After a long weekend, a few late nights, dozens of stories shared, hundreds of new people met and pounds of carrot cake (eaten mostly by me, thanks Fathia). Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 is OVER! And what a weekend…
So while we recover and start planning for next year we thought we’d share Carlston’s reflections on the Caribbean Family History Group’s first time at the world largest family history event.
“I know that I went feeling excited and thinking that we could at least say we had been there and perhaps have visits from the odd person, but the reality has been far different!
It has become clear to me that Caribbean Family History is not a side show in within Genealogy/Family History but a mainstream activity!
On Friday, and continued on Saturday, it has been the normal ‘punters’ to the show – ‘White/European’ British enthusiasts – that have been coming along and saying:
‘I have a family member who was from or went to Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago etc….. What can you tell me?’ In hind sight this should not be a surprise, but it was! A gratifying one.
Other things they have said – ‘Can I have your information for a friend of mine, or my son in law etc… who wants to/or to help them do their research in Jamaica…?’ One woman was even trying to get gemmed up so that she could surprise her friend on her 50th birthday, with a family tree! 😉
Yesterday, the attendee mix was greater – many more with African Caribbean descent and with a focus of starting their trees or extending further back. But once again we were busy all day with all sorts of enquiries, ending in Fathia and I giving our workshop with Sharon Tomlin in the afternoon. I had visits from the show organiser’s asking us how it was going and I had the chance to share with them what I had learned from the first day. I heard enough to think that they were glad that we were there.
Thank yous so far must go to:
- Kelly and Ayshah from Caribbean Family Group (Lambeth) and all their hard work in conjunction with ours to get things sorted and adding the great knowledge to what we had to share!
- Fathia of course!
- Sharon Tomlin of www.familyhistoryjamaica.com and www.familysearch.org
- All the Solihull group that has attended to visit the show and help out at the stand – Cynthia, Sharon C, Dennis L, Dawn, Marilyn, Fiona, also…. (have I forgotten anyone?)
- Guy Grannum who has made his booklet on starting Caribbean Family History available for sale, along with some other books – and they have been selling well. He also came across and spent the afternoon on our stall helping the public with advice, which was very helpful! Also someone from Ancestry.co.uk did the same thing on his time off! They had wider expertise to help with some of the questions about the islands outside our main focus as a group. However, these questions are that we intend to get to grips with in due course.
- Others who I should have remembered but have forgotten (forgive) and some I have yet to speak to but will comment on in due course.”