Australia History and Genealogy Roadshow Day Seven

19 November 2010

Unlock the Past logoToday 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. I wanted to visit Macquarie Park cemetery which is almost next door to where we are staying so I didn’t go with the others last night for dinner. I wandered up the road and entered the cemetery by a side gate and happily wandered around for nearly an hour until I realised that it was getting quite dark and even a bit spooky. As I started to head back out I was a bit apprehensive to see a car approaching me with the lights flashing until the driver pointed out to me that the cemetery had closed twenty minutes earlier and I needed to leave. Only trouble was the gates I had entered by were locked and I had to walk to the other entrance to get out. Not sure how they even knew I was out there, and I can’t help wondering what would have happened if I had been totally locked in for the night. I hadn’t even told anyone where I was going. Think I might keep my cemetery activities to the daytime in future!

Now to today’s sessions. I started off listening to Gail Davis from State Records New South Wales talking about Getting To Know State Records. She talked about the usual suspects and highlighted the various online indexes and how you need to read the explanatory information so that you know what is covered in each index. Gail also stressed the need to note your sources so that you can find a document again.

Also attended Jeremy Palmer’s talk on The Parish Chest and he gave a detailed account of the history of parishes and the types of documents you can find. It was only towards the end of his talk that he started to give examples of how we could find information on parishes ourselves and that was a bit rushed. I would have liked to have seen that at the beginning or more time spent on it. He gave out a handout with both books and websites that could be followed up. I loved his photo of a real parish chest!

Dan Lynch, Elaine Collins and Louise St Denis continued to get new fans with their talks so don’t forget to explore their respective websites for more information or see my earlier blogs. Rosemary Kopittke also did her talk on FindMyPast Australasia and I did two talks as usual and don’t forget that the handout is on my website under the Resources page.

It was also good to meet some of my Twitter friends there today and to also meet people who are actually reading these daily blogs on the roadshow. Sometimes when writing a blog, you wonder if anyone ever reads it so it is good to know there are people out there actually reading this!

New exhibitors in Sydney include the Society of Australian Genealogists with their always tempting book sales table, Inside History were also there in person, State Records New South Wales had a display table with free info sheets, The Master Genealogist Sydney User Group had a table as did staffed by Jeremy Palmer.

The North Ryde RSL Club is a great venue although the main room was a bit chilly today, but then all of Sydney seems a bit chilly for this time of year. I particularly like the fact that they have a yum cha restaurant so I was able to indulge that passion today, and last night’s dinner, after my cemetery experience, was a ‘to die for’ Mediterranean grilled seafood plate at the lovely Italian restaurant next door to the hotel.  For those wondering why I am finishing this blog with an account of my dining habits, I am responding to the feedback that there hasn’t been much food in my last few blogs. They know who they are!

Hard to believe there is only one more day of the Australian part of the Roadshow and then we are off to New Zealand, sadly without Dan Lynch. Apparently Rosemary and I will be delivering his talks in New Zealand and I for one, am a tad nervous about filling those shoes!  Until next time.


Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society. In 2009 Shauna received the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) Services to Family History Award for her achievements in Queensland, Canberra and Victoria.

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  1. Enjoyed meeting you today and also had fun at the show. I think I’ll dig out the winter woollies for the auditorium tomorrow.

  2. YES Shauna, we do read your blog posts! And I for one (and others i’m sure) was glad to see your opening line because the event was missing Aimee’s special touch (and her humor). Can’t help but smile with some sarcasm as you and others prepare to dress for the ‘cold’ temps tomorrow. Especially as I’ll head back to the northeastern USA in a couple days and likely be faced with daily temps half yours. But, there again, still warmer than what Louise will face in Toronto when she arrives home. So, I guess it’s all relative (no genealogy pun intended). Looking forward to a great Saturday.

  3. Glad i can fill Aimee’s shoes at least in part! Keep up the blog and don’t stay up too late doing it.

  4. I’m reading your blogs, love yum cha so think I’m a bit jealous, c.u. soon


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