I left home at 7.30am Friday morning and arrived back 2.30pm Sunday afternoon after three wonderful days and two night at the NSW & ACT Association Conference. As I mentioned in my previous post Friday was open to the public as a Family History Fair and it was really good.
There were four talks on Friday and I went to three of them.
Joy Murrin talked about NSW BDM's and said that is it often best to think outside the box, with regards to names and registration districts. She gave and example of a person, occupation was a mason and when the child was entered into the register it was with the surname Mason. With registration districts Joy explained that each are were allocated a number of pages and it they filled up, the next entry went where ever there was a space, so you could have a Kempsey in a Kiama spot.
The best thing is to be open minded and with a transcription agent, you can do a check and verify, before getting the full document.
Gail Davis from State Records always does a good presentation and this was another good one.
Amanda, the Register of the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages braved the 'lions den' and answered all our questions and gave an apology to us for the way the site is operating. There are changes in motion and she asked for our patience with this. The wildcard * is back and they are also setting the date selection to Yes as the default. Amanda also mentioned that while she can understand our frustration with the new site, priority has to be give to the people registering deaths, marriages and births now, for obvious reasons. Keep checking back to see the changes.
After lunch there was a forum and Allan Murrin did a presentation on the use of technology in regards to our websites, blogs, Facebook and other social media. Enewsletters and journals were also mentioned. This has given me some ideas for our group. Our Facebook page was shown and given a good wrap!
Friday finished with a 'Meet and Greet' for the conference attendees. It was wonderful to catch up with friends from last year and make new ones.
Saturday was from 8.00am to 3.30pm with the AGM at 4.00pm, for me and the Conference Dinner at 6.30pm. I think it was 11.00pm before I got to bed!
A Welcome to Country started the day and then the conference got underway.
Dr Perry McIntyre presented the Vincent John Crow Memorial Address with the topic 'Memory, Remembering and Commemoration.' Perry is a fantastic speaker.
Terry Bugg and Marisa O'Connor spoke on the Illawarra Remembers 1914-1918 project and how it came about. Look at the website for more information www.illawarraremembers.com.au
Other talks were, 'Tracking Down the Magnus Family', the story of the first manager of the Port Kembla copper smelter, 'Women of the Illawarra', this was very interesting and presented by Gillian Baker. 'The Gallipoli Project' by Kim Phillips and "I think great-grandma might have been Jewish' by Robyn Dryen finished off the day.
Dinner was a noisy affair, with 138 people attending. It was lovely to catch up with friends and here what they had been doing, since last year.
Sunday was a 8.45am start, most welcome after the late night!
Dr Jen Roberts gave a very moving talk on 'Hard Labour: fathers and Wartime Bereavement'. She spoke how fathers often carried the sorrow with them, for the rest of their lives and that they would put on a brave front, while grieving. Several very moving stories had the audience captivated.
The next speaker was Lambis Englezos. This gentleman was responsible for the discovery of the burial site at Fromelles. His presentation was fantastic. It was wonderful when in the audience was a relation of one of the soldiers found a Fromelles and she shared her experience. Tears were shed.
Carol Herben OAM spoke about the Waterfall Sanatorium and Cemetery, you might know it as Garrawarra. They are looking at how to look after the cemetery and want any information on people who might have ben there.
The conference ended with the Call to Port Macquarie, for 2015. Their website is www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nswpmfhs Check it out for next year. Their theme is Journey of Discovery and the dates are Friday 11th - Sunday 13th September 2015.
I did pick up a few books and some ideas for us and when I am able to, will upload the photos. That will be part two, part three will be about the AGM.
A great weekend!