Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Bloggers on the 4th Unlock the Past cruise

Remember I mentioned there were a number of bloggers aboard?

Well,  Alona Tester (thanks Alona!) has put together this list of the Geneabloggers and their blogs which will give you a chance to catch up on what is happening on the cruise:


Jill Ball – http://geniaus.blogspot.com.au/
Pauleen Cass – http://cassmob.wordpress.com/
Maggie Clarke – http://picturethisscrapbooking.wordpress.com/
Kerry Farmer – http://famresearch.wordpress.com/
Kirsty Gray – http://family-wise.co.uk/blog/
Victoria Green – http://campaspegenealogy.blogspot.com.au/
Lee-Ann Hamilton – http://xmastree2.blogspot.com.au/
Shauna Hicks – http://www.shaunahicks.com.au/category/blog/
Tiggy Johnson – http://www.tiggyjohnson.com/
Noeline Kyle – http://familyhistorywrite.blogspot.com.au/
Thomas MacEntee – http://geneabloggers.com/
Maria Northcote – http://geniesdownunder.blogspot.com.au/
Chris Paton – http://britishgenes.blogspot.com.au/
Helen Smith – http://helenvsmithresearch.blogspot.com.au/
Alona Tester – http://www.lonetester.com/
Maureen Trotter – http://www.exploringfamily.com/
Sharn White – http://sharnsgenealogyhints.blogspot.com.au/
Jackie van Bergen – http://jackievanbergen.blogspot.com/


Day 3 and 4: 4th Unlock the Past cruise

Day 3 we arrived in Melbourne and it was a shore day. I went off to the onshore seminar. There was a slight change of plan as Thomas was ill and unable to do his talks so I gave my Document Analysis talk and Kirsty Gray gave her West country Ancestors talk which was nice for me as I had missed it the night before.

Melbourne was sunny and warm but the highlight of the seminar was meeting Elizabeth Piper a "Young and Savvy" Genealogist pictured here with another Young and Savvy Genealogist Alona Tester. Elizabeth has been researching since she was 14 and even managed to do her Year 12 work experience program at the Genealogical Society of Victoria. How cool is that!


There are a lot of younger researchers who do good research and it is important that we all encourage them as they are the ones who will continue things in the future and who can bring new ideas and abilities to our societies (if we create a friendly environment). I started researching when I was 22 and there were a number of people back then who told me I was in the wrong place when I went to research. Obviously I ignored them and kept going back <G>

It was good to meet up again with my cousin Melissa Hallyburton. Melissa is descended from one of those Plumridge brothers that went to Victoria in the 1850s while my line went to Brisbane in 1882.

Then back to the Voyager of the Seas where the evening session was a panel discussion chaired by Thomas MacEntee on the "Future of Genealogy" There have been many changes to what is accessible and how it is accessible and it is interesting and amazing to think of what is to come and what new uses can be made of computing ideas and accessories for genealogy.

Then a late cocktail before bed.

Kirsty Gray started the day with a talk on the Guild of One Name Studies. I am a member and regular readers know that  I research the name Quested anywhere, anytime and also am the Queensland Regional Rep for the Guild and there are 20 guild members in Queensland.

Then I gave my Using Timelines for Family History presentation.
Alan Phillips working hard!
Apart from the joys of chronological listings showing what you have found, showing the gaps in the research and further research opportunities you can use timelines to showcase your research in different ways. They say a "picture can save a 1000 words" and this is very true but a pictorial representation can also stop a family member from running screaming in the opposite direction when you start talking about the family history. It is much better if you can subliminally work to get your family member to ask further  questions about the family and their life rather than try to force them to listen to you.

Shauna Hicks then gave a presentation on "Mapping Ancestors in Australia" which I attended but it meant that I missed Pauleen Cass talking on "Becoming a fan of FANs: let your family's friends, associates and neighbours reveal more of your family's history" and also missed Thomas MacEntee talking on "Celebrating a Life: keeping life stories sharable and organised using Saving Memories"  Saving Memories won the Innovators Award at this year's RootsTech conference that just finished in Salt Lake City.

Then I listened to Chris Paton talking on the "Godly Commonwealth: discover Scottish Church records" a clear explanation of a very confused joining, breakaways and basically a spaghetti mess of different church formations over the time period and very good reasons why you may not be able to find that Scottish baptism on ScotlandsPeople!

The Family Historian users have been attending workshop sessions throughout the conference presented by Jane Taubman, a person with intimate knowledge of the program and a top level user from the UK.

Mel Hulbert gave a presentation at this time on "Restoring Family Photographs" of which I have heard good reports.

It is a terrible shame I can't clone myself as it would be lovely if you could split yourself in three and attend all the presentations (and later after the conference send one of the clones to work, one to do the housework and the other could do research 24/7!

Neil Smith gave a presentation on "Tracing Australia's British Redcoat Garrisons" (a topic on which he has also recently published a book with Unlock the Past. One I have ordered as I am tracking a Quested gentleman who was in Queensland pre-separation (as I found him giving evidence in a trial of a convict who had stolen some grain) then he went off to fight in India).

Then I did a MyHeritage presentation then dd a Research help Zone on Queensland research and after that was dinner before coming back to listen to Shauna Hicks talking on "Newspapers Online" and Trove was only a part of this so if you don't know of the others you are really missing out!

Remember to look at the other bloggers such as Pauleen Cass, Jill BallAlona Tester,  to hear their thoughts as that way you will get to hear about pretty much all the presentations.  (There are other bloggers on board as well so worth doing a Google search of blogs  for 4th Unlock the Past cruise)

Looking down from the 11th Floor outside the Windjammer Cafe

Looking back from our balcony








Cruising Day 1 and 2

Sorry everyone for not blogging more frequently but have been too busy listening to the presenters.

We left Sydney on a gray day but at least it stopped raining.



We got ourselves on board and did a quick look around before catching up with friends.

We did the required lifeboat drill and then had dinner before heading up to Cleopatra's Needle for the Meet and Greet of 245+ genealogists from the USA, Scotland, England, South Africa, New Zealand and from all over Australia.




These are the Geneabloggers with Mr Genea-Blogger Thomas MacEntee hiding in the back. Jill Ball handed out the blogging beads which have been worn by the bloggers in a variety of  creative ways including on name-tags, as bracelets, necklaces etc.

Thomas MacEntee kindly also provided some nice add-on tags (Australia and Geneabloggers)

Then off to set up my Internet. Only drawback for me for genealogy conference cruising is the cost of using ship's internet.





It  has been a great conference with a very vary program. Computers, Scotland, Ireland, a fantastic military stream with Neil Smith, Family Historian workshops, scrap-booking talks, poetry and how to showcase your family history  in a different way, iPad workshops even two nights of observing the Southern skies.

There have been up to three streams of talks which, has at times meant being torn in multiple directions as to which talk to attend.



Chris Paton gave a talk on British and Irish Newspapers of which there are a number of ways to access including having a Commonwealth library card and also a State library card plus a Council library card as some are offered through these, a useful way of spending your tax dollars!

Remember the subscription sites and the online free sites as so much context can be found as well as all the gossipy bits, scandal, murder and mayhem.

Shauna Hicks did a new presentation on following your gold mining ancestors. This was very interesting and amazing how many people got the call and hoped to make their fortune. Even some of mine left  Brisbane to try their luck at the Gympie Goldfields (they also came back totally broke!). many of the gold miners followed the gold around Australia and some had even followed it in a number of countries such as the USA , New Zealand and then through the Australian colonies. Judy Webster has done some indexing of the Croyden Hospital admissions and there are people from many, many countries. So worth thinking about gold and where the current gold strikes were occurring if you have lost somebody. Shauna has a new book on Mining Ancestors which has been published by Unlock the Past.

I did my Document Analysis talk which was well received. It is interesting how many brickwalls can be totally demolished if you go back and thoroughly analyse each of your documents and extract every last clue.

Kerry Farmer gave a talk on immigration which was very well received. There were a number of differences in schemes between the various colonies at various times. It was not uncommon for someone to have a relative in another colony. My Anne Busby emigrated with her husband to Brisbane in 1882. In the 1850s three of her uncles and their families emigrated to the Geelong region in Victoria. Queensland was looking for stonemasons and offering free passage. Victoria at that time was not so I am a Queenslander!