A Lost Weekend. (well not really)

This weekend was another of the Society of Australian Genealogy's 'Lost In' weekends. The topic was 'Lost In Black Sheep (Australia). Two very full days and I'm suffering from information overload and itching to get researching the records mentioned. I don't think that I have anymore 'black sheep', other than those I have already found but...

Saturday, here in Sydney was cool and grey, just the perfect day for staying inside and doing genealogy. My Fitbit kept reminding me to get-up and move but I only managed to meet 5 of my hourly targets, (out of 9) and only do 3,812 steps.

I should say that the term 'black sheep', for this weekend covered anyone you couldn't find and the sessions were designed to give you places and resources to search but a 'black sheep' often left a trail of paperwork.

With a 10.00am start, it was a quick breakfast and the day began.

After a Welcome and housekeeping our first session began. Emily Hanna, from NSW State Archives, spoke on Crime and Punishment: researching criminals in the NSW State Archives. I have found gaol photos, for my 'black sheep.'

Morning tea, then Heather Garnsey, from SAG spoke about Bankruptcy, insolvency and debtors (NSW). As I had a bankrupt, it was interesting to find other places to search.

Lunch but it was to cool for me to take it outside.

Angela Phippen was next up with a session on Marriages that were made in heaven but ended in Court: 100 years of  NSW divorce, 1873-1974. Fascinating! I have several divorces scattered throughout both sides of the tree and to learn about the reasons that had to be proved, before a divorce could happen, was interesting.

Afternoon tea and then back for the last session, with Martyn Killion speaking about, Down and Outcast - the records of the Benevolent Society of NSW. Martyn had an old Sydney map, showing where the society was and then he overlaid a current map and I found it better to see where it had been. (Central Station is where it was.) Another great session to end the day.

I'm going to say that the word Asylum, covers more than just mental institutions, it could be an old men's home, a TB hospital etc. The term is very broad.

So ended a good day.

Sunday dawned warmer and with blue sky. I convinced my darling husband that breakfast, at our local café would give me much needed exercise and him a cappuccino, he agreed. As we can walk home, from the café a different way, we did and by the time we got home I had passed, yesterday's steps. At the time of writing I've done 8,732 steps and met 7 of the nine targets. (A target is 250 steps in an hour.)

First session, today was Shauna Hicks and she spoke on Asylum Records; A place to look for missing Ancestors. She also has a book, My Ancestor was in an Asylum: a brief guide to asylum records in Australia and NZ. You can get a copy through Gould Genealogy.  Shauna spoke about where and what type of records you might find in relation to your ancestor. I have found two of my ancestors and obtained their records, one was just a single line, the other was pages and pages. Still worth a look.

Morning tea and a quick walk around, then Jenny Joyce spoke on Wicked Women through History. This covered baby farmers, bushrangers, mass murderers and even a witch. We 'fair sex' could (and still can) be very cruel. I would really love to here Jenny's full 2 1/2 talk on the topic.

Lunch and as it was warm, I went for a walk down the street and caught-up with a couple of neighbours.

Kerrie Farmer was the next speaker and her topic was Deserters and absconders. People who were criminals, on the run, husbands or wives, deserting the family, crew jumping ship, really anyone who just disappeared. I learnt of several new places to search.

A quick 'cuppa' and it was back for the last session. This was Q & A Panel session, featuring Martyn, Kerrie, Jenny , Danielle and Heather, answering questions that attendees had asked over the weekend.  I learnt where to look for nuns and that in the 19th century, there was no legal requirement lodge for a name change.

It has been a really great weekend and SAG organises it so well. I'm looking forward to the one in November. Already in my diary.

I suppose that I'd better go back to the 'real' world, now.

Bye for now,


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