You would think that family historian Natalie Pithers was already busy enough as a mother of three in Somerset running her genealogy research service as well as the Curious Descendants Club, the Genealogy Stories Facebook Group and a fortnightly history show #TwiceRemoved. However, she is even busier now, planning to raise funds for Ukraine by setting up a 24-hour history livestream event that has captured the imagination of historians and family historians from around the globe.
We caught up with Natalie for a quick chat to find out more about the event.
What made you come up with the idea of #HistoryForUkraine?
It came to me in the shower in a real light bulb moment! I’d been reading the news, and like most people, I was just appalled. I felt a real desperate desire to do something but felt helpless. I’m a big believer of focusing on what you can do rather than what you can’t, so I think that thought process was working away in my subconscious.
How much support have you had from people?
The support has been incredible! I expected some excitement from the genealogy community, because it is so close knit and people are very supportive…but to get all sorts of different historians willing to come together to help, has been magical.
What sort of talks will there be and who will be giving them?
All sorts! We’ve got talks on finding out about the lives of women in different time periods, we’ve got DNA talks, we’ve got everything from Mary Queen of Scots to Queer History. Speakers include Charles Spencer, Janina Ramirez, Fern Riddell, Kate Williams and Deborah Suggs Ryan.
How will the event run?
How will this raise money for Ukraine?
There will be regular reminders to donate and links to the sites posted in the comments at frequent intervals.
How can people get involved and where can they find out more?
We are looking at organising some smaller satellite live events, so it’s not too late to offer a talk – and of course we are still open for volunteers to help behind the scenes with technical support, social media and more.
Those interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org