Day three of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 and fatigue was starting to take its toll. Fortunately it was a much shorter day for me, due to the deficiencies of public transport on a Sunday (don’t get me started on that).
The show was also a lot quieter than the previous two days which pleased me, there were still plenty of people about but it seemed a lot calmer and relaxed, or was that just me. I took the chance to take advantage of the Society of Genealogist’s Ask the Experts service, I spent twenty minutes or so discussing the missing 1841 census entry for Henry SHORNDEN/WRIGHT. I have one or two things to try out which might help solve the mystery, but it is just great to be able to discuss a problem with someone else, you know what they say “two heads are better than one”.
I deliberately didn’t go crazy with the talks/workshops today, although there were several I would have liked to see, but I really wanted to spend a bit more time visiting the stands, taking advantage of the fact that there were fewer people about. Time seemed to fly by and I had a fascinating discussion with a representative from the Science Museum Library and Archives about one of their exhibits and what records they might have relevant to my family history (there is another story in there that I need to research and write about). I learnt so much in those few minutes and not just about the museum but also about research beyond the museum itself.
I also had a fascinating discussion with a lady from the Isle of Man Post Office, about their new genealogy stamps and genealogy in general. It turns out that as well as working for the Post Office she is also a genealogist herself. The stamps themselves have even more depth than I first realised (I will tell you more later). I could quite easily have stood and chatted for hours, but I had to move on.
The first of the talks I attended was given by Dr. Chris Watts and entitled “From census entry to Google Maps”. This was an unusual one, I had heard the talk before because it had been made available as a podcast by The National Archives, but it was a very visual talk about taking addresses from census returns and using different types of maps to learn further details, so seeing it in person was a much better experience.
My final talk of the show was by Celia Heritage and was entitled “Do You Know Who You Are Yet?”. To be honest I chose this talk because the title intrigued me and I didn’t really know what it was going to be about. It turned out to be about the reasons why people research their family history, largely based on the speaker’s own motivations and genealogy research. It was definitely thought provoking, I am not quite sure about my motivations, but it has made me think that it would be interesting to look back and see how and why I got started on my family tree and whether those motivations are still the same now.
I then spent a bit longer wandering around the stands, the show was beginning to wind down and I was able to pick up a couple of bargains on my way out, but on the whole I don’t think I spent so much money this year, which is probably just as well. Then began the marathon journey home and I think I actually spent longer getting home than I actually spent at the show today! It was sad to say goodbye to Olympia for another year (hopefully there will be another one next year) as it was starting to feel a bit like a second home after three days.