Dr. Perry McIntyre. After my initial shock in finding that Perry, whom I had read about for many years, was a girl not a boy I settled in for a most informative talk. Who said academics were boring? Kerry was the anthtihesis of boring as she spoke with passion and a depth of knowledge on this subject. Kerry skillfully placed her talk, that was illustrated with images and statistics, in an historical perspective giving us an understanding of why our ancestors left the Emerald Isle. Kerry confirmed that finding traces of Irish ancestors can be a challenge but that with persistence one can sometimes be successful.
|A silde from Perry's talk|
|A 19th century cartoon from the Mitchell|
|An introductory slide from Heather|
In her informative session Heather gave the audience a history of the Society and then outlined the items in the collection and how they can assist with one's research. She indicated the economic benefits of membership for those join up and use SAG's facilities. I am a longtime member of the Society who does not use these facilities nearly enough, Heather gave me a wakeup call.
There is no rest for the wicked so at 2:00 pm I found myself at the back of a crowded room for Chris Paton's talk "Discover Scottish Church records". Chris did his best to liven up this rather dry and confusing topic. My enjoyment suffered as I was unable to see Chris' slides on the screen and seeing these visual prompts was vital in following Chris. Additionally, as I could not see I was unable to record any of the URLs to which Chris referred. I hope I can find them in his book.
During the break I purchased a coffee and came across Neil Chippendale, Local Studies Librarian from Hornsby Library, who was scheduled to give a talk. I lamented that speakers had not been giving handouts; Neil promptly produced from his bag those he had prepared. Good on you, Neil, I didn't go to your talk but know that your participants would have been happy to get those notes of yours.
The last talk I attended certainly was the jewel in the crown of a fantastic day. Kerry Farmer presented a talk on "DNA and genealogy". I am scientifically illerate but came away from Kerry's talk feeling as though I had a basic grasp of the concepts she had outlined. Kerry was a calm and competentent speaker who was exceptionally well prepared. At the beginning of the talk she shared a wonderful handout, her many slides were attractive and informative and she made those of us in the audience who didn't have a clue about the subject comfortable enough to ask our silly questions.
Thanks again to the people from Unlock the Past and Gould Genealogy (it's hard to work out which is which or if they are one and the same) for putting together this event.
See my post for Friday's talks here