Family History Month 2022

Family History Month 2022

August is family history month in New Zealand, and Tauranga Library held an event on Saturday 6th August. We had four presentations with a mixture of in-person and Zoom presenters and a mixture of in-person and Zoom audience too. This combination could be problematic, technology being what it is, but all went well.

Morag Hughson presenting in person

I was first up, in person, speaking to a live and a Zoom audience on the subject, “First Steps into your Genealogy”, a new presentation written for this event. A PDF of the slides and notes can be viewed and downloaded from here.

Next up was Michelle Patient talking about, “Extracting Evidence from Photographs”.

Michelle Patient presenting on Zoom

Interestingly, there were a number of messages repeated in the first two presentations (we didn’t plan this!):

  • Talk to your family
  • Newspapers can contain descriptions of what people wore to events

Michelle’s handout is only available to attendees, but she has made a checklist available for everyone.

Emerson Vandy presenting on Zoom

Third up was Emerson Vandy, talking about the Papers Past, which I had very briefly pointed to as a great free resource for family historians. It was great to have an in-depth view of how to use the site.

It is a vast collection of newspapers and yet still it is only 5-10% of all the papers printed in the time. So while there is a lot of material to search through, you should also be aware that there will be gaps.

We again had some (unplanned) shared messages between my introduction and Emerson’s presentation.

  • Newspapers are great for finding stories about your ancestors, to make your family history come alive
  • Newspapers are Facebook for dead people!

Fiona Brooker presenting on Zoom

After lunch, Fiona Brooker introduced us to the “Memories in Time” project. This is a project to put old artefacts and photos into public family trees on Ancestry so that the families can find them, and perhaps to reunite them with family members. She demonstrated using Papers Past, NZ Historical BDMs and viewing Electoral Rolls, all things that had been introduced earlier in the day.

We finished up the day with a second presentation from Michelle Patient, addressing when folks say, “I’ve looked everywhere!” with a presentation titled, “Where is Everywhere?” Here she encouraged us to understand the records we are researching; know what is recorded in them, understand how they are indexed and so on.

Her handout is only available for participants, but she made a checklist available for everyone.

We had a marvellous day, and the feedback from participants was looking excellent as well.

Family History Month 2021

Family History Month 2021

Family History Month 2021August is Family History Month (in New Zealand anyway) and my contributions expanded this year from previous years. Last week was particularly filled with Family History events.

On Tuesday we had our usual 2nd-Tuesday-of-the-month Drop-in session from 10-12noon in the Tauranga Library, but before hand we had a session with the librarians before the library even opened, as they had lots of questions that they wanted us, the volunteers, to help them with so know how to help people who come into the library.

Then on Thursday I was over the hill at the Rotorua Library giving a presentation on Scottish Genealogical Research.

Researching your Scottish Ancestors

We are very pleased to have Morag Hughson speaking about researching your Scottish ancestors.
Which records should I use? Where do I find them? What is in them and should I pay for them?
Morag has considerable experience on this topic and is keen to share her journey and advice to others who have Scottish ancestry. This talk will be held in the Community Pride Space on the Ground Floor of the Library on Thursday 12 August at 12:15pm.

This presentation was a comparison of the main sources for Scottish records and what you can see of the records in each. Ancestry, Find My Fast, and Family Search which are all free to use if you make use of your local library, and Scotland’s People which is a pay-per-record site. Some transcriptions in the free-to-use sites are enough to mean there is little point most of the time in buying the image from Scotland’s People. But for other records, there is so much more to the original record that you can see when you buy the image. The presentation showed the differences and where it was worth spending your money versus where there was little to gain.

The Rotorua Library Facebook page posted some photos of the event, including the one below.

A PDF of the slides and notes can be viewed and downloaded from here.

Morag at Rotorua Library

Morag speaking at the Rotorua Library in Family History Month

Then on Saturday, I was back in one of my local libraries, Papamoa, giving another talk about Scottish Genealogical Research. This time focusing on how to use the Scotland’s People website, with a flavour of the earlier talk since I include advice for when to buy and when not to buy.

Family History Talks at Pāpāmoa Library

Join us for a morning of family history discovery with our two guest speakers: Elinor Rawlings and Morag Hughson.

Elinor will share her own story while giving a broad introduction to the “where to go and what to do” of family history research. This session will introduce new people to the world of family history and genealogy research, offering a quick look at the difference between the two concepts and a peek at the range of places that are free to research and are a great place to start.

Morag Hughson will discuss useful ways to discover more about your Scottish ancestry. The Scotland’s People website is the only place you can see the images of Scottish records such as Old Parish Records and Statutory Records (which provide you with dates for births, baptisms, marriages and death) and Scottish Census returns where you can learn about the familial relationships of people who lived in the same households and start to put together a picture of your ancestral families. Scotland’s People is a pay-per-records website and you can find yourself spending a lot of money. In this presentation we will look at the Scotland’s People website search facilities and discuss when it is prudent not to spend money on the website and look elsewhere for transcriptions.

Tea/coffee and biscuits available. Free. Registration required.

Pāpāmoa Library, Saturday, 14 August from 10am-12noon

A PDF of the slides and notes can be viewed and downloaded from here.

Morag at Papamoa Library

Morag speaking at the Papamoa Library in Family History Month

All in all, while busy, it was a great week. Especially now looking back as today we have just gone into full Lockdown as Delta-variant COVID-19 has made it into the community in NZ.

Second Genealogy Group Presentation

Captain John Gray

Captain John Gray of the SS Great Britain

Last week at my local monthly genealogy group, I gave another presentation (the first one was a few months ago). This time my presentation was about John Gray, Captain of the SS Great Britain.

I’ve written a little about Captain John Gray before, and that post formed the basis of my presentation.

I added some of the quotes from the Bristol Museum webpage from various travellers who went on the SS Great Britain to Australia under the captain’s command. These quotes paint a picture of the man that you don’t normally have as a genealogist.

“Mr Gray is a very fine fellow with the most athletic proportions, a voice that can be heard above the storm and the most untiring energy”.

“the only fault I have to find with him is that he has such a strong hand with which he squeezes peoples fingers like a pair of pincers if that can be called a vice”

I also found that the first all-England cricket team to tour Australia travelled on the SS Great Britain in 1861 under John Gray’s command. Wikipedia even has a picture of them before they set off.

English Cricket Team 1861

English cricket team of 1861 just prior to departure for Australia.

It was a fun presentation to do, and the group seemed to really enjoy the various quotes.

Family History Month at my local Library

Family History MonthAugust is Family History month at my local library. After giving a presentation to my local genealogy group, a couple of the ladies there volunteered me to repeat the presentation during the Family History month event at the library. Today was the day that I gave the presentation.

I extended it a little from the first run, making it into three distinct sections.

Tauranga Library Speakers SeriesIt was a pleasantly informal event, with the projector and screen set up in the middle of the library in an area that is usually a small conversation area with some comfortable chairs (see photo below). There were a few questions at the end, and everyone seemed genuinely interested. One lady brought me a present of a Shetland dialect story book, “Da Peesterleeties an da Curse o da Njuggle” by Valerie Watt which was a lovely gesture.

Tauranga Library Presentation Area

A photo from another event showing where I was presenting in among the books
Photo courtesy of ARTbop

Authenticity in Culturally-based Knitting

On Saturday 5th March 2016, Shetland Museum and Archives hosted a study day on the topic of Authenticity in Culturally-based Knitting.

Rhoda Speaking

Rhoda Speaking

One of the speakers on the day was our very own Rhoda Hughson (my mum). In her presentation she talks about the box of knitwear found in the Uyeasound shop (which is what kicked off my research on James Moar) and how they got replicas made to display in the Unst Heritage Center.

James is getting quite some air time, with both mum and me giving presentations that include him, in the space of a few days!

She also talks about the traditions of knitting, and passing down the skills to the next generation, and mentions the Unst Peerie Knitters that she wrote about on this blog. Watch her whole presentation in the video below – she is the first of three speakers in that video.


 
She’s mentioned in a couple of tweets on the day too.


 

You can read more about this event at:-

Presentation at Genealogy Group

I joined a local genealogy group, and today I gave a small presentation about James Moar, the man who turned to knitting when he do no other task to support himself. I’ve written about him in a number of blog posts before.

I created the presentation from the material I had in the above blog posts, using some of the photographs as illustrations as I talked. I also used old maps to show where they lived, and showed the various census records and birth and death records that I had discovered when researching James’ life. I also talked about getting his Death record updated so that he was finally recorded correctly, which seemed to be met with great approval.

Aberdeen Show Newspaper Cutting

Aberdeen Show Newspaper Cutting, from Dundee Courier, Wednesday, July 25th 1894

I had one new piece of information in the presentation that is not in any of the previous blog posts. As you’ll know if you’ve read the others, James turned to knitting when he was invalided, and while he had a slow start, he did clearly get better. In the 1901 and 1911 census he is listed as a Shetland Lace Knitter, which shows a certain skill as that is a complex and delicate knitting style. Well he, must have been quite good because he won first prize in the Aberdeen Highland show (held on Tuesday, July 24th 1894) for a Fine White Shetland Shawl, beating another lady from the same village, Uyeasound, into second place.

I brought along my copy of the Unst Heritage Lace book for the group members to look at as well, since James is also mentioned in there.

I think the presentation was well received, and I hope to maybe do another subject at a future meeting.