Saturday, 25 June 2011

SAFHS Conference 2011 - Live Blog

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15.59 Everyone's packing up, and so am I. It's been a long day. I'll post up a report later maybe.

15.31 Postcard sellers are the curse of my wallet...

It's getting quieter now, I think the lasttalk has either finished or nearly finished. I'm not sure how long we'll be here for now, but probsbly at least another hour or so.

No-one has claimed the free book. Still time, though...

14.32 A nice couple of queries there, where I was able to locate service records for two individuals. One in particular was chock-full of information the lady had never known before. Makes the day worthwhile to be able to help like that.

13.53 So Andrew Nichol has told me to say he HAS written his talk. I don't believe a word of it.

Finally got a chance to say hello to Chris Paton. He might just be the busiest man on the planet. He's just back from Canada, and in November he has the honerous task of being on an all-expenses paid cruis in New Zealand. Well, someone's got to do it.

And I bought another book! Don't tell my wife...

13.17 Okay, quick quiz! What does Harry Potter have to do with family history?

I have no idea, but one FHS is selling a Harry Potter novel...

13.15 apparently there's a raflle today. I'm surprised no-one's tried to sell me some tickets yet.

the talk by Andrew Nichol of the Scottish Catholic Archives might be interesting, especially considering that at half eight this morning he hadn't written it yet...

13.10 Still time to claim a free book...

12.40 I'll manage to eat sometime. Had a nice conversation with a lady who was involved in the restoration of the memorial at Penicuik. The photos we have on the War Memorails Project are from before the restoration so we'll hopefully be able to get some more infor and some better photos.

12.07 Just been shown a photograph which appeared to be Victorian, and might have been posed as a court martial. Hopefully it will be sent in to us and we can feature it on the blog. My lunch is still sitting here uneaten - I can't get a moment!

11.50 Time for a quick bite to eat before the hoped-for lunchtime rush. I've grabbed ten minutes to look over the stall. The FIBIS stall has a large selection of books, many of which I'm salivating over. I'll have to resist, my wallet couldn't take it!

11.27 Busy busy! Lots more queries, a few tales of grandfathers etc. You never know what queries you're going to get, although we always seem to get a few queries about the Militia!

It's also encouraging to meet people who say "I'm in a group doing some research, would you like a copy?" That's always great to hear, sharing information is one of the keystones of our group, and it's nice to see resources being shared.

10.57 More queries, more questions. Done a couple of lookups for folk.

Chris Paton is here, although he flew in to our room, looked around and flew out again. Hopefully I'll get a chance to catch up with him later.

10.23 It's interesting to see the variety of queries you get. I've already been asked about army doctors during the Napoleonic era, and now a query about the memorial in Basra. That particular gentleman has been researching his family and has three ancestors who served in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalion of the Black Watch. He's almost certain that one of his ancestors served directly underneath the Queen Mothers brother.

10am - Met a person who reads the blog! Always nice to meet someone who read us...

9.57 - If there's anyone in Edinburgh not decided what they're doing today, come along and see us. We're on the first floor and you're guaranteed a friendly welcome. I'll offer an incentive - the first person who visits our table and says the words "Hector Macdonalds nickname was Fighting Mac" will receive a free copy of "There Was a Soldier", worth at least £10.

9.45 - Some interesting queries. A couple with an interest in the Musselburgh area were asking about how names were compiled for memorials. Another lady had a query about her grandfather who served in the Royal Scots and I was able to find his Medal Index Card.

One gentleman had a query on a man named on a Roll of men who served for avillage in Cheshire. Apparently this man had served in an agricultural unit, and the list they have has the abbreviation HDL. Unfortunately that's not one I'm familiar with. Can anyone help?

9.20am Just thought I'd share this, which I spotted in the Grassmarket as I made my way here this morning. I'll need to check if we have this on the SWMP. If we don't then I'll add it later.

9am - I'm not sure if we're open now, or if we open at quarter past. Either way, it's getting busy with folk still setting up. Plus I've just bought the 8th Division 14-18 history for £8, so I'm reasonably happy!

Just so you know, the 2012 SAFHS conference will be in the Bonar Halls, University of Dundee on 21st April 2012. Book your place now! We'll probably be there...

8.43am Not long now till the doors open, and things are getting busy.

I'm surprised to see a number of Family History Societys not here. Dumfries and Galloway FHS are always here, but not this year. Fife FHS are another strangely absent society.

Some interesting stalls here, though. Scotlandspeople have some stands that offer you the ability to browse their online content, SCRAN are here as are Deceased Online. The Genealogical Society of Utah are also here.

Oh, and so you know what to look for when you come, here's a pic of our stall. Hopefully it'll be surrounded by interested folk in a little while!

7.59am Well, I'm here, and I'm online! Today should be an interesting day. The weather's not that great, so maybe people will come inside and see us rather than the Armed Forces Day festivities! Hopefully there's enough interest in both events.

Check back later on the blog to see how we're getting on.

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