Saturday 17 February 2018

Geneafiction, Freebies, Cornwall & Local Talks - Genealogy Notes 29 Jan - 18 Feb 2018

We had a week away tuning in to nature instead of technology which was fantastic. So much more relaxed but of course you do have to come back and read those emails, blogs and open up those bills. I hardly ever get mail via Australia Post these days and no more paper cuts!

It also means that there was nothing to report last week although I will comment on the book I read while lazing around. This week has been catch up and trying to get organised for some events coming up soon.

GeniAus' blog post Getting Conference Ready was a wake up call that Congress 2015 is almost upon us. I'm not going to Rootstech 2018 like so many of my other geneafriends but I will be following it via social media. It starts in a week or so and Congress a week or so after that. An exciting geneamonth coming up.

But back to the post - lots of good tips for newbies to Congress and a good reminder to old hands as we always want to try and fit in more than we possibly can over the four days. Already there are additional meetings, breakfast, lunch and dinner gatherings for various groups and you really can't go to everything. Plus you also want to just chat with geneafriends you only ever see at Congress every three years.

My tips are comfy shoes as there is a lot of walking and standing, money/credit card, business cards, notebook and pens (I'm a Luddite), camera, and try not to make your bag too heavy. I carry an across the chest bag to help distribute the weight more and not burden my shoulder/neck.

It's a while since I mentioned genEbooks but they offer a free download and this month's caught my eye - Ranks and Badges in the Australian and American Navy, Army and RAAF published ca 1943. It should be useful to help identify uniforms in family photos. It's a simple process to download, even easier if you are already registered which saves entering your email etc. You can usually find the free download in with the specials.

Rootstech 2018 is where about 30,000 genealogists will gather for four days of talks, explore or is that be enticed by exhibitors  and catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Probably more than 100,000 people will also participate remotely via livestreams and social media. The world's biggest geneaevent.

Check out the livestream schedule and remember to convert to your local time. If it is not too inconvenient time wise, you might want to attend some of the sessions. You need to register or you can wait till it is over and watch at your leisure.

My preference is to watch afterwards without the pressure of a busy week during Rootstech. You can still watch some of the 2017 sessions for free.

While on hols I read Marie Benedict's Carnegie's Maid which is a fictional story of an Irish maid who worked for the Carnegie family. While my grandmother on Dad's side was a Carnegie there is no connection to Andrew Carnegie and his family (unfortunately). The story is presented through the eyes of the Irish servant and how she was forced to leave Ireland and her family to seek work in the US to help her family. She connects up with Irish cousins who went before and sees their struggles to adjust to life in their new homeland.

We also see what life was like for the servants and what type of tasks they were asked to perform. As a lady's maid, the book's heroine has to help her mistress dress, undress, hair, makeup and accompany her places. Today we find it strange that people didn't brush their own hair or put their own hand cream on. It was an interesting insight into that type of world. I never give away the key story but this was a nice lighthearted look at the trials of being a lady's maid in the mid to late 19th century. 

I simply love geneafiction and once started, rarely put a book down until finished. So it was good to pick up some genealogical fiction 'must read' from Janet Few's blog post Genealogical Sleuths - Fiction for you to enjoy on the In-Depth Genealogist. I'm already a fan of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's genealogical books but there are some new authors for me to follow up.

There are always new resources each week and it can be hard to keep up with things. The best way I find is to subscribe to free emails that give you weekly updates from Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage and FamilySearch or smaller national/state archives and libraries.

For example, this week FamilySearch added collections for Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Panama, Russia and Slovakia. Now most of those countries don't interest me but the English collection was Cornwall parish registers 1538-2010 with almost 500,000 indexed entries. I usually use the Cornwall Online Parish Clerk but will also check out this new FamilySearch collection. I was also surprised to see that BillionGraves is now in FamilySearch as that is another resource used frequently.

What's Coming Up?
My immediate priority is a talk on blogging for family history which is 21 February at Arana Hills Library. There is a sizable audience already registered to learn the benefits of blogging - not only capturing your own family stories but also learning from the experiences of others. It should be a good afternoon and I just hope I don't get too lost again. Arana Hills Library is one of those places that is tucked away in suburbia. It is also the most far flung of the Moreton Region Libraries, almost Brisbane!

Then of course I have the weekly preparations for the Advanced Family History Session I tutor at Bribie U3A. It's another enthusiastic group and we are covering a wide range of topics suggested by those attending.

Plus I'm starting to work through my Congress 2018 preparations to make sure everything is ready to go. I don't think I will do any live blogging while there, too busy having fun but I will write up my adventures on the return home.

Have another great genealogy week. Until next time.