29 March 2010

LAC hosts Gene-O-Rama 2010

This year saw a switch of venue for Ottawa's oldest genealogy event, Gene-O-Rama, to Library and Archives Canada.

The opening session on Friday evening, 26 March, featured the presentation of the Pat Horan Memorial Lecture by Lisa Alzo, Silent Voices: telling the stories of your female immigrant ancestors, prior to which there were welcoming remarks by OGS Ottawa Branch perennial Chair Mike More and newly appointed LAC Assistant Deputy Minister Jean-Stéphen Piché. He won applause when he mentioned he had been a member of the team involved in the successful census release battle.

The marketplace featured most of the local genealogical and historical societies and several exhibitors, also perennials, from elsewhere.

Here Ed Zapletal, publisher and editor of the Moorshead Magazines publications Discovering Family History, Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle and History Magazine talks to M T Al-Mansouri while circulation director Rick Cree watches the stand.

Malcolm and Chris Moody from Archives CD Books Canada brought a wide selection of CDs, still only a fraction of their catalogue. Further photos of their stand are on the company Facebook page.

One of the features of Gene-O-Rama is the number of smaller organizations and individual entrepreneurs exhibiting. I was pleased and surprised to see former work colleague and friend from Environment Canada, Jim Armstrong, with a selection of resources from his ancestral home in the Fitzroy Harbour area.

I had a brief talk with Louise St Denis from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies who brought a selection of the Institute publications as well as information on the institutes's online programs and courses.

There were two parallel sessions of presentations for a total of four sessions plus the Friday evening Pat Horan lecture. From Lesley Anderson I learned that you can put more than one name in the Ancestry.com search box for last names, perhaps both a maiden and married surname.

Room 156 was mostly dedicated to more technically oriented presentations. I missed Rick Roberts speaking on Recording and Citing Sources Using Legacy Family Tree. Another perennial favourite, Doug Hoddinott, explaining as part of his presentation on Family Tree Maker - more reasons to upgrade why he now believes FTM has regained a leadership position having at one time fallen behind Legacy Family Tree technologically. I spoke to a standing room only audience on DNA Testing for Genealogy: not just for women but will leave it to others to comment.

Saturday evening featured the Gene-O-Rama closing banquet with 50 people attracted to Algonquin College to enjoy a good meal and an informative and humorous presentation. Sex, Lies and Archives was presented by notable local historian and genealogist Glenn Wright, a former archivist at LAC, here looking somewhat pensive prior to the presentation.

Congratulation to the teams from Ottawa Branch, OGS, for once again organizing a memorable event.

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