8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 3 At Sea

8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 3 At Sea

Day 3 (Monday 13 July 2015) of the 8th Unlock the Past cruise and it was a sea day. Which means that it was also our first full conference day. With 11 talks scheduled throughout the day, I made it 7 of them.

– Foreign language tools for English speaking genealogists – Cyndi Ingle
– Tracing merchant seaman – Caroline Gurney
– Family Historian: general introduction – Jane Taubman
– A to Z of family history: some less well known UK sources – Janet Few
– Diaries and letters: fleshing out the family history – Shauna Hicks
– Buried Treasure: what’s in the English parish chest – Paul Milner
– A guided tour of Cyndi’s List 2.0 – Cyndi Ingle

As I always find, I gleaned new information from each and everyone of them.

Cyndi gave attendees numerous ways to be able to deal with foreign languages – be it records, websites, correspondence or other …….. there are tools available to be able to make use of these records, which will of course help your research.

Caroline Gurney’s talk on merchant seaman was mind blowing. She started off by letting us all know that there is no easy way to track a merchant seaman. But there are oodles of record available, and it’s a matter of knowing what type of record, for what period, and where to look. I must look into this more for my great grandpa who was a merchant seaman.

Jane’s talk on Family Historian was enlightening … and again I came away feeling like I’ll dump my current program and make the switch to Family Historian. but changing programs is hard. More in the mental sense than in the physical one. Because you are going from something familiar, which is easy to use, to something you have to learn from scratch which takes time and effort.

Janet Few’s talk on the A to Z of Family History using the “less well known” sources was a good one. Simply mentioning types of records for each letter, she then gave website links for almost every one. For instance the Anglican visitations (which are different from the known Visitations), the Ecclesiastical census records, the Gough Map, the Jewellery Corner, the Methodists, One Place Studies  and so on … Lots of great links given here, together with the type of information the records can give you.

Shauna’s talk on diaries and letters fleshing out you family history was just that. She gave numerous examples of how she gleaned information and clues from old family letters of hers. One side of my family has boxes and boxes full of old letters, some dating back to the mid 1800s. I have no doubt that many of them would be fascinating and genealogically valuable. But it’s a case of going through them, scanning it and taking the time read the old handwriting to see what it says – and there hasn’t happened with of my family’s heirloom letters. [Note to self … must do this!]

The parish chest is a fascinating topic, and when Paul Milner is talking on the topic, everyone wants to hear – and he spoke to a packed room as expected. In this talk he covers all the fabulous stuff that the parish chest records can contain: settlement and removal records, bastardy records, apprenticeship records, the Vestry minutes, and the churchwarden accounts, militia records and more. He did exclude the baptisms, marriages and burials – as that’s another whole talk he has later in the cruise.

And the last talk of the day was Cyndi Ingle, showing people how to use, and why they should be using her newly designed (ie. version 2.0) website. While all but one person in the audience had used Cyndi’s List, there was a large portion that hasn’t used the site in the last year or two. Cyndi’s site underwent a huge upgrade, and she explained the navigation, the browse and search, how to submit a link, report a broken link and so on on this site. She talked about the history of Cyndi’s List, and how it came about, and how it all happens. Cyndi’s List is a phenomenal achievement from just one person, and she should be incredibly proud to see her website turn 20 this year.

While it was a fairly busy talks day, I did have a break in the middle and went wandering around to ship to see what else I could find … they are included in the pictures below.

for every genealogy conference I need a good genealogy notebook, and this is the one I chose for this cruise

for every genealogy conference I need a good genealogy notebook, and this is the one I chose for this cruise

Cyndia talking on Forgein-Language Tools for English-Speaking Genealogists

Cyndia talking on Foreign-Language Tools for English-Speaking Genealogists

Caroline spoke on Tracing Merchant Seamen

Caroline spoke on Tracing Merchant Seamen

I made it beyond the conference rooms

I made it beyond the conference rooms

there's even a room of arcade games on this ship

there’s even a room of arcade games on this ship

the onboard gym - I visited it once. To visit!

the onboard gym – I visited it once. To vi

Janet Few's A to Z of family history using less known UK resources was fascinating

Janet Few’s A to Z of family history using less known UK resources was fascinating

Shauna speaking on how diaries and letters can flesh out your family history

Shauna speaking on how diaries and letters can flesh out your family history

Paul's Buried Treasure talk about the parish chest is always  popular one

Paul’s Buried Treasure talk about the parish chest is always popular one

Cyndi Ingle talking about the new version of Cyndi's List

Cyndi Ingle talking about the new version of Cyndi’s List

Tony Beardshaw from My History  is the bookshop on the 8th Unlock the Past cruise

Tony Beardshaw from My History is the bookshop on the 8th Unlock the Past cruise

Unlock the Past guide book on the cruise

Unlock the Past guide book on the cruise

we finished the day with this sunset

we finished the day with this sunset

Day 4 is next and we’re heading to Germany …

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  1. 8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 2 Blankenberge, Belgium | Lonetester HQ - […] Day 3 is a sea day, and is our first full day of conferencing … […]
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