Monday, 17 March 2014

Genealogy in the Sunshine - day 1

I arrived yesterday in Portugal for a week long event organised by Peter Calver of Lost Cousins (, entitled Genealogy in the Sunshine. The format is that from Monday to Friday myself and others will be involved in a genealogy conference each day from 9am-1.30pm, and then essentially on holiday each afternoon, a perfect combination. I'm here with my wife and two sons, and speaking on four of the days, alongside Else Churchill and John Hanson of the Society of Genealogists, Debbie Kennett (DNA guru), and Vancouver based Donald Davis, who will be talking about some extraordinary discoveries concerning the 1841 English census.

John, Else and I kicked off the event today, with John giving a talk on English parish registers, myself a talk on - what else today - but Irish resources online, and then Else talking on how to get around being stuck by re-evaluating your approach, methodology and sources when it comes to brick walls. There are about forty attendees - very clued up attendees! - and the buzz was just brilliant. Granted, I did have to wear a St Paddy's Day hat, but I think I got away with it! :)

As ever, with any conference, I always learn. I did not know that IGI batch numbers beginning with P come from printed sources (that's bugged me for a bit, though now seems bleedin' obvious!), and I had never heard of the Crisp and Clench collection of apprenticeship indentures from Westminster, held now by the SoG. And Peter introduced me (and I suspect many!) to tomato jam - and it works! My Irish talk seems to gave gone down well also, and tomorrow I migrate into Scots mode :)

After a spot of food shopping at the local intermarche, Claire, the boys and I went for a drink with John and Else at a wee secluded bar near our chalets and watched the sun set - the bar's lighting had broken, so we literally had the dying light of the sun to illuminate our discussion, as my boys played with a frisbee on the beach. A pirate ship sailed by at one point, and two divers emerged out of the sea on a couple of occassions in full wetsuit gear with harpoon guns and a handful of fish. It's fair to say we did not see any of that coming! A great first start to the week, and a great way to celebrate St Paddy's Day. The week has just begun!

(I have taken photos, but am having browser issues with uploading to Google - may update in due course if I can resolve them, if not I will upload images at the end of the week!)

UPDATE - downloaded Safari, pics now attached!


Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

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