Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016 My Genealogy Year in Review

It seems like 2016 was non-stop travel. I had amazing opportunities to speak to lots of the Scots diaspora. And where Scots descendants gather, there is always great craic. Let's take a look back:

January was fairly quiet as I geared up for RootsTech. A couple of webinars on offer and lots of excitement and planning for my week in Salt Lake City

February WOW! I used to sit back and read about all the hype around RootsTech, think it might be nice to go, look at the cost and think otherwise. But 2016 was to be my year. I registered, booked flights and hotel and decided this was going to be a one-off. Just so I could say I, too had experienced RootsTech. By Day 2, I couldn't wait for RootsTech 2017! What a whirlwind of activity. Talks to take in, people to interview, after hours events to attend. And lots and lots of fun meeting up with the genealogists I only know online. I was still hosting a webinar series and even managed to host one from my hotel room in Salt Lake! RootsTech was an incredible experience and I am already hyped for February 2017.

March was webinars, webinars and more webinars.

April saw more travel. First to Winnipeg to give a full day of talks. Then onto Kelowna to give a full day of talks to the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society. Two amazing days with lots of learning and lots of helping others move forward in their research. But perhaps best of all there was loads of laughter. 

May was my spring genealogy tour to Scotland. I went for a week ahead of the group and finally had the chance to visit Orkney. I drove up through Sutherland and was acutely aware of the devastation of the Highland Clearances, even two centuries later. I saw the memorial cairn to Sir John A Macdonald's grandparents, visited the very historic town of Dornoch and made my way to the ferry over to mainland Orkney. Orkney was absolutely amazing. The history - prehistoric history - at every turn. The beauty of the island, the smell of the sea and the amazing wildlife. Orkney will always have a special place in my heart. 

June - as if Orkney wasn't incredible enough, I had the immense pleasure of observing 15 tour participants on their genealogical journeys. Records found, stories uncovered, blanks filled in. Then there were the participants that experienced their ancestors first hand by being invited to tour old homesteads, walking the routes their ancestors walked, seeing the books their ancestors read and worshiping in the same church their ancestors were married or baptized in. Such a humbling experience for them and for me. 

July was the start of the highland games season.  I attended the Kincardine Scottish Festival and the Cambridge Highland Games in July. 

August was the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games and it was also the opportunity to speak at the One World, One Family event.

September saw another genealogy tour to Scotland and the opportunity to share in the genealogy adventures of another 14 tour participants. What an incredible time they had! We enjoyed loads of learning opportunities and indulged in our Scottish heritage at a Ceilidh. 

And prior to going to Scotland, I attended the BIFHSGO conference in Ottawa. 

October was another busy genealogy month with a full day of talks in Halifax for the Nova Scotia Genealogical Society. Halifax is an amazing city with history at every turn. What an honour to be able to immerse myself in that for a few days. 

And of course, our masterpiece was hosting the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit. This was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talents of Canadian genealogy speakers. The attendees were wonderfully receptive and made some really terrific connections. 

November was my month to focus on my own family history. Rather than a lot of research, I spent the time creating family history treasures - digital scrapbooks, wall art and photo journals. 

December - can the year be over already? When I look back, I feel a sense of accomplishment. In addition to all of the things listed here, I managed dozens of articles, blog posts, webinars, creating presentations, handouts and editing newsletters. And I am even more motivated to take on everything that 2017 has to offer me in the world of genealogy. 

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