A Day and a Conference in Seattle

Tuesday the 4th of September was the longest day ever (well for me anyway). I was up at about 3am, ready for a 6am flight – and my long trip to the US for my latest adventure began.

After after 3 plane flights, bad food, and no sleep, 30 or so hours later, I was at my hotel in Seattle, USA. By this time it’s Tuesday mid-afternoon and a lovely blue sky day, much to my amazement … as my only prior knowledge of Seattle (other than that’s where Nirvana were from), was that ‘it ALWAYS rains’. I must say that I’m very impressed that I was proved wrong.

I made it … finally!

Anyway I was there primarily for Unlock the Past’s Alaska cruise, which I will report on in a later post, but prior to the cruise I had two days in Seattle. So in this post I’m writing about that.

Wednesday 5 September 2018
This was my “free” day. A day to sleep (which I reckon I needed), or a day to tourist. I opted for a bit of both. A quiet morning at the hotel, followed  by some touristing courtesy of the hop-on-hop-off bus in the afternoon – and another perfect weather day. While the bus has 18 stops or so I want to show you just 2 places I saw – the Space Needle and the Chihuly Glass Garden and Exhibition. Both were certainly something worth seeing. While I dd take plenty of photos, I found videos of both, which shows the scale of them far better than my pics do.

one of the many spectacular glass displays

If you want to see more of the Glass Garden, click here for a longer video.

the photo doesn’t do it justice

For more on the Space Needle, check out this link.

After visiting the Chihuly Glass Garden and Space Needle, I popped into the Seattle Public Library, as that’s where I’d be tomorrow for the conference, and hey it’s a library, so I need to visit! I found the genealogy floor, and even the Australian genealogy section (though it was pretty small), still nice to know they had one though. And had a browse around everything.

It’s a very nice library, and would have been good to stay longer and explore their records more. Anyway it wasn’t to be on this trip.

the Seattle Public Library is an interesting looking building

Level 9 – genealogy

how many titles do you recognise?

Thursday 6 September 2018
No sleep in today as the Unlock the Past in Seattle conference day had arrived, and as one of the organisers I had to get there early to help set up things. This was a day-long conference that  was open to anyone (locals and cruisers who were already in Seattle), to come and hear some talks from some speakers who were on the cruise, and others who weren’t.

Held in two streams, one on DNA, the other Irish and General, here’s the talk topics:

Steam 1: DNA
– Using Y-DNA and mtDNA to Explore your Ancestry (Blaine Bettinger)
– Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th Century Mysteries (Blaine Bettinger)
– Challengers with Irish Genetic Genealogy (Maurice Gleeson)
– Using Third-Party Tools to Analyse your Autosomal DNA (Blaine Bettinger)
– Phasing and Mapping your DNA

Blaine Bettinger ready for a day of presentations (Photo: Helen Smith)

the crowd in the DNA stream (Photo: Helen Smith)

Steam 2: Irish/General
– Tracing Your Immigrant Ancestor to Ireland (Maurice Gleeson)
– Genealogy and the Little Ice Age (Wayne Shepheard)
– The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper (Cyndi Ingle)
– Navigating Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Records (Maurice Gleeson)
– Newspapers, Gravestone and Probate: Rice Sources for Irish Research (Maurice Gleeson)

Wayne Shepheard speaker on the Little Ice Age, with Alan Phillips, UTP in Seattle conference organiser

the group listening to Cyndi Ingle’s talk on the Hidden Web (Photo: Alan Phillips)

I chose to sit in on the Irish and General talks, and as always I learnt plenty. Now the trick is to remember it! The Little Ice Age talk was a real thought provoker, and brings in facets I’d never considered. Cyndi’s Hidden Web was great explaining why Google doesn’t find everything, and how can find it yourself. And as for Irish records, there’s always more to learn about them, and Maurice is a great speaker.

All ten talks were livestreamed as well, so allowed others around to log on and listen in at the time. Of those, six of the ten talks were recorded by Legacy Family Tree Webinars and are available for viewing with a subscription. Please note, Blaine’s weren’t recorded, as he advised that his Seattle presentations were already covered by ones he already has on Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Though the titles are different, the content that is covered in the talks is the same, or possibly even more detailed in some areas. You can view all of Blaine’s talks here.

Now I don’t want to give you a sales pitch, but in my option Legacy Family Tree Webinars is a truly fabulous way to extend your genealogy knowledge. They have great talks by well-qualified speakers from all around the world, you can watch and listen to them when you choose. There’s literally hundreds to choose from, and it costs very little. I took out a subscription earlier this year, and my plan is to watch one video a week as a to help boost my genealogy education. If you’re interested in checking it out click here. It’s just US$9.95/month, or US$49.95/year.

Anyway after a great conference, it was off to dinner at the famous Ivar’s Acres of Clams with a bunch of new and old friends for a great catchup after a long day.

it was a great dinner with new and old friends

Stay tuned, as next post we board the ship for Alaska!!

2 Responses to “A Day and a Conference in Seattle”

  1. GenieJen says:

    I’ve been looking forward to hearing from you about the cruise and I’ve not been disappointed. Thanks for all the details of the Seattle visit and conference. Those glass sculptures are really something.

  2. Crissouli says:

    I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at


    Thank you, Chris
    I’ve also included your posts on the cruise, so readerscan enjoy the cruise through you…

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