Unlock the Past Roadshow: Brisbane Day 2

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Those with German ancestral research tend to get fewer international opportunities than the British and Irish offerings, so I was really looking forward to Day 2 of the Roadshow with Dirk Weissleder and others. I was pleased to see there was good support for Day 2 and that at least some of my genimates were also there.

Don’t you admire people who are bilingual (at least)? Even before learning a thing from Herr Weissleder I was impressed by his ability to present clearly in a different language.

Dirk’s passionate vision for connecting the German diaspora is inspirational. My only concern is for those who speak no German or only the tiniest amount: how do we overcome the language barriers? Dirk wants to bring the descendants of Germans together wherever they are and that is what the DAGV is all about. What is the DAGV? Like many German words it’s what we’d call “a mouthful”: Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände…got that? Hint: It would be so helpful to have a translation option on the website for those who understand no German.

After listening to the vision for this bringing together of the diaspora, I’ll be considering whether to attend the 2019 Germanic Genealogy Conference in Sacramento.

Key points I took from Dirk’s presentations were:

  • Remember Germany came into being as a unit in 1871 – before that you must consider Kingdoms and Duchies. I know that my George Kunkel only ever listed his place of origin as Bavaria on official documents. I have the sense they were very proud to be Bavarian.
  • There are cultural and religious variations between the regions which must be considered. People think of themselves first as Bavarians (for example) and only second as Germans.
  • Like Ireland, you may have to work to find out what records are still available and where to find them.
  • We are in the same boat as genealogy researchers in Germany so we need to learn along with them.
  • I got lots of new sites to follow up to see if I can winkle out more info on my Bavarian interests.
  • The talk on European research was extremely interesting and could be applied to almost any form of overseas research. Key focus: channel your inner German heritage and be organised and focused.
  • think Geneaglobally

Of course Mr Weissleder and Mr Paton were not the only speakers on the agenda.

Rosemary Kopittke’s talks on My Heritage have convinced me I should renew my membership after all – it helps that I’ve just found someone else with connections to my distant Kunkel tree in there. I learnt a lot more about how to benefit from a My Heritage subscription. So far, my DNA matches haven’t been as helpful, but as yet it’s a smaller player in the DNA world.

The Living DNA presentation was interesting but as I tested back in February at RootsTech, it was more familiar to me. I might even get round to blogging about my results.

The Genealogical Society of Queensland, the Queensland Family History Society and the State Library of Queensland explained what a wealth of resources they had available for genealogical research, especially for the UK, Ireland and Germany. Remember to go Beyond the Internet and discover more about your families.

Helen Smith’s talks on DNA and how we can use it were informative, as always. I find that each time I listen to an explanation of the benefits of DNA, a bit more clicks into place. Have you tested for DNA yet? Has it solved any brick walls for you?

Thanks Unlock the Past for this fantastic two days of learning…it was both informative and fun.

Disclosure: I have been accepted as an Ambassador for the Road Show in exchange for a free entry pass. My reports on the Roadshow are my honest opinions