Blog post

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Congress 2018 wrap-up

Four days - a busy blur of conference sessions and group gatherings for meals or photos. Now Congress 2018 has ended, and hundreds of delegates have returned home. I expect that like me they were sad to see it end, but ready for a break and a chance to put all they’d learnt into action. Conference tag with ribbons attached, string of beads.

There was a good selection of both local and international speakers, but the speakers are only part of the experience. Jill Ball of GeniAus did an exceptional job of extending the community spirit and camaraderie that exists among genealogy bloggers to the non-blogging conference goers. Or at least that’s how it appeared to me, and I hope that’s how they felt about it!

I caught up with friends I had met online or at the Canberra conference in 2015, with my cousin who was also attending, and also made/met some new friends. I don’t want to name names or I will be sure to leave someone out.

I delivered my presentation on Visualising DNA Matches with Network Graphs on Sunday evening. The conference started on Friday so there were three days for my nerves to build, but also three days to settle in and feel like part of the genealogy community. Several people told me afterwards that they were keen to try graphing their DNA matches, or spoke to me about the insights they had already gained through doing so.

I’ve run through my notes and made a list of things to try, or thoughts to hang on to. Some of my top items:

  • Need to investigate the journals section of Trove.
  • Possible purchase: Farewell my Children by Richard E Reid (after hearing Pauleen Cass talk)
  • Why don’t I have a copy of Phillimore’s Atlas?! Must fix that (several talks prompted this thought).  
  • Need to take a proper look at DustyDocs.
  • Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist) provided links to sites with public domain photos – bookmark them.
  • Freemason records! Now that I’ve learnt more about these I definitely want to follow up on the Freemasons in my family. 
  • Lewis’ gazetteer – get hold of that too.
  • Lisa Louise Cooke spoke about using Google Earth Pro. I realised I already have it on my computer and promptly lost several hours playing with it. She said that would happen…
  • A couple of blog tweaks I should probably make after hearing Jill Ball talk about Beaut Blogs.

One of the highlights was meeting international speaker, Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist).

Shelley Crawford and Judy Russell

This is one of the few photos I have of people – I really should have taken more. Between lunches, dinners, group photos and other get togethers it felt like I had taken a million, but apparently not.

It was very disappointing to hear that none of the Societies have put their hand up to host the next Congress. I hope that we will hear good news on that front soon. I will be more than ready to go to another conference in three years from now.