My grandfather’s World War II service

My mother had always said that her father didn’t serve in either of the world wars. The stories I remember were that he was too young in the First World War and too old in the Second World War, and that he was a farmer and needed at home to grow food. He was born in late December 1900, and was a farmer and grazier all his life, so I accepted these stories without question.

There was also a story about how he had to go to help search for the Japanese that broke out of the camp at Cowra during World War II. I don’t know if he ever found any; probably not or it would have been more of a story.

Yesterday I was searching the NameSearch at the National Archives of Australia website for others of the same surname and there he was:

NAA NameSearch

My grandfather is the last one. As you can see by the lack of an icon in the “Digitised item” column, it hasn’t been digitised yet. If it had been I would be able to see, and download, the images of each page in the file straight away. I can pay $16.50 to have it digitised early, before its ‘turn’, or $25 to have it digitised and colour photocopies sent to me.

I’ve paid the $16.50, and now I wait. It may take up to 90 days for a file which is “Not yet examined”, but I can’t imagine there will be anything in there that would cause it to be restricted once it has been examined.

If only I’d searched earlier! Why didn’t I? I think because I accepted what my mother told me. I don’t always believe what people tell me, but parents are different. Of course, my mother also told me that the Easons came from Wales and I have proven that they came from County Tyrone in what is now Northern Ireland. Talking about her own father is different, I guess.

So the lesson for today is – If there’s an index, search it! What have you got to lose?

This post was first published as If there’s an index, check it! on my blog NSW GenealogyI am trying to keep all my family posts in one place.

Pinterest, again

About four months ago I deleted my Pinterest account because of issues I had with their sharing policy. Now, every time I see a mention of Pinterest I think perhaps I was a bit hasty. Well, today I tried to get back into my account, and after requesting a password reset, there it is! All my followers and followings, all the photos I uploaded myself, all my boards are there. I had deleted all the pins I’d borrowed from others because of my concerns.

Pinterest profile

I admit now that I can’t remember precisely what those concerns were, and when I read the current Terms and Conditions I can’t see anything to make me delete my account. Perhaps they’ve changed? Or perhaps I’m less picky.

So, for better or worse, I’m back on Pinterest. Yet another social network to take up too much time!

A few days in beautiful Brisbane

The 7th Unlock the Past History and Genealogy Expo (and first in Brisbane) will be held from Monday 25 to Wednesday 27 June 2012 at Centenary State High School, 1 Moolanda Street, Jindalee, Brisbane.

With 18 speakers from around Australia and the UK, including me, and 60 exhibitors this will be an event not to be missed.

Last year’s Expo in Geelong, Victoria

I’ll be speaking about Land research for Family Historians, an introduction to land records, and Social Media for Family Historians, an introduction to five common forms of social media.

I’ll also be giving help and advice at the Research Help Zone for the three days of the expo and getting into as much mischief as I can.

Please stop by and say hello!

For more information see