Sydney Genealogy Congress 2018 Day Two Report

16 March 2018

If you missed Day One, read about it here.

Day Two started with a sponsor presentation with Ancestry. Without the sponsors, it would be very hard for any group to put on an event like Congress so thanks to all sponsors, especially the major sponsors. Ancestry have some exciting things planned for 2018 and it really is amazing how the interest in DNA has grown over the last few years.

This was followed by Judy G Russell’s  (The Legal Genealogist) Just Three Generations. I have heard this talk before but it is just as riveting the second time around and I think you pick up more from it. We can forget what happened to our families within just three generations if we don’t keep on handing our stories down to the younger generations. There weren’t too many stories in my family which is why I think I wanted to know more. Blogging about my findings at least means what I have learnt will still be findable in the future.

After a delicious morning tea (catering was superb and plentiful) I went to Dianne Snowden‘s session on becoming a professional genealogist. The discussion was mainly around professional association’s and the value of being a member. Courses for genealogy in Australia were also discussed including the Society of Australian Genealogists certificate and diploma courses.  I did the Diploma back in 1990/1991 which seems a lifetime ago! How did we manage anything back then before the wonders of laptops, internet and digitised resources.

Lisa Louise Cooke‘s (Genealogy Gems) session on 5 Awesome Apps that help to captivate the non genealogist was a great follow on as it showed the wonders of technology and what you can do on your phone/tablet. It all looks so easy when someone tells you about it (probably the same for blogging) but with a little practice the apps would be useful to have and to show over dinner/coffee or visiting relatives. For those more techno than me, the apps Lisa talked about were Retype, Pocketbooth, Adobe Photoshop Fix and Adobe Spark Video, Animoto and Google Earth. Most were free or cheap.

After lunch (we all roamed the nearby cafes, restaurants and food courts, amazing who you bumped into). Those blue lanyards and name tags were a giveaway.

Angela Phippen gave an excellent talk on ‘Oops – I Should Have Checked the Original’. She had been researching the letters of Rachel Henning and discovered that the letters published in The Bulletin had been edited and there was more in the original letters on microfilm. A timely warning for us all to make sure that we do go back to original records and don’t rely just on indexes or published works.

Robynne our award winning bridge builder, photo courtesy Rosemary McKenzie

Robynne our award winning bridge builder, photo courtesy Rosemary McKenzie

My next session was Google More Than Just Search which was a round up of Google’s many features by Michelle Patient. She covered Alerts, Blogger, Books, Documents, Drive, Images, Keep, Earth, Newspapers, Translate and You Tube. Plenty to keep everyone busy until the next Congress.

The final session for the day was my own talk on Public Curators: Guardians of Family History Treasure which received some nice feedback from attendees. My presentation slides are on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations.

As the Conference Dinner was on, most people were eager to get away and ready for the dinner.

The conference dinner was huge with lots of tables, each of which had a Sydney Harbour Bridge Kit to assemble. One of our table’s enterprising young women raced out and bought some sparklers so that our final product looked like it does on New Year’s Eve. Although I must admit I did wonder if we would set off the fire alarms! The food was good, one free bottle of wine per table didn’t go too far on a table of drinkers (8 per table) and replacement bottles were a little pricey.

The after dimurder-at-myall-creek-9781925533484_hrnner speaker was Mark Tedeschi QC who spoke on the Myall Creek massacre, the subject of his latest book Murder at Myall Creek: the trial that defined a nation. A passionate speaker and I now have an autographed copy of his book. Quite a few attendees bought copies and his other books were also on sale. They came prepared with a credit card machine.

A great evening but a late night.

We cabbed it back to the hotel and crawled into bed after a very full on day. At least my two talks were over and I could just sit back and relax and enjoy the Congress. Day 3 to follow soon.

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