Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hanging my head in shame

I am proud to say that nearly 50 years ago I started my career working in public libraries in New South Wales and since then I have had an ongoing love affair with those institutions and the great work they do.

On the eve of National Family History Month (NFHM) I am feeling rather sad. Having just checked the calendar for NSW events in National Family History Month I am disappointed that most public library services in my state (and some big metropolitan ones at that) are not recognising NFHM by hosting events during the month.

Knowing that local libraries are cash strapped I offered to do talks for two library services in my area one of which I have spoken at several times and another that I have not. I sent a formal offer to the second library on 21st February and received a reply three months later on May 15 that they would like to take up my offer. I replied on the same day with several dates and in July 2 got this reply:

"Unfortunately we were unsuccessful in getting this planned at our branch and through for approval for our August What’s on promotional material. As such  we won’t be going ahead with this for August.

I am open to future suggestions for sessions and would still love to have you speak at our libraries . Please feel free to contact me with further ideas"

My next communication from this library was to ask me if I would be available to speak in October. We have set a date, they have asked for a bio for promotion so it looks as though that might go ahead. I sent a less formal offer to the other library early in July and have yet to receive a response!!

Surely there is some time that the seminar roms are free in these libraries and that a staff member can be relieved for and hour or two to meet and greet and oversee the proceedings. As for promotion a poster in the library, use of the Councils' social media tools (they have them) and a listing on the NFHM calendar would get the message out.

There are five large library services within a half  hour's drive of my home: Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, The Hills and Willoughby. On checking the NFHM calendar I note that only one of these, Hawkesbury, is hosting any events for National Family History Month. You can see their What's On Brochure here. I am looking forward to hearing at windsor Library "SINGLE FEMALE EMIGRATION 1830s - 1840s" on Wednesday 13 August 10-11.45am – with Dr Perry McIntyre.

What of other public libraries?  Two Eastern suburbs libraries that I worked at, Randwick and Waverley, do not have any events. I am most disappointed that public libraries are not supporting our special month.

As far as I can see Bega Valley, Campsie, Lithgow,Merrylands, Monaro, Penrith and Queanbeyan are the only public library services hosting events. Hats off to these groups for supporting events. I am wondering how much support there is for NFHM from public libraries in other states. Perhaps those libraries that have historical societies or family history groups in their regions are relying on them. I feel that public libraries should be running events to showcase their collections and services that complement those of local societies

Our State Library of NSW is flying the flag with a fantastic program of events that should amuse those within cooee of Sydney. Together with the beaut program of events from societies and Familysearch centres there are many events to entertain and educate family historians. I know that I will be very busy furthering my learning this month.

Shauna Hicks does an amazing job promoting and organizing National Family History Month. Let's get behind her and ask our local public libraries what they have planned for NFHM. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trove Tuesday - Genealogy Exhibition

A search for Genealogy and Sydney on Trove this morning returned this notice of an exhibition in Sydney.   I wonder if the treasures from this event are part of the Society of Australian Genealogists collection.
1935 'EXHIBITION.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 2 July, p. 10, viewed 22 July, 2014,

Monday, July 28, 2014

On the job

This month I have been devoting quite a deal of time to blog reading for an annual task that I undertake Inside History Magazine". Thankfully my RSS feed reader Inoreader makes it easy for me to organise my subscriptions and keep up with my blog reading.

As well as continuiing with regular blog readiing I am evaluating blogs against a list of criteria in a rubric I have set up for the purpose. I use Google Drive so that I can edit the spreadsheet on all my devices.

Last year I commented that “I am especially interested in blogs from genealogy and historical societies where there is a dearth of good blogs.” I received no direct feedback on this comment but did notice that a forum discussing this issue was set up on The Royal Historical Society of Victoria site. From that forum I have found a few more blogs to add to the list for consideration.

I am particularly interested in Australian blogs. During the past year I have discovered several new blogs from societies and individuals but most of these finds are serendipitous. To find new blogs I look at the Geneabloggers list for Australian blogs, Unlock the Past's list of Australian blogs, look at blog rolls on blogs I follow and follow links on various social media. Unfortunately I am not omnipotent so I may miss some worthy blogs.

I need your help to add to my lists of Australian Genealogy and History blogs. Please let me know of any blogs that I should have on the long list for consideration.

PS I prefer active blogs

Friday, July 25, 2014

Follow Friday - Stubbs Family Website

A message about the Stubbs Family (from the Hawkesbury) Reunion came through last week on two Rootsweb lists that I follow.

Here is the message:

Stubbs Family Reunion: Saturday 25 October 2014 Ebenezer Church Grounds 95
Coromandel Road, Ebenezer NSW. Annual gathering of descendants of William
Stubbs and Sarah Wingate (arrived "Coromandel" 1802). Family names include
STUBBS, WOODS (YARWOOD), SULLIVAN, EVERINGHAM. Commencing 9.30 with a Church
Service @ 11.00 am. Free sausage sizzle. BYO drinks, etc. RSVP by 15 October
2014 to

Information about the reunion can be found here:

As they appear to want to get the word out I thought I'd repost the message.

As I am a stickybeak I decided to take a look at the Stubbs Family website.

It is interesting to see that there is little detail on Stubbs descendants on the website, however, those who wish to discover details of Stubbs descendants can purchase several volumes of Stubbs family genealogy publications via the website.
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