Tuesday, 12 February 2013

3rd Unlock the Past Cruise Tuesday continued

The weather today was sunny and a very nice 25 degrees Celcius. It was quite windy walking around the top of the ship as it is heading towards land at 35 kms/hour.

As mentioned in the last post Paul's talk on the Parish Chest was great. 

Next I attended Carol Baxter's very good presentation on Writing: Structuring a Family History. Carol is a very well known writer and a goo speaker who is able to inform and entertain at the same time. She has published a number of books lately Captain Thunderbolt and his Lady: the true story of bushrangers Frederick Ward and Mary Ann Bugg (2011), also Breaking the Bank: an extraordinary colonial robbery (2008) so is very well suited to talk about how to plan and write your family history.Unfortunately the writing style of many people is of the style a la Dog's Dinner rather than any planned structure. Depending on your particular research results you have a number of ways of presenting your data for example if you don't know a whole lot about the back generations but do know a lot about the current generations deal with it by using a structure shaped like a broom etc.

Carol has also written a book Writing Interesting Family Histories and will be talking more about this later in the cruise.

I did two session today with Bob Velke talking about citations and different ways of adding data. Having this stream has been valuable for me and there are another two sessions on Thursday (tomorrow is a shore day in Noumea).

I gave my talk on One Name studies, what they are and why people do them. There are six Guild of One Name Studies members on the cruise and there were a number of other interested people attending the presentation. After the talk I showed maps of surname distributions based on the 1881 census using the Surname Atlas. This will show the distribution down to Poor Law Union districts which is of course also the Civil Registration and Census districts. It is a good way to get a feel for how prevalent your surname is in 1881.

Tonight I'll be listening to Paul Milner talking on English Parish Registers: how to use, use and interpret which should be very interesting.