Megan Smolenyak Tells It Like It Is!

Megan Smolenyak Tells It Like It Is!

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (yes, that is her name), is one of those well-known names in the genealogy-world. Self-described as a “genealogy adventurer” she’s a genealogist having worked on many celebrity family trees, is a regular guest presenter at genealogy events, worked on multiple genealogy TV shows and is a author of a number of books and numerous articles. All in all, she’s loves finding dead people.

While reading her latest Honouring Our Ancestors newsletter she included a picture that I just HAD to share with  you, because this quote has now become my all-time-new-favourite quote.  Why? Well, simply because it is plainly true!

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5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Final Thoughts and Thankyous

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Final Thoughts and Thankyous

To finish up writing about the 5th Unlock the Past cruise I just wanted to write a few last thoughts on it all, as well as some thankyous.

The cruise itself went really, really well, as did the conference. In fact, it really was the best run conference of all of the genealogy cruises that I’ve been on (meaning the 1st, the 3rd and the 4th cruises). Sure there were two late room changes, but that wasn’t any real drama, as we were simply directed to the alternate room which was either on the same deck, or one deck up. And sure one shore tour was late returning which resulted in one talk having to be cancelled since the speaker was on the tour, but those who wanted to go Jackie’s talk on Family Historian caught up with her when she was available to chat in the Research Help Zone area.

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5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Comes to an End With a Cocktail Party

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Comes to an End With a Cocktail Party

Our visit to Honfleur in France on day 10 was our last stop before heading back to Tilbury in London the following morning. And while everyone was getting the “oh-no-the-cruise-is-nearly-over” blues, Unlock The Past weren’t quite done yet.

In my last post I did report on the day in Honfleur, and the talks we had in the afternoon. But what I didn’t include in that post was the wrap-up cocktail party.

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5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Confectionery Stores, Genealogying and Getting Fit

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Confectionery Stores, Genealogying and Getting Fit

What do confectionery stores and getting fit have to do with Unlock the Past’s 5th Cruise? You might just be surprised!

The beauty of not going on an organised tour, and simply hopping off the ship and wandering around the town is that you get to see all the shops and the types of things they sell. Souvenir shops, newsagents, jewellery stores, tourist information places, bakeries, clothing stores, confectionery stores, even supermarkets … you name I visited them all over the course of this cruise … and my suitcase does still close – surprisingly! Which of course also meant lots of walking, so I’ve getting fit touristing. ;P

So now let me tell you about the last three days of the cruise, which took us to the Isles of Scilly, then Guernsey and lastly to Honfleur in France.

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Megan Smolenyak Tells It Like It Is!

Megan Smolenyak Tells It Like It Is!

August 17, 2014 in All Posts, Reference

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (yes, that is her name), is one of those well-known names in the genealogy-world. Self-described as a “genealogy adventurer” she’s a genealogist having worked on many celebrity family trees, is a regular guest presenter at genealogy events, worked on multiple genealogy TV shows and is a author of a number of books and numerous articles. All in all, she’s loves finding dead people.

While reading her latest Honouring Our Ancestors newsletter she included a picture that I just HAD to share with  you, because this quote has now become my all-time-new-favourite quote.  Why? Well, simply because it is plainly true!

Read more

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Final Thoughts and Thankyous

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Final Thoughts and Thankyous

August 8, 2014 in All Posts, Events

To finish up writing about the 5th Unlock the Past cruise I just wanted to write a few last thoughts on it all, as well as some thankyous.

The cruise itself went really, really well, as did the conference. In fact, it really was the best run conference of all of the genealogy cruises that I’ve been on (meaning the 1st, the 3rd and the 4th cruises). Sure there were two late room changes, but that wasn’t any real drama, as we were simply directed to the alternate room which was either on the same deck, or one deck up. And sure one shore tour was late returning which resulted in one talk having to be cancelled since the speaker was on the tour, but those who wanted to go Jackie’s talk on Family Historian caught up with her when she was available to chat in the Research Help Zone area.

Read more

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Comes to an End With a Cocktail Party

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Comes to an End With a Cocktail Party

August 3, 2014 in All Posts, Events

Our visit to Honfleur in France on day 10 was our last stop before heading back to Tilbury in London the following morning. And while everyone was getting the “oh-no-the-cruise-is-nearly-over” blues, Unlock The Past weren’t quite done yet.

In my last post I did report on the day in Honfleur, and the talks we had in the afternoon. But what I didn’t include in that post was the wrap-up cocktail party.

Read more

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Confectionery Stores, Genealogying and Getting Fit

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Confectionery Stores, Genealogying and Getting Fit

August 2, 2014 in All Posts, Events

What do confectionery stores and getting fit have to do with Unlock the Past’s 5th Cruise? You might just be surprised!

The beauty of not going on an organised tour, and simply hopping off the ship and wandering around the town is that you get to see all the shops and the types of things they sell. Souvenir shops, newsagents, jewellery stores, tourist information places, bakeries, clothing stores, confectionery stores, even supermarkets … you name I visited them all over the course of this cruise … and my suitcase does still close – surprisingly! Which of course also meant lots of walking, so I’ve getting fit touristing. ;P

So now let me tell you about the last three days of the cruise, which took us to the Isles of Scilly, then Guernsey and lastly to Honfleur in France.

Read more

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – One Thing Crossed Off my Bucket List

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – One Thing Crossed Off my Bucket List

August 1, 2014 in All Posts, Events

Life works better for a blogger when with internet. Due to the lack on internet on the ship it prevented me from reporting as I went, so now that I’m back on land, I have some catch-up posts to do. As I’m not reliant on dodgy internet now, I can write a bit more about each day. So I apologise for my short reports earlier, but it was simply a case of getting it up in the time (and internet) I had available.

Anyway so far I have told you about my pre-cruise days, the day we left, and the first few after that, and  our journey has taken us up the east coast of the UK, over the top around the Scottish islands, and now  we come down on the west coast. Our next stop was on the tiny island called Mull, which is one of the islands in the Hebrides in Scotland, so let me start by telling you all about that!

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5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Sightseeing Galore (and Genealogy)

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Sightseeing Galore (and Genealogy)

July 28, 2014 in All Posts, Events

The Unlock the Past cruise continues, but as we’ve not had internet, I’m rather late in reporting the happenings of it all. So picking up from the previous post, Sunday was a solid day of genealogy talks which was great, not to mention choc-full-of advice, but everyone was looking forward to some sightseeing in Scotland on Monday.

But firstly let me tell you something that makes this cruise different to every other one that I’ve been on to date, is the amount of land days included. Because of that it means less talks, and more touristing. So in reality it’s been quite a relaxing cruise in contrast to the previous ones. And as I’ve not been to any of the places our ship stops at, I’m making the most of it.

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5th Unlock the Past Cruise – The First Couple of Days

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – The First Couple of Days

July 27, 2014 in All Posts, Events

In my last post I told you that we’d arrived in London, and the fun and traipsing we did around London, so now I’d better tell you about the cruise itself.

DAY 1 – TILBURY, LONDON
Let me start off by saying that Unlock the Past’s 5th cruise (the British Isles one) has been “coming” for so long, that it really didn’t seem real when it actually arrived.  But Saturday the 19th of July finally came, so myself and the UTP team packed up at our London hotel, and taxi-d to the cruise terminal at Tilbury, London.

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5th Unlock the Past Cruise – The Pre-Cruise Days

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – The Pre-Cruise Days

July 24, 2014 in All Posts, Events

Well the 5th Unlock the Past cruise is underway, and as we’re stopped in port today (with internet of some sort, but it’s better than none), it has given me time to sit and write something.

But before I get too much into the cruise happenings itself, let me tell you about the two days before that started.

The Unlock the Past cruise team (myself included), arrived in London on Thursday (17th July). As it was in the morning, it gave us a chance to make our way to our hotel to dump our bags, and then go for a wander around.

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles … And a Big Ship As Well

Planes, Trains and Automobiles … And a Big Ship As Well

July 10, 2014 in All Posts, Britain, Events

Planes, maybe a train, and no doubt buses and taxis, as well as a big ship are what I will be experiencing soon, as in a few days time I’ll be on my way to London to go on Unlock the Past’s 5th cruise. So the suitcase is out, the passport is packed, and so are my European plugs, and my Unlock the Past cruise t-shirts. The rest I need to work out this weekend!

This is Unlock the Past’s 5th history and genealogy cruise, and it will be first real international one, as all their previous cruises have left from either Australian or New Zealand ports. This one starts from London, then goes up to Scotland, around to Ireland, stops at the Islands, touches on France, and then heads back to London. So it’ll be quite a trip!

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