Family Tree UK

Reflecting on Family Tree Live UK by Katy Barbier-Greenland

Family Tree Live UK was a fantastic family history conference held at the beautiful Alexandra Palace in London at the end of April 2019. It brought together a mix of professional genealogists and people interested in their own family history, as well as some researchers.

My talk ‘Inheriting the unexpected: dealing with unforeseen family secret discoveries arising from genealogical research’ was in the final timeslot on day one of the event, and one of my favourite parts was actually speaking with people afterwards. Due to the personal nature of my topic I think it struck a chord with some of those in the audience, and it was a privilege to hear their stories on the day. It was also fantastic to meet many of the wonderful genealogists from the lively family history community on Twitter. I placed some of the recommendations coming out of my talk on the Outcomes page of this website, so please check them out and let me know what you think.

My highlight in terms of talks was Dr Larissa Allwork and Dr Nigel Hunt’s talk on ‘Shell shock stories and beyond: trauma and the First World War’ that explored the impacts of shellshock on people and society, with a focus on WWI. Larissa is a public historian with expertise in a number of areas including the ways in which states and societies deal with difficult, provocative and traumatic histories. This talk arises from some of the work Larissa and Nigel have been doing via the ‘trauma’ stream of a major collaboration between universities in the UK called The Centre for Hidden Histories: Community, Commemoration and the First World War, shining a light on shellshock stories at the intersection of psychiatry and history. Really interesting and important work and I was lucky to have a great chat with Larissa throughout the day.

Another highlight was a talk called ‘To DNA or not to DNA - that is the question’ by Katherine Borges, the cofounder and director of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). Katherine discussed the ways in which different DNA tests work and invited us to reflect on whether they are always the answer. A third talk I unfortunately missed, although I have seen Dr Penny Walters speak before: she gave a talk on the ethics of DNA testing and I have no doubt it would have been fascinating, as all her talks are.

Check out the Family Tree Live speaker blogs! by Katy Barbier-Greenland

The Family Tree Live blogs are up! Mine’s accessible here and includes a really lovely writeup from Helen Tovey, one of the organisers. Tickets are selling like hotcakes apparently and you can pick yours up at the Family Tree Live website for 12 pounds….not bad!

Only three months to go, and excited to be catching up with an amazing psychologist I met along my research journey who lives in London and has expertise in working with families after discovering similar events. Also looking forward to just, well…being in London! I haven’t been there before except to whiz through to other places for other conferences so really excited to have a couple of days there to hang out with the UK’s best family history folk and check out London itself.

Family Tree Live update by Katy Barbier-Greenland

Family Tree Live UK is really coming together…the organisers are busily organising blogs for all speakers which is going to be really fun in terms of updating and sharing news and ideas to a new audience. While my project is based in sociology and psychology, I’ve found that it has really strong resonance with family history, so I’m excited to give this talk to this new audience.

Actually, it’s the first time I will be able to draw on my background as a social worker as well as my PhD research to reflect on the impacts of family secret discoveries arising from genealogical research, and what on earth to do about them…how to prepare, how to support yourself and others. I hope the talk will compliment some of the more technical talks which are the ‘how to’, because this won’t give you tips on finding people but if you find something unexpected, it’ll help you with the ‘what next’.

Presenting at Family Tree Live UK! by Katy Barbier-Greenland

I got some great news this week - I’ve been accepted to deliver a talk at the genealogy conference called Family Tree Live UK! This conference is a two-day family history conference held at the incredible venue Alexandra Palace in London. So excited to be back in the UK and I can’t wait to give this talk - it’s one that I’ve been wanting to give for a long time now.

My talk is called ‘Inheriting the unexpected: Dealing with unforeseen family secret discoveries arising from genealogical research’ and draws on my background in psychology and social work, and of course this project - my PhD - in sociology and psychology. I’m really interested in sharing my thoughts around how people might prepare themselves, and how they might support themselves and others. It’s clear from my research that the effects of discovering something major in your family history can reverberate throughout your life, and tends to be a profound and ongoing experience of rewriting your life story.

Genealogy conference announcements! by Katy Barbier-Greenland

Is it just me, or are there suddenly an abundance of fantastic family secret related events cropping up? Two conferences on family history were announced yesterday, both held in the UK next year. Of course I'm planning on attending both, and hopefully will get the chance to share some of my research findings. 

The first is The Genealogy Show, a conference held over two days in Birmingham in June 2019. Follow their FB page for the latest news. The second is Family Tree Live, held in London at the end of April. There isn't a whole heap of info as yet but it's early days so watch this space. Looking forward to both!

#familysecrets #familyhistory #genealogy #ancestry