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A roundup of this year's Who Do You Think You Are? Live!

Stars of the show included Anita Rani and a Spitfire...


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WDYTYA? Live! is the UK's largest family history event in the genealogical calendar, where you can see all the main companies and family history societies in one place. Over 13,000 visitors attended this year, making it a lively and packed three days.

The Society of Genealogists hosted the traditional fair, held workshops and their experts were on hand to answer questions.

BBC's Countryfile presenter, Anita Rani, who is of Punjabi descent but was raised in Bradford attended the show on Saturday. Reduced to tears on the WDYTYA? TV programme earlier this year, Anita candidly talked about her experiences tracing her ancestors on the TV show. Click here to read more about her story.

The other "star" of the show was the Spitfire in which showgoers could sit in the cockpit of this iconic British warplane.

The Spitfire at Who Do You Think You Are> Live! 2016

WDYTYA? Live at Birmingham's NEC was another great success for the TheGenealogist team, many showgoers old and new came to find out about our latest releases.

TheGenealogist stand

A large number of visitors to the show took advantage of a full programme of free talks in the purpose built theatre where the ever popular Breaking Down Brick Walls by TheGenealogist's Mark Bayley received a great deal of acclaim from showgoers.

Breaking down Brick Walls with Mark Bayley

Behind the scenes with the WDYTYA? research team

This year he was joined by leading television genealogical researcher and writer Laura Berry, who spoke about the behind the scenes challenges faced by the research team working on family history programmes. Laura outlined some basic principles that can also be applied to your own research.

Completing the talks team was the professional genealogist, writer and teacher Celia Heritage. She covered unique and essential recordsets now available online, showing the audience how to use them to find out more about your ancestors.

Meanwhile, S&N Genealogy Supplies were very busy with the vast range of family history products on offer on their stand. From unique high quality Springback Binders, Slide Scanners, Flip-Pal Mobile Scanners, books, data CDs and family tree software, there was something available for all visitors.

S&N Genealogy Supplies stand

TreeView was very popular

The brand new TreeView software for PC and Mac went down extremely well with the public, with many being introduced to its powerful features for the first time.

"The show went really well for us, TreeView was met with an extremely positive response, and our show offers proved very popular, with many visitors taking home new software and scanners. We are looking forward to the York Family History Fair on the 2nd of July."

David Bayley, Manager, S&N Genealogy Supplies

Elsewhere in the hall our friends from Discover Your Ancestors Publishing were promoting their hot-off-the-press issue 5 bookazine, monthly online periodicals and new range of 'Discover Your Ancestors' books.

"I'm exceptionally pleased with the interest the public showed in the Discover Your Ancestors Periodical and the really good feedback on the latest Bookazine"

Andrew Chapman, Editor, Discover Your Ancestors Magazine

You can see Andrew revealing what you can find in the bookazine in this video interview he did with Nick Thorne, for The Nosey Genealogist blog. And watch Laura Berry, leading genealogical television researcher, reveal which websites she uses when looking for an ancestors' occupation, in a short interview with The Nosey Genealogist.

TheGenealogist launched 4 unique recordsets at Who Do You Think you Are? Live:

  • Two major Parish record releases
  • New Colour Tithe Maps for Surrey in partnership with Surrey Heritage Center
  • New Colour Tithe Maps for Westmorland in partnership with The National Archives

In one of the free talks, on The Genealogy Tutorials stand at the WDYTYA? Live, professional genealogist Celia Heritage explained what the Tithe records are and how to use them to find your ancestors. You can click here to watch Celia explain more about these resources and also talk about her new book "Researching & Locating Your Ancestors" in a video interview with Nick, The Nosey Genealogist.

New Parish Records from TheGenealogist

With over 2.5 million Essex Parish Records our latest release makes TheGenealogist the place to go for Essex Research. The launch of 900,000 new Essex Parish Records transcripts brings the total coverage for that county to over 2.5 million individuals, spanning the period from 1512 to 2005.

These records with our BMDs and Census allow family historians to research ancestors from this eastern part of England with ease.

Also released at the show were over 158,000 Worcestershire Parish Records, bringing Worcestershire's coverage to over 2 million individuals.

Colour Tithe Maps from TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist, in conjunction with the Surrey Heritage Centre, was pleased to launch the Surrey Colour Tithe Maps at Who Do You Think You Are? Live. The Westmorland Colour Tithe Maps were also published at the same time in partnership with The National Archives. It is just one of the many counties to be conserved and digitised by TheGenealogist. Many more will be published in the forthcoming months.

These releases bring the addition of wonderfully detailed colour tithe maps to complement the online collection of tithe schedules and greyscale maps that have already been so well received by family historians researching where their ancestors lived.

This rich store of land occupation and usage records were created in a massive survey of England and Wales from between 1836 and the early 1850s. In these early years of the Victorian period, at a time when people were moving from the countryside to the towns, many of the urban areas that we see today as part of cities and towns can be found mapped out as tithable plots. This includes some parts of London and other big cities where cottages and gardens are plotted in the same way as fields and woods are in the countryside.

These records are made available online by TheGenealogist in a partnership with The National Archives and several County Record Offices making it the website to use when looking for your ancestors early nineteenth century ancestors.


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12 Month subcription to Discover Your Ancestors Online MagazineAlong with providing access to Census, BMDs, Non-Conformist Records, Wills and more, the Diamond subscription gives you access to record collections that make it easy to find so much more about your ancestors.

You'll also enjoy a free 12 month subscription to Discover Your Ancestors online magazine worth £24.95, saving you a total of £44.95!

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