Thursday 21 February 2013

'Twas the day before Who Do You Think You Are Live...

It's the day before Who Do You Think You Are Live, and I am already exhausted! I arrived in London yesterday evening, and met up with an Australian genealogy tour group for dinner and an informal chat, organised by Liz Doyle of Customised Heritage Tours ( This morning we then had a formal session to discuss the best ways for them to maximise their time at the Who Do You Think You Are Live event, and to do some basic prep work, with Gill Blanchard also on hand to offer advice. I was asked at dinner last night if I knew anything about Portuguese genealogy, which slightly threw me, but I've always maintained it is not my job to be an expert but to simply be able to find answers - so I dived in and within a few minutes was able to establish not only that one of the group's Portuguese ancestor moved to London in the early 1800s, but also the history of his business with two previously unknown brothers, which was based in Portugal, London and Liverpool between 1814 and 1818. He who dares Rodney....!

This afternoon I then visited the National Archives at Kew, with a particular mission, to establish if my great great grandfather had served with the Royal Marine Labour Corps in France from 1917-1918 - and he had! Magic. I also looked up some muster rolls from the 1860s for another ancestor that I was unable to consult on a previous visit. During my visit I managed a quick catch up with Audrey Collins and Nick Barratt, who will also be at the main event over the next three days.

This evening I then met up with my fellow tutors and students from the University of Strathclyde postgraduate genealogy programme, chatting in particular with Frank from the Fermanagh branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society, with whom I had a great banter about all things Norn Iron. Great chat, great food at the Rose and Crown near Kew, and a great taxi ride back to Olympia, with special thanks to Tahitia McCabe for finally explaining what grits are made from in the US - it's corn apparently. So there is food involved - who knew?!! (With apologies to American readers! lol)

Raring to go tomorrow now - atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed...!

Working with Customised Heritage Tours group to plan for WDYTYA Live


Pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, through Pen and Sword (30 April 2013), or purchase early at Who Do You Think You Are Live 2013 in London. For my other genealogy books, please visit; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

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