BIFHSGO Conference 2017 : England, Wales and Methodology~

September 29 to October 3 – The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) held their annual conference at The Ben Franklin Place in Nepean Ontario, with themes of England and Wales and Methodology Research.

Friday started with concurrent workshops in both morning and afternoon sessions. In the morning I attended “The Manorial System and How to Use Manorial Records” with Celia Heritage and after lunch break, at the nearby Royal Oak, I attended “Maps and Mapping” with James F.S. Thomson (Associated with the Toronto Branch of OGS) where I learned a ton about where to find old maps and what fun things I can do with them! Both workshops were excellent with detailed handouts of resources to follow up on.

The conference opened with keynote talk by Glenn Wright called “Another Bloody Englishman! Britannia in Red Serge, 1873-1920” which was an interesting history of the North West Mounted Police which had strong ties to England.

Saturday, Session 1 Plenary by Celia Heritage “Beyond All Reasonable Doubt” followed by a coffee break with delicious snacks and a visit to the Marketplace where I perused old maps, books and postcards. Throughout the day, I attended “Buried Treasures: The Parish Chest” with Paul Milner – which was fantastic and is based on Paul’s publication of the same name. “Researching in English and Welsh Records Offices” with Celia Heritage was a very useful hour spent mostly discussing how to prepare yourself for a visit to the repositories and get the most out of your time. The lecture was ‘homework’ heavy, stressing the importance of looking at research guides available on the repository’s website and that also FamilySearch.org had incredibly useful research guides for most areas in the world. The last panel of the days that I attended was “Occupational, Guild and Freedman Records” with Paul Milner.

Sunday’s panels were: “Using Death Records to Break Down Brick Walls” with Celia Heritage, “The English Probate System” with Paul Milner and “I’ve Lost My Ancestor Before 1837” with Celia Heritage.

The Plenary talk to end the weekend was given by Paul Milner entitled “My God, Nobody Told Me!” was poignant and touching and a wonderful way to end a genealogical conference, challenging everyone to share their findings with family and write histories before the knowledge is lost.

Saturday and Sunday ran two tracks of lectures, so I haven’t listed everything from the schedule. All of the lectures were recorded which have been edited and made available in the Members section of the BIFHSGO website along with their respective handouts – with the exception of Friday’s 4 workshops. I encourage anyone interested to become a member – the lectures are all fantastic!

Every session I attended was full of relevant information, interesting and entertaining, and very often inspirational. I came home with so much information on how and where to find materials to search, I wanted to search all the things as soon as possible. It was a genealogical candy store overload!

With access to a research center and well-stocked market place, there were always things to see and do during breaks. I came away with a sweetly priced AncestryDNA kit and some old detailed maps of Dublin and Manchester. I was a little slow to GlobalGenealogy ‘s vendor table that had the books on ancestral occupations, where the “Textiles” copies sold out.

Biggest Take-Aways that everyone stressed:

  1. Not everything is on-line – despite the millions of records being uploaded daily on numerous on-line repositories, it is the tip of the iceberg of what is actually archived.
  2. Be Methodical in your research – planning and recording documentation and sources.
  3. Read research guides for every resource you plan to access in order to have a full understanding of what the materials are that you’re searching for as well as available coverage.
  4. Compile and Share your findings.

I’m looking forward to the BIFHSGO Conference 2018 Themed: Scotland!

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Alicia Rasley Writing Workshops

ORWA (Ottawa Romance Writers Association) event coming up this weekend, September 10 2017, Alicia Rasley is offering two Advanced Writing Workshops at the Ben Franklin Place in Ottawa Ontario.

Emotion without Sentimentality” will be in the morning, and “Intensive Pacing Workshop” will be offered that same afternoon.

The price is great, even for non ORWA members.  I’ve signed up for both and I’m looking forward to attending – Check it out!

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

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!

 

CAN-CON 2016

CAN-CON 2016 is coming up this weekend!  This is my attempt to promote it BEFORE the event rather than belatedly.  The Programming starts tomorrow September 9-11 at Novotel Hotel near Ottawa’s Byward Market.

There is a long list of author and specialist attendees along with Special Guests : Sam Morgan, Sheila Williams, Eric Choi and Tanya Huff.

Programming will include various Workshops offered by established authors, Readings (tons!), Blue Pencil cafes, Kaffeklatsches, Agent and Publisher pitch sessions, kobo and publicity consultations, Parties and ALL the panel discussion to be had.

AND they’ve just announced “THE CAMPAIGN“!  Now, I have VERY little experience playing table-top style RPG, but this looks fun 😀

There are sooo many people I’m looking forward to seeing at this year’s conference.  Too many awesome panelists to name and great Special Guests …   Did I mention Ed Greenwood?   Yeah, THAT Ed Greenwood 😉

So, it’ll be fun, and my youngest daughter will by my shadow for part of the weekend, hoping to check out what the creator world is all about.

 

LIMESTONE GENRE EXPO 2016

LIMESTONE GENRE 2016 was this conference’s second year, and was held July 23 &24 in downtown Kingston Ontario (my favourite Canadian city) at Kingston Frontenac Public Library.  I’m late in posting about this conference since summer was insanely busy with family affairs, but better late than never!

This year I focussed on the panels all weekend, but there were a lot of great Readings and Workshops available too.  The Author list was extensive and the dealer room was impressive and consistently packed with buyers and minglers.

There was a nice mix of all Spec-Fic Genre topics – Fantasy, Mystery, the world of Comics, Science Fiction, Comedy, Thriller, Horror and Romance etc..  and the Cross Genre discussion to round it all up.

In Fantasy, I enjoyed listening to Tanya Huff speak about her career, providing insights for up-and-comers and Violette Malan ‘ s publications as well as her beautiful dresses and classy hats.

In mystery, with my love of history, specifically Canadian history – I was quite interested in Janet Kellough ‘s Thaddeus Lewis series set in historical Eastern Ontario.  And there was Y.S. Lee ‘s Agency series set in Victorian London.

Derek Newman-Stille interviewed Jay Odjick on the topic of Comic creation and Jay’s KAGAGI: The Raven project.  They discussed everything from the details of Comic artistry and publication to the Kagagi  television series production and Jay’s background and success as a First Nations artist and businessman – which for him is important as a role model to his Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community.  It was a great interview -Derek always has insightful questions and commentary to every discussion he attends, while Jay’s charisma and energy make 2hrs fly by.

Another panel I always find interesting is the Horror discussion which aside from great book lists, also leads to reflections on human nature through fear.  Some of this panel’s attendees included David Nickle , Alyssa Cooper and Matt Moore .

Through all of the discussions I listened to over the course of the weekend, the underlying theme in many topics was acceptance and change in diversity in the publishing world.  Panels about Feminism, LGBTQ2 Identities and Disability representations in fiction.  These topics have been growing at every convention with open discussions amongst authors reflecting diversity and promoting them.  It’s great to see the social changes being made through art and the frank dialogue over what has changed and how to navigate what still needs to be improved.

Thanks to Liz Strange and her crew for all the work put into organizing this event!