I’m having a great time at Congress it’s Saturday night so we’re half way through, there are still two days to go. The talks I have been to have been of a very high standard and have given me much food for thought and new avenues for research.
From Helen Smith’s talk on Friendly Societies I learnt about their role in society, what some of the acronyms stand for IOR -Independant Order of Rechabites and the OFG – Order of Free Gardeners and where I may be able to find records.
Carol Baxter’s talk on surnames has me thinking of names more in the way they sound rather than how they’re spelt. Carol told us that to an illiterate person their surname has no spelling.
Following The Gold by Carole Riley had special significance for me because so many of my ancestors were miners and I now know more about the gold mining process and the areas where Australia’s gold mines were located.
Richard Reid spoke eloquently and touchingly in Stories of the Western Front relating stories of Diggers who lost their lives as well as ones who returned. He also told us about records we could access other than the National Archives’ attestation papers such as the Red Cross records.
Another talk focusing on WWI was by Jennie Norberry. Jennie covered a lot of ground in her talk from defence force records to personal record collections. She told me that to find out more about my grandfather’s WWI service I should contact the National War Memorial for help with finding Unit Diaries for the Anzac Mounted Division Signal Squadron.