WDYTYA Live 2017

Posted on 12 April 2017 Category in Blog

I have been attending WDYTYA Live for many years, but this year was the first time that I’ve given a talk.  I’ve spent the last twelve months co-writing a book entitled ‘Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots – A History of Nineteenth Century Insanity in Britain and Ireland’ which has just been published by Pen & Sword History.  My co-author, John Burt and I were able to give a companion lecture at WDYTYA Live to raise awareness of the valuable records available when researching ancestors in nineteenth century lunatic asylums.

As new authors, we believe we have written a worthwhile book but,of course until we start to see the reviews it has been difficult to determine how much it will be enjoyed by the reader.  So, it was very gratifying to be able to see people buying it and providing us with positive feedback. 

Without doubt our talk and the book launch was the highlight of the three day event for me.  However, getting together with old friends, meeting new ones and assisting on a couple of stands as well as spending time as an ‘expert’ on the Welsh desk was equally gratifying.

Genealogy can be a fairly isolating career in some respects – I seem to spend my day researching the dead which is fascinating but, it’s good to be able to get away from the desk and meet like-minded living people.  WDYTYA Live is the perfect annual event.  This year was certainly no exception with a wide range of excellent talks on offer and many genealogy exhibitors and professionals to consult.  The Register of Qualified Genealogists (RQG) attended for the first time and provided not only a list of their members but also mini-talks on a range of fascinating topics.  These will be made available on their website and are definitely worth watching.  The RQG also used WDYTYA Live to launch their new Journal with an interesting first edition about the London Silversmith family, Mewburn by Ian G. Macdonald of the University of Strathclyde.

As always, the event was both brilliant and extremely tiring at the same time – thanks to my Smart Bracelet I was able to work out just how far I walked each day and averaged about 10km!  So despite the fantastic food we ate I still managed to lose a few pounds which has to be a bonus.

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