Oct 132013

There are 114 days from today, October 13, before we leave aboard the Voyager of the Seas for the 4th Unlock the Past cruise.

Are you ready?

No, I don’t mean you should start madly packing clothes (but do remember your USA electrical adaptors! Power boards are not allowed)

I mean genealogically ready for the cruise!

There are eleven official Research Help Zone sessions scheduled for:

  • one on one or small group sessions with an expert
  • special interest groups (some will be be listed in advance others can be added on the cruise)
  • a few special interest topics

On this cruise there is a fantastic range of presenters (more details about each of them) There is a huge range of expertise here!

Chris Paton at the Research Help Zone 2nd Cruise

As well as the eleven official Research Help Zone sessions there are other opportunities to talk with the presenters (with their agreement) and also your fellow passengers.

I have had the pleasure of helping people with their brick wall problems for a number of Cruises and Expos now and it is great fun and there have been a number of happy dances performed!
One thing I have noticed though, is that a number of people are not getting the maximum benefit from their consultations. This is perhaps because they did not realise the Research Help Zone existed and did not come prepared.
They came and mentioned they have a problem but can’t remember a date or who married whom, which is easy to do, particularly when you have a few generations with the same or similar names. 
This makes it very difficult to provide the appropriate answers that would work to explode that brick wall.
So how do you prepare for maximum success?

1. First work out what the problem is: perhaps a marriage you can’t find, an ancestor that has disappeared, you can’t pinpoint where they originated etc 
2. Determine what information you already have.
3. Determine what documentary evidence you have, a birth certificate, a marriage certificate etc but please, only bring copies of your original records.
4. Determine where you have already looked, what you found including negative findings.
5. Write down this information and put it together so that when you ask your question of the person at the Research help Zone you will  get the maximum benefit and hopefully we will be doing Genealogy Happy Dances with you!

Voyager 2014

Also remember we are going to a number of cities, cities where there are Archives, State Libraries and Family History Societies! Do you have research in these areas? Or a cemetery that you would like a photo of a headstone?

Have you thought about spending some time in those repositories during your shore time?

Do you know what you want to research there? Have you checked the catalogue?  Have you checked the opening hours? (remember opening hours can change at short notice!) Are you able to order ahead so it is ready for you on arrival to maximise your research time.

Do you have relatives or people researching your family at those locations who you could meet and share information?

So with 114 days to go, now is the time to start your Genealogical Cruise preparations!

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