Jun 032014

The Genealogical Society of Queensland (GSQ) seminar titled “Hidden Treasures- Secrets from the Documents” was a jam-packed day with ten presentations by five well known presenters, including yours truly.

Dr Jennifer Harrison with Marg Doherty listening intently

It covered a wide range of topics as shown below:

Dr Jennifer Harrison: Convict Pardons and Ploughing through land Orders: Reaping Progenitor Rewards

Myself: Document Analysis and Computer Programs That Aid in Document Analysis

Stephanie Ryan: Biographical Detail in Unexpected Places and Gems in the Moreton Bay Records pre-1859 from the Colonial Secretary’s Correspondence

Jane Wassell: School Files and First World War Connections: Names in the Archives

Shauna Hicks: Australian Joint Copy Project:Still Relevant in an Online World and Finding Ancestral Dirty Linen in Court Records.

So a range of very interesting topics!

Shauna Hicks has written a very nice wrap-up of the day with a lot of links to the resources mentioned so I won’t repeat that here.

The seminar is always a good day both for the talks and for meeting up with people, face to face! I stay in contact with many people via Facebook, Twitter and my blogs but getting together in person is still very special.

I met up with Lyn McMillan, an ex-workmate who had attended a lunchtime seminar I put on a number of years ago at work (yes we scientists can have fun lunchtimes too!) and she told me she has been doing some research ever since but  much more now she has retired. Lovely to know the effect a presentation you gave can have, and now she is as addicted as the rest of us.

A special event on the day was the announcement of the winner of the Joan Reese Memorial Shorty Story Competition Award.

Joan Reese Memorial Award

Joan Reese was a tireless indexer and had been voluntarily indexing many New South Wales  historical records since the late 1980s. She left a huge legacy to modern researchers as without her many indexes access to these gems in these records was fairly difficult. Joan was recognised posthumously in 2009 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List being awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia “for service to the study of early Australian history and genealogy through research and indexing”.

Each year GSQ offers this award and as 2014 is the centenary of the beginning of World War One this year the topic was “A World War 1 Experience” 

Dr Jennifer Harrison, GSQ Patron presented the award to this year’s recipient Sue Bell.

Sue’s story will be published in the GSQ journal Generation.

Dr Jennifer Harrison presenting Sue Bell with the Award

All of the attendees were very well looked after as far as catering was concerned with morning and afternoon teas and lunch. A massive thank you to those volunteers!

The day went well with good timekeeping. It was interesting to try the short sessions but perhaps too many short sessions covering diverse topics maybe a better mix might have been a mix of short and long sessions or all the short sessions around a much tighter theme.

It was still a fantastic day and people certainly went away with a head full of things to try and new websites to check!