Saturday, 8 April 2017

Day 2 Who Do You Think You Are

Friday at Who Do You Think You Are Day 2

It's always great to start your day chatting with like minded genealogists who are excited about sharing what they are passionate about! That was a boost and for 30 minutes before the doors opened I wandered around a bit checking out the other stands. That was fun.

Today did not feel as busy as yesterday but I think it was because I had a little angel who came by to cover the table so that I could have 10 minutes for necessary p+q - you can interpret that however you'd like. 

Another fabulous day at the Canadian Genealogy table but what topped it off were visits by a number of fellow Canadians! Gosh, I wish I had their names, Victoria who now lives in Edinburgh, I think she was from Kingston. Sherry? -no Peggy, from Ontario who was volunteering at the One Name Studies table. A fellow, (Chris showed up again on Day 3) from Mississauga who is retiring next year and getting primed to restart his Canadian genealogy. Another lady from Winnipeg - her first time at Who Do You Think You Are - but not her first time in England and a very experienced genealogist. Oh and another lady from Ontario I think who now lives permanently in Warwickshire. 

People love to tell stories and the genealogists are enthusiastic about their families experiences in Canada which ranged over a number of years. A number of people asked, 'Why would my ancestor take such a big step to go overseas and leave all of their family in the UK?' Stories of abandonment; a woman leaving her family in the UK to follow a man she loved back to Canada; young women who went into service in Canada, some who had illegitimate children and returned to the UK; a lady who's father was born in England but left her mother and herself as a baby to go to Canada and how could she find him; some stories of hardship, and not being able to cope with the weather and the country all together. There were some success stories, one gentleman's ancestor was in the British Army ca1800s and was given a tract of land in BC, some 1400 acres. Another story about a wealthy aunt who went to and fro across to the UK in the 1950s and he was wanting to track down her living relatives. I just love to hear these stories, it really gives a sense of who these British people were who populated our country - Canada.

Today I made a point of keeping track of the number of people coming by, actually, sorry I didn't count everyone who came to the table, just the 60 or so who were asking for help. Sometimes there were queues 6 or 7 people deep! Often people would come by when I was catching a breath, as there was too long of a queue and they wanted a few more minutes than the normal 10 or 15. The draw for the goody basket full of Canada150 bits and bobs and the free membership to the Ontario Genealogical Society began to draw more interest today because I put little signs on the books to say that they were included in the draw. I looked up at one point -in time to see that a fellow had the book 'A Call to the Colours' by Kenneth G. Cox under his arm and he wanted to buy it but I'm embarrassed to say I asked him to return it as it was included in the draw! He was a little upset and I have to say that there were a number of people who would have liked to buy some of the items at the stand, but I really couldn't manage both to be honest. That definitely needs two people to provide a retail operation. From what I have heard of past Who Do You Think You Are shows, genealogists specifically come to the show to buy books, maps, charts and genealogy supplies.

A number of people who came by to chat said that they didn't know a Canadian genealogy stand would be at the show and they didn't come prepared. It's possible they'll come next year looking for it again, so we'll have to see what comes of that. I have asked people to leave comments about whether there should be a Canadian Genealogy stand next year and time will tell, really!

All for now, one more day to go. Stay tuned!

Day 0   Day 1    Day 3

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