Saturday, 14 March 2015

Countdown to Congress 2015

With a little over a week and a half to go until the 14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry 26-30 March 2015  I am now frantically trying to get myself organised. Amazing how the time has dragged by since first registering mid 2014, and now its upon us and I don't know where to start!

I mentioned in a comment last week Judy Webster has listed some very useful tips in her blog "Top 3 Things to Do before a Genealogy Conference" and although I did read this blog quite thoroughly several times, I wish I had paid more attention to it when the time came.

I refer specifically to my contact cards (ordered through Vistaprint  - if you use this link Judy donates the commission to a wonderful group KIVA 'Genealogists for Families'

I admit when I ordered them I was in a hurry and a little distracted, what a difference a few extra minutes would have made. At present they show the bare minimum and I am a little disappointed, It's okay though as I am a solver and I have found a work around.

Judy's suggestions are very clear as to what sort of information to include, somehow I missed most of it. Here is what I ended up with:

I opted not to list this blogspot as I am very much a beginner and haven't really published much at all - in hindsight I wish I had; I also wish that I had listed my public on-line tree & a link to KIVA .  I am not overly concerned about my Facebook profile as this is more for personal posts.  I was tripped up on 2 other items - my title - I rather like "Family Historian" though I think this sounds like I am a professional which I am not, even though essentially that is what we are doing telling the history of our families. "Genealogy Enthusiast" - hmm, maybe.. In the end I left a title off altogether and somehow I feel kind of bare & non de-script.  

Then we come to the "short" list of surnames being researched HAHAHAHA short? really? How do you pick which ones make the grade?  I chose my main lines - maternal, paternal (1), paternal (2) and also that of my late husband.  I am happy with this list, I only wish there was more room to give a run-down of places/times. Having said that, at least they are listed and I am contactable by email should anyone have an enquiry.

My resolve for the issues above: Address labels! Yes, so simple.  I did not wish to spend more money and order another batch, so I went looking for a fix and discovered the A4 sheets of address labels fit perfectly on the rear of the card.  I can add additional information here, print out sheets of them and stick to the back of the card.  :)

Next problem: Research Register and how to list the names/locations/period.
This always trips me up. It' s difficult to list this information in an abbreviated format, particularly when one also has to list alternative spellings etc.   I checked what others had done and this is how my entry shows:

VERY IMPORTANT: Do take the time to check this list, 6 degrees of separation and with so many people attending Congress there is bound to be someone somewhere with a link or information to your research interest.    

I have found the link to Sue Maxells preparation guide very helpful with simple suggestions that I would not have otherwise thought of. I particularly like the bag on wheels.

My own little tip: I primarily use Legacy Family Tree from which I have printed a list of all names in my database along with sex, birth, death and burial info. To conserve paper and space I have created a double side booklet with 2 pages per side.  Although I will be taking my IPAD with me to Congress, if I find someone with a similar interest I have a very quick way to access the bare necessities.  Brilliant idea I say!!


  1. Excellent tips. I too am struggling with what to put on the Interests Register. I've only put a few things so far but have included one for Family Historian software, I notice that someone else had put in one for their software too - a good way to link up with fellow users in Australia. I must go back and add a few more.

  2. Thanks Jill. I just updated my research list this morning. While looking at my contact card I realised I hadnt even added all of those. oopsie

  3. Thanks for the address label idea, brilliant. I use my cards for other purposes and did not want 250 family history ones, so your suggestion serves me well.

    1. Fantastic, happy to hear someone else can use this neat trick :)

  4. Ooh I do like the look of your cards. Can't wait for mine to arrive. I know what you mean. I ready Judy's post AFTER I ordered mine....typical! Oh well. You live and learn.

  5. How clever of you to use address labels. That also allows you to easily add an extra name or two as your research progresses.