Congress 2018 learning


The #Congress_2018 schedule was packed with lots of interesting topics from which to learn. Although I took traditional notebooks, I found I was mainly typing my summaries into Notes on the iPad and if web sites were being used, I “played” along with the speaker. This helps me to reinforce what they’re teaching.

What were some of my take-aways?

  • GeniAus kicked off the first session of Congress with her “Beaut Blogs” topic
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    Social media gurus Jill Ball and Caitlin Gow.

    showing features that her readers had suggested were critically important.

    • My question: what is my brand? Is it simply Cassmob or ???
    • I loved her use of the word “automagically”…blogging can seem like that.
    • You can see the blogs Jill mentioned on the GeniAus Pinterest board here.
  • Congress sponsors, the National Archives of Australia, featured a particular Dutch immigrant’s story from their records. This fascinated me as I grew up with many immigrants from the Netherlands.
  • I particularly enjoyed Fiona Brooker’s Across the Ditch It highlighted the importance of checking our ancestors’ collateral lines, and their FANs, and “hatching, matching and despatching” each person to ensure we’ve pinned them down. It also showed that our ancestors were often very mobile, including to and from New Zealand.
  • The Ancestry sponsor talk was lively and engaging, tempting us with the upcoming plans.
    • Did you know that their ethnicities are based on the info in the online family trees? A good reason to make sure yours is online and accurate.20180310_101343
  • Judy G Russell, aka The Legal Genealogist, was Saturday’s keynote speaker and, as always, what a treat as she clearly showed that oral history is lost in three generations – Mr Cassmob and I were “eliminated” with the very first question. Take-away quotes that spoke to me were:
    • if we are to serve as the story tellers and family historians then we need to make sure we’re handing down the stories deliberately and accurately
    • Love, laughter and commitment to being the bridges between the past and the present. We have the passion!
  • I was also privileged to introduce Judy’s talk on Copyrights and Copywrongs…such a vital consideration for all genealogists.
    • I was impressed that there were few instances of people snapping slides – something that is prevalent at Roots Tech.
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    Cassmob (centre) rocking the Irish bling before the Uncovering the Irish talk, with Heather Garnsey and Greg Ross.

    Angela Phippen talked about the Letters of Rachel Henning and how the content had been edited. Fascinating since it’s a book I’ve had on my shelves for decades. Always go back to the original document wherever possible..you never know what you’ll find.

  • All Paul Milner’s and Paul Blake’s talks were dense with information and I have a number of things to follow up including purchasing Marriage Law for Genealogists by Rebecca Probert.
  • Thom Reed, from sponsors Family Search, engaged us all in a ton of fun on Sunday morning – not easy after the Congress dinner the previous night. When I logged into the Family Search App I could see only two other people. Before my eyes, the list grew and grew, but nary a one was a cousin.
  • Kerry Farmer’s Mapping DNA Chromosomes was another highlight. It helped me to see that I’d been following the right path with my DNA understanding.
  • My geminate Shelley Crawford dazzled us all with her magic mapping tool for Visualizing our DNA matches. Even better she’s given us all a step-by-step guide to doing it ourselves. Thanks Shelley!
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    Cassmob with Drs Reid, McIntyre and Rushen.

    As always I enjoyed listening to the extremely knowledgeable trio, Drs Reid, Rushen and McIntyre, on Assisted Emigration 1788-1914. There is so much to learn and understand.

    • The trio recommended Robin Haines’ books on migration which I also have on my bookshelves. They are excellent.
    • Don’t forget that Anchor Books have a variety of books on specific migrations.
  • The future of technology in mapping our families’ lives was brought home by both Ruth Graham and Lisa Louise Cooke.
    • Lisa advocated using the historical maps which can be added to Google Earth Pro – all I need to do is convince my IT guru that I’m “allowed” to use Chrome.

Lisa’s final presentation was exuberant and enthusiastic, successfully rounding off Congress and our days of learning.

Thank you to all the speakers who contributed their time and knowledge so we could all progress our family history.

9 thoughts on “Congress 2018 learning

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