Wednesday 26 August 2015

The road rises up

As National Family History Month in Australia comes to an end for 2015, here's a wrap up of events held at Noosaville Library.

The program kicked off with a session to guide participants through the process of researching a WWI soldier or nurse, including finding military records, cemetery and battle information.

Particular reference was made to the local Adopt a Digger program which focuses on researching WW1 Diggers and Nurses from the local Sunshine Coast region of Queensland. Attendees benefited from the in depth knowledge of Jane the local heritage librarian and Bob, family history volunteer guru.

The second session was designed to introduce the audience to a wide range family history sites available on the Internet with emphasis on free sites, the major pay sites, portal and gateway sites, archives, libraries, newspapers and so much more. During this 3 hour session various search strategies were demonstrated. Needless to say such depth of material can only be a taster of available online records but for many participants this was their first exposure to a wide range of search techniques and resources previously unknown.

Week 3 brought out the genealogy equivalent of brick walls, not always solid and can often be knocked down with the right tools and approach. Bob detailed the "nitty gritty" of

  • gathering information
  • understanding the data
  • using the laws of probability and averages
  • examining the people found
  • searching many sources with a range of strategies. 
He then illustrated in three case studies how he systematically searched for clues, families, connections, and approached problems from diverse directions to obtain results.

Today's session on Irish Family History is embedded below with links to a range of sites that Bob and I have both found to be useful. Seven of my great grandparents came to Australia from Ireland, possibly even the eighth, as yet unconfirmed. Many of my husband's ancestors are also Irish.

So at the end of NFHM2015:
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the records suddenly appear,
May the lost ancestor find you,
and appreciate your care. - Carmel Galvin, 2015

 This post first appeared on 26th August 2015

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Power searching videos

Learn from an expert

The ability to search the internet effectively is a skill everyone needs. There are many online courses and sites to help but why not learn from the experts at Google? If you missed the Power Searching courses presented by Dan Russell, he has now posted all the videos used in the lessons online. Each video is only a few minutes long but by viewing them sequentially one can gain a better understanding of how search works and how to become a more effective searcher.
Learning how to search Google effectively eliminates many frustrations for those not finding their desired results.

Dan has listed all the videos here:

Alternatively you can search for PSWG3 which will find the YouTube channel but I do recommend that you watch them in lesson number sequence to get the best result for your efforts.

Here's the first video to get you started.

One of my favourite search techniques is to use the site operator to search within a site. Dan teaches this technique in Lesson 3 1. Happy viewing and learning!

This post first appeared on

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