Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Worldwide Indexing Event

Congratulations to all of the indexers who collaborated to create a record in the Familysearch Worldwide Indexing Event. The final numbers for the activity will be available in the coming days but Familysearch reported just now on Facebook that an estimate of 66,417 indexers took part in the event.

Familysearch Indexing Facebook post
Initially indexers had some issues connecting to the Familysearch servers as they were overloaded but as the hours passed it became easier to download batches for indexing and upload completed batches for arbritation. It was lucky that I had prepared by downloading a couple of batches on the day before the activity so I was ready to begin indexing once the event kicked off.

For my small part I uploaded five batches (I think). As there were no Australian records available when I looked I indexed project records in English birth : records from the Phillipines, marriage records from Virginia in the US and US army draft cards from Arkansas. Some of the records were typed and some were handwritten. Although these records were in the Beginner category I found that some of the handwriting and foreign names created challenges for me.

I am a beginner indexer who finds that this activity fits in with my lifestyle. It enables me to give back to Familysearch who do so much for the genealogy community, I am able to volunteer in my own time fitting in the activity around the needs of my family.As I transcribe records from other countries I am learning about names, places and records from those lands so indexing alaso is a learning activity for me.

If you haven't tried indexing for Familysearch give it a go. You will find it a rewarding experience.

Familysearch Indexing Page: https://familysearch.org/indexing/

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Your internet connection is unstable...

...was a message I got when I was setting up the GeniAus Hangout on Air this afternoon but I wans't deterred.

I went ahead with the hangout not realising that my video feed was missing. This really didn't matter until I sharee my screen and started to demonstrate how to use a resource. It wasn't until the polite panelists told me that they couldn't see my screenshare and that they hadn't been able to see my smiling live face that I realised I had an issue.

In spite of this we had a good Hangout, thankfully the video feeds from the other panelists were available. In parts my audio was patchy but the panelists came through loud and clear.

So what will I do in future?

* As well as doing sound checks prior to the show I will ask the panelists to let me know if there are issues with my video feed.

* I will use another room in the house that is closer to our modem/router for my hangouts.

* I may connect to our modem/router with an ethernet cable.

Thanks to Hilary from Wales, Michelle from Stockton NSW and Sandy from Illinois, USA for joining me on the panel today. Should you wish to meet these ladies and hear what we had to sa you can watch the hangout recording right here:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rootstech Countdown

Just realised that it's less than six months until I board The Flying Kangaroo for my journey to Salt Lake City for Rootstech 2015. This year I will be travelling by myself (unless Mr GeniAus changes his mind), I will miss Mr GeniAus my fetch and carry personal assistant but am confident I can go it alone.

I remember just how nervous I was when I travelled to Salt Lake City in 2011 for the first Rootstech. I had never been overseas by myself  and I was so petrified about not knowing anyone once I hit Salt Lake City.

I did make a couple of errors on the first day. I got lost and missed the bus for a tour that had been arranged for the Official Bloggers. The instructions included some north, south, east or west directions, well as there was no sun in evidence and I was from south of the equator I was totally flummoxed. I wrote about this here.

Thankfully when I took a wrong turn en route to the bloggers dinner that evening I was able to phone Paul Nauta from Familysearch who set me on the right course. Once I arrived at the dinner all my fears of loneliness flew out the window as I was welcomed by Geneabloggers Amy Coffin and the late Joan Miller. Shipley Munson from Familysearch was a dinner companion who entertained us with stories of his role as Tenor 13 in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I wrote about that here.

What I realised after that first evening (and the helpful hints I got from other bloggers before I left Australia) was that I should have had no concerns about being overwhelmed. I was warmly welcomed by the geneablogger and genealogy community I met during my stay and have forged lasting online and in person friendships with many of them.

I met Thomas MacEntee for the first time at Rootstech 2011
If you are considering making your first trip to Rootstech DO IT. You will be assured of a warm welcome by the many people you will meet there.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vale Aunty Mary

Last week our family farewelled my Aunty Mary.

Mary Aileen Curry with her brothers Thomas (left and Allan (right)
Mary Aileen Corbett (nee Curry) (25/5/1923-26/6/2014) was my father's' sister and the third child of Mary Tierney and Thomas Curry of Canowindra. Born and educated in Canowindra, NSW Aunty Mary finished her schooling at St Edwards in Canowindra where she gained her Intermediate Certificate in 1937, she may have commenced her schooling at Bangaroo Public with her elder brothers. The Curry family lived on the Fairview property and later in the nearby town of Canowindra.

Mary and Kath Curry with their city cousins, Fairview 1937
After leaving school Mary worked in Forbes NSW before moving to Sydney in the late 1940s. She and her younger sister, Kathleen, lived in a flat in Springfield Avenue, Kings Cross. Accommodation in post-war Sydney was hard to find and, as my parents and I were living in rooms in Kensington with a shared bathroom, my Curry Aunts gave up their flat for us and moved in with their parents who had moved from the country to Brighton-le-sands.

My first memory of Aunty Mary is of a visit to Goldsborough Mort's office in Pyrmont to see her at work. I was probably three or four at the time. Apart from that Mary was always around when we paid our regular Sunday visits to my grandmother's house at Brighton. I was allowed free reign in my Aunts' room where I was allowed to dress up in their clothes and sample their makeup. As I had the status of only Curry grandchild for seven years I was indulged and spoilt rotten by Mary and her siblings especially when I had a holiday with them.

I remember when a young Irish chap, Edward Corbett, joined our Sunday gatherings. I think the twinkle in his eye was directed towards Mary as they soon became engaged and married on April 22, 1957 at St. Thomas More Church in Brighton-le-sands.  I was excited to be included in the wedding party as flower girl.

Aunty Mary and I on her wedding day 1957

Not long after they were married Aunty Mary and Uncle Ed moved into their home at 54 Scott Street Mortdale where Aunty Mary lived until she downsized in 2013.

I was short of cousins until Aunty Mary and Uncle Ed started a family. They had five children Elizabeth, a boy, Catherine, another girl and a stillborn. Aunty Mary said that 1960, the year that two year old Elizabeth and one month old baby Catherine both passed away, was her annus horribilis.

I had quite a few school holidays with Aunty Mary and Uncle Ed at Mortdale. I remember going in Uncle Ed's Ford Prefect (or was it an Austin?) for picnics to The Royal National Park and swimming at Cronulla Beach, the little girl from next door that I played with who was my age is still one of my dearest friends. When the Corbetts moved to Armidale for a couple of years for Ed's work as a hydrographer we made a few visits. My 13 year old schoolmate and I travelled  to Armidale by train for one holiday, we were rather adventurous girls who had great fun and no doubt gave Aunty Mary a few headaches.

Aunty Mary (and Ed's car)- Picnic Armidale 1962 

After their stint in Armidale the Corbetts came back to Mortdale where they lived a rather uneventful life while my two cousins went to school and started university. Until my grandmother died our Sunday visits to Brighton sometimes included a further drive out to Mortdale to visit the Corbetts or the Corbetts came to Brighton to meet up with us. We would always gather as a family to celebrate Christmas, Easter and major birthdays.

Family Christmas 1967 at Mortdale 
Although she had a rather old stove Aunty Mary turned out the most delicious sponge cakes which she filled with fresh cream and covered with passionfruit icing. We all looked forward to these light and delicious cakes at family gatherings.

When her children grew older Aunty Mary returned to the workforce at Palings Music store in Sydney. As she loved music she enjoyed working in the environment at Palings. Family members also found it useful to use Aunty Mary's staff discount, it helped when we bought our daughter's first flute.

L-R Aunty Mary, my baby son Aunty Kath, Uncle Ed, Mary's daughter,1978
Tragedy struck again in 1982 when Uncle Ed passed away from heart disease at the age of 56. Mary missed her beloved Eddie but soldiered on making the best of her new situation.

Like many girls of her generation Aunty Mary did not complete secondary school but she was always keen to learn. When she retired she took many courses at the WEA in Sydney where she made friends with several of her fellow learners.

The five Currys with their mother 1970 (L-R) Kevin, Mother Mary Tierney, Allan, Kathleen, Mary, Thomas
Mary was a devoted sister. When my Dad was in the nursing home she visited him often, this was a challenging activity as Dad had dementia so it was difficult to conduct a conversation and Dad could not remember who had visited him five minutes after they left. Mary and her younger sister Kath had a special relationship, they kept in daily contact until Kath passed away last year.

Mary, Thomas, Allan and Kathleen Curry 1994
Her sight was a constant challenge for Aunty Mary. She lost an eye in a childhood accident and as she got older  had trouble with her remaining eye. Mary did not complain about her affliction but it impacted on her quality of life as she got older. Stoic that she was she hardly ever complained.

Mary loved her family. When I was growing she and Ed played many games of Scrabble with me when they would probably would have preferred to be doing something else. The Corbetts are probably responsible for the Scrabble addiction I suffer from today. Mary was always interested in the doings of my children and grandchildren and loved to hear their news. That she invited all of my 11 grandchildren to her 90th birthday lunch last year when she could have had a more 'adult' party is testament to this.

Mary with her daughter, granddaughter and nieces at her 90th birthday party last year
As was her wish Mary passed away suddenly at her home on  26 June 2014 and was laid to rest with her beloved Eddie on 3 July 2014.
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