fbpx

Review of Unlock the Past in Seattle One Day Seminar

21 September 2018

Seattle’s famous Sky Needle Sep 2018

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 tough choice of which session to attend. I am also registered for the recorded sessions, so once they become available, then I can see what I missed on the day.

I went with the DNA stream and listened to four talks by Blaine Bettinger:

  • Using Y-DNA and mtDNA to explore your ancestry
  • Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th century mysteries
  • Using Third Party Tools to Analyze Your Autosomal DNA
  • Phasing and Mapping Your DNA.

Overall Blaine was easy to understand and follow his examples but I wondered how basic his talks were to the majority of the audience. If you were totally new to the topic then it was a great introduction but if you were already across the basics and looking for more, then you may have been a little disappointed. The last two talks were most relevant for me but I was already aware of Gedmatch and DNA Painter and have phased my results. Understanding what all my matches mean and which ones to actively follow up is my challenge and I did pick up some pointers for when I next have time to sit down and analyse my results.

Seattle water front

I also went to Cyndi Ingle‘s The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper which was all about maximising your searches on the internet. Google searches web pages but doesn’t search dynamic databases where you enter your own search terms and results are collated at that point in time only. Advanced searching, use of wild cards and searching smaller individual databases within a bigger collection may turn up better results.

As a former archivist and librarian, it was a talk that I could really relate too and the searching techniques are what I try to demonstrate in my own talks. Although it is ever so tempting to just try our luck in the bigger search pools!

Maurice Gleeson was giving several talks on the Alaska cruise (different talks) but as I mentioned at the start, once the recorded stream is available I will be able to watch his talks on various aspects of Irish genealogy including immigration, BDMs, newspapers, gravestones, probate and genetic genealogy.

History Speaks, one of the USA exhibitors

The fourth speaker, Wayne Shepheard‘s talk was on Genealogy and the Little Ice Age (between AD 1300-1850). This period was characterised by substantially cooler world temperatures, unstable weather, more frequent and intense storms, and harsh living conditions which challenged food production. As that time period covers some of my known ancestors, it should be interesting to watch that webinar to understand more about what it was like to live at that time.

There were breaks during the day to look at the book stall and other exhibitors as well as to renew friendships with previous cruisers and to meet new people.

The Seattle Library was a great venue with a wonderful theatre for the main DNA sessions and a smaller room for the second stream. There were several options for lunch nearby and somehow I managed to pick a hotel just across the road from the library. My only complaint was that the venue was very cold and I had to return to the hotel to get a cardigan.

It was a good start to our Alaskan adventure and there are many things on my DNA to do list to follow up now that I am back home. Thanks to the Unlock the Past team and the speakers for a great day.




Related Posts

Trove Tuesday: the Hazards of Being female

Trove Tuesday: the Hazards of Being female

At the weekend while searching the British Newspaper Archive, I was shocked to discover that my 5X great grandmother Mary Hitchman, aged and infirm, died when she fell into the fireplace in 1809 in Oxfordshire, England. She was horrifically burned as it was some time...

Tossing out the family history binders

Tossing out the family history binders

Yes! I am finally doing it. It’s a little scary but I know it is the right thing for me. Ever since my shock cancer diagnosis in August 2019, I have been weeding and downsizing my family history records that reflect 44 years of research. A truly daunting task with a...

Genealife in Lock down

Genealife in Lock down

It's National Family History Month and I'm looking at the positives and the negatives of doing family history in covid times. It has been an interesting 18 months around the world with Covid raging, in some countries more than others. In Australia we have been...

Review on the Family history show 20 Feb 2021

Review on the Family history show 20 Feb 2021

In pre Covid times, I used to try and get to as many Australasian genealogy conferences as I could in person. Catch up with friends, meet speakers and network with colleagues. Travel may have disappeared for a while but all is not lost. One of the few benefits of...

Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.