I wouldn’t mind stealing the title of this post for my blog but it already belongs to a hefty tome, Curry, scotch broth or irish stew, that I found in our State Library of NSW on a recent visit. It’s an apt title because most of the Currys in Australia are descended from Irish or Scottish families, there are just a few English Currys.
I found this book frustrating to use and handle but it was a great help to me in reconstructing the family of John Curry and Margaret Bowes who emigrated to Australia with a tribe of offspring on the Oriental in 1850.
John Curry and Family on The Oriental 1850 (http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au/ebook/list.asp?series=NRS5316&item=4_4786&ship=Oriental)
As I haven’t finished going through the book which (can you believe it) is unsourced I need to return to the State Library of NSW to use it again. The clues it gives for names and places enables me to check my database, locate sources and create a tree for all of John and Margaret’s descendants.
I can’t fathom why the author created such a big book with acres of white space. With careful setting out it could be half the weight and size. At least my arms are getting some exercise as I handle it.
See: Individual Summary – John Curry
I’m a compulsive volunteerer and joiner-inner so when I saw that quite a few of my Genimates were participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge I joined up at the last minute. I therefore had no time to prepare and think about what I had let myself in for so I made some newbie mistakes.
Yes, I will do it again but I won’t repeat the mistakes I made this year. I liked my theme but it also caused me problems as each of my posts required me to devote between 1-4 hours to research and writing up. As I was concerned about some unforeseen event occurring that would prevent me completing the challenge I put a lot of pressure on myself to get ahead of the challenge calendar. When I completed all the posts about ten days ahead of time there was an enormous sense of relief.
My topic was rather dull and dry and not of great appeal to a general audience. Next time I will probably choose one of my other blogs and a topic that will allow my voice and personalty to come through in the posts. I’ll also choose a topic that will allow me to share some of the thousands of photos I have taken on my travels. As I was not aiming for immediate gratification this wasn’t a huge problem. I was wanting to get my stories out into the blogisphere where they can act as Cousin Bait for folk who in the future may be searching for their Curry ancestors in Australia. The challenge gave me the impetus to write some of those stories.
I chose my CurryAus blog for the challenge as it is the least known of my blogs and I thought it would benefit from some extra exposure. Although it did not have a huge number of visitors I was quite pleased that the challenge brought me new genealogy contacts in Australia and further afield. I had a few visitors who were disappointed to find that it wasn’t a food blog about Curry cooking downunder.
As my interest is genealogy and family history I enjoyed finding new geneablogs to follow. This would be made easier if the organisers could create a category for genealogy/family history blogs. As it is hard to identify a blog’s content from its title it took me until nearly the end of the challenge to find some of these blogs (and I’m sure I missed others).
I loved reading the posts from other bloggers on all manner of topics but found that I just didn’t have time to comment on as many blogs as I would have wished. It was also interesting to find that one of my genealogy contacts was also a passionate blogger, it took the challenge to let me know about her blogging activity.
As a result of the challenge, I have made some new contacts, learnt lots from the posts of Genimates , given my Surname Study some exposure, had many trips down memory lane, encouraged a fellow blogger to research her family history and seen some awful and some awesome blogging.
Roll on April 2017…. I’ll be prepared next time.
It’s just over a year since I launched this blog in December 2014 so I have missed my blogiversary !
Not being a very organised person I dip in and out of my CurryAus study at irregular intervals. As a novice I don’t know if I am going about things in a smart way but as I like to learn by trial and error I’m content.
I have found that Evernote is helping with my organisation. When I find a Curry mention somewhere (eg from a Google alert) that I don’t have time to deal with immediately I save it as a note in my CurryAus Evernote Notebook. When I have time I return to the notebook and process snippet by trying to find further evidence for the facts they reveal then I add the details to my CurryAus database in Family Historian. I then add a “posted” tag to the Evernote note to indicate that I have processed the information.
I also use Evernote to keep track of progress in recording details from small databases I come across like country cemetery lists and genealogy society indexes. I have note titled Resources Progress in which I list the Name and URL of resources I want to check. Here I record the date and where I am up to in checking each resource for Curry as I add it to my CurryAus database in Family Historian. When I finish checking a resource I mark it with Done in bright green text. This helps to keep me on track and remember what I have already checked.
As I hear from Currys (no-one as contacted me yet) I will also use Evernote to set up notes with their details in the CurryAus notebook. I am sure that as time progresses I will find even more ways that Evernote can keep me organised.
Have you any Evernote tips for me?
I am easily distracted.
Although I have a document in Evernote that is supposed to keep me on track with my CurryAus research and to force me to research in a methodical manner I regularly meander. As I want to support the Trove Tuesday blogging theme I opened Trove in my browser this morning to find a topic for one of my blogs for this week.
As I had been working on my CurryAus project yesterday and trying to track down deaths for Currys in my database my mind was in Killing Off mode. I popped a simple search ie Curry Obituary into Trove and was rewarded with 4,258 hits. Some results were familiar to me from my family research but there were many new ones for unrelated people. Navigating to the end of that list I found irrelevant stuff and as I scrolled through the results there were many references to Currie that I didn’t want. However when I did an advanced search to eliminate Currie ie curry obituary NOT (Currie) I was rewarded with only 39 hits as Trove appeared to ignore the term Curry as well as Currie (I need to contact Trove).
Curry Obituary Search
I therefore returned to the results of my simple search Curry Obituary, the relevant results from that search will keep me amused for hours as I try to sort out the various Curry families. These obits are so useful for constructing family groups. Here are some of the new gems I discovered:
It’s been a CurryAus day today. I dip in and out of my Surname project as time permits and am making some small progress.
My genimate Shelley recently developed a Plugin that will export data from a spreaadsheet into Family Historian software. This plugin addresses my specific needs more than the plugin that is currently available in the FH Plugin store. So that she could test her plugin I sent Shelley a sample of around 500 entries from my old CurryAus spreadsheet. Shelley used my data to test her plugin and returned a gedcom file to me that I opened as a new project in Family Historian. When Shelley is satisfied with her plugin I look forward to using it to import the other entries I have on my old spreadsheet and go through this process over again..
I merged all the duplicate families and individuals and ended up with a decent set of records for quite a few families. After backing up this new project and my CurryAus project in Family Historian I imported the new data. There are now 4770 individuals and 376 families in my CurryAus database. Merging and checking is ongoing.
I just hope that I have inherited my grandmothers’ longeivity so I can do justice to this project.
- Two more weeks have gone by and I still find myself massaging data on my old spreadsheet prior to importing it into Family Historian. It is going to be a long haul but I try to spend some time each day on this task.
- I have upgraded my Family Historian software to version 6 and all of the data I had already input has transferred painlessly.
- Thanks to fellow Surname Society members and blog readers I have been given some Curry data which I have added to my FH database.
- Having looked at online databases and other sites available to me I realise that Curry isn’t such an uncommon name in Australia so therefore I have plenty of data entry ahead of me. I will soldier on.
You will hear me shouting from the rooftops when I import my old data into Family Historian.
When The Surname Society was launched I dived in and registered a surname study. Being a novice in this area I made a list of tasks that I would undertake:
- I have opened a new project in my Family Historian software into which I have imported my Australian Currys. Several Society members already use Family Historian for their Surname studies so there is much help available.
- I will add any new Curry references I find to that project.
- I have set up this Wordpress blog through which I will share Curry stories, trivia and news as wll as reports on my research.
- I already have 8,000+ Curry references in an Excel spreadsheet. I am currently massaging this data so that I can use Colin’s free XL to Ged utility to convert the data in the spreadsheet to a gedcom file that I can import into my Family Historian project.
- I will set up a few Google alerts that will hopefully retrieve some Curry news from the web. I will have to put some thoughts into crafting these so that I don’t get lots of news about Indian cuisine.
- I will search the various databases at my disposal to find Currys.
- I will see what Curry information Mr Google can dig up for me.
- I will promote my study on social media so that others will be aware of the study. The hashtag will be #CurryAus and the URL of my blog contains CurryAus.
- I will use Evernote as a tool to keep track of the blog and its posts.
- I will use the information shared in the Surname Society forums to give me guidance.
- Apart from that I will just learn as I go.
To date I have set up the Family Historian database and blog. I am also getting the data in my old spreadsheet ready to import into Family Historian, I can see that this will take some time.