Sunday, 27 November 2011

Genealogy notes 27 Nov 2011 Day 8 at Sea & Adventures in Akaroa

Today was an onshore day at Akaroa, just south of Christchurch, South Island of New Zealand. Due to the severe earthquakes Christchurch experienced last year and earlier this year we were unable to go to Christchurch as originally planned.

I was supposed to meet up with my son's girlfriend's family in Akaroa but due to a mixup this didn't eventuate so we spent the time exploring the shops, having seafood chowder for lunch and visiting the Akaroa Museum. While there we watched an interesting DVD of the town's history from the time of the Maori people arriving, through the various explorers, the French colony and through to the present.

We returned to the Volendam mid afternoon so that I could send off my Wellington blog and my Picton blog but I did have to go up to the ship's library to find an internet connection strong enough. It was another formal dinner night and afterwards I went to the two genealogy talks. It was a bit odd seeing people sitting there in their formal outfits and taking genealogy notes. Somehow glamour, sequins, heels and genealogy don't seem to fit together to me!

However both talks were worth attending with Richard Reid introducing both Perry McIntyre and Keith Johnson and their talks. Perry's talk Get To Know Ireland outlined the basics about identifying where your ancestors may have come from in Ireland and although I knew some of this, it is always good to go back to basics and a refresher course in what's new also helps. Perry also highlighted some key books which I haven't read so I'll be making an inter library loan request when I get home (if I don't buy my own copy!). She also mentioned her CD with Terry Eakin Ireland Townlands 1901 which is available from the Society of Australian Genealogists.

Keith's talk complemented Perry's and his was titled Research on the Ground in Ireland and again looked at some of the basic resources eg National Archives of Ireland and National Library of Ireland. But he also looked at directories, maps, Griffiths Valuations etc and gave examples using his own research. As he had still more to talk about, it was agreed he will finish it at his next session.

Chris Paton and Helen Smith (who joined the cruise in Wellington) gave talks to the Little River branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists in the afternoon so it is good to see that people who aren't on the cruise get to see and hear Chris and other speakers as we move around New Zealand.

I took some more bookings for one on one sessions to discuss problems and as we have a few days at sea coming up, there will be more time for those types of discussion. Tomorrow is Port Chalmers and Dunedin and most people will take the opportunity to go onshore and see the sights. There should also be internet connection and I will be able to send this blog off.

After Dunedin we are travelling around the bottom end of the South Island of New Zealand and up to Fjordland (where I don't imagine there will be internet coverage but the truly stunning scenery makes it all worth while) and then two days at sea as we cross the Tasman Sea and head to Burnie in Tasmania. I am expecting that will be the next opportunity to post a blog, tweet etc plus my phone should be working again too. In fact it should then all be back to normal - almost!

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