Two weeks ago I presented my first ever talk, and the following day I repeated it. It possibly wasn’t the most exciting, stimulating talk at Who Do You Think You Are Live at Olympia 2014, nor did I recall some fantastic or amazing journey through my family history. But I would sincerely like to thank all the congregation of the “Parish Church of St Findus-in-the-Past” who attended my whistle stop tour of the new findmypast family tree. I had 45 minutes, and 81 slides to cover, so it was quick!
My aim was to provide an overview of the new tree, with plenty of screenshots, to show the growth of the new tree, and demonstrate how far the feature set has been extended over the last 6 months, and what will soon be released to the findmypast UK user base.
I literally started at the beginning with an explanation of creating a tree, the tree settings available now in terms of privacy and control, and the plans for the future. We then covered adding a person, extending the detail, adding relations, attaching media, selecting profiles, lists, etc.
At the end, I briefly showed the Ming Dynasty Tree one of my colleagues who originates from China has started, to demonstrate how we handle Chinese characters and other character sets. This will be evolving further.
But amazing, even though I prepared my presentation only a few days beforehand, since we are rolling out improvements so fast, it was already out of date in a couple of places!
I also had to throw in a few quick mentions for the findmypast iPhone App called Capture which will soon be released that offers users some nice features such as quick photo, audio and note upload to a person profile, direct to your trees online. It should also be available on Android too! As I told my attentive congregation, this would surely be a great tool to have at a wedding or family gathering. Or even a funeral. At my own grandmother’s funeral a couple of years ago, I would have loved to have collected an audio comment from her friends and family (including her 96 year old elder brother) about their favourite memory of my gran.
In the end, despite my incredible nerves before both presentations, I thoroughly enjoyed doing them, and very relieved to see that they seem to have gone down so well. Apparently, the findmypast team were quite busy after both with questions along the lines of “when can I start using the new tree?”. Very soon I am told.
In addition to the two presentations, I was quite busy Thursday and Friday, helping out as always on the Genes Reunited stand. Well to be honest, the only rest I got was when I did my presentations, though I’m not complaining. I love helping people track down the missing records, lost relatives or just solving the issues they’re having with the site.
I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to one South African born, British based gentleman who used to frequent my great-grand uncles hotel near Durban as mentioned in a previous blog post: http://www.genesreunited.co.uk/blog/phil-moir/archive/2011/7/30/henry-turnbulls-voyage-to-south-africa-in-1904. We were going to chat more, but I’ve lost you email. Please do get in touch with me via this blog.
And I can’t not mention the wonderful company I enjoyed at the findmypast dinner on Thursday night along with many members of the Society of Genealogists, including the members of the Hampshire Genealogy Society. It was a real pleasure sitting with you all, and of course, for letting me have the spare chocolate pudding!