Mining: how to become a skilled historical detective – Overview: The following three seminars teach research fundamentals and reasoning strategies
- How to become a skilled historical detective – Since ‘history’ is everything that happened from today backwards, this seminar provides the principles and practices that all researchers—including genealogists, historians and memoirists—need to understand in order to achieve the maximum benefit from their research endeavours. This includes understanding the distinction between primary/secondary source records and primary/secondary source information, recognising errors in original records, and even understanding how researchers’ own natures influence how they interpret information.
- Help! Which information is correct? Strategies for determining historical truth – In these days of information overload, individuals often struggle to know how to separate fact from fantasy. This seminar provides a dozen reasoning strategies they can apply to their research endeavours – or even to everyday life.
- Solving the ‘unsolvable’– When Carol began the research for Captain Thunderbolt and his Lady, she was told that she would never be able to discover the truth about Thunderbolt’s lover, Mary Ann Bugg, as the woman had fallen through the archival cracks. This journey of discovery offers practical advice about solving seemingly insolvable puzzles, using strategies covered in the previous two sessions.
- Structuring a family history or other work of non-fiction – This seminar focuses on basic structuring techniques for writers. It includes a general overview of structural necessities as well as guidelines for those writing family histories.
Refining: polishing prose – Overview: The principles of good writing are the same whether the subject is fiction or non-fiction. This series of three workshops provides writing insights and allows attendees to gain some practical experience.
- Crafting a good book – In the same way that researchers need to understand research fundamentals, writers need to understand writing fundamentals. This workshop covers some of the tools found in a writer’s toolbox including authorial voice, narrative voice, style, tone, person and story-telling.
- Gripping writing – This workshop shows writers how to use historical context, action, dramatic tension, dialogue and description to engage their readers.
- Sensory writing – This workshop shows writers how to engage their readers by drawing upon all of our senses, and burrows down to the individual word level.
- Publishing options: this seminar covers most publishing options including mainstream, niche and self publishing as well as journals, newsletters, websites and books.
Writing classes – Carol is offered to run a small group writing class for anyone who is interested. See program the details.
- So you are married to a genealogist: or quirks of the dedicated genealogist? – It’s one thing to be a dedicated genealogist, but another thing entirely to LIVE with one! This closing presentation will be a fun-filled journey behind the scenes in the household of one well-known British Isles specialist, told as only his spouse can do! The quirks, the mistakes, the frustrations, and the triumphs of living with a professional genealogist will all be unmasked. This lecture is recommended for conference participants and their guests, especially those who live with them.
- An evening with Master Christopher: seventeenth century barber surgeon – Master Christopher who works for ‘Swords and Spindles’ Living History team, is a barber surgeon of the seventeenth century; the time of the English Civil War. With a theatrical and interactive performance, he will be offering to cure his audience of all ills and explain what our seventeenth century ancestors would have endured if they became unwell.
- Bride Ships in all but name: Miss Monk and the servant girls – You may have heard of the bride ships sending young girls from England to Australia and other colonies from the 1850s to the 1880s to address the imbalance of the sexes in the population. But were you aware that this practice continued long after, until well into the 20th century? This presentation looks at how the women were selected, their voyage out, how they were treated on arrival and more. Alongside their story is a case study of Miss Mary Monk, the kindly matron who accompanied them on many trips. This talk appeals to a broad audience, including non genealogists, as it is a historical talk which tells a story. It is highly visual and includes a range of photographs and drawings. It looks at the topic from a Western Australian perspective but these immigration schemes also operated in other parts of Australia, New Zealand and Canada and the experiences would have been similar.
- A to Z of family history: an alphabetical journey through some less well known UK sources
- Coffers, clysters, comfrey and coifs: the lives of our seventeenth century ancestors (social history) – ‘Why do you need a bum roll?’ ‘What colour were carrots in the C17th?’ ‘What did the Cavaliers use for deodorant?’ ‘Can you think of 47 uses for urine?’ Supplying the answers to the above (well maybe not all 47 uses), this presentation is a light-hearted but informative, insight into the domestic life of our C17th ancestors. The emphasis is on providing the context against which to set the documentary evidence for this period.
- Farm, fish, faith or family?: motivations for emigration from North Devon 1830-1900 OR Uproar and Disorder: the impact of the Bible Christians in SW England – What prompted large numbers of people to leave north Devon, in the SW of England during the Victorian period? This presentation looks in particular at the role played by the Bible Christian faith (a denomination that was similar to Methodism)
- Putting your ancestors in their place: a guide to one place studies – Our ancestors did not live in isolation. They had neighbours, communities, homes and workplaces. This session describes how to build up the history of a locality and provide a context for our ancestors’ lives. Such reconstruction involves dissecting a small, definable, geographical area to conduct a detailed examination of the individuals, buildings and processes of the past. This includes reconstructing the physical surroundings, populating the community and creating kinship networks between its inhabitants.
- The ones that got away: tracing migrant ancestors – Covering suggestions for tracking down emigrants, immigrants and those that just like to move about. Sooner or later, all genealogists encounter elusive family members: those who appear as if from nowhere; those who disappear without trace and those who vanish for a long period, only to re-emerge later. Ancestors who lurk, parentless, in the top branches of your family tree, or who are apparently still alive at the age of one hundred and sixty are likely to be migrants. This talk describes many research paths that you can follow and sources that you can consult, in your quest for that migrant ancestor.
- ‘Til death us do part: causes of death 1300–1948 – examines a wide variety of possible causes of death for our ancestors, describing their symptoms and prognoses. It also suggests records that may be used to provide information about how an ancestor died. A time line is included, outlining some major British epidemics. In the absence of a definite cause of death for a particular individual, we can at least gain an impression of the major killers of their time.
- Tracing merchant seamen – According to The National Archives, one third of families with British origins have an ancestor who served as a merchant seaman. This talk will guide you through the sources to research them, many of which are now available online. Using examples from her Cutty Sark research, Caroline will show that is possible to uncover a great deal of information about men who often left little mark in the usual British records.
- Using manorial & parochial records to trace agricultural labourers – Landless and illiterate, agricultural labourers were the class least likely to feature in English records. Yet their lives were governed by two great units of administration – the manor and the parish – which often recorded astonishing amounts of detail about the most ordinary people. In this talk Caroline will give an overview of the material available to researchers and share some of the many human interest stories they reveal.
- Caring for your family archives – This talk addresses three areas – organising your family records and memorabilia, storing and preserving your family archives and finally, sharing the results of your research with others and the long term future of your research and records.
- Diaries and letters: fleshing out the family history – This talk reveals the availability of letters and diaries and how they can add context to your own family history even if they are not written by direct ancestors.
- Family history on the cheap: tips and tricks – This talk highlights a wide variety of tips and tricks that researchers can use to save themselves time and money when researching their family history.
- Skeletons in the family: looking at convicts, prisons and asylum records – This talk looks at records useful for finding ‘skeletons’ in the family by briefly reviewing available resources.
- Sporting ancestors: discovering forgotten athletes – This talk shows you where to look for more information and how to make the most of searching websites, newspapers, original records and published resources.
- Trove & other NLA treasures – this talk highlights the National Library of Australia’s resources including Trove, E-Resources, Picture Australia, and the web archive Pandora.
- A guided tour of Cyndi’s List 2.0 – This begins with a brief history of Cyndi’s List, followed by an overview of how to navigate the newly updated site and how to tell when the site is updated. Learn how to effectively use this valuable resource tool to as your jumping-off point onto the Internet.
- Building a digital research plan – Using Internet databases and catalogs we will build a research plan to answer a specific research question. We will walk through the process of planning, researching for the plan, and keeping track of what has been researched.
- Evernote for every genealogist – Evernote is a free software tool that is a dream come true for the online researcher. Clip notes from the web, write notes, record audio or webcam notes, and more. Sync your research notebooks on the web, with your computer and every mobile device you own so that your research notes are with you everywhere you go. Learn the ins and outs of this valuable tool for your daily research routine.
- Foreign language tools for English-speaking genealogists – Whether you’re reading an old letter, a record on microfilm, or a web site in a foreign language, don’t despair. There are several tools and options available to help you get a basic idea of what it is you’re reading, without taking a foreign language class. We’ll explore various ways to use these tools to help decipher key words and special alphabet characters, moving you a bit further along in your research.
- Maintaining an organised computer – Files here, programs there, lost bits and bytes everywhere. Are you tired of searching your computer fruitlessly? Frustrated when you can’t find the notes you created in your word processor? Learn how to set up a foolproof filing system and an electronic workbook to correspond with your offline research.
- Pin your ancestors down with Google Maps & Google Earth – Google Maps and Google Earth provide two wonderful sources for geographical assistance in tracking your ancestors and pinning them down for your research. Combined with other mapping resources online we will demonstrate how using these Google tools can give you a visual aid for your research. Follow migration paths, historical routes, and your own family’s path, marking them on the maps with information, photos and documentation.
- The internet: lower your expectations to raise your research potential – People say, “I’ve looked everywhere,” “That site doesn’t have anything useful,” and “I’ve hit a brick wall” all because their expectations aren’t met for what they assume should be available online. Genealogists should never assume anything in their research. That goes double for research on the Internet. We will explore several examples that demonstrate research success by moving beyond your expectations and using the Internet as it truly is.
- Timelines: the straight line between you and your ancestor – Using online tools and software we will learn how important a timeline can be to breaking through a research problem.
- German family history in the ‘Information Age’ – An increasing amount of material is available about people and places on the internet. This talk explores a range of resources available for places in the former German Empire.
- Locating your ancestor’s place of origin in Germany – How to use records from Australia and elsewhere to determine your German ancestor’s place of origin.
- Researching in German civil and church records – This talk answers the question ‘How can I obtain a birth or marriage certificate from Germany for an immigrant ancestor?’ What the new researcher may not realise is that in Germany the system of registration of births, marriages and deaths by civil authorities, and the issue of associated certificates, has some significant differences to the system that the researcher may be used to. Prior to the introduction of civil registration, churches kept registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, and such church records may allow the researcher to follow the family back for several hundred years.
- Directories and almanacs – A look at the wide range of directories and almanacs available and why you should use them when compiling your family history.
- Getting the most out of Google – Learn how to use Google more effectively – Google Search, maps, books, images, videos, translate and more. Instead of getting millions of hits and only checking the first few, discover how to target your search and get results that really matter to you – results that will tell you more about your family than you thought you would ever find. As well, learn how to use the other Google features that can benefit your research.
- TheGenealogist.co.uk: what’s the difference? – Apart from the English and Welsh census and BDM records, TheGenealogist.co.uk has many unique records to offer – tithe records, official non-conformist registers, PCC Wills and images, electoral rolls and more. As well, it has some innovative search options which can help break down your brickwalls.
- Are you lost? Using maps, gazetteers & directories for British Isles research – Learn what maps, gazetteers and directories are available for researching your ancestors in the British Isles. Learn from examples how to make good use of these tools to find where your ancestors are, what they did, when, where, and why they may have moved.
- Buried treasure: what’s in the English parish chest – The English parish was both an ecclesiastical and a civil jurisdiction. Both jurisdictions created informative records and kept them in the Parish Chest. This presentation will examine the breadth and wealth of information that can be found, going well beyond the baptism, marriage and burial registers.
- Discover English census records – Learn the how to perform searches in and utilize the information contained in the 1841-1901 English census returns. See the value of and how to access the growing number of indexes. See the value of pre-1841 census lists.
- Discovering English parish registers – Learn how to access, use and correctly interpret the information found in the christening, marriage and burial registers of the English parish church. See examples of the problems to watch for and the clues given for further research. Learn what to do when your ancestor is not found.
- Occupation and Guild records – Learn about apprenticeship, freeman and guild records and how they controlled your ancestor’s trade. Identify sources to put your ancestor into a true occupational context.
- Tracing your pre-WWI British soldier – Learn about the organisation of the British military and procedures for tracing officers and enlisted men. See lots of examples of the genealogical information these records contain, how to access the records and how to put your ancestors into context.
- 1914: tracing your British WWI soldier – If you have family relations in the UK during 1914 to 1918 you almost certainly have someone who served during the War. Military record keeping changes drastically during the way and records vary with whether the soldier lived or died. Learn about the records that have survived for tracing your soldier, a growing number of which are online, but can still be hard to interpret. See numerous examples about individuals and learn how to place them into context. Speculative searches are worth doing for all those missing brothers and cousins.
- What were our ancestors really like? – A humorous look at the actions and motives of our ancestors as recorded in the records our ancestors left behind.
- Creating online video such as YouTube for practice, promote, and profit – Video is an effective tool for practicing speaking skills. Point and shoot cameras, smart phones, tablets, and hand-held video recorders all have sufficient video quality, are low cost, and are easy to operate. Observing what you do and say in your speeches can be invaluable feedback if you are willing to watch! Social Media and video services like Facebook, YouTube, and websites open up tremendous opportunities to promote our message to larger audiences, far beyond in-person venues. Giving a speech in front of a camera has different challenges than a live audience. Some reasons are related to technology and others are related to body movement, vocal variety, and clothing. Many of us aspire to becoming professional speakers, giving keynotes or becoming spokespersons, to make a profit speaking. Learning to work in front of a camera is critical. Preparing higher quality promotional clips and having experience with a teleprompter will prepare you for those engagements. Gordon will discuss the cost-effective technologies and techniques he has found to be effective.
- Rescuing water-damaged photos: experiences from superstorm Sandy and Colorado floods in the US – Superstorm Sandy was the convergence of three major storms on the upper eastern coast of the US in November 2012. The Flip-Pal Cares team assisted the photo rescue effort at Union Beach in New Jersey, where the photos lost into the ocean during the hurricane were washed back on shore over several months. Over 40,000 photos were rescued and scanned, posted on Facebook and reclaimed by their owners. It was a heartwarming experience that emphasized once again the importance of family history photos and documents. Another opportunity to rescue water-damaged photos was the Colorado floods just a year later. Over 8,000 photos, videos, and documents were rescued after that natural disaster. Those incidents can happen to anyone, either as large-scale natural disasters like these, or everyday accidents like coffee spills or fireplace fires. Learn about the events, and the videos, ebooks, and supplies that are now available as a result, and the International Save Your Photos Day in September.
- The story behind the birth of the Flip-Pal mobile scanner – After a 35-year career with Hewlett-Packard in the field of digital imaging, including scanners, photo printers, and digital cameras, Gordon had the opportunity in late 2008 to retire from HP and start his own company. The Flip-Pal mobile scanner project was initiated in January 2010 and introduced just 9 months later. Learn how the team’s expertise with traditional flatbed scanners and digital cameras, plus extensive knowledge about unmet customer needs, came together to give birth to the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.
- British and Irish newspapers – To understand how our ancestors once lived, there is no better resource to plunder than a good newspaper. Over the last two centuries in particular newspapers have recorded the events that have shaped our forebears’ lives, and in many cases noted anecdotes, notices and advertisements directly concerning them and their local communities. In presentation Chris reviews the availability of newspapers from across the British Isles, describing how to find those that have been digitised and made available online, and explaining how to locate considerably more that have not within the various libraries and archives across Britain and Ireland.
- Discover Scottish civil registration records – The history of how Scottish civil registration was established, as well as a basic run through of the nature of Scottish statutory records from 1855 to the present day. The talk will demonstrate what to expect in birth, marriage and death records, registers for corrected entries, and other civil records, as well as describing where to find other British recorded BMD records for Scots based overseas.
- Discover Scottish land records – Although part of the United Kingdom since 1707, Scotland has always enjoyed its own separate legal, religious and education systems, meaning that in many regards the country remains a genealogically foreign country to its southern neighbour of England. Where England abandoned feudalism in the Middle Ages, in Scotland it remained the principle method of land tenure until 2004, with major implications for land transfers and even inheritance. This talk will explain the systems and records of land transfers, and show how to pursue them successfully for your research.
- Down and out in Scotland – When disaster befell our Scottish ancestors, there was usually someone close to hand with a quill, parchment and ink. In this talk Chris Paton looks at some of the perilous situations faced by our ancestors in their lifetimes, and the many useful records generated for family history research as a consequence.
- Genealogy without borders – In this talk Chris examines how a person’s family history may not be confined to the country within which they themselves were raised, and why the consideration of the extended family around the world can be particularly fruitful for your family history research.
- Irish records online – There is a popular belief that Irish family history research is virtually impossible because ‘all the records were burned in the civil war’. Many records still exist which can help with your ancestral pursuits, and for those unable to make their way to Ireland to carry out research, the internet is finally coming to the rescue. This presentation looks at the key repositories and records now available online, and will prove to you that if you have been put off with Irish research in the past, now is absolutely the time to take another look.
- The Godly Commonwealth: discover Scottish church records – The Scottish Reformation of 1560 dramatically changed Scotland from a Catholic to a Protestant nation, creating an institution that soon became one of the main arms of state, responsible for discipline, education and the moral well being of its flock. With the Church of Scotland’s obsession with antenuptial fornication, its constant splits and the hellfire damnation of John Knox himself, understanding the Kirk’s role and history in Scottish society is crucial to understanding how to research your family history prior to the advent of civil registration in 1855.
- extra talk to be advised
- Ask grandma: getting the family stories before it is too late – While names, dates and facts form the core of our family history research it is the family stories that provide the life and colour in our research. There are a variety of ways of achieving this and also creating treasured items including video, audio and written items.
- Making genealogical research time – In an increasingly fast paced world with many commitments it can be hard to find the time to do family history research. There are a number of ways to maximise research time.
- Researching Australian and New Zealand Great War soldiers – There is arange of records and information that will allow you to find out more about and add life to Australian World War One military personnel so the we can remember them and their service.
- Researching your health history – As part of our genealogical research we research the medical history of our families. A minimum three generation medical history can help in evaluating potential future risk and assist doctors in diagnosing and treating patients.
- Using DNA to solve genealogical puzzles – DNA testing is an exciting new tool for family historians to enhance their research. This presentation will introduce using DNA testing in family history, the various types of tests and what they do (or don’t do!) and demystify the terms. Examples will be shown of how DNA testing has answered research questions and we will talk about how to determine the best person to test for the Genealogy puzzle you need to solve.
- Family Historian: general introduction – Family Historian is a powerful, yet easy to use Family History recording program for PCs, Come along and see the wealth of features it has to offer. This short introduction will provide a short overview and if it takes your fancy over the next few days you can learn more with the subsequent lectures.
- Family Historian: creating & customising Reports and Books – Sharing your family history with others is made easier with the wealth of customisation and options, this lecture will cover both using and customising reports, building books along with using the CD and Web creation tools.
- Family Historian: creating and customising Diagrams – There are a myriad of options for creating Diagrams (Family Tree Charts), and this lecture will cover all the basics of producing and using both working diagrams and wall art using Family Historian,
- Family Historian: entering information Focus window and Diagrams – The core of recording your information is entering it into your database, this lecture will look at the options for entering information and including recording from common sources and multi-media such as Photographs.
- Family Historian: using Queries and Plugins – This final lecture covers using and building Queries to search your information and some great user written plugins which add even more functionality to Family Historian.
- Scanning and restoring old photographs – description to come
- Chart your family history – Create unique charts for your family: add colours, pictures, comments! Perfect for that family re-union and make great family gifts. Plus sneak a look into the world of digital publishing: make a DVD, publish an eBook, hyperlink stories behind people in a chart or that favourite family photograph.