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New South Wales Expo (Coffs Harbour) - Talks

1942: War comes to Australia—Alan Phillips & Jacqui Haraldstad

In 1942 Australia was attacked from outside for the first time. Soon after the sinking of the cruiser Sydney (Nov 1941), bombing of Pearl Harbour (Dec 1941) and fall of Singapore a series of attack on the Australian mainland occurred. Darwin was bombed in February 1942, and Broome in March. The Coral Sea battle occurred in May and subs enter Sydney Harbour in May/June. Sydney and Newcastle were bombarded from the sea in June. Numerous other air raids on towns in NT, WA and Qld began in 1942 and continued into late 1943, many with minor damage and only occasional casualties. This presentation will give an overview of these attacks. It will conclude with a brief look at some of the 70th anniversary commemorations coming in 2012 and some of the WWI and Gallipoli Centenary commemorations already being planned for 2014 and beyond.

Asylums: Looking for the sick, the poor & the aged—Shauna Hicks

Asylum records are an under-utilised resource and it is important to realise that asylums also housed the elderly, the sick, the destitute as well as those suffering a mental illness. This presentation looks at what records are available and how to access them.

Back alleys and research byways: Tips and tactics for chasing elusive ancestors in the NSW State archives—Christine Yeats

This session will explore some of the ways around those pesky brick walls that researchers encounter from to time. The focus will be the resources of the NSW State archives collection. Christine will consider how to make the best use of these records to help resolve some family history puzzles. She will provide tips and tactics for locating the ancestors who ‘swam here’, ‘disappearing convicts’ and opening the door on some of those skeletons in the family history closet. Christine will draw on examples from the collection to show how key items of information about our ancestors can often be extracted from the records and used to fill in some of those gaps.

Connecting with family lines online—Rosemary Kopittke

We used to write letters to discover family connections but now there are many different ways we can find others searching the same family lines. This presentation has a look at GenesReunited, MyHeritage, Ancestry and other websites to see how we can use the resources of the internet to make those family connections. What does each of them offer and which is best for you?

Breaking down genealogy brick walls—Helen Smith

How to continue in your research when you have come to a halt in your research? This talk gives strategies and ideas to enable you to get around that brick wall and change that stop sign in your research to full speed ahead.

Caring for your family history archives—Shauna Hicks

This talk addresses three areas - organising your family records and memorabilia, storing and preserving your family archives and finally, sharing the results of your research with others and the long term future of your research and records.

DNA for genealogists—Kerry Farmer

Learn how the genetic markers in DNA can help you find your ancestors, when genealogy is combined with genetics. How do you decide which DNA tests and which DNA testing companies best suit what you want to know? Links for further reading about the subject as well as for the DNA testing companies and DNA databases can be found at familyhistoryresearch.com.au/courses/DNA

FamilySearch: ancestors at your fingertips—Paul Parton

FamilySearch is developing exciting, free, on-line tools to assist family historians and has released a beta version of ‘England Jurisdictions 1851’. A map of England is displayed, underneath which is a database of the jurisdictions of England as they existed in 1851. Knowing a jurisdiction is a vital clue to finding records for family history research. By clicking on a location on the map of England, a link will take you to the Family History Library Catalog where a list of filmed records for that location will be found. These records could be census, church, poor law, family history, tax, land, school records and many more categories.

FamilySearch: more records to more people faster—Paul Parton

An aim of FamilySearch is to bring ‘more records to more people, faster’. A major initiative in achieving this is FamilySearch Indexing. This is an on-line community based transcription project consisting entirely of volunteer indexers. With 300,000 volunteers currently registered we are the world’s largest community-based transcription service. A major project, using our own equipment and services, is digitising and indexing 2.4 million rolls of microfilm held in the FamilySearch vaults. Take a peek in the vaults and see how this project works and the benefits it provides.

Finding the address isn't enough: the links between local and family history—Dr Carol Liston

Local history research can fill many gaps for family historians. Understanding the community in which they lived allows family historians to identify new avenues of inquiry based on the pattern of lives in that area. Whilst directories might provide the address of where your ancestor lived, they don't reveal whether they are an owner or renter, or their investment in the community. In Australia, there were opportunities for people on modest incomes to own their own land. Researching the history of the address through land titles and on-line mapping resources provides direct evidence about the family and links to other records such as land files, probates, deceased estate or bankruptcy records.

Findmypast.com.au: what is there, what is coming and how to use it - Rosemary Kopittke

Findmypast.com.au  Learn what a great range of unique records are available for researching your families on this new site, what is coming and learn the best way to do your searching.

Findmypast.co.uk— Rosemary Kopittke

This presentation looks at the hundreds of millions of records currently available on Findmypast.co.uk and how they can help you with your family history – records predominately covering England and Wales though there are people from elsewhere in the passenger lists and other documents. It will also look at what is to come – more military records, reindexed  deaths, and much more.

German research—Eric Kopittke

An overview of ways to progress your research from Australia to Germany – resources to locate a town of origin – emigration/immigration, naturalisations, gazetteers and other records.

Google your family tree: tips & tricks—Shauna Hicks

This talk looks at basic search strategies and how researchers can maximise their search results. It also addresses more advanced searching using Google features such as Alerts, Library, Images, Videos and Maps.

How to write and publish your family story in easy steps—Dr Noeline Kyle

Is your amazing family story still sitting on the desk?  Want to get it into print? Noeline Kyle will provide answers to questions such as :  Where do you start?  How many chapters should you have? How do you keep going? Where is the best place/space for biographical entries? How do you set limits?  Working from the pages of her latest book How to Write & Publish Your Family Story in Ten Easy Steps I (due for release July 2011) and  from the hundreds of  strategies and ideas she has garnered from more then 30 years of writing, editing and publishing family stories, Noeline will encourage you to take that one step further and  put your family story into print.

It's not all online: where else can I look? - Shauna Hicks

This presentation is a reminder that not everything is online and that researchers still need to use archives, libraries, historical societies and museums, genealogy and family history societies and so on. Finding out where our ancestors lived, where they went to school, worked and what their involvement was in the local community are all aspects of our ancestors lives and help us to know them more.

Researching the lives of women ancestors in 2011- Noeline Kyle

Today we are overwhelmed by a plethora of technologies to help us research, compile, record, write and produce our family histories.  But, the missing names, incomplete names and incorrect names of our women ancestors remain only too common making it difficult to shape their stories in the detail and richness they deserve. Noeline Kyle will draw on her book We Should’ve Listened to Grandma:  Women and Family History and her biography of her great grandmother Nurse Mary Kirkpatrick (Memories & Dreams), and other research she has completed on women’s stories to outline some of the strategies she has used for researching and writing about elusive emigrant and convict women, as well as women at home and women at work.

The Society of Australian Genealogists - how its treasures will help your family history - Heather Garnsey

The SAG was established in 1932 and has been collecting genealogical material for over 75 years. New researchers often don't realise the value of checking its collections. This session will illustrate some of the treasures to be found - and explain how it is getting easier to do so from a distance.

ScotlandsPeople - Rosemary Kopittke

An overview of ScotlandsPeople – the official online source of parish register, civil registration, census, wills and testaments records for Scotland. Containing almost 80 million records, the ScotlandsPeople database is the primary source of information for those researching Scottish families.

Social media for family history - Carole Riley

The internet has made social interaction possible on a scale unimagined a few years ago, and is a boon for family historians. Information and photos can be shared more easily than ever before, and communication with distant relatives can become a part of everyday life rather than an annual Christmas card. Social media will be defined and described, and some social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and some genealogy-related blogs will be shown.

Soldier settlement in New South Wales, 1916-1939 - Dr Melanie Oppenheimer

Melanie will talk about aspects of a project currently underway that is examining the role and impact of soldier settlement in NSW in the aftermath of World War One. Over 9,000 ex-soldiers and a few returned nurses took up blocks around the State in a scheme that was part of a suite of repatriation policies aimed at reintegrating returning soldiers into civilian life. A website ‘A Land Fit for Heroes? A History of Soldier Settlement in NSW, 1919-1939’ has been created [http://soldiersettlement.records.nsw.gov.au] and after two years of intensive research on a large number of government files the project members are about to embark on writing up the primary source materials into a book. Project partners include State Records NSW, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Monash University and the University of New England.

Using newspapers in local and family history research—Nola Mackey

Nola believes that newspapers are one of the most valuable, but underutilised sources for local and family history. This presentation leads researchers, not only through the basics of using newsapers to fill gaps and find great clues for further research, but also hints at how advanced newspaper research can uncover family secrets and scandals, and can even lead to solving long standing family mysteries.

The National Library: family historians treasure trove - Jenny Higgins

Used the National Library for family history? Come along and find out about the treasures there to help you research your family history. Learn about our new discovery service TROVE, which includes free digitised historic Australian newspapers. Find out about the resources available to YOU - wherever you live in Australia.

University of New England and Regional Archives—William Oates

The University of New England formally designated an Archives Repository in May 1957 in the basement of the newly constructed temporary Library. In 1959 the University specifically sought recognition for the UNE Library to be a State Archives Repository in the forthcoming Archives Act.  With the appointment of a full time archivist in 1960 the then UNE Librarian Mr Frank Rogers relinquished his direct archival work and briefed the archivist: ‘Collect all research material likely to be of value in throwing light on the historical, economic and social development of Northern New South Wales from the earliest European settlement until recent times.’

This describes the impetus that has seen ongoing collection and cataloguing of archival collections by the university from this time. A snapshot of northern New South Wales can be researched thanks to the willingness of the community to participate with the institution over 50 years. Bill will be highlighting the types of material now available for research.

When widows and brides wore black—Dr Leigh Summers

Leigh will discuss mourning dress and the etiquette of grief particularly as it pertained to women in the mid-late nineteenth century. Leigh's illustrated presentation includes images and photographs of Victorian mourners and the material culture associated with death.. She will also look at those women who defied established mourning customs by flaunting or exaggerating 'widows weeds ' These women were considered dark, desperate and dangerous.
She will also discuss the customary use of black wedding dresses in South Australia, a custom that diminished in the early part of the 20th century.

Which genealogy program?—Kerry Farmer

People delving into their family history often ask, ‘Which genealogy program is best?’ There is no simple answer. Everyone has their own research practices and aims, as well as varying technology skills – all of these, and even individual personality, may influence the best software ‘fit’. This was the subject of a recently written publication, “Which Genealogy Program?”, written by Kerry Farmer and Rosemary Kopittke and published by Unlock the Past. This presentation introduces the major genealogical programs available and highlights some aspects of each, encouraging users to determine for themselves the program most likely to suit their needs.