November 24th, 2010
Well the final roadshow from Unlock The Past took place today at the Ellerslie Centre in Auckland. While I am a little sad it is over, I am more tired than anything. It has been a hectic pace throughout but even more so here in New Zealand where we fly in first thing in the morning and then start the roadshow in the early afternoon going through into the evening.
Today’s program had the usual two streams of speakers which made it hard for some people to choose which one they wanted to go to . Over the course of the roadshow I have seen lots of people trying to decide which one to listen to. This is always a problem when you have concurrent streams and worse if there is more than two.
While Rosemary was doing her usual talk on FindMyPast Australasia, Fiona Brooker from the New Zealand Society of Genealogists was talking on the Society. While I did hear Brenda Joyce talking about the Society in Wellington, I still attended Fiona’s talk in case she covered points not made by Brenda. Unfortunately there was a technical hitch during Fiona’s presentation and she had to finish without the use of her slides – not sure that I could remember my talks without the slide prompts so she is to be commended for still delivering an informative talk on the benefits of belonging to the Society. They also had a display table with their publications and a number of volunteers on hand to answer questions.
I also attended the session with Seonaid (Shona) Lewis talking about The Treasures of the Auckland Research Centre within the Auckland City Libraries. Having done some of my own research there I can personally attest to the great resources and helpful staff. However I was still amazed when Seonaid was outlining what is available online – it really pays to revisit sites as they are continually adding material to them. They also had a very impressive display with lots of information sheets and staff on hand to answer enquiries.
The next session was me talking about Researching Australian Ancestors and it is quite amazing how many Australians and New Zealanders have family connections – I have three myself! The other speaker was Jan Gow doing a repeat of her session A 48 hour journey with Scotland’s People – see Day Ten blog for more details.
For dinner the kind folk from Auckland Research Centre drove me down to the Pizza Hut and we brought back pizzas and other treats to share with colleagues and we had a good chat round the table and Jan Gow and Louise St Denis also joined us although Louise was still staffing her display in between pieces of pizza! I admire her dedication.
After dinner Elaine Collins from FindMyPast UK and Louise St Denis from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies gave their respective presentations and tonight I relistened to Elaine’s which has changed somewhat since the first one I heard at the beginning of the roadshow. There were quite a few slides on the 1911 census and I was particularly interested in Living Relatives and Specialist Records all tabs on the top menu bar.
Bringing in the last two sessions of the roadshow were Rosemary Kopittke talking about Google’s Other Tools and myself talking about Family History on the Cheap.
During the day I caught up with Twitter and Facebook friends and it was nice to meet them for real. I was particularly pleased to meet the administrator of the new One Places Studies website and if you are a fan of Online Parish Clerks then you will also like this site.
Tomorrow I am off to the Auckland office of Archives New Zealand for a spot of research on one of my Auckland families. I’m hoping to find some really good information in the court records.
Thanks to all my travelling companions on this epic trip around Australia and New Zealand – it was great getting to know Elaine, Louise and Dan and working with Alan, Anthea, Aimee, Rosemary, Carole and Kerry and Stephen and his boys on different parts of the trip. I think we will all be glad to put our suitcases away for a while although I have to get a new one as it managed to lose its top handle when being lifted by an overenthusiastic taxi driver!
Thanks to everyone who has been reading this daily account, especially those who came and said nice things to me. I also want to thank those that commented on the blogs as well because that helped to keep me going too, especially late at night. All your support and interest is most appreciated.
As I indicated in yesterday’s blog, I will be doing an overview of the whole roadshow probably next week after I have had a few good nights of sleep! So stay tuned for more.