I am headed out again this week. This time it is for an international trip. I will attend the annual Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE! show in London, England. The name of that show is a mouthful, so I'll abbreviate it as WDYTYAL.
I was at this show last year and was impressed to see nearly 15,000 genealogists and history buffs at one three-day event. In fact, you can see the video that I created (with a lot of assistance from Roots Television) at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/05/national_histor.html. This year's show promises to be bigger and probably better.
Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE! is sponsored by Ancestry.co.uk and is also supported by The Times Archive. It will be held May 2nd through 4th in the Grand Hall, Olympia, Kensington.
Those of us at the show may be rubbing elbows with celebrities. Special guests at the show this year include Alistair McGowan, Nicky Campbell, father and son duo Peter and Dan Snow, as well as Time Team presenter Tony Robinson. Natasha Kaplinsky will be attending the show on Saturday May 3, to re-tell the story of her appearance on the Who Do You Think You Are? television show and the background behind her appearance. Nicky Campbell will be discussing his adopted family roots on Friday, May 2, and Alistair McGowan will relive his journey to India to find his on Sunday, May 4.
All of these celebrities are well-known in the U.K. although not all of them are as famous elsewhere.
The 16th annual Society of Genealogists Family History Show will take place during WDYTYAL. This “show within a show” will feature more family history societies and organizations than ever before. The Society also expects to see an increase in the number of dedicated family history exhibitors. The SoG workshop programme will continue to provide the most comprehensive level of family history expertise than is available anywhere else in the UK, featuring speakers that include Else Churchill, Geoff Swinfield, Mike Gandy, and John Hanson.
Experienced family historians and beginners alike will find a range of workshops or lectures covering record sources, techniques, and tips to take research further. Local experts from the regional family history societies can tell you what’s available in their area. Books, software, and other supplies are available at the bookstalls.
The Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE! show is not strictly about genealogy. It is combined with two other shows: Discover Archaeology Live! and Military History Live! Vendors at the show will include genealogy societies, magazines, archives centres, travel agencies, software companies, military history organizations, photo restoration services, DNA services, museums, and many more. Cadbury's will be back again this year, and I suspect they will again be handing out free samples of their chocolate. That alone is almost worth the 3,000-mile trip!
I also know of a bunch of Americans who will be at the show, some as attendees and others as exhibitors. I suspect there will be others from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere.
I expect to be wandering the exhibit hall quite a bit, along with a cameraman from Roots Television. Together, we hope to find out "what's happening at the show" and to capture some of that for later publication in this newsletter and on RootsTelevision.com. If you cannot attend WDYTYAL in person, we hope that you will enjoy our later video insights.
When not wandering the exhibit hall, I will probably be occupying a comfortable chair in the Roots Television booth. If you are at WDYTYAL, please stop by and say "Hello." I'd love to meet you there.
For more information about Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE!, look at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.co.uk.
As always, travel is high risk for an online junkie like myself. I will be traveling with a laptop computer, a wireless modem and a digital camera. I hope to post newsletter articles and perhaps a few pictures while at the event. However, the computer gods do not always smile favorably on such efforts. There certainly is a risk of no new articles being posted to this newsletter while I am in London. If that happens, you know that either my Internet access has failed or else the local pubs are as good as ever.
Either way, I suspect there will be plenty to write about when I return.