Saturday, 21 September 2013

At the BIFHSGO Conference in Ottawa

The focus of this year's conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa is Ireland. I am very happy to be well enough to attend the conference. Two years ago, I left the BIFHSGO conference on the Saturday afternoon convinced I was having a gall bladder attack. I was too ill to return for the conference's final day. The next month I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.  Now, equipped with my trusty walker -- a combination crutch and pack mule -- I am back.

The conference started last night with a thought-provoking talk by Philip Donnelly who is promoting a project to correlate available genealogical records with pictures of ruined Irish farmhouses. Think of it as a Billion Graves app for ruins instead of tombs.

This morning started with an introduction to Irish genealogical research by Eileen O Duill. While I'm not a beginner, I found it an interesting presentation. Later, Lisa Louise Cooke, the voice of Genealogy Gems, talked about tracking down living relatives. When you consider how much pain medication I am on, it is a testament to these speakers that I haven't nodded off once!

Lunch is nearly over. I am looking forward to more presentations about Irish genealogical records and brick wall strategies. Tomorrow I'll hear about how to trace my roots with my beloved iPad, and genealogical cold cases. Most of the time, two lectures are offered in each time slot and it is very difficult to choose which to attend. If only I was here with a friend I could swap notes with!

Before things start up again, I'm going to have another look at the marketplace. How many more books will I buy? Or CDs? There seem to be fewer vendors in the marketplace than in past years, but the availability of information and products is still good. I tell you, I'm tempted to pick up a Flip Pal portable scanner. I love gadgets.

There are people to meet as well. I wish I knew more of the regulars, but it has been hard for me to get to many monthly BIFHSGO meetings on Saturday mornings. Now that the puppy is waking me early I will come to more. I would like to meet more of my local geneaddicts. I'm the middle aged lady with the walker, sitting in the front row. Please introduce yourselves. I am glad to be with you.

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