4th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day Three, 6 February 2014

I know the cruise over already. But so much happened that I want to do each day justice. So bear with me while I try and remember, and record the happenings of each day.

Day 3 of the cruise, and it was up early for myself and the rest of the Unlock the Past team, as we docked at Melbourne at 8.00am. So the plan was to get off quickly, and get a taxi (or two) and head on over to the Celtic Club in Melbourne where our seminar for the day was being held, and started at 10.00am.

But as we all know, reality has its own ideas of what’s to happen, and it managed to throw all of our plans out the window.

First up we found out that unfortunately two of our four speakers at the seminar (Thomas MacEntee and Noeline Kyle) were both ill  and were were unable to make it to the seminar. So after some quick talking, both Helen V. Smith and Kirsty Gray both volunteered to fill gap (aren’t they simply the best!)

Kirsty Gray

Kirsty Gray

The next challenge for the day was actually getting off the ship.  Apparently the ship security thought it was very odd that we were taking a suitcase off the ship, and made us step aside, and open it up to prove that it was simply the books we were selling at the venue. So after more delays we eventually made it off, and headed to the taxi area. While we were later than intended, we managed to get to the venue before the event was due to start. Phew!!

Despite the interesting start to the day, the day at Melbourne went well.


Alan welcoming everyone to the Melbourne seminar

the crowd at the Melbourne seminar

the Unlock the Past team, wth the FindMyPast ladies next to them

the Unlock the Past team, with the FindMyPast ladies next to them

Chris Paton spoke on “The Godly Commenweath: Discover Scottish Church Records” and also “British and Irish Newspapers”. He enthralled the audience, even getting them to sing which you can see on the short clip below!

Kirsty and Helen kept to crowd enthused with their talks on Tracing Your West Country Ancestors and Document Analysis, both of which I certainly learned from, and I’m sure others did too.

And Helen and I got the meet Elizabeth Piper, an 18 year old genealogist who was attending the seminar. See … there is no age barrier anymore. Genealogy really is for anyone and everyone.

L-R: Alona Tester & Elizabeth Piper

L-R: Alona Tester (me) & Elizabeth Piper (photo by Helen Smith)

So as you can see it was a great day in Melbourne, before we (the UTP team) headed back to the ship which then sailed out of Melbourne at 8.00pm. At that time our one meeting of the day (on the ship) had just started which was Thomas MacEntee’s “Future of Genealogy” panel. After a day of resting, he made it out of bed.

With the four panelists being Shauna Hicks, Mike Murray, Chris Paton and Kirsty Gray, Thomas asked each of them a series of questions (below) which they answered. As you can imagine having different people from difference background gives different answers. So it’s really interesting.

Q1. What was the most amazing development in the field of genealogy and family history for 2013?
Q2. Is there a “typical genealogist?” How would you describe the demographic of the genealogy consumer industry in Australia? Outside of Australia?
Q3. Are there any setbacks or pushbacks you’ve seen over the past few years that are a cause for concern, especially when it comes to growth of the genealogy industry?
Q4. What role will media (television, print, online) continue to play in the genealogy field?
Q5. Five years from now, what will be the most popular method for the “newbies” to find genealogy and get hooked?
Q6. What role will technology play in the genealogy and family history industry in the near future?
Q7. Over the next five years, what will be the biggest motivator or product or concept to propel genealogy forward?

I’m not going to write the responses that each person gave to the questions, for one that I would mean that I would have to interpret my scribbled notes <G>, but also why not think about how you yourself would answer them. They are thought provoking topics.

And for more reports on the Seminar at Melbourne check out the following blog posts from:
Chris Paton – Unlock the Past Talks in Melbourne
Helen V. Smith – Day 3 and 4, 4th Unlock the Past Cruise 

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