Ancestor Day on Star Trek Voyager

I just watched an old episode of Star Trek Voyager about genealogy. Star Trek Voyager was a spin-off series of Star Trek, the old series made in the 60s about “space, the final frontier”.

In the episode I watched (Episode 23, Season 5) Captain Janeway (a sort of Katherine Hepburn) was looking into the story of the ancestor who had inspired her to become a Star Fleet captain. As it turned out, the story wasn’t what she was told, and she was disappointed. She decided that the photograph her crew had found (nice to be able to get your crew working on your family history) had no place on her desk after all.

So her crew threw a surprise party for her and called it Ancestor Day, where we celebrate the lives of our ancestors and ponder their significance to us. Even if what she believed turned out not to be true, it still inspired her at the time.

I think it’s a good idea!

Genealogy research in other countries

I am constantly surprised by the differences in genealogy research in different countries (and Australian states). We tend to take for granted procedures and availability of records in our own patch and then get caught out when we start looking at another country. Well, I do!

I am off to New Zealand for three weeks in a week. I’m going to the AFFHO Congress in Auckland on the 16-20th January, and I’m going a week early to do some research on my own family. I’m trying to prepare for the research I hope to do. New Zealand is a small country and yet the records are so decentralised. Most of them, anyway.

I found the same thing in Victoria. The attitudes to some of the records that I take for granted in Sydney, the birth place of the country, are totally different in Melbourne, where a totally separate colony was established without having convicts as its reason for being. It’s no criticism of them, just something I wasn’t aware of. Although it can blind them to records that are based in Sydney from the period before the establishment of the separate Colony of Victoria.

I’ve seen similar attitudes in posts from Americans enquiring about English research. They expect things to be similar to them and find it confusing when it isn’t. I personally find US research more confusing, what with records in courthouses and attics and all. Of course, I’ve never actually down any on-the-spot US research so what do I know!

Time flies when you’re having fun

It’s been a long time and a lot has happened. I’ve decided that for my own happiness I’m not going to try building a business by coaching other people. That’s been a big step for me, and a big relief. I don’t feel split, I’m not hedging my bets and can commit fully to the one thing instead of marking time until I get serious about the other one.

And I have committed myself now – I’ve applied to do the Diploma at SAG, I’ve joined a study group, in fact I’m leading one of the groups, and I’m selling off some of my psychology books.

Not all of them though, so there’s still some little idea in there somewhere that I might go back to it some time. And I guess I might too. One day. But I’ve realised that it’s not something that I can just dabble in. Really, you have to be serious about it to do it properly. Dabbling is unethical, really, it’s not fair to the clients and it’s not good for me.

It’s unethical because I’m not learning any more and I’m not specialising in what they need. A specialist needs to be at it all day every day. A full time job. Not a part-time interest.