From the office: Goodbye Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE...

By Editor, 3 May 2017 - 10:11am

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine editor Sarah Williams says a fond farewell to the UK's biggest and best family history event

Sarah Williams is editor at Who Do You Think You Are? MagazineWednesday 3 April 2017
Sarah Williams, Editor
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Victorian Slum Who Do You Think You Are? Live NEC

When I heard that Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE was coming to an end, I could not believe it. I’m sure many of you will be as stunned as I was.

Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE had become as much a part of my year as Christmas and Easter. For three days I would live and breathe family history surrounded by people who understood my passion. It was my chance to meet readers and contributors, discuss new ideas for the magazine and find out what was happening in family history. And I loved it.

I knew that the show wasn’t really making any money, but I never doubted that it would somehow continue. How could something so popular not last? Now I realise we were just lucky to have had such an inspiring event for the ten years that we did.

I remember some German genealogists chatting to me one year at Olympia. They were amazed that we managed to put on such a big event for family history. “We could never do something like this in Germany, we just don’t have someone willing to take the risk and put in the necessary investment,” they said. I just smiled and told them that family history was thriving in Britain. I wonder how they will take this news.

But the closure of Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE doesn’t mean that family history isn’t thriving in Britain. There are more people than ever researching their family line. The trouble is, apart from the main subscription sites, family history isn’t about big business. It’s about societies, it’s about volunteers, it’s about cash-strapped archives and small businesses.

More than anything, it’s about people and although they came in their thousands to WDYTYA? LIVE they were not enough to support the kind of event that it was trying to be. I also want to thank the lovely team who ran the show and are now facing an uncertain future.

We had ten great years of it and I loved every minute. I will miss it more than I can say and I will miss meeting so many of you, but the magazine continues to thrive and I will just have to meet more of you via our forum.

Goodbye Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE and thanks for the memories!

 

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