Apr 302012
Next week will be special for me, as I will be making my first blood donation after a nearly six year hiatus! 

The six year wait was necessitated by the requirement that I complete all cancer treatment and then have a clearance time period before being eligible to donate again.

I had been donating a long time and had received my 100 donation badge. 

I am blood type O Rhesus factor negative, what is often called a universal donor as in an emergency it can be used for the other blood types, A, B and AB.
These with the Rhesus factor are the two major blood antigens. (There are other blood antigens such as Kell, Kidd etc which also have an effect on transfusions.)

I donated as a way of giving back and making a difference.

So you can imagine my excitement when I was sorting through some items from my Grandmother’s home and found the below letter from 1951 relating to my Grandfather.

He was also a blood type O. I don’t know how many donations he made but I am pleased that we have both done something that can make such a difference, literally the difference between life and death!

So yes, my blood is worth bottling! How about yours?

Apr 222012
25th April is Anzac Day, a day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. 
Last year I did a post on George Howard Busby for the Trans-Tasman ANZAC Day Blog Challenge. 
There was a range of wonderful posts well worth another read.This year it is on again .

I thought this year I would continue with George in relation to his movements for his medical treatment. 
In previous wars, such as the US Civil War and Crimean War around 60% of the deaths were caused by disease. This was true even in the Boer War where the English side had around 7500 killed in action or died of wounds and around 13200 deaths from disease. 

This ratio changed in World War 1and around 60-70% were killed in action or died of wounds while only 30% died of disease even with the deaths from influenza. There were a few reasons for this including much deadlier military weapons where many more were killed in action and better medical care even though it was still in a pre-antibiotic era.
He was wounded at Gallipoli, as can be seen from his medical records which are part of his Service File available from the Australian National Archives. In Australia we are very lucky as all World War One service files have been digitised and are available for free.

Shown below is George’s casualty form from his service record.

Now I could assume from this that after George was wounded he was sent to the Hospital Ship Dongala for treatment. I know this ship transported patients to Malta but i don’t know if he traveled on this ship to England.

Per this casualty form he went to the Hospital at Edgbaston and then left from there to come back to Australia aboard the Runic.

However I know this is only part of the truth. I was lucky enough to inherit some papers from my great-Grandfather among my Grandmother’s things. he had been estranged from the family but we believe that once my Grandmother knew that he had died in Eventide that my Grandfather went down as next-of-kin and brought back this box in which we found some wonderful things.

Among them were some papers including some letters and postcards.

So we know by the middle of June he had been transferred to Courtaulds Auxilary Hospital in Coventry. This card was from his uncle. George’s father William had emigrated to Brisbane in 1882 from Oxford. Obviously there was still contact as they knew he had been wounded and were hoping to be able to meet with him. 


 And they did indeed meet up as there were some postcards from the family including this very nice nurse

While George was in Courtaulds he was able to visit in Coventry as there were postcards of the area in his album.  

He also managed to visit the Daimler factory in Coventry, or at least had an invitation to do so, as that invitation was among the papers.

There were also some nice postcards of London, a London of another time.

I have more cards addressed to 
GH Busby, Hut no 13, Division E

Woodcote Park, Epsom

He was there by October 1915. It was sent by a relative on holiday at Blackpool.

This is where I did some more researching to find out more about Woodcote Park. There is a nice site that gives you information about various military hospitals in England during World War 1. There were many hospitals spread throughout England.

Woodcote Park opened 24 June 1915 as a convalescent hospital, previously it had been a military camp. It was needed to take the large numbers of ANZAC casualties. By late 1916 it had become the major convalescent home for the Canadians who suffered heavy losses during the Somme battle.

Then I did a Google image search and struck gold at the Australian War Memorial who had an image of Division E, Woodcote Park! 

And they had an image of inside a ward at Woodcote Park, both shown here.

Then back to the service record where it was shown that George left England aboard the Runic on the 7 November 1915 going to Sydney. From Sydney he came to Brisbane by train which was determined by an article in the Courier-Mail courtesy of Trove.

I was very lucky in having other evidence that showed that the service record did not give all George’s movements in England and was able to fill in at least some of his travels.

Apr 212012

April 25th, Anzac Day is nearly upon us. 

I have been preparing my Anzac Day tribute  which I will post in the next few days, but I just had to share this first.

This was the Memorial Service held at Yeronga for the Twentieth  Anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.


As can be seen from this page there was community involvement with various Scout and Guide groups and also the Premier of Queensland.

My Great-Great-Grandfather George Howard Busby, my Gallipoli veteran was a member of the 15/26 Battalion, the Guard of Honour for this Memorial Service.

We can only imagine the thoughts going through the Returned Soldiers minds during this day.
Apr 042012
This is a  celebratory time of year for me as it is the first birthday of this blog (and also my not quite 50 Birthday)
It has been a wonderful year! I have met so many lovely people in the Geneablogger community. I have not managed to post as regularly as I would have liked during the past year but have managed 74 posts just over one a week with another 23 half written waiting to post.
There have been just over 5000 visits to the blog in that time, with contact established with four people also researching my family. Blogs can be great cousins attractants!
I have also had wonderful help from blog readers in identifying military photographs.
Thank you to all of you! Hopefully this is just the first of many birthdays to come! I am having much too much fun to quit now!

Apr 032012

I ran out of time to stay up to date with the Congress posts as the day occurred so here it is now.
I missed the first presentation as I was helping on the My Heritage stand but made sure I was able to attend Colleen Fitzpatrick’s “Forensic Genealogy – CSI meets Roots”. Colleen is an excellent speaker and I have a strong interest in DNA as I am a lab rat in my other life and use DNA for bacterial typing regularly. DNA is a tool that should be used in conjunction with good research methodology. As Colleen mentions a DNA result is no good on its own and you need a comparison sample. Good genealogy detective work will be what finds that comparison sample!  If you ever get a chance I would strongly suggest you attend Colleen’s presentations.
Then it was another morning tea (glad there is a bit of a walk between the lecture theatres and the biscuits!) and then onto Roger Kershaw’s presentation on “Tracing criminals transported to Australia”. A good presentation showing many images of the records. Showing the record source citation on screen would have given more value to his presentation. Having said that they are well sourced in the Congress Proceedings. Having so much available on Ancestry is great although much of this has been available previously as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project although it was much harder to find. The State Library of Queensland got a nice wrap-up from Roger for Convicts database on their website.
Lunch then I got caught up and missed Vicki Eldridge’s presentation on the new FindMyPast but I heard excellent reports on the presentation and the date to watch for is the 17th April.
Suezanne Maiden
Onto Suezanne Maiden’s presentation on “Engaging a professional genealogist” Many great words of wisdom here! There are many good reasons to use a specialist researcher who has a strong knowledge of a particular area or type of record. However to get the best experience(on both sides!) it is important to be clear as to what is required, what is already known, what are the required time lines etc. The act of writing out a detailed research request giving all the information has solved many a brick wall problem. There is no point in paying a researcher to find the same information you already possess simply because you didn’t tell them that you already had it. Definitely read that Congress paper before you hire a researcher.
More biscuits and coffee and onto Noeline Kyle and “Writing your family history’  which had some excellent advice. Probably the most important is that the only way to write is to start writing. Once you have started you can do your editing, rearranging etc but until you have something down on paper/computer it is still only the idea of writing.
Then it was onto the Congress dinner which I spoke about in a previous post so won’t repeat here.
Then up raring to go on Saturday Day 4 and the last day of the Congress. Hard to believe it was nearly all over!
Stephen Young did the plenary on “Descendancy research: when you can’t climb your family tree branch out”. While this was a nice talk, well illustrated and demonstrated how effective PowerPoint or the free online equivalents can be at illustrating your family tree, it did not have the depth I was expecting from a plenary presentation. It is a shame as in his notes in the Proceedings he does go much more into ways of contacting those other people ho have the ephemera we would love to possess.
Colleen Fitzpatrick
Then onto Colleen Fitzpatrick’s “Hand in the snow: The crash of Northwest Flight 4422” A great mix of detective work, DNA techniques, dedication by the investigating Northwest pilots and the people from the Irish home place.  It was well presented and also showed just how long these investigations can take and how advances in technology can help the story along.
Then morning tea (yes I mention food a bit but we definitely didn’t starve!) and I went to a very good talk by a trio of Melbourne Probate Genealogists, Kath Ensor,  Dianne Fox and Karen Stewart. This was an interesting paper as it showed how they become involved in a case from the very start where perhaps an elderly person has not been seen for a bit and the police are called to find the person deceased in their home. There are set legal procedures that must be followed and these can vary by State or Territory but Kath explained the Victorian requirements. Then Dianne and Karen gave very interesting presentations explaining the sources used and how so much work now is related to the post-WW2 migration, often of displaced persons from Europe, the problems of tracing relatives of people who had gone through the Holocaust and now the more recent emigrations from Asia and Africa, the ever-changing country borders and the effects this has on the records available and where the records are held. A very interesting presentation.
Lunch then Daniel Poffenberger telling us about “FamilySearch 2012 and beyond”. This was an interesting talk and we saw some of the excellent resources available now in FamilySearch and heard about further proposed enhancements.
Lots of interested people
Then onto the last of Colleen Fitzpatrick’s talks on the “Curious case of James-Jake-Smithers-Gray: a DNA solution” I am glad I have a copy of the proceedings to read again this complicated story of people changing names, countries, possible illegal goings on, closed files and more with two families in separate countries trying to find their father and how this search eventuated in the finding the one person! Maybe my research isn’t as difficult after all!
As there were four and at times five streams of talks I was not able to attend them all. This is where it is important to obtain a copy of the Congress Proceedings where you are able to read about the presentations you have missed. I picked up my copy on the last day, a quite heavy book of 590 pages. For future Congresses a choice in how the proceedings are delivered would be a great idea with options of USB drives, CD, download from the Net or in book format for Libraries and societies. I would have liked the option of it in PDF format for easy searching in the future when I can’t remember the name of the talk or the presenter.
Then sadly the Congress presentations were complete with just the closing ceremony to come.
David Holman

At the closing ceremony there was a presentation by David Holman, the President of the Federation of Family History Societies. The Elizabeth Simpson Award 2011 for the best journal is a hotly contested award by Family History Societies and this year was won, well deservedly by the Genealogical Society of Victoria for Ancestors as the journal making the best contribution to family history.

David also presented the awards for the best Overseas website:
1st: New Zealand Society of Genealogists
2nd: Genealogical Society of Queensland
3rd: Genealogical Society of Victoria
The New Zealand Society of Genealogists also won the prize for the best website of all the entrants.
Congratulations to all the winners! A lot of work goes into providing these services for members and it is wonderful to see this work recognised. It is also great to see the high standard by Australasian societies in these hotly contested awards.
Then the 2012 Committee were thanked for all their hard work over the last six years and it is a lot of work that goes into putting on a smoothly running Congress. They are never going to be able to please all of the people all of the time but people left having attended excellent presentations, found many goodies to purchase in the exhibition hall, had time to talk to fellow attendees and make connections. So all the marks of a successful conference!
Canberra, the hosts of the next Congress in 2015, gave an enticing presentation about what is proposed. I suggest you log onto their website and sign up so you can be kept informed of what is in store! Sounds great already and it is three years away.

 I hope to see everyone in Canberra in 2015 where we can do this all over again!