I was back at Olympia for day two of Who Do You Think You Are? Live for more of the same, only this time the queues were longer and the show was generally a lot busier. I was a little worried that it was going to be too crowded inside, uncomfortably so, but there was plenty of room for everyone and the queues moved quickly.
I hadn’t planned anything first thing, so that I didn’t have to rush or worry about what I might miss, also to give me time to take a closer look around the exhibitors hall. I spent some time chatting to various exhibitors and got so carried away that I nearly missed my first workshop.
My first workshop of the day was Audrey Collins talking about The National Archives new ‘Discovery’ catalogue, which despite some technical issues proved to be a useful introduction to the new catalogue. This was the first time I had seen the new catalogue, but from what I saw it is a big improvement on the existing catalogue and something that I need to get used to using sooner rather than later.
Next up was Nick Barrett (with Brian Ashley) talking about ancestral tourism, and more specifically the Ancestral Tourism Partnership, an initiative to encourage family history tourism in England, for the benefit of all involved and the British economy. This is something that both Ireland and Scotland are good at, but England is lagging a long way behind.
Because the earlier celebrity sessions had over-run (now there’s a surprise), the questions at the end had to be cut short, and the one thing I would have liked to find out was how the average family historian like myself can get involved. I might just have to drop them an email to find out.
The next workshop was certainly different, Sue Elliott and Jean Milsted from NORCAP talking about adoption. The emphasis here was more on the current situation with regard to re-uniting adults affected by adoption rather than historical research. Although I have been working on a historical adoption case (Finding Minnie) I felt that it would be good to get more of a grounding in the topic.
After a short break for lunch and some shopping, I took my first steps towards understanding Irish family history with two workshops, the first by Chris Paton entitled Irish Research Online and that was followed by Brian Donovan and British & Irish Research: The Differences. Both workshops were excellent, I obviously still have a lot to learn but I feel more confident about tackling some Irish research now, although I feel a book on the subject might be a useful purchase tomorrow.