The 1939 tea rooms are a brand new feature for this year's Who Do You Think You Are? Live - and what yummy treats we have got in store for you!
 
Findmypast have partnered with The National Archives to give you access to the 1939 register later on this year. To celebrate this, the leading family history company is bringing something rather special to this year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live; an authentic, 1939-themed tea room. The menu will consists of tea, coffee, cream teas and a selection of delicious sandwiches.
 
Visitors to the Birmingham's NEC can expect vintage décor, a themed menu, authentically dressed staff and a nostalgic trip down Britain’s memory lane as they are immersed in Findmypast’s 1939 experience.
 
To find out more about how important the 1939 Register can be to your family history research, visit Findmypast’s website here.
 
 
We managed to catch up with the people from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to find out a little more about what they are bringing to this year's show.  Here's what they had to say... 
 
Tell us a little more about Commonwealth War Graves
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) ensures that 1.7 million people who died in the two world wars will never be forgotten. We care for their graves and memorials at 23,000 locations, in 154 countries.
 
The CWGC holds an extensive archive of information relating to those who died during the two world wars. This freely available resource at www.cwgc.org is a vital tool for researchers, family historians, students and for anyone interested in preserving the memory of the fallen. In 2014 we launched more than 336,000 of our previously unseen WW1 archive documents on our website.
 
The CWGC is at the heart of events to mark the Centenary of the First World War and our cemeteries and memorials and records are a vital part of the commemoration of those historic events and individuals who took part in them.
 
What are you going to be bringing to the show?
CWGC experts will be on hand to help visitors interpret our records – passing on our detailed knowledge of the two world wars and providing hints and tips for those interested in searching for the records of those who served and died.
 
At WDYTYA? Live we are also promoting our brand-new War Grave App, which enables you to:
 
Discover the 23,000 locations where the Commonwealth casualties, who sacrificed their lives across the two World Wars, are remembered.
•             Find your family’s world war graves
•             Discover cemeteries at former battlefields across the globe
•             Identify the war graves closest to where you live
•             Download directions
It can be downloaded for free on all 3 major platforms from www.cwgc.org/app
 
Have you been to the show before? And if so, what was the highlight for you?
Yes, we have been several times but this is our first time at the NEC show.
 
Providing searches of those who served and died in the two world wars can be a deeply humbling and moving experience. On one occasion our stand was visited by a lady who had always presumed her brother would have no known grave, as his aircraft had been shot down over Germany during the Second World War. In a matter of seconds we had traced the grave for her and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Three weeks later we received a letter and photo from her. She had visited her brother’s grave for the first time and the fact that our organisation still cared, after all this time, was priceless to her.
 

If you haven’t encountered it yet, or missed its initial appearance in London’s Trafalgar Square last November, look out for the Royal British Legion’s striking 23-foot (7 metres tall) World War One sculpture, Every Man Remembered at this year's Who Do You Think You Are? Live NEC, Birmingham, from 16-18 April. After this the sculpture will be moving to Cardiff until 3 May.

The sculpture promotes the Every Man Remembered campaign, which asks members of the public to write their own personal messages of commemoration and thanks to the 1,117,077 men and women from the Commonwealth who fell during the First World War at www.everymanremembered.org.

A collaborative piece with artist Mark Humphrey, the detailed brass sculpture of a soldier has been created with the assistance of a team of British makers. Based on the Unknown Soldier, he stands on a block made from limestone sourced from the Somme, in a Perspex obelisk with poppies around his feet and in his arms; every five minutes, poppies are blown in the air around him inside the casing.

“The Centenary Soldier stands proud, shoulders back and head up,” says Mark. “He is made from brass (representing my great-grandfather’s self-decorated bombshell case, which he engraved in the Somme trenches). The soldier's eyes are closed, depicting internal remembrance of every man and woman who fell during the war. He stands in a field of poppies that flutter up and softly fall, paying tribute to each and everyone for their sacrifices made.”

The statue has been confirmed for the show as part of the commemorations to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, in which over 44,000 servicemen fell, in late April.

We are delighted to announce that The National Archives are joining us once more this year. We managed to catch up with their gurus for a little more detail on what they are doing at the show, and here's what they had to say:

Tell us little more about The National Archives?
The National Archives is the government archive for England, Wales and the United Kingdom. With over 1,000 years of the nation's records, our collection covers census records to wills, emigration to immigration, merchant navy to criminal convictions, and all things in between. We have something for every genealogist from the novice to the seasoned expert.   
 
 
What are you going to be bringing to the show?
We will bring a team of our experts who will give one-to-one advice, helping visitors to our stand understand how to use our records in their research, whether they're interested in tracing a person or improving their understanding of historical events. Our experts have a huge range of expertise and our team will include specialists in family history, military history, colonial office records, immigration and emigration.
 
We will also deliver a range of talks on our stand explaining how to use our online resources and how to get the most out of our specialist record series.
 
 
What do you plan to do differently this year from previous shows?
In the midst of the First World War centenary, and as the official government archive, we will showcase our collection of unique records from that conflict. Our aim is to help visitors discover what their family did in the war. Records we hold from the time include medal index cards, service records, unit war diaries, maps, nursing records, prisoner of war interviews and photographs.
 
We will have military experts on hand to help visitors interpret their First World War family photographs and ephemera. They will help visitors identify regiments and uniforms in photographs and explain how to continue research using the records and documents many of us have tucked away in shoeboxes at the back of the wardrobe!
 
 
What has been your highlight of previous shows?
The highlight of these shows is getting out to meet the people who can’t come to us in Kew. It's wonderful to introduce our collection and resources to new audiences and help existing audiences learn something new about how to use our records. There's nothing quite like providing a visitor with information on their family that they never knew existed.
 
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Come and see us! We'd love to talk to every visitor to the show.
Impressionist, stand-up comic, actor, and writer; Alistair McGowan has many facets, and his family history is equally varied. From his name, you’d think he was Scottish, and until his WDYTYA? adventure, so did he. 
 
Come and listen to Alistair talk about his time on the show. He’s an entertaining speaker so you’ll be in for a treat of witty stories and celebrity voices as he speaks about his colonial origins.
 
During his episode, in series 4, Alistair traces his father, George McGowan (1928-2003), from Calcutta, India after noticing that his birth certificate stated George was Anglo-Indian.
 
In Calcutta, Alistair visits the red-brick family home near the docks with his uncle, Rusty, who hadn’t been back for sixty years. Rusty reveals Alistair’s grandfather, Cecil, was a dock foreman and a dedicated body builder, with the pictures and muscles to prove it.
 
Local Anglo-Indian expert, Melvin Brown, explains Anglo-Indian ancestry originated from the British East India Company, which encouraged unions between its staff and the local populace, most often British men and Indian women, by paying for their marriages.
 
Eager to find where his mystery Indian ancestor mingled with the McGowans, Alistair visits Allahabad, where his great grandfather, Richard (d.1923), was a telegraph operator. Near the cemetery where Richard lies beneath a simple stone slab amid snakes and long grass, Alistair locates a whole community of McGowans, living together in a large house surrounded by exotic greenery.
 
New-found relative, Jonathon McGowan, points Alistair towards their great great grandfather, Ralph George McGowan (b.1836), who was a clerk at the magistrates court, and son of Suetonius McGowan (d.1864), the deputy magistrate for 21 years in Mirzapur.
 
Suetonius was a devout man who followed the Christian teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg rejected the idea of the Trinity. Instead, he preached that love and a useful life were at the core of Christianity: much at odds with the missionaries in Mirzapur, but more in favour with the local Muslim population. 
 
Local historian, Raj Dutt, shows Alistair a religious pamphlet among the ruins of Suetonius’s local church, which recorded the marriage between Suetonius and a Mohammedan lady of nobility. Her name is not mentioned; a common practice if someone did not convert to Christianity. 
 
Suetonius’s father was yet another Suetonius (1775-1798), an army engineer who died at twenty-three. He was the son of the first McGowan to travel to India, John McGowan, a private with the British East India Company army. John married Maria de Cruz, most likely of Indo-Portuguese decent. John finished his career as a major general at Fort St George and owned a wealth of worldly goods, including three elephants and a silver toothpick.
 
Alistair travels back to England where he meets military historian, Tony Heathcoat, in the British Library. After sifting through a couple of delicate tomes looking for John's origins, Alistair’s ancestry is finally revealed. He’s Irish!
 
Click here to purchase your tickets for WDYTYA? Live and book onto our celebrity workshop to listen to Alistairs story.
 
 
This year, from across the pond we have a brand-new and exciting exhibitor - RootsBid!
 
RootsBid is a community-driven site allowing participants to submit and bid on family history projects around the globe, especially in specific locations that are inaccessible to the individual requesting assistance, or if research skills and resources are lacking.
 
If an individual, doing family history research in the United States, ran into a problem locating an ancestor’s records that would be easily accessible in London, England, that individual would post a request on RootsBid and all participants in the London area would be notified of the request. The London users could then place bids to fulfil the request, whereby the requestor would select the ideal bid and the bidder would then fulfil the request. After satisfactory delivery, the bidder is to be paid and rated.
 
RootsBid solves an enormous problem in family history research, where so much can be accomplished in an ancestor’s homeland, but that homeland is inaccessible. Hiring local certified genealogists is not always possible, or reasonable within a limited budget. Much research can be done by professionals and non-professionals alike – both of which can be found on RootsBid.
 
By being a part of the RootsBid community, together we can more efficiently and cost-effectively have breakthroughs in our family history research and help each other connect with our ancestors in ways that are more meaningful. For more information on the services that Rootsbid provide, click here
 
Buy your tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live here and find out more!  
 
Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE is thrilled to announce we’ve teamed up with the Birmingham Mail as our media partner. They’ll be covering our show, offering extra local information for family history buffs and first-timers to un-cover.
 
The Birmingham Mail is a daily newspaper which has been keeping us up to speed with local news since 1870 and they’re already featuring us on their website. You can see their coverage for yourself, HERE
 
Professor Carl Chinn, author of The Real Peaky Blinders and over twenty other books, will be talking on April 17th at 14:45 about the violent Birmingham Gang that dominated the racecourse protection rackets after the First World War and which inspired the stylish BBC Two drama, The Peaky Blinders.
 
The gang’s members had previously been sloggers and peaky blinders, the hooligans of Birmingham, who fought each other and attacked innocent victims in the city of a thousand trades from the 1870s to the early 1900s. Named for the short peaks in their caps, rather than the rumoured sewing of razor blades in their hats, the peaky blinders of Birmingham were notorious for their vicious fighting with belt buckles, fire irons and knives.
 
They declined before 1914 because of better policing, sterner prison sentences, and social changes but some of them moved into the highly profitable criminal activity of extorting money from bookmakers at horse race meetings. This aroused the envy of the Sabini Gang and others from London. They fought to take control of the rackets leading to the infamous racecourse wars of the 1920s, which are the setting for the BBC drama, The Peaky Blinders.
 
In the TV programme, Thomas Shelby leads the Birmingham Gang and his arch enemy, Billy Kimber, is portrayed as a Londoner. In reality, however, he was a Brummie from Summer Lane and in The Real Peaky Blinders Professor Chinn looks at the lives of Kimber and Sabini and at the real gangs involved in the violence.
  
Professor Chinn has written a weekly local history column in the Birmingham Mail on Saturdays since 1994 and  in the ‘Express and Star’ since 2004.  He was awarded an MBE in 2001 for his service to local history and charity. Carl is proud of the strong, matriarchal background he comes from and praises the show’s portrayal of strong women.
 
You can listen to a sample of his speaking HERE and visit his West Midlands History blog HERE.
 

 

 
TV and theatre actor Tamzin Outhwaite shared her exploration of her Italian roots in her episode of Who Do You Think You Are? which aired in August last year. We are thrilled to announce that Tamzin will be talking about her discoveries at Who Do You Think You Are? Live at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre on Saturday 18th April at 10.15 - 12.00.
 
“I’m really looking forward to revisiting my time on the TV show by taking part in Who Do You Think You Are? Live in April and sharing all the amazing experiences I had. I look forward to seeing you there!” says Tamzin.
 
Tamzin found fame in EastEnders as Melanie Healy, now she plays the charismatic Sacha Millard in the BBC’s New Tricks
In her episode of WDYTYA?, Tamzin traced the life of her great grandfather Adelmo (see photo) and his imprisonment in Palace Camp, Isle of Man, in August 1940 among Italian fascists and other immigrants with his son, Peter.
 
Adelmo was a proud family man who was never seen without a shirt and tie. His dedication towards providing for his family was extraordinary; he even missed an important wedding to open his ice-cream shop in Manchester. Hearing of her family’s internment left both Tamzin and viewers distraught. 
 
We can look forward to additional behind-the-scenes moments, and more of Tamzin’s family history, during WDYTYA? LIVE show, which runs from 16th-18th April.
 
Grab your tickets HERE for WDYTYA? Live today! 

Check out our exciting list of new exhibitors for this year's show! 

Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy & Heraldry

The Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry is the principal family history society for the counties of: Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and will be on hand to help you in whatever way they can.

www.bmsgh.org

Black Country Museum

Black Country Living Museum is an award winning open air living museum that tells the story of the world's first industrial landscape with buildings, vehicles.  The story of the Black Country is distinctive because of the scale, drama, intensity and multiplicity of the industrial might that was unleashed. It first emerged in the 1830s, creating the first industrial landscape anywhere in the world. It is this that they rejoice in and want to share with you

www.bclm.co.uk

Black Country Society

The Black Country Society, was founded in 1967 by enthusiasts led by the late Dr John Fletcher, who felt that the Black Country did not receive its fair share of recognition for its great contribution to the industrial development of Britain and the world. The Society has gone from strength to strength, establishing an enviable reputation in publishing books and magazines concerned with the Black Country, together with an active and varied programme of events throughout the year.

www.blackcountrysociety.co.uk

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth Ware Graves commemorate the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars. Their cemeteries, burial plots and memorials are a lasting. Their Register records details of Commonwealth war dead so that graves or names on memorials can be located.tribute to those who died in some 154 countries across the world.

 www.cwgc.org

Coventry FHS

The Society was formed in 1994 to fulfill a growing need and to promote and encourage the study of family history, genealogy and local history in relation to the City of Coventry and its environs.  A quarterly journal is also produced containing a variety of articles concerned with local and family history. Members’ views and details of members’ research interests are included together with reports of meetings and local events.

www.covfhs.org

Culture Coventry

Coventry Transport Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of British road transport, including the two fastest cars in the world.

www.culturecoventry.com

Genealogists.com

Genealogists.com has created the largest network of professional genealogists in the world. This dream team consists of over 1,000 professional genealogists, historians, DNA experts, and university professors/scholars who work on-site in over 1,500 locations and archives throughout the world.

www.Genealogists.com

Herefordshire FHS

Herefordshire Family History Society have been established Since 1980.  They are members of the Federation of Family History Societies and the West Midlands Area Group with approximately 850 members worldwide.

www.herefordshirefhs.org.uk

Indus Experiences

If you have discovered that you have British ancestors who lived or worked in India, Indus on one (or more) of the three specially orchestrated tours. These tours will be accompanied by experienced family historians/genealogists who can assist you during your trip and help you to get the most out of your time in North, South and East India, and to help you discover more about the lives of your ancestors.

www.indusexperiences.co.uk

Love Your Stories

Love your stories offer a unique concept where their team of experts record people as they tell their real life stories, illustrating them with pho

 
Marie Curie

Marie Curie offer expert care, guidance and support, free of charge, to help terminally ill people to get the most they can from their life, in whatever time they have left.

www.mariecurie.org.uk

Nuneaton & North Warwickshire FHS

The NNWFHS started life as the Nuneaton Family History Group. They organise workshops, slide shows; talks by family and local historians on a variety of subjects; visits to local and national record repositories, and local places of interest; and other events throughout the year. They exhibit at Family History Fairs and other ‘heritage’ events.

www.nnwfhs.org.uk

Osarge news

Osargenews.com has been set up in response to the contemporary requirements of the African Diaspora – to both unite their fragmented and disparate community and to enable members to communicate with each other at the touch of a button; Nigeria to New Guinea, Burundi to Brazil and Ghana to Guyana.

www.osargenews.com

Robyn Media

Whatever story you want to tell, in whatever way Robyn Media will help you tell it.

www.robynmedia.co.uk

Romany and Traveller Family History Society

 

www.rtfhs.org.uk

RSPB

The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with their partners, they protect threatened birds and they preserve wildlife so that our towns, coast and countryside will continue to teem with wildlife in the future.  They will be joining us at the show to raise awareness of the important work they do - visit their stand and donate to a very worthy cause.

www.rspb.org.uk

The Family and Community Historical Research Society

The aim of the the Family and Community Historical Research Society is to promote and communicate research in family and community history, with a particular emphasis on the contribution of locally based micro-studies, especially through collaborative research.

www.fachrs.com

 

We are proud that Ancestry are the official sponsor our show for the ninth year in a row, and what better way to celebrate our relationship than to tell you all a little more about them and the tremendous value they will be adding to this year's show
 
For those of you who are new to the show, a little bit about Ancestry:
Ancestry.co.uk contains more than one billion records in collections including the most comprehensive online set of England, Wales and Scotland Censuses from 1841 to 1911, the fully searchable England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes, the World War One British Army Service and Pension records, UK Parish Records and the British Phone Books.
 
Ancestry.co.uk is part of Ancestry, the world's largest online family history resource with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 15 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 60 million family trees to the core Ancestry websites, including its flagship site www.ancestry.com and its affiliated international websites. Additionally, Ancestry.com offers a suite of online family history brands, including Archives.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, as well as the AncestryDNA product, sold by Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, which, along with its core Ancestry websites, are all designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.
 
What Ancestry will be doing at the show:
The Ancestry stand (200/300) is the one-stop-shop for all things Ancestry-related at this year’s show. Visitors can come and meet the Ancestry team at the stand, where the usual look-up terminals, information/member support and the Ancestry shop can be found. Members of the Ancestry team will also be on hand meet visitors and provide further information on Ancestry’s products and services. As in previous years, actor and historian Sir Tony Robinson will be attending the show, hosting workshops and meeting visitors throughout the weekend. In addition, visitors will be able to learn more about AncestryDNA (see below).
 
What Ancestry will be doing differently this year to previous years:
AncestryDNA will be available at WDYTYA? Live! Show visitors will be able to come to the Ancestry stand to learn more about the product, speak to our experts and buy a kit to take home and try themselves. This year we are keen to spend as much time as possible meeting our members and other family history enthusiasts one-on-one. We will be hosting workshops on AncestryDNA throughout the weekend, and we welcome people to come to our stand and learn more about all the Ancestry services.
 
Check out the kind words Ancestry had to say about our show, we can't wait to have them back with us this year at Birmingham's NEC:
Brad Argent, UK Country Manager from Ancestry says “We are delighted to continue to support Who Do You Think You Are? Live for a ninth year, and very much look forward to meeting those who already share our passion for family history and those who are completely new to the subject at what promises to be a fantastic show at Birmingham’s NEC'
 
Hurry! Click here to buy your tickets for the show today, visit Ancestry and start your voyage of discovery!
 

 

Indus Experiences are the family history tour company with a difference, and they will be joining us at the show! 

They offer tours to those of you who have discovered you have British Ancestors who may have lived or worked in India.   They offer 3 specialist tours with experienced geneologists to the North, South and East of India who will help you to discover more about your ancestors.  

Their tours include trips to the main attactions in India, plus cemeteries, churches, forts, military cantonments and you will have time for personal research.

Tours include:

  • An Odyssey of North India
  • From 26 September – 18 October 2015 led by Elaine McGregor

Delhi: Old & New Delhi Sightseeing • Meerut: The Mutiny • Amritsar: Golden Temple • Dharamshala: Little Tibet • Shimla: The Mall & Viceroy Lodge • Delhi - Lucknow: The Residency and La Martiniere • Kanpur and Bithur: The Mutiny • Agra: Taj Mahal • Fatehpur Sikri : Akbar’s capital City • Jaipur: Amber Fort & City Palace complex

 

  • Splendours of South India
  • From 17 October – 05 November 2015 led by Elaine McGregor

London • Bangalore • Mysore: Serirangapatna • Ooty: Toy Train to • Coimbatore • Delhi - Trichi: Rock Fort Temple • Pondicherry: Fort St David • Auroville • Vellore: Fort Arcot • Chennai: British East India Legacy • Mahabalipuram: Shore Temple • Chennai • London

 

  • East India Heritage
  • From 04 – 17 November 2015 led by Elaine McGregor

London • Kolkata: Heritage Walk • Barrackpore • Serampore & Chandernagore Exploration • Cruise on Hoogley • Barrackpore: the Mutiny • Kanpur and Bithur: The Mutiny • Darjeeling: Toy Train • Fatehpur Sikri : Akbar’s capital City • Kolkata • London

For more information on prices and locations on the tours click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are delighted to announce that Who Do You Think You Are? star Reggie Yates, best known for his work as a BBC radio DJ and television presenter, will be joining us on the opening day of this year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live show. 
 

Reggie appeared on 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 Thursday 16 April at the NEC! To ensure you don't miss out, book your tickets here

Picture: Reggie's grandfather Harry Yates (seated left) with his wife and family. Reggie's father, Reginald Jojo Yates, is standing at the back (second from the left)

Now in our ninth year and with the show continuing to grow in popularity, what better way to embrace this than to move to our new home in the Midlands! 

We are very excited by our forecoming move to Birmingham's NEC for the first time.  The Birmingham NEC is a world class venue with excellent facilities. Thanks to its central location, it's the most accessible event venue in the UK. In fact, 75% of the UK population are able to travel to the venue within just 3 hours, making it much easier to travel there and back in a day.

Transport Options:

• By Car: The NEC is in the perfect location for car travel - 8 miles east of Birmingham City Centre, at the heart of the UK's motorway network & there is plenty of parking!

• By Train: Situated right next to the Birmingham International Rail Station, you will be able to get to your hall without even stepping outside.  On the rare occasion that your train does not go direct, the connections from Birmingham New Street go every 10 - 15 minutes. 

• By Bus & Coach: Coach services are operated by National Express and Megabus, with over 120 daily services from across the UK to Birmingham Airport.  From here you can get to the NEC in minutes on the free air-rail link.

• By Plane: There is even an International Airport (BHX) just minutes away, handy for all of our international guests!

Not only does The NEC have superb road, rail and air links, but there is so much on offer just minutes away in the nearby Birmingham city centre. 

Click here for more information on transport links to the site, food and drinks, disabled facilities and much more!

The Romany & Traveller Family History Society (RTFHS) has been established for over 20 years and its purpose is to help people research their British Romany Traveller or Travelling Fairground family history.  The society boasts over 500 members predominately throughout the UK! 

It's their first time attending us as exhibitors and they want to help those of you who suspect you have gypsie heritage with your research.  They will put you in touch with the right people and show you where to begin looking.  They assure us gypsie heritage is not as difficult to trace as it sounds!

The RTFHS use a variety of tools to track traveller family history from specialist university records to the same records that are used for non travellers, e.g. civil registrations, census, and parish registers.  The RTFHS have exclusive access to records at the University of Liverpool, Leeds & Oxford and also hold their own records at the University of Reading – Robert Dawson Romany collection!  

If you have an inkling you might have some Romany Traveller or Travelling Fairground heritage then pop over to RTFHS, they would love to hear from you and are happy to help!

Tops Tips from the experts...

The RTFHS site 3 top markers of gypsies heritage:

• Typical Romany Surname - common ones include Cooper, Smith, Lee, Boswell, Lovell, Doe, Wood, Young and Hero 

• Typical Romany occupation: descriptions such as hawker, licensed hawker, pedlar, basket maker, mat maker, beehive maker, brush maker, chair bottomer

• Evidence of mobility: for example, a description in a document such as tent dweller, van dweller, stroller, itinerant or of no fixed abode. Or, in a census return, a different place of birth for each child.

 
Pop over to stand or click here for more information – they would love to see you at the show & we are sure their stand will be a great success!

 

This year the Lives of the First World War online archive has gone from strength to strength first adding RAF records and now adding over 64,000 Royal Marine Life Stories to the site.

First launched at the WDYTYA? Live show last year by the Imperial War Museum, the aim of the project is to create a permanent digital memory of more than eight million and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth, saving these stories for future generations. 

During World War I, in addition to their usual stations on board war ships, Royal Marines were part of the Royal Naval Division which landed in Belgium in 1914 to help defend the port of Antwerp. They later took part in the amphibious landings at Gallipoli in 1915 and served on the Western Front. Click here to find out more. 

Buy your show tickets here and check out the Imperial War Museum Stand at this Year's show, Stand 21.

For those of you who want to identify your ancestors from photos, our well-rounded team of Photo Dating experts have a range of specialisms from military to consume and thrive of helping you learn more.

We are honoured to welcome back Neil Storey to sit on the panel this year.  Neil is a world renowned Historian Lecturer and Author who boasts a collection of over 30 books on social and military history. Specialising in warfare, crime and medicine, Neil has his own archive of built up over 25 year’s of over 25,000 images.  

And what a busy year Neil has had…  

Since last year’s event Neil has been busy working with the Imperial War Museum in Duxford to present the public with a true to life depiction of what it would in like in a trench on the front line of the Great War. These trenches were authentically built with all the equipment the soldiers would have used and the team of experts took 5 lectures per day telling the story of a day in the life at the frontline trenches. The event has received great reviews!

Neil then went on to star in our favourite, BBC One's Who Do You Think You Are? television programme with Mary Berry where his expertise helped her dig into her past and uncover who her distant relatives were. 

He is now at the cusp of launching his new book ‘Zeppelin Blitz’ which will be available at the end of January.  Neil has delved into the archives most notably held at the Horse Guards in London to ascertain official air raid reports, police reports and military reports to bring to you aid-by-raid, year-by-year account of the Zeppelin air raids on Britain during the First World War. Click here to place your order for a copy. 

 

Meet the rest of the team:

Fiona Pearce-letts: A costume designer with many year experience, specializing in historical corsets. Lets see if she wears a great outfit to the show!

Graham Bandy: Provides a range of educational living history interpretations, talks, displays. research services and expertise to the educational, heritage, health and entertainment sectors and it will be a pleasure to have him on this year's team.

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to have your photos dated, click here to book your tickets to the show!

News hot of the press: We are delighted confirm that Dick Eastman will be jetting in from across the pond to join usfor the keynote workshop at this year’s WDYTYA? Live 2015. Dick uses his 30 years experience in genealogy to write a fascinating and informative daily blog keeping readers and enthusiasts up-do-date with recent findings.  He is certainly well versed in all areas of genealogy. Using a unique angle combining his passionfor discovery with his 40 years experience of technology, Dick will present us with his thoughts on what the future holds for genealogy for this year's extended keynote workshop. We can’t wait!

Dick will be looking into his crystal ball to forecast where technology will lead the genealogy community. The Session will be rounded up with a rare Q&A where attendees will be invited to tap into and extract Dick’s wealth of knowledge. Hurry, don’t miss this rare opportunity, click here to add the keynote ticket to your show ticket. 

DNA is now very much part of the modern genealogists toolkit. It can help you trace your surname origins, give you an estimate of your ethnic makeup, and put you in touch with cousins who may help you break through Brick Walls in your family tree research. FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), the pioneer and largest organization in this field, is offering discounted DNA tests at the show and are sponsoring the DNA Workshop - a series of lectures designed to help you get the most out of your DNA testing. This is the seventh year that FTDNA are sponsoring the workshop, underscoring their ongoing commitment to the genealogical community. The DNA lectures are organised by volunteers from ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy), will cover a wide range of topics (for beginners, intermediate and advanced genetic genealogists), and are all free, so come along and learn about what DNA can do for you!

The 2015 show will take place at Birmingham's NEC, from Thursday 16 April to Saturday 18 April. Who Do You Think You Are? Live will continue to be sponsored by Ancestry.co.uk and help genealogy enthusiasts of all levels to uncover their roots, bringing together informative workshops, experts from the major subscriptions sites, museums, archives, specialist exhibitors and the largest gathering of family history societies.

Bringing the show to the world-class NEC allows us to offer visitors a central location, opening it up to more exhibitors and visitors from across the whole country, giving even more people the chance to unravel their family history. The transport links are excellent and the NEC have also just announced they have become partners with Virgin Trains. This deal will give all visitors to the NEC a 25% discount on on all Virgin Trains’ Advance fares to the Group’s venues along Virgin’s West Coast Main Line.

Why not sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know when tickets go on sale for 2015?

 

Here's some useful information and helpful hints to help you plan your day at the show.

Ticket Pricing:


 

CLICK HERE to buy tickets or call 0844 873 7330.

 
If you are a group of ten or more, please phone 0844 412 4650 to benefit from our special rates for groups.
 
Please note £2.25 transaction fee applies to all orders.
(Calls cost 6p per minute from a BT landline plus network extras.)

 

Opening Hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9.30am - 17.30pm

 

NEC Details: 

For a full site map of the NEC, click here

For the Piazza map click here

Address: The NEC, Birmingham, B40 1NT 

Tel:+44 (0)121 780 4141 

Email:info@necgroup.co.uk
 
 

Travel Information

Full travel information is available here

Need to book car parking? Follow this link

 

Disabled Access

Click here to find out about disabled access at the NEC.

 

Accommodation

The nearest hotels to NEC are the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC and Ramada Encore Birmingham NEC. 

 

Workshops

The Society of Genealogists' workshops are free on the day on a first come, first served basis. Taking place across four studios, most sessions last for around 40 minutes. If you want to guarantee your place, you can book a ticket in advance for only £2 - you can do this when booking your ticket to the show. Please note you can book up to two workshops per standard ticket.

Click here to see the workshop timetable. 

Please note, in case of unforeseen cancellation, an alternative workshop will be offered.

Please note the Keynote Workshop will takes place each day at 1.15pm and will finish at 2.30pm. This workshop includes a full Q&A session with a panel of experts. Tickets to these workshops cost £3 and can be purchased in advance or on the day.

Please note, all workshops are subject to capacity.

 

What to Bring

            •           Your old photographs to take to the Photography Gallery

            •           Family heirlooms (or photos of) for investigation by Eric Knowles

            •           A copy of your family tree for reference

            •           Any documents you may wish to show the experts

  •           The day's timetable so you don't miss any workshop, celebrity or expert sessions!