Yesterday I gave 4 presentations with a Scottish focus to a group of 70-80 genealogists at the Hornsby RSL (Returned Service League) Club in the northern suburbs of Sydney. To get a sense of the audience my opening question was – How many people can identify their Scottish ancestors and put them physically on the ground in Scotland? Everyone put hands up. I knew immediately that I had a different audience than I typically find in the U.S.
In the States, when asking a similar question, I will often only get only a handful of participants who can physically locate their ancestors in Scotland. These folks have come to learn how to jump the Atlantic and locate their ancestors.
The participants in Hornsby knew where their Scottish ancestors came from, and they were familiar with a wider variety of research tools. Their questions were thoughtful, and they were well prepared to go deeper to break down the brick walls in their research. At the end of the day, they seemed a little overwhelmed but they were clearly ready to immediately use the more complex (and sometimes less known) research tools we discussed.
A thoroughly good day for all.