The first Back to Our Past event held outside Dublin has been voted a success by both exhibitors and visitors. The show was mounted at the magnificent Titanic Belfast on 16th and 17th February and had a good mix of attractions. One visitor summed up the general consensus: ‘While not perfect, this was a great first time effort, with the talks programme being particularly interesting, well organised and incredibly well attended. Definitely something to build on’.
The event featured almost 40 stands comprising international names such as FamilyTree DNA, My Heritage and Imperial War Museum, as well as Irish and Scottish records offices such as The National Archives, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Glasnevin Museum, Glasgow Library . This line-up was supplemented by numerous local groups such as The Ulster Historical Society, Northern Ireland Family History Society and Fermanagh Genealogy.
Almost without exception, exhibitors were effusive in their praise of the organisation of the event:
‘Overall, the weekend was a success. The venue was lovely and a great attraction to our overseas visitors. We sold slightly more kits each day than we would in Dublin so overall we were pleased with the results’.
Maurice Gleeson, FamilytreeDNA
‘Many thanks for the terrific show and venue at the Titanic Museum Belfast. The event was a great success for me and It was great to see so many genealogy colleagues. The only downside was that it would have been lovely to see some of the major players’.
Christine Deakin, Irish Genealogy Solutions
"Accredited Genealogists Ireland attended Back To Our Past in Belfast on 16th and 17th February 2018,at the Titanic Centre, providing free genealogy consultations and assistance to the public on their Stand. The event was very successful for AGI and very well run by the organisers, and their staff throughout the venue. The talks and lectures were also well attended and the venue itself was superb. Great social event also. This was the first time BTOP was held in Belfast and after its 'maiden' voyage there it will no doubt prove to be another highlight in the Genealogy calendar in the future"
Anne-Marie Smith, M.A.G.I.
‘The show was brilliant. I would consider coming back again next year. I found it very worthwhile and was able to help large numbers of people. In particular, I was able to link to some of the major players. Now Glasgow City archives has some major resources re Irish, of which our poor law records are of major significance. I would be delighted to speak about that at the Dublin event’.
Dr Irene O’Brien, Glasgow Life, Mitchell Library, Glasgow
'A very well-organised event. First time in Northern Ireland. Lots of interesting stalls and the lecture programme was excellent.'
‘I was there on the Friday and had a good day engaging with visitors. Numbers appeared to be good but was disappointed that two of the biggest genealogy websites chose not to be at the event
Frank McHugh, Fermanagh Genealogy
‘We really enjoyed the event, and look forward to hearing details of future shows.
It was a great opportunity to chat informally with lots of different visitors, ranging from those who are just starting out on their family history journey to researchers looking for help for breaking down ‘brick walls’. The atmosphere was buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm for family and social history’.
Charlotte Czyzyk, Imperial War Museum
‘The show was excellent’.
Helen Grant, Scottish Monumental Inscriptions
‘I would like to compliment the organisers of the Back to Our Past event in the Titanic Centre and I hope that this inaugural Back To Our Past event will be repeated next year and that it will be possible to encourage a wider range of exhibitors to attend’.
Tom Quinlan, National Archives of Ireland
‘The IGRS was delighted to attend the first Back To Our Past event in Belfast. A great weekend of genealogical presentations, networking and conversation was had by all’
Claire Bradley, Chairperson, Irish Genealogical Research Society
Already plans are in hand to mount the event again at approximately the same time next year when it is hoped more exhibitors will support it. Watch this space!
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