There are 32 sleeps before the Queensland Unlock the Past Expo begins and there is a great program (see side bar for further details)
Apart from the wide range of presentations by great speakers and the variety of exhibitors at the Expo a fantastic resource is the Research Help Zone (RHZ).This is where you can bring that brick wall problem and a number of experts in their area of research will try and help solve your problem.This gives you a chance to show your problem to a range of very experienced researchers which is not something that happens everyday.
So with 32 sleeps to go there is plenty of time to prepare to talk to the range of experts available!
Kerry Farmer will be available at the RHZ and you can't find a better person to ask about convict records and much more. Carole Riley will also be available and she has a lot of knowledge icluding information on New South Wales and also land records. Eric Koppitke will be available to talk to about German research and trying to tie down your ancestor's place of origin in Germany. I will be there for general research, brick wall problems, English research and more.
And don't forget the expertise of the exhibitors: Judy Webster, a specialist researcher on records at Queensland State Archives will be on her stand answering questions. Steinar Johansen will be available to talk about Scandinavian research.
There is a wide range of expertise available at the Library and Archive stands as as as all the Society stands.
I have had the pleasure of helping people with their brick wall problems for a number of Expos now and it is great fun and there have been a number of happy dances performed!
One thing I have noticed though, is that a number of people are not getting the maximum benefit from their consultations. This is perhaps because they did not realise the Research Help Zone (RHZ) existed and did not come prepared.They came and mentioned they have a problem but can't remember a date or who married whom particularly when you have a few generations with the same or similar names. This makes it very difficult to provide the appropriate answers that would work to explode that brick wall.
So how do you prepare for maximum success?
1. First work out what the problem is: perhaps a marriage you can't find, an ancestor that has disappeared, you can't pinpoint where they originated etc
2. Determine what information you already have.
3. Determine what documentary evidence you have, a birth certificate, a marriage certificate etc
4. Determine where you have already looked, what you found including negative findings.
5. Write down this information and put it together so that when you ask your question of the RHZ you will get the maximum benefit.
So with 32 sleeps to go there is plenty of time left to organise those problems and documents, bring them along so we can all do the Genealogy Happy Dance with you!