Showing posts with label cruises. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cruises. Show all posts

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Unlock the Past cruises catalogue 2014-2016

Unlock the Past Cruises (www.unlockthepastcruises.com) has published a new catalogue detailing its forthcoming cruises schedule from mid 2014 to mid 2016. It notes the itineraries, some of the confirmed speakers already in place, costs, facilities and more. I'll be taking part on the eighth cruise next year from England to the Baltic states and back, so there's even a wee quote in there from me!

The cruises are essentially floating genealogy conferences and holidays combined, and are always good fun (I've been on a couple already), so the brochure is well worth a few minutes read. It is freely accessible online at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Unlock-the-Past-Cruises-catalogue.pdf

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And FindmyPast - please reinstate the original Scottish census citations on your new site.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Unlock the Past's Baltic genealogy cruise - presenters news

I blogged recently at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/8th-unlock-past-cruise-to-tour-northern.html that Unlock the Past has now confirmed a Baltic venture in July 2015 as part of its genealogy cruises programme. The cruise, starting and ending in Southampton, is scheduled to last two weeks and will include stops at Bruges, Berlin, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen, as well as a packed genealogy conference on the high seas.


Well now some news on some of the confirmed presenters so far. Cyndi Ingle from Cyndi's List fame (http://cyndislist.com) will be participating on her first Unlock the Past cruise, as will US based genealogist Paul Milner (www.milnergenealogy.com) on his second voyage with the firm, who specialises in British Isles research. From Australia will be genealogist Carol Baxter, and all the way from Largs, North Ayrshire, yours truly will also be taking part, in what will be my third cruise with Unlock the Past. Also provisionally signed up from Australia are Rosemary and Eric Kopittke and Helen Smith, whilst Carol Becker is another name down from the States.

As previously mentioned, there are substantial discounts available if you wish to book early before May 31st 2014 - with an early booking discount of AU$50 from Unlock the Past, and a special Celebrity Eclipse bonus of US$100-US$125 on-board credit for bookings before the same date.

As ever with Unlock the Past Cruises - should be fun!

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And FindmyPast - please reinstate the original Scottish census citations on your new site.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

8th Unlock the Past Cruise to tour northern Europe in 2015

Unlock the Past (www.unlockthepast.com.au) has confirmed details for its 8th genealogy cruise next year in northern Europe, sailing between Saturday 11th July 2015 to Saturday 25th July 2015 from Southampton in England to the Baltic and back again, on a 14 night cruise aboard the Celebrity Eclipse, a vessel operated by Celebrity Cruises.

Here's the confirmed itinerary:

– Southampton, England
– Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium
– Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany
– Tallinn, Estonia
– St Petersburg, Russia (2 nights)
– Helsinki, Finland
– Stockholm, Sweden
– Copenhagen, Denmark
– Southampton, England

The speakers and the full talks programme have yet to be announced (it's still early days on that front!), but there are substantial discounts available if you wish to book early before May 31st 2014 - with an early booking discount of AU$50 from Unlock the Past, and a special Celebrity Eclipse bonus of US$100-US$125 on-board credit for bookings before the same date.

Further details on the cruise are available at http://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises/8th-unlock-the-past-cruise-baltic/ and http://www.gouldgenealogy.com/2014/05/unlock-the-past-cruises-heads-to-the-baltic-for-their-8th-cruise/.


More news as it comes through!

Chris

Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And FindmyPast - please reinstate the original Scottish census citations on your new site.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Unlock the Past Cruises - provisional 2015 Baltic cruise schedule

Unlock the Past Cruises have announced a provisional schedule for the first of its two Baltic genealogy cruises next year, currently expected to commence in July and to run for 14 days. The schedule is provisional still, as the cruise operators have yet to formally confirm their plans, but the following provides an indication of what to expect, starting from and returning to Southampton in the south of England:


Full details are available at the Unlock the Past Cruises blog at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/uncategorized/1st-baltic-cruise-provisional-announcement/.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Future of Genealogy - discussion panel on Unlock the Past cruise

One of the highlights of the recent Unlock the Past cruise based genealogy conference in Australia was a discussion panel session chaired by American based genealogist Thomas MacEntee. The panel consisted of Australian genealogists Shauna Hicks and Mike Murray, Kirsty Gray of the Guild of One Named Studies, and myself, and was entitled The Future of Genealogy.

Shauna has now written up a summary account of the questions asked by Thomas and the answers we returned, covering a range of topics. Although in parts the Australian and British based perspectives differ slightly, for the most part the topics covered seemed to produce a picture that was consistent on both sides of the planet.

To read Shauna's account of the discussion, visit www.shaunahicks.com.au/the-future-of-genealogy-as-seen-from-feb-2014/.

(With thanks to both Shauna and Thomas)

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Unlock the Past cruise and talks tour now over

As regular readers will know, I’ve been up to my eyes with things on the fourth Unlock the Past genealogy cruise (www.unlockthepastcruises.com) over the last couple of weeks. The cruise finished last Thursday morning at Sydney, with some 245 weary but happy genies departing the boat after a great nine days of camaraderie, genealogical expertise, and a few decent bars! Over the final days of the conference I heard some great presentations, including Shauna Hicks on asylum records in Oz, Kerry Farmer on DNA, and a fantastic musical session from Lesley Sylvester and Mike Murray of Perth (WA), who performed folk songs they had written based on a maritime project of WA by Lesley a few years back.

The shore based talks tour with both myself and Thomas MacEntee continued throughout the cruise. On Friday 7th February we visited North Adelaide Football Club, the first time I have visited Adelaide, where the temperature was an incredible 42 degrees C – not something your average Ulsterman usually encounters, but I managed to hide indoors for most of it! It was a great venue, and one which had particular connections to Alan Phillips, organiser of the cruise – his father was previously a player for the club, and was well commemorated by it.

The following is a short video diary entry after the event, where back on the boat I give a wee tour of my cabin, to give an idea of the accommodation on board, and where I also describe how the conference was carried out, and the benefits of a genealogy cruise...



After Adelaide we ventured to Hobart, where the ship was docked overnight on Monday, before heading back to Sydney all day Wednesday. I had an afternoon off (my only shore based free time of the trip), and so I was able to visit both the Maritime Museum in the city, as well as the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, both great venues. On Tuesday 11th we then did our talks session, at the Philip Smith Centre, where I spoke on both British and Irish newspapers, and the history of the Scottish Kirk (with emphasis on how that affects genealogical research). This was my second time in Tasmania, having previously presented to the Tasmanian Family History Society at Burnie in late 2011, and many members from the Hobart branch were in attendance. A great society, you can visit its site at www.tasfhs.org for further details on how to sign up – Hobart branch also has its own site at www.hobart.tasfhs.org. Whilst departing from Hobart I recorded another video diary:



I had the privilege once again to give the final talk on board the ship, a 40 minute presentation on the British Civilian POWs in Ruhleben camp, though I adapted it to include the Australian involvement also! (A few Australians were interned in Germany alongside other citizens from the former British Empire). The talk went down well, which was nice to see. The following short video shows the crowd gathering at the venue, Cleopatra’s Needle…



In addition to my talk, there were prizes galore dished out, including webinar CDs from Thomas MacEntee, the latest Family Historian software edition, ebooks vouchers for UTP’s ebook site, and one lucky winner receiving an AU$2500 voucher towards a future UTP cruise – effectively a free cruise (you had to be in it to win it!). A great end to the boat based proceedings, and everyone seems to have departed happy bunnies.

No sooner were we off the boat on Thursday 13th than we all headed for the Parramatta RSL club, a return visit to a venue I had previously spoken at in 2010 as part of an Unlock the Past expo. On this occasion I spoke about Irish records online, and the unique attributes of the laws and practices surrounding Scottish marriage over time. Thomas and I both had a couple of minor technical problems during our presentations, easily overcome, but after the event I had a chance to dine at the event with some local genies, some of whom I had only previously known through social media. After an overnight in Sydney we flew to Perth, WA, on Friday, and the following day gave our last talks session at our busiest venue of all, with some 160 attending our presentations at the State Library of Western Australia. This was again somewhere I had been to before, when on a holiday in 2006 I spent a day here doing some family history research, not for WA connections, but for Brisbane, through its microfilmed holdings. There was such a good vibe at this venue that I asked the audience first to say hi to British GENES blog readers…



They were such an obliging crowd that I decided to go a bit further. My wife Claire and I met in 1995 after she had returned from staying in Perth for 9 months – as it was Valentine’s Day on the 14th (the day before), I thanked the audience for sending her over to me(!) and then asked them to give her a special Valentine’s Day message…



As well as Thomas and myself, there were sessions on the Western Australian Genealogical Society (WAGS www.wags.org.au) and the State Library’s offerings, including several digitisation projects on the go for the First World War centenary. Following the day’s event, Liana Fitzpatrick, president of WAGS, invited Thomas and myself, as well as Alan, Anthea and Rosemary from Unlock the Past, to a barbecue, with a few of the society’s members also in attendance. It was a great end to the whole genie journey of the last two weeks.


A huge thanks to all at Unlock the Past for a great trip, and to all those who facilitated the talks sessions, or attended them - until the next time...!

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Friday, 7 February 2014

More cruise news - and a Hungarian's tale

The fourth Unlock the Past (www.unlockthepast.com.au) genealogy cruise trundles along - today I will be visiting Adelaide to give two talks on British and Irish newspapers, and Irish Online Records, then on Monday I'll be giving talks in Hobart. I've given a few more talks on the boat itself, and attended a few also - Shauna Hicks Oz newspapers online talk was a good session, as was Neil Smith's session on British redcoats in Oz. Several of my books have sold out on board, though more stock is being picked up in Adelaide today (where Unlock the Past is based).

But here's a slightly different experience from the cruise - yesterday I met an extraordinary Hungarian woman at the breakfast table. She was in her 70s, and had been in Oz for some fifty years. But the things she has experienced... See my other blog for a post on this at http://walkingineternity.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/a-hungarians-story-on-cruise.html

More soon!


Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Unlock the Past talks in Melbourne

Today was my first shore based talks venture since the start of the fourth Unlock the Past cruise (www.unlockthepastcruises.com), this time at the Celtic Club in Melbourne. We had slight problems with two of our presenter team, who had both fallen ill and had therefore remained on the boat, but the gaps in the programme were filled at the last minute by Brisbane based genie Helen Smith, and Kirsty Gray from England.

As I was planning to catch up with family in Melbourne, it had been arranged that I would kick off the morning with two talks, The Godly Commonwealth: Discover Scottish Church Records, and British and Irish Newspapers. We had yet another packed room, and always one to sense an opportunity, I had a bit of fun with them at one point when discussing the history of the Church of Scotland. For the first hundred and thirty years after the Reformation of 1560, there was a power struggle within the Kirk between one wing which wished to remain Episcopal – ruled by bishops and a hierarchy – and the Presbyterian wing, where the congregation controlled its own affairs. Control veered between them at various points. If only there was a shorthand approach to describing it? Here was my solution, aided by the Melbourne Genealogical Choir…



Yes, that's right - I can’t sing :)

During the interval between the two talks I signed a few books (annihilating the resale value for them on ebay!) and met a couple of folk who had been former clients, and one prospective client who had contacted me just prior to departing for the cruise. His name was John Loveland, his surname coincidentally also being the maiden name of my aunt Beth in Melbourne, who had married my mum’s brother Bill many moons ago. John asked me where Beth’s family was originally from, I replied Ballarat – and we soon established that they were actually related as third cousins! (I have no idea why this keeps happening to me!). Coincidentally, I had arranged to meet Bill and my cousin Alison in the club after my talks were completed (Bill’s a member), and so I introduced them to John, and it transpired that he had met Aly’s grandfather at a family reunion in the 1980s, and knew all about her and the Melbourne branch of the family. Small world! The picture on the right shows Aly with her new found cousin John.

In the afternoon I visited my cousin Roslyn at Narre Warren, and her wee twins (growing up way too quickly!), along with Bill, Aly and Beth (see picture to the right), and was back to the boat for 6.30pm. At 8pm I then took part in a panel session about the future of genealogy, with Thomas MacEntee asking us some interesting questions about various trends in the field of genealogy just now, and where it might be going in the next 5 years. Also on the panel was Shauna Hicks and Mike Murray from Oz, and Kirsty Gray. It was a fair auld session, lasting until 9.20pm, at which point we wrapped.

Tomorrow I have two talks to give, including my first Irish based talk, and plenty more one to ones with delegates struggling with Irish and Scottish research problems. The next shore based session will be near Adelaide on Saturday - further details at http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/chris-paton-and-thomas-macentee-downunder/adelaide.

More in due course…!

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Unlock the Past cruise - first two days report

Days 1 and 2 on board the Big Brother cruise, and nobody has been evicted...!

The Voyager of the Seas set forth from Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 4th February, with the fourth Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise now well and truly underway. Tuesday was very much about getting ourselves booked on board, having the luggage delivered to our rooms and then dinner at the main restaurant on Deck 5. A couple of pics of the Voyager of the Seas, NCC 1701...!




After dinner, and getting to find our feet, we gathered together in an area of the boat called Cleopatra’s Needle to hear a general welcome and introduction from Alan Phillips and Helen Smith, as well as representatives from the cruise agents Clean Cruising. There were some 250 of us present, and it was great to see so many familiar faces, including Shauna Hicks and partner Max, Mike and Lesley Murray, Jan Gow QSM, Jill Ball, and a whole host of others from the genie scene down under in Oz and New Zealand. Also amongst our number were a handful of Brits, including Jane Taubman and Kirsty Gray, one South African, and Thomas MacEntee from the US. After the general house rules etc were outlined for the week ahead, a few photos were taken of various groups – I participated in the Geneabloggers group picture and the Genealogists for Families (Kiva) image, and then headed back to my cabin for an early night – it had been a long day!

Wednesday then saw the start of the conference proper. Yours truly was tasked with giving the opening talk to all the delegates, a half hour overview of British and Irish newspaper resources, in which I explained how to identify the existence and location of newspapers for regions across the British Isles, both offline and online, as well as some of the issues to watch out for with online material. (Nobody heckled me or dragged me off to the stocks, so I think I got away with it!)



After this a stream of three lectures were then given in parallel in adjacent lecture rooms. I remained in the main room to listen to a brilliant presentation from Shauna Hicks on how to research mining ancestors during the Gold Rush in Australia (and also a brief bit on New Zealand). One of the things I love about coming to Oz is the chance to learn a little bit more about the development of the country beyond the obvious “that’s where the convicts went from the UK”. In this case I was able to understand about how some miners migrated during the Gold Rush from one location to another, and the various resources that can be found, though Shauna lamented that this was one area where many records could still do with some form of cataloguing or indexing.


After a brief coffee break, it was time to hear Jane Taubman on Family Historian, the software programme. In this shug’s opinion, FamilyHistorian is the best software out there, but at the moment it is not the one I use – the reason being that Family Tree Maker has a better synchronisation facility across platforms, making it a better option for use across my iPad, PC and laptop. When FamilyHistorian creates a better synchronisation facility, I’ll definitely be there to sign up again. The talk itself was very good, offering some interesting tips on ways to use the programme for research, such as with tagging media items.

After lunch it was then a chance to hear Tiggy Johnson talk about how to use family history to inspire poetry and writing. This was my favourite of the three talks I attended today, with an interesting discussion about how to create an “emotional truth” from a story for a poem. In some cases, Tiggy outlined how a story can be recalled which may occasionally have one or two minor details wrong and yet still be accurate in terms of an emotional truth, the essence of what the poem is trying to convey to the reader. There was an interesting discussion about who the reader was – if a poem is to become an heirloom, is an emotional truth enough when weighed against historic accuracy, or if for wider consumption, whether the emotional truth is more than enough? I found this a really stimulating session, because it did not just apply to poetry, but to writing in general. I have had an idea for a while about a possible book I would like to write, which has so far given me a few headaches in terms of how to tackle it, due to some missing information I’ve always felt was needed. Some of the approaches Tiggy suggested have really got me thinking about possible ways to put it together (if I ever get around to it with other work commitments!). Definitely food for thought, and a unique talk I’ve not seen given anywhere else before. Spot on!

I then spent the afternoon offering some one to one research advice sessions – one lasted well over an hour, with the couple, Jim and Jeanette, having done a superb job with a family in Perthshire, Scotland. It’s always great to offer advice to anyone needing advice on Ireland and Scotland based research, but when you are presented with research that has ticked all the right boxes and been brilliantly put together, it is a particular privilege to engage with it and to try to push the options even further almost to breaking point. All three of us left our meeting with the adrenalin flowing, it was a fantastic brainstorming session – more of the same please!!!

Finally, a couple of pics from the cabin I'm in - one showing the general layout, the other the first of many origami towel animals I expect to see in the next few days...!


 


Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Unlock the Past talks tour rolls on at Canberra

The Unlock the Past talks tour (www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/chris-paton-and-thomas-macentee-downunder) continued with a session in Canberra earlier - my first visit to the ACT, I like what they've done with the place!

I've recorded a wee video outlining the next few days, you can access it at http://youtu.be/W7eSBTUqAAg or below (I omitted to mention we'll also be at Sydney next week!):



Thomas and I are having great craic with the Unlock the Past team, and the talks are going well. Bear in mind the offer on books from UTP regarding its own publications - 10% off at the seminars, and freight free postage if they run out of stock and have to post to you later (as with postage on all their books, not just UTP titles).

Heading onto the Voyager of the Seas cruise ship in a few hours, then stopping off next at Melbourne - particularly looking forward to this as I'll be catching up with an uncle and some cousins in the afternoon after my talks have been given.

Finally, there's a great review of the Brisbane session from Caitie Gow at http://genealogically-speaking.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/paton-macentee-down-under-in-brisbane.html

And here's a few pics!

Rosemary Kopitte on MyHeritage
Partners in time!
The glamorous life of a mobile genie...
We don't leave our own behind!

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Unlock the Past talks tour kicks off in Brisbane

Today saw the first of a series of day long seminars across Australia run by Unlock the Past (www.unlockthepast.com.au) featuring myself and US based genie Thomas MacEntee as the principal speakers. The venue was the Broncos Leagues Club in Brisbane, a venue I had previously visited in 2010 on my first Unlock the Past venture - though this time the crowd was bigger, as was the size of the room in which we were being hosted. I managed to meet many of the great and the good, including several delegates I had previously got to know on the second Unlock the Past cruise in 2011 and from talks I had previously given in Oz.

It was a great opening day with several highlights. Although I got to Brisbane a few days ago (I spent a couple of days at a cousin's house), Thomas had only flown in from Chicago yesterday, and it was a miracle in this wee shug's eyes that he was awake at all after the length of his journey! I had breakfast with him in the morning before we kicked off, and it is amazing to see how different the US approach to the genealogical world is compared to that in the UK, particularly with regard to the activities of, and the set-up of, many of the societies, though it was interesting to note that there has apparently been something of a seismic shift in the last decade as to how things are done across the pond. I had only ever heard Thomas talk online before, and he's quite something else in the flesh, a real entertainer, and the audience loved it. His talks today were on building a research toolbox - i.e. how to have the right online tools to hand for your genealogical research, no matter where you are or on what device you are using - and a tour around some of the more unusual or lesser known web resources that might help you in a pickle. Rosemary Kopittke also gave demos on the use of the MyHeritage website and the FlipPal portablee scanner, and there were several additional contributions from the sponsors, as well as UTP heid yin Alan Phillips on forthcoming UTP cruises (www.unlockthepastcruises.com).

One of the best things about such talks tours is the people you get to meet in the audience however. A notable first for me today was Judy Webster, who runs the Genealogists for Families initiative, which seeks to provide micro-loans to those in need around the world for business start ups and ventures, and something which I have been contributing to on and off over the last two years, amongst many others on the genie scene. Judy revealed that the initiative is already approaching its first $100,000 in loans to good causes (at $25 a loan, that's nearly a staggering 4000 loans!). To find out more visit http://www.britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/genealogists-for-families.html or via the Kiva links at the top of this blog page.

Another notable first was to meet Caitlin Gow, who seemed bemused at the interest in her from many of us! Caitie is just 22 years old, but an absolute genie addict who has taken to the social media world in the last few months in a storm of brilliance. Half Texan, half Oz, and with loads of Scottish ancestry, she is currently studying her last year in criminology and has a real forensic approach to her family history hobby. This was her first ever family history seminar, and going by her comments on social media throughout and after the event, it's fair to say that it was a hit, and we'll definitely see more of her in the months and years to come! Modern genealogy definitely needs more Caties, a wee dynamo and a great role model for the next generation of genies.

Caitie has various online social media offerings, with her Genealogically Speaking YouTube account at http://www.youtube.com/caterrrs, her Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/caitieamanda, her Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/caterrrs/ and a shared collaboration blog, with Heather Collins, called Young and Savvy Genealogists, located at http://youngandsavvygenealogists.blogspot.com.au. Check them out, you'll be inspired.

And finally - it wouldn't be a trip to Oz if I didn't meet a new cousin!!! My first talk of the day was on Irish Land Records, and during this I gave an example of how to trace property ownership using Griffiths Primary Valuation and the subsequent follow up searches in the Valuation Revision Books up to the 1930s, via the PRONI website in Belfast (www.proni.gov.uk). The token subject for the exercise was my great great grandfather Jackson Currie from Co. Londonderry. One audience member, Sonya Wood, nearly keeled over when I did that, as she is also related to a Jackson Currie from the same parish - possibly him or a cousin, something we're still working on trying to firm up! It seems that every time I travel down under I meet a new rellie, which is half the attraction of visiting Oz. It is a VERY small world!

Anyway, jet lag is happily at work, it is 4am here, and I have a flight in a few hours to Canberra, where we will next be speaking on Monday. For the full talks tour details, see http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/chris-paton-and-thomas-macentee-downunder - we're heading to Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney and Perth over the next two weeks, not to mention the UTP cruise, so lots of fun still ahead! If you do attend the seminar sessions, my books will be on sale there, both those from Unlock the Past and from Pen and Sword. The UTP books will have a 10% discount, and if any of them sell out on the day (as happened today with one or two titles), UTP will post them to you freight free. Honestly, they are that nice...! Thomas also has several titles available for sale at the events, you'll find details of these, and many other offerings, via the main Unlock the Past website (see above).


Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Friday, 24 January 2014

On the road for a bit...

Tomorrow (Saturday) I'll be heading to Australia to participate in the fourth Unlock the Past genealogy cruise (http://unlockthepastcruises.com), as well as a seven city talks tour alongside Thomas MacEntee from the US. The first event does not kick off until Saturday week (1st Feb) in Brisbane, but en route down under I will be stopping off to see my brother in Dubai for a couple of days, and then my cousin just outside of Brisbane. Inevitably this means that there will likely be some disruption in terms of my being able to find time (and wifi access!) to blog, but I will do so as often as possible.

I'll be back in Scotland just two days before Who Do You Think You Are Live (www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com) kicks off next month, so will only be here for one night before heading straight on a train the next day down south to London for a few more days, but am looking forward to catching up with the great and the good whilst there, to find out what's happening in the foreseeable future!

Hopefully see some of you in Oz or in London!

Chris

My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

On tour down under with Unlock the Past

In four weeks time I'm heading for a brief visit to Dubai to see my brother, and then flying onto Australia to take part in the now fully subscribed fourth Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise, which takes place from February 4th-13th (see http://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises/4th-cruise/).

Whilst the cruise itself has a packed agenda of talks, I will also be giving talks at seven shore based venues both before, during and after the cruise, along with fellow international presenter Thomas MacEntee and Unlock the Past stalwart Rosemary Kopittke, and joined by Noeline Kyle (at Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney), Tiggy Johnston (at Adelaide and Hobart), and Jane Taubman (Sydney).

Full details of this talks tour, with the talks programme at each venue, admission costs/ticketing and biographies on the speakers, are available at http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/chris-paton-and-thomas-macentee-downunder/brisbane.

The following is a summary of the talks I will be giving, and details of the venues themselves:

Saturday 1 February 2014, 9am - 4.30pm Broncos (Brisbane)
Broncos Leagues Club, Fulcher Road, Red Hill
11.15pm Irish land records
3.45pm Scottish inheritance records

Monday 3 February 2014, 9am - 4.30pm (Canberra)
Hellenic Club, Matilda Street, Woden, ACT
11.15pm British and Irish newspapers
3.45pm Scottish marriage: instantly buckled for life

Thursday 6 February 2014, 10am - 5pm (Melbourne)
Celtic Club, 316-320 Queen Street, Melbourne
10.30am The Godly Commonwealth: Discover Scottish Church Records
11.45am British and Irish newspapers

Saturday 8 February 2014, 10am - 4pm (Adelaide)
North Adelaide Football Club, Function Room, Menzies Crescent, Prospect
11.45am British and Irish Newspapers
3.15pm Irish Records Online

Tuesday 11 February 2014, 9am - 3.30pm (Hobart)
Philip Smith Centre, 2 Edward St, Glebe
Topics to be advised

Thursday 13 February 2014, 10am - 5pm (Sydney)
Parramatta RSL, Corner Macquarie and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta
11.45am Irish records online
4.15pm Scottish marriage: instantly buckled for life

Saturday 15 February 2014, 9am - 4.30pm
State Library of WA, 25 Francis Street, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
11.15am British and Irish newspapers
3.45pm Irish records online

This will be my fourth visit to Australia since 2007, and my third giving talks - I am looking forward to a good few days in Brisbane before kicking off (I'll be staying with a cousin for a couple of nights before we get going!), meeting folk in Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart, cities I have not visited before, returning to the Paramatta RSL (were I previously spoke in 2010), the Celtic Club in Melbourne (my uncle's a member, and my first time speaking in the city!), and a return to the State Library in Perth, where I did some personal research in 2010. At each venue I will be present for the full duration, so will be more than happy to talk about Irish and Scottish research problems between talks, though I have to apologise in advance that I will be leaving early after my two talks in Melbourne to catch up with family for the afternoon before rejoining the boat.

A range of Unlock the Past publications (including from yours truly) and other genealogy materials will be on sale at the venues.

It's going to be fun both on board and ashore - hopefully we'll see you a few of you there!

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Unlock the Past Australian talks tour - open for booking

Next February I will be taking part in the fourth Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise around Southern Australia, but in addition to the cruise I will also be taking part in a parallel talks tour at various venues from Brisbane to Perth, alongside Thomas MacEntee from the United States, also on the cruise. Unlock the Past has now uploaded details of the venues for these sessions and is now taking bookings for each.

The venues are:

Sat 1 Feb – Brisbane seminar
9am-4.30pm at Broncos Leagues Club, Fulcher Road, Red Hill

Mon 3 Feb – Canberra seminar
9am-4.30pm at the Hellenic Club, Matilda Street, Woden

Thu 6 Feb – Melbourne seminar
10am-5pm at the Celtic Club, 316-320 Queen Street, Melbourne

Sat 8 Feb – Adelaide seminar
10am-4pm at North Adelaide Football Club, Function Room, Menzies Crescent, Prospect

Tue 11 Feb – Hobart seminar
9am-3.30pm at the Philip Smith Centre, 2 Edward St, Glebe

Thu 13 Feb – Sydney seminar
10am-5pm at Parramatta RSL, Corner Macquarie and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta

Sat 15 Feb – Perth seminar
9am-4.30pm at the State Library of WA, 25 Francis Street, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth

The PRE-BOOKED prices are as follows:
- $39.50 – full day
- $29.50 – half day (morning or afternoon)

The PAY ON THE DAY prices are as follows:
- $60.00 – full day
- $40.00 – half day

For further details, or to book, please visit http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/chris-paton-and-thomas-macentee-downunder

With my professional genealogy hat on I will say that each day's programme (still to be finalised) will provide a range of useful topics and expertise to hopefully inform your ancestral research endeavours. With my Ulsterman hat on, I'll also add that it should equally be good craic - we'll hopefully see you there!

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see http://pharostutors.com.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Unlock the Past - British Isles cruise speakers announced

I'm looking forward to taking part in the 4th Unlock the Past genealogy cruise in Australia in February 2014, but the company's cruise plans don't end there! I've previously announced that Unlock the Past is planning a 5th cruise from 19th-29th July 2014, this time in our neck of the woods around the British Isles - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/unlock-past-british-isles-discovery.html.

Now, however, I can reveal the line up of speakers! There are nine in total from four different countries, as follows:
  • Paul Blake (England)
  • Jackie Depelle (England)
  • Marie Dougan (Scotland)
  • Jayne Shrimpton (England)
  • Lisa Louise Cooke (USA)
  • Rosemary Kopittke (Queensland, Australia)
  • Mike Murray (Western Australia)
  • Lesley Silvester (Western Australia)
  • Helen Smith (Queensland, Australia)

I've previously heard presentations from Marie, Rosemary, Mike, and Helen, and have also heard some of Lisa Louise Cooke's excellent Genealogy Gems podcasts, so on that billing alone it's well worth signing up! But you also get Paul, well known in the English family history scene, Jackie, well known in the north of England and equally famous for her big hats at WDYTYA Live (!), Lesley, equally well known in the west of Oz, and Jayne, who probably knows more about historic clothing, photography and portraiture than anyone on Earth! It's a great line up, and full biographies on all of the speakers can be found at http://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/5th-cruise-presenters-2/.

Details on the full programme of talks will be announced soon (it's intended that there will be about 40 topics over 25 sessions), but be warned that the 5th cruise is booking up fast(much faster than previous ventures by the sounds of things), so if interested the best bet is to drop Alan and the team a note as soon as possible.

Have fun!

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see http://pharostutors.com.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Unlock the Past's 2014 British Isles cruise now taking bookings

Further to my post last week (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/unlock-past-british-isles-discovery.html) on the 5th genealogy cruise from Unlock the Past, which will be sailing around Britain and Ireland and also paying a quick visit to the Channel Islands and France, the company has now announced that booking for the voyage is now open. The cost is £1199 per person ($AU2067) twin share room (further prices are at http://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/5th-cruise-pricing-booking/).

For further details, visit Alona Tester's post on the Gould Genealogy blog at http://www.gouldgenealogy.com/2013/09/5th-unlock-the-past-cruise-is-open-for-booking/

(With thanks to Alona)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see http://pharostutors.com.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Unlock the Past - British Isles discovery cruise 2014

Next February I will be taking part as a speaker on the 4th Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise in Australia, having previously attended the 2nd cruise in November 2011. Genealogy cruises are essentially floating conferences at sea, but brilliant though the UTP cruises are, Oz is still half a world a way.

If only they could come to us...

Well, hold onto your hats, it's happening! Unlock the Cruise has now confirmed that its fifth genealogy cruise will be happening from 19th-29th July 2014 on board a vessel called the Marco Polo, set to sail the oceans blue around Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and France. A new page has gone live on the UTP cruises site at http://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises/5th-unlock-the-past-cruise-british-isles-discovery/ with details of the planned travel itinerary; speakers and talks details have as yet to be confirmed.

The Marco Polo

The proposed itinerary is as follows:

day 1 – depart Tilbury, London – 6pm (boarding from 12.30pm)
day 2 – at sea
day 3 – Invergordon, Scotland – 7.30am-10pm
day 4 – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands – 7am-6pm
day 5 – Stornoway, Outer Hebrides – 7.30am-10pm (transfer to shore by tender)
day 6 – Tobermory, Isle of Mull – 7.30am-4pm (transfer to shore by tender)
day 7 – Dublin, Ireland – 8am-5.45pm
day 8 – St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly - 9am-6pm (transfer to shore by tender)
day 9 – St Peter Port, Guernsey - 7.30am-6pm (transfer to shore by tender)
day 10 – Honfleur, France – 9am-5pm
day 11 – arrive Tibury, London – 9am

It's still early days, but the company is advising that entry level pricing is expected to be under £1250. If interested, the best bet for now is to visit the website and to register that interest, and the team will keep you appraised of developments as they begin to firm up over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the fourth UTP genealogy cruise in Australia is already booking up fast, with well over 200 people signed up so far, and the latest addition confirmed from the UK in terms of speakers is Kirsty Gray of the Guild of One Name Studies. For more on that cruise, including the talks schedule, visit http://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/4th-cruise-program/.

And there's more...! Keep an eye out for news of the proposed 2015 UTP cruise around the Baltic, the 8th UTP genealogy cruise, setting off from the UK between May and September.

Time to start practising those sea shanties...! :)

Chris

My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see http://pharostutors.com.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Unlock the Past books and cruises

For the last few years I've been working with Australian based company Unlock the Past (www.unlockthepast.com.au), which publishes books, holds events across Australia and in recent times has also ventured into the world of genealogy cruising.

I've just had my latest book published by them, entitled Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, my third in a series of books looking at aspects of Scottish family research, and hopefully in a wee bit more detail than is usually the norm in Scottish genealogy books. I've recorded a short introduction video about this book (and its predecessors), as well as to discuss a bit more about the cruises the company runs - not least because UTP is coming to our half of the planet in the very near future!

Here's the craic...!



(The video is also accessible at http://youtu.be/EtHMXtNnuGA)

For Unlock the Past's published books visit www.gould.com.au; for its ebooks visit Gen-eBooks at http://gen-ebooks.com, and for Unlock the Past Cruises visit www.unlockthepastcruises.com

Chris

My wife Claire is planning to swim from the Scottish island of Cumbrae to the town of Largs on September 14th to raise money for local charity Gillian's Saltire Appeal, providing respite for families affected by cancer (Claire's mum and sister in Ireland have previously come through cancer, whilst my mum, based in England, currently has bladder cancer). Her Just Giving sponsorship page, with further details, is at http://www.justgiving.com/Claire-Paton1. If you can help to sponsor her, even by a wee amount, we'd be very grateful - many thanks!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

National Family History Fair in Newcastle

I'm back in Largs just now after two days away to Newcastle for the National Family History Fair, which was once again a great event. I travelled down on Friday, stopping off for a few hours en route in Edinburgh to do some client research (see http://walkingineternity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/recognising-yourself-as-heir.html for details of an interesting find amidst that!), and made it to the Premier Inn in Newcastle, the venue for the fair, for 6pm. I caught up with the fair's organiser Bob Blatchford and others for a meal, then had an early night!

The event itself started at 10am on Saturday morning, with various vendors in attendance. Many of the great and the good were there, including Bryony and team from Ancestry, FamilySearch, Anguline Research Archives, Australia's Unlock the Past (exhibiting for the first time in Britain), Family History Partnership, the University of Strathclyde's Genealogical Studies team, the Federation of Family History Societies, Society of Genealogists, the Ulster Historical Foundation, My History, and many, many others.

I had a chance to browse a few stalls, with some interesting finds - Pen and Sword were selling their new magazine Discover Your History, and had two great new books from Emma Jolly (Tracing Your Ancestors Using the Census) and Sue Wilkes (Tracing Your Ancestors' Childhood). Elsewhere I found a great wee buy, a book published in 1964 by the Ulster Folk Museum called "Ulster Dialects", which is slowly explaining why my accent is so dodgy/brilliant (that's subjective - your call!). I caught up with Ian and Sharon Hartas who explained some forthcoming developments on their UKBMD project (www.ukbmd.org.uk) - keep an eye out, it's all being announced soon!

William Roulston on Irish records
At 12pm and 2pm I chaired the two talks sessions, with the first yet another excellent presentation from Dr William Roulston of the Ulster Historical Foundation, on Irish genealogical resources (and successfully flying the flag for Tyrone!). Mike Hall then gave an interesting overview of the Society of Genealogists website, and its programme to catalogue and digitise materials, some useful materials on the site (particularly, but not exclusively, for English and Welsh research).

The show was over at 4pm, and after the hall was cleared I managed to catch up with Alan Phillips from Unlock the Past, not only to receive copies of my new book just published under his imprint in Australia (Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records), but also to discuss the forthcoming cruise and talks tour we'll be doing in Australia next February. Alan moved into organising genealogy cruises about three years ago, and without giving anything away, things are about to take off in a big way - keep an eye on his new cruises site at www.unlockthepastcruises.com! Remember, still time to book if ye fancy a conference at sea with lots of great speakers, including a few from the UK! (For more see http://www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises/4th-cruise/)

Another great event, and a huge thanks once again to Bob and Liz!

Chris

My wife Claire is planning to swim from the Scottish island of Cumbrae to the town of Largs on September 14th to raise money for local charity Gillian's Saltire Appeal, providing respite for families affected by cancer (Claire's mum and sister in Ireland have previously come through cancer, whilst my mum, based in England, currently has bladder cancer). Her Just Giving sponsorship page, with further details, is at http://www.justgiving.com/Claire-Paton1. If you can help to sponsor her, even by a wee amount, we'd be very grateful - many thanks!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Chris Paton and Thomas MacEntee downunder

I've previously announced that I will be taking part in Unlock the Past's 4th Genealogy Cruise next February, with the scheduled itinerary and additional details on the cruise available online at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises/4th-cruise/. Having been on a previous UTP cruise, I know it's going to be an absolute blast!

When I did the second UTP cruise in 2011, I also participated in a talks tour, before, after and during the event, at various shore based stops from Auckland to Sydney. I'm delighted to say that I'll be doing the same once again next Jan-Feb when down under, and I won't be alone - US based Thomas MacEntee, of Geneabloggers fame, will also be on tour! Unlock the Past has published a provisional schedule online at www.unlockthepast.com.au/events/chris-paton-and-thomas-macentee-downunder, but the plan is that Thomas and I will be giving a series of talks at various Oz based cities, with the following listed as the provisional tentative schedule:

Sat 1 Feb - Brisbane seminar - 9am-5pm
Mon 3 Feb - Canberra seminar - 9am-5pm
Thu 6 Feb - Melbourne seminar - 10am-5pm
Sat 8 Feb - Adelaide seminar - 10am-4pm
Tue 11 Feb - Hobart seminar - 9am-3pm (or possibly the day before, Mon 10 Feb 5pm-9pm)
Thu 13 Feb - Sydney seminar - 10am-5pm
Sat 15 Feb - Perth seminar - 9am-5pm

There will be other speakers at some of the sessions as well, TBA, so a lot to look forward to. I've not been to Canberra, Adelaide or Hobart before, so very much looking forward to visiting, and I'm also excited to be catching up with folk again at Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth (not least because I also have family located in each city!).

In the meantime, there's still time to sign up to the genie cruise - see www.unlockthepastcruises.com for details. On the previous cruise I had a great day each day doing talks and helping cruisers with their genie problems - and then experienced a chance each night to listen to Piano Man Glen in a bar playing some brilliant tunes on the auld ivories. Life does not get much more civilised....

Hopefully see you there!

(UPDATE - bookings for these events are expect to open in 2-4 weeks!)

Chris

My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!