The latest celebrity guest for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 was announced yesterday. Hugh Quarshie is scheduled to be attending the show at Olympia, London on Saturday 26th February, but for me there is a far more important visitor the following day.
Preliminary workshop timetables have also been released on the show’s website and hidden away on the timetable for Sunday 27th February at 12:oopm is the description of a talk by Lisa Cook entitled “How to make Google work harder for your family history!”
The talk is described as follows: “Discover innovative ways to work smarter and find more family history golden nuggets than you thought possible with the power of Google. Create a Genealogy Research Homepage. Learn quick and easy ways to follow the best genealogy Podcasts and Blogs. Make Google Your own personal genealogy research assistant with Google Alerts. We’ll make Google search the web for you 24 hours a day and provide tips for how to get Google to deliver the best results to your email inbox.”
Although her name is spelt wrong this sounded very much like US genealogy podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke of the Genealogy Gems Podcast. As a long time listener of the Genealogy Gems Podcast it look forward to seeing Lisa over here in London and to seeing one her presentations in person. The latest edition of the Genealogy Gems e-Newsletter arrived in my inbox today and the list of upcoming appearances confirmed that she will be attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live.
I am sure we will hear more about Lisa’s upcoming visit in a future episode of the podcast, but let me just say thank you Lisa for coming over to see us in England and sharing some your Gems with us.
The genealogy radio programme Tracing Your Roots is back for another series on BBC Radio 4, in fact it started last week but I am only just catching up with the news. This is series five and there are five episodes in the series.
Each week presenter Sally Magnusson and genealogist Nick Barratt look at a different aspect of genealogy, mainly focused on investigating particularly tricky or unusual stories around a particular theme. For example the first episode of this series was based around tracing ancestors who vanished without trace.
The programme usually focuses of four or five stories, and features interviews with those carrying out the research and then Nick Barratt will discuss possible avenues of research or the results of his investigations. Unlike the TV series Who Do You Think You Are? this programme features ordinary people not celebrities and each story is quite brief.
Nick Barratt is probably the UKs best known genealogist, so the programme it is a great place to pick up hints and tips to help in your research and to discover new sources and where to find them and how to use them.
One of the best things about the series is that it is available as a podcast, which is great for people like me who can’t be listening to the radio at 4pm on Tuesdays when the programme is broadcast. The other good thing (for listeners in the UK at least) is that you can currently listen to all the episodes from series four online at the BBC website.
Some of the podcasts published by The National Archives are of more interest to genealogists than others. The National Archives contains a wide variety of record types, so naturally their talks (and subsequent podcasts) try to reflect this.
The latest podcast Counting the People is a real gem, and will be of interest to any family historian with an interest in finding out what it took to actually make the census happen.
Audrey Collins gives a sometimes humorous “behind the scenes” look at some of the people involved, some of the problems encountered in taking the census and many other aspects of the decennial census.
I would recommend this podcast (just over an hour long) and the accompanying notes to all family historians, as it will help explain why we may not always find what we are looking for on the census, as well as describing how the whole enumeration process worked.
The latest edition of Tracing Your Roots from BBC Radio 4 (available via podcast for a limited time) was about family myths and legends. There were four very brief examples, with a short discussion on how each of the stories could be proved or disproved.
This got me thinking about my own family myths and legends and the fact that I don’t appear to have any in my family tree.
I have tried to remember if I was ever told any stories as a child or whether there was anything I wanted to try and prove when I started my research, but I don’t think there ever was. No criminals amongst my ancestors, no stories of relations moving to far off lands and making their fortune, no missing millions waiting to be discovered and I didn’t think I might have been descended from the illegitimate child of some distant King or Queen.
Plenty of mysteries and puzzles have turned up since I started researching, like why did my grandfather end up at school in London, but nothing actually from the start that I wanted to prove or made me start researching my family tree.
I suppose there is only one myth that I had and that was one that I created soon after I started researching. I rather foolishly believed that my ancestors and relations were not very interesting and never did anything unusual. How wrong could I be!
Was there a particular family story that you wanted to prove that got you started in family history research, or was it just general curiosity?