Australia: Visiting Sydney, Day 1

Ziva drove me to the airport, before dawn, to catch an early morning flight to Sydney to see my cousins.

Bob and Di met me at the airport and, since time was so limited, they drove me around to get a feeling for this beautiful city. The weather was sunny and breezy and Bob shared his love for the city where he has lived for more than three decades.

For lunch, we went to the Sydney Fish Market for fish and chips. An amazing building full of fresh everything that can say “glub glub.”

Some of them were still speaking!

Name a creature of the water and it is on ice or in a tank somewhere here. There are also other kiosks inside (sushi and more).

At 2pm, Bob and Di dropped me off at the Kent Street site of the Society of Australian Genealogists, where I met the SAG program director Carole Riley, a colleague Kerry Farmer and’s Linde Wolters (who lives in Sydney). From left, Carole, Kerry and Linde:

We had a quick tour of the excellent facilities, library (there is another archive offsite), talked genealogy – what else? – and went for refreshment to the cafe across the street. First it was 3.20pm and the next time we checked it was 4pm. If I wasn’t being picked up by my cousins, we could have gone for several more hours.

For dinner, we went to a Lebanese restaurant with our cousins’ friends and had a great time talking genealogy, DNA and much more.

Tomorrow, say my cousins, I’ll get to see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, emus and other unusual animals. Looking forward to that!

Internet Research: Just the tip of the iceberg

Not everything is online, and sometimes we still need to dig out the facts the old-fashioned way.

This great poster, developed by the California Genealogical Society (Oakland, California) is available for sale.

I saw it at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2009 in June, but forgot to get my own copy. I’ll pick one up at Jamboree 2010 (June 11-13, 2010).

It was developed by CGS volunteers. Read more about the project here.

Purchase the 11-inchx17-inch poster for $13 (including tax and US postage), two posters are $23, and three are $33 (buy three and they’ll give you another one for free). Posters are sent in a mailing tube. If you’d like a poster mailed elsewhere than in the US, email the CGS for information.

To purchase a poster, send a request and payment (US check) to:

The California Genealogical Society and Library
2201 Broadway
Suite LL2
Oakland, CA 94612-3031

San Francisco: Geneablogging workshop, Oct. 10

The California Genealogical Society and Library is celebrating October Family History month with numerous events.

My good friends and geneablogging buddies, Thomas MacEntee and Craig Manson, will present “Blog Your Genealogy: Why, How, Do’s and Don’ts,” from 1-4.30pm Saturday, October 10 at the California Genealogical Society and Library in Oakland.

Are you curious about genealogy blogs? Or have you dismissed them as fluff and not worth your valuable time? Two experts will show why blogs are more than just “the latest fad” and how they are a valuable way to enhance your genealogy research.

The three-session afternoon presentation is suitable for teens and up, so bring along your younger family members – who already know everything about blogs, but perhaps not that much about genealogy!

Both Thomas (always smiling, creative and ebullient) and Craig (calm, reasoned and a true gentleman) are renowned geneabloggers who will share their expertise and have some fun. The Thomas and Craig duo should go on the road more often! They will show why blogs are more than just “the latest fad” and how they are a valuable way to enhance your genealogy research.

Thomas is a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. With more than 25 years of experience in the information technology field, Thomas writes and lectures on the many ways blogs, Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience. As the creator of, he has helped organize and engage a community of more than 600 bloggers who daily document their own journeys in the search for ancestors.

Craig is Distinguished Professor and Lecturer in Law at the Capital Center for Public Law and Policy (University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento). He teaches administrative law and has been a lawyer for 28 years. In 2004, he began the study and practice of genealogy. He writes the popular blog, GeneaBlogie and a weekend column called Appealing Subjects on the highly-regarded magazine Shades of the Departed. Although GeneaBlogie focuses on genealogy, Craig often writes about legal topics of interest to genealogists.

The program:

1-2pm: How to Use a Blog. Start with the ABCs of blog use in a basic introductory demo. Leave with a list of great genealogy blogs to read, tips on how to best use the information found in blogs and wonder why you didn’t start following blogs sooner!

2:15-3:15pm: Building a Genealogy Blog. With the help of an audience member, Thomas will create an individual family history blog right before your eyes.

3:30-4:30pm: Blogging and the Law. Learn about copyright laws and how to protect your information on your blog.

Only 30 can attend what will be a very popular session (quick registration advised!). It is free for CGS members, while others pay $10, which can be applied toward membership on the day of the workshop. Registration (email) required, no walk-ins permitted.

For other October events at CGS, click here. For a map, click here.