A day at The Family History Show, London

The Family History Show, London has now released a video of interviews with some of the many happy exhibitors. Comments from the stall holders included just how busy they had been throughout the day and what a friendly environment the venue had been. Other exhibitors mentioned what an excellent fair it had been with a good turn out and many interesting stalls that had engaged and impressed those visiting the event.

 

 

You can see the video on their website (or on YouTube) along with another recorded with international genealogical blogger Dick Eastman who shares his views on the event: https://thefamilyhistoryshow.com/london/

 

 

 

Dick Eastman of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

 

The large crowds of show visitors testified to the public’s willingness to support this event, now double the size from last years show. Perhaps made more popular by its low cost entry, free car parking and free mini-bus to and from the rail station. The various free talks held in the two good sized lecture theatres were well attended throughout the day as was the new free ‘Ask the Experts’ zone.

 

 

The Family History Show, London is destined to return next year for its third outing on 24th August 2019. If you want to join the exhibitors then to book a table or stand go to: https://thefamilyhistoryshow.com/london/booking-form/

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Review of The Family History Show London 2018

 

I’m writing this after a fabulous day at The Family History Show, London that took place at Sandown Park in Esher yesterday. It was really well attended by people searching for family history answers or to listen to a talk or take advantage of the Ask the Experts. What was immediately apparent was how the event has grown significantly since its first appearance on the calendar last year. For 2018 the show moved into the larger Surrey Hall making space for more exhibitors ranging from Family History Societies to genealogical suppliers and boasting two lecture theatres this year.

While some people on social media have pedantically pointed out that Sandown Park, where this took place, is not strictly in London I did hear that the race course themselves consider that they are a London Venue and market themselves accordingly. Certainly it was extremely good value for the area with tickets on the day only £7 and with some great online for early birds meaning you could have picked up a ticket for £5 or TWO tickets for £7.50. Whatever your standpoint on the argument, I don’t think those who came in their droves were disappointed.

Some of the highlights:

  • Dick Eastman, the highly respected international genealogical blogger gave the keynote speech.
  • Tips & Tricks for Online Research talk was delivered by Professional Researcher & Social Historian, Keith Gregson and as always went down well
  • Tracing Your Military Ancestors talk was another popular part of the show with Military Expert & Professional Researcher, Chris Baker
  • Photo Dating with Jayne Shrimpton, Photo Expert and Fashion Historian I noticed to be well attended
  • Mark Bayley from TheGenealogist packed out the theatre with his well received Breaking Down Brick Walls
  • MyHeritage gave a talk on using DNA to Trace Your Ancestry
  • And Graham Walter spoke on the 5 Killer Apps for Mobile Genealogy

Finding help from a family history society and being able to buy some of their publications, or talking to the MOD medals experts were more reasons that this show worked well, not to mention being able to pick up all sorts of other reading material from Discover Your Ancestors Magazine or Family Tree Magazine. If you bought one or two of these then you may even find one or two of my articles in them.

I was very interested to see several authors of genealogical books taking table stands this year including some that I follow and read avidly.

This event was well organised and I am so pleased to hear them announce that it will be back in 2019. I will come back without hesitation!

 

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The On-line Family History Researcher

Researching into our ancestry on the Internet is becoming one of the most popular pastimes in the 21st century with more people every day beginning family history research on-line. It wasn’t that very long ago that a person who wanted to trace their family tree, would need to make various visits to many libraries, record offices and the family history centres for the areas their forebears came from. Nowadays, except for the serious genealogist for whom this will still be an important part of family research, the amazing increase in genealogical websites with databases that we can search easily, has made it simple to carry out most of the slog researching our forbears from our computers. ranging from the average family historian, aiming to locate some difficult to find ancestor, to the professional genealogist carrying out a commission for a client, the data sets such as those provided at www ancestry.com or ancestry. co.uk and a whole lot of other websites have made things  easier and better for us. The sheer amount of data and other information that is already made available is being supplemented even as I write this with all sorts of new releases of old records and indexes. There are sites offering us access to the census collections, parish registers  and other church records, transcripts of tomb stones and other monumental plaques, BMD sites providing data on births, marriages and deaths, various family history societies, websites selling old maps, genealogical resources such as parish registers, old town or trade directories and so on.

In the United Kingdom the1841 census records data will be the earliest that will be encountered on-line. Today sets of census data are available to search on the web right up to the census of 1911. Census information can be found on a number of commercial sites, the majority of which necessitate an individual to pay-as-you-go, or simply to obtain a subscription of some kind. You will commonly have the ability to lookup transcripts and after that pay to view actual images, of enumerator’s books, for the different censuses undertaken every decade between 1841 and the 1901 census. Recently, the 1911 census for England and Wales went on line sooner than the normal one hundred years before release. This is under a Freedom of Information judgement, but the delicate data as to the mental state of  individuals have been blacked out. The different feature of this collection is that, for the very first time that, we can view an image from the household’s return, not merely the enumerator’s book and thus can see our ancestor’s handwriting.

The provision of the various kinds of family history information, on the Internet, has encouraged an ever-growing number of individuals to make a foray into the arena of genealogy on-line resources. Most want to discover who their own forefathers had been and the things they did. A good number of folks have been prompted to start looking for themselves after the popularity of the BBC’s tv series called: Who do you think your are?

They might be motivated because of the many books about the topic, the different magazines on the newsagent’s racks as well as the genealogy and family history events, such as the annual show in Olympia and a host of others organised up and down the land all year round. But although some research will be effortless, a good few of our forebears are frustratingly tough to find and so frequently a beginner doesn’t know exactly where to turn.

You may still find some people, out there, whom merely do not know how to even take the first steps to undertaking their family research on a computer. You can also find others who, having made a beginning, do not know how to get past the inescapable brick wall that they have stumbled upon.

Brick walls can be aggravating, however when you discover a way to smash through the logjam it usually is immensely satisfying. I’ve discovered exactly how to do this, for a few of my forefathers, by taking e-courses in this fascinating area of interest. Just what I have observed is that the family historian must be made aware of the various tips and tricks to utilizing the internet resources to greatest effect. While the simple information can be acquired by using the straight forward search field on a website, to locate evasive ancestors may require a certain application. The good news is that somebody has most likely come up against the very same sort of problem as you are having and so a means of working around the difficulty may already have been devised. For example, I had been taught exactly how to make use of the freeBMD website to locate missing brothers and sisters of one of my grandmothers.

Many researchers may have used the LDS or Latter-day Saint’s familysearch.org site. Finding your ancestors, when using the search tools furnished by the website, can be challenging; even if they are included in the International Genealogical Index, and that is not always the case! The problem is that a search simply by last name only isn’t allowed, unless you search within a single batch of records at a time or over the entire country. A search of the whole of Britain is overwhelming, unless of course you have a rare name. What if, however, you are looking for a Smith or a Jones? I have discovered how to use a tool provided on a website to search the IGI batches and it is really easy to try and do, once you know how.

The world wide web has made researching ancestors a great deal easier to do. As more and more data finds its way onto the internet many more lines of research are opened to us. But, on the other hand, there is the danger of information overload. The new family historian could become frozen in the headlights as the data juggernaut races on towards them. My advice is to carefully record your research at each and every phase, so you are aware the blind alleys which you have gone down and the various people that you have researched erroneously, as well as the ones you have had success with. In the long run you will save yourself time and very possibly money on certificates purchased, or pay-as-you-go searches on the Internet. Next word of advice, is that it’s well worth continuing to learn as much as you are able to about this fascinating subject by taking classes or reading around the subject matter. The best family historian is one that thinks of themselves being an advanced beginner. That is, they are constantly wide open to learning more skills. The more skilled you become, the better you’ll be able to uncover those elusive ancestors!

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