Cyclone Debbie caused a great deal of damage to buildings, fences, sign posts but mainly to trees. So many are stripped bare and the mountainside, although slowly recovering resembles an area burnt out by bushfire. The clean-up continues and everywhere you look there are teams of tradies trucks and machinery parked outside properties in the throes of assessing or repairing damaged buildings.Continue reading “Meeting the Mayor of the Whitsunday Regional Council, Cllr. Andrew Willcox.”→
The Quest to find Prendergast ancestors continues. Radio Interview in Ireland
Lorna Moloney has been presenting the genealogy radio show on Raidio Corca Baiscinn since 2014. Raidio Corca Baiscinnin is based in South West Clare, Ireland. Lorna has invited all the leading genealogists from around the world as her guests on her show.
I was first interviewed on Radio Corca Bascinn in 2014 when I had just started out on my journey to find out more about my Irish Roots and at a time when my father Jim Prendergast was gravely ill and losing his battle with Parkinson’s disease.Continue reading “Radio Interview in Ireland”→
When Cyclone Debbie struck Airlie Beach at 1pm on Tuesday March 28, 2017 no-one knew the amount of havoc that it had wreaked upon homes, commercial buildings, fences, trees, power poles and street signs.
We had not planned on being in Rockhampton in March and for the first 4 days that we were here, we were neither in the holiday mindset. Nor did we wish to venture out of our hotel and get wet. It would have been a shame to waste the visit and not see anything of Rockhampton.
The reason we came to Rockhampton was because we had been evacuated from Airlie Beach, our home and community with the devastation of Cyclone Debbie fast approaching.
We have not been able to return to our home at Cannonvale as the Bruce Highway is cut in three places so for the present we are staying put in Rockhampton.
My trip to Ireland is fast approaching so I must stay focused, even with the devastating news about our home and Community in Cannonvale. I must continue my research in readiness for my visit to Ireland.
I spent a couple of hours at the Rockhampton Library where I met a very enthusiastic local and family history officer, Cheryl Rickard who was only too happy to chat with me about her family history research and pass on some very helpful tips as well.
Rockhampton bore the brunt of the tail end of the Cyclone with pounding rains and rising river levels. No strong winds, luckily but constant rain, humidity and low, grey, rumbling skies. We woke one morning with the creek water rising so high that it was lapping our balcony. Quite scary.
I am awake early because I am on Cyclone watch, waiting for Cyclone Debbie to make landfall somewhere in the Australian tropics. It is possible that it will affect my area which is the beautiful Whitsundays. It is due to arrive in the next 48 hours. It is an unwelcome visitor as until it lands, we will not know where it will strike and how much damage it will cause. We can only hope and pray that it will have a minimal affect.
As I wait, memories of other Cyclones that I have experienced come flooding back.
This is the first time that I have ever told this story due to the Ansett Airlines of Australia confidentiality clause on the contract that I signed when I joined Ansett Airlines as a Flight Attendant in 1973. This confidentiality clause prevented me from talking to the Press during my term of employment. As Ansett Airlines is now defunct and I am no longer employed by them, it is time to tell the story.
Genealogy begins with you! To ensure that no stone is left unturned, we begin the challenge of putting the family history pieces together with the information that we already know but may not have collated about our family. Our siblings, parents and grandparents are our most immediate source of information.
We then move on to the next generation who by the time we commence our genealogy research may have passed on and we are relying on discovering details of their lives through older living relatives or at the various on line sites or at various repositories.
The most accurate way to gather information is to visit your living relatives and in a relaxed atmosphere, talk about their memories of family members. Along the way they may dig up documents to show you that you can then photo copy and add to your research. Nothing beats sighting a primary document.
It is always a good idea to let your relatives and the various repositories know of your plan to visit well in advance. Tell them what you are hoping to discover and enlist their valuable help. Once you have set your dates ask them to keep these dates free so that you don’t miss seeing them as they have prior engagements for these dates. This saves a lot of time and disappointment in not seeing that very special person that you really want to find that important detail from!
And so, the quest to find Prendergast family continues.
I decided that the fastest, most accurate and fun way to piece together the missing parts of my Australian branch of the Prendergast family is to visit them, sit down over a cup of tea and chat about what they know of the Prendergast family.
I have let them know that I am coming to visit through other relatives, emails and telephone calls. I have advised the dates that I will be in the region and when booking accommodation in these regions have let the owners know of my quest to find Prendergast family. Already I have had success!I have a team of very enthusiastic Prendergast family members, Archivists, Librarians, Conservationists and even local Mayors awaiting our visits. This is so exciting.
As you can see from the Map above this will be one epic journey. We will travel through 4 states, stay in 12 locations and stop every two hours while we are driving. We will cover more than 6,000 kilometers in 27 days and we will stay in 12 different types of accommodation. Everything from Riverside cottages, City Executive Apartments, B&B farm stays, Self catered duplexes, country homes, grand country homes to hotels and Motels.Continue reading “Following the Prendergast trail down the East Coast of Australia.”→
After a very twisting road from Bairnsdale to Omeo, we drove on to Benambra where we visited the Cemetery. We had no directions so Barry stopped at the general store in Benambra where they gave him instructions on how to find the cemetery. We were told to drive about 1.5 Ks along the Bitumen road to the Limestones. We followed these directions and could not find the cemetery until we retraced our trail and realized that the cemetery was tucked in behind a grove of Cyprus trees.
Being in the country with live stock around, the cemetery was bordered by a fence with a gate that was chained. We remembered to shut the gate and replace the chain once we were inside.
There were two sides to the cemetery which did not appear to be denominational. Their were Prendergast/Pendergast family in both sections.
We spent the afternoon photographing as many Pendergast/Prendergast graves as we could find. We hope we did not miss any
How many Australian Academics can proudly announce that they have been invited to deliver a paper at the Conference “Clans and Surnames”, Nenagh, Tipperary in Ireland scheduled for May, 2017? I am thrilled to announce that I can. I was over the moon when Lorna Moloney, the well respected Irish Genealogist invited me to deliver a paper on my Prendergast family.
What a wonderful Genealogy year this invitation has capped off for me!
Following my research visit to Ireland to study at the University College Cork Genealogy Summer School in June 2015, I have had the pleasure of conducting 7 workshops throughout our Whitsunday Community this year. During the research and development of the Workshops to be delivered, I learned a lot about the process of Preserving, Conserving and Restoring precious heirlooms and Documents.
At the Whitsunday Regional Council Library in Cannonvale October 19, 2016, we were delighted to have Rachael Spano, Senior Conservator of the State Library of Queensland, via Skype, generously donate her time to impart her extensive knowledge in the art of Preservation, Conservation and Restoration. It was a most interesting segment.
I enjoyed studying at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow for the 6 week on line genealogy course commencing in April . The course was entitled – Genealogy: Researching your family tree.I found this course to be most useful, well researched, well presented with easy to follow lectures on a competent Computer interface. I would highly recommend this course.
In November supported by a RADF grant awarded jointly by the Whitsunday Regional Council and the Queensland Government, I flew down to Sydney to attend the SAG Seminar : Lost in Immigration and Travel. During the four days I was in Sydney I took the opportunity to conduct research at the State Records of New South Wales and the Mitchell Library – part of the State Library of NSW.
With all the Australian and Irish research that I have conducted this year and the information I have collated, I can’t wait to co-present “Conservation and Collection care of your valuable family heirloom and documents” jointly with Lorna Moloney on 18 May, 2017 Clans and Surnames Conference in Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland.
The following day 19 May, 2017, I will be delighted to deliver the Prendergast paper explaining all the research that I have undertaken with the help of many Archivists, genealogists, professors and experts from the various repositories around the world at the Clans and Surnames Conference.