Monday, 15 August 2016

Busy times bring rewards

Being thankful

Flowers from Saturday
This last week has provided me with plenty of opportunities to pause and appreciate life in all its variations. A visit to a local doctor supplied me with the means to get better from a nasty bug, good medicine and great care from the local surgery.

Its National Family History Month in Australia and on Thursday last I had the opportunity to present a session about online resources. The venue was the local Noosaville library and despite my misgivings, the attendees provided generous positive feedback. Here's the presentation and the handout.

On Saturday I participated in an ASG (Australian Sewing Guild) Suncoast Regional Day put together by three local sewing groups. Good food, genial company and learning opportunities abounded. Fabulous textile art was displayed and free motion embroidery was demonstrated by the talented Jan Hutchison. Martyn Smith presented a range of professional tips and trade secrets designed to improve our sewing skills. I presented a session on Digital skills for sewing enthusiasts which included suggestions for using Evernote for sewing enthusiasts. The accompanying handout includes a link to this shared Evernote notebook.

An unexpected communication from a sibling who has followed through a suggestion I made last year about writing up some of her childhood memories has given me great pleasure. I am in the midst of preparing for a trip to visit my siblings later this month and along with enjoying their company, I hope to snaffle many family memories and photos.

For book club this month our group has been reading The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie. This is a gentle, delightful read with words of wisdom on every page. I’m sure this Thursday’s group discussion when we meet for morning tea will be enlightening. The author has kindly reproduced the prologue and first chapter free online, enjoy.

This morning I’ve visited the local library again where my sewing and book club friend Stephanie, has mounted a display of her creative work. Amongst other things, she is the author of Noosa’s Native Plants. Her photography and computer mastery skills have produced some amazing works. Not content with pictorial display she has uploaded her photographic artworks to Spoonflower where they are printed on to fabric. Taking that one more step she has then created some beautiful tea towels and bags of every shape and description. Her works display not only her prodigious talent but are designed to promote the importance and beauty of the native flora of the region. Enjoy some of her work shown below.
Tea towels by Stephanie Haslam

Bag, tea towel and book by Stephanie Haslam
Paper barked Tea Tree by Stephanie Haslam
Bag by Stephanie Haslam

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Where is that place?

Map data from GPS has become an everyday tool many consult without a second’s thought, but what if the place you want to find is not listed on the maps you are using? Fortunately for all, Google maps enables the addition of places of interest and better still encourages contributions so that useful data is saved for all users.

In planning for an upcoming trip I was searching Google maps for some locations I plan to visit. These are not remote locations but small country communities in South Australia. Being a family historian it is part of my plan to visit some cemeteries where ancestors are buried but I could not locate these cemeteries on Google maps. A web search for South Australian cemeteries leads to quite a variety of sites: some local council sites, some with headstone photos, some with online data and one with exact geolocation data.

The excellent guide provided by the State Library of South Australia provides leads to a wide range of cemetery databases and indexes. A quick search on Google maps revealed that many of these cemeteries were not labelled. This was the case for both cemeteries in current use and older resting paces no longer used.

The most useful site for my purpose was Family History South Australia by Barry Leadbeater. From this database I could find the exact coordinates of the cemeteries I had in mind to visit. Now it was a simple matter of copying the map coordinates into Google maps search bar and letting Google do the work. maps2

By switching to satellite view and then zooming in, one can then see the exact location of the cemetery sought. One needs to be logged in to Google to save locations.


Zoom in to check for headstones.


Enhance Google maps for all users by adding clear labels to previously unnamed cemeteries. Save adds the place to a list found under Your Places..


Google sends an email notification when a contribution is published to maps. Anyone logged in to Google can now make suggestions to Google for edits to the places added. Places published are visible to all users without logging in.


To view the places added, edited or saved, use the hamburger menu in the top left hand corner. maps1

Now with places added, I am able to get directions on my phone to these cemeteries. Have you added places to Google maps? Find out more from Google maps help. Thanks are due to Barry Leadbeater and other volunteers who contributed to the database that provided me with the leads to the location of these cemeteries in the mid north regions of South Australia.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Find of the day – Trove Tuesday

Trove turns up treasure again. How could I have previously missed this tome published on the occasion of the South Australian Centenary in 1936? Trove has links to the libraries which hold the book but also has the whole book digitised and available for searching.

This work records the history of local areas, towns and the formation of the councils and corporations in South Australia that governed them. It is extensively illustrated with mayors, former mayors and the current councillors of 1935-36. Biographies of the mayors and councillors cover birth location and year, education, memberships of organisations and  sometimes family circumstances and residence are mentioned.

Former councillors are also listed under each local government area often with the exact years each person served. The search function led me directly to three mentions of relatives who had served on local councils in the first 100 years of South Australia’s white settlement and expansion. Now I'm off to search for those other surnames in my ancestral families.

Hosking, P & Universal Publicity Company. 1936, The Official civic record of South Australia : centenary year, 1936 Universal Publicity Company, Adelaide viewed 12 July 2016