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Day 1 Congress 2015

March 27, 2015

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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.

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3 Comments
  1. I share that exploding feeling.

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