Monday, February 11, 2013

The more you know...

...the more you realise you don't know.

That is the case for me after the first day of lectures on the Unlock the Past cruise. I have learnt of many new resources and databases and have been reminded of resources that I can revisit.

My day started with the computer technician who, after spending nearly half an hour trying to get my laptop that only has an HDMI connection to talk to the older projectors on the ship that only have VGA connections, said "Your computer is too modern for this ship." We tried two other connectors (belonging to passengers) that should have fixed the issue but that did not work.

In two of my presentations later this week I had intended doing short slideshows followed by live demos of software. As no-one else has the software (or my data) I will have to prepare a series of screenshots to show the potential of the packages. I am glad I found this out four days before these gigs so I have time to revise my talks.

In his first talk on migration Paul Milner referred to Ravenstein's Laws of Migration which I found quite illuminating. He suggested that we look at our ancestors' migration in the light of these 11 laws. Sydney author and genealogist, the lively Carol Baxter, talked to us about tracing your ancestors in NSW while speakers in other rooms covered the other states. Carol reminded us of the various indexes to NSW BDMs and other resources that are available.

I have used government gazettes in my research and they have added meat to the bones of my dry data. Rosemary Kopittke reminded us in her talk of the breadth of information in "Australian government, police and eduction gazettes".

I loved Linda Elliott's talk with the intriguing title "What to do with the body: a Victorian solution". Linda took us on a tour of London's magnificent seven cemeteries that wer established in the mid 19th century. Linda gave us the history of the cemeteries and shared details and shared details of the location of the burial records in a talk illustrated with many photos.

The graveyard shift was mine. I found juggling a hand mike, a remote control and the mousepad on a foreign computer when I presented "In spite of my fumbling I must have been okay as, after the talk, I received invitations to speak at future events. 

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