Category Archives: Events

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2016 – First Celebrity announced

 

The first celebrity guest appearing at the next annual Who Do You Think You Are? Live show in Birmingham has been officially revealed.

Organisers of WDYTYA?Live have now announced that the television presenter Anita Rani will be taking to the stage to discuss her family history on the final day of the event. The three day show takes place at the Birmingham NEC between 7-9 April.

Although Anita was born in Yorkshire, the 2015 Strictly Come Dancing participant discovered the secrets of her Indian heritage in a very moving and sometimes horrifying episode of the Who Do You Think You Are? television programme in October 2015.

“My experience moved me to my core and from the reaction I had, it impacted most people who watched it, too,” said Anita. “I am very much looking forward to being able to discuss it at the WDYTYA? Live event.”

Anita will be appearing at the show from 10.15am-11am and 12.15pm-1pm on Saturday 9 April. Organisers suggest that, because of demand, it is advisable to book tickets in advance to see these interviews.

The family history show, that has now reached its 10th year, will bring together a wide range of genealogy experts and family history exhibitors from all across the world. If you are planning to attend you can book an admission ticket (£16 for an adult day entry in advance), with workshop tickets priced £2 in advance or £3 on the day by going to their website: http://wdytya.seetickets.com/tour/who-do-you-think-you-are-live

Tickets can also be purchased by phoning 0844 873 7330 (calls cost 7p per minute plus network charges).

Who Do You Think You Are? Photographer: Stephen Perry
Who Do You Think You Are? Photographer: Stephen Perry

Events at the Society of Genealogists for 2016

The Society of Genealogists has released its new 2016 Events programme is now online and bookable.

Listed below are events taking place at the Society of Genealogists in January. Visit their website if you want to find out further information about each event, as well as events taking place during the remainder of the year.

If  you are a member of the Society of Genealogists and are booking online, then you should remember to log in first, in order to receive the member discount. Non-members are  also welcome to attend events, at the full price. Events can also be booked by telephone (Tuesday-Thursday & Saturdays), at the number listed below. All events take place at their premises in London, unless otherwise noted.

 

Wednesday, 13 January  14:00 – Discovering Discovery: Using The National Archives Website and Catalogue

Discovery is The National Archives online catalogue and holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country. Millions of records are available for download, find out what can be found in the catalogue and how to get the best from the website.

A one-hour lecture with Guy Grannum, Discovery Product Manager at The National Archives. Free of charge, but must be pre-booked.

 

Thursday, 14 January     18:00-20:00 – Stage 1 Evening Skills Course (10 weeks)

The Society’s successful family history skills course begins again with the first ten-week series of classes for those who are new to family history or who have had a little experience and want to build upon their initial progress. Our team of professional genealogists will introduce the records and illustrate how they should best be used for the study of family history. Publications, electronic finding aids and the internet will, of course, be included along with all the basic sources needed to start research. Topics will include how to get started, how to best search the census, newspapers, probate, parish registers, Non-Anglican family History and more.

With Else Churchill, John Hanson, Simon Fowler and Ian Waller.

Thursday evenings (last class 17 March)   Cost 175.00/140.00, Please see further information about Stage 2 and Stage 3 courses, on our website.

 

Saturday, 16 January     14:00-17:00 – Researching Irish Family Life in the Famine Years   

80% of today’s English people have Irish ancestry and this seminar looks at Irish lives in the rural west of Ireland in the famine years between about 1800 and 1850.

In the first talk, we will look at how people lived; their houses, possessions, food, work, education, entertainment, etc.  It touches on politics, social attitudes and the reasons for mass poverty and emigration.

The second talk discusses how to use such facts as these to build your own family history in places, like Ireland, where few real records survive.  It looks at subjects such as additional places to search and how to follow leads, how to put the story together and to what extent you can judge events of 200 years ago by modern standards.  It opens up a whole area of family history beyond the collecting of birth, marriage, death and census data. If you have just a few facts, this seminar will start you on a family quest that will be engrossing, interesting and, with luck, extremely rewarding.

A half-day course with Stephen Lally, Cost 20.00/16.00

 

Wednesday, 20 January   14:00 – Copyright for Family History     

Copyright applies to photographs, diaries, paintings, film clips and many other works.  This talk will aim to cover some of the issues you might face with copyright works in your family history, including how long copyright lasts, when you might or might not need permission to use the works, and what you can do if you cannot find the right holder and would like to copy the work.  This talk will be especially useful for those considering publication of their family history.

A one-hour talk with staff from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official government body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.

Cost 8.00/6.40

 

Saturday, 23 January      10:30-13:00Research Before Parish Registers

Pre 1600 research is an entirely different “ballgame” with many records existing that can be useful. Many such records continued beyond 1600 but are under-used. Some family historians think they have to stop researching when parish registers end. How wrong you are! Come see what is available.

A half-day course with Ian Waller, FSG  Cost 20.00/16.00

 

Wednesday, 27 January  14:00 – Catching up with FamilySearch 

The familysearch.org website is the largest family history website in the world, with billions of names across thousands of collections – and more are added monthly. Learn what new major databases have been added, how to find this information, and how to best use the website.

A one-hour lecture with Sharon Hintze. Free, but must be pre-booked.

 

Thursday, 28 January  14:00 – Visit: St-Mary-le-Bow Church

We will learn about the history of this famous church and the great architecture of Sir Christopher Wren, in particular relating to the famous steeple.  Inside the church we will look at the post-war rebuilding by Lawrence King, the beautiful stained glass windows by John Hayward and the other modern furnishings.

The church has many international connections, including significant ones with the USA, Norway, Germany and Australia.  It also possesses an 11th century crypt, part of it now an elegant chapel, the rest of it used as a restaurant, set among many of the original Norman arches.

With Tony Tucker   Cost 10.00/8.00 (appx 1 hour)

 

Saturday, 30 January  10:30-13:00 – East London, Kent & Essex in the 18th Century

The emphasis of this course will be on the movement of people, money and goods backwards and forwards between East London and the counties – the pattern being very different between Kent and Essex. Come and learn more about these areas, and subsequently more about your ancestors during this important time.

A half-day course with Derek Morris Cost 20.00/16.00

 

Saturday, 30 January      14:00-17:00 – Good Research Techniques

This course will take an in-depth look at the best ways to research in order to avoid making mistakes as well as how to get the most out of the records you use. We will also look at the likely causes of brick walls you may meet during the course of your research and the best way to tackle them. Sources covered include BMDs, census and parish records.

A half-day course with Celia Heritage Cost 20.00/16.00

Society of Genealogists
Society of Genealogists

210th Anniversary of Battle of Trafalgar

The Battle of Trafalgar took place on the 21 October 1805. It was fought by the Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during what was known as the War of the Third Coalition that took place between August–December 1805 within the wider Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).

Trafalgar was the most decisive naval victory of the war when twenty-seven British ships of the line were led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard his flagship HMS Victory. The British defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under the French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve in the Atlantic off the south-west coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships in the fight while not a single British vessel was lost.

The British victory dramatically established Britain’s naval supremacy and was achieved in part through Nelson not adhering to the prevailing naval tactics, which involved engaging an enemy fleet in a single line of battle parallel to the enemy hit each other with broadsides. Nelson instead divided his smaller force into two columns which he then ordered to sail at right angles against the larger enemy fleet and so won the battle.

At the height of the battle Nelson was shot by a French musketeer and died shortly after, becoming one of Britain’s greatest war heroes.

The Battle of Trafalgar

If you think you may have had ancestors that served in the battle The National Archives has a great portal: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/trafalgarancestors/

Violette Szabó’s George Cross goes on display at Imperial War Museum London

Many of our family members who saw service in the wars were awarded medals. In some cases the decorations were given posthumously.

 

The Imperial War Museum has announced that the George Cross which was posthumously awarded to Second World War secret agent Violette Szabó has been put on permanent display today for the first time in Imperial War Museum London’s The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes.

The exhibition, supported by Lord Ashcroft, houses the largest collection of Victoria Cross and George Cross medals in the world. Violette Szabó’s medal collection was recently acquired at auction by Lord Ashcroft for a record price of £260,000.

 

Violette Reine SzaboViolette Reine Szabo

Violette was a truly remarkable woman and the story of her short and formidable life is one of love, courage and bravery, and ultimately tragedy.

Daughter of a British soldier who fought during the First World War and his French wife, Violette was 18 years old when the Second World War broke out, living locally to IWM in Stockwell with her parents and working as a shopkeeper.

Whilst working in the Women’s Land Army Violette met Etienne Szabó, a Free French officer in the Foreign Legion and after a short whirlwind romance they were married in August 1940. However, just four months after the birth of their beloved daughter Tania in June 1942, Etienne was killed in action during the Battle of El Alamein.

Shortly after Etienne’s death Violette was recruited to the Special Operations Executive joining the French ‘F’ section, whose agents were sent undercover to occupied France to work against German Forces.

On the night of 7 June1944, the day after British troops landed in northern France on D-Day, Violette parachuted into France on her second mission to set up a network with local resistance groups. Three days later whilst on a courier trip with a resistance leader they encountered German troops. Their car was stopped at a road block. Violette and two French agents engaged the German soldiers in a lengthy fire-fight, until Violette was eventually captured. She was brutally interrogated in prison before being deported to Germany. Violette was later executed at Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1945.

This year marks 75 years since the George Cross was established as Britain’s most prestigious decoration for bravery for civilians and service personnel not under direct fire. Only 4 George Crosses have been directly awarded to women, three of which were awarded to members of SOE. Violette’s medals will go on display next to those of Odette Samson, another ‘F’ Section agent who also endured torture and imprisonment but survived the war.

Displayed alongside the George Cross will be Violette’s GQ Parachute Company badge and her wartime pistol.

Tania Szabó, Violette’s daughter who was just two years old at the time of her death says; “Violette, my mother, would be chuffed and deeply honoured, as am I, that through the generosity of Lord Ashcroft the medals awarded to her are going on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. Her life, although tragically but heroically cut short was lived with great bravery and courage, and intense joie de vivre. Her legacy will live on and it is my hope that anyone who visits the Imperial War Museum may be inspired by her story.”

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC said: “I feel privileged and humbled to be the custodian of this iconic medal group. More than 70 years after her tragic death Violette Szabó GC remains a hugely inspirational figure and quite rightly so because of her relentless bravery both before and after her capture. I am delighted to have enabled her medal group to remain in Britain and I am thrilled that it will now go on public display at Imperial War Museum London.”

Diane Lees, Director−General of IWM says “The story of Violette Szabó GC is one of the most remarkable to emerge from the Second World War. As a strong, determined woman who fought the enemy face to face, resisted torture and brutality, and maintained a determined defiance throughout her capture, her character and experiences resonate strongly with the modern generation of women who live in Britain today. We are delighted that the George Cross which was awarded to her in recognition of her extraordinary courage is now going to be placed at the heart of IWM’s displays in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes.”

For more information about Violette Szabo see the Imperial War Museum’s web article http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/who-was-violette-szabo

Georgian Era Family History – Society of Genealogists offer a full-day course on 13 June

For those of us that have managed to get back to the Georgian era of British history the Society of Genealogist is offering a full day course on the 13th June 2015. This period is normally defined as spanning the reigns of, the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain who were all named ‘George’: George I, George II, George III and George IV (covering the dates from 1714-1830). If you book yourself on the course you will learn more about the sources for family history research within this era.

Checking out the SoG websites gives the following details of the Full Programme:

10:30 – Genealogical Sources of the Georgian Era (Else Churchill)
11:45 – tea break
12:00 – Georgian Era Nonconformist records for Family History  (Les Mitchison)
13:00  – Lunch Break
13:45 – Georgian Era Military Records for Family History (esp Royal Navy) – (Les Mitchison)
15:00 – Tea break
15:15 – The Life and Times of An Army Wife in the Peninsular War (Rebecca Probert)
16:30/17:00 –  Q&A/Finish

This full-day course is on Saturday, 13 June, cost £35.00/£28.00 for SoG members. Places should be pre-booked, either through the SoG website or by telephone: 020 7553 3290.

Society of Genealogists
Society of Genealogists

 

This video has just gone up online after the fantastic Who Do You Think You Are? Live show last week at the NEC.

It gives a great flavour of the event from vendors of genealogy supplies, the talks that took place, new records from data sites and includes Mark Bayley, from TheGenealogist, talking about the new releases that his research site had launched for the event.

For more see www.TheGenealogist.co.uk/News

Who Do You Think you Are? Live reveals star guest

Celebrity guest Reggie Yates for WDYTYA? Live.

Reggie Yates, best known for his work as a BBC radio DJ and television presenter, will be at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show at Birmingham’s NEC on the opening day.

Reggie appeared on the TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? last year, in an episode which saw him travel to Ghana to trace his grandfather, Harry Philip Yates. Once there, he unravelled a complicated family history in which Ghanaian culture and British colonialism collided.

Born in London in 1983, the presenter knew very little about his father’s side of the family, after his parents separated when he was just four years old. He grew up with his mother and never met his paternal grandparents, but his Who Do Think You Are? experience made him feel more connected to both his own father and his wider family: “I feel like I’m part of something, and being here and learning about our history has made that even more real.”

During his trip to Ghana, the presenter enlisted the help of historian, Carina Ray, to discover more about the men in his family including George Yates, an Englishman who came over to the Gold Coast to work in the mining industry. Reggie also met his adopted uncle, JB, and spoke to Ghanaian chief Nana about his great grandmother.

Hear Reggie’s story
Reggie will be doing a Q and A session with Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine editor, Sarah Williams, to discuss the making of his episode and share his story.
 

“I was really honoured to take part in Who Do You Think You Are?” Reggie explains, “it was an incredible journey that I took a huge amount from and I’m really looking forward to sharing my experiences.”

Meet Reggie and hear first-hand about his experiences at Who Do You Think You Are? Live on Friday 16 April at the NEC! To ensure you don’t miss out, book your tickets here

Reggie Yates
Reggie Yates

Dick Eastman to give keynote speach at WDYTYA?LIVE

Who Do You Think You Are? Live has announced the name of the Keynote speaker for the event in April.

Its to be the Internationally renowned genealogist and blogger Dick Eastman.

With more than 30 years of expertise, Dick Eastman is the founder of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, which has reported on family history news for 19 years and is read by more than 75,000 genealogists around the world.

Eastman will be speaking on all three days of the event, which is set to take place between 16-18 April at the Birmingham NEC. In his talk, the US blogger will be looking to the future of family history, considering how technology is changing family trees and the genealogical community.

To mark the show’s move to the West Midlands, Who Do You Think You Are? Live will also feature special Birmingham-themed displays and lectures, including sessions from popular local historian Carl Chinn on the real Peaky Blinders and a workshop on tracing Black Country ancestors with genealogist Michael Pearson.

In addition there will be the usual wide range of experts in attendance, including military historians, photograph specialists and representatives from family history societies across the UK and further afield.

Tickets are currently on sale from just £16 in advance and can be purchased at: www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com.

Dick Eastman