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Getting to know your sources: Investigating sources
Saturday 05 August 2023, 09:00am - 11:00am
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Contact 07 3349 6072

Are you ready to take your genealogical studies one step further?  Jennifer Harrison invites you to Adopt a Source.  Select from your family history a document or series of records some item/s which would take your investigations further and then forensically discover its origins and quirks – extend your family history research skills to the documentation.  Get to know it thoroughly, the how, the when, the where, and especially, the why and by whom the material was created; what it was meant to achieve and any limitations to information or ‘questions not asked’ which might be revealed by its columns or on its pages.  Keep at it until you become an expert on those papers/registers.  Ultimately you may give a presentation to the Society – write an article for the Journal or assist other researchers by explaining the valuable reasons for using that resource.  When you have acquired and polished your expertise - and extended your education - eventually move on to yet another field of investigation.  Many members of GSQ have found great satisfaction in exploring and becoming thoroughly acquainted with records on which they depend to provide dynamite to demolish brick walls.  For example, Margaret Doherty just loves discovering details about Australian World War 1 nurses. Bobby Edes has a very friendly relationship with copious resources available in Northern Ireland. Ailsa Corlett is so involved in her Scottish background we swear a strong brogue often can be heard.  I personally ‘know’ hundreds of the convicts transported to Moreton Bay, simply ‘devour’ immigrant ships to Queensland between 1848 and 1921 and never start me on Colonial Secretaries.  Ask us to talk about them and we just cannot resist telling you about the effects of flood, fire or even mouse or termite plagues on the old registers or papers while exulting in the wealth of treasures which have been so carefully maintained and made readily available to us by our favourite repositories.  In this presentation Jennifer points out the many personal (and extended) joys which come from developing these talents which result in wonderful benefits not only for your own but other people’s research.  Come along and explore new learning adventures. 

Jennifer Harrison is a Research Fellow with the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at The University of Queensland. Over the years while writing and publishing, lecturing and researching, she has remained fascinated with the establishment and personnel connected with the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement – Happy Birthday, Brisbane.  Following the release of Shackled: The Female Convicts of Moreton Bay 1826-1839, (Anchor Books, Sydney) in 2016, she decided to mark Brisbane’s Bicentenary with a new publication.  Fettered Frontier: Founding the Moreton Bay Settlement The First Four Years 1822-1826 (Brisbane History Group/Boolarong Press) encapsulates the development on the NSW fringe by a mostly convict labour force in fulfilling Commissioner Bigge’s objectives to separate the most vicious criminals from the Sydney metropolitan district in order to encourage free settlers in the capital.  Jennifer remains dedicated to exploring and understanding source materials to provide context for family history research by Society members.

GSQ and QFHS Members $20/Non-members $30

Location Online