Family Tree Live 2019

I have spent the past two days at Family Tree Live 2019 held at the beautiful Alexandra Palace meeting up with fellow genealogists, learning about DNA and family history as well as teaching via a talk and two workshops.

My talk was ‘What Did They Do? – Sources for Occupations, Professions and Trades at Society of Genealogists and Elsewhere‘ and, despite it being the first talk of the day, it was well attended. I produced an accompanying handout, which is available on the Information page, which covered all the websites that I mentioned in the talk. It also provides instructions on how to use the SoG catalogue and SoG Data Online to search for occupation records. The handouts for all the Family Tree Live talks are available here.

Amelia Bennett Occupations talk Family Tree Live Alexandra Palace
Amelia presenting at Family Tree Live at Alexandra Palace

I facilitated two workshops on censuses and again produced a handout with useful England and Wales census information as well as links to information on censuses in Scotland and Ireland. The handout is available on the Information page. These workshops were very enjoyable sessions with lots of interaction from the participants and I even learnt information which is one of the wonderful benefits of doing workshops.

I had an enjoyable hour providing expert advice on the Society of Genealogists stand. I love helping people to learn how to explore records but was also annoyed that I could not break down a twenty year old brickwall. However I have the information and it feels like a great challenge (if I ever have free time and I’m bored!). I also had a lovely conversation about the FamilySearch records we hold at the Society of Genealogists as well as the access to the digital records as we are an Affiliate Library.

For my own education, I attended the talk by Jonny Perl on DNA Painter. I have been using the tools on his website for a while but hearing from him gave me a few extra tips as well as ideas of how to further use chromosome mapping to analyse my family’s DNA. Having been lucky enough to meet him, I am looking forward to continuing to learn from him.

The show itself had a lovely community feel to it. It was less commercial than some of the more recent WDYTYA shows at Olympia and Birmingham NEC but that helped the atmosphere. I certainly made the most of catching up with genealogy friends and family from around the world. I am in the process of devising Family Tree Cafe Meet-ups but luckily they were happening organically at this event. We are now looking forward to the next few events including The Genealogy Show, Genetic Genealogy Ireland and RootsTech London.

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