Saturday, 23 February 2013

Who Do You Think You Are - Live 2013: Society Saturday

Few events in the genealogical world cause as much excitement, or indeed are as widely noticed by the unitiated, as the annual Who Do You Think You Are?- Live show in National Hall, Olympia, London. Family history societies of varying sorts from all over the UK take part, and use the opportunity to increase membership, as well as field any enquiries in their particular field. As a volunteer on the Jewish Genealogical society of Great Britain stall, this year as in the three before, I've heard all manner of queries, from those who think they might possibly have discovered a Jewish family member, to deeply moving personal stories. I've even discovered a cousin - but that I think is a tale for another time!

There's always a lot going on at WDTYA-L so it's hard to catch it all. I had a fair chance to look around today, and shall be back again tomorrow, and will report back after that too (hopefully). Although the show seemed a little less busy today that Saturdays I've seen in the past - I don't think the freezing cold weather helped! - there was still a great buzz. The large service providers were all very busy, and vendors of everything from genealogy printing materials to silverware seemed to be plying a healthy trade. When you've been to the show, as well as around the genealogy circuit, a few times, February at Olympia is a nice time to catch up with people, some of whom I hadn't seen since the previous year. I always love helping people find out just that little bit more about their family too, so it was great to do a bit of that too.

I hope to give a fuller report of the show- maybe finding some photos and things to go with it- some time after the show tomorrow!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tombstone Tuesday- Rachel Levy

This is the tombstone of my great-great-great aunt (my grandmother's father's maternal aunt) Rachel Levy née Jacobs (1859-1918). It is to be found near the front of Plashet Cemetery, in East Ham, London, and is in very good condition for its age. I have much affection for this stone, despite it not belonging to one of my direct ancestors; for it was the first I ever discovered in doing genealogy, almost five years ago now!

I had made an appointment to go and see the cemetery (Plashet it open by appointment only as it is no longer used for burials - this is not however an uncontroversial system!), having first ascertained which of my relatives were likely to be buried there, and where they were. I went to go and look for my great-great-great grandfather Adolphus Jacobs (Rachel's father), and was disappointed not to find a legible marker on his grave. Trudging despondently back to the car, the names on this stone caught my eye- I realised I'd found Rachel without even knowing she was there! I subsequently photographed the stone on a later visit.