22 February 2013

Who Do You Think You Are

An eyewitness report from the "Who Do You Think You Are" Conference at the Kensington Olympia in  London, England.

After arriving in London and recovering from jet lag we took a ride on the London Eye in the evening. This is a good way to start a visit to London by having a look at the landscape. It was especially good just as after sunset when the lights of London started coming on.

The next day we took the Tube to the Olympia. Navigating the London Tube system can be a bit daunting but if you get an Oyster card and the Tube map and take a bit of time to read the direction signs, it is a great way to get around.

When we arrived at the Olympia by 10:00 am, there was a huge lineup of genealogists snaking around the building. The line moved rather quickly so we were soon in the main concourse. What we had heard about this conference was true. Many of the family history societies from England were there, along with the major online genealogy companies. There must have been close to 10,000 people there all looking to find out more about their families.

We spent the day looking at booths and talking to people. English people are very friendly, as we had several people who wanted to tell their family stories, even when the introduction was, "If you want to get in here and look just let me know." Many English people knew something about Canada or had family there or had used the LAC online files.

We spent an hour plus volunteering at the Guild of One-Name Studies booth. This was interesting  considering the number of people passing by. A difference at this conference is that many booths keep people out in front of the tables to be in contact.

While wandering around we waved at Leslie Anderson in the Ancestry presentation area and then ran into John Reid having a nice lunch.

By the end of the day we were really tired from being on our feet all day.
Back to the hotel by 7:00 pm to rest up and prepare for the next day!

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