[APG Public List] Who do you think you are? My days One and Two.

Jeanette Daniels jeanettedaniels8667 at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 6 07:56:32 MST 2011


Roland,

I'm glad that you found the other APG members.  I know what you mean about British English and American English.  I lived in Bristol and Southampton, England for several months years ago.  The language curve was a shock.

Thanks for sharing your experience.  You've raised an interesting thought that it would be nice to have an international conference for genealogists with lecturers from several countries presenting information on a variety of topics.  

Jeanette

--- On Sat, 3/5/11, Rolgeiger at aol.com <Rolgeiger at aol.com> wrote:

From: Rolgeiger at aol.com <Rolgeiger at aol.com>
Subject: [APG Public List] Who do you think you are? My days One and Two.
To: apgmembersonlylist at apgen.org, apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Date: Saturday, March 5, 2011, 4:52 PM



 

Hello, 
 
Yesterday but a week ago I 
had the happy chance to learn to know several members of APG. 
 
  
Well, here in 
 Germany we know nearly nothing about 
Who-do-you-think-you-are? There was something similar last year in German TV but 
I didn’t pay attention to it. Someone told me about it  but … well, you know 
… 
  
Last November APG told about 
the event in late February 2011, so I decided to attend. Twas a good chance to 
learn to know some fellow members in person. And it’s a shorter way to 
 England than to 
 America anyway. So I organized the 
trip, got three Q-jump-tickets to have faster access to the show, bought a 
ticket to and fro through Ryanair, booked a hotel in London – Kensington within 
15 minutes walk distance to Olympia where the show took place. Thursday night I 
rode to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport in the Hunsrueck Mountains , stayed in a nearby hotel and 
took the 6.20-a.m.-flight to London-Standsted. That was funny. The wind blew the 
same direction as we flew, so we took off at 6.20 and landed 6.10 – always local 
time. Thus we landed ten minutes before we started. I really liked the idea. At 
eight o’clock I had reached downtown London and 
took a cab to my hotel – wow, 13 Pound Sterling for a taxi ride but I was bone-tired 
and anxious to get there. Three days later I paid two pounds for the same route 
but using the subway :-) 
  
I parked my suitcase in the 
hotel, got all I needed and went to the event hall. I didn’t know what I had to 
expect. I presented my ticket and was among the first visitors that Friday 
morning. Q-Jump-ticket includes three tickets for workshops and my first was … 
well, actually I can’t remember. I know I attended at least three lectures that 
day – one was at 1 p.m. – Mark Herber talked about War Memorials Online at Stand 
825 “The Genealogist”. He produced various memorials from all over 
 Britain , explained how they got there 
and what information could be gathered from it. Some were real monuments on 
public places but others were found on more or less remote sites like schools or 
even plants. When I sat down, there were two ladies sitting right near me and I 
asked one of them in case I felt asleep not to disturb me. Should I snore, 
please, push me with your ellbow. She recognized my alien accent and asked where 
I came from. I guess I was the only German to attend the show. I produced a 
booklet I had put together about the relation between my hometown St. Wendel and 
 England - The 
Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother of The Prince of Wales - Relations between 
my hometown St. Wendel, Germany, and England - and gave here a copy (they had 
been planned for selling but no occasion arised to really sell it so I donated 
about 15 of them and took the rest back home). Hope she liked it. I didn’t fell 
asleep during Mark Herber’s lecture but I started feeling the lack of sleep from 
last night.  
  
When I first entered the 
hall, I made my way to Stand 519- the APG stand where I introduced myself to 
Paul Blake, Laura Prescott and Kathleen Hinckley. Then I strolled through the 
hall realizing that these would become three very long days (plus an additional 
one for London 
itself) before I could go home. And I guessed they would get extremely boring. 
There was nearly nothing of real interest for me. All stands dealed with 
information about England – 
and there was no real genealogical connection between my research in German to 
that in England . That’s what I guessed after 
the first walk through the hall. I forget that quickly after I had talked to 
several people at several stands. Like Ian Hook at Stand 615 “Leger Holidays” 
(they provided military memorial trips to France and Belgium ). I gave 
him a booklet whose second half is about a crash of a British bomber in my 
hometown in September 1941. Very exciting talk – he is curator of the Essex Regiment Museum , and he told me that some units of 
the Essex Regt were controllers during the 1935-Plebiscite in the Saar Region. 
Very interesting.  
  
I visited APG stand then and 
now and met other people like Craig Scott from North Carolina, Carol Bannister 
from Nottinghamshire and Rob van Drie from the Netherlands – uuh, it was such a 
pleasure to meet someone who spoke German. My English is not too bad but in 
school and later I learned something like Oxford English and during my research 
I have been in contact to lots of English speaking people but most of them 
American. You know Oscar Wilde’s Canterville Ghost where an American family buys 
a British castle. When the family enters the ghost watches them. And he tells 
about the mother she was good looking and spoke but absolutely no English. Well, 
I got very much acquainted to American English and much later I learned that the 
Brits’ English is much different in terms and pronounciation and has nearly 
nothing to do with Oxford English as well. I really had hard times during those 
three days in London to get acquainted with the language – 
not to talk about the traffic system and the currency. 
 
  
In the afternoon I urgently 
needed a coffee and bought a cappucino. Once that pretty somehow red-haired girl 
behind the desk understood my order, I ordered some piece of cake and paid 5.50 
Pounds Sterling which is about 6.40 Euros = 8.50 US Dollars – for a piece of 
cake and a bigger cup of coffee. Incredible. The coffee was great but 
nevertheless …  
  
I sat on the floor with a 
wall in my back and several other people near me – a men to my left and a 
middle-aged British lady to my right. We sipped coffee and listened to someone 
lecturing about DNA stuff.  
  
I attended two more shows 
that day – one was “Hiring a professional genealogist at home and abroad” with 
Laura Prescott who reminded me of our code of ethics. Well, I had read and 
signed it before I entered APG but had I really thought about it? Ofcourse I 
follow that code – had I been a member or not. Like the ten comandments – they 
are basic rules for a functioning society. That lecture was great and I really 

reflected about the code. As I did the next days when talking to visitors of the 
APG stand when “I was on duty”.  
  
The last lecture for the day 
was “Ideas for research before 1600” with Helen Good. Helen is a tremendous 
sight – a historian with very much passion for her subjects. When I first saw 
her waiting for the visitors to come along I had thought “oh, my goodness” but 
once she started to talk and showing examples I was faszinated. She talked about 
sources from 16th Century – id est 1500 plus. I was surprised to be able to read 
most of the documents she presented – the numbers were the same we in 
 Germany had in that time. 
 
  
On Sunday I talked to her 
about it and produced a sample of another script in our catholic church in St. 
Wendel and she got fascinated about some letters she had never seen before. 
During her talk she presented a book called “Reading Tudor and Stuart 
Handwriting” by L. Munby, S. Hobbs and A. 
Crosby, published 2002 by the “British Association for Local History” 
(www.balh.co.uk). It’s great and a very useful help for those who deal with that 
period of time in presenting letters and numbers in original with explanations 
attached. 
  
I didn’t know what to do 
that night so I went back to the hotel, bought some food and coke in a nearby 
supermarked and went up to my room. I had no watch with me and my portable 
showed our time in Germany . But there was a telephone in 
the room and it showed the time. So I went to bed at ten and at once fell 
asleep.  
  
I woke up next morning at 8 
a.m. (telephone time), got up and went down for breakfast half an hour later – 
to find the breakfast room closed. Hm, they were to open at half past 8, now it 
was past nine. It was then when I realised that my telefone time was wrong – the 
difference was 1 hour and 40 minutes. I hasn’t been 8 when I woke up but 6.20. 
And it had not been ten when I went to sleep the night before but 8.20 p.m. 
Well, now I knew it.  
  
I went back to Olympia hall and saw the 
long line of visitors alongside the hall and around the corner. I produced my 
Q-Jump-ticket for Saturday and quickly got in. I said “good morning” at the APG 
stand and went upstairs to attend Audrey Collins’ “Using the National Archives, 
onsite and online”. Audrey had had some problems with London ’s traffic and the 
fought a hard battle with the computer and the beamer. The beamer shut off 
several times but Audrey was an experienced lecturer with cool temper. When one 
“slide” was to cut off once more, she told the audience to memorize this slide 
before it would cut off. And when it was gone she said: “Hope you did as I told 
you and memorize it!” we – the audience and I – loved her coolness. Finally the 
problem was solved and she showed us fascinating possibilities on the website of 
National Archives of Great 
Britain (or just England ?). 
 
  
I was scheduled for the 
stand at 11 but got lost in a talk to some visitors upstairs and came late. 
First I stood in the back and listened to Marie Foden and how she made it before 
I dared to talk to a visitor. He asked me something and I really didn’t 
understand anything. I asked him to repeat and he used akronyms I never even 
heard off. I asked someone from the APG stand crew for help which was quickly 
provided. That accent really killed me.  
  
Two hours later I walked 
around, talked to the Military Stand members (Royal Air Force) and the War 
Graves Commission folks and forget to visit Howard Brenbrook’s “What’s in a 
name?” At about 4 p.m. I quit and made it back to the hotel to prepare for the 
evening. At about six I was back and met Paul Blake at the entrance to the Pizza 
Restaurant right near Olympia Hall. APG had invited its members for a reception 
at the Restaurant with wine and drinks. Laura made the reception and asked 
everyone to introduce himself with name and country. The Brits had the majority 
with several people from Ireland . After I’d spoken, I got a 
little mad about myself. While everyone told his country in English, I should 
have mentioned it “Deutschland” instead of Germany . A 
little bit of Patriotism – well, I didn’t. Laura’s reception was great and she 
thanked all those who had made this meeting possible, among them Eileen M O 
Duill from Ireland who had 
organized the Stand in Olympia .  
  
We sat down and ordered our 
pizzas and the waiters produced some confusion when they brought the pizzas 
along and called them other names than on the menu. I had ordered a Caesar salad 
and it was very good. The wine bottles emptied and new were opened and we talked 
together and it was really a fine chance to talk to people whom you knew from 
the lists but never talked personally. Now some of us had a face behind the 
email adress. Later – after most of us had left – I talked to Maggie Loughran 
and Geoff Swinfield about several things I did not understand. They knew the 
event very well. When the restaurant closed at 11 p.m. I accompanied Audrey 
Collins and another lady who stayed at the Hilton and went back to the hotel. 
 
  
 Roland Geiger 
 
 
-----------------

Roland Geiger
Historical and Genalogical 
Research
Alsfassener Strasse 17
66606 St. Wendel
Germany
phone 
++49-6851-3166
email rolgeiger at aol.com
www.hfrg.de

=> APG - Association of 
Professional Genealogists
=> ASF - Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Saarlaendische 
Familienforschung

Researchs in 
=> genealogy
=> local 
history
=> transcriptions (f.e. old German into modern)
=> guided 
tours through St. Wendel (day and night) and St. Wendel County, Saarland, 
Germany



      
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