8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 5 At Sea

8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 5 At Sea

Day 5 (Wednesday 15 July 2015) of our Unlock the Past cruise arrived and gave us another lovely, blue sky day. Helen (my roommate) and I woke up early as it was another sea day, so was a full day of talks were scheduled. Eleven of them in fact. Of those I made it to six of them:

– Using DNA to solve genealogical puzzles – Helen Smith
– The story behind the birth of the Flip-Pal mobile scanner – Gordon Nuttall
– Caring for your family archives – Shauna Hicks
– ‘Til death do us part: causes of death 1300-1948 – Janet Few
– Irish records online – Chris Paton
– An evening with Master Christopher: 17th Century barber surgeon – Chris Braund

Helen’s talk was a whistlestop introduction to DNA for genealogy. Starting with what DNA can do for you, she then covering the types of tests, why do a test, and what to do once you have done a test.  DNA is a complex, and is basically another language, so it’s not an easy subject to learn, so if you delve into the DNA side of things be prepared for a learning curve. But Helen stressed the using DNA can certainly be useful for your research, but do keep in mind that is not a replacement for it.

The second talk that I went to for the day was Gordon Nuttall telling the background story as to how the Flip-Pal mobile scanner came about. Which in case you’re interested originated from him and his wife packing up their computer and scanner and travelling interstate to Karen’s parents to scan all of their photographs. They did so, but on getting home, Karen said “surely there’s got to be an easier way” … which then put the idea into Gordon’s head, afterall he was an engineer at HP … and in 2010 Couragent, the company behind the Flip-Pal mobile scanner was born. He also gave an insight into what the company is working on, and what’s coming next. But for that you’ll have too wait.

For the 3rd talk of the day, I was good, and took the ten flights stairs up to the conference room trying to work off last nights dinner. Shauna Hicks – one of Australa’s best known speakers spoke on Caring for your archives. As you’ll see from the picture below, she does have her arm in plaster after breaking in yesterday. But she soldered on, and gave a very enlightening talk covering what are family archives, setting up an organisational system, have backups, conservation and preservation, and who inherits the family archives?  And before you go ahead and think that you don’t have any family memorabilia or heirlooms, she discusses the physical and the online heirlooms! I bet you didn’t think about those right?

After three talks, combined with some early mornings and late nights, I crashed and missed the next few, but I did make it to Janet Few’s ”Til death us do part: causes of death 1300-1948″ which was fascinating. Covering the broad topics of the causes of death such as the epidemics and infections, industrial diseases, the impact of urbanisation, the impact of poverty, childbirth, surgery, suicide and murder, famine, war and accidents, it makes you realise just how important it is to get that certificate and find the cause of death.

Although I’m not actively researching any of my Irish lines, I did attend Chris Paton’s talk on Irish records online as I always learn oodles from him (well subject to me remembering it all, anyway). He gave details (many with websites) on where to find Irish BDM records, burial records, censuses 1821-1911, other types of censuses, directories, newspapers, military records, 17th century resources. He also then mentioned the major archives PRONI, National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland and mentioned some of their major records you’ll find of them.

The last “talk” of the day was wasn’t a talk as such but rather a presentation by Chris Braund (aka Master Christopher) who is a 17th barber surgeon and gave us a presentation of the process of what his job entails. Apart from barbering, he did “mumble pin” extractions (teeth). He did amputations. He dealt with “blockages” and of course surgery. Success rate was good, it was about 30%! Now you all know the twirly red and white pole as a symbol of a barber pole that’s outside the building … this started because the bandages were washed, twisted and hung out to dry. So that’s your little history lesson for day. 😉 Chris had the audience in stitches (and a little green) with his descriptions of how things were treated. Although we’re not even halfway through the cruise, I’d say it’ll be a highlight for most people.

It was a busy day, but lots of great talks, and lots of great info learned.

sunshine to begin the day

sunshine to begin the day

the red arrow is where we were this morning

the red arrow is where we were this morning

Helen beginning her DNA talks

Helen beginning her DNA talk

Gordon and Karen Nuttall demoing the Flip-Pal mobile scanner

Gordon and Karen Nuttall demoing the Flip-Pal mobile scanner

Shauna Hicks in the 8th Unlock the Past cruise

Shauna Hicks talking on Caring for your archives

see, everyone has archives you need to look after

see, everyone has archives you need to look after

Janet Few's 'Til death us do part

Janet Few’s ‘Til death us do part

Chris Paton taking about Irish records online

Chris Paton taking about Irish records online

this is what the speakers do when they they aren't presenting. Chris Braunda and Janet Few from England are making the most of the sunshine

this is what the speakers do when they they aren’t presenting. Chris Braunda and Janet Few from England are making the most of the sunshine

Master Christopher and Mistress Agnes

Master Christopher and Mistress Agnes of Swords and Spindles

if you had a case of "belly bound" in the 17th century, I'm not sure which was worse - having it or the treatment

if you had a case of “belly bound” in the 17th century, I’m not sure which was worse – having it or the treatment

"Got a headache? no problem, we can drill into the skull to relieve the pressure ... it'll only take 20 minutes or so, and be sure to bite on this piece of leather"

“Got a headache? no problem, we can drill into the skull to relieve the pressure … it’ll only take 20 minutes or so, and be sure to bite on the piece of leather I give you”

"Got a broken wrist? No problem, that's a simple amputation"

“Got a broken wrist? No problem, that’s a simple amputation”

Master Christopher, with his 17th century barber surgeon's instruments

Master Christopher with his 17th century barber surgeon’s instruments

Next stop is Day 6 Tallinn, Estonia …

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2 Responses to “8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 5 At Sea”

  1. Sharon says:

    It sounds like a great conference with wonderful cruise destinations too.

    Feeling some regret reading all these posts but thankful that we get to go along on the journey too.

  2. GenieJen says:

    Poor Shauna. Amazing that she still presented -what a trooper. Love the sunrise. The conference centre looks very swish on your ship.

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