ON THE RECORD

Fam­ily his­to­ri­ans from far and wide en­joy the an­nual Who Do You Think You Are? Live show at its new home of the NEC in Birm­ing­ham

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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Thou­sands of peo­ple from across the fam­ily his­tory com­mu­nity de­scended upon the West Mid­lands last month for the UK’s big­gest ge­neal­ogy event.

Held at the Birm­ing­ham NEC across three days, Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 saw keen re­searchers at­tend a packed pro­gramme of work­shops, lec­tures and one-to-one ses­sions.

Celebri­ties Reg­gie Yates, Alis­tair McGowan and Tamzin Outh­waite also shared their sto­ries live on stage with Who Do You Think You Are? Mag­a­zine editor Sarah Wil­liams, while Find­my­past served up treats in a WW2-themed café to pro­mote the up­com­ing re­lease of the 1939 Reg­is­ter, which will pro­vide de­tails of peo­ple liv­ing in Bri­tain at the out­break of the Se­cond World War.

Aside from a spin-off event at the Glas­gow SECC in Au­gust 2014 to cel­e­brate Scot­land’s Year of Home­com­ing, Who Do You Think You Are? Live had pre­vi­ously been held at the Lon­don Olympia each Fe­bru­ary since its in­cep­tion in 2005.

As well as show reg­u­lars, sev­eral ex­hibitors from the lo­cal area fea­tured at the event, in­clud­ing the Black Coun­try Liv­ing Mu­seum. Re­becca Wil­ton, who works as a cos­tume demon­stra­tor at the mu­seum, said she had been kept “very busy” by vis­i­tors.

“We’ve had quite a lot of queries and spo­ken to plenty of peo­ple who re­mem­bered com­ing to the mu­seum who said they’d like to come again,” she told Who Do You Think You Are? Mag­a­zine. “But we’ve also had peo­ple of­fer­ing us arte­facts to add to our col­lec­tions, in­clud­ing trade cat­a­logues and some bits of brass, so that’s been re­ally ex­cit­ing.”

Feed­back sub­mit­ted to the or­gan­is­ers re­gard­ing the change of venue was pos­i­tive, with many vis­i­tors from the Mid­lands and North of Eng­land say­ing that they had pre­vi­ously been un­able to make the trip down to Lon­don.

How­ever, mov­ing away from the cap­i­tal still did not de­ter fam­ily his­to­ri­ans from the South. First-time show­goer Guy Boocock, who trav­elled to the NEC from Southamp­ton, was glad that he got up early to make the trip.

“I found ad­vice at the Mil­i­tary Check­point vvery use­ful, es­pe­cially for my grand­fa­ther who had served with the Royal Elec­tri­cal and Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neers,” he said. “I had a whole load of acronyms I did not un­der­stand, but [mil­i­tary his­to­rian] Dave Seeney was able to tell me that my grand­fa­ther was ac­tu­ally in the Pi­o­neers Corps at­tached to the REME. So it’s sent me on plenty of new av­enues to fol­low.”

The dates for next year’s event – also to be held at the Birm­ing­ham NEC – were pre­vi­ously given as 28-30 April 2016, but this has since been changed to 7-9 April 2016.

The re­search ad­vice has sent me on plenty of new av­enues to fol­low

Dozens of work­shops were sched­uled across the three days, mean­ing there were plenty of dif­fer­ent ways to plan your visit

Reg­gie Yates was in­ter­viewed on stage by our editor Sarah

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