Malcolm reported (via email) making gains in his search to locate the sons of a relative of his paternal grandmother, a Stan Herring, who worked for a time in the Department of Treasury or Finance in Canberra. Last month’s guest speaker, family historian Alan Henderson, who worked in the Department of Treasury for many years, offered to assist Malcolm. Alan has since forwarded emails from Stan Herring’s co-workers to Malcolm.
Jane has, after chatting with Dawn Stevens, been exploring the ChatGPT app to discover how artificial intelligence can assist family researchers. The results to date are very encouraging, including ChatGTP taking a very ethical stance when Jane tried to investigate people, including herself. (Find ChatGTP at https://chat.openai.com/)
Bev reported communicating with the descendants of Jack Carl, the husband of her grandmother’s sister, who family research revealed was in fact a widower who had lived in Christchurch, N.Z and had a son. Bev’s sister will travel to N.Z in a few weeks to return Jack’s fob watch to his grandson from his first marriage who will in turn gift it to his own grandson as a wedding gift. Query: where was the watch purchased? Suggestion = check maker’s paper found in the back of some watches, and match travel records.
Andi’s recent research has focused on Dromana, Brian’s family settlement located below Arthurs Seat and the impact of the 1938 fires. After a web search found a 1929 real estate house sale notice, Andi took some “now” photos for comparison with past property photos and will next research who then bought the family block.
Barry reported receiving an emailed document “Appendix B – Corrections on Lewis O’Connor by Pamela Dexter, granddaughter of Lewis 2023.” This report added new information about a hotel owned by L. O’Connor, and land in Manangatang. Barry is still searching for missing L. O’Connor records for 1956-1970.
Last month, asked what he would do with unpleasant family history, guest speaker Alan Henderson said he would “publish and be damned” and retain a reputation for reliable research practices. Journalist David Marr has recently discovered his ancestor was a member of the brutal “Native Police” in Australia. You can view David Marr’s thought-provoking interview with reporter Laura Tingle at https://youtu.be/ARMR5rNBocY .
In 2024 we will be moving away from the reflective, story-telling approach we adopted during the pandemic. Our final topics for 2023 provide the opportunity for some year-end reflection for those keen to put pen to paper or present orally – ‘Reflecting on Family Research in 2023’ or ‘Sharing my family stories over time’ (further details on website or the 2023 Topic List handout).
Jane Rushworth and Bev Lee