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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Who do you think you are? Live - first day

Every year I think I will book a hotel room for Who do you think you are? Live, and then I don't do it because I can get home on the Tube. Then every year as I sit one one of the last trains of the night en route for home in leafy Buckinghamshire I think 'Next year I'll book a hotel room'. Will I ever learn? Quite possibly not.

The 'usual suspects' were in attendance; Ancestry, Findmypast, the Genealogist, FamilySearch and of course the Society of Genealogists. As ever, one of the highlights was waiting to see what the costume theme would be for the Findmypast stand. They started this four years ago with their Edwardian schoolroom and period costumes, and now they make an annual trip to the theatrical costumiers. I actually guessed correctly that this year they would be passengers and crew on the Titanic (not all that surprising really, in this anniversary year). Here you can see Amy Sell in her finery.

Sadly missed, though, was the pricey but fabulous ice-cream stall from previous years. But the sausages are still there, so civilisation has not ended. although there was the usual long queue waiting for the doors to open, the hall seemed a little quiet to start with, but before long the place was buzzing, and all the talks seemed to be well-attended. As usual I spent quite a lot of time catching up with friends that I hadn't seen for a while, although there were quite a number that I last saw at Rootstech earlier this month. The Flip-Pal scanner, such a success when it appeared at Rootstech 2011, was on sale, and seemed to be doing great business, and another welcome import from the US was the practice of live-streaming sessions, used here for the first time by Ancestry. I suspect we will see much more of this in future. The total number of talks in and around the hall has increased yet again; the schedule lists the ticketed presentations in the four SoG workshops, plus unticketed sessions in the DNA area, the Ancestry Academy and on the Genealogist stand. But you can also sit down and learn something on the Genesreunited stand, a first for them, or of course on the deck of the Titanic (see above!).

Today I am on parade at 11am, talking about The National Archives new 'Discovery' system which will replace the old online Catalogue and DocumentsOnline. I am going to break one of my hitherto inflexible rules 'Never work with animals, children, or the internet'. Initially I intended to use a succession of screenshots to illustrate the service, but the more I looked at it the more I realised that this was simply not practical, and I would just have to go for it, and do a live demonstration. I may live to regret this. So if you could all please offer up a silent request to your deity of choice...

Oh well, I can't back out now. After all, what doesn't kill me makes me strong, as they say.

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Friday, 24 February 2012

Who do you think you are? - Live is here again

It's not the calm before the storm; it's the storm before the storm. The Thursday before Who Do You Think You Are? - Live is a busy day at The National Archives. Yesterday was no exception. It was so busy that we came very close to running out of seats in the document reading rooms, and you should have seen the queues in thw public restaurant! We also had the biggest crowd ever for a public talk, our very own star performer, Dr Paul Carter, talking about workhouses, or, more specifically, why people feared them so much. That man is a hard act to follow! For the people who missed him (including the coach party from Yorkshire stuck in traffic, with Jackie Depelle sending progress reports on Twitter!) there are two chances to hear him at WDYTY?-Live, today and on Sunday.

The reason is, of course, that lots of people come to London for WDYTYA?-Live and take the opportunity to do some research while they are here. It would be interesting to know if other repositories in the London area have the same rise in reader numbers;  it's also one of the busiest days of the year for the Society of Genealogists because the good folks there are busily packing up quite a chunk of their library to decamp to Olympia for the duration of the show. Newcomers to family history may not realise that for many years before WDYTYA?-Live, the premier annual event in London was the SoG Family History Fair. This is now part of the bigger event, and visitors will always notice a considerable SoG presence. Before I took on the present day job I used to be one of the volunteers who helped set up and break down at the old venue, the Royal Horticultural Society Halls in Westminster. I was very good at putting up signposts and folding table covers.

This year I shall be there all three days, Friday and Saturday as part of my job, and on Sunday I shall be there just for the fun of it. This is the kind of thing I choose to do in my spare time. Sad, but true. I shall be doing some 'Ask the experts' shifts on the FamilySearch stand today, and in the SoG Ask the Experts area tomorrow. I am also on stage tomorrow giving a session on The National Archives new Discovery service. In between I shall be around and about (motto 'I don't gossip, I network) in the hall, with at least one meeting and a radio interview.

Well, since I started writing this post I have arrived at Olympia, which is busying up nicely. Let's see what the day brings. Wagons roll...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Geneabloggers Radio 17 Feb - this is what you might have heard

Ah, technology, where would we be without you?

Skype failed to deliver the goods, so I went unheard (sighs of relief all round?). I was going to post links to a few useful resources for emigration from the British Isles to go with the chat, so here they are without the chat. It's not an exhaustive list by any means, just a few pointers.

Online research guides from The National Archives...

Looking for records of an emigrant - Contains further useful links

Passenger lists - includes a list of printed sources, some of which are now online

...and from the National Archives of Scotland


Emigration records

A blog that I like

The Scottish Emigration Blog

From my own blog

Blog post - There and back

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Friday, 17 February 2012

Multi-media me!

It just struck me that I am communicating with the outside world in a whole variety of ways right now. Apart from writing this blog, my first post as one of  the contributors to The National Archives official blog will appear on Monday.

This morning I answered questions from members of the public as part of The National Archives Live Chat pilot scheme. And if America thinks it saw the back of me when I boarded my plane home last week, think again. Tonight I shall be one of the guests on Geneabloggers Radio, talking to tonight's host, my good friend Dear Myrtle, in an edition called  'Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor: 19th Century US Immigration'. (I'll be the one in the jammies, as it's the middle of the night in my time zone).

This will be a live session, but I'm also used to being recorded, and some of the talks I have given as part of my job live on as podcasts at The National Archives new media hub where you can listen to or download individual podcasts, or subscribe to the series via iTunes or RSS feed. Using the media hub you can search by subject or presenter, and when you have listened you can mark each podcast by clicking on the star ratings, or leave comments.  

Meanwhile, I am working on a presentation for next week's 'Who Do You Think You Are? - Live' event at Olympia, where I shall also spend some time giving one-to-one consultations in the 'Ask the Experts' area. Back at the day job, I take my turn at answering email and phone enquiries, as well as shifts at the enquiry points in the Research and Enquiries Room.


Some of my deathless prose also appears in old-fashioned print, too. I wrote a piece in the Irish Family and Local History Handbook to be launched in the UK at Who Do You Think You Are? Live, and (fingers crossed) a new book which Dave Annal and I wrote will also be out then. I'll post the details when I know it's definitely going to happen. I have written for a number of family history magazines, although nothing very recent. I have been quoted in a few, though, and contributed the odd paragraph, so I think I can claim magazines as a medium too.

If there is a moral to this tale, it is that THERE IS NO ESCAPE. You are probably safe watching the TV or listening to the radio, but there are very occasional fleeting glimpses or soundbites of me there too.

But apart from being an excuse for a relentless round of shameless self-promotion, this is a way of making a serious point too; there are now so many ways that we can send and receive genealogical information, ther must be at least one that is available to you. And of course when I hit the 'Publish post' button, notifications will be sent out via Facebook, Twitter and Google+...

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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Those Places Thursday - what do you mean by 'London'?

Short answer - 'Well, it depends.'

Comprehensive answer - much too long for a blog post, and I'd have to admit to struggling with some of the finer points.

Shabby compromise coming up.

 When?

A lot depends on the time period you are talking about. Even today what someone means when they say 'London' depends on the context. If you want an example of this, look at a map and find London's airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City; and the current Mayor of London wants to build a new one on the Isle of Grain. If you said you were going to London for a day's shopping, none of these would be on your itinerary (unless you arrived by plane, of course).

London has grown enormously over the centuries, both in area and in population. Like many other large cities it has spread out and engulfed the surrounding area 'The march of bricks and mortar' And by the way, if you are at all interested in London and its history you should get to know and love The Victorian Dictionary. In the Middle Ages London was the small area now known as the City of London  or the 'Square Mile', on the north bank of the Thames. It extended from the Tower of London in the east to Fleet Street in the west. Its northern extent was approximately the modern street known as London Wall (big clue in the name).

As the built-up area expanded over the centuries it joined up with the City of Westminster to the west, and the surrounding areas. Expansion to the east was relatively late, and came about with the development of the London docks, particularly in the 19th century. This is the area known as the East End. The area on the south bank of the Thames also expanded, initially the area known as Southwark, directly opposite the City and connected with it by London Bridge, London's only bridge until the mid-19th century. Expansion on this side of the Thames mirrored that on the north bank, but on a smaller scale.

Counties

This is probably the single most confusing aspect of trying to research London ancestors - what county should I be looking in? Most of 'London' is in the county of Middlesex, on the north bank of the Thames, although the City of London itself has never actually been part of Middlesex, having its own independent local government, the Corporation of London. The county to the east of Middlesex, on the north bank of the river is Essex, and some of the eastern districts of modern-day Greater London were once part of Essex, but these were late ie 20th century, additions. 'London' south of the Thames was mostly in Surrey, but eastern districts such as Greenwich, Deptford and Woolwich were originally part of Kent.

The City of London was the only place that was technically 'London' until the formation of the London County Council (LCC) in 1889. But the term 'London' had long been used to refer to the whole of the built-up area, or the Metropolis; for example London Post Office Directories had been produced for several decades before the LCC was born. The new County of London was created from parts of Middlesex, Surrey and Kent, and in 1965 the LCC was replaced by the Greater London Council (GLC) a much-expanded area incorporating further parts of North-east Surrey, North-west Kent, the whole of the remainder of Middlesex and, for the first time, some of South-east Essex. There is a very good colour-coded map illustrating this on the website of the London Metropolitan Archives

Records and websites

The answer to the question 'What county should I be looking in?' should depend on the date of the record concerned. In practice, of course, it's not that simple. Collection of records don't always follow neat parish, borough or county boundaries for a start; then they may have been classified in print or online by people who have chosen not to arrange them according to those boundaries (or may not have   entirely understood them). So, to be on the safe side, always look in both London and Middlesex, or London and Surrey etc, depending on your place of interest. The Collections Information page on the LMA website has some useful information to start with. However, if your family came from Westminster, you will also need to look at the records held by the Westminster City Archives.

This is London, remember. It was never going to be that simple!

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Hello sailor! Merchant Navy records now online at Findmypast

The Merchant Navy service records on Findmypast have now been extended to cover the period 1835-1941. This is great news, although not quite as good as it might first appear. This is not the fault of the good people at Findmypast, it is due to the fact that there was no central registry of seamen in the merchant service between 1858 and 1917. This is of course the period that many of us are interested in. There are other sources that you can use for this period, there just isn't a nice 'one-stop shop' kind of service record to be found for those years.

The records added to Findmypast today are those for 1835-1857, which will be of enormous use to many researchers (not including me, as far as I know, but I'm always prepared to be surprised). There is a lot of useful help on the site, in the Knowledge Base area, including a link to The National Archives guide on Merchant Seamen serving up to 1857

Have fun.

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Friday, 10 February 2012

Follow Friday - Horrible Histories

Scene from 'Terrible Tudors'
While I was in Salt Lake City for Rootstech, I was discussing with friends how we get children interested in history in genealogy. In fact, in some cases this was already a done deal, as there were some children in the Expo Hall and in the Family History Library. I mentioned the popular series of books Horrible Histories by Terry Dearie. I would have loved to have these around when I was a kid (although I managed to become obsessed with history unaided - it's a phase I'm going through, it started in 1961).

There are now dozens of books in the series, with titles like 'Rotten Romans', 'Slimy Stuarts'and so on. Many of them are available outside the UK, through Amazon, as are some of the DVDs, although unfortunately only in non-USA format, as imports. There is an accompanying Horrible Histories website, where you find your way around using the 'Rat-Nav'. Some of the content, including Virtual World, is not available outside the UK, but you can enjoy video clips from the TV series like my favourite, featuring the King Georges I-IV as a boy band The 4 Georges 'Born 2 Rule'

The TV series is on CBBC (Children's BBC) and there is more content on that website that you can enjoy. As with the Horrible Histories website itself, not all of the content is available outside the UK, but I was able to play some of the games while I was still in the USA, so it is worth a look.

I could say that I found out about all this from my 9-year-old nephew, but that's not true, it's all down to me. He does love the books and the TV show, though, and he's interested in our family history, too. I have high hopes for that boy...

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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Happy birthday Charles John Huffam Dickens

I'm not actually late with this blog post, it's still 7 February in my current time zone. There are some excellent Dickens features and links in today's issue of the Guardian, my newspaper of choice, and the occasion has also been marked with an impressive Google Doodle.


I can't match any of that, but I can offer an observation on why reading Dickens might be useful to the genealogist. There are wonderful descriptive passages in some of his books that shed light on everyday life in early Victorian England, and one of my favourite passages is in my favourite Dickens novel, Bleak House.

Signatures, or the lack of them, in parish registers and on certificates are often used as a measure of literacy. It is a fairly good way of measuring literacy rates overall, but may not be an accurate indicator in each individual case. For example, the fact that a person signed their name does not always mean that they could read and write; it could be that their signature was the only thing they could write. Or the opposite could apply, where a literate person made a mark instead of signing, as illustrated by this passage:
There were many little occurrences which suggested to me, with great consolation, how natural it is to gentle hearts to be considerate and delicate towards any inferiority. One of these particularly touched me.  I happened to stroll into the little church when a marriage was just concluded, and the young couple had to sign the register. The bridegroom, to whom the pen was handed first, made a rude cross for his mark: the bride, who came next, did the same. Now I had known the bride when I was last there, not only as the prettiest girl in the place, but as having quite distinguished herself in the school; and I could not help looking at her with some surprise. she came aside and whispered to me, while tears of honest love and admiration stood in her bright eyes "He's a dear good fellow, miss; but he can't write yet - he's going to learn of me - and I wouldn't shame him for the world!" Why, what had I to fear, I thought, when there was this nobility in the soul of a labouring man's daughter!
It may be fiction, but it has a ring of truth, and I think it is very likely that there were indeed some young women who made their mark instead of signing the marriage register. One of them might have been your ancestor...

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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Rootstech - some random observations

'Digital Dude'
Things I learned in and around Rootstech 2012
  • There was a choice of T-shirts this year; I chose 'Digital Dude' (see right)
  • Even at a technology conference the technology doesn't always work perfectly.
  • There is a fine line between giving a presentation on a subject of interest and delivering an infomercial for your company.
  • A surprising number of people were taking notes with pen and paper 
  • People notice when you are following a script during a Q & A session.
  • If you don't mind grazing on candy from the booths you needn't go hungry and it won't cost a bean.

Things I heard and overheard
  • 'What I need is a Control+F function' FHL staff member helping a patron with a tricky finding aid
  • 'never underestimate the power & tenacity of unemployed PhD grads.' Josh Coates in his keynote presentation
  • 'Who is Nick Barratt?' (US genealogist - name withheld to protect the guilty)
  • 'When is the "Men of brightsolid" calendar coming out, and can I pre-order?' Amy Coffin, blogger


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Sunday, 5 February 2012

Rootstech Photo Gallery

Josh Coates keynote session (sans footwear)

Tim Firkowski in Polish costume. Apparently he doesn't dress like this all the time.

Michael Leclerc in demo mode

The Mocavo booth

Billion Graves - not real stones, but they are 3-D

Mr Geniaus aka Robert Ball. I was going to crop this picture, but  decided 'Pops' could stay

D Josh Taylor, brightsolid's new recruit

Paula Stuart-Warren and Jill Ball (Geniaus)

Elissa Scalisse Powell and Drew Smith in an interview tank. I spy Thomas McEntee and Jay Verkler in the background

Proof that Josh Coates does own some footwear

The brightsolid booth - they had the tallest booth (and the tallest men) in the Expo Hall


Mr & Mrs Geniaus again, with Walt and Diane from Flip-Pal


And finally:

Here's my good friend Thomas McEntee
Who found that wherever he went, he
Was followed by folks
Who laughed at his jokes
And gazed at his baubles a-plenty


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Rootstech Day Two - no let-up in the pace

Another early start, with the FamilySearch VIP breakfast at 7:30. It helps if you are not facing the screen, which has a rolling slideshow of photos and biogs of all the attendees; it's a little disconcerting to glance up from your scrambled egg to see your own mug shot beaming inanely at you. It was, as usual, a very informal occasion, but there is a seating plan and place cards. I found myself sitting between Mike Hall, deputy chief genealogical officer with FamilySearch, whom I know quite well,  and Joyce Homan of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, whom I had not met before, who proved to be good company too. I was pleased to finally meet fellow blogger Janet Hovorka The Chart Chick of Family Chart Masters; we already have many mutual friends and I loved her 'Quick Insider's Guide to Salt Lake City'. Later I was introduced to Dennis Brimhall, new CEO of FamilySearch, who told me he will be visiting The National Archives at Kew in the near future.

The highlight of the day was the keynote address 'Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities by Josh Coates, founder of MOZY, and you really had to be there, or at least watch the live-streamed version to appreciate what an event this was. He was funny, profound, thought-provoking - and barefoot. I did see him wearing shoes later, though. If you haven't already, catch it on the Rootstech site, you won't regret it. There is a good summary of the main points by The Ancestry Insider who understands this stuff better than most of us, and who helpfully explains the zombie in-joke.

Today was a key day for me, the day of our joint presentation on social networking, my geni-mates being Geniaus Jill Ball and We Tree Amy Coffin. I've already mentioned that our Canadian friend, Lorine McGinnis Schulze was unable to attend, but Jill, the driving force behind the whole thing, had left a slide showing Lorine's Olive Tree Genealogy Blog in the PowerPoint presentation, and Lorine herself was following the proceedings from afar, writing blog posts and commenting on Twitter. We had some nice messages of support beforehand (by various social media, of course), and it seemed to go quite well; several people said they liked it, no-one said they hated it, the room was pretty full and most people stayed to the end. and we had fun too. I call that a result. I promised to put some links and details of the example I quoted on a new page on this blog, and I will, but not just yet - one more day of frantic to get through first.

A personal highlight of the day was meeting my friends Martyn Killion and Heather Garnsey, from the Society of Australian Genealogists. I hadn't seen them for over ten years, so it was great to see them again. I'm looking forward to a proper catch-up over coffee before they fly home.

The NGS lunch was next, with a terrific double act from Josh Taylor and Barbara Rennick, looking at some (not all that) old technology - remember typewriters and mimeographs, writing letters and making calls on corded phones attached to a wall socket? Josh doesn't.

I attended the afternoon presentation on Google searching, and learnt some useful tips, but I was flagging a bit by then and had lot the ability to make coherent notes, so I'll have to catch up on that one later myself. After the Expo Hall closed I met up with some friends for an early dinner and rounded the day off watching the first episode of the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Martin Sheen. It was a good 'un too, with some particularly good revelations about the Spanish side of his family. I was surprised to find that he doesn't speak Spanish, though, considering his real name is Ramon Estevez. We were a small group, but we were Facebooking and tweeting with other groups watching elsewhere. There goes that social networking thing again.

It was late night at the Family History Library, just like last year, but I gave it a miss because I was pretty tired and my hotel is a good cab ride away from the Library. I still have Monday and Tuesday to get more research done. I even missed the anniversary edition of Geneabloggers Radio but I will catch the podcast later. Meanwhile, tireless ace reporter Geniaus was on hand and she posted a link to some great photos.

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Friday, 3 February 2012

We have lift off! - Rootstech Day One

Today's new badges and my fabulous blogger beads!
The much-anticipated Rootstech 2012 got off to a flying start when thousands (yes, thousands) filled the main hall for the keynote session at 8:30 am. Many more were following it remotely, and from the comments on Twitter the live-streaming seemed to work pretty well. Most of the tweets were in English, but I saw one who was tweeting in French, and another in a Scandinavian language, judging by the characters he was using. Some of the tweeters behaved like responsible adults and relayed the key points of the session to the outside world. But some of us couldn't resist having some fun, too, including a new tweeter @jayverklershair.

Jay Verkler gave the keynote address, but several other people took part too, including two guys from Google, and Chris van der Kuyl of brightsolid. The session was streamed live on the Rootstech site, and has been repeated. Hopefully it will be available there after the conference too. It's well worth watching, as there was a lot to take in. Jay Verkler is stepping down after ten years as the CEO of FamilySearch where he has overseen major developments in the integration of technology in genealogy. He set out his vision for the future, a key element of which is cooperation between companies and organisations like FamilySearch. My note-taking skills are not up to giving an adequate account of the proceedings, so I recommend that you read the comprehensive accounts by some of the other bloggers present; Dick EastmanGenealogy's StarAncestry Insider, Randy Seaver, and of course my partners in rime later today Jill Ball and Amy Coffin.

I spent most of the day in the Expo Hall, and I still haven't seen all of it, there were so many people to gossip network with. I was able to catch up with Jay Verkler and other senior FamilySearch people to tell them that I appreciated the recent changes to FamilySearch, namely the restoration of the British Isles category; in the course of meetings with them over the last couple of years, and in my blog posts I must have sounded like a broken record on that subject (I was starting to bore myself). 

I had a ticket for the very well-attended brightsolid lunch, addressed by Chris van der Kuyl. He gave an overview of the company's various websites, and some interesting facts and statistics, especially about the British Newspaper Archive. He also made some important announcements about their entry into the US market, important enough to be reported on the BBC. I couldn't resist tweeting his comment that he their hot new signing D Joshua Taylor as the Michael Jordan of genealogy! Predictably, whenever Chris appears in the US, or to be more precise when he is heard in the US, Twitter feeds are suddenly full of comments about his accent (he's from Dundee), mainly from female tweeters - I can't think why :). I also noticed than more than one wanted to know why he wasn't wearing a kilt. Maybe next year? In fact, most of the brightsolid people were dressed in 1940 style costume, to mark their participation in the 1940 census project; Cliona from findmypast.ie as Rosie the Rivetter, some sharp-suited (and hatted) men, and Elaine Collins is a stylish suit (I believe they were called 'costumes' then), complete with seamed stockings! These people just love dressing up, and this was quite low-key - you should see them at WDYTYA Live! 

I can't believe it's almost time to leave my hotel for the second day; I should try to be on my best behaviour because Jill, Amy and I are having our panel discussion later this morning. I wore all my badges and pins yesterday, but I'm leaving them behind today. I don't want to jingle and clank when I am miked-up for the session!

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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Rootstech minus one - the calm before the storm


This is the last day before Rootstech, and I am not the only one trying to get some research done in the Family History Library before it all kicks off tomorrow, in my case starting with a breakfast meeting at 7:15 - if I tell myself it's really 2:15pm (GMT) it's not so bad. It will be good training for the 7:30 breakfast on Friday! I weakened this morning and had one of the hot cinnamon rolls in JB's, that I have managed to resist for the last week. Just in case there isn't enough fat and sugar in it for you, they serve it with a big ball of butter (no, I didn't, since you ask). I'll be out of temptation's way for the next few days as I'm moving hotels, to the Hampton, where they don't do don't serve them.

On Friday we (Jill Ball, Amy Coffin and me) present our panel discussion on Web 2.0 and social networking in genealogy. I have to report that it has already been very much in evidence these last few days, principally in facilitating genealogists' dinner arrangements. I had intended to have a quiet night in last night, planning today's research, when I saw on Facebook that there was a big table with some empty spaces at the Copper Canyon girl in the Radisson, anyone want to come over? I was there in 5 minutes. I had a very pleasant dinner with, among others, arch-Geneablogger Thomas McEntee who apparently has a hot-tub. The things you learn over dinner!

Seriously, sites like Twitter and Facebook are an ideal way for people to keep in touch and find each other when there are literally thousands of us spread between several hotels, the Family History Library, the Salt Palace Convention Center and (be honest) the Gateway shopping mall. Most of these places have free wi-fi. Phones are all very well, but trying to contact groups by text or voice messages would be much more time-consuming. And it's not ALL about dinner arrangements, there will be un-conferencing sessions again at Rootstech, and social media are ideal for spreading the word instantly when someone comes up with a really good idea.

With the fantastic speed of technological change in the last decade or two, it strikes me that genealogists are doing what they used to do, but the opposite way round. We used to go to meetings, in venues of lvarying quality, and then make contact by phone or letter with people at a distance who shared our interests. Then some adventurous societies took advantage of new technology to set up websites, newsgroups and the like. Now an online community of some kind is where many genealogists meet for the first time, making contact on the basis of shared interests rather than shared geography. But the virtual world on its own is not enough, and 'virtual' friends are eager to arrange 'tweet-ups' when they are all headed for a single location, be it Rootstech, WDYTYA Live or some other gathering. I have genuinely lost count of the number of people I already knew quite well online before I met them face to face. And I have some 'geni-mates' to coin Jill Ball's wonderful phrase, where I can't remember how we first met, online or in person. It's all getting to be quite seamless, and I think that's a good thing.

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History in the digital age - University of Warwick Knowledge Centre

Genealogists aren't the only historians who eagerly seize on digital resources (although I don't know of any other group that can muster upwards of 3000 people in one place for that purpose). I found this interesting article in the University of Warwick Knowledge Centre

The article also has some useful links, but with one notable omission - they do not mention the British Newspaper Archive probably because it does not have an institutional subscription option.

While you are there, it is worthwhile exploring some of the other resources in the Knowledge Centre. I came across the University's resource page Why Blog? which includes a variety of case studies - I see that one of my former lecturers blogs about the political economy of football (proper football where you don't pick up the ball, you have to kick it with your foot, that's why it's called football).

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