Monday, 10 February 2014

Genealogy Notes 7-10 Feb 2014 - Days 4-7 still geneacruising!

Well it seems that Diary has recommenced and apologies to all those waiting for an update in Adelaide. I do a lot of travel and there are two things you can not guarantee - one the weather and two, illness. I have become acquainted with a shipboard virus and we are not good friends but I am feeling better than a few days ago.

First up I thought the panel session on the future of genealogy on Day 3 and chaired by Thomas MacEntee was really good (if I can say so myself). There was a change of panelists and as well as myself and Chris Paton there was Mike Murray from WA and Kirsty Gray who seems to be everywhere! So many themes came out of this session and even though I was a panelist, I took copious notes so I plan to write a separate blog on this once I get back home. Stay tuned!

After the panel session we went to the talk and guided tour of the night time sky with Melissa Hulbert so by the time we got back to the cabin it was very late and as a result we slept in the next morning.

Our fourth day was all at sea which meant sessions from early morning to after dinner. Due to the sleep in I missed the first session but made it to Helen Smith's talk on Timelines and how to use them for genealogy. My talk (which was the third for the day) was at 9.40 am was on Mapping Ancestors in Australia. As usual I have put a copy of the slides up on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

Before lunch I attended Melissa Hulbert's talk on restoring family photos using Photoshop Elements. It was an interesting practical talk and the presenter made it look really easy. I suspect that there is a fair degree of practice in there too.

In between sessions I have been having one on one sessions with various people and it is really interesting to see what kind of problems they have with their research. In most cases I can usually suggest a few new approaches or to try even more way out spelling variations. Most people have been extremely thorough with their research and have even brought along copies of their documents to show what they have done so far.

Tracing Mining Ancestors: A Brief Guide to Resources in Australia and New ZealandAfter lunch I attended Thomas MacEntee's session on Cloud Computing which I am basically familiar with but it was good to see how he presented it to the audience who I suspect was mostly not in the cloud. Thomas has a handout for all his talks but it is only for the exclusive use of the cruise attendees. Next was Chris Paton with Irish records online and his handout is on the Society of Genealogists site, under the Learn tab links to WDYTYA 2013. I have to say that Chris has a unique way of finishing up his talks. The slide says "Now if only there was a handy book" and under that images of his book/s on the topic. I think I will have to start doing this too as I completely forgot the other day when giving my mining talk, to mention that I have a new research guide out - Tracing Mining Ancestors: A Brief Guide to Australia and New Zealand - (see handy image)!

I was the after dinner speaker with my presentation on Newspapers Online and it was probably not one of my better presentations as I got sick while still fielding questions down the front. But people were very understanding and I have been grateful for the various tablets that have found there way to my cabin.

The fifth day was Adelaide and I never saw it as I slept most of the day and night. At least Max got to see his son and grandkids while I rested.

The sixth day was again at sea while we made our way to Hobart. Having past the quarantine period, I attended Mike Murray's Ten Top Tips for Tracing Your Hard to Find Ancestors. Mike showed how he drills down into the major databases to make more effective searches. From the panel session the other night I had been surprised to find that Mike does not believe in social media, so it was not surprising to find that he did not mention it here either. However I would have to add it as another top tip! I then gave my Family History on the Cheap talk and did another one on one before lunch.

After lunch we attended the Ice Show (hard to believe there is an ice skating rink on board) which is really colourful and beautiful to watch. But then it was back to the conference room for Thomas MacEntee's sessions on Google Alerts and Google Books. I use both of these but it was amazing to see how many alerts Thomas has and why he sets them up. My final session for the day was Jill Ball talking about Evernote for Genealogy. I have Evernote but I don't seem to use it effectively and I don't sync as often as I should but I can definitely see the potential.

One last one on one session, dinner and then bed, totally exhausted. I missed Jill's Geneareader's circle which was a pity as I usually like attending them. My book to share was Jim Faull's The Cornish in Australia as I am looking into Cornish culture and what made them different from other parts of England.

Day 7 has been a bit of a write off again as I had a bad night and missed all the morning sessions and one on one's I had booked. By the time we docked in Hobart this afternoon I was feeling a bit better so we strolled over to Salamanca Place and around the dock area in the fresh air. Today is a public holiday in Hobart for Regatta Day and the fireworks are due to start in about 45 minutes.

Tomorrow we are still in Hobart and we are booked on a bus trip down to Port Arthur a former convict settlement. It has been years since I was last there so I am hoping for a quiet night and lots of sleep. Then one more day at sea with the last of the conference talks and then Sydney and home. Time flies when geneacruising! The next Diary will not be until after I get home so until then, happy researching.


  1. It's good to see you back on your feet, Shauna. I enjoyed our catchup chat in the corridor outside our cabins.

  2. Me too Jill. That's another good thing about geneacruising - all the little chats with your fellow travellers. You learn so much and make great friends (for the next geneacruise)