Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scottish Ancestors

Although Family History Week is over there still seems to be a good lot of genealogy events happening in and around Sydney. Last night I travelled to my local library at Hornsby for a workshop presented by Jeremy Palmer from Anzestry.

Family Historians at Hornsby

Jeremy Palmer
The Library's meeting room was packed for this fully subscribed event.  Jeremy gave a talk on "How to trace your Scottish Ancestry." As with his Irish talk Jeremy spent some time discussing Australian Records before moving on to Scottish Records.This appeared to affect the end of his presentation where he didn't have time to discuss in depth some of the resources listed on the handout distributed to the audience. Jeremy's presentation style has matured since I last heard him; he was confident and clear with a few touches of humour. His talk was supported with a few slides and screenshots.
Slide - Scottish Census Dates

Those present appeared to enjoy Jeremy's talk. It is very difficult, in an audience with a range of experience and expertise, to pitch a talk to all paticipant levels.   I think that if the title of the talk was "Introduction to Scottish Research" or  "A brief overview of resources for Scottish Research" the content of the talk would have been clearer to prospective attendees. Although I only learnt of one new resource from this talk (http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/ Statistical Accounts of Scotland Online) I enjoyed the event. I would perhaps have mentioned the great value to be gained from using online collections of digitised newspapers,  added Chris Paton's new book, Researching Scottish Family History to the useful books list and given links to major Scottish genealogy blogs but one can't keep going ad nauseum!

Host, Neil Chippendale, chatting with visitor
It is always rewarding to attend an event for genealogists where there is an atmosphere of camaderie. I wish to thank Neil Chippendale who is responsible for local history at Hornsby Library and his colleague Niall who warmly welcomed all their visitors. Neil, as Hornsby's Local Studies Coordinator, works tirelessly for the local community in his role. Thankyou, Neil, for organising the series of Family History talks at the library, your efforts in pulling all this together within tight budgetry constraints is to be applauded. That the talks are fully subscribed is a testament to their usefulness.

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