I have been researching my family history for over 30 years, at times I am "gung ho" and buried in it (pardon the pun), other times I do not touch it for weeks, or even months; and yet three decades later the passion is still there. I cannot help but wonder what is the drawcard that keeps me and so many others coming back?
It has only been the past 12 months that I have actually given any thought as to why I dedicate so much of my life to this past time. My children are not particularly interested, nor are my other family members, so what do I think will happen to my research when I am gone and does it matter?
My answer is I have absolutely no clue and a resounding YES it definitely matters.
When I heard the 14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry was being held in Canberra this year (26-30 March 2015 ) I was quite excited as I thought "I can make this happen"; Canberra isn't that far from Brisbane and who really cares about work? When a good friend suggested we travel together I was like a Mexican jumping bean - you couldn't keep me down. Rain, hail or shine I was going to Congress!
By my level of excitement, you may comprehend this is my FIRST time at congress, and I am absolutely beside myself. There are a few speakers who I have had the pleasure of listening to before (Carole Baxter, Shauna Hicks, Paul Milner) and there are others who I cannot wait to encounter and absorb all the wisdom they wish to share (Kerry Farmer, Heather Garnsey, Colleen Fitzpatrick to name a few).
I am particularly interested in expanding my knowledge on DNA and how it plays a part in our research, and I love hearing about all things English and Irish. 4 days of heaven sent bliss, expanding my knowledge on a topic I love - Genealogy. Who could ask for more?
I personally am not attending the extra functions (welcome dinner etc.) as my finances would not stretch that far after travel and accommodation expenses; although, if I had excess funds I am sure it would be nice. I will be concentrating on the speakers I am booked in to see, and in my leisure time I will be visiting the Australian War Memorial and enjoying the sights of Canberra.
There is no doubt Genealogy plays a huge part in my life, the quest beginning as an assignment in primary school, leading me to enrol in a history degree at University in 2014 (at 44 years of age) and ending who knows where. I LOVE IT. I love the hunt, the fact finding, the mystery. I LOVE being able to prove a particular person is a member of my family line despite the odds (or the white lies). I LOVE the opportunities to travel, to piece together pieces of our ancestors lives, to tell the tale of how they lived and the difficulties they must have faced.
I LOVE the Chase; and Congress will allow me to expand my knowledge even further and continue on this extraordinary hobby. I cannot wait!
If your free, or even if your not, I highly recommend you attend this wonderful bringing together of minds.