Of Learning and Checklists

The last six weeks or so have been full of family history learning for me.

August was Family History Month in Australia and a one-day seminar at the LDS Family History Centre at Forest Glen on 1 August was the start of lots of geneafun. For me, the stand-out speaker was Brenda Wheeler. As always the hospitality from the LDS community was excellent.

We had the second gathering of our McCorkindale cousins at Caloundra mid-August and once again all enjoyed themselves immensely. The icing on the cake was discovering new McCorkindale cousins in the UK and Australia…an tempting them to come to another gathering in 2020! As you might imagine this all kicked off a focus on our McCorkindale family who originated in Loch Awe in Argyll.

I was delighted to be able to attend the DNA Down Under session in Brisbane on 14 August and followed up with the three day intensive in Sydney from 29-31 August. Both sessions I attended were superb both in content and organisation so a huge thank you goes to Unlock the Past for this innovative program. Blaine Bettinger suggested we get a DNA Buddy to keep our feet on the ground and challenge our assumptions: straight away my genimate, TravelGenee, and I pointed at each other. I guess we’ve already been doing some of that with our coffee chat-fests. Don’t you just love it when virtual friends become real-life friends? I feel so grateful that I’ve made great friends from family history.

Since I’ve returned from Sydney I’ve been applying some of what I’ve learned, reviewing my notes and reading the 2nd edition of Blaine Bettinger’s “The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy” which sold like hot cakes at the venues. Not only is Blaine an excellent speaker on matters relating to genetic genealogy, he is truly an all-round nice person. Sometimes it’s hard not to gush and be a genealogy rockstar groupie.

Between the two DNA events I enjoyed another gathering of the Brisbane Blarney Group at a pub in Brisbane hosted by genimate Crissouli. The focus is on those with Irish heritage and it’s always fun and more so as you get to know each other.

While in Sydney I scheduled some research time at the NSW State Archives at Kingswood where I did some McCorkindale research and got great assistance from the archivists with some tricky problems. More on that another time.

The last ten days have been real-life family history, spending time with the living family in Darwin and getting in lots of grandchild cuddles.

Yesterday I was privileged to be on a panel with Janice Cooper, Bob McAllister and Doug Moss at the Fridays @ QFHS seminar. Our topic was “Researching, Organising and Filing your Family History”. This was the second session on this topic in 2019. The main advantage of having a panel format for this topic as the variety of responses and strategies hopefully strike a chord with the attendees….no one way will suit everyone and as I said “my way may not be your way”. I also recommended The Organised Genealogist Facebook group as a great opportunity to discover a wide variety of strategies. As always I learned something too, and picked up clues and tips of my own, especially from Janice’s One Place Study strategies.

PD60004885_000-RootsTech19-1200x1200_LondonThe seminar also provoked me to finally do something I’ve been planning for some time: a checklist of research for family history – yours or mine. No doubt I’ve forgotten or just omitted some sources/strategies so feel free to let me know what you think should be added. I’ve included the file on this blog here.

So what’s next for me? RootsTech London, along with some of my long-standing Genimates, and the chance to meet and make new ones….and of course the learning…the schedule is jam-packed with great speakers and presentations so choosing which to attend will be a challenge. I am slightly miffed that London is taking second place in the planning and preparation to the Salt Lake conference which is still months away as it would be helpful to have the RootsTech updated for London…however that’s a small matter. I’m so grateful to Carolina Girl Genealogy and RootsTech London for the free pass I won which reimbursed my early registration. I’m really looking forward to meeting Cheri in person! In the meantime I’ve got lots of homework to prepare for a week’s research time in Scotland before RootsTech. Focus will be the name of the game!

What was I thinking – I published without adding photos. My apologies!