Mar 17, 2018

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Sydney Genealogy Congress 2018 Day Three Report

Drink coasters, speakers gift Sydney Congress 2018

Drink coasters, speakers gift Sydney Congress 2018

I was remiss in the Day 2 report by not mentioning the wonderful gift I received as a speaker. These wonderful drink coasters are almost too good to use. A lovely memento of a great Congress.

A plenary session with Paul Milner on English Research – 18th Century Sources and Indexes and he did an excellent job of squeezing a 100 years into 45 minutes. Regnal years, the calendar change in 1752, Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753 (all marriages had to be in the Church of England), during plagues there were mass burials, no records, and so on. Phillimore’s Atlas is now in Ancestry and don’t forget FamilySearch’s Jurisdiction maps. Dusty Docs is a website with links to British parish registers across the web. Paul even managed to talk about taxes.  Lots of things to follow up although I don’t have too many English lines that go back that far.

My next session was Judy G Russell (The Legal Genealogist) on Copyright and Copywrongs for genealogists and lots of good advice and tips here. After her usual disclaimer that this is not legal advice, she went on to explain various aspects of copyright and it is surprising the differences between the US and Australia. As most of us are looking for images to use with blogs, Judy suggested Flickr Commons as there are numerous participating organisations. Remember to attribute the source even if it is in the public domain.

My third session before lunch was with Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems) on Real Answers to Real Organisational Problems and again Lisa managed to keep us enthralled with various apps and software solutions. Being organised creates time (but never enough in my world) and she suggested Google My Activity to track what you have looked at. Plus don’t be distracted by BSO’s (Bright Shiny Objects) – if you find something interesting, just park it in Evernote or Onenote and go back to what you were doing. This is definitely my problem – distractions can be totally riveting. But make sure you schedule time to go back and look at them, another failing of mine. I was so motivated I went and purchased her 2nd edition The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox book and Google Earth DVDs – now I just have to find time to read, apply and do!

National Institute for Genealogical Studies group, photo courtesy Phillipa Paige

National Institute for Genealogical Studies group, photo courtesy Philipa Paige

At 1pm I had to be downstairs for the photo with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies students and course authors. This was the only photo opportunity that I managed to get to in time. Then we all wandered into the Food Court to see if we could find a table – ended upstairs sharing pizzas and trying to chat over the noise.

After lunch Paul Blake talked about London Genealogy or the Metropolitan Nightmare as he calls it. It was an excellent talk with maps showing why you need to known dates and places to know where to look. A new website for me was AIM25 which is archives in London and the M25 area. Deceased Online is good for London burials  and you can search for free but there is a fee to look. London Lives 1690-1800 and Connected Histories 1500-1900 were another two sites I noted but Paul covered an amazing range of resources in his 45 minutes.

Then it was Using Facebook for Genealogy with Michelle Patient and I had been hoping there would be some advanced tips on how to search within Facebook. But the session was primarily aimed at getting people started in Facebook with tips on privacy and security.

Between the two Pauls - Paul Blake on the left and Paul Milner on the right

Between the two Pauls – Paul Blake on the left and Paul Milner on the right

My final talk for the day was Jill Ball (GeniAus) on Managing Frugally: Free Tools for Genies and Family History Groups where she dazzled us with a wide array of resources. Yes you can manage a society without spending a cent. Jill did give a URL where her handout would be but I obviously did not hear it correctly. Must follow this up with her so that I can review it all again. Jill’s example was how the Hornsby Shire Family History Group manage on $0 – very inspiring.

Then there was an APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) meeting and as a member I attended. It was good to see Paul Milner and Judy G Russell also attend and talk about the benefits of membership which include networking and professional development.

After a very long day it was a quick dinner in the Food Court and an early night. Hard to believe that there was only one more day of Congress left.




  1. Shauna – your Congress reports are so useful – thanks for your efforts.

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