Wendy Sturgess, commenced this month's 'Memorable Moments, Frustrations and Breakthroughs' segment, reporting on a recent visit to an isolated cemetery at Durham Ox in the Mallee the western district where many of her extended family are buried. Wendy also described having great fun buying family history books she has always wanted on-line, displaying them for us to peruse, and shared details of Facebook groups she finds particularly useful. When reporting back on her 'lost graves' project, Wendy Webster said a particularly interesting lost grave was for a man whose death registration provided evidence that he had died at Winton. Nothing else could be found out about him until the transcript of a coroner's inquest included statements from a work mate who had at least known something about the man.
David Hall and Wendy Webster reported on the two-day local Australian Heritage Festival event, 'Making the Dead Come Alive', organized by the Benalla Family Research Group recently. David described being thankful to one of the family researchers, Judy, for tracking an ancestor he was finding difficult to find. Wendy told us about a new local history-oriented network being created to enrich the work being done across a range of organisations in Benalla and its rural villages, including Winton and Tatong.
Members spoke about having to adjust to changes on favourite sites including Ancestry and Trove, which Barry suggested have resulted from efforts to make the sites smart phone/tablet friendly. Andy and Barry shared 'work arounds' for the Ancestry changes, while Trove was identified as an area class members would like to spend more time on.
Our topic for May, 'In Search of...', involved writing about someone who is proving, or proved to be, difficult to find. As stories were revealed by class members and remaining questions expressed, there were moments of recognition across the group of similar problems to be solved, similar questions remaining. Bev concluded this segment by describing the range of resources used to develop a picture of her paternal grandfather's family of origin and early life in Scotland, with a particular focus on the use of Scotland's People, a wonderful on-line resource for people with Scottish ancestry.
Next month's topic is 'Found' - the brief, 'One of the thrills of family research is unexpected contact with someone who is also working on our family tree. They may even be a close, but long-lost family member. Write about the first contact, how you/they followed up, what you learnt from the contact. Do you keep in touch?" (The suggested word limit is 150 to 400 words, however it is fine to share your story in other ways, including oral presentations; document 'show and tells', power point presentations, and more).
If this topic doesn't 'fit' with your family history journey to date, feel free to develop your own 'back up' topic, for example, take a significant person and prepare a brief biography of them, as David did recently.
Bev Lee and Wendy Sturgess