National Family History Month – Bring it ON!

July has all but gone, which means that August is almost here, and for family historians (at least in Australia and New Zealand), that’s good news as August is National Family History Month. YAY!!

So what does this mean?
It means that we (meaning ‘we’ as researchers) have an opportunity to share our knowledge with others and encourage them in their search. It also means we should take some time to self-educate ourselves … afterall, the more you learn, the better researcher you’ll be. Read a guidebook, watch a webinar, go to your local library or society to check out what they have. Grab a copy of a genie mag from your local newsagent and find out the latest news and tips from that. Revisit a website you haven’t been to for a while. Interview a relative, even just a question or two. Scan or simply file and label photos. Order a certificate. Do some transcribing. Maybe even take the plunge and start your own blog? There’s so many things you can do for NFHM, it’s not hard.

Getting started … 
For those that haven’t started the search, or have ‘just’ started, this is a great time for you. Just check with your local library or genealogy society to see when they’ll be open, and what they offer in relation to beginners talks, or one-on-one help.  Do yourself a favour, and get some good guidance at the beginning, it makes the world of difference and will help your search. And why not join a genealogy Facebook group (trust me there are 1000s out there).

The events …
The National Family History Month website is the place to check to see what organised events are on in your area. With over 200 events scheduled this year, there are seminars, open days, online events and more … there’s things for beginners as well as those who’ve been researching for years.

Personally I’ve already printed out Shauna Hicks’ list of 31 Genealogy Activities for Researchers During NFHM, and plan to work my way through them.

For the bloggers …
Also Alex Daw has come up with a blog challenge for the geneabloggers for National Family History Month, and while I’m still not quite sure what to make of the topics, I’ll keep thinking, and will come up with something.

And the social media minded …
Be sure to stay up to date with what’s happening during National Family History Month by following their Facebook page, and follow the hashtag #NFHM2017 on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram to see what others are posting about it.

So what will you be doing for National Family History Month?

“Every book is a quotation; every house is a quotation out of all forests, and mines,
and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Ancestral Places Geneameme

As family historians we come across all sorts of interesting people and places during our research. In this geneameme I wanted to focus on the places. The countries, the states, the counties or provinces, as well as the parishes, the towns and villages. Our ancestors have a connection to these places.

What places do your ancestors come from?

Using the alphabet how many letters can you name ancestral places for? Some you will no doubt know well, some you may not … at least not yet (see my letter ‘I’ and ‘N’ examples below). I still have more research to do on those lines.

It doesn’t have to be where your ancestors were born, but it does have to be a place that they were associated with. For instance they lived or worked in that place.

Name the letter, followed by the place (town/parish/county/state/or country), and the surname/s associated with that place. I’ll be surprised if anyone can list places for all A-Z, but you never know. And if you want to double up on letters, that’s not a problem, go right ahead … after all this really is a cousin bait list detailing the surnames and places your ancestors are from, that you’re researching.

C – Cudlee Creek, South Australia, Australia (Kelly, Hannaford)
H – Helsingfors/Helsinki, Finland (Winter)
I – Ireland (McGrath?)
K – Kenton, Devon, England (Randell)
L – Lancaster, Lancashire, England (Hayhurst)
M – Modbury, South Australia, Australia (Phillips)
N – Netherlands (Beecken)

So geneabloggers, the challenge has been set, who’s up for the Ancestral Places Geneameme. Feel free to join in.

Genealogy and the 52 Week Challenge

Ok, who’s up for a Genealogy Challenge? I could say Blog Challenge, but this isn’t just for bloggers. It’s actually for anyone who wants to record their own history, and it allows you to do it a little each week.  And you don’t even have to do it online. Simply grab yourself a blank notebook, and you’re all ready to go!

I recently came across Linda’s 52 Week Challenge, and I love it. Linda writes the Hinterland Writing blog, and she started this Challenge back in May 2016. Releasing a new topic each week, she’s currently up to Week 29.

It’s along the lines of my Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge, as in you pick and choose which weeks you’d like to participate in. In saying that she has a number of dedicated followers who are busy recording their memories every week, with others doing some along the way. Anyway I’ve compiled a list of her topics for Weeks 1-29 for you.

52 Week Challenge
Week 1 – What is your full name? Do you know why you were given that name? Do you have a baptismal name? A confirmation name? Why were these names chosen?
Week 2 – When and where were you born?  Which child are you ? Brothers and sisters? Capture the memories of the house you grew up in and the neighbourhood as you saw it? What do you remember the most about the house?
Week 3 – Your dad
Week 4 – Name 5 people that you consider to have had a positive impact on the world
Week 5 – Mother
Week 6 – Occupations
Week 7 – Have any of your immediate family members died?
Week 8 – Brothers and sisters
Week 9 – School Days
Week 10 – Family Traditions
Week 11 – Grandparents
Week 12 – Aunts and uncles
Week 13 – School days
Week 14 – School friends
Week 15 – The quirky family story
Week 16 – Reading
Week 17 – Shops / shopping
Week 18 – Childhood memories
Week 19 – Food
Week 20 – Significant events
Week 21 – Wow! What makes you stop and go WOW!
Week 22 – Movies
Week 23 – Rooms
Week 24 – Travel
Week 25 – Dinner sets
Week 26 – Grow your own
Week 27 – Christmas
Week 28 – Santa visits
Week 29 – Years end

For more on detail each of these topics, please visit Linda’s blog Hinterland Writing. When I contacted Linda I quizzed her as to what was ahead, she said she does have topic ideas, but also mentioned that she’s likely to change or swap them around at any time. So we’ll just have to see what else comes.

To keep up with the latest in Linda’s 52 Week Challenge be sure to follow her blog here, or her Facebook page.

More 52 Week Challenges …
And for those that love a challenge, there have been numerous genealogy-orientated 52 Week Challenges. Here’s just some of them:
Jump Start Your Genealogy: 52 Ideas. 52 Weeks (2009) – by Amy Coffin Lenertz of We Tree
52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History (2011) – by Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers
52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy (2012) – by Amy Coffin Lenertz of We Tree and Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers
52 Questions in 52 Weeks (2013) – by FamilySearch
52 Weeks of Genealogy (2014) – by Sarah Heiner of Teach Me Genealogy
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks (2014) – by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small
52 Weeks of Sharing Memories (2014) – by Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy
52 Weeks of Genealogical Records (2014-2015) – by Shauna Hicks of Shauna Hicks History Enterprises
52 Week Organized Research Challenge (2015) – by Susan Farrell Bankhead of Brick Wall Genealogist
#52Stories (2017) – by FamilySearch

Every Little Bit Helps ..
2017 is nearly here, so why not get started recording those memories that you’ve been meaning to every year, but haven’t started yet! Everything you record is something that otherwise wouldn’t have been. If you write your memories a little at a time, it’s do-able. And just think of what you’ll be leaving for the next generation.

Discovering the “Australian Women Writers Challenge” 2015

Do you love reading? And love a blog challenge? If you said yes to both, you’ll certainly love this!

Late last year I discovered the “Australian Women Writers” Challenge. This is where readers read books written by Australian women and write reviews about them, through their blog or other means.