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

Alvie L Davidson floridasearch at verizon.net
Sun Mar 6 02:39:42 MST 2011

Good morning Roland and others,

Yes, it was quite an exhilarating event in London.  Getting to meet many of the other members of APG from around the globe and exchange ideas and thoughts on research was very uplifting.

I recall the thrill of meeting Roland, Andras Koltai from Budapest, Hungary, Carmel Gilbride of Dublin, Ireland, McKeldren Smith of New York City, and Roland Blake, a local Londoner.  We have to give credit to Roland for his superb job of getting the booth (stand in England) all set up.    The Stand #519 was visited by hundreds of curious inquirers asking about APG and what does it do in the field of genealogy.  It is my hope our responses will pique more interest in genealogy.

Roland has given a great many comments on his experience.  Another good epistle was done by Dick Eastman (www.eogn.com).  Dick did lot of photos covering the three days in the WDYTYA event.

It is definitely a time and event that I will remember for many years.


Alvie L. Davidson CG

 <http://www.floridadetective.net> www.floridadetective.net

 <http://alviesgenealogyspot.blogspot.com/> http://alviesgenealogyspot.blogspot.com/


CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations by the Board

Lakeland, FL 


From: apgmembersonlylist-bounces+floridasearch=verizon.net at apgen.org [mailto:apgmembersonlylist-bounces+floridasearch=verizon.net at apgen.org] On Behalf Of Rolgeiger at aol.com
Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2011 6:53 PM
To: apgmembersonlylist at apgen.org; apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Subject: [APG Members] Who do you think you are? My days One and Two.




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
phone ++49-6851-3166
email rolgeiger at aol.com
www.hfrg.de <http://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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