Hundreds of family historians gather at RootsTech London

By Rosemary Collins, 24 October 2019 - 4:36pm

All the news from the world of genealogy as the world's biggest family history show comes to London

RootsTech London
Ancestry announced the launch of over one million Second World War artillery records at RootsTech (Credit: Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine)

The first international RootsTech event has finally opened its doors, with hundreds of family historians gathering in London for talks, workshops and more.

RootsTech London, the international spin-off of the world’s biggest family history show, opened at 9.45am today at the ExCeL Centre in London’s Docklands.

Hundreds of family historians, from the USA, Australia and Europe as well as the UK, came for three days of family history talks, workshops and interactive exhibits.

The day began with a keynote address from TV historian Dan Snow.

There was also a full programme of talks from family history experts on DNA testing, census records, comparing family history websites and more.

All the big family history websites and organisations, as well as many smaller local societies, have stalls in the RootsTech exhibition hall, and many announced new family history services.

At the Ministry of Defence stall, family historians had the first opportunity to try out a new virtual search for their ancestors’ Second World War army, navy and RAF records.

The three-hour online ordering service is available to test at RootsTech, and the MoD aims to launch it online within the next two years.

Ministry of Defence Second World War RootsTech stall
Family historians can download Second World War records in three hours at the Ministry of Defence RootsTech London stand (Credit: Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine)

Ancestry also announced plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War next year.

The family history website has released a new collection of 177,750 Second World War Royal Artillery Tracer Cards.

If you’re searching for a soldier who served in the British artillery, the records allow you to trace their movements throughout the war.

Ancestry also announced an upgrade to its DNA testing service, which now has more precise results than ever, with 60 ethnicity regions and over 900 communities.

In addition, the Association of Jewish Refugees launched a new free website paying tribute to some of the victims of the Second World War.

The Refugee Voices Testimony Archive brings together 224 filmed interviews with Holocaust survivors and refugees who made a new life in Britain.

The interviews are not available online, but the website contains photographs, documents and historical information.

Family Tree Maker also announced the latest version of its popular family history software programme.

Family Tree Maker 2019 features exciting new tools to make it easier to draw your family tree, including a Tree Browser tool and the capacity to edit profile pictures to produce headshots.

All RootsTech attendees can purchase the software with £10 off.

If you haven’t bought a RootsTech pass, it’s not too late to experience the London show. Passes to the exhibition hall can now be booked for free.

The hall is open until 7pm today, 9.45am-6pm on Friday and 9.45am-5pm on Saturday. It’s full of unmissable family history stalls, interactive and family friendly exhibits and opportunities to consult with experts.

Finally, we’re also celebrating RootsTech with a special offer for our readers. If you download our iOS app before RootsTech ends, we’re offering access to our October issue absolutely free!



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