Robyn commenced our Pains and Gains segment, reporting that contact via Ancestry.com on great great ancestors had resulted in her locating an informative book, 'Hell Ship'. Robyn also received some valuable assistance from the Hamilton Historical Society from their local newspaper articles. Graeme also described 'gains' through reading, in his case a book written by a family member in America which gave details of a family member in childhood days.
Marg, Barry and Jane all said they had nothing to report, however they have all been busy over the past two months! Marg reported that her work on her Father's history is proving a bit of a challenge'! Barry has been busy distributing family history information to family members and has presented his story on 'Benalla's Fourth Son' Arthur Baird at the Family History Festival and to Probus; while Jane was heavily involved in the organisation of the Festival and is also coordinatinng the new Network group. Jane was happy with the attendance numbers at the recent festival and noted that the Network Group is progressing with the project to create a common resource bank. Wendy attended Barry's Arthur Baird presentation at the Festival and reported that she now has a copy of the book to take with her when she visits the Qantas Founders Museum later in the year.
Finally, Bev shared a 'tip' mentor Judy Barry had shared with the Beginners' group on how to access British and Irish Newspapers by registering as a member with the State Library of Victoria's Catalogue.
Fascinating 'They were there when...' stories were shared of Marg's father being in the last plane lifted from the roof of the US embassy at the Fall of Saigon; Graeme's ancestor being at Napoleon Bonaparte's Battle of Waterloo; David's presentation relating to his maternal grandfather bearing witness to the riots before, and possible also, the Eureka rebellion; Bev's story of her great grand-uncle's adventurous life as a pilot guiding ships through the treacherous Heads of Port Phillip Bay during the gold rush years and Wende's tragic story about family members losing their lives in a Wangaratta flood in 1881.
The topic 'Eulogy or Obituary' elicited thoughtfully crafted, engaging stories about people we have often shared facts and stories about during class. Stories shared about James O'Connor, Silvester Bowers, Donald Campbell and Henry Taylor drew on a range of resource sources, ancestry.com profiles; Trove reports; family stories; online geneological records and more.
Interestingly, many of the stories shared across the topics harked back to the 1850's. Books, published or unpublished, also featured during the session, including Robyn's mention of 'Hell Ship'; Jane's discussion of themes in the book 'The Floating Brothel'; and more. At the end of the class members were busily writing book titles down as possible avenues of research.
We had a number of apologies from members this month and look forward to hearing their stories on their return.
Next month's story topic is 'Myth Busting'. The brief? "It is wonderful when a family story handed down over time and assumed to be a possible myth turns out to be grounded in 'evidence based' fact. Choose and describe such a family story, highlighting how you were able to confirm it and what this meant to you and your family."
If this topic proves elusive, perhaps take a look at 'They were there when...' or 'Eulogy/Obituary' through another ancestor's eyes; or the back-up topic 'Now where did I come from?', possibly relating your story to your DNA quest as suggested in the topic listing.
Bev Lee, Barry O'Connor, Wende Sturgess