I should now explain that I am writing this part of the blog at 11.50 p.m., as we moved from the discussion on involving younger people to a social event being run by JewishGen. More on this later. Please read the previous post first, as this post will not make that much sense (do any of them I wonder).
So, the UK-SIG meeting continued with information about the revamped JGSGB website and the various new and updated sections on it. Again, I showed two new databases in the members area on the website. These were the Colney Hatch Asylum Records and the The Royal London Hospital (Endowments) databases. The first database is a transcription of the records from an asylum that many Jewish people were sent to due to mental health problems. The records show the name, age and location the patient lived at and also the basic details of the illness. This database will be put on JCR-UK in a few month’s time for public use, as will the Royal London Hospital records. The full details of any patient’s record will only be available on application to JGSGB, as the information in them can be very distressing. The other database showed a different side of Jewish communal life, with details of the people who provided financial and active support for a hospital.
The rest of the UK-SIG meeting involved a run through of the many different sorts of records and websites available to do research in the UK. The website addresses will be sent to people who asked for them, along with any that Laurence Harris will mention in his talk tomorrow morning (now actually this morning). I think that the audience got some useful information to take away from the SIG meeting, and I hope that some will join JGSGB having seen what we do.
So a very busy morning was over but much more had yet to happen. First, Jeanette and I went to lunch in the Grand Slam bar in the hotel. This is a sports bar with a burger and bar food menu. The quality of the food is quite good and the service is excellent. We have now eaten there three or so times. The Manager of the bar is called Eric and is a nice guy. Today, Eric paid for our lunch, which was really unexpected and very welcomed. After lunch we went back down to the conference area to get ready for the afternoon’s events. However, I felt really tired at this point and decided to go back to the room for an hour’s sleep. This was a good move given the rest of the day that was to follow.
The reason for only having an hour’s sleep was that at 3.45 p.m. it was Jeanette’s really big moment at the conference. Jeanette was to deliver her first full presentation on German Jewish genealogy at an IAJGS conference. The topic was about what was changing in German archives and how the changes impacted on genealogy. I cannot really go into detail about the presentation as it involved a lot of German words and many of them far too long for a inclusion in a blog, even as long as this one. The room was packed, with some people having to stand up throughout. Lots of the people there knew Jeanette well, others were experts in their own right. The whole thing must have been very daunting for Jeanette, given the audience but she did not show it and delivered probably the best talk that I have ever seen her do. The subject was technical and complicated but she pulled it off brilliantly. So far everyone I have spoken to has been impressed by what Jeanette did.
No sooner had Jeanette delivered her talk than we were off to do the next thing. This was a reception for the donors to the GerSig speaker fund. We had to go and get the food and drink from our room where it was being stored, take it to a suite on the first floor and set up ready to receive the guests who had contributed to bringing Gerhard Buck to the USA. I was the barman and photographer for this event. Now I had a chance to relax and have a drink as well – very much needed to keep going. Jeanette also had a chance to simply socialise with her fellow GerSiggers, including her GerSig “sister” Nancy Adelson, with whom she had been working for months on preparing the SIG’s events at the conference. So then we finished the reception and cleared up before moving back to the conference floors for the JewishGen presentation – see part 1 of today’s blog. Sorry if it is confusing time wise – just think how confused we are.
So, now more on the JewishGen social event. This was a chance for those that contribute to the JewishGen website in many ways to meet and to talk about genealogy issues and also to get to know each other that little bit better. I was able to talk with some of the JewishGen and IAJGS key people about issues that affect JGSGB and also to find out more about them personally. So now another 50 minutes has elapsed and it approaching 12.45 a.m. so I have to go to bed. After all there is yet another early start this morning – a GerSig breakfast and Q&A session – luckily, I can sit back a bit during the Q&A, Jeanette on the other hand has to answer all those questions…….
Here’s to this morning.
And they say that this is just a hobby!