Friday 30 March 2012

Genealogy notes 29 Mar 2012 - Day 2 of Congress

This daily blog is a bit late because I slept in this morning - too many receptions and get together dinners! Barely made it in time for the first plenary session of Day 3 of AFFHO12!

Yesterday got off to a great start with Jenny Higgins from the National Library of Australia talking about Did They Do That In Those Days? which looked at why you should put social context in family histories. And of course she used the resources of the NLA to illustrate her points. I was very pleased to accept an I Love TROVE badge as I am one of its many fans and hardly a day goes by when I don't try and find something in it. I also mention TROVE in just about every talk I give so yes, I'm a fan (or is that an addict?).

The next session I went to was Barbara Baker talking about Scottish Research Online and I hoped she wasn't just talking about Scotland's People and although a great site, there are other sites which can provide different information and social context. I wasn't disappointed and Barbara mentioned quite a few URLs that I will have to follow up when I get home. One obvious omission, and you can't always fit everything into a presentation, was the FreeCen, FreeReg and Free BMD sites.

Then there was morning tea but as I was speaking next I quietly went to the big theatre where I was speaking and checked in with Liana from WA who was chairing the session. I always like it when I have long time friends chairing sessions as it makes me feel at home and amongst friends. You would think after giving talks for over 30 years I would lose the nerves but I don't. Today's talk was Are You The Family Archivist? and from verbal feedback afterwards, it achieved my objective to get people thinking about how their family records are kept and more importantly, what will happen to those records in the future. I have an earlier version of this talk on my website Resources page and it is also the basis of one of my research guides Your Family History Archives: A Brief Introduction.

With all my talks out of the way I could enjoy lunch and wander round the exhibits and catch up with people. I finally got around to renewing my membership of the Society of Australian Genealogists and it's always good to catch up with Heather. Over on the National Institute of Genealogical Studies stand I caught up with Brenda and Kerry and on the Genealogical Society of Victoria stand was Linley, another well known genealogist and expert on the GSV library.

After lunch we had a very entertaining talk from David Holman on Fascinating Facts and Figures which kept us all awake laughing at various name combinations and statistics. His section on Extreme Age interested me especially when he started tracking claimants back through the census and their ages varied considerably each ten years! One of the unusual forenames he mentioned was Zenobia and I have a surname and oddly enough, Alan another friend from Victoria and sitting beside me, also has a Zenobia but until that moment neither of us realised we had that in common. Small world, especially when you do family history.

My next session was Pat Lokan talking about Parallels and Contrasts Life in Cornwall and South Australia 1825-1875 and this was of personal interest as my Cornish gg grandparents came out  from Cornwall to Moonta SA in 1863. I really liked seeing the photographs of places in Cornwall and it is over 30 years since I first visited Moonta so time for another visit. It was also interesting to note that Cornish mining landscapes have achieved World Heritage status - see Cornish Mining World Heritage.

Afternoon tea goes so quickly because by the time you walk back to the exhibition area, it is almost time to turn around and walk back and that's not even factoring in toilet stops! Start chatting to someone and timing becomes real tight. My last session of the day was Dan Poffenberger giving a personal presentation on the life of his grandmother and I don't think I've seen that many marriages within a family before! It also showed how most of our ancestors lives took many turns depending on the circumstances they came up against.

Then it was a quick dash back to the hotel to get ready for the Adelaide Lord Mayor's reception for speakers and other dignitaries. Max came in to join me and while there were a couple of speeches, the wine flowed freely and the finger food seemed to be plentiful and delicious. Afterwards we joined some friends for a very nice and cheap Chinese banquet and again the drinks flowed freely as did the conversations. Perhaps that's why I had trouble waking up this morning?

Anyway Day 3 is now over and I am madly trying to finish this Day 2 blog before going out to attend the Conference Dinner and if you don't see the Day 3 blog tomorrow morning you will know I had a great time at the dinner and slept in again! Must dash now, until next time.

1 comment:

  1. Your're doing well with your informative posts- I can't manage to write so am just posting pictures.

    See you at Dinner - thrilled to be on the table with you.