The hero of the Auckland Libraries' New Zealand Family History Month programme this year, was the Auckland Family History Expo, that was held at the Fickling Convention Centre, Three Kings Friday, 12 to Sunday, 14 August.
The Expo was organised as a community partnership with members of the Genealogical Computing Group (GCG), an interest group of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG), who sponsored our international keynote speakers, Dick Eastman and Shauna Hicks.
The theme for this year's Expo was "The Melting Pot" to signify Auckland's wide diversity of cultures.
There were 130 people at the Friday night opening event, to listen attentively to Dick Eastman's The family history world in 10-years' time and Shauna Hicks' DNA: sex, love and damn lies. Both talks were so entertaining and informative.
|Dick Eastman, US |
Expo keynote speaker
I was pleased to be able to tell Dick, that we've already tried to make a very good start with this. We have active Maori and Pasifika researchers, and hold terrific genealogy and family history resources for them at Auckland Libraries. We support the Chinese community on the Chinese Digital Community website and there are many authors and historians in the local Chinese community. And we purchase their books as they come out.
Smita Biswas from the West Auckland Research Centre is in the midst of an awesome project with the Indian community, helping with collecting genealogies and family histories.
Shauna Hicks talked about her DNA experience, and how she came to discover a lie in her family's history which meant that some of her research based on the paper trail was incorrect. The story was quite a poignant one, but delivered in a humorous, informative way.
|Shauna Hicks, Australia, |
Expo keynote speaker
On Saturday and Sunday, we were kept very busy. It was hard to accurately count how many people came through. Some people stayed all day, others came for a while - there was a constant turnover of people.
Saturday was our busiest day, we counted 350 people (in the two seminar rooms and the exhibition hall) at around lunchtime, when the crowds had thinned out a little. From the sale of the USBs with speakers notes, we estimate we could have had as many as 500 people through. We had a lot of people through who were completely new to genealogy and family history.
Sunday was less busy, and alot of people that came, had also come on Saturday. Our estimate for that day was between 200 and 300 people.
We had 24 exhibitors, two-streams of 30 lectures, four computer workshops (held in the Mt Roskill Library above the Convention Centre) and 12 "ask an expert" workshops. The exhibitors were kept very busy helping people with their research. The Auckland Libraries stand dealt with 152 reference queries on Saturday, and 53 reference queries on Sunday!
On Sunday, during Emerson Vandy's talk about the new PapersPast, and Shauna Hicks It's not all online - where else can I look? an alarm went off so we conducted an emergency evacuation of the Fickling Convention Centre, just in case it was a fire. In the end, it turned out to be a faulty security alarm, which was rectified after an hour. Being made of stern stuff, once no danger was apparent, our people simply re-entered the building and continued where we left off.
I was most impressed firstly, by the awesome demonstration we all showed in how to evacuate a large crowd from a building, and secondly by the determination and patience of everyone there to endure such a dreadful noise for an hour!
You can view photographs from the event on Auckland Research Centres' Facebook page. Further details and more photographs available on the NZ Society of Genealogists news page - just scroll down till you reach 12 and 13th August..
We're very grateful to our sponsors who contributed with financial sponsorship:
Auckland Council Libraries, Genealogical Computing Group of the NZ Society of Genealogists, Findmypast, Ancestry, and the NZ Society of Genealogists.
Additionally, we also had 72 raffle prizes donated by sponsors valued at over $6300 in total.
Winners of the raffles were as follows:
● World Heritage subscription and DNA pack (5)
● Auckland Libraries Heritage Pack (4)
● Annual Newsletter Subscriptions (2)
● Family History V6 (2)
● Pen and pencil set (1)
● Famnet Annual subscription (10)
● Findmypast World Subscriptions (5)
Family Tree Maker
● FTM v14.1 program (3)
● Legacy 8 program (2)
Let’s Research (Beehive Books)
● Two hours research with Jan Gow (2)
● Skeleton Travel Mug
● Sail Away 3D pencil tin
Memories in Time (Fiona Brooker)
● Family History Research
● Made for you
● My Heritage subscription (2)
NZ Society of Genealogists
● NZSG Family Historian Vol 1
● NZSG Family Historian Vol 2
● NZSG Passenger Lists CD
● NZSG Naval Chronology
● NZSG NZ Cemetery Records
Salt Lake City Plaza Hotel
● Five nights accommodation
● Charting Companion 1
● Map my family tree
● RootsMagic v7 program (2)
Simon Fowler (author and genealogist)
● Branching out and Ancestors in Army (10)
● Tracing Naval & Tracing Army (5)
● The Genealogist Diamond Personal Premium subscription (2)
● Treeview program (2)
▪ Cornish, ▪ European, ▪ Greater London, ▪ Irish, ▪ Maori, ▪ Midlands & Northern England, ▪ Pacific Island, ▪ Scottish, ▪ South England & East Anglia
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