Monday, 28 July 2014

5th Unlock the Past cruise continued: Kirkwall

The weather continues to be absolutely amazing with warm days and being summer the daylight starts early and finishes late so it is still light at 9.30 plus at night. Some of the locals have not been as impressed as the Australians aboard the Marco Polo as they are finding it a bit warm!

So after my success at the Highland Archives I went back to listen to Eileen O Duill on "Research in Ireland: Planning is the Key to Success". A good talk on how to determine the origin of your ancestor from  the documents you already have in your possession and the types of document that will help. Without the place of origin it does become more difficult to research particularly if you have a common name to research.


Skara Brae
Day 4 we arrived at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands and I went on the Skara Brae excursion which also took in the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. These were all amazing and I strongly suggest looking at Google for information on Skara Brae to see the Neolithic homes.
Standing Stones of Stenness





















After the tour it was back to the ship and the next sessions. today was Lisa Louise Cooke on "How the Genealogist can Remember Everything with Evernote" I was looking forward to this presentation as although I do have Evernote on my laptop and my iPad I still haven't started to use it properly. Lisa made it make sense so now I have the impetus to get going with it.

I missed Paul Blake's presentation on British Army Records 1660-1913 as it was on at the same time as Lisa's. Then I was part of the Genealogy Software Panel where we had a Family Historian, Reunion, Family Tree Maker, Legacy, RootsMagic and The Master Genealogist presentations by Jackie Depelle, Mike Murray, Rosemary Kopittke and myself. The main aim was to show people a selection of what was available as no one program suits everybody and it helps people when they can hear about a program from someone who uses it. It went well. 

"Which family history program should I use?"  is a regular question I get asked and, at times, I think they think I am being difficult when I say "which program depends on the person, how they visualise things, what extras they want to do etc".

I started with Personal Ancestral File (PAF) way back when I started then changed to Family Tree Maker when it was still a Banner Blue program because among other things it would print a chart with occupations and my partner had six generations of blacksmiths. I kept PAF on my computer as I really liked the cascading pedigree charts with the associated family group sheets. I stayed with FTM for a few years until The Master Genealogist was released then shifted to it (with all the interesting things that can happen with multiple shifts across programs) and have stayed with it as my primary program.

I currently have on my computer, The Master Genealogist as my prime program and Legacy, RootsMagic and Family Historian also for other features that I like and use occasionally.