainment we expect the speakers to be skilled presenters but the reality is that they may not be professional speakers, just fellow family history obsessives who want to share their passion for a topic.  We also need to cut them a little slack.

Of course all this is difficult to assess in advance, so when making your decision you can only analyse what’s been submitted in the abstracts. If there’s more than one talk per session that really interests you (as there so often is) then you should be able to get knowledge value and the option to be flexible.

There’s other opportunities for learning in the many displays by sponsors and exhibitors. What a great way to learn about new products, check them out on-site and get the advice of other researchers.

DSC_2930

The Expo Hall at RootsTech is quite simply mind-boggling.

SOCIALISING or NETWORKING

While this sounds a little frivolous it can play a huge role in your take-home vibe from a conference.

This is your opportunity to talk about family history for days on end without putting people to sleep or sending them running for the hills.

 Congress 2015 bloggers
Geneabloggers at Congress 2015, Canberra.
Thanks to GeniAus and Mr GeniAus for the photo.

Do you know lots of other genimates from blogging or social media? This is your chance to meet them face-to-face over coffee/lunch or an informal dinner outing. One of the benefits of blogger beads (initiated by Geneablogger guru, Thomas MacEntee and shared at Congress 2015 by GeniAus and in 2018 by GeniAus and Lone Tester) is that you can readily identify fellow bloggers and have an immediate bond.

Are you a newbie who feels they “know no one”? Conferences can be a great way to meet new people with a common interest, perhaps even new cousins. Where there’s an opportunity for research interests to be listed do take advantage of them. GeniAus did a great job with the Genimates at #Congress_2018 facebook page which made the newcomers feel welcome and the ribbons she provided made them readily identifiable. Thanks Jill!

TOURING

 bridge and opera house
Sydney Opera House and Bridge and a large cruise ship
– our immigrant ancestors would be astonished.

Perhaps not the most critical aspect of the decision-making, or is it? The venue of the conference may be a temptation in itself. I’m sure it formed a part of my decision to attend RootsTech/FGS as it meant I could visit the genealogy holy grail, the Family History Library.

Congress 2015 was held in the Australian capital, Canberra, which was certainly a temptation with the National Library, Archives, Australia War Memorial, old and new Parliament house and other wonderful research and touring opportunities. Congress  2015 social events were held at the AWM and Parliament House – what a privilege!

And for those who’ve always wanted to visit Australia, perhaps Congress 2018 is something to put on the bucket list? It’s being held in Sydney, perhaps our most well-known city with its spectacular harbour, Opera House and Bridge. Appropriately the Congress theme is “Bridging the Past and the Future”. Judging on the reactions of the overseas visitors to Sydney, it was a popular choice for Congress 2018.

Informal Survey – HAVE YOUR SAY

During a final-day Congress 2015 panel session led by GeniAus, Josh Taylor mentioned that perhaps the term “society” is out of date for younger potential genealogists. Do you agree? Are you a member of a family history/genealogy/local history society?

Also I wonder if the word “genealogy” continues to fully reflect how we refer to what we do. What is your preferred term when you tell people about your hobby obsession? Is it genealogy or family history?

What other things do you consider when you make a choice about attending a family history conference?

Have you been to conferences locally or nationally? Were they of benefit? Have you changed your views over the years?

It would be great to hear your views and comments! Congress 2021 is still under debate, and who knows, your comments might help inform the future.

Having fun at Congress 2018

Sydney harbour bridge

After all the anticipation and excitement, #Congress_2018 has come and gone in a flash. There was certainly a buzz around Sydney’s International Convention Centre as a record number of genealogists came together to learn, meet new genimates, and have fun.

Amidst the whirl it’s sometimes difficult to appreciate just what you’ve learned until you take time out for reflection. This post will be about the social scene and then I’ll get a bit “meaty and dependable” to quote my geminate GeniAus.

Brenda Wheeler and Jill Ball and bears

Jill Ball aka GeniAus and Brenda Wheeler and the bears at SAG.

We started Congress unofficially on Thursday at the Society of Australian Genealogists where we registered and joined the group of mates already busy chatting and comparing notes. Everyone just about had to be thrown out when “time” was called at 5pm. A gentle stroll to Circular Quay presented us with a view of the gi-mungous Ovation of the Seas. Our ferry ride round to Pyrmont reminded us of the Congress theme “Bridging the Past and the Future” and also gave me an opportunity to take a photo of the replica Endeavour sailing ship that is actually 100 tons bigger than the Florentia on which I believe my ancestor, Mary O’Brien emigrated.

Friday was registration day and the first day of Congress lectures. I was kept busy handing out the “First Time Attendees” ribbons (kindly donated by GeniAus) to the newbies at Congress as well my “Kiva Genealogists for Families”, Queenslander and “Blogging Down Under” ribbons. Mr Cassmob waylaid anyone who showed an interest in Genies for Families and provided them with a flyer about this group activity initiated by Queensland genealogist Judy Webster and Lilian provided others. Fran aka the Travel Genee shared some ribbons she’d liberated at Roots Tech as well as promotional ribbons for the Waves in Time Conference on the Sunshine Coast in May 2019 . All that ribbon activity left some people mystified, and others with a severe dose of ribbon envy.

Waves in Time

Will you be coming to our Queensland conference in 2019?

Friday lunch was an informal gathering of random genies in the Harbourside Food Court. Dinner was a birthday celebration with our friend and fellow genimate from Darwin and we enjoyed having a few days to chat instead of an hour or so every six months. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend a couple of other activities, including the Newbies Welcome.

Congress dinner

My genimates Sharn, Maureen, Jill, Chez and Fran were among the “stayers” at the end of the Congress dinner.

Saturday lunch was time out for me after my first presentation, Uncovering your Irish ancestors, and questions after the session. Saturday night was, of course, the Congress dinner at Rydges. We successfully negotiated the Light Rail so were pleased with ourselves. Our dinner table included some genimates, “old” and new and there was no shortage of chatter. Sadly, our construction abilities, and commitment, were lacking despite the efforts of a small team on the table. Once again, “time” had to be called before our group left the hotel.

Darling Harbour

Sydney turned on magnificent weather for Congress, and “cried” on the Tuesday as we all said our farewells.

By Sunday, the energy levels were fading a bit for those of us who aren’t natural extroverts (nothing at all to do with the previous night’s wine intake!). At lunch time I was pleased to have been able to coordinate the meeting of my O’Brien cousin with her Fisher (paternal line) cousin.  Nora has been invaluable in helping me with oral history and photos so it was great to have a chance for a catch-up and connect her to another line.

Queenslanders

Queenslander genealogists – thanks Sharn for the photo.

Monday was photo shoots for various groups and I was sorry to miss the Bloggers photo as I had been chairing the previous session. I managed to get into at least one of the Queensland group.

Bloggers group

Some of the Down Under Geneabloggers – thanks Lilian for the photo.

And then, in the blink of an eye, it was all over. The organisers thanked, friends farewelled, and the group dispersed – until another time. A huge thanks to Martyn, Heather, Danielle, Mel and all the volunteers for their hard work in making this Congress a success: it takes huge commitment to pull off a success like #Congress_2018.

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Congress 2018 learning

The #Congress_2018 schedule was packed with lots of interesting topics from which to learn. Although I took traditional notebooks, I found I was mainly typing my summaries into Notes on the iPad and if web sites were being used, I “played” along with the speaker. This helps me to reinforce what they’re teaching.

What were some of my take-aways?

  • GeniAus kicked off the first session of Congress with her “Beaut Blogs” topic
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    Social media gurus Jill Ball and Caitlin Gow.

    showing features that her readers had suggested were critically important.

    • My question: what is my brand? Is it simply Cassmob or ???
    • I loved her use of the word “automagically”…blogging can seem like that.
    • You can see the blogs Jill mentioned on the GeniAus Pinterest board here.
  • Congress sponsors, the National Archives of Australia, featured a particular Dutch immigrant’s story from their records. This fascinated me as I grew up with many immigrants from the Netherlands.
  • I particularly enjoyed Fiona Brooker’s Across the Ditch It highlighted the importance of checking our ancestors’ collateral lines, and their FANs, and “hatching, matching and despatching” each person to ensure we’ve pinned them down. It also showed that our ancestors were often very mobile, including to and from New Zealand.
  • The Ancestry sponsor talk was lively and engaging, tempting us with the upcoming plans.
    • Did you know that their ethnicities are based on the info in the online family trees? A good reason to make sure yours is online and accurate.20180310_101343
  • Judy G Russell, aka The Legal Genealogist, was Saturday’s keynote speaker and, as always, what a treat as she clearly showed that oral history is lost in three generations – Mr Cassmob and I were “eliminated” with the very first question. Take-away quotes that spoke to me were:
    • if we are to serve as the story tellers and family historians then we need to make sure we’re handing down the stories deliberately and accurately
    • Love, laughter and commitment to being the bridges between the past and the present. We have the passion!
  • I was also privileged to introduce Judy’s talk on Copyrights and Copywrongs…such a vital consideration for all genealogists.
    • I was impressed that there were few instances of people snapping slides – something that is prevalent at Roots Tech.
  • cof

    Cassmob (centre) rocking the Irish bling before the Uncovering the Irish talk, with Heather Garnsey and Greg Ross.

    Angela Phippen talked about the Letters of Rachel Henning and how the content had been edited. Fascinating since it’s a book I’ve had on my shelves for decades. Always go back to the original document wherever possible..you never know what you’ll find.

  • All Paul Milner’s and Paul Blake’s talks were dense with information and I have a number of things to follow up including purchasing Marriage Law for Genealogists by Rebecca Probert.
  • Thom Reed, from sponsors Family Search, engaged us all in a ton of fun on Sunday morning – not easy after the Congress dinner the previous night. When I logged into the Family Search App I could see only two other people. Before my eyes, the list grew and grew, but nary a one was a cousin.
  • Kerry Farmer’s Mapping DNA Chromosomes was another highlight. It helped me to see that I’d been following the right path with my DNA understanding.
  • My geminate Shelley Crawford dazzled us all with her magic mapping tool for Visualizing our DNA matches. Even better she’s given us all a step-by-step guide to doing it ourselves. Thanks Shelley!
  • cof

    Cassmob with Drs Reid, McIntyre and Rushen.

    As always I enjoyed listening to the extremely knowledgeable trio, Drs Reid, Rushen and McIntyre, on Assisted Emigration 1788-1914. There is so much to learn and understand.

    • The trio recommended Robin Haines’ books on migration which I also have on my bookshelves. They are excellent.
    • Don’t forget that Anchor Books have a variety of books on specific migrations.
  • The future of technology in mapping our families’ lives was brought home by both Ruth Graham and Lisa Louise Cooke.
    • Lisa advocated using the historical maps which can be added to Google Earth Pro – all I need to do is convince my IT guru that I’m “allowed” to use Chrome.

Lisa’s final presentation was exuberant and enthusiastic, successfully rounding off Congress and our days of learning.

Thank you to all the speakers who contributed their time and knowledge so we could all progress our family history.