Jan 292012
The AFFHO Congress 2012 is coming! Only 58 sleeps to go before it starts in Adelaide in March.
This conference is held every three years.
It will be a fantastic conference with a wide range of speakers: Colleen Fitzpatrick (USA) better known as the Forensic Genealogist and who has a neat entry in Wikipedia of various cases and her website Forensic Genealogy  , Chris Watts (UK) author of a number of books on army and seamen and who does some great podcasts with National Archives,  with lots more on army and navy, Roger Kershaw (UK) Head of Military, Maritime, Transport and Family History at the UK National Archives, Shauna Hicks, Kerry Farmer, Noeline Kyle and many more.
Check out the website for the speakers!
The topics are wide-ranging and exciting: Apprentices, Seamen, Army Records, Forensic Genealogy, Handwriting, Genealogy Programs, Scottish research, Marriage Contracts, One Name Studies, Transported Criminals, Tax Records, State Wards, Irish Orphans and more.
There are topics for all levels of research experience.
As well as all the speakers and topics there will be a vibrant exhibition hall for which I have been saving my pennies! 
Don’t forget to check out the range of exhibitors. FindMyPast is a major sponsor. Inside History, FamilySearch, Ancestry, Gould Genealogy, Heritage Family Tree, Proformat and others will all be available to answer questions.

As well as all of this, I will also be meeting up with some very special people as I am planning to attend at least three get-togethers: Geneabloggers, Guild of One Names Studies (Thursday 6pm) and  Genealogists for Families.
I am going down a couple of days early as I want to visit the Migration Museum and also do some sightseeing in and around beautiful Adelaide. There is so much to do and see that I wish I could stay longer. A great conference, wine, fine food and Haigh’s chocolates!!!! What more could anyone ask?
Registrations are still open. You can register for the full conference or just for a day so why not come along and join us?
Jan 282012
I attended the Lifleline BookFest last  Sunday, which was the last day  of this Bookfest. 

For one week, twice a year, an enormous hall at the Brisbane Convention Centre is filled with trestle tables loaded with books of every genre and topic. These are books which have been donated and as such you can strike gold one time or silver the next.

All proceeds raised from book sales help fund Lifeline’s many counseling services. So you have the double bonus of buying great books and knowing the money you pay is being used to help people.

I have never come away with no books. OK, I admit I love books of every type (except horror). I have found many specialist books at Bookfest including University textbooks, computing books and of course history books.

I spent one hour looking through the books then went off to a wonderful get-together with Genealogists for Families group where we had a lovely lunch and then chatted genealogy for ages. Then back to the Bookfest for three hours. 

I attended on the last day when the prices are reduced and you have options of filling a plastic (biodegradable) shopping bag for $5 but even so I only spent $55 which included the books below as well as forty-five five others. 
The Greater London Street Atlas was very heavy and if I had bought this new and paid for postage from England it would have cost close to this amount.

A selection of my Lifeline Bookfest treasures
A selection of what I found this time is:
Healing the Wounds of War: A History of the Greenslopes Hospital 1942-2002

ISBN 0975014005

Greater London Street Atlas

Queensland Past and Present: 100 Years of Statistics, (1998) ISBN 0724279512

Woman Suffrage in Australia: A Gift or Struggle (1992) ISBN 0521436117

Expressions of Mercy: Brisbane Mater Hospitals 1906-2006 (2006) ISBN 0702235520

The Anzacs at Gallipoli: Scarecrow Army (2005) ISBN 1876372605

The History of Electricity in Queensland (1985) ISBN 095892290 X

The Singing Line(2000) ISBN 0099272822

Ernest Sandford Jackson: Pioneer Australian Surgeon (1987) ISBN Q867762012

Fruitful Mother: St Stephen’s Richmond Parish History 1851-1991 (1993) ISBN 1875650431

Halycon Days: Amateur Radio in Queensland (1987) ISBN 0959616160

Bretts: The Family Tree (2000) ISBN 0646394398

Cobb & Co: Coaching in Queensland (1990) ISBN 072424140 X

Logan: the man, the River and the City (1988) ISBN 0958802114

In the Capacity of a Surgeon (1988) ISBN 0959632123

Australian Historical Studies Journal , ten issues, (an academic journal)
Now I just have to find time to read them!!
Jan 252012
Shelley, of    Twigs of Yore  has issued another exciting invitation to bloggers with Australian roots to celebrate Australia Day, 2012 Wealth for Toil

To participate, choose someone who lived in Australia (preferably one of your ancestors) and tell us how they toiled. Your post should include:

  1. What was their occupation? 
  2. What information do you have about the individual’s work, or about the occupation in general?
  3. The story of the person, focusing on their occupation; or
    The story of the occupation, using the person as an example. 
Responses may be as long or short as you like, and as narrow or broad as you wish.

I spent some time thinking about occupations, what they can mean and how that meaning can change over the years, how people stayed with an occupation and how sometimes it took a while to find your occupation.
My William Busby was a stonemason and I have spoken before about him.  He came from a long line of stonemasons. 
William Busby
Caskey Memorial
When he first emigrated he got a job as an Inspector of Works with the Brisbane Council which still related to stonework. After being dismissed from that job (for rudeness per the report in the paper. I still have to do some research and see if I can gain access to the Council minutes). He worked as a monumental mason and did this until his retirement from work and then death in 1928. After winning the design competition for the Caskey Memorial he made a number of very large ornate memorials.

So he was a tradesman and kept to his trade.

His son, George Howard Busby never went into the stonemason business, the reason for this is unknown although I have my suspicions that George had a bit of a taste for adventure.

George had joined the 1st Queensland Regiment, a militia force in Queensland, pre-Federation. He did not got to the Boer War with the official Queensland Contingent, perhaps because he was too young as was only 16 in 1900. However per his World War 1 enlistment papers he served in the Cape Mounted Rifles, during the Boer War, a group that was established in South Africa. I am having trouble confirming this enlistment as so far we have found no records in South Africa but I live in hope.

Also on his WW1 papers he said he had served in the New Guinea Police, again currently I have not been able to confirm this but am still looking.  
In this time period before WW1 he joins the Fire Brigade and was based at the Fortitude Valley Station. He gave evidence at inquiry into the Overells department store in February 1904. A body was found in the burnt-out building and and an inquiry was held as the owner felt that the Brigades response was too slow. 

George was a member of the Brigade for a few years, long enough to get a tattoo of crossed axes and helmet which was listed on his WW1 records which gave me the clue to start looking for his employment information. Ken Capell co-author of Brisbane Ablaze was able to give me some information about the working conditions. 

As a brigade member they were required to stay onsite and as George got married in 1904. He is listed in the electoral Roll for 1905 as a fireman. I can understand why he did not stay in the job too many years post marriage. We believe he left sometime in 1906-7 as he is not listed in the 1907 employment list.

George completed a st John’s First Aid course in 1909 which was a requirement to be in the Ambulance service. I have this certificate but it didn’t mean anything in particular until I found in Trove that George had his service terminated with the ambulance Brigade in January 1911. 

In the 1913 electoral roll he is listed as being an engineer

In 1914 when he joins up he is listed as being a motor-mechanic. He goes to Gallipoli and that story has been told.   

He was wounded at Gallipoli and returned to Australia as being unfit for further military service. He then acted as a recruiting sergeant around the southern half of Queensland.

After the war George is listed as being an engine driver in the electoral rolls. This would have been a stationary engine driver rather than a railway engine. He had completed his steam ticket certification. I don’t know where George was employed.

I do know that George also was into photography and supplied photos to the Brisbane Courier. I do not know whether this was a freelancer or as an paid member of staff. In 1920 George obtained a Press Photographers pass on the occasion of the Prince of Wales’ visit. I have a letter from the Prince of Wales’ secretary thanking George for the photos he had sent.
It took George a fair while to determine what occupation he was going to follow but he did stay in that until after the Second World war when he splits from his family and ends up in Bundaberg as a fisherman

It is interesting to compare William and George’s experience with modern times when it is almost expected that people will have four to five career changes in their working life.

These changes are not like Richard John Rollason’s  forced career change in 1863 when he changed from being a silk ribbon weaver to a labourer as his profession did not exist in Queensland.

Jan 182012

My Grandfather, William George Busby, served in World War 2 and was based in Darwin at the time it was bombed in 1942. The bombing continued from 19 February 1942 to November 1943. Darwin was bombed 64 times during this period. 

Other areas also bombed were Townsville, Katherine, Wyndham, Derby, Broome and Port Hedland.

William is the only son of George Howard Busby and had a long interest in the military. He had joined the militia between the wars. I was able to access his between the wars service record online at the National Archives of Australia NAA: B4747, BUSBY/WILLIAM GEORGE

Militia Form obtained from Australian National Archives

I  have his WW2 service records although these are not available online. William also served in New Guinea and Borneo. 
William wrote regular letters to his wife Myrtle and I am lucky enough to have inherited many of these letters (over 200). The plan, when I have time, is to transcribe the letters. 
William’s handwriting was not the most legible and my experience in reading Doctors’ handwriting over many years will be very useful!
This is one of the letters dated 1 August 1942 and this one has been very lightly censored in comparison to some of the others! William may not have thought too much about the phrase ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships”
I suspect this may be an even longer job than I had first thought!
Q70473 Mr W Busby
21 Platoon E( ?)Coy
19 Aust Inf Bn
Australia 1 Aug 1942
Dear Myrtle,
Just a few lines to let you know that I received your welcome letter  last night. I have a spare moment so I am writing this.
Well, Toots, we are back from another walkabout.
This time we went to […..] and had a bit of excitement.  We left here on Wednesday afternoon by truck arrived in the [….. ] about tea time.
After tea, we bunked down for the night about half past four on Thursday morning , the Japs came over and we watched them bomb the […..].
After it was all over we rolled over and went back to sleep. We got up at six o’clock, stand to till seven then had breakfast. About twelve o’clock we started to attack […..] so off we went. Our first target was the […..] we took it, we just got past it and the place was bombed again, nobody was hurt. So the game went on we mounted our guns and stayed where we were. About a quarter past three on Friday morning we left there and off we went to [……], took the town had breakfast and watched for the trucks to come and take us back to camp.
Now there is another watch about coming off now, and oh boy is she going to be a long one. I’ll say it fast I may not be able to write next week. The arm goes to sleep, ?? I carry the rifle that side, it is Ok otherwise. I seem to be in the news as everybody is asking after me.
So poor old grammie (?) is just about to go, well the poor old soul has had a hard life. I don’t see the old man taking that job as he likes his bed.
What unit are they in as I cannot place the names.
Well Toot I will have to close now, as I have run out of news.
Hoping this finds you in the best of health as it leaves me at the top at present. With lots of love from your loving husband, Bill xxxx xxxxxxxx  To Tuppence xxxxx
PS Give my love to ??? and family Bill xxxx
(Toots is William’s name for his wife and Tuppence is his daughter, 17 months old at this time)

Jan 092012
History Queensland are publishing a new quarterly magazine. The first issue came out in November 2011, I came across it in a newsagency last week.

It looks pretty good. There are some excellent articles including these:
The Ripple Creek Plantation:the first successful sugar mill in the Herbert Valley
The convict who attempted to escape St Helena in a bathtub
The fantastic Corinthian Cup and the Eagle Farm Turf Club and races
And some reviews of new history books. There is also a nice spotlight article on Doctor Rod Fisher a well known Queensland historian.
A definite must-read magazine for anyone interested in Queensland history. Subscriptions are $19.80 including postage to have it arrive in your letter box.

Jan 092012
Per Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers today is National Clean Off Your Desk Day (as well as Coming of Age Day (Japan),  Plough Monday (UK), Wolf Moon.)

It is an interesting idea especially as so many of the 2012 Goals (much better word than Resolutions!) I have seen have related to “becoming more organised”

There are a number of schools of thought on how empty a desk needs to be for you to be able to work effectively.  I have friends who have a perfectly clear desk, they have only one item at a time out and for them this works.
I am not one of these. I tend to work on multiple projects and I have multiple things on my desk at any one time and this works for me.

I also don’t believe that the extremely full  desk below is the ideal working environment for anybody….

Incidentally this is not my desk, I stole (borrowed) this image a number of years ago and unfortunately I can’t remember where I acquired it from).

But it is definitely time to do something when the Paper Pile Monsters take
over and you need a chair and whip ready before you enter a room. Or when you have a dej-vu moment when you realise you have three copies of that certificate or book….

(Paper Pile Monsters is a term I came across used by Juliana Smith who has written many columns on organising and many other topics available at Ancestry. She is an excellent columnist.)

Because I have many project on the go and because I am not one of the people who get a major thrill out of filing, it tends to be somewhere down my list of priorities. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long for the paper pile monsters to breed so doing filing on a regular basis is a necessity.

For me it is a bit like being a child and eating those vegetables you didn’t like, the only way to get around this is to make it a bite size, time-limited job. So my high-tech tool of choice?

We can all do something, no matter how much we dislike it, if it is time-limited. So twenty minutes intensive filing, reshelving and general tidying then I reward myself with some genealogy internet searching (also unfortunately using the timer!)

What suits one person won’t suit everybody but between us, I am sure we can come up with lots of different ideas that each of us can look at, try and see if that works for us.

So I’d be very interested in knowing what tips, tools and tricks you use to stay/become organised?

Jan 082012
My home with Tami who has now sadly passed on

I am lucky enough to live on four acres 16km from the centre of Brisbane. We have suburbia all around this isolated pocket of 500 four acre blocks. The Government is unfortunately in the process of rezoning us from rural to urban but hopefully I will be able to remain here until I retire from Public Health Microbiology in 12 years time.  One of the great joys of being here (apart from the open air, not being too close to neighbours and rural lifestyle) is the many birds and animals who visit. Let me introduce some of them…..
Ibis, Pacific Black Duck, Crested Pigeon, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo & Lorikeets
Flowering Red Gum Loved by Lorikeets
Rocket Frog
Green Tree Frog

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
 Visitors not shown also include:
Crow, Butcher Bird, Little Corella, Galah, Butcherbird, Peaceful Dove, White-faced Heron, Pelican (to our surprise! There is a colony at Forest Lake which is only about five kms from here), Noisy Miner, Indian Miner, Pheasant Coucal, Australian Wood Duck, Magpie Lark, Bar Shouldered Dove, Spotted Dove, Rock Dove, Straw-necked Ibis, Royal Spoonbill, Cattle Egret, Sacred Kingfisher, Superb Fairy Wren, Bush Stone Curlew, Willy Wagtail, Australasian Darter as well as some snakes (one downside to being here but I ignore them as long as they do the same to me) and lots of other frogs, possums, flying foxes, a fox (which was only passing through and decided my place was too noisy with two German Shepherds! and there were no chickens for a snack) and a bandicoot.

Jan 032012

Week 1 – Blogs: Blogging is a great way for genealogists to share information with family members, potential cousins and each other. For which blog are you most thankful? Is it one of the earliest blogs you read, or a current one? What is special about the blog and why should others read it?

I only started blogging in March 2011and started with lots of moral support from Judy Webster  who has a number of excellent blogs. 

Being a newbie, I also have spent a lot of time reading the resource pages at  Geneabloggers and say thank you wholeheartedly to Thomas MacEntee for all his time and efforts, in compiling these resources.

I also spent a lot of time reading many of the excellent blogs listed on that site. I must also say thank you to everyone who have given kind support and have given suggestions on how to improve my blogs.

I now follow about 150 blogs, so picking just one is pretty much impossible for me. The joy of reading blogs is that, if you look, you can always find a writer/s on the topic in which you are interested.

Special mention has to go to James Tanner’s blogs, including his excellent one on TechTips.

There are so many wonderful blogs out there! All I can say is please keep writing them so I can keep learning from you all!

Jan 022012

I have a number of goals for 2012 that can be put under a few headings:
To continue with my blogs, hopefully with more frequent posts. 
One way I plan to achieve this is to be part of Amy Coffin’s of the We Tree Blog , new series of weekly blogging prompts for 2012:   52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy  which is a brilliant theme. 
I will probably be a few weeks behind in it but will be interesting to see how I go.
To share information about the books I read as part of the   Australian National Year of Reading Geniaus has come up with some great ideas about how genealogists can become involved on her blog The great thing is we will all get to hear about new history and genealogy books whether in paper or electronic formats.
To contribute to the History & Genealogy: Australia & New Zealand 2012
To continue my publishing with Unlock the Past and Inside History
To continue my speaking engagements (I have five presentations booked for this year so far) and to continue to improve as a speaker. To further expand my portfolio of talks available.
I love doing family history talks also medical and social history talks. There is so much about how our ancestors lived that tells us about them. The social history gives them life and makes them so much more than names and dates.
I want to do more of my own family research this year. Of course, if I was doing my own research for 23 hours a day, I’d still want to do more!
The plan is to go back and review, such things as checking that all the census information has been added especially the 1911 census. My father was born in England and emigrated to Australia in 1949, so I have quite a number of lines still there for the 1911 census. 
I also would like to review my sourcing in TMG. I have gone through three FH programs (PAF to various versions of FTM then to TMG V1 onwards) over the years and the transfers have not always been as smooth as would be desirable.
I also want to do more with my Quested One Name Study, which has not progressed as much as I would have liked recently.
To continue with my genealogical education by completing more subjects in the English Certificate in Genealogical Studies with the National Institute of Genealogical Studies . 
To attend, or if unable to attend due to the time differences,  purchase more webinars for later viewing.
To attend the  13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry  in Adelaide in late March. I am already registered and my accommodation is booked. I’ll be busy there as there is already organised a Guild of One Name Studies meeting, a Genea-bloggers meeting and a Kiva: Genealogists for Families meeting as well as all the lectures that are available. And of course the Exhibitors Hall!
To continue learning through reading the amazing blogs and listening  to the podcasts that are available.
To look at the new lectures and tutorials available through Family Search.
To keep up-to-date with my genealogy magazine reading.

To learn more about ways of improving my speaking and writing skills.
Kiva : Genealogists for Families

To continue giving micro-loans in this worthwhile project and to reinvest the micro-loan repayments back in more micro-loans which helps to ensure and improve the future for those families.

Will I achieve all of these?  I aim to give it a good try. Come along for the ride and see how I go.

Jan 022012

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy 2012!
May it be a year of wonderful genealogical finds.
This postcard was sent to Lucy Rollason from her sister-in-law Lavinia Evans about 1905. It is a beautiful three dimensional card.