Of Conferences (of the family history kind) and Cocktail Dresses

I am just starting to catch up following the Guild of One-Name Studies conference at Forest Pines Hotel and Golf Resort. Which I followed up with the enjoyment of Granny activities. I came away from the conference with loads of new ideas and inevitably, little time to put them in to practice. I was on ‘meet and greet’ duty, a great opportunity to say hello to long-standing friends and to get to know those whom I had not met before.

The programme was hectic, with plenty of learning opportunities. First a session from Laurence Harris of My Heritage on ‘Collaboration, Cooperation and Communication’. I got on my soap-box and expressed my long-held reservations about ‘matching’ on commercial family history data providing websites. The resulting mega trees may be something to boast of but where is the merit of having a billion individuals on your un-sourced pedigree, about whom you know nothing? Many of these links are probably incorrect in any case. This quantity over quality trend is not part of the hobby that I recognise as family history.

Later I had the opportunity to chair Tessa Keough, who was encouraging family historians to learn more about techniques and context via webinars, online courses and other means; if only everyone would take her advice. Then I was acting as chair again for a session by Alan Moorhouse about the use of Facebook, something else I would advocate. Apparently 19% of the world’s population are on Facebook.

Isn’t it just typical, this was the weekend that we lost an hour due to the clocks going forward. Difficult enough for me to stay up late to socialise at the conference banquet under normal circumstances but minus an hour as well….

Sunday morning brought the usual ecumenical service. Unfortunately we lacked a keyboard upon which to play hymns. The venue were very obliging and offered to source one for us and to their credit they did – just a shame it was a computer keyboard! I presented my interactive session on publishing options. For ‘interactive’ read – I have to keep quiet, whilst the audience do all the work. These sessions seemed to go very well and there was some very positive feedback following mine. Then a very interesting, information packed session on DNA from Maurice Gleeson. All great fun and next week many of us get to meet again at Who Do You Think You Are Live. After two years’ worth of trolley disasters (see blogs for February 2014 and February 2013) we have vowed not to take a trolley this year.

I have been looking forward to my participation in the Unlock the Past Genealogical Baltic Cruise. This week saw me spending a small fortune on shore excursions and booking an appointment for a Hepititis A injection (recommended apparently for visiting Russia), whilst my partner in crime rescued our foreign currency from a windy Morrison’s (other supermarkets are available) car park. Now to decide whether or not I really need a ‘beverage package’ and to ponder the advice to take a ‘cocktail dress’. Cocktail dress? I barely recognise the word ‘dress’. I wonder if a seventeenth century version would suffice?



2 comments on “Of Conferences (of the family history kind) and Cocktail Dresses

  1. Helen says:

    Dress, that strikes terror. I have been having a think about that, this week we would have been celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary and I would be able to count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have worn a dress. No plans for change either.
    Well done having your say about the quantity versus quality of information on commercial websites. They need to tighten up their authenticity, or has that boat sailed. Enjoy the WDYTYA, bring us back your interesting take on these events.
    PS did you get my message about the Poundstock course, if no places no worry?

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