KEYNOTE ADDRESS: MEETING PEOPLE AT WAR ON THE HOME FRONT – MICHAEL McKERNAN, HISTORIAN
Michael gave us the backgrounds and stories of ordinary Australians who lost their live in WWI. His examples were very moving and made me want to learn more. I will definitely be buying his book – Gallipoli A Short History. I have long been interested in War history, but after hearing this address, will be making it more of a focus.
SESSION 1:. BANKRUPTS AND INSOLVENTS IN MID 19TH CENTURY ENGLAND – SUE REID
We heard about a bit of a rogue in Sue’s family, and the resources she used to keep track of him. I have an ancestor that I suspect may have left England for Australia, due to bankruptcy. This session has given me many ideas for my future research. It may have even given me a title for my future book!
SESSION 2: HIDDEN GEMS, FINDING & USING UNUSUAL RECORD COLLECTIONS IN ENGLISH ARCHIVES – SIMON FOWLER
Simon spoke about the many unusual resources that are available at local record offices. Most of these are not online, and require a visit or hiring of a professional researcher to sight them. Many of these records, I hadn’t heard about before, so this was great information.
SESSION 3: ONE NAME STUDIES, WHAT USE ARE THEY TO YOU – HELEN SMITH
Helen explained how the one name studies work, and I now have huge regard for those that take them on, as there is a huge amount of work involved. Jones along with Smith is the most common surname, so there is no way I will be attempting a one name Jones study.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: MEN, WOMEN, SEX & DESIRE, FAMILY HISTORY ON AUSTRALIA’S FIRST FRONTIER – GRACE KARSTENS
The title of this address has been causing much chatter, so the room was almost full for the session. Grace addresses the importance of personal stories to understanding family history and to really explain what was happening in a community. There were many illustrations of families and relationships and their inter-connections. This session gave a really good understanding of what life must have been like in the days of early settlement, when convicts were settling amongst the new community of settlers.
SESSION 4: HARNESS THE POWER OF BLOGGING FOR YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR ONE PLACE STUDY – PAULEEN CASS
Of course, as a blogger, I was interested in this session, and picked up many tips for my new blog, a One Place Study of Axedale, Victoria
SESSION 5: BRING YOUR ANCESTORS TO LIFE. USING COURT OF PETTY SESSIONS RECORDS – SHAUNA HICKS
More information in this session on available resources. I’ve done a similar session previously, with Shauna. But it was a few years ago, and there is now more information available. So I thought I refresher would be a good idea. There have been a few court appearances among my ancestors, so the new information given here will definitely be useful.
Even though there is one more day of Congress to go yet, today is my last day. I need to get back home tomorrow, and at the moment am feeling a little sad that it is all over. I’ve loved the sessions, the new friends made, catching up with old friends. I’ve particulartly loved blogging and tweeting about Congress2015.
I am going home with a long, long “to-do” list and am wondering how I will have time for work.
Looking forward now to Congress2018 in Sydney!
Keynote address: CONNECTING ACROSS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE – JOSHUA TAYLOR, President Genealogical Societies & Data, Strategy Manager of Findmypast
Joshua gave a very lively, entertaining and thoughtful talk about the connection of family history research to communities, and the importance of engaging younger generations in their family history. We heard about his relationship with his grandmother and how that relationship in the past has impacted his present and future. This one hour session seemed to be over in minutes. Very enjoyable with lots of laughs. I came to love Josh’s grandma.
Session 1: FOLLOW THE GOLD – CAROLE RILEY, Genealogist
I was interested to do this session, as I live in the gold rush area of Bendigo Central Victoria. We learnt how gold was mined and followed the trail of the gold rush from New South Wales, down to Victoria and across to Perth and surrounds.
Session 2: SCOTLAND, MAPS & GAZETEERS FOR SCOTTISH RESEARCH – PAUL MILNER, historian
Paul stressed that when doing Scottish research, we should look at all maps of an area, not just roads and towns. We shouldn’t forget maps of water systems, railroads, gealogical maps and the many other maps that are available for an area. I came away from this session with some ideas that might help to increase the information regardjng my S ottish line.
Session 3: IRISH CENSUS & CENSUS SUBSTITUTES- DAVID RENCHER, Chief Genealogical Office for Family Search
I went into this session not expecting too much, as I haven’t done a huge amount of work yet on my Irish family. David told us of the many resources available to search, that could give much needed information that may help to offset the non existant census papers. I feel re-enthused and look forward to attacking my Irish research again.
Afternoon Keynote Address: IF YOU EVER GO ACROSS THE SEA TO IRELAND. REALITIES OF 19TH CENTURY IRELAND – RICHARD REID, historian
Before Richard began his presentation, we were surprised by Peter Corr singing Galway Bay. This was a beautiful, and touching way to begin this session about life in Ireland and the dreadful conditions caused by the potato famine, resulting in people leaving in huge numbers.
SESSION 4: SEPARATION & DIVORCE. SCOTLAND 17th to 19th CENTURIES – JOHN BLACKWOOD, President Genealobical Society of Victoria
Ihaven’t come across any di orces in jy Scottish resear h yet, but if I do, I will be well equipped with a list of resources to search out information
SESSION 5: REMEMBERING & COMMEMORATING OUR ANCESTORS – PERRY McINTYRE Historian
Another session on Irish research. This session will probably be my Congress highlight, covering many topics about remembering and commemorating our nation’s past. One of Perry’s many area’s of expertise is the Irish Orphan girls story. I was hanging on her every word as my Great Great Grandmother was one of the Orphan girls.
I will be checking out the website Irishfaminememorial.org when Congress is over and this will be my next research focus. I came out of the session with a huge “to do” list and my head spinning.
What a great day I had today. The short talks in the Speakers Corner were all very interesting. I particularly enjoyed hearing GeniAus. talk about blogging.
A highlight today was an arranged meeting with a fellow Blogger before the day’s sessions began. We had been in contact and having conversations on Twitter in the weeks leading up to Congress 2015. I realised last night that she lives very close to me, which surprised me. Today we also realised that my partner has a family connection with her family. So it’s not such a large world after all. And a lovely to surprise with which to begin Day 2
Opening Address: MATHEW TRINCA – Director at the National Museum of Australia.
Matt gave the opening address and linked our experience of ourselves with that of the community around us. He gave a very interesting account of his Italian family history and the impact that had on his own life in relation to his experience of the world around him.
Matt’s address really had me thinking of how my family history has impacted my world. I found myself remembering my visit to Wales in 2004. My paternal family history is Welsh and even though I was always proud of it, until my visit, I never really gave my Welsh heritage much thought at all. Other than feeling as though I actually did know my ancestors, after spending many years researching their lives.
Until I arrived in Haverfordwest, Pembokeshire, Wales, and was immediately struck by how at home and comfortable I felt. This was very much an unexpected reaction that I had. Matts address reminded me of this and makes me realise that yes, my past family history has impacted my present experiences of life.
Session 1: What can I find using erecords? CORA NUM, Professional history researcher, lecturer and writer.
This session was prerecorded, as Cora had recently injured herself and was unable to attend. I am feeling disappointed that she isn’t here, however the session was very professionally done and jam packed with information. Cora gave us updates on the latest records available online for searching at home. Many free, some requiring a small subscription. I found this session very informative and much needed as I have taken a step back from research for a couple of years, due to work pressures. There have been many changes in that time, with much more information now openly available online.
Session 2: DNA for genealogists: Kerry Farmer
This is a subject that I knew very little about before today’s session. We were first given a brief scientific overview. I have to say that much of it went over my head and I was relieved when we were told it wasn’t necessary to remember the technical aspects of DNA. I had been considering sending my DNA away for testing, but wasn’t sure if it would be worth it. I am now convinced that this would be a good thing to do, and will look into it asap.
Session 3: Dropbox and Evernote for family historians – Carole Riley, professional genealogist
This session was a technical “how to do” Evernote and Dropbox. I have used Dropbox but never Evernote, so was very keen to learn more. What I learnt from this session is that there will be many sleepless nights coming up as I scan all my documents, certificates etc onto Evernote. It seems to me that this must be done to simplify my life. But one thing I’m not sure of, is what to do with the documents when they have been scanned. Scanning is being done to limit the paper that has to be kept. But, can I shred certificates and important documents? I think not. Need to do some thinking on this.
Session 4: English workhouse and it’s records – Helen Smith
I was looking forward to this sesssion, for it’s subject matter and also to hear the presenter. I have heard Helen speak on varied subjects and she never fails to deliver. Today was the same. Helen is a wonderful presenter who brings her subject matter to life. This is quite a depressing subject, but I do have ancestors who were in the workhouse so now have more information that will continue my research..
The day ended with me feeling as though my brain might explode with all the new information that it had taken in today. My to do list is now much longer and I am wondering how on earth I will have time to go to work. Must remember to get my priorities right.
After a sleepless night, we fell out of bed at 4am and hit the road by 4.30. Destination, Canberra. Congress2015, gets underway tomorrow. I really am very excited and can’t wait to get there and soak up as much knowledge and inspiration as possible, from the varied speakers.
Today, I called in to the National Convention Centre and collected my registration pack. There are 2 bloggers that I have been particularly looking forward to meeting face to face – GeniAus and Judy Webster. And there they were standing in the foyer as soon as I arrived. Seeing them made my day. Even though we have never met face to face, it felt like meeting old friends as we have formed an online friendship over the years.
I now have my Kiva ribbon that identifies me as being a member of Genealogists for Families. My blogging beads were also there waiting for me to collect them. Bloggers are wearing these beads, to make themselves known to participants. I will be blogging regularly during Congress and think the beads are a fantastic idea.
And also I’m looking forward to reading posts made by other bloggers. Of course, I’m hoping to meet other bloggers and researchers.
Working from home today. Or I should be working from home. I am at home, but not doing much work. Congress 2015 has been on my mind as we’re setting out for Canberra very early tomorrow morning.
Earlier today, when I sat myself down at the computer for a serious day of working, catching up on a huge pile of paperwork, I found it very difficult to concentrate. On my mind was all the packing I needed to do and the last minute bits and pieces to tidy up my social media and genealogy resources.
Firstly what to pack? With the change in the weather that has hit in the past couple of days, it looks like the winter woollies will be needed. So spent a little while searching for long sleeves, tights, boots etc. That’s all done now and as usual the pile of clothes is higher than intended.
Everything else in now done. The Congress App is up to date with my program entered. I love this app. There will be no need to carry around a program for the many sessions I have booked. It’s all there on the App!
A few bits and pieces that needed tidying up on Ancestry App is now done. Once again there is now no need to carry around hard copy listing my family history. It’s all there on the App!
My research interests have been listed on the Congress Delegates website. I don’t really expect any of the delegates to also be researching my family. But one just never knows!
My twitter list has been updated, and a genealogy list made, to make it easier to follow Twitter conversations at the conference.
My Kiva loans have been updated. I have posted here previously about my involvement with Kiva and the ‘Genealogists for Families’ project. I have received enough credit due to loan repayments, to make 3 new loans so did that last night. I did want to get the loans up to date as there will be a meeting of Kiva lenders during Congress.
I’m just about to take my two dogs and two cats to the kennels and that will be the end of my day of preparation.The result of my day is that work-wise it was a disaster, only giving work about one hour of my time. But today, I really don’t care. More importantly, I am now fully prepared, ready, and organised for Congress.
See you in Canberra.
Thomas Lloyd Jones 25.01.1926 – 04.07.2014
My Dad passed away in July last year. Unfortunately, I was in Spain at the time, so didn’t get to say goodbye. This does still distress me. But he was very ill and in hospital when I left, so the expectation was there that I would be too late getting home. I arrived home on the day before his funeral.
Dad was born in Richmond. You can see a little of his story here . Dad’s early years were tough, after the death of his Mum and Dad when he was 6 years old, but as an adult, he made a happy and successful life for himself with a strong marriage and three daughters, myself being the oldest. Dad lived to the great age of 88, and even now, 8 months after his death, life seems very strange without him.
I’ve spent the past few days getting myself organised for Congress 2015 in Canberra in 8 days. Mainly reviewing my research and thinking about the program of events that I have chosen. The Congress organisers have definitely organised a fabulous program and it was very difficult to choose between some events with time clashes.
Congress is four days jam packed with events and great guest speakers, both Australian and international. Unfortunately I can only attend 3 days, so will miss the last day but I’m quite excited about the talks that I have chosen and very much looking forward to spending a few days soaking up as much genealogical and historical knowledge as possible.
Here’s my program.
10.15am What can I find using eRecords – Cora Num
11.15am DNA for genealogists – Kerry Farmer
2.30pm Dropbox & Evernote - Carole Riley
3.45pm English Workhouse – Helen Smith
9.30am Following the Gold - Carole Riley
10.45am Stories of the Western Front – Richard Reid
11.45am Irish Census & census substitutes - David Rencher
3.00pm Separation & Divorce in Scotland 17th-19thC – John Blackwood
4.15pm Remembering & Commemorating our Ancestors – Perry McIntyre
9.30am Tracing Your Pre WW1 British Soldier – Paul Milner
10.15am A different kind of DNA talk - Colleen Fitzpatrick
11.45am A history of British Child Migration Schemes – Roger Kershaw
2.00pm Keynote Address: Men, Women & desire: Family history on Australia’s first frontier – Grace Karskens
3.00pm Writing up your family history for pleasure and profit – Simon Fowler
4.15pm Bring you ancestors to life – using Court of Petty Sessions Records - Shauna Hicks
So that’s it. What a full and varied program. Lots of food for thought there. And for blogging of course!