Olympia Welcomes FamilySearch
Contributed By Shawna Windom
Over the weekend February 22nd to 26th Olympia in London hosted the “Who Do You Think You Are Exhibition” and the FamilySearch stand was the first to greet visitors as they entered the exhibition. Visitors were able to get help from experts on how to start their own history, use FamilySearch or get guidance on how to find a long lost relative.
The stand was manned by 40 consultants, 12 of which were from the Family History department in Salt Lake City and the waiting list for help at times reached over 3 hours such was the interest in the exhibit. The staff from the London Regional Family History library, temporally located in the National Archives in Kew, were on hand to assist on the stand.
David Retcher, the Chief Genealogical Officer for the Church gave individual interviews to six leading family history publications and outlined the future of FamilySearch. There is currently a major project to digitalise all the millions of names that are recorded on microfilm and there was a continuous demonstration inviting helpers to enrol on the project. Part of this project is the digitising records of all First World War soldiers with the aim of having them available next year for the 100th anniversary of the war. There are currently 120 Family History Centres in the United Kingdom and Ireland where help is available for the beginner to the experienced genealogist. Some run beginners courses and have access to subscription sites. There services are free of charge.
On the site you can trace your family, research the Wiki site which is a free collection of family history articles provided by family history enthusiasts from around the world or join a free online class to help you discover your family tree. Whether you are just beginning your family history research or are an experienced genealogist, you can learn something new. These classes are taught by genealogy research consultants at the Family History Library.