Unlock the Past Cruise Speaker Profile: Pauleen Cass

4th cruise - Pauleen CassPauleen Cass is the latest in our series of cruise guest presenters that I’m featuring here. A late addition to the speakers list, she brings with her genealogy knowledge that is only gained by years of research.

As some would know, Pauleen is an active participant in the online genealogy community. She’s  a blogger on her various blogs, and writes such inspiring posts, and she’s a regular on social media scene too.

I’ve known Pauleen for many years through the Australian genealogy scene, and have met her a few times at various events. And I must say that I’m in awe of her knowledge, I love her enthusiasm, and I’m really looking forward to catching up with her again.

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NAME: Pauleen Cass (aka Cassmob on social media)
HOMETOWN/COUNTRY: My hometown is Brisbane, Queensland but I’ve lived in Darwin, Northern Territory for 17 years
DAYTIME JOB: Formerly university research administration now retired. My days are now filled with family history activities (well most days)

Q1. Think back to your childhood … now what is your favourite memory from that time?
Spending time with my paternal grandparents who lived next door. Sometimes my Grandma would brush my hair, talking softly to me in her Scottish accent. She also taught me to love Scottish music (especially bagpipes) and dance.

Q2. There’s always ‘something’ that sparks an interest in genealogy/history? What was it that sparked your interest?
My maiden name, Kunkel, is an unusual one and Dad always said that anyone with that name in Australia was related … he was about 99% correct. I knew it was a “German” name but I always wondered about where it came from specifically.

Q3. How old were you when you developed an interest in this hobby?
It started 27 years ago when I visited a stall run by the Genealogical Society of Queensland at a Heritage Fair in William St, Brisbane. That was the first nibble of the bait, and after that I was caught, hook, line and sinker. Only family and work commitments have deterred me from the path, and I’m still not bored … or finished!

Q4. What countries across this big wide world did your ancestors come from?
Germany, Scotland, Ireland and England. I have only one German but because it was my surname it had a big pull.

Q5. Is genealogy/history your main job?
It certainly is, even though I’m not a professional family historian.

Q6. Do you have a genealogy mentor or idol? Someone who has deeply influenced you in your research along the way?
Thinking on it perhaps the two women who influenced me greatly were researchers who I “met” in the early days, via snail mail. Carmel Montgomery in Los Angeles and Betty McSharry, both researching the interconnected or related families. Both women were rigorous researchers and both loved narrative genealogy which perhaps is where I was infected with the same bug.

Q7. We all know that your family history can reveal some amazing things. Have any of your discoveries resulted in a life-changing experience?
I think it’s been life-changing to learn about the families that came before me, to appreciate their hard work and challenges, and to learn how deeply my roots ran in the Queensland soil. My most amazing experiences have been visiting ancestral places in Australia and overseas.

Q8. What do you find most challenging about research?
Fitting it in. Without full-time work, and as an empty-nester it seems there should be more time.

Q9. If you had a time-machine what relative (past, present or future) would you most like to meet?
Oh this is a challenge! Ultimately I think I’d like to meet George Kunkel. I’d like to know if he was pleased he’d made the move to Australia or whether he regretted it in his final years when his adopted country turned against him and his countrymen during the hype of WWI.

Q10. Still using that time machine, you’ve been propelled into the future five years, what do you see yourself doing?
Still researching family history and my Dorfprozelten and East Clare emigrants. Probably pursuing research more as One Place Studies. When I reflect on the huge leaps in technology over the past five years it’s impossible to imagine how that research will be done – but I’ll still be hanging out in libraries and archives.

Q11. What value do you think social media plays in genealogy these days?
Our ability to connect world-wide is remarkable especially compared to the “olden days”. We need no longer be isolated from what is happening in our community no matter where we live. Blogging and joining Geneabloggers have been pivotal experiences in my family history activity.

Q12. What do you do when you aren’t doing genealogy or history?
Reading, travel, hanging out with Mr Cassmob and my friends, family and grandchildren.

Q13. What do you hope to get out of a genealogy cruise?
Exciting ideas from other speakers and especially the chance to meet fellow researchers. Fun on a ship!

Q14. Share with us a few (up to five) of the genealogy websites that you tend to spend the most time on?
That depends on what I’m researching at the time but these are regulars:
Text Queensland
PROV immigration (unassisted inward and departing passengers)
Irish Genealogy.com
Clare Library
South-East Queensland Cemetery photos

Q15. Do you have any wise words for those just starting out in genealogy? 
Be patient, be thorough and once in a while visit libraries and archives. Join a family history society, attend lectures and be ready for a lifelong learning experience.

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For those of you who are going on the 4th cruise, here is the topic that Pauleen is expected to be speaking on, based on the current program:
- Becoming a fan of FANs

BE SURE TO TAKE A VISIT TO PAULEEN’S BLOGS …
Family History Across the Seas at http://cassmob.wordpress.com
From Dorfprozelten to Australia http://dorfprozeltenaus.wordpress.com/
East Clare Emigrants http://eastclareoz.wordpress.com/

AND YOU CAN ALSO FIND HER ON …
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pauleen.cass
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cassmob
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/+PauleenCass/posts
LinkedIn: http://au.linkedin.com/pub/pauleen-cass/63/2b2/69b
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cassmob/
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cassmob/

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