Three blog posts in 2021! A paltry record in another year of the pandemic with so many people in lockdown and working from home. But this is my normal lifestyle anyway. Given this blog focuses on my Muir-Buirchell and Jones-Sexton family trees, just one of these posts relates to this family history research. However, behind the scenes (of this Blog), the year has been tremendously busy.
As the 15 September post Learning to be a Family Historian relates, I travelled to Hobart in August to receive my Diploma in Family History from the University of Tasmania. Study for that took up the first half of the year. In June, I posted Edward Treasure: Poverty, Success and Ignominy, a reworking of my essay. Soon, I intend to post my essay about Elva Trevelion, the subject of my January 2014 Blog ost Elva Trevelion – An Untold Story from Trove. This is my effort in creative non-fiction writing, an enjoyable part of the family history course. The post from November 2012 Thomas Solly – Explorer, Mounted Policeman, and Publican was also re-worked for publication in the forthcoming edition of the UK Journal ‘The Sole Society’.
I undertook two research assignments during the year, both for people trying to unlock their family history through adoptive relationships. One was Chinese, and while the puzzle is not yet entirely solved, I gathered so much material about a gentleman named GEE Ming Ket that “there is a book in it”. The other relates to my Muir-Buirchell tree; George William Solly married Emma Catherine Grey at Mount Sturt station near Milparinka, New South Wales, in 1895. At that juncture, I had recorded an unknown daughter who transpires to be Lena Victoria Nicholson, born ‘out of wedlock’ to Emma. And that was the story of this research – confusing pre-marital and extra-marital births, several occurrences! The answer must lie in DNA research, for which only a tentative start has been made by the client.
Activities associated with the NT Chinese Museum, Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory, and the Australian Museums and Galleries Association keep me busy. Adding to the workload, I am now participating in the National Archives of Australia (NT) Consultative Forum. NAA is embarking on a program of transferring records to a central repository in Canberra for digitization and probably permanent storage. An unknown volume of records held in Darwin are slated for transfer in June 2022, and the implications for researchers are unclear.
This past year was one for Zoom and Teams meetings; this is hugely beneficial, and there is so much ‘stuff’ out there! Legacy Family Tree Webinars, sometimes expensive, included three sessions with Carol Baxter (see Congress 2015 of March 2015) – two on writing family history and one on Australian Convict research. Western Sydney University Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture has run webinars on Chinese Australian history for two years now and are very informative. I even virtually attended the AGM of the Sole Society – at 2:30 am Australian Central time.
On a final note, the research office (see The Office Clean-up of January 2020) came under some distress, but a bout of activity last month has restored order.
Best wishes for the festive season and the new year, and happy researching.