The Waves in Time Family & Local History Conference will be held in May 2019 on the Sunshine Coast. One speaker that will help most us make better use of our research time is Milli Kafcaloudis as she is talking Using Google For Family and Local History.
Here is the interview with Milli Kafcaloudis.
Could tell us a little about your background?
Born on the Sunshine Coast, now 5 generations of some of the family here, grew up on a farm at Tanawha – so a lot of local history to research.
As a librarian answering questions on the local area and local history you realise the importance of getting the places, names and dates correct wherever possible.
So new technology, social media and a developing interest in local places and the memories in those places draws on my background knowledge and our family photos and records.
There are many opportunities to explore our local community resources and share knowledge and stories so very keen to harness as much of the local knowledge and lore as I can from the extended network of family and community.
Are you a genealogist, researcher, historian or representing your organisation?
Family and local history researcher currently volunteering with Genealogy Sunshine Coast based in Nambour, Qld – thoroughly recommend being a part of a local history group – and exploring all of our local history groups resources –
Each group has different treasures, different knowledge – but so many links between our research when you delve a little deeper.
It has become my life…
How has genealogy/family history/history/heraldry improved or changed your life?
I fear it has become my life in too many ways… I found an absolute fascination with discovering the truth of family stories and solving puzzles is an endless challenge.
More importantly though – having had grandparents to spend a little time with when I was young gave me a tangible link with their history – but it was discovering the photographs and old letters and postcards which gave me perspective on their lives and times… and being able to discover more of what they did when they were young. Which then gave my parents and extended family some background and some insight into the lives they lived
Now that Trove has come along and the newspapers have brought to light stories from some of them, a whole new world that was lost to family memory can be recovered.
What do you love most about genealogy/family history/history/heraldry?
The people you meet and often discover past connections to….The sense of constant discovery and realising the links in history and events… The new skills I have gained in the process of researching, collecting, recording and writing family stories – scanning images.
It keeps my brain well and truly alive.. and I love the interesting conversations that you hear in our centre with researchers sharing stories and histories.
Have you attended the Queensland Family and Local History Conference in previous years?
Have attended earlier events but not the last couple.
A free and very underutilised resource
What are your key topics for the Waves in Time Conference?
Google for family and local history research – I think it is a free and very underutilised resource for family and local history and has great potential for shared projects and collaborative ventures.
How do you think your topic/s will help the family & local historians at the Waves in Time Conference 2015?
The potential of the Internet to change the way we communicate with each other about the past … and build informational sites for the future to help share our knowledge and resources.
The amazing search tools within Google to link knowledge across websites and within millions of documents – it is just understanding how to make the best use of them to store our records and unlock the work that each of our groups is undertaking.
What do you think are the benefits of attending a large conference like this, for you personally and for others attending?
New ideas, new directions for research – seeing how people are approaching history and how to convey the stories and the facts to a broader audience via new media.
Learning about topics in more depth especially from those who are working in specific research areas.. the details they discover can throw new light on your own research.
A great chance to meet so many of the local history groups, businesses, archives and libraries and more who work in the field …
A fantastic opportunity for the Sunshine Coast to have this conference held locally – and I hope it is the first of many in the future.
Trove remembers what is forgotten
Do you have a favourite piece of advice or a tip or trick you can share with conference attendees?
My favourite intro for my talks on Trove is “Trove remembers what your family has forgotten.. or possibly never knew! “
Trove gives us access to events and stories from before our own lifetimes or our parents lifetimes.. so it is such a detailed source for people and places. We are rewriting such a lot of our local history as we can find exact dates for buildings, land records, roads being built, people and place names.
So using Trove, making lists, adding tags and notes, linking to your own research via Google is one of the great ways you can share and collaborate on family and local history and it contributes to the research that is available for the future.
Perhaps you are the only person still alive who knows the background to a story on Trove from your personal experience.. so you have the opportunity to add your recollections and knowledge to an event – The more we share, the more we can learn.
If you could pick one new project to do, what would it be? (Assuming no funding issues)
I think collecting oral history is an essential project – but so difficult to find enough volunteers with the time to do collect and record it .. and building the expertise to do it well.
So perhaps we would train more family members in some simple techniques to gather stories from their family members and we could then help to turn them into stories and videos – and maybe even publish them as a book to hold and share.
Having played with mobile phones and recording memories in my own family, I think there are excellent opportunities to record anytime anywhere
Connect with Milli
I have some family history pages on my millikaf site Family Trees and Tales but they are due to be redone very soon.
Like Milli, I also like using technology to help my family history research and in everyday life and for work helps. I am looking forward to Milli’s talk from 4 pm to 5 pm on Friday 24 May. This is a paid talk so it is best to register if you wish to attend. Details are on the Waves in Time conference website. Or if you need help feel free to contact me or leave a message.
Disclaimer: As a Waves in Time Ambassador I receive free registration in return for promoting the conference in various social media forums and on my blog.