The importance of taking care of your family history

Clans and Surnames Conference, Nenagh, Tipperary Ireland

rachelLast year with the help of the lovely Rachel Spano, Senior Archivist of the State Library of Queensland, Australia, I was able to pass on techniques for Preservation, Conservation and Restoration at a Workshop that I conducted where Rachel Spano participated in an outreach skype session.

When I held the Workshop at the Whitsundays Regional Council Library in Cannonvale little did I realize that just 4 months later, Cyclone Debbie would cause catastrophic damage to the Whitsundays and demolish the Cannonvale Library and the Whitsunday Family History Library in Proserpine.

Today at the Clans and Surnames conference I jointly hosted a segment with Lorna Moloney entitled Conservation & Collection care of your valuable family heirloom and documents. Christine demonstrated what conservation equipment was available to purchase at the conference.

I had a last minute glitch when the photos that Barry had emailed to me of the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie at the Whitsunday family history Library, momentarily disappeared off my screen. A frantic text and email later and Blog Master Barry, who was standing by in Australia re-sent them to me and within seconds Quinn, Lorna’s assistant had them ready to show as part of my presentation. The delegates were none the wiser. Phew!

Sue Wright, President of the Whitsunday family history group who is traveling with me was able to give a first hand graphic description of what she saw after Cyclone Debbie once we were able to go back inside the Library. Our founding members of 30 years were heartbroken at the amount of destruction they witnessed when they gingerly stepped inside the room. It was hard to see all their hard work of over 30 years destroyed.

Today, we received some great ideas from the other delegated on how to salvage our collection. An American Archivist has offered to help and given Sue her card. We have already had kind offers from other Australian Family History groups who wish to donate copies of books and my gorgeous Nephew Jamie has offered to come to help us back up our collection once it has been sorted.

Lorna Moloney gave a dynamic presentation on methods and strategies to write up your family history. The need for finalizing sources and citations was stressed.

smurphyAfter lunch Sean J. Murphy held a Workshop to explore the meanings and origins of Irish Surnames. He recommended a computer site that analysed population in specific areas of Ireland during the eighteenth century. This will prove very helpful.



JordanWe had an interesting question and answer session with Margaret Jordon regarding YDNA Projects.



Patrick Desmond Carl Alexander Guinness, KCEG KLJ gave a very informative talk on a project that he had been involved in with Trinity College developing DNA discoveries.


Ken NichollsOur Plenary Lecture was given by Kenneth Nicholls ”Old Laws and Obsolete legal terms: some guidance for the perplexed researcher”.


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