What may be the largest genealogy and history fair of 2007 will be held in a few days: May 5 though 7 in London, England. More than 15,000 people are expected at the "Who Do You Think You Are?" conference. This show is sponsored by the popular U.K. television show of the same name, as well as the Daily Telegraph and Ancestry.co.uk.
The Society of Genealogists Family History Show will take place as part of the Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE National History Show. The Society of Genealogists Family History Show will be a "show within a show."
I'll also be there, along with the other 15,000 attendees.
I hope to write about this huge conference in this newsletter each day that I am there and may be able to post a few photographs of the festivities. However, if you can be in London for the May bank holiday weekend, I'd suggest you attend in person and see for yourself. You can see the likes of David Starkey, Dan Snow, Neil Oliver, Bettany Hughes, Saul David, Nick Barratt, and Jonathan Foyle. You can read more about them at http://tinyurl.com/38rhlx.
Colin Jackson, Ian Hislop, and David Baddiel will also be at the show, discussing the experience of having their ancestors revealed to them on the TV programme.
Over the last three years, the "Who Do You Think You Are?" TV show has captured the imagination of millions of viewers. Because of this one program, thousands of people have now become history enthusiasts and amateur family historians.
With a fourth series now confirmed for 2007, "Who Do You Think You Are?" is launching its first National History Show, giving more people than ever before the opportunity to learn about their heritage. This event will take place at the National Hall, Olympia, London, on the May bank holiday weekend, 5th - 7th May 2007.
Previous visitors to the Society of Genealogists' Family History Show, sponsored by Findmypast.com, will find that this new show includes most everything that you have seen before as well as a lot more. This show is in its 15th year and is now a part of the "Who Do You Think You Are?" conference. It includes vendors and Family History Societies from all over the country plus all the experts you have been used to meeting at the old location at Royal Horticultural Hall.
As always, the Society of Genealogists will offer several presentations. Else Churchill will give some ideas and tips for anyone who has hit a brick wall. John Hanson will introduce ten useful websites for anyone who is just starting. Experts and authors from The National Archives and Family Record Centre will speak on sources held at Kew and elsewhere; for example, Chris Watts will talk on Merchant seamen.
You can read more about the Society of Genealogists' part of this huge show at http://tinyurl.com/3b7sfc.
If you're just starting out in your genealogy searches, you will find lots of experts on hand at the show. Ancestry.co.uk will even have a dedicated "Lab" where you can drop in and receive expert help to create your family tree. Plus, a few lucky visitors will also have the chance to have their family history unveiled to them in the Ancestry.co.uk LIVE stage.
In addition to informal help in the Ancestry.co.uk "Lab," you will find scheduled sessions in the nearby Ancestry.co.uk LIVE stage. Nick Barrett will be there at times, presenting the results to several show attendees who have recently had their roots researched by the pros. These folks will receive the results for the first time from Nick Barrett at this event. Can you imagine Nick Barrett hosting "This is Your Ancestry" in front of a live audience? This should be a great show!
It will also be a tough act to follow, but I'm going to do my best. I will be hosting two Question and Answer periods at the same Ancestry.co.uk LIVE stage: at 4:15 PM on Saturday and again at 3:00 PM on Sunday. Please bring your questions about technology within genealogy. If you have questions about Yorkshire ancestry or other U.K.-specific topics, I'd suggest that you save those for one of the other experts who will be on stage at other times.
Megan Smolenyak will also be conducting several Question and Answer periods so that show attendees can get quite used to American accents. Megan is the Chief Family Historian of The Generations Network, the parent of Ancestry.co.uk, and also is one of the people behind Roots Television at http://www.rootstelevision.com. She is also an expert on DNA genealogy research. She recently co-authored with Ann Turner, M.D., the book "Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree." Since 2000, Megan has also been a consultant with the U.S. Army's Repatriation project to trace families of servicemen killed or MIA in Korea, World War II and Vietnam. She has supported this and more than 75 other genealogical initiatives through the Honoring Our Ancestors Grants Program. She is also a recipient of a number of awards, including International Society of Family History Writers and Editors awards in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
You can read more about Megan at http://tinyurl.com/2okxhd.
You can learn more about the Ancestry.co.uk Lab and the LIVE stage at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=91.
There is more to this show than what I have mentioned in this brief overview. In fact, there is a lot more. You can read about many other scheduled events at the show's web site at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.co.uk.
You can purchase tickets online at the same web site or by calling 0870 166 0443. Tickets are £18 if purchased in advance or £20 at the door. Admission for children aged 6-15 years is £5 if purchased in advance, £6 at the door. Children 5 years of age or younger will be admitted free of charge.
I'll be traveling some distance to spend May 5 though 7 at The National Hall, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX. I am excited about being at a conference of this size. Will I see you there?