8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 14 Final Day

8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 14 Final Day

Day 14, Friday 24th July 2015 was our last full-day on the ship. We were sailing (I guess technically it’s called cruising) back to Southampton, England and would be disembarking early the following Saturday morning.

The conference day started at 8.00am with Chris Paton’s talk “The Godly Commonwealth: Discover Scottish Church Records”. Although thanks to another timezone change, Chris was a little late.

I made it to another five talks throughout the day:
– Farm, fish, faith or family?: Emigration from North Devon 1830-1900 – Janet Few
– Using manorial and parochial record to trace agricultural labourers – Caroline Gurney
– Coffers, clysters, comfrey and coifs: The lives of our 17th century ancestors – Janet Few
– Are you lost?: Using maps, gazetteers and directories for British Isles research – Paul Milner
– Building a digital research plan – Cyndi Ingle

All talks were fabulous, and lots learned (and hopefully – at least most it retained). I do have my notes to go back to if needed.

Janet Few reintroduced us to Master Christopher and Mistress Agnes for her presentation of the lives of our 17th century ancestors. Chock full of historical tidbits, their method certainly makes it riveting. A few of the many that were mentioned were:
– unless you were super-rich your house was made from materials that were found nearby
– chickens (and other animals) would live in the house in winter
– candles were made from animal fat, then dipped in bees wax for an outer layer, as bees wax was expensive
– if you were rich enough to afford carpet, it hung on the wall
– floors were made of hardened dirt
– a candle took 20 minutes to burn
– clothes were laid flat, as there was no such thing as a wardrobe
– windows were expensive, so wooden shutters were the norm
– and urine was used as bleach (yes, really)

Paul’s talk on maps was fascinating, particularly as he gave a link to the National Library of Scotland  which holds an immense collection of maps (worldwide). But he suggests using the “side-by-side” view, which not only shows you the old map, it also shows you that are on Google Maps next to it! Now isn’t that cool.

Cynd’is talk on Building a digital research plan great, but I feel it was too much for the last talk. But I did take notes, and I know I’ll have to go over them sometime to remember what she suggested.

After dinner we headed upstairs to the Sky Lounge for our wind-up session. This started with Carol Becker talking about “What it’s like to be married to a genealogist”. And she nailed every point, she truly had the crowd in stitches. After that was the prize draws, some thankyous, the group photos … and then suddenly it’s all over. It was hard to believe that it actually finished.

But as packing our cases still needed to be done by many, farewells and best wishes were exchanged, along with some selfe photos … then it was back to our rooms to make sure we packed everything that needed to be, as disembarkation was scheduled for early the next morning.

heading back to Southampton

heading back to Southampton

Farm, fish, faith or family - all of these were reasons for emigration from North Devon during the 1830-1900 period

Farm, fish, faith or family – all of these were reasons for emigration from North Devon during the 1830-1900 period

Caroline Gurney talked about Ag Lab's

Caroline Gurney talked about Ag Lab’s

then it was a quick visit to the photo shop onboard to check out some photos we had taken

then it was a quick visit to the photo shop onboard to check out some photos I had taken

out 17th century guests, Master Christopher and Mistress Agnes made an appearance again

out 17th century guests, Master Christopher and Mistress Agnes made an appearance again

Maps: where you find them, why they can be useful ... and more

Maps: where you find them, why they can be useful … and a whole heap more

Cyndi Ingle spoke on building a digital research plan

Cyndi Ingle spoke on building a digital research plan, why you should, and how to do so

the wind-up session on the 8th Unlock the Past cruise

the wind-up session on the 8th Unlock the Past cruise

Carol Becker giving her talk "so you are married to a genealogist?"

Carol Becker giving her talk “so you are married to a genealogist?”

Alan Phillips. with Bosti who kept things running on the ship

Alan Phillips. with Bosti who kept things running on the ship

the contingent of attendees from the US

the contingent of attendees from the US

the 8th Unlock the Past cruise speakers photo

the 8th Unlock the Past cruise speakers photo (excluding Shauna Hicks)

Rosemary McKenzie and Jenny Joyce

Rosemary McKenzie and Jenny Joyce

Alona Tester from Gould Genealogy with Tony Beardshaw from My History

Alona Tester from Gould Genealogy with Tony Beardshaw from My History

Leanne Hamilton with Janet Few (aka Mistress Agnes)

Leanne Hamilton with Janet Few (aka Mistress Agnes)

Jane and Stephen Tabuman

Jane and Stephen Tabuman

Cyndi Ingle with Alan Phillips

Cyndi Ingle with Alan Phillips

So that it. It’s officially over… but along the way new friendships were made, connections were made, and a whole heap of information was given to us by some of the best speakers in the genealogy world. We all had a ball, but it was very tiring. And while none of us wanted it to finish, we knew in our hearts that we needed a rest as well.

Thank you to everyone who was ‘travelling’ along with me. I’m glad that I was able to share at least a little of it with you. As my job requires me actually be there, rather than off sailing constantly, my feet are now on dry land at least until next year, when I embark on my next voyage …

To make life easier for those that wish to read all of my cruise-related posts, I’ve put links to them all below:
Pre-cruise
Day 1 – Southampton, England
Day 2 – Blankenberge, Belgium
Day 3 – At Sea
Day 4 – Warnemünde, Germany
Day 5 – At Sea
Day 6 – Tallinn, Estonia
Day 7 & 8 – St Petersburg, Russia
Day 9 – Helsinki, Finland
Day 10 – Stockholm, Sweden
Day 11 – At Sea
Day 12 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Day 13 – At Sea
Day 14 – Final Day

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5 Responses to “8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 14 Final Day”

  1. Fran says:

    Alona, I enjoyed all the updates and this last day with the pics is a nice ending. Here’s to the next trip. Fran

  2. Crissouli says:

    Loved being along with you via your blog..thanks, Alona. Hope you do get a rest before heading back into the fray.

  3. Alex says:

    It looks like so much fun. I also like the sound of that Building a Digital Research Plan session.

  4. Fantastic trip. Thanks for the detailed daily summaries and all the pictures. The one lecture my wife would have attended for sure would have been “So you are married to a genealogist?”

    To have so much fun, be on “vacation”, yet be so exhausted! That’s what it’s all about, for sure!

  5. GenieJen says:

    Thanks for your daily blogs. It was lovely to be able to share the cruise from afar.

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