Sep 28, 2018

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Report on Unlock the Past Alaska Genealogy Cruise – Part Two...

Report on Unlock the Past Alaska Genealogy Cruise – Part Two

This is the second blog post on my recent genealogy cruise to Alaska – read Part One here. Day 5 started with an amazing trip up Tracy Arm Fiord and there is nothing like looking out the window (porthole) and watching ice bergs drift past. Had breakfast with a window seat in the Windjammer and just watched all the ice drifting past. It was as the Captain predicted, too much ice for us to go all the way...

Sep 23, 2018

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Report on Unlock the Past Alaska Genealogy Cruise – Part One...

Report on Unlock the Past Alaska Genealogy Cruise – Part One

The Unlock the Past (UTP) genealogy cruise to Alaska was seven nights with two full days and one half day of seminars plus an evening seminar each night of the cruise. Given the number of sessions attended, I am dividing this report into two separate blog posts. A number of UTP cruisers also attended the UTP in Seattle seminar the day before we left – read my review of that day here. Day 1 of the cruise was...

Sep 21, 2018

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Review of Unlock the Past in Seattle One Day Seminar...

Review of Unlock the Past in Seattle One Day Seminar

In conjunction with the Unlock the Past genealogy cruise to Alaska (a separate blog post to follow), there was a one day seminar in Seattle open to cruise registrants as well as those in the Seattle area of the USA. There were four speakers – Blaine Bettinger, Maurice Gleeson, Cyndi Ingle and Wayne Shepheard. The event was also live streamed and recorded for those unable to attend. As with any conference with multiple streams, it was often a...

Jun 12, 2018

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Report on Unlock the Past Perth genealogy seminar, 8-9 Jun 2018...

Report on Unlock the Past Perth genealogy seminar, 8-9 Jun 2018

Unlock the Past held a genealogy and local history two day seminar in Perth on 8-9 June 2018 at the State Library of Western Australia. Friday’s program started with a comprehensive talk on Immigration to Australia by Kerry Farmer. This covered everything from the arrival of convicts, free settlers, emigration schemes and certainly gave the audience  lots to think about. In the break someone said that their ancestor still ‘swam’ and I think there will always be those...

Aug 16, 2017

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Report on Unlock the Past PNG military & genealogy cruise...

Report on Unlock the Past PNG military & genealogy cruise

There were 4 at sea days and these had sessions running from 9am to 5pm most days plus there was at least one, sometimes more, talks from 8pm onwards. It was often a rush to fit in dinner, the cruise ship show and the after dinner talks! Who said cruise ships were relaxing, obviously not anyone on an Unlock the Past cruise who wanted to attend all the sessions. There were about 90 of us and most sessions...

Dec 30, 2016

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2016 Genealogy Reflections: 2017 Genealogy Expectations...

2016 Genealogy Reflections: 2017 Genealogy Expectations

Genealogy and technology just keeps on getting better and better. When I first started researching the family history in 1977 who would have imagined that we could do so much simply sitting at home. In March 2017 I will be celebrating 40 years of passionate and continuous family history research. What started as a hobby became a lifelong career and past time that has given me many good friends around the world. I can’t see that interest and passion...

Oct 12, 2016

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Report on Day Two of Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Expo Adelaide 8 Oct 2016...

Report on Day Two of Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Expo Adelaide 8 Oct 2016

Unlock the Past held a two day history and genealogy expo in Adelaide on 7-8 Oct 2016. There is a separate report for Day One and this post completes the report on the whole expo. Before the talks got underway, I visited some more of the exhibitors. Although I have no Wends/Sorbs in my own family history, I found the Wend/Sorb Society of South Australia‘s stall fascinating. The costumes were eye catching but there was also a wealth...

Oct 11, 2016

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Report on Day One of Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Expo, Adelaide 7 Oct 2016...

Report on Day One of Unlock the Past History  &  Genealogy Expo, Adelaide 7 Oct 2016

Unlock the Past held a two day history and genealogy expo in Adelaide and as this was a huge event, I am dividing the report into two, one for each day. Day One attracted lots of people, not only those in Adelaide and South Australia but I also caught up with friends from WA, VIC, NSW, QLD and even a couple from New Zealand. Not to mention meeting lots of new people too. It was amazing how many people...

Mar 11, 2016

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Review of 10th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise to New Zealand and Southern Australia...

Review of 10th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise to New Zealand and Southern Australia

This is an overview report of Unlock the Past’s 10th Genealogy Cruise. I have already done three daily reports. If you missed them, catch up with Days 1-6 here Days 7-12 here Days 13-19 here. Overall it was a great cruise and not just because I managed not to fall over and hurt myself this time. It was an excellent genealogy program with 79 lectures that you could attend, with no two sessions on at the same time. No...

Mar 9, 2016

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Genealogy Cruising Days 13 -19 with Unlock the Past around New Zealand and Southern Australia...

Genealogy Cruising Days 13 -19 with Unlock the Past around New Zealand and Southern Australia

This is the third post of a series of blog posts on the 10th Unlock the Past cruise to New Zealand and southern Australia through to Fremantle in Western Australia. If you missed Days 1-6, catch up here and Days 7-12 here. Day 13 was in Melbourne and as we used to live there, I took the opportunity to have a lazy day on the ship with a swim, spa and a bit of reading. The after dinner speaker...

Mar 7, 2016

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Genealogy Cruising Days 7-12 with Unlock the Past around New Zealand and Southern Australia...

Genealogy Cruising Days 7-12 with Unlock the Past around New Zealand and Southern Australia

This is a continuing series of blog posts on the 10th Unlock the Past cruise to New Zealand and southern Australia through to Fremantle in Western Australia. If you missed Days 1-6, catch up here. Day 7 was at Port Chalmers, just a short bus ride away from Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand. We have stayed there quite a few times so we elected to stay on board for the ship’s entertainment. It is surprising...

Feb 26, 2016

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Genealogy Cruising Days 1-6 with Unlock the Past around New Zealand and Southern Australia...

Genealogy Cruising Days 1-6 with Unlock the Past around New Zealand and Southern Australia

This is the 10th Unlock the Past genealogy cruise and I am excited to be on this one because I have been wanting to hear Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist in person for some time. Plus there is a variety of other fantastic speakers covering a wide range of topics. It is an 18 night cruise around New Zealand then across to Sydney and then over to Fremantle via Melbourne and Adelaide. We flew into Auckland late Friday afternoon...

Nov 14, 2015

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A Baltic Genealogy Adventure with Unlock the Past...

A Baltic Genealogy Adventure with Unlock the Past

This report on my Baltic genealogy cruise with Unlock the Past in July 2015 is a bit late but I hope that people will still be interested in what I learnt from a great geneaconference at sea. For those who don’t know I had a fall while on a shore excursion in Germany (sadly just the second port of call and the 4th day of a 14 day cruise) and broke my right elbow. After being patched up...

Apr 14, 2015

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Genealogy Society Seminars – Why You Should Have Them...

Genealogy Society Seminars – Why You Should Have Them

At the weekend I traveled to Maryborough (QLD) to give three presentations to the Maryborough Family Heritage Research Institute. I don’t normally report on seminars where I am the only speaker but I think there are some wider lessons here for other genealogy and family history societies. The seminar was originally organised for a weekend in February but Cyclone Marcia was threatening the Queensland coast and the seminar was moved to 11 April. Whenever you reschedule an event,...

Nov 3, 2014

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Norfolk Island History & Genealogy Conference 29-31 Oct 2014...

Norfolk Island History & Genealogy Conference 29-31 Oct 2014

This was an Unlock The Past event held on the historic and picturesque Norfolk Island, an Australian territory in the Pacific. Australians with convict ancestry may have had an ancestor or two who were sent to either the First Settlement 1788-1814 or the Second Settlement 1825-1856 – brief outline of history here. This conference was mostly about the history associated with the First Settlement with a little bit on the Second Settlement and some overall genealogy topics. As...

Jun 25, 2014

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52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 20 Mining Records...

This blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world. The 52 different...

Feb 24, 2014

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The Future of Genealogy (as seen from Feb 2014)...

On the recent Unlock the Past genealogy cruise, Thomas MacEntee chaired a panel session looking at the future of genealogy. The panellists were myself (Shauna Hicks from Queensland, Mike Murray from Western Australia, Chris Paton from Scotland and Kirsty Gray from England. Thomas had a set of six questions which he put to each panellist. This session was of great interest to me so even though I was on the panel, I tried to make notes of what...

Feb 21, 2014

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Review of 4th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise Feb 2014...

The cruise left from Sydney then on to Melbourne, then Adelaide, then Hobart and finally back to Sydney. This was my 4th cruise with Unlock the Past as a cruise presenter and as usual I will do an overall review of the cruise. Perhaps the question I was asked most was, why go to Australian ports as it is much more exotic to travel to Pacific Islands such as Lifou, Noumea, Fiji and Vanuatu. Well I wanted to...

Jan 1, 2014

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Accentuate the Positive Geneameme 2013...

Well known geneablogger Geniaus has again invited the genealogy blogging community to her annual Accentuate the Positive Geneameme. As usual I can’t resist the challenge so below are my responses to her twenty questions. Anyone can join in this activity in their own blog post but don’t forget to let Geniaus know too so that she can link all responses into her original blog post. Write as much or as little as you want. Remember to accentuate the...

Dec 23, 2013

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Genealogy Aspirations 2014

This year has gone incredibly fast! It has been busy with settling into our new home on Bribie Island and doing some travel as usual. Regular readers will know that I like to review my genealogy goals at the end of a year and to set myself some new genealogy goals for the coming year. So how did I go with my Genealogy Aspirations 2013? The five aspirations (in brief) were: 1. As I unpack to identify and...

Feb 25, 2013

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Third Unlock the Past genealogy cruise review...

This will be an overview of the whole cruise as I’ve already given detailed account of the genealogy sessions in my Diary of an Australian Genealogist blog – check out Days 1-5 and Days 6-9. As this was my fifth cruise and third genealogy cruise I’m usually a very happy cruiser but I have to say I was a bit disappointed with some of the Royal Caribbean policies (we haven’t sailed with them before). Of the nine nights...

Jul 5, 2012

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Overview of Unlock the Past Queensland Expo Jun 2012...

Regular readers will know that I reported on the Unlock the Past Queensland Expo in Brisbane 25-27 Jun 212 on a daily basis through my Diary of an Australian Genealogist blog. If you missed it, here are links to Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Expo Exhibitors reports. In this blog I’m reflecting on the expo overall and up front, I have to say it was another great genealogy experience although my hometown of Brisbane turned on...

Feb 29, 2012

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Darwin Family History Seminar

While up in Darwin for the War Comes to Australia tour, I also took part in the Unlock the Past genealogy seminar in conjunction with the Northern Territory Library and the Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory. It was a full day with Rosemary Kopittke and I giving three talks each with small presentations from the Library, the Society and Unlock the Past. Usually I am the only one blogging these events and it is always hard to...

Feb 29, 2012

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Battlefield Tours – War Comes to Australia: 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin...

Well I am just back from my first ever battlefield tour and I’m hooked – it’s like genealogy cruising, you get to travel and learn more about things you have an interest in. Plus I didn’t have to do housework for almost a week! I was privileged to be a speaker on the Unlock the Past and Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours War Comes to Australia tour to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin. As usual...

Dec 11, 2011

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Unlock the Past Scottish Irish Genealogy Cruise 2011 Overview...

Regular readers will know that I flew to Auckland New Zealand on 18 November for the  Unlock the Past history & genealogy cruise with a Scottish Irish theme. Throughout the trip I maintained a daily account of the genealogy sessions as well as the onshore excursions and shipboard life. They weren’t sent every day due to no affordable internet  for most of the time at sea but whenever I could use my Australian or New Zealand modems I...

Dec 3, 2011

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Two Full On Genealogy At Sea Days

Those following my Diary of an Australian Genealogist blogs will know that I am recording my touristy adventures there along with reports on the few genealogy sessions we have when in port. For the days we are totally at sea with no touristy distractions, I am putting those session reports on this website. Day Ten The extra hour of sleep last night was good and the day started with Chris Paton talking about Scottish Censuses 1841-1939 and then...

Nov 23, 2011

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Genealogy Cruising Day One at Sea

It was great to see so many people turn up for my talk At Sea Then and Now and I appreciated the feedback throughout the day as I kept running into other Unlock the Past cruisers (now easily identifiable by our lanyards and name tags). Also interesting to see how many others on board also ask about what we are doing – so many people seem to be doing genealogy or are interested in it. Although I missed...

Nov 20, 2011

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Genealogy Cruising Again – Day One...

I write another blog, Diary of an Australian Genealogist, and note my daily activities briefly there but for the larger seminar reports, I will be putting them on my website. So for those interested in the Unlock the Past Scottish/Irish history and genealogy cruise over the next two weeks there will be updates in both blogs. I had thought I would do it differently, but the length of this report changed my mind. Saturday was the first onshore...

Sep 4, 2011

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Review Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Expo, Geelong 2-3 Sep 2011...

Well it was a busy two days at the last for 2011 Unlock the Past (UTP) history and genealogy expo in Geelong on 2-3 September. Over 600 people attended and there were over 70 exhibitors and two streams of talks, some for a $5 fee and others free – so something for everyone. Those who pre-booked also had free entry while those who turned up on the day paid $5 entry. You could have a very cheap genealogy...

Jul 24, 2011

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SA & Victorian Border Genealogy Expo review...

Well I have arrived back home after attending the Unlock the Past SA & Victorian Border history and genealogy expo at Mount Gambier. As usual I have a notebook bulging with new ideas and a list of things I want to follow up. There were over 40 exhibitors and the talks didn’t start till an hour after the doors opened at 9am so that gave people a chance to have a quick look round. As there were so...

Jun 5, 2011

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NSW History & Genealogy Expo, Coffs Harbour Day 2...

Day 2 of the Unlock the Past Northern NSW history and genealogy at Coffs Harbour expo was another great day. One of the reasons I have particularly enjoyed this expo is the great venue (the C-ex Coffs Services Club) – there was a bar area near both theatres selling reasonably priced sandwiches, cups of soup, tea, coffee, cakes and muffins which were all delicious. Even better, there was a breakout area with tables and chairs where you could...

Jun 4, 2011

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NSW History & Genealogy Expo, Coffs Harbour Day 1...

The doors opened at 9.00am on 3 June for the first day of the Unlock the Past history and genealogy expo in beautiful Coffs Harbour. I can’t believe it is so warm here for winter. We have been checking it out as a possible retirement spot next year. It’s in our top 5 spots! By 9.30am there were lots of people checking out the various exhibitors which included: Archive Digital Books Australasia Clean Cruising Coffs Harbour City Library...

May 17, 2011

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Researching & Writing History

I attended the Unlock the Past Researching & Writing History Seminar in Adelaide on 13-14 May 2011. I’m starting to wonder if I attend too many genealogy seminars – why? At this seminar I caught up with people I met at the Genealogical Society of Victoria‘s Australasian Scottish Conference in Melbourne a few weeks ago and I met the husband of a friend I caught up with at the Auslib Sense of Place local studies conference in Sydney a...

Apr 2, 2011

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Unlock The Past’s Brisbane seminar...

It was a bit strange turning up for an afternoon of genealogy talks only a few days after the Unlock the Past history and genealogy cruise. There were quite a few friendly faces from the cruise and perhaps over a 100 other attendees. It was a free half day seminar featuring interstate speakers and there was an option to stay on for a Battlefield Tours and Cruises wine and cheese information evening. I only stayed for the afternoon...

Mar 28, 2011

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Genealogy Cruising – Why I Am A Fan!...

Below is my original post – I have now discovered Day 6 and Overview blogs written by Aimee which give her final points on her experiences during the cruise. Max and I found the smoke free side of the ship early on and I don’t think either of us will go close to only gaining .5kg like Aimee! The other point that I sadly neglected to make in my original post was to thank Alan, Anthea, Alona,  Rosemary...

Dec 3, 2010

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Australia and New Zealand History & Genealogy Roadshow Overview...

Well it is now  a week since I returned home after the 20 day trip around Australia and New Zealand on the Unlock The Past History & Genealogy roadshow. The eleven days of the roadshow were blogged daily and I was surprised at the following the daily blog attracted with many people coming up to me and commenting on my adventures. Statistics show that there were 1800 visits with 1000 unique visitors which is simply amazing. Many people...

Nov 24, 2010

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Australia and New Zealand History and Genealogy Roadshow Day Eleven...

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...

Nov 23, 2010

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Australia and New Zealand History & Genealogy Roadshow Day Ten...

I seem to have a sixth sense when travelling as I woke up 15 minutes before the alarm went off at 6.00am so that I would be ready for the 8.00am departure from our Christchurch hotel. Today I gave myself time to get some breakfast and a final walk around Cathedral Square. After a slight delay at the airport we were on our way to Wellington and the tenth day of the Unlock The Past history and genealogy...

Nov 22, 2010

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Australia and New Zealand History & Genealogy Roadshow Day Nine...

After the final sessions of the Unlock the Past roadshow in Australia, Rosemary, Louise and I went in to the historic Rocks area of Sydney where we met up with Elaine. We then explored the various streets around the Rocks ending up in a Chinese restaurant on the waterfront for dinner (a shared Peking duck for the foodies reading this). We were even treated to a display of fireworks over the Sydney Opera House and the old sailing...

Nov 20, 2010

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Australia & New Zealand History and Genealogy Roadshow Day Eight...

Well the Australian section of the  Unlock The Past history and genealogy roadshow is now over. It was another great day in Sydney where I found myself making lots of notes of things I want to follow up. The first session I went to was Heather Garnsay from the Society of Australian Genealogists talking about the wonderful treasures in the Society’s Library and how to access them. I was so inspired that I am now trying to work...

Nov 19, 2010

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Australia History and Genealogy Roadshow Day Seven...

Today the Roadshow was in Sydney and not quite the same without Unlock The Past‘s efficient organiser Aimee staffing the registration desk. Sadly other commitments meant that she couldn’t be with us for the last part of the Roadshow and we are missing her already. On a brighter note we do have long time colleague Carole  Riley (of Carole’s Canvas fame) helping us out. Before I get into today’s sessions, I really must confess to last night’s activities....

Nov 18, 2010

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Australia History and Genealogy Roadshow Day Six...

Today’s Unlock The Past Roadshow was in Brisbane so it was really good to catch up with a number of my old genealogy colleagues and to listen to local talks. First up was Sue Reid from the Queensland Family History Society (QFHS) talking about the benefits of membership and how they can help people with their research. The Society has a wide range of publications and an impressive online bookshop which includes their many publications. Next up was...

Nov 16, 2010

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Australia History and Genealogy Roadshow Day Five...

Day 5 of the Unlock The Past history and genealogy Roadshow saw a big turn out of Canberrans for another excellent program of speakers and talks. There seemed to be a higher ratio of males to females at this venue than at others which was interesting. Must be the dynamics of Canberra’s population. As I have seen all the international speakers’ talks now  I only attended those in the local stream. Starting the day was Cora Num‘s excellent...

Nov 13, 2010

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Australia History and Genealogy Roadshow Day Four...

Well Day 4 of the Roadshow is over and I am now wondering if I will make it to Day 11 (it is actually 20 days counting the travel days) – I feel incredibly weary yet my brain is buzzing with so much new information. Also great today to catch up with a lot of my Melbourne friends and colleagues. We rearranged the lectern this morning and I was pleased with my presentation Archives You May Not Know...

Nov 12, 2010

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Australia History and Genealogy Roadshow Day Three...

Day three of the History and Genealogy Roadshow in Australia was in Melbourne and as usual I was the first speaker in the alternate stream. Sometimes it’s not good to be the first speaker because if things are going to go wrong, it is during the first talk. Just before I started I realised there was no water and glasses for the speakers. Rosemary kindly got me a glass but then we realised there was no where to...

Nov 11, 2010

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Australia & New Zealand Genealogy Roadshow – Day Two...

Yesterday was Day 2 of the Unlock The Past history and genealogy roadshow in Perth, Western Australia and it was another great day. Started at 8.30am and finished at 9.30pm so there were a few tired but pleased exhibitors at the end of the day. I was again the first speaker in the second stream of talks and my presentation was on the Treasures of the National Library of Australia which was very well received and one gentleman...

Nov 9, 2010

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Australia & New Zealand Genealogy Roadshow – Day One...

Well the first day of the Roadshow from my perspective was a great success because I have a notebook bulging with new ideas to follow up. The trouble is that I probably won’t get to do that until I return home at the end of November – just hope I still understand what I have written! I was busy giving three of my own talks, all of which were new, so I was really interested in seeing how...