Thursday, 10 October 2013

Countdown to Back To Our Past 2013

Click to download half price entry voucher
In just eight days – at 11am, Friday 18 October, to be precise – the doors of the Industries Hall at the RDS in Dublin will be flung open and this year's Back To Our Past show will be underway.

Ireland's very own genealogy exhibition, Back To Our Past (BTOP), is in its fourth year and firmly ingrained in the Irish genealogist's calendar. It's a must-visit for anyone, amateur or professional, with an interest in Irish genealogy, local history and military history, and for all those who want to know more about how our ancestors lived.

It's an opportunity for beginners to take their first research steps under the patient guidance of professionals and experienced genealogists, and for more advanced level family historians to perhaps find a new direction after talking to someone with more specialised historical knowledge or greater awareness of the available records. Others will simply enjoy the total immersion in genealogy and see the fair as a thoroughly enjoyable crash course in Irish heritage in its widest sense.

There's always plenty to learn, that's for sure! In addition to fifty-odd exhibitors, which include Irish genealogical research societies; online database providers; magazine, book and cd publishers; historical groups; state archives and institutions; sellers of family history products; educational service providers, and a wide range of products and services catering to the heritage market, the show sees three concurrent strands of lectures.

Two strands of these talks – the official BTOP Presentations – have been organised by the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI) on behalf of show sponsors, while a supplementary programme of DNA lectures has been organised by the International Society of Genetic Genealogists. You can find details of all the lectures, which run throughout the day, on the show organiser's website.

Admission to all the talks is free on a first come, first served basis, to all those attending Back To Our Past (see half price entry voucher below). The only tricky bit is making a choice from the three talks running at the same time. They cater to all levels of experience.

There are a couple of amendments to the original line-up of lecturers. The first sees Kyle Betit of ProGenealogists named as the presenter of a lecture on behalf of on the Sunday morning. Kyle is a popular and well-regarded genealogist with many years' experience in Irish records. The other change occurs because Gillian Hunt of the Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) will be unable to give her talk on behalf of RootsIreland due to commitments in the USA; William Roulson, another well-known Northern Ireland specialist from UHF, has stepped in to replace her.

In addition, there's one change to the panel making up the Friday evening HistoryIreland HedgeSchool, Who Do The Irish Think They Are?, with Theo Dorgan being replaced by Stephanie Rains of NUI Maynooth.

Another excellent reason for visiting BTOP is to take advantage of a free consultation with a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland. APGI is offering bookable 20-minute consultations across the three days of the show, and these can be booked using this online form.

So, if you're geared up and ready to go, don't forget to print off your half-price entry voucher!
Click image below to download pdf.