08 March 2014

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014

For the first time, organizers of Who Do You Think You Are? Live changed the conference from Friday, Saturday and Sunday to Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Sunday was always very slow, so those of us who have been attending for the last six years were curious to see what this change would mean.

Although attendance was down from last year, the numbers for each day were really consistent.  (Thanks to Brian Swann for the following information.)

Thursday 20 February          4,253
Friday 21 February              4,353
Saturday 22 February          4,522
         Total                                 13,128

A few overall views of the Olympia Hall

We experienced this consistency at the Family Tree DNA stand as well.  The line at the stand often went the entire length and at times wrapped around the corner.  All of us were too busy to get a photo of the longest lines. Many of us were doing “triage”, as we called it, (answering questions and explaining what test would best help the customer) before the customer reached the table to swab.

Actually, even with the lower attendance FTDNA sold more test kits than ever before.  About 3 p.m. on Saturday they ran out of all they brought and many that a local administrator had in store.  At that point, they kept selling and told customers they would mail the kit at no charge to them. As a result, we can only state that they sold over 580 kits. However, this year not as many free kits were given away by administrators.  It is always just luck on who walks by the ISOGG stand to see the list.

And what a nice treat. My distant DNA cousin on my paternal line, Gerard Corcoran from Dublin (whom I actually met in Shanghai a few years ago) came to London.

Thursday all the helpers at the FTDNA and ISOGG stands arrived and by 10:15 the presentations began.  Maurice Gleeson, our Irish Leprechaun of London along with his helpers Debbie and Brian, organized all the speakers and recorded most of their presentations which can be seen on U-Tube.  DNA Lectures - Who DoYou Think You Are 2014 As the audio on Friday did not work, some of the presentations are not available, but will be in time. 

There was a wonderful selection of speakers this year.  The schedule as follows.

10.15  DNA For Beginners – the Three Tests with Debbie Kennett
11.15  Autosomal DNA – A Step-by Step Approach to Analyzing Your atDNA Matches with Maurice Gleeson
12.15  Men, Metal and The Recent Re-Peopling of Western Europe with Mike Hammer
13.15  Who are the Europeans? With Jean Manco
14.15  Citizen Science – An Online Community Approach to Researching Haplogroup R1b1a2 with Andy Grierson
15.15  Scottish DNA – Clans, Families and Surnames with Alastair Macdonald
16.15  Combining Traditional and Genetic Genealogy – The Pomeroy DNA Project with Chris Pomery

10.15  Which DNA Test is the Best for You? With Maurice Gleeson
11.15 Autosomal DNA Projects – What Are They and What Can you Get from Them? With Emily Aulicino
12.15  How DNA Re-Wrote My Family Tree with Geoff Swinfield
13.15  Did Your Folk Go Wandering as Rome Fell? With Jean Manco
14.15  Out of Africa and Ancient Migrations to Europe and Britain with Chris Stringer
15.15  Famous British DNA with Katerine Borges
16.15  Chromosomes, Conquerors and Castles – DNA Test and the Cruise/Cruse/Cruwys One-Name Study with Debbie Kennett

10.15  The Basics of DNA Test with Katherine Borges
11.15  Autosomal DNA Success Stories – How atDNA solved Family Mysteries with Maruice Gleeson, Katherine Borges and Emily Aulicino
12.15  Men, Metal and The Recent Re-Peopling of Western Europe with Mike Hammer
13.15  Genetic Investigations into the Black Death in London with Kristen Bos
14.15  Finding the Fallen – Identifying Remains Recovered from the Western Front with Andy Robertshaw
16.45  Wales, DNA and Surnames with Brian Swann

Most of the group
Chris, Katherine, Max

George, Nora, Craig
As usual FTDNA treated us all to dinner at Pizza Express Thursday. We filled two rows of tables this year, and I'm not sure I captured everyone.

James, Andy Grierson, Joss, Debbie

Of course, Katherine had to order the infamous Dough Balls which resulted in all of us explaining the story to the new attendees. You'll have to attend to get the scoop!

At the close of the conference, someone opened a bottle of wine and Max opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Then we all posed for a group photo before we all headed to dinner together at Yaz, an Indian restaurant across from Olympia Hall, courtesy of FTDNA.
Back: CG, Brian, Derrell, George, Nora, John and Ann, Bennett, Max,, Andy Grierson, Chris, Candy, Katherine, Debbie
Front: Maurice, Linda and Emily
Joss is missing as he took the photo

Of course after the three days of work, we played. 

On Sunday some of us visited Winchester Cathedral.

This year it was a trip to Oxford on Monday to hear Bruce Winney do an encore of his WDYTYA presentation with more time for questions.  
While in Oxford we had a lovely lunch at the Red Lion.
Then, a quick trip to the Bodleian Library, a huge depository for all books printed anywhere since Medieval times. Oh, to have time to explore that resource!

Katherine, Emily, Brian, Craig, Debbie, Linda, Maurice
Some of us visited Oxford Castle where we put Maurice in the stocks and all stood for a mug shot.

On Tuesday some traveled to Warwick to see the castle there and had a delicious lunch at the Gateway CafĂ©  under the guidance of Chef Katherine.  

Once again a wonderful time in London gathering DNA samples in hopes that the testers can make progress with their genealogy, that some of them are related to us, and spending great times with our wonderful friends across the pond!

So who  is coming with us next year?


1 comment:

Brian Swann said...

Very nice summary, Emily. Thanks for pulling all this together.