29 May 2009

OGS Conference 2009 Opening

Arriving in Oakville to a warm sunny day I drove to Sheridan College and eventually found my way to registration which was quite a way from the furthest reaches of the marketplace and the main entrance. My registration package awaited, was promptly produced, and some deficiencies in the material included were quickly and cheerfully addressed.

I dropped in briefly to the graduation ceremonies for the National Institute for Genealogical Research, a happy occasion.

After a buffet dinner meeting many friends and acquaintances, see the blog posting by fellow Ottawa blogger Elizabeth Lapointe, it was off to the opening ceremonies and J. Richard Houston Memorial Lecture given by Kory L. Meyerink.

This meeting marked the official change of honourary patron, from Senator Lorna Milne to Senator Vivienne Poy. Senator Milne emphasized the work that she did to have the post 1901 censuses released is not complete as there is still the question of the default exclusion from release to be addressed. Senator Poy surprised us by mentioning she had her Chinese family history back 2000 years, and that she had a Scottish great-grandfather. She seems interested in expanding the cultural range of OGS from the traditional Anglo membership.

Kory Meyerink, gave the J. Richard Houston Memorial Lecture Beyond the Begats: Developing Biographies from Paper and Digital Sources. He emphasized the need to fill in the dash between the birth and death date, and suggested techniques by which genealogists could become family "biographers." Many of these involved looking at information on collateral lines and community experience. The lecture was illustrated with reference to Ontario Loyalist ancestors and will be published in Families.

Having driven from Ottawa prior to all this the two hour evening session felt like a bit too much of a good thing, especially when Saturday morning's first presentation starts at 8 am.

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