Ever since I can remember, I have always had an interest in family history and like most people, a life event over twenty years ago acted as the catalyst for me to research my genealogy. Not having any experience as a genealogist, I started by reading a book and joining a family history society. My interest in Kent meant that although living in Sussex, I joined KFHS. It wasn’t long before I realised that there was very few Kent resources available locally and subsequently I joined the Society of Genealogists. Of course by now I thought I knew it all and it wasn’t long after that I attended my first family history conference to find out how much I didn’t know! That genealogical conference was in fact organised by the Guild of One-Name Studies at the Florence Boot Hall at Nottingham. Since then I have been to virtually every conference I can, as I believe family history conferences are far the best source of learning about new resources and listening to great family and local history lectures by expert lectures and speakers. It is also a great way of meeting new friends interested in the same hobby, in fact it has been known for my bar bill to be more than the cost of the conference!
Every two to three years in England, there is held an International Family History Conference and this is happening in 2009. Instead of just a weekend it is to be held over four complete days and has as its theme “Open the Door and Here are the People” which makes it worthwhile for those whose ancestors emigrated from the British Isles to attend. Not only is it financially viable but it will also have many lectures talking about the people of the British Isles from many venerable Institutions as well as lectures and workshops on Heraldry and Palaeography. See the conference program at www.openthedoor.org.uk
Financially viable? In England we do conferences different than in most other English speaking conferences and this International Family History Conference will be no different! It is a full residential course with a single fee inclusive of all lectures and workshops, three nights accommodation in en-suite accommodation, all meals from lunch on the Friday up to and inclusive of lunch on the Monday as well as all non-alcoholic refreshments. ALL this for the early bird rate of £329 and with the dollar being so strong it means this will cost UNDER $500 inclusive of tax. There has never been a better time to attend a conference. So book your flights this week!!
This International Family History Conference is being held this year (2009) from Friday 28th August till Monday 31st August (a holiday weekend in England) in Nottingham at the East Midlands Conference Centre.
Don’t forget you can always extend your stay both in Nottingham where we can offer en-suite bed and breakfast accommodation at £35 per night and there are plenty of family historians who offer similar facilities close to most record offices. You could of course spend time in London at the Society of Genealogists or any of the other London Archives, so why not make it a once in a lifetime vacation.
With between 4 and 5 lectures to chose from each session, I find the idea of this genealogical conference quite exciting and am looking forward to it with great expectations – not least the concept of meeting old and making new friends – so “See you there!”