Wednesday, March 2, 2011

APG in London

I fell off the blogging train a while back, but just returned from London, I am enthused again about making regular posts about some of my favorite family history and genealogy topics. The excuse for a winter-time trip to cool and rainy London was the big "Who Do You Think You Are" family history expo in London. I spent one day helping out in the Association of Professional Genealogists "stand" ("booth" in American) and rooming through the crowded exhibit hall. I haven't heard any final estimates on the crowd, but organizers were expecting something in the range of 17,000 attendees, and from what I saw, that number is believable.

You can read more about WDYTYA in several issues of Dick Eastman's newsletter from the last week. I got to meet not only Dick, but also genealogists from Hungary, Germany and the UK. We had a nice contigent of U.S. APG people there, as well.

As exciting as WDYTYA was, highlights of the trip were visits to Kew and Devonshire. To a genealogist, "Kew" means The National Archives, located in the western London suburb of Kew, close by famous Kew Gardens. It is perhaps the most user-friendly archive I have ever worked in. It was amazing to hold in my hands documents from a 1690s law case involving suspected ancestors of my wife.

A 2-hour train ride took us to Tiverton in North Devon, where we visited Barb's third cousin, once removed. Ron and Margaret live in a 17th century house on the edge of Exmoor. After a bountiful English dinner, we talked deep into the night about 400 years of family history. Perhaps, you can now tell why I feel regenerated after a 9-hour plane ride back to snowy Minnesota!