Friday, October 18, 2019

The Conference Checklist - Rootstech London

When I usually attend a Rootstech event it is a shorter trip from Australia to Salt Lake City followed by a spot of touristing in the USA. This time Rootstech London comes at the beginning of an eight week holiday that takes us to the US, South America and Antarctica so getting ready is a real challenge as I need clothes and gear for so many climates. I also need space for my two day shopping spree in Miami.

I had my hair cut very short but will it last the distance? Now I need to look at the checklist I did for the last geneaconference, THE Genealogy Show 2019, that I attended in England  and modify it. 

If you are looking for me at Rootstech just seek out the little old lady with the distinctive bag.

The GeniAus bag

Here is my list. Highlighted is what else I must still do
  • Airport transfer - Booked. After a 23+ hour flight we want our transfer to the hotel to be stress free. 
  • Books - A couple of unread books that I can swap on our cruise ship once read. Have also download a few eBooks from the local library onto my phone.
  • Purchase and pack breakfast bars, liquid breakfasts and healthy snacks for quick meals.
  • Pack Clothes - always a challenge
  • Deliver Paddy to his second home where he loves playing with his mate Freddo.
  • Empty the Frig and Pantry - In Progress - they already resemble Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.
  • Flights - Booked, Seats are allocated so no need to book in online.
  • Foreign Currency - Task delegated to Mr GeniAus. Have GBP and USD.
  • Hotel Accommodation - All booked.
  • Luggage - Two small suitcases are easier than one large one for an old girl to manage, I take one small carryon for the plane basically because I can't pack batteries and laptop in luggage for the hold. I can't understand why so many people carry such large bags on board - they must pack the kitchen sink. I could make do with a large handbag.
  • Maps - will rely on Google maps on my phone and 
  • Mobile Phone and Battery Pack - We have a plan that gives us international roaming and a small data allowance. It is handy to be able to phone Mr GeniAus when I lose him in a cemetery or shopping mall. I had a dinosaur battery pack that is so heavy. Now have a lighter new one that give two charges.
  • A Notebook - I lose loose bits of paper.
  • Oyster Card for travel on London network
  • Passport and ESTA (for the US) - Already in travel handbag with sleeping pills for the plane.
  • Pegs and Laundry Soap -  No need to buy expensive "travel" products. 
  • Pencil Case - a few pens and pencils and a small ruler that has a magnifying window(Handy for reading small print or old handwriting).
Nifty ruler with magnifying window 
  • Phone the Banks and Amex:  Need to let them know we are travelling, helps them monitor for fraud - Done.
  • Pills and potions - All sorted, have packed an emergency 'just in case' kit of favourites. A few days supply in handbag in case we part company with our bags.
  • Rental Car - another job for Mr GeniAus, done months ago. 
  • Compile list of research tasks for The National Archives - In progress in my Family Historian Database.
  • Clean off all my SD cards - have backed up all photos on them to two hard drives.
Storage for my SD Cards
  • Technology: Digital camera and charger, Laptop, Portable 4 TB HDD Drive ( I download and tag my photos religiously most days), Chargers, Universal Adapters. Most of this stuff lives in a purpose designed case that doesn't get unpacked between trips.  Of course my mouse will be travelling with me, I can't get by without my mouse.
  • Scan Travel Docs - Include copies of prescriptions for drugs and glasses, health report from GP, Passport, Credit cards, Driver's Licence. Save onto phone, hard drive, Google Drive and computer. Mr GeniAus carries a hard copy of files as well.
  • Should I take a Selfie Stick? I have a cheap, light one and a quality reliable one that is heavy.
  • Travel insurance - Renewed.
  • Walking stick - needed for cities with cobblestone and uneven paths.
  • Water bottle - Can fill once I have passed through security at airports.
My Travel Tech setup 
Specifically for Rootstech
  • Find out names of Aussies who are travelling to Rootstech London -- have set up a Facebook Group and organised a pre-conference dinner 
  • Blogger Beads - which ones will I wear?
  • Follow fellow Show attendees on Twitter - added a few new genimates to my feed already.
  • Conference Registration - Pass downloaded and printed
  • A light day bag for conference - Packed
  • GeniAus Business Cards 
  • GeniAus Ribbons 
  • A Notebook - I find writing notes helps me to reinforce my learning
  • Rootstech App - Downloaded
  • Schedule - Have put everything into my Google Calendar. Needs to be accessible on my phone.
  • Technology - I take a few extra toys when attending a conference as I may want to blog, vlog or interview genimates includes A dual headed microphone for interviewing with my phone. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Trove Tuesday - Sydney to London

This time next week I will be arriving at Gatwick as a bleary eyed traveller who has survived the 23hours 45 minutes flight (if there are no hiccups along the way) from Sydney to London. While we moan and complain about our long haul flights we need to remember our ancestors whose journeys took way longer than ours do now.

A search of Trove gives us an insight into our ancestors' journeys.

1926 'FUTURE OF AIR TRAVEL.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 11 November, p. 11. , viewed 15 Oct 2019,
You can continue reading this lengthy article from the link above.

1936 'REDUCED FARES FOR AIR TRAVEL TO LONDON', The Evening News (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1924 - 1941), 15 August, p. 1. , viewed 15 Oct 2019,

1935 'AIR TRAVEL', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 13 June, p. 6. , viewed 15 Oct 2019,

1946 'CHEAP AIR TRAVEL PLAN TO AUSTRALIA', The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), 31 January, p. 1. , viewed 15 Oct 2019,
The Measuring Worth website tells me that 220 Australian pounds in 1946 would have been worth $AUD14,246.00. in 2018. The Webjet website tells me that tomorrow I could fly Return Economy to London for  $1146 and on Qantas for $1522. A Business Class return fare is available for $5431. 

In comparison my Business Class flight next week looks like good value and I am sure it will be more comfortable than a 1946 flight. I know it will be faster than a flight in 1946.

By 1957 flight times were reduced to a mere 28 hours, much closer to what we have to endure today.

1957 'Sydney-London Air Travel Time To Be Reduced', The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), 3 January, p. 3. , viewed 15 Oct 2019,

Just Seven Days to go - Rootstech London

This time next week I will be arriving at Gatwick for Rootstech London as a bleary eyed traveller who has survived the 23hours 45 minutes flight (if there are no hiccups along the way) from Sydney to London.

Ready for Rootstech
My Dance Card is filling up. I need to keep track of my movements and communicate with genimates whilst in London. I will be using the Rootstech App on my phone to keep in touch with Rootstech news and announcements and follow the speaker program. I will be keeping in contact with Aussies at Rootstech and Rootstech Ambassadors in Facebook Groups and employing Facebook Messenger for messaging. My mobile phone plan allows me to make calls to and from 70 countries so I can also use that.

Twitter will be the tool I use to share news and thoughts during the conference - I just don't have time to blog. Of course I will be grabbing folk for interviews too.

I will be using my Google calendar as my main scheduling  tool. This is for a few reasons:
  • I have a shared calendar with Mr GeniAus who is travelling with me so it makes sense for us both to use the same app that we can access on all of our devices. 
  • The Rootstech app only allows one to schedule events within the Rootstech time frame whereas the Google calendar option gives me a platform I can use for all of my 8 days in London.
  • After the event it's easy for me to download my Google calendar into my digital diary that I keep on Excel (read about it here:
I have a pre-conference checklist that I use and modify each year (the latest was for THE Genealogy Show in Birmingham - I need to take a look at that plus look at the Rootstech London sessions that are must attends for me. Watch out for my next Rootstech London blog post.

Announcing the winner - VGA Virtual Conference free registration


The Virtual Genealogical Association is a global organisation for the 21st century that fulfils the needs of family historians:

  • whose circumstances make it difficult to attend local genealogical society meetings
  • who prefer online presentations, special interest groups (SIGs), conferences, and socializing
  • with an interest in connecting, networking, and mentoring with global genealogists.

The Association's virtual conference will be held from November 1-3, 2019! 

As the Convenor of the New South Wales Chapter of of the Association I had a FREE Registration Code for the conference to share with one of my genimates.

I randomly chose a winner from those folk who had entered my competition and was pleased to see that a fellow Australian, Michelle Nichols was the winner. Congratulations to Michelle; when I asked her if she would accept the prize she said "Yes please!!!! Very pleased to hear this news."

If you still wish to be a winner then you can register for this event. See below

Speakers include Judy G Russell and Blaine Bettinger from the US,  Fiona Brooker from New Zealand, Ursula Krause from Germany, Audrey Collins from the UK and Helen Smith from Australia. 

Australians who may be sleeping while the live sessions are broadcast will not miss out on any of the sessions. Attendees will have access to recordings & handouts for all sessions for 6 months following the event - watch any time, any place, on any device

Closed captioning via will be added to all sessions and made available to attendees within 7 days of the event. 

Cost is reasonable at $US59 for VGA members & $US79 for non-members. 


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