What I Did This Summer
Do you remember the essay you usually had to write the first week of school about what you did this summer? Well I thought I would fill you in on what I did this summer.
The summer started with completing client work. I enjoy client work because it provides me with the opportunity to do research. Each project is completely different and there is always an element of surprise. Next it was preparing for the speaking engagements that were coming up in September, October and November. Lectures had to be created/updated, syllabus material had to be sent in and travel details organized.
While my client work and lecture preparation did keep me fairly busy I did manage to squeeze in a holiday this summer. Those that know me will understand that it was a trip to a genealogy conference. Every holiday I take has some element of genealogy be it a conference, research or both.
My conference buddy and I traveled to Minneapolis Minnesota to attend the Celtic Connections Conference co-hosted by IGSI (Irish Genealogical Society International) and TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association). It was a two day conference and the featured speakers were: John Grenham, Dr. Bruce Durie, William Rouslton, Brian Donovan, Brian Mitchell and a good selection of local speakers. I went to hear these experts speak and wasn’t disappointed.
The lectures were informative and entertaining. Topics included: Irish place names, landed estate records, land valuations, Scottish research, records at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and many more. It was an information filled weekend. We attended the banquet on Friday night and heard Kieran Folliard speak on “The Changing Face of an Irish Immigrant.” He is an Irish immigrant who lives and works in the Minneapolis area.
The day before the conference started we went to visit the Minnesota Genealogical Society Library and Research Center in the morning. Their collection includes a large Irish and Canadian section.
In the afternoon we went on a tour of Minneapolis/St. Paul so that we could see a bit of the area. This included Minnehaha Falls, The First Avenue club where Prince got his start and the house from the Mary Tyler Moore Show. The tour was a good way to see Minneapolis/St. Paul. I had never visited Minneapolis before and wanted to see some of it. It was also the first time I saw the Mississippi River.
We spent most of our time driving to and from the conference but it was a lovely drive through Northern Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and the weather cooperated. I hadn’t been that far North in Ontario since the mid-1970s so it brought back some memories.
I love conferences. It is a chance to learn new things and meet new people. It was a small conference so the chance to meet and chat was easier than some of the bigger ones. My conference buddy and I even got a chance to get to know the speakers who kindly shared their knowledge with us.
It was a great time. This was the second time this conference has been held. It is shared between Minnesota and Massachusetts and will be held in Massachusetts in 2018.
If you have a chance to go to a genealogy conference then I would recommend giving it a try. If some of the bigger conferences are out of reach then attend a regional one. Every conference is a learning experience and you never know who you might meet.
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