The annual Who Do You Think You Are? Live! expos are perhaps the largest genealogy events in the world. In the past few years, these expos have been held in London, England. However, for 2014, the show’s organizers have also organized a second event to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, on August 29 through 31. If you are thinking of attending, now is the time to make your plans.
The special event in Glasgow is being presented in conjunction with Scotland’s “Homecoming 2014,” a year-long celebration of all that makes Scotland great and an amazing place to visit. Conference organizers expect that many foreign visitors of Scottish heritage will visit the expo in addition to the many local residents.
I would have assumed that this “one off” event would be smaller than the annual event held every February. However, an examination of the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! web site shows the event in Glasgow will indeed be a huge event. I suspect it will be the second or third largest genealogy event of the year in the world. I plan to be there to see for myself.
First of all, the other Who Do You Think You Are? Live! events have always been a great combination of presentations, workshops, and exhibitors. The Glasgow event promises to be the same with exhibits from all the major online resource holders, libraries, museums, and dozens of family history societies from across Scotland and the rest of the UK. I have been fortunate enough to attend almost all the past Who Do You Think You Are? Live! events in London and find that many of the attendees attend the show primarily to visit the exhibitors. Most of these attendees are seeking information about the latest products and services available. The Glasgow event promises to be similar with most of the same exhibitors in attendance who have exhibited previously in London plus a few new ones.
At the same time, presentations and workshops certainly will not be ignored in Glasgow. The Society of Genealogists will be running an extensive programme of workshops, keeping two theaters filled all day long for three days. Presentations and workshops will be offered by leading genealogists from all over the U.K. and a few from foreign countries. A sample of the workshops and presentations includes such topics as these: The Future of Professional Genealogy, Using Scottish Kirk Session and Burgh Records for Family History Research, Using Technology to Assist Genealogical Research, World War One: Women in War, National Records of Scotland: Scottish Wills and Testaments, Social Media for Family History, Tracing Your Illegitimate Ancestors in the Sheriff Court Records, Scottish Church Records Prior to 1855, and many more topics.
I was pleasantly surprised that the presentations will even include one American topic: Hopping the Pond: an Introduction to American Immigration Records. It will be offered by Tahitia McCabe, a librarian at the Alaska State Library and currently a tutor and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Strathclyde’s Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies Postgraduate Programme.
A full list of workshops to be presented may be found at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/workshops-scotland.
Family Tree DNA will be hosting a series of workshops on their stand to explain how DNA testing can aid research and explain more about the varying sorts of information that can be uncovered. In addition, a number of drop-in workshops on the Family Tree DNA stand will enable attendees to learn about such topics as DNA testing on “both sides of the pond,” the populating of the world according to genealogy, and successful instances of DNA use. If you’re new to DNA testing, you’ll be able to learn about the basic concepts of DNA.
Perhaps one of the most valuable services offered at any Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event is the “Ask the Experts” area. This is a perfect chance to pose specific questions to an expert who can provide invaluable advice. Brought to you by the Society of Genealogists, the “Ask the Experts” area provides one-to-one guidance for your family history research questions. Whether you are stuck finding an elusive ancestor or just need help to start, this is a perfect chance to pose specific questions to an expert. The “Ask the Experts” area provides twenty minute appointments. The sessions are not bookable in advance unless you purchase a beginner ticket to the show. Otherwise, you can book your appointment on the day of your visit. I’d suggest doing a bit of preparation first in order to maximize the time available and quickly narrow down the list of possible resources. You should walk in with your question(s) written in advance and also include a list of resources already investigated, if any.
All in all, the new Glasgow version of Who Do You Think You Are? Live! promises to be a great event. I expect to attend and am really looking forward to this trip. I’d suggest you attend in person, if possible. However, if you cannot be in Glasgow at the end of the month, keep an eye on this newsletter for reports of what you missed. I doubt if this vegan will be sampling the local haggis, however.
You can learn more about Who Do You Think You Are? Live! at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com.