As Time Goes By
It is 2020 and already half-way through January. The change of year brings many wonderful things, not just Christmas and family gatherings and way too much food. Did you talk to your family about their stories? Maybe get a family member to take a DNA test?
But the present giving is not over yet, as the change of year also brings new index releases. Queensland now has birth indexes to the end of 1920, marriages to the end of 1945 and death indexes to the end of 1990. Queensland releases the whole year of indexes unlike New South Wales who does it daily.
We hear about the release of Cabinet Papers from the Archives each year as the closure period ends, but remember there are other access restrictions also being lifted each year. Though I am still counting down the days until 2031 when I will be able to view the Public Trustee file for my great Grandfather as it has a 75-year closure period! The Public Trustee office did peruse the file on my request and provided me with what they considered “the genealogical information” contained within. It will be interesting to see if I consider other information that was not provided to me from within the file to be “genealogically useful” in 2031.
So those police service files for your ancestor that had a 100-year closure etc. Can you access them now? What other records are now available?
It is said time flies by faster as we age, and I do believe that is true, perhaps because we lead such busy lives. This is the value of a research log where you have dated the search and what you did or didn’t find. I guarantee that if you look back on your various family lines, that some of those negative result searches were done many years ago. There has been a flood of information becoming available with the various pay sites, and the millions of pages of information on the FamilySearch website as they continue the massive project of digitising their microfilm collection.
Remember only a small proportion of the digitised FamilySearch records are indexed as the few hundred thousand indexers can’t keep pace with the digitisation of the microfilm collection and the many digital camera teams around the world digitising new records.
Just consider over the last few years the amazing amount of information that has become available online for Ireland, and that is still only a percentage of what is available in the archives, local studies, libraries etc.
Let alone the huge amount of information becoming available on the Web with blogs and local history pages and of course Internet Archive that amazing home of copyright free digitised books (including 600+ from our own Queensland State Library) https://archive.org/details/statelibraryofqueensland
I am not much of a person for New Year’s Resolutions, but I am a huge advocate of education. What, you say you don’t have time for that? Now, while it is still early in the year is the opportunity to make time for education. GSQ has released their education offerings for the year and there are many amazing presentations. Time to have a look through them and note them in your calendar.
I have a 40-minute trip each way to work. Now five days a week, 48 weeks a year makes 19, 200 minutes or 320 hours!! That is 320 hours I use listening to podcasts or to recorded lectures from various conferences, YouTube lectures etc Believe me you can learn a lot in that time, and it makes the commute interesting. You say you don’t travel to work? OK how about scheduling a class for yourself each week? Each of the pay sites have educational offerings available for free, FamilySearch has many lectures as do a number of the Archives in Australia who have been recording their presentations. Queensland State Library also has a number of recorded offerings. If you set aside just one hour a week (and surely everyone can find one hour a week!) that is 52 hours of education a year. BUT now is the time to start putting it on the calendar and making that appointment with yourself, because January is already half way through and before we know it, it will be June.
Queensland State Library: Caring for Collections: https://vimeo.com/showcase/5088835
MyHeritage Education: https://education.myheritage.com
Queensland Archives on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/qldstatearchives/videos
RootsTech Archive: a selection of presentations and keynotes from past RootsTech conferences (including the recent London RootsTech) : https://www.rootstech.org/video-archive
How about this one from Maurice Gleeson on a Strategic Approach to Irish Genealogy? https://www.rootstech.org/video/a-strategic-approach-to-irish-genealogy
YouTube has many thousands of genealogical videos available for your viewing pleasure.
If you have found something that would be useful to others please share that information in the comments below the blog itself.
There’s some great advice in your blog, Helen – many thanks for sharing with the rest of us.