Tag Archives: wdytya live

Taking a short break from Finding Minnie

20 Feb

My most recent posts aboutFinding Minnie have generated some interest and useful information about Patrick Vaughan and the Canadian Expeditionary Force, but now I need to take a short break, both from writing about and researching the story.

The main reason of course is Who Do You Think You Are? Live at the end of the week. I need to take some time to get myself organised and prepared for this three day family history extravaganza.

Another reason for the break is the need to get all the material that I have gathered so far processed and recorded, before it all gets buried as more information comes to light. The story seems to be heading in so many different directions it is getting harder and harder to keep track of it all.

I still have lots more to write about Minnie, Kate and Patrick, but I also still have a lot more research to do. I can see this particular project lasting for many months to come, and it seems to be growing almost on a daily basis as new avenues of research open up.

I also have a lot more to learn about a couple of particular subjects, namely Canadian and Irish research. WDYTYA Live will hopefully provide some useful opportunites to expand my knowledge on at least one of those, but I need to make sure I am prepared to take advantage of those opportunities this coming weekend.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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One week and counting …

17 Feb

A week today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 at Olympia, London, billed as “the biggest family history event in the world”.

For those that can’t make it to the event Ancestry.co.uk are giving you chance to watch some of their Ancestry Academy presentations online.

In what I believe is a first for WDYTYA Live, Ancestry.co.uk have announced that the following presentations will be streamed live over the internet:

Friday 24th February 2012

10:30-11:15 GMT – First steps: Build your family tree with censuses and birth, marriage and death records

13:30-14:45 GMT – Ancestry.co.uk revealed: the brand new features in the best-selling family history software [not sure about this one, it looks like they might have their timings a bit mixed up]

15:30-16:15 GMT – Before 1837: Discover the events that shaped your ancestors’ lives, and the records they left behind (presented by Tony Robinson)

Saturday 25th February 2012

11:00-11:45 GMT – Going further: Discover your ancestors all over the world with our global records

13:00-13:45 GMT – Parish records: Uncover the records for your area and trace your family all the way back to Tudor times

15:00-15:45 GMT – Getting started: Build your family tree with censuses and birth, marriage and death records

The only drawback (for people like me that have an aversion to social networking) is that they can only be accessed through their Facebook page by following the instructions on their blog.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Two weeks and counting …

10 Feb

Two weeks today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 at Olympia, London, billed as “the biggest family history event in the world”.

Everything is in place for my three days family history extravaganza, all that I need now is for the snow to clear off and I am all set.

Looking through the list of exhibitors I noticed a rather surprising, but welcome, addition to the usual list of names. The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum from Singleton, West Sussex will have a stand in the Society of Genealogists’ Family History Show.

The description from the list of exhibitors gives a good idea of what the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is all about, “Over 45 rescued buildings rebuilt in a beautiful setting in the South Downs National Park, bringing to life homes, farms and workplaces of the South-east over the past 500 years.

Although there isn’t really a direct connection with family history (except there is in my case), it is a perfect fit for those wishing to learn more about the rural lives of their ancestors. Most rural crafts and occupations are represented at the Weald and Downland in one way or another, especially when you factor in the special events that are held throughout the year.

On top of that you can also take courses at the museum, from working with heavy horses to hedgelaying. As is to be expected from the once heavily wooded counties of Southern England there is a particular emphasis on the use of timber, from charcoal burning to construction techniques.

The museum is a superb place to explore, as I have done on several occasions, and not just because it is set in the Singleton in the South Downs, home to many of my ancestors. If you are at WDYTYA Live then make sure you stop by and find out what they have to offer.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Three weeks and counting …

3 Feb

Three weeks today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 at Olympia, London, billed as “the biggest family history event in the world”.

All being well I shall be there for all three days, I have booked the time off work and my tickets have been bought (I like the new three-day ticket option), all that is left is to decide which train to catch each day and work out what I am doing whilst I am there.

The third celebrity guest has now been announced, Emilia Fox will be appearing on Saturday 25th February, joining the previously announced Larry Lamb (on Friday 24th February) and Richard Madeley (on Sunday 26th February), making it a hat-trick of celebrities from the most recent series of Who Do You Think You Are? in the UK.

The February 2012 issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine comes with a copy of the show guide, so you can get a head start on planning how you are going to spend your time, although it has to be said that most of the information in the show guide can also be found on the WDYTYA Live website, but I for one find it easier to have all the information bound and gathered in one place.

Another interesting addition to the show this year is a section entitled Our Working Past which is described as a “new, interactive feature for 2012 which aims to throw a little light on the occupations of our ancestors.” In this area you can examine the tools of our ancestor’s trades and learn more about their working lives. I see that the British Postal Museum and Archives are going to be contributing to this area.

Reminder: Don’t forget to buy your ticket for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012

9 Jan

This is a reminder for me as much as anyone else. We are about a month and a half away from Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 and I still haven’t bought my ticket.

I have taken my eye off the ball somewhat where WDYTYA? Live is concerned and as it is fast approaching I really ought to start getting organised. I know I say that every year and still every year I leave it to the last minute. I don’t expect this year to be any different. At least I have booked the time off from work, which is the most important bit, but now I need to get my credit card out and buy a ticket.

The website seems quite comprehensive, two out of the three celebrity guest have been announced, Larry Lamb (on Friday 24th February) and Richard Madeley (on Sunday 26th February), both from the most recent television series and neither on my “must see” list this year.

There are plenty of other talks and workshops going on that will make it on to my “must see” list instead, the timetable is almost complete (there are still a few gaps), so I can start choosing what I would like to see, and not standing in the queue for tickets frantically trying to make a decision as I move closer and closer to the front of the queue.

An interesting addition to the schedule is the Keynote Workshop on Saturday afternoon, the interesting thing for me is not the subject (“the development of social networking in technology and how it can help in genealogical research”) but the fact that there is a separate charge for this and it seems to have replaced the “conference within a conference” element of the show from previous years. However, I am not interested enough to warrant buying a ticket, although I might be in a minority.

A quick look through the list of exhibitors throws up the usual mix of stalls, I did notice one or two new names. It looks like the flip-pal scanner could be making its UK debut at show (although the URL for the website just goes to a holding page). There seems to me to be more exhibitors involved in getting your family history into print than previous years, although there are still a fair number of societies and archives due to attend as well.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 tickets go on sale tomorrow

1 Nov

According to the new look  Who Do You Think Are? Live website tickets for next year’s event go on sale frpm the 2nd November 2011, although some pages of the website just say early November.

The good news is that this year there is a larger range of ticket options including the option of a three-day ticket for £30.00, for people like me who intend on visiting for the entire show this is a big improvement on previous years and represents great value for money.

The new look website has been around for a while and is still a little bit devoid of information yet. Hopefully this will change soon and we will start to find out the details of who, what, where, when and how.

It might be worth waiting a little while before buying your tickets to see if there are any special offers this year, like there has been in previous years.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011: BBC Magazines wants your feedback

4 Mar

It is week on from Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 and BBC Magazines (the new folks in charge of the show) want to hear your feedback on the show.

The following paragraph is taken from the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine website:

If you visited this year’s show, we hope that you had a fantastic time. The Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine team were there the whole weekend, and it was great to be able to meet so many of you – but now we want to know what you think. What was your favourite part of the event? What could the organisers do better next year? Let us know by emailing your thoughts to Matt Elton at mattelton@bbcmagazines.com.

I will be sending Matt an email, but I thought I would share some of my thoughts here first. Overall I thought it was an excellent show, but it could be improved.

My favourite part of the show sounds a bit odd now I come to write it down, but standing upstairs on the gallery and looking down on to the ground floor and all the stands with hundreds of people wandering about. I have never thought of myself as a people watcher but it was great to see people exploring the show, wandering from stand to stand or purposefully darting to their next talk. It was reassuring to see so many people engaged enough in genealogy to make the effort to visit the show.

However, it wasn’t all good, but most of my negative points are pretty minor, such as a shortage of tables and chairs and a lack of choice from the food vendors (from a vegetarian point of view). It appeared that the only cash machine in the building was out of order for the entire three days, although it didn’t really bother me because I was there for three days and could get more cash before coming the next day.

My only real concern would be the content of the talks, there was a good mix of subjects but in my opinion the experience level seemed to be very much targeted towards the beginner. The time alloted for each talk (45 mins in most cases I think) was not really enough to go into much depth in any case. Whilst there are still aspects of genealogy where I am a beginner, I am sure there are plenty of others like me that would appreciate a few more advanced topics being covered.

The line up of talks also seemed short on technology related subjects, such as file management and of course blogging and other social media. Back to more traditional methods I would like to see some talks covering best practices like citing sources, organising paper files and making backups.

Having said all that, the talks are only one part of the whole experience and I will of course be back next year, hopefully for all three days but if not then for the whole weekend at the very least.

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