For most of the group, today was arrival day. For those of you traveling from the US, you probably already know that it is an overnight flight with arrival in Dublin in the morning. Sleeping on an overnight flight is not always great, especially if it's crowded. If you can upgrade your seat to an exit row, you'll have a bit more room to stretch out. If you're lucky enough to get the seat at the entry door of the plane, once the door is closed you'll have about six feet in front of you to stretch out. The downside is that everything has to go into the overhead for takeoff and landing. This also tends to get you through Immigration quickly as you'll be first off after Business Class. (If you have miles or points consider upgrading to Business Class where you'll have a seat that extends to a flat bed for the night!)
It's just the luck of the draw as to whether you get a room when you arrive at the hotel. Check in time is 3 pm so arriving on an early flight sometimes requires a wait for your room. For the people arriving today for my group, it was a mixed bag...some got a room right away, and others had to wait for a while.
From experience I know that people are tired on the first day, so a few years ago, I began adding an additional night into the program. Many people decided at the last minute that they wanted to add a night and sometimes the hotel couldn't accommodate them, so now, everyone has that extra night to recover. Two people decided to come in even earlier and arrived on Friday. So they actually had an activity today. Each participant in the research group was scheduled for a half hour consultation at the Irish Family History Centre. I recommended that they have a focused research question (because half an hour isn't a long time). The Family History Centre is located in the EPIC building and after their consultation they received tickets to visit EPIC (which is an Emigration Museum). Here's their comments about the day. First from Diann...
"Today I went to the Irish family History Center and met with Kaileigh for a consultation about my Canavan line from Cork City. My research question focused on whether John and David Canavan were brothers or cousins. Kaleigh not only suggested some additional traditional genealogy strategies to research a possible maternal inheritance but also to use the wonderful WATO DNA tool of DNA Painter because of the DNA connections I found. These approaches I had never considered!
After meeting with Kaileigh, my friends and I toured EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum which is housed in the same location. I knew some of the later Irish emigration story from the Great Famine on until 20th century but was unaware of the earlier history such as the Flight of the Earls and the Flight of the Wild Geese. EPIC brought both these events and other Irish stories to life in its interactive museum. Not to be missed!"
And from Sherry
"I enjoyed the day immensely. Best part was the consultation. The consultant had a few ideas that are making me look at my research in a different way.She really emphasized the importance of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and looking at estate records that are not online. She also emphasized looking at the big picture — the FAN club. She introduced me to some online sites that were unfamiliar to me."
So tomorrow the rest of the researchers will have an opportunity to meet with Kayleigh. I hope they enjoy their experience as much and provide more ideas for their research. They'll have tomorrow afternoon and evening to hone their research plans with the additional suggestions from their consultations and be ready to jump into their research on Monday.