Sunday, 12 January 2014

BIFHSGO January meeting: summary

Saturday morning was treacherous on the roads in and around Ottawa. Forecasts of freezing rain overnight had already deterred some. The morning radio reports offered further discouragement - several accidents with the lesser traveled roads and sidewalks offering complementary adventures in slipping and sliding. That, and seasonal colds and flu, meant only about half the regular attendance at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa monthly meeting. Those that did had further adventures in store.

At 9 am Ken McKinlay presented on computer backups. His message was to make them, to make them regularly, to ensure they are distributed geographically so that if there's a problem in your home, say your house burns down, there are backups elsewhere. One of the facilities he mentioned that was new to me is Syncbackfree which facilitates backups to a local thumb drive or external hard drives. However, like me, Ken does a monthly backup to a local external hard drive using the Windows backup facility which is part of the Windows operating system.

After numerous announcements starting at 10 am, which included the first of the monthly draws for two one-year memberships in celebration of the society's 20th anniversary, the meeting moved on to the main presentation by Gail Roger with the title In Bibles and Bugs: My Welsh Ancestors In and Out of Africa. In English Welsh and Swahili, prose, poetry and song, Gail described her exploration of her extraordinary ancestors and relatives. I'll leave her to recount the story in writing, hopefully for Anglo Celtic Roots.

I mentioned that attendees had further adventures in store. Part way into Gail's presentation the fire alarm sounded in the auditorium at Library and Archives Canada. After verifying that it was for real we all put on our coats and trooped outside. Fortunately it was a false alarm and we were able to reassemble for the remainder of this excellent presentation.

Gail emphasized the utility of timelines when exploring your family history, of listening to information from "cousins" even when you think they're wrong, and the benefit she has received from taking online courses through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring. She also suggested trying a Google search engine for the native country, say rather than or,

Its an indication of the vitality of BIFHSGO that Dave Cross and Judy Thamas from well outside Ottawa both made the meeting despite the driving conditions.


Susan Gail Roger said...

I just would like to re-state that putting a search into the Googles of different countries was a wonderful tip from BIFHSGO's Facebook page.

Thanks ever so for the kind comments, John! That was an adventure, wasn't it? I went home and cracked open my Christmas bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream to recover my nerves...

Dave Cross said...

John, thanks for your excellent recap of the meeting and I could not agree more about the quality of Gail's presentation. It was first class.