OGS Conference Day 3-5

So much to learn!

Day 3 – Lectures Pt.1

The Opening Keynote Lecture was delivered by Danielle Manning from the Archives of Ontario, where she talked about their special Exhibit ‘Family Ties’ about four different families living in Ontario at the time of Confederation.

D. Joshua Taylor spoke about the movement of families along the border of New York and Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. The shifts of the borders between the countries, and even between the New England states were very dynamic creating varying government districts in which to consider when seeking resources. This was best shown with the state of Vermont shifting territorial claims during that time period its.

Dr. Blaine Bettinger gave a fantastic talk about the Future of Genetic Genealogy. There is already so much happening now in this field, that the future as he predicts certainly looks exciting in terms of Ancestral Reconstruction using DNA sharing among descendants.

Linda Reid gave a very concise lecture using her family as case studies to illustrate how Genetic Genealogists can trace their families back to the 18th century (Scotland) with Autosomal DNA. It was complex, but very well done and the information is incredibly useful to understand how to apply DNA as a tool alongside the paper research.

The Banquet was fabulous with another lecture from Joshua Taylor about “Family History in Prime Time” which was entertaining with all the fun pop-culture pedigrees presented – from Disney characters to The Simpsons, and Star Wars Families.

Day 4 – Lectures Pt.2

I started the day with Marian Press explaining how to properly use ‘Search’ while mining databases. – Incredibly useful, I picked up a lot more tips, hopefully now I’ll find more results. And I’ll read the HELP page instructing proper search functions for particular databases. 😉

Kathryn Lake Hogan’s lecture was packed full of information on just how many resources there really are – if you know where to find them – to research United Empire Loyalist era ancestors. So many places to check out!

Joshua Taylor spoke this time about 19th & 20th century Border crossing between US and Canada. So many more places to check out!

Dr. Blaine Bettinger’s lecture was about solving 18th & 19th Century mysteries using DNA. It was similar in nature to the lecture Linda Reid gave, but there was much more focus of the science involved to explain how the DNA connects relatives.

The Final Keynote Lecture was Joshua Taylor’s talk about what the Future holds for genealogists.

The OGS 2017 Conference was wrapped up with many ‘Thank Yous’ and door prizes and –

 The Grand Announcement : OGS Conference 2018 in Guelph Ontario at Guelph University Campus.

 

Day 5 – “Using Ancestry Day”

All about using Ancestry and AncestryDNA.

 

Wrap-up:

The Title of the Conference was “Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation 2017”.

This was my first Genealogical conference. I met a lot of people, and during the “First Timers” gathering, I saw a large room full of other people sharing the experience right along with me. I met people who’ve been attending OGS conferences for a few years, and I also met a few people how have been going for decades. Everyone I spoke to was warm and welcoming and happy to be at the event.  It was interesting to see all of the major Genealogy related companies well represented and fully engaged with conference attendees.

I went to as many lectures as I could – every time slot available (I’ll probably be sleeping most of Tuesday away!). And yet, for the workshops – there were 6 concurrent topics being taught in the morning, and again in the afternoon. For every lecture hour scheduled, there were 3 other topics going on at the same time. Hermione’s Time Turner would have been awesome! My head is spinning with all that I’ve learned over the 3 days of workshops and lectures, and yet, there is still so much that I missed.

Maybe next year? I hope so!

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OGS Conference 2017 Day 2

OGS Conference 2017 – Day 2 – Workshop Day!

The morning was spent with Jane E. MacNamara Think Like a Genealogist: Creative Research Techniques to Help You Follow the Right Ancestral Trail”. Jane went through some trial documents to show us how to make the best out of each piece of information on varying types of documents from Passenger Lists, Church Transfer Papers, Collections of manuscripts and Death Certificates. The intention was to think about other resources any small piece of extra information gleaned could be used to find a new research avenue. Not just to find new resources, but think more deeply about each resource.

We spent the afternoon with Kirsty Gray Using Family Reconstruction to Break Down Brick Walls”. While she’s a lot of fun, she’s also a tough teacher encouraging attendees to start thinking hard on research goals and get cracking! She was all about really digging into detail and filling out as many of the siblings branches as possible to create a richer family community in order to broaden parameters. Kirsty also had us analyzing documents in order to ask questions to determine potential resources to refer to in order to collect all the details possible. She also talked about varying levels of Reconstruction – how deep and broad to research. And then of course, Organization, and reaching out for Help.

After that was a “First Timers” gathering where I got to add another ribbon to what is now starting to look like a small collection. (I haven’t gathered nearly as many as some other crazy ribbon people I’ve seen!  ;P )

And then Opening Ceremonies with some words from Dr G. Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and Keynote Lecturer Journalist Dave Obee.

Dr. Berthiaume spoke about all the current projects in the works at LAC, and all the new ones soon to come. So much work has gone into the digitization of the WWI CEF records being copied and uploaded for all Canadians to access.  There are plans to carry on the digitization of resources and incorporate co-operative scan projects with the public using applications that LAC is developing for that purpose, which generated a lot of excitement from the full theatre.  His understanding of the importance of Family History Research to Citizen Genealogists, and passion to connect people to those resources and tools was wonderfully acknowledge by Mr. Dave Obee.

Mr. Obee spoke at length on the topic of Immigration. With acknowledgment to our presence at Algonquin college on traditional First Nations lands, considering, briefly immigration from the perspective of those experiencing the newcomers. He shared his own family’s experiences emigrating from various other places into Canada. Their stories, their dire hardships, and their points of view about being in Canada. “Push and Pull”. He reminded all of us, that as Genealogists, we, probably more than anyone else, should be fully aware of what immigration Means. There are events and forces and reasons behind every family leaving their homeland for another. We need to acknowledge how those events continue to cascade. History doesn’t stop at the Immigrant with a straight line through descendants, but instead, ripples. Suffice it to say, Mr. Obee delivered a powerful lecture that was broadly appreciated.

OGS Conference 2017 – Day 1

BIFHSGO “British Pub Night” ! in The Observatory at Algonquin College.

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I settled in with a Somersby Cider, watched the slide show of beautiful member-submitted photographs of British locations (I REALLY want to go to Scara Brae now!) and listened to a lovely opening song by BIFHSGO President Barbara Tose.

“Hibernia”, a beautiful vocal and harp duo played the first half of the evening, and they were lovely.  I met a few friendly people who introduced themselves, and we had draws and trivia.

I did terribly at the trivia, but it was fun 🙂  The second half of the night, “Mooncoin” , a guitar, fiddle and drum trio played.  They were very enjoyable with a great sense of humour 😉  My foot may have been tapping through most of their sets.

By the end of the evening, this happened:

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I won the *Big Prize* of the night!  I was SO excited!  I may have squeaked, I’m really not sure.  I’m not even sure if I was supposed to hand in my ticket, even though I made sure to present it as ‘proof’ that I belonged to that number.  Did I mention, I was excited?

We ended the evening with a closing song from BIFHSGO President Barbara Tose, and it was lovely!

Thanks #BIFHSGO and #OGSConf2017 and #AncestryDNA , it was a fun evening and I’m really looking forward to the next 4 days!

 

 

 

OGS Conference 2017

I’m super excited about this week’s events – The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) Annual Conference , held this year at Algonquin College in Ottawa Ontario!

This will be my first year attending, and there’s so much going on, I’m sure I’m going to be in pure genealogy overload. I’ll try not to explode!

For me, conference will be starting off the evening of Thursday June 15th with “British Pub Night” (SOLD OUT) hosted by The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO). There are some events scheduled earlier in the day – Research Excursions to Library and Archives Canada (SOLD OUT), The Canadian War Museum, The Ottawa Public Library and The City of Ottawa Archives.

Friday will be Workshop Day – there are loads of them offered! 6 concurrent workshops in the morning, and in the afternoon. I’m looking forward to “Think like a Genealogist: Creative Research Techniques to Help You Follow the Right Ancestral Trail” with Jane E. MacNamara, in the morning. And then after lunch, I’ll be at “Using Family Reconstruction to Break Down Brick Walls” with Kirsty Gray.

After the workshops are finished, there is a “First Timer Gathering”, and then OGS Board/Branch meetings. After dinner, Opening Ceremonies and Keynote Lecturer Dave Obee followed by Reception.

Saturday & Sunday – I look forward to lectures given by D. Joshua Taylor MA, Dr. Blaine Bettinger, Linda L. Reid, Linda Corupe UE, Kathryn Lake Hogan UE.  Saturday evening there will be a Banquet with guest speaker D. Joshua Taylor MA, MLS.  Closing Ceremonies are Sunday afternoon.

Monday, 19th June is “Using Ancestry Day” – All day, all things Ancestry 🙂

The Market Place will be open to the public for the duration of the Conference – please come and check it out!

 

Chi Series – Ottawa June 2017 Event

So, over the last few years, I kept seeing Events posted on Facebook about the Chiaroscuro Reading Series  in Ottawa.  And I was really keen to go… but well, life happens.

Until THIS event – June 6th 2017!  I said ‘screw you life!’ and decided rather last minute that I was going to attend one of these events – and I’m glad I made the hour-long drive to get there!  It was great!

I’ve heard a few sample readings from Authors before at writer conferences, but this was a different experience.

ChiSeries Ottawa had just moved to a new location The Clocktower Brew Pub where everyone met in the cozy and intimate party room down stairs.  A whole room, and bar, all to ourselves with most excellent service!

With the evening’s special Host Sandra Kasturi , we heard samples from Authors: Kathlyn Bradshaw who read an excerpt from her novel The Frankenstein Murders , Michael Libling read from his novella Hollywood North and Julie Czerneda beautifully read excerpts from 3 very different works.  AND there was a hat story from none other than Marie Bilodeau!

Plus, there were enough donations raised that we were privileged to witness Matt Moore rock a rather dapper basket-hat (of Marie’s choice) for the rest of the evening.

I believe the next Ottawa reading event will be in September – BUT, they have reading events all across Canada!  So, if you don’t live near Ottawa, or just can’t wait till September, there are 5 cities choose from (with more to come in the near future) and you can go and support Canadian Authors there/then – because supporting home talent is a good thing 😉

As I had posted on Twitter later that evening –

There really is something magical about hearing author’s works in their own voices.

 

 

 

CAN-CON 2016 pt.2

Following up directly after Can-Con 2016 over the past weekend (Sept.9-11 at Novotel in downtown Ottawa ON), – the Con was great as always!

At Registration, everyone’s badge was an RPG sheet you had to fill out, and there were weapons to be collected from vendors and guests.  I was awarded a +2 battle axe for purchasing a copy of Clockwork Canada a Steampunk anthology edited by Dominik Parisien.  I didn’t partake in the RP but there were some mysterious formidable Secret Monsters to be found and battled who were busy on twitter.  They may be back again next year.

Books I picked up over the weekend: Ninja versus Pirate featuring Zombies by James Marshall, Angel of Death by Karen Dales Revelations by Jennifer Carole Lewis and as mentioned before, the Clockwork Canada Anthology.

Some of the historically themed panels I attended were: Archeology with Heritage Coordinator Katrina Guy and S.M Carriere, Medievalisms with K.V. Johansen and David Szarzynski, and Local History Sourcing with Amal El-Mohtar and Kate Heartfield.  Of course there were many other authors sitting in on each panel.

My daughter particularly liked the Saturday panels on Animal Senses with Nina Munteanu and Julie Czerneda, and Fairy Tale retelling with Charles de Lint and Melissa Yuan-Innes.  She wasn’t able to see the Comic Creation panel with  Dominic Bercier  and  Jay Odjick  (who had prints of his CAN-CON 2016 Program cover art for sale in the dealer room) because it was scheduled for Sunday.  She was also very pleased to have found some Harry Potter jewelry and magnets in the Dealer’s Room.

This year, the best Business panel was Laurie Stewart ‘s talk on Authorpreneurship about writing and taxes.  I took sooo many notes and am very thankful she provided attendees with printouts!

My favourite philosophical panels were about the domesticity of Horror with Sandra Kasturi, Brett Savory  and Matt Moore, Antagonists with Erik Scott de Bie and Gregory A Wilson, and Witchcraft & Druids with Can-Con Co-Founder Farrell McGovern, Mary Pletsch and Prof. Brendan Myers.

And of course, the timeslots devoted to TEGG Project.  Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve heard Ed Greenwood talking about Onder Librum on PlanetXPodcast with Marie Bilodeau, Jay Odjick and Ken Bonnie , and also on The RoundTable Podcast with Dave Robison.  The first open panel was about the business of the TEGG project with some discussion on the already launched Hellmaw world.  Most of the authors were on hand for the published books to date – Ed Greenwood, Erik Scott di Bie, Suzanne Church, Marie Bilodeau, and Gabrielle Harbowy.  The second panel was devoted to the Storm Talons world, for which Gregory A Wilson was also on hand. The last public timeslot was a small discussion about the TEGG project with Deputy Lore Guardian Marie Bilodeau for more information and Q&A.

Can-Con 2016 was another success and I’m looking forward to what Co-Chairs  Derek Kunsken and Marie Bilodeau and the wonderful network of hardworking Volunteers produce next year.