Saturday, May 18, 2019

Equipped for THE Genealogy Show 2019?

I try to travel light!
As I prepare for my trip to the UK to attend THE Genealogy Show 2019 I need to think about packing. Prior  to THE Show Mr GeniAus and I are doing a Garden Tour, visiting some UK archives and graves of the ancestors and  catching up with a cousin. I anticipate being exhausted after THE Show so we'll be boarding one of our favourite cruise ships for some R&R.

My cases are open on the floor of a spare room and the bed is littered with clothing, medications and other essentials! 

This is what I must remember:
  • Airport transfer - After a 23 hour flight we want our transfer to the hotel to be stress free.
  • Books - I'll take a couple of unread books that I can swap on our cruise ship once read. Will also download a few eBooks from the local library onto my phone.
  • Purchase breakfast bars, liquid breakfasts and healthy snacks for quick meals - packed.
  • 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 Euros.
  • 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 - Taking a UK road atlas and Western Europe SatNav (if you are renting a car for more than a week buy your own SatNav - works out cheaper).
  • 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.
  • Passport - 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.
  • Plastic Plates and Cutlery -  Just two sets.There's nothing like a picnic dinner of bread, cheese,tomatoes and ham.
  • 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 THE Show
  • Follow fellow Show attendees on Twitter - added a few new genimates to my feed already.
  • Find out names of Aussies who are travelling to THE Show -- wonder if I have missed anyone?
  • Conference Registration - Done
  • GeniAus Business Cards - Packed
  • GeniAus Ribbons - Packed
  • Blogger Beads - which ones will I wear?
  • Comfortable, professional looking outfit and shoes for when I'm on stage.
  • A light day bag for conference - Packed
  • A Schedule - Haven't studied the program in depth but need to have a spreadsheet in Google Docs or put everything into my Google Calendar. Needs to be accessible on my phone.
  • Back up my presentations - Still fiddling with the order of my slides.Need to prune a few too.
  • Technology - I take a few extra toys when attending a conference as I may want to blog, vlog or interview genimates. A dual headed microphone for interviewing with my phone, my headset and microphone and a webcam - all packed. 
Any further suggestions?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

An Academic Family?

2019 is a year of travel for Mr GeniAus and me. As we trot around the globe I try to keep up with Geneanews and most days manage to share some Geneagems on my Facebook Page.

I somehow missed the release of the video about The Society Of Australian Genealogists  that I am sharing below. The intended audience of the video was retirees or seniors so those (except for Heather Garnsey) who featured in the video were closer to 80 than 18.

I'm a retiree who volunteers on The Education Committee at SAG and each year present a few talks, webinars and workshops on their Education program.

The Society, however, is not just for seniors. I think that I am the oldest person on the Education Committee! Many of the people who attend my talks are below retirement age and the person at the helm of the Society, our President, Melissa Hulbert, is young enough to be my daughter.

The narrator in the video described the Society Members as an Academic Family,  that sounds a bit offputting and pretentious to me. We members are not all academics we are a diverse community of passionate people and lifelong learners who are keen to discover our roots and share our ancestors' stories.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Silly Me!

I set the Six Feet Under Downunder site up in February and then took off to a genealogy conference, Rootstech,  in the United States. I came home for a couple of weeks and then took a cruise around China, South Korea and Japan.
The site is a listing of Australian Burial and Cremation indexes and records available online. I hope that the many generous genies around Australia who know of such indexes of  memorials, headstones and burial sites will share them with me so they can be loaded on the site. I will initially only link to free sites that are available online, sites that one can visit via the internet.
Now that I am home for a few more weeks I thought I would see how the site stats were going and add a few more resources to the pages. I was flabbergasted, there were absolutely no visitors, not one person had accidentally stumbled on my site!!
I fired up a different browser from the one in which I usually work and pasted in the URL to find that this site was Private and I could not access!private
The site settings have now been changed so that YOU can now access my site,

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Genealogists for Families.

You may have seen the Kiva tab on the top of my blog page but have you ever clicked on the link to see what it is all about?

I have been a member of The Genealogists for Families Team at Kiva for nearly 8 years and in that time I have made 188 microloans to people in third world countries. Genimates who have joined Kiva as a result of my invitations have made another 158 loans. It is so easy to make a difference.

This week I made two more loans. How about joining me in the team. Click here for details

Sunday, April 28, 2019

DNA Reinforcement

When it comes to DNA I need all the help I can get. 

I started out on the DNA Trail when I purchased my first DNA kits in April 2011 and since Rootstech 2011, when I attended every DNA talk on the program, I have listened to umpteen talks and webinars  on DNA and the various tools available. It has been a steep learning curve especially in the early days when the talks were full of science and not really targeted towards ordinary folk like me.

Back in 2011 DNA as a genealogy resource was a novelty and there were many sceptics but the sceptics have been won over and now recognise DNA as a valuable additional resource. I am now at the stage where I know I could stand up and give a credible introductory talk on DNA for family history but I need to learn and understand more in this evolving field. As an old educator I recognise the value of reinforcement in learning.

Blaine Bettinger, a DNA Guru from the US, will be travelling to Australia in August to present a series of lectures with a field of Australian experts at The DNA Downunder Events being organised by Alan Phillips of Unlock the Past. Blaine will be joined by a team of local enthusiasts and experts at the events. In most cities the events are just for one day but in Sydney there will be a super dooper, Diving in Deeper,  3 day event. I am pleased that I live close enough to travel down to Sydney for that event. You can attend this on 1, 2 or 3 days. There is no way I am going to miss out on this mega learning opportunity.

I was pleased to accept Alan's invitation to be an Ambassador for The DNA Downunder Events. I commend Alan for bringing together such a great team for the program, its no easy task to organise such an endeavour.

I know many of my genimates will want  attend one of The DNA Downunder Events and get good value from their DNA dollars. You have until April 30 to snag the earlybird price for the event so, if you haven't registered, you had better move quickly.

Disclosure : In return for promoting the event (and a few other duties) I am receiving a complimentary admission to The DNA Downunder Event. 

Party Favours

Wikipedia tells me that "party favor or party favour is a small gift given to the guests at a party as a gesture of thanks for their attendance, a memento of the occasion, or simply as an aid to frivolity."

Back in 2018 guests at the MyHeritage Rootstech party were given a book as a party favour. I took my book home and put it on my "To Read" pile, as it was a hardcover book (and therefore heavy to hold up in bed) the book languished on that pile until I attended Rootstech in 2019. One of the fellow guests at the 2018 party asked me if I had read the book and I sheepishly answered "Not yet". This genimate suggested that I should read the book as it was a really good story. On my return home I read the book "Something beautiful happened" by Yvette Manessis Corporon. 

I discovered that it was indeed "a story of survival and courage in the face of evil" as described on its cover. The author masterly wove several interconnecting family stories into the text which kept me reading to the last word. She took me to Greece, Israel and the US, travelled from the 1940s to today and introduced me to a cast of interesting characters from different faiths. 

I imagine that MyHeritage gave us this book as their staff provided Ms Corporon and the persons in the story with a great deal of pro bono support to solve their genealogical mysteries. The author wrote glowingly of the MyHeritage team's involvement.

A belated thanks to the MyHeritage team for this thoughtful party favour which I thoroughly enjoyed. With its themes of family, courage, survival, grief, persistence and tolerance it was a perfect gift.

If any of my genimates whom I will be seeing in the near future would like to read this book please let me know and I'll arrange get it to you.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Geniaus' Gunnas

This time last week I was somewhere else
When I am on holidays I make a mental list of things I need to do on my return home. I call these Gunnas (things I am going to do do). What struck me on our recent trip through China, Japan and South Korea was that Gunna figured in the vocabulary of many of the tour guides we encountered.

While I was away I found it easy to keep up with geneanews and to share Geniaus' Gems on my microblogging Facebook Page, However I don't have time to write lengthy blog posts, prepare presentations or answer queries from readers, I could make time but I prefer to direct my attention to the sites I am visiting.

So what of my Gunnas.

 * I need to add a DNA Downunder Ambassador badge to this blog. I am one of a number of my Genimates who have been appointed as Ambassadors to promote and enthuse fellow genies about this around Australia event that will take place in Australian Cities in August this year. I congratulate Alan Phillips for bringing together this cast of DNA Gurus to teach us about genetic genealogy.

From what I have seen on social media already one would have to be living under a rock to miss the news of his event. However if you wish to register at the earlybird rate you had bettter get cracking and do it now before the end of April. See for details of the event in the city closest to your home.

* I must register for the Sydney 3 Day DNA Downunder event before the venue reaches capacity. It would be embarrassing if this Ambassador couldn't secure a seat.

* I have two talks to prepare for THE Genealogy Show that is to be held in Birmingham, England in June. If you have been considering  a geneajourney to THE Old Country it's not too late to grab a cheap airfare to London and combine a visit to ancestral towns and villages with  attendance at this conference that has presentations from speakers from the UK, Europe, the US and Canada and downunder. Several of my Australian genimates are making the journey to THE Show so you will have good company.

* I still have a few videos from Rootstech 2019 to add to my Youtube Rootstech collection.

* I need to get cracking on a guest blog post for next week. I'll share the link once it is posted.

* Cousin Bait can reap rewards but it also hooks distant or potential cousins who need help with their research. I have a few such messages that I need to follow up. These queries came to me via this blog, Ancestry and my family website.

*  Not many DNA matches contact me but a few that I have contacted have responded to me so I must follow these up lest they lose interest.

* A twelve hour wait at Tokyo airport the other day gave me an opportunity to catch up on blog reading. I am particularly enjoying Carmel Galvin's and Pauleen Cass's posts in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I must admit I don't read all the posts about people's ancestors that come through my feeds  but I love those with themes that interest me. In her posts Carmel shares recipes that remind me of childhood days while Pauleen recounts tales of her times living in PNG. Having taken part in the Challenge on a couple of occasions I understand the effort involved  and congratulate those who have the stamina to reach the finish line.

* Before I go travelling again I must schedule some blog posts for the Geneadictionary. Thankfully I keep coming across new words and phrases used in genimates' writings.

*All of the DNA Kits I administer have moved from Gedmatch to Genesis so some investigation is warranted.

* Then there is my own research and chasing up more DNA matches!!!

I have four and a half weeks before we set off the the UK for a Garden tour and a bit of research prior to THE Genealogy Show  so I don't have time to dilly-dally.

As I brought a bug and dose of asthma home from Japan I am confined to quarters for a few days so I have some time to concentrate on my Gunnas

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Another Episode of the Fling

One of the more popular posts on my blog to this day is "Fling it in the Folder" a description methods. As I wrote this post 8 years ago I thought it was time for an update. I still use the same system but have tweaked it a bit and changed some of the software I use.

I am reposting my post from 2011 with alterations and comments in Green.

In a couple of previous posts I have alluded to my digital filing system and, in a comment on one of those postsSharon Brennan asked me "Can you describe your filing system??

I have hesitated in doing so because my system is neither scientific or complex. It is a simple system that works for me. Having trained in Librarianship many years ago I am in the habit of putting things in alphabetical order so this is the simple basis of my system. With digital systems I prefer a flat structure to one that is deeply hierarchical requiring lots of drilling down to access information.

I have already spoken of my scanning station (I now have a Scansnap scanner on my desk connected to my computer via USB) and my commitment to scanning all the bits of paper I have related to my genealogy obsession. I have also talked about what I do with conference papers.

My system is to "Fling it in the folder". I have a series of folders set up on my hard drive, each file I have, irrespective of format, goes into the appropriate folder or sub-folder. All my image files are additionally tagged with Picasa ACDSee software.

I do not worry about linking Places in that folder to People in that folder or creating other similar relationships between files (but I guess I could hyperlink them if I felt the need at a later date) as my genealogy software manages that for me. 

The folders are: I have added a few extra folders.

Most of the labels are self explanatory but some need clarification.

Correspondence contains genealogy letters of a general nature. Those about a specific surname or person are filed in the Names folder.

Curry All  stores files about the Curry surname in Australia ready for when I have the time or inclination to conduct a one-name study. Renamed CurryAus for my Surname Study.

Geniaus Backup  is a backup of my family site files ie templates and design. I don't need to back up the data as the backup is my TMG database and its backups.

Geniaus Talks is the home of my talks and presentations and articles I write for journals, newsletters etc.

Names is the biggest folder. It has some sorting folders that are prefixed with 00 and then a folder for each surname in my database.

Within each name folder is a series of documents and folders. Each file name is in the format:
Lastname, Firstname DoB File description.

Once I have more than three or four files for an individual he or she gets a folder labelled with: Lastname, Firstname DoB and Date of Death.

Odds & Sods is just that. The place where I fling  graphics, cartoons and other ephemera.

Our  Diary is peculiar to me. It contains an Excel spreadsheet that is my digital diary; the folder also contains other documents such as invitations, programs, tickets that are hyperlinked from the corresponding entry in the diary.

This diary from the day of my parent's marriage has been constructed over the years from documents, printed diaries, old calendars, receipts, certificates, recollections, newspaper clippings and by uing photographs as prompts. I  presently use Outlook for my diary and periodically export this into the Our Diary spreadsheet.

The Headings for this spreadsheet are: Day, Date, Time, Details, Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.

Places is similar to names but contains folders with maps and information about the places of my ancestors. These include, Towns, Houses and Churches.

Presentations has been explained in a previous blog post,Where do you put them? Conference Papers

Research Log and Plans does not house my master research log(that is a Google Docs spreadsheet) Now integrated in my Family Historian software but the smaller logs I create when I am going to visit a particular repository, resource or place eg The National Archives, The Family History Library, or The National Library of Australia.

TMG and TNG are where one finds files relating to my two genealogy software programs. These folders do not have family data. I no longer use TMG so have created a folder for Family Historian my current software of choice.

I keep and tag all of my bookmarks in Delicious Evernote and use Picasa ACDSee software

to tag and organise my photographs. Librarything is my program of choice for organising my books.

Perusing this list I am reminded of one other folder - Genealogy - Scans to sort. This is where my scans live until I file them. For consistency I think it will be renamed.

Phew! That was a post and a half - hope it answers your question, Sharon.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Trove Tuesday - Family History

Found while I was lost in Trove.

1899 'FAMILY HISTORY.', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 29 March, p. 2. (The Mercury Supplement), viewed 10 Mar 2019,

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Don't bore their socks off

In response to a post from Carmel Reynen on Facebook recently.  Lisa Vassallo in a comment said "I would like to know what people are doing to keep it all going." The conversation was all about our family history research and passing it on. 

My lengthy response was along these lines (I have edited and formatted it since I posted on Facebook).
A favourite picture of my Mum

Interest waxes and wanes. With 16 descendants I hope someone inherits the geneabug. My children all follow my blog and are most interested when I share an ancestor story. 

I let grandchildren enter data into my family history program (after I have backed it up) and I let them search it. They love looking for people with their own forenames or funny names, those that share a birthday or seeing how many people come from a certain town, country or village. 

The kids have enjoyed looking at my family website and creating the ancestor and descendant charts available there. 

Two of my children and two of my teen grandchildren have done DNA tests. They enjoy hearing about the results after I have done the hard slog of working out the matches.. 

Ancestor and old photos are another turn on, I have them all digitised and sit at computer with kids and go through them. I find anything we can do together at a screen piques their interest. 

Clock made by an ancestor
We have obtained three grandfather clocks made by an ancestor. These are each in a family home and are a constant reminder of the kids' heritage. 

We willingly lend precious artefacts to grandchildren to take to Show and Tell at school (it's always a relief when the items are returned). 

Stories of our 10 naughty convict and other black sheep ancestors give them a giggle. They are also impressed by the few famous cousins in our tree.

Sharing family snippets from Trove gets a  response. 

I try not to bore the socks off family members but to create an environment that provides opportunities for them to learn about their heritage.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Trove Tuesday - Society of Australian Genealogists

I have spent quite a deal of time on Trove over the past few days as I prepare a workshop on Trove for The Society of Australian Genealogists. During my Trove visit my attention wandered a few times and I found myself searching for articles on the Society. Reading these has given me a bit more knowledge of the organisation's history.

These items were found in Government Gazettes and Newspapers.

1932 'SOCIETY OF GENEALOGISTS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 30 August, p. 8. , viewed 11 Mar 2019,
Add caption1932 'A NEW ONE.', Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 - 1954), 3 October, p. 2. , viewed 11 Mar 2019,

1949 'Move To Save Bronte House', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 29 August, p. 2. , viewed 11 Mar 2019,

1954 'OLD INSCRIPTIONS SAVED', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 6 December, p. 7. , viewed 11 Mar 2019,

1983 'EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS (STAMP DUTIES EXEMPTION) ACT, 1961', Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), 11 November, p. 5090. , viewed 11 Mar 2019,

Saturday, March 9, 2019

A Scrumptious Sandwich

When reflecting on my week at Rootstech I though of a sandwich, a scrumptious sandwich full of delicious ingredients. 

Image - Pexels 
The bready outer layers of my sandwich represent unofficial pre and post Rootstech activities that have become traditions for my genimates and me. The filling has been the amazing Rootstech Conference and associated events hosted by Familysearch and vendors.

Of course as with all generously filled sandwiches I found some of the ingredients more appealing than others.  Rootstech provides so much variety so that each attendee can customise his or her own sandwich. Some sandwiches were packed with a smorgasbord of ingredients while some were more manageable but from what I could see each attendee enjoyed his or her custom made Rootstech sandwich.

So you ask - how did GeniAus customise her sandwich?

The first bready bit was laid down on the Monday prior to Rootstech with  Mondays with Myrt (watch it here in the Family History Library followed by The Annual Commonwealth Dinner in the evening.

With DearMYRTLE (left) on Mondays with Myrt
There was one ingredient that many attendees added to their sandwich on Tuesday, that was registration in a far corner of the Salt Palace. This was a painless experience.

There were no queues at Registration
On Tuesday I added the Rootstech Media Dinner, a by invitation event for major sponsors, media, Rootstech Ambassadors, Familysearch employees and friends of Rootstech. One of the first people I met was DNA hero, Blaine Bettinger.

Sharn White, Blaine Bettinger and GeniAus
On the table I chatted with  Sharn White and Ruth Blair and I enjoyed catching up with Bronze Sponsor Kirsty Gray and crew from Familywise, We were entertained by one of the films from the Rootstech film fest and got advance notice of  new Familysearch initiatives. I was sitting at the lucky seat on our table so I left as the winner of a Google Home Mini.

Alex Cox from FindMyPast  (centre) was one of my tablemates
Late Tuesday night came through the news that I was selected as an Ambassador for RootstechLondon. I am excited to be joined by my good friends Fran Kitto (TravelGenee) and Sharn White as Aussie Ambassadors. As someone with 31/32 of my ancestors from the British Isles I am thrilled to be an Ambassador in the Old Country.

On my way to #RootstechLondon
The Ancestry breakfast on Wednesday morning was an interesting and informal event. I was surprised to find myself included in the small group of prominent genies gathered for the event. On the day before the breakfast we received an email outlining the initiatives that Ancestry would be announcing at Rootstech so, at the breakfast there was no need for a formal presentation giving us this news. There were some short introductions from key people and then the Ancestry team moved around chatting with their guests. It was hard to respect the embargo and not share the exciting news until 9am. Now that I have tested the tools I can say Bravo, in just a few hours I have confirmed 19 new cousins.

The Expo Hall wasn't open on Wednesday so I opted for a full day of learning. The talks I attended ranged from mediocre to magnificent. My vote for the best talk of the day goes to The Dapper Historian, Myko Clelland ,from FindMyPast for his talk on Newspapers.Watch it here

Myko mesmerised a full house
In the opening keynote at 4:30pm there was exciting news announced for the African-American Community. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a donation of  2 Million Dollars to the International African American Museum Center for Family History. Following the announcement a surprise guest, Martin Luther King III came to the stage. I tweeted "Martin Luther King III on stage at #RootsTech speaking powerfully of his father's vision of a fully integrated society. A world in which all men will live together as brothers."

Martin Luther King III at Rootstech
After the keynote the Expo Hall was declared open so strolled over to the Media Hub to connect with my genimates and see if there were any interview opportunities. Mr King was not giving an interview but as he walked by with his minders he stopped and chatted with me for a few minutes, I was so dumbfounded that I didn't take a picture of the meeting.

Dianna Fulton from Ontario Ancestors in the Expo Hall
As I had to stay in the Expo Hall until 8pm for a photo shoot with other Board Members of THE Genealogy Show I took the opportunity to visit some of the stands and chat with the exhibitors. I could have given my Amex card a good workout but I exercised restraint. I was tired so I decided to dine solo in the Marriott restaurant, I was thrilled when old friends Pat Richley-Erickson and her husband Gordon joined me. Shortly afterwards fellow Australian genie, Michelle Patient joined us.

It was an early start on Friday for the MyHeritage breakfast at the Marriott. Thankfully it was only a short elevator ride from my room in the Marriott to the function room. I had a very interesting conversation with Tabea Naeder from the customer support team. I was so impressed with what Tabea had to say that I sought her out for a video interview which will appear on my Youtube Rootstech Collection in the coming days.

Since I interviewed him at Rootstech 2018 (see below) I have followed Jonny Perl with interest. I attended Jonny's talk on Chromosome matching and was most impressed with his performance, my husband who knew nothing about chromosome mapping came away with a good understanding. I tweeted " reSuch a balanced presentation from @jonnyperl @RootsTechConf . He is showing a whole range of #DNA tools and not just focusing on his brilliant #DNAPainter tool #genealogy . Such a refreshing approach."


Lunchtime Friday my geneablogging mates gathered for our annual group photo. Thanks to Mr GeniAus for risking life and limb on a very high stool to take the photo for us.

Geneabloggers at Rootstech 2019
Having read his book and seen Lion, the movie of his story, I was so looking forward to Friday's keynote with Australian Saroo Brierley.  I could hardly contain my excitement. I was bursting with pride as this young Aussie told his story to a spellbound audience. But that's not all. The wonderful Familysearch team of Paul Nauta and Tyler Stahle arranged for me to have a private backstage interview with Saroo. I invited fellow Australian Ambassador Sharn White along and took Mr GeniAus as my cameraman. As we were chatting there was so much noise from the sessions that were in progress that the audio on the recording is of poor quality. My next job is to transcribe the recording and share Saroo's words in a blog post. I could have packed up and gone home after this experience it was so good.

Backstage with Saroo
All this excitement was too much for an old girl. There was no way I had the energy to walk the couple of blocks downhill to meet up with fellow members of the Virtual Genealogy Association. Our relationship will have to stay virtual until another date. Instead I joined a few of my Commonwealth friends including The Novel Guys, Nathan Dylan Goodwin and Robert Bristow at a venue closer to my hotel, thanks to Kirsty Gray for organising this relaxing repast.

After the excitement of Friday I gave myself a sleepin on Saturday and spent the best part of the day in the Media Hub until it closed at 2pm. I have several interviews recorded there that I must process and upload to my Youtube Rootstech Collection. I took time out to hear the day's keynote with Jake Shimabukuro. It was fellow Aussie Ambassador Sharn's day to be excited, as a ukelele player Sharn was keen to hear Jake. I loved Jake's three rules for life:  "Be humble. Be grateful. Be kind."

Jake responding to Sharn's question in the Media interview
Christine Woodcock's presentation on Brickwall Busters for Scottish Genealogy was an excellent talk to finish off a hectic week. I've heard several Scottish experts talk on Scottish subjects and Christine is one of the best. She demonstrated the depth of her knowledge when answering questions from the audience. There was no question that had her stumped. I appreciated Christine giving permission to the audience to take photos of her slides, I was able to engage more fully on her talk as I did not need to take notes.

The final bready bit that sealed the sandwich was the annual Rootstech after party for friends of DearMYRTLE at her and her husband Gordon L. Erickson's home near Salt Lake City. It was lovely being able to kick ones's shoes off, curl up in a comfy chair and share Rootstech tales with fellow geneabloggers plus new and old friends made at previous Rootstech conferences.

Rootstech after party at the Ericksons
Rootstech 2019 delivered a scrumptious sandwichWe now have to plan for RootstechLondon and the different but splendid sandwich awaiting us there.

Rootstech London Ambassadors

On World Genealogy Day....

I am sitting with my grandson and telling him about some famous Aussies he is related to.

I think he is more impressed with being the 3rd cousin once removed of Darren Middleton from Powderfinger than being 2nd cousin three times removed of Football legend Arthur Beetson. Unfortunately I could only think of these two famous people. I didn't want to bore the grandson lest I turn him off so I only shared one more ancestor story, that of his 3xGreat-Grandfater, James Pusell, who bit off a chap's ear in a drunken brawl.

1896 'Biting off an Ear.', Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 - 1940), 25 July, p. 4. , viewed 09 Mar 2019,
As my Grandson was strumming his guitar earlier I showed him the video of Jake Shimabukuru at Rootstech, I thought he would enjoy this maestro's skill with the ukelele. The Grandson thought Jake was "awesome".

We also watched a Facebook live video I made at Rootstech and worked out a way to download it in MP4 format. These techie things come so naturally to 12 year old boys.

Talking about family history with a young descendant is a satisfying way to celebrate World Genealogy Day.

Friday, March 1, 2019

I got to shake his hand...

and we had a short chat ...  he told me had had a friend who was going to Australia this week.

Everyone loves a surprise and we were dealt a huge one when Martin Luther King III came on stage during the opening session of the 2019 Rootstech Conference. He had such a presence as he spoke about the International African American Museum and shared some of the words of  his late father, Martin Luther King Junior.

I posted this on Twitter "Martin Luther King III on stage at speaking powerfully of his father's vision of a fully integrated society. A world in which all men will live together as brothers."

Martin Luther King III on stage at Rootstecg
Some time after the session Mr King walked through the Media Hub with his minders but he stopped to shake my hand and have a chat. I was gobsmacked to be in the company of such a lovely, humble human being.

Thanks to the Rootstech organisers for giving us the opportunity to hear Mr King.

Rootstech Week 2019 - Commonwealth Dinner

I was thrilled when 31 folk from 7 (British) Commonwealth countries (including a few ringins) gathered in Salt Lake City for the Annual Commonwealth Dinner on Monday evening.

We Commonwealth chaps are a minority group at Rootstech so this gathering gives us a chance to reconnect with genimates and introduce first-timers to new friends before the madness that is Rootstech begins. From the number of conversations I witnessed and the feedback received I know that this was a very successful event. Thank you to all who joined us.

Following are some photos I snapped of those present. On reviewing the photos I realise that I missed taking pics of everyone present including yours truly. Take a look at the photos below to see how many of the genies you recognise, there are some BIG names in the group.


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