Wednesday, 9 August 2017

BIFHSGO Conference Speaker James F. S. Thomson: Maps, Shakespeare and Newspapers

BIFHSGO conference speaker James F. S. Thomson reminds me of the saying "Still waters run deep". Without fuss and eschewing the limelight, he delivers content-rich professional presentations. He's also someone I turn to for advice.
He has designed and taught over a dozen advanced and expert-level family history courses. For these courses and in his articles and presentations at conferences and workshops, as well as in his capacity as a University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies instructor, James draws on over thirty years of experience in family and local history research. He has spoken at two BIFHSGO monthly meetings and given an all-day workshop to BIFHSGO members on Maps and Mapping for Twenty-First Century Genealogists.

For BIFHSGO conference James will give a pre-conference half-day seminar:
Maps and Mapping
Explores sophisticated ways in which maps and mapping tools can contribute to family history research, analysis and writing. James will describe a new generation of map portals and interactive sites, before moving on to concentrate on explaining how a variety of mapping and other tools can be used creatively and effectively in your own genealogical projects, as research aids or in communicating project outcomes. The resources and examples used will be chosen with English and Welsh research in mind, although the principles and techniques described will be independent of geography.

During the conference he presents:
Genealogy and the Age of Shakespeare
Four hundred years after the death of Shakespeare we stand to be the beneficiaries of many substantial improvements in access to sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century records of great interest to family historians. As well as giving a solid review of new and important developments, James will cover recommended resources for mastering secretary hand and discuss what implications the new generation of cutting-edge SNP-based Y-DNA tests, and even advances in the field of population genetics, may come to have for researching inhabitants of England and Wales in the age of Shakespeare.

Historical Newspapers
Having noticed that all his recent personal breakthroughs, some retiring decades-old brick-walls, have newly digitized historical newspapers in common, James will describe what makes newspapers peerlessly exciting resources for genealogists; check in with the British Newspaper Archive and other digitization projects; suggest how to identify and access non-digitized titles and issues; promote some surprisingly useful but under-appreciated titles; and offer search tips and strategies for taking advantage of this spectacular new dawn of historical newspaper research.

Read more about these and the other presentations and events at the BIFHSGO conference here. Then follow the links for registration. Save by registering before 18 August.

Later in October during a full day workshop for OGS Toronto Branch, Researching Scottish Family History from the GTA: New Directions, on October 28, James will be giving four of the five presentations. He is also working on his first online course for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies; called Researching Canadian Local History. It is scheduled for May / June 2018.

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