National Family History Month 2014 Geneameme

12 August 2014

At the launch of NFHM at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra 2014

At the launch of NFHM at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra 2014

This geneameme is the inspiration of Pauleen who writes the blog Family History Across the Seas and is her contribution to National Family History Month.

I can never resist a geneameme challenge so here is my contribution.

Anyone can contribute but don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments section of Pauleen’s original challenge.


  1. What are you doing for NFHM? As the voluntary coordinator I launched NFHM in Canberra, doing 11 talks for Moreton Bay Region Libraries and organising the prizes giveaway for NFHM sponsors. Just a reminder that entries close on 26 August!
  1. What do you hope to learn in NFHM? I always learn lots from any sessions I attend but this year my big learning curve is doing a webinar for MyHeritage a major sponsor for NFHM and as I have never done one before I am a bit nervous. The other thing I decided to learn was Pinterest and I have set up a board for NFHM.
  1. Do you research at a family or local history library? Most of my research was done years ago and now we are a bit remote from a local society but when I am in the big cities I usually take the opportunity to do a bit of research.
  1. Do you do all your research online? Following on from the last answer, yes by necessity but I have a list of things to do at the State Archives when I am in Brisbane or at the QFHS or GSQ. Travel time is an issue unless I plan to stay overnight.
  1. What’s your favourite place to store your family tree? I have been using Legacy for years but I also have an online copy at Backup My Tree plus copies on USB and a remote hard drive.
  1. If offline, which genealogy program do you use? (do tell us its strengths/weaknesses if you like) Oops already answered this but I stay with Legacy as it is familiar. I did convert from another program years ago and that experience has made me wary of swapping again.
  1. How do you preserve your family stories for future generations? I  been blogging for about five years and slowly putting my stories online. I have also done drafts family histories for all my families and I need to update them and put them into a more permanent format.
  1. Have you any special research projects on the go? I started a one name study for Burstow a couple of years ago as I wanted to explore how a surname could originate and spread around the world.
  1. What is your favourite family history research activity? As most of my research is done I like to write up the family stories and of course this then highlights any missing pieces which I then try to research.
  1. What is your favourite family history research place/library etc? That is a tough question but I think any State Archives as I really love all the colonial records and there are so many hidden gems on our families in the Archives.
  1. What is your favourite website for genealogy research? Another tough question as it depends on what I am looking for but as someone who has been doing genealogy for nearly 40 years, I would have to say any of the mega sites like Ancestry, Findmypast or MyHeritage as it is so much easier now than it was in the precomputer days.
  1. Are you part of a Facebook genealogy group? If so which one? I am the administrator for NFHM on Facebook, a member of Australian Genealogy and have my own Facebook page.
  1. Do you use webinars or podcasts for genealogy? Any tips? I have watched and listened to webinars and podcasts and they are a great way to learn if you can’t attend meetings at a local society.
  1. Do you use social media? eg Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn Yes all of those and Google + as I find all of them a way of keeping up with what my genealogy friends are doing as well as learning about new resources.
  1. What genealogy topic/class have you learnt the most from this year at a webinar/conference/seminar? I went on the Unlock the Past cruise in February and that is an excellent way to hear lots of good talks with great speakers. Chris Paton’s talks are always fun with lots of learning and Thomas MacEntee spoke on topics we don’t usually hear so that was good too.
  1. Do you have a favourite research strategy to knock down your brick walls? Look everywhere but I have found that reviewing all of your information and rechecking it is useful as there are lots more resources available now than when I first started researching. Digitised census for the UK has helped me break down quite a few walls.
  1. Have you used DNA testing for your genealogy? I did do a DNA test a few years ago but I have never really followed it up.
  1. Have you made cousin connections through your DNA tests? No probably why I haven’t gone any further with it.
  1. Do you have a wish list of topics for NFHM 2015? As I will be coordinator again in 2015, my wish is that every Australian genealogy/family history society gets behind NFHM and hosts some events in their area. It can be as simple as changing the name of their August meeting to NFHM meeting or having one of their library days as an NFHM open day. There are hundreds of societies across Australia but only 46 are participating in NFHM 2014.
  1. What do you most love about your family history research? It has been a part of my life for nearly 40 years and I have made some really good friends over that time, connected with relatives all over the world and even managed to spend most of my working life involved with family history. My life would have been a lot different if I hadn’t decided to sit down and watch Roots on television back in 1977!


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  1. hi Shauna, so pleased you could join in the fun. I hope some of the responses might stir interest in the societies etc for 2015. Like you, I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without family history! And I can foresee time-juggling too when I return to Qld and want to get to the archives etc. Pauleen

  2. You and I have been doing family history for about the same length of time! It has been interesting to see the huge variation in responses to Pauleen’s questions. My answers are on Genealogy Leftovers.

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