Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Full house at Hornsby

Tonight's was the best of the family history talks I have attended at Hornsby Library..

On phoning up to book a place this morning I was told that I was taking the last of the 60 places available. Arriving early I nabbed a front row seat and was soon joined by a lady who had sat near me at a previous session. There is a large group of regulars who attend the family history sessions organised by Neil Chippendale, the Local Studies Coordinator at Hornsby Library. At $5 including a cuppa or cordial and bikkies these represent excellent value. I wish Hornsby Library would host more of these events.

Although I had met Allan Murrin at Rootstech I had not heard him give a presentation. Allan was a relaxed, competent and down-to-earth speaker who engaged his audience with a natural warmth and touches of humour. His deep knowledge of his topic Familysearch was evident. Allan's use of Powerpoint was very good and his slides were attractive and easy to read.

Allan encouraged the audience to  "Move Forward" in their genealogy and specifically to embrace the new Familysearch. He recognised that change can be difficult but that by using resoources such as Familysearch we can find information quickly and have more time to analyse what we find.

Allan demonstrated with a couple of examples how to use both the ordinary and advanced search modes on Familysearch. He also pointed out that there is a huge number of resources available through the FamilySearch Library Catalog that are not yet indexed on Familysearch and that genealogists should look there for resources. He showed that there is a good number of Australian resources available in the catalog.

He also reminded us of the collection of Learning Resources  available from the site. This includes a wiki, online courses and a getting started guide. I only learnt a couple of new things but enjoyed the talk immensely as it helped me consolidate my knowledge and forced me  reflect on Familysearch and the wealth of resources they make available.

I take my hat off to Allan who demonstrated his "green" and "21st century genealogy" commitment by not handing out presentation notes but for giving the audience a URL from which they can download notes to their computer.

Congratulations to Allan and Neil for staging this event.

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