Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Accentuate the positive .... 2013 in review

Accentuate the Positive 2013 Geneameme.

In 2012, Jill, aka Geniaus pointed out that many of us set goals for our genealogy output for the upcoming year. By the end of that year, we feel that we have not achieved what we set out to do. Whereas in reality we have often achieved more than we think. So this Geneameme is meant to make us look back over the past year and take stock of just how much we have accomplished. She has set the challenge once more looking over the year just passed, 2013

Thanks Geniaus, I will attempt to answer some of your questions
Remember to accentuate the positive.

1.  An elusive ancestor I found was:
The origins of my Dillon Family in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland

2.  A precious family photo I found was of:
My Great Aunt, Eliza “Pearl” Smith, as a young woman, artfully seated on rocks beside a river

3.  An important vital record I found was:
The workhouse records of my convict ancestor Olive King of Brighton, Sussex, UK from the East Sussex Record Office. I had found some information on her from just doing a Google search and became intrigued. This information came from "The Workhouses an Institution : Brighton (Brighthelmstone), Sussex"
"In April, 1839, Sophia Clifton aged 17, and Olive King aged 16 charged in the local courts with the theft of a Brighton Workhouse uniform (the clothing they were wearing after absconding), and, the attempted theft of alternative clothing valued at 7/-. Having been found guilty on both counts, the two were transported to Australia for 14 years for this "wicked" crime. At this time, it is said that young females who were deemed to be "less sullied" by the male workhouse inmates, to be sent to the colonies for long periods in the hope that they would remain and become brides for convict labour who had completed their sentences"

4.  A newly found family member who shared:  
Both my mother’s cousin from Queensland, Pam, and my father’s cousin’s daughter from Glen Innes were very generous with their time, information and were just plain fun to talk to and get to know

5.  A geneasurprise I received was:
Being interviewed by Gini Webb  to be featured in Thomas MacEntee's GeneaBlogger site, entitled “May I Introduce you to…. Linda Ottery”

6.   My 2013 blog post that I was particularly proud of was:
Lost in time. After such a long break from blogging (Over 12 months), I was quite hesitant; it took a great leap of faith to just write something and try and get back into the swing of things - it worked; the network of Geneabloggers was still there and very supportive - Thank you all!

7.   My 2013 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was:

As I only composed 4 posts this year, I am not sure how to judge this. Some had lots of hits, while others had more comments and "+1" on Google +. I think that is for my readers to decide.

8.  A new piece of software I mastered was: 
Evernote and Google Hangouts on Air

9. A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was:
Facebook; previously I had only used it for sharing stuff with friends and Family

10. A genealogy webinar on YouTube from which I learnt something new was:
From regularly watching  DearMYRTLE'S Monday’s with Myrt regularly each Tuesday morning

11. A great repository/archive I visited was:
One of my very own treasures which is comprised of two albums full of postcards collected by my Grandmother since she was a child. The first album was presented to her in 1908. From that time on, all family postcards which had such simple messages as “See you Saturday for lunch” to extensive messages home from her wounded uncle recovering in an English hospital during WWI, were passed onto Nana and is now a mighty treasure trove and insight into my Morgan family. I have scanned one of the cards  [n.d.] iespecially for Jill, as most of us are aware, her family has a close connection to Cobar in NSW, so I thought she may enjoy this little treasure.

The "Beauties" of Cobar cannot be exaggerated
To busy to write
12. A new genealogy / history book I enjoyed was:
A history of the Holder Family of Inverell (NSW), written, compiled and published, by a distant cousin. As I had contributed information and helped in some corrections over the 18 months from it's inception to publication this December, I received a thank you in the acknowledgments. And if I do say so myself, it is one of the better quality  self published family histories that I have seen

13. Another positive I would like to share is:
Though it has been a difficult year, and the amount of time spent on Family history severely curtailed, by completing this meme, it shows that though I felt the year was unproductive, in reality that is far from the truth – so thanks Jill for making me see the positive!

Monday, December 30, 2013

An Australian New Year's Eve.... 1912 Style

Australians are a "Weird Mob" as John O'Grady aka "Nino Culotta" once said.

An article I found on Trove from the The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), Saturday 28 December 1912, page 14 describes a very "proper", though community spirited New Year's celebration.

National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1983053
"New Year's Eve at Sandgate
A novel entertainment is to be held on the Rectory Hill at Sandgate Central on Tuesday evening (New Year's Eve). The hill, which is just above the Post Office, is to be illuminated with 400 coloured lamps and by the local Gas Company. An ox is to be roasted whole, and there is to be "a grand parish feast" in the old English style. The ground will be open at 6 o'clock and supper will be served at 10. The menu will consist of roast beef, plum pudding, and home brewed ale, and also other other refreshments and amusements, with open air promenade concert, band music, and village dances. At midnight, a watch-night open air service will be heralded by the chiming of a peal of bells, which will ring the old year out and the new year in, followed by Christmas carols, sung by St. Nicholas's choir. The Railway Department has arranged for a special midnight train to leave Sandgate Central at 12:15 for the city and intermediate stations."

While a post card sent to my Great Grandmother in December of the same year, 1912, and passed onto my Grandmother for her collection, shows the irreverent and larrikin side of Australian humour

Hoping you may fall into a good thing in the New Year 
So whether you are having a civilized and quite New Year's celebration, with fiends and family, go to bed early with a cuppa, or go a bit wild and let your hair down, I wish you all the best for the New Year, and may many brick walls tumble down and new friendships be forged.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Question of Storage

I have been reading the Olive Tree Genealogy blog regarding the storage (and sorting) of original documents that are important to keep for further generations. Sadly, not many of the old documents come in a standard size like today. The pages were foolscap size, certificates almost square, writing paper came in all shapes and sizes and not a lot of my precious documents fit neatly into the archival sleeves, binders or boxes that I have purchased.

I have an insurance policy bought for my Grandmother, by her mother, when she was one year old in 1903 and is way bigger than A3 size, and I hate having it folded. I also have a wedding invitation that is about two inches high, and about 8 inches wide; it is meant to fold over on two sides with the invitation in the covered middle space, but again, I'd rather have it unfolded. Neither of these items, nor a myriad of other documents, such as the blueprint for my grandfather’s house will fit into the average archival box or sleeve without retaining the damaging folds. My ultimate aim is to keep these documents in as good a condition as possible for many, many years to come. Many of them have not been treated kindly in the past and it is now time for some TLC.

When reading about the conservation of paper materials, it is always made clear that items should not be folded, staples and paper clips should be removed, and any even minor folds of the corner of documents should be straightened out. This is the absolute basic rule; before they even start to discuss the types of archival sleeve and container, where best to store fragile papers to protect them from heat and humidity... it is quite a complex topic, and let's face it, our private collections are valuable assets and should be treated with as much respect as any national depository treats their collections.  

Many of these documents such as the blueprints have not been scanned, I will have to find a place that has a scanner big enough to accommodate such oversized pages, and probably have to pay a premium to have it done – the blueprint is massive – almost the size of a single bed!

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to store really oversized documents and odd shaped ones?

Any and all ideas welcome, and many thanks to Lorine for her blog and interesting thoughts on this overwhelming subject.

For information about best practice in dealing with paper the following two sites are most informative

·         National Archives of Australia

·         Library of Congress