Great things to see and experience at RootsTech 2017 !

All genies around the globe are getting more excited than kids at Christmas, Roots Tech is getting near !

Meeting at the world capital of family history, thousands will gather to hear, talks,exchanges and discover around our common passion and motivation : genealogy ! I guess the best way to describe the experience is unbelievable !

There are :

– innovations shows where developers, IT people, social networkers and apps-mad crowd meet to build the family history products of tomorrow!

-Exhibitors Hall where companies and societies presents their services and more!

– Conferences, lectures and workshops : To learn from all kind of subjects ,from rookies know-how « I’d like to find my ancestors but haven’t got a clue » to very detailed points or subjects such as dutch, french, belgian 😉 , naval, army, soldiers ancestors and the set of records attached to each of the categories and much more!

This being the U.S. , there are studies and societies for every State and every community. A special attention this year will be to African Heritage with a special dedicated day (and the highlight of it, LeVar Burton, renowned actor from Star Trek, coming to share his genealogical experience and how you too can take part in this great journey!)

-There will be shows as well! I was quite and pleasantly surprised to discover that side of Roots Tech, last time I heard Choirs, popular singers and folkloric band, that was just awesome! My favorite show was a small one,in comparison to shows taking place in the big hall, it was a cow boy dance! Apart from one demo at the belgian national day one year, I had never seen one and  there you go, I was 5 years old again!

There are lots of great things to do, think of and discover at Roots Tech! It »s one of those shows where you leave with a better knowledge, new research paths or thoughts and yes too, feel a better person ! So I can’t wait to renew my RT experience again and meet old and new friends!

Come On’! Join the fun!

 

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21 Juillet 2016 ! 21st July 2016 !

Une belle fête nationale à toutes et tous,

que vos ancêtres se trouvent à Arlon, à Oostende ou viennent d’ailleurs !

( Et si vous ne savez pas d’où ils sont, n’hésitez pas à m’envoyer un petit message, ca sera un plaisir ! )

 


If your ancestors came from Belgium, I wish you a happy National Day on this 21st July, commemoration day of the moment King Leopold 1st swore to serve the newborn country (in 1831!)

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A Belgian connection for Boris Johnson!

Boris Johnson new appointed Minister of Foreign Affair for the UK is a cousin to King of Belgium Philippe ! They have shared ancestors through Prince Paul of Würtemberg ( 1785-1852)

King Philippe descends from the Prince in the most official way possible while the new MFA is related to the Prince through a extra-matrimonial relationship ! M. Johnson also has connections to the US, Russia, Turkey…a man  with international roots indeed!

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It’s Ommegang time!

This colorful cortege start tonight with only two shows to remember the historical procession dating from the 14th century but reborn in the early 20th and now especially focusing on the 1549 edition when the burgers and the « nations » of Brussels were presented to  Emperor Charles Quint and his son Philippe II.

Definitively worth seeing if you’re in Brussels these days!

Personal Family History Tours

Come and visit the places your ancestors lived in!

In tailored tours, built WITH you and especially FOR you and your group, you’ll visit the places, churches, cemeteries, houses and cities of your ancestors! Why don’t you set up a group of cousins and come and see those places for yourself?

Feel free to contact me for a quote!

marie grand place( c) P. Vidal )

4 juillet!

A very good 4th of July to my american contacts, clients, friends and distant family!

If you think you have ancestors in Europe and especially Belgium, Northern France, Luxembourg and The Netherlands, do feel free to contact me anytime! 🙂

 

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Who Do You Think You Are?Live 2016 is over!

And what a great show it was!
Heard great stories as well, from prisoners to 19th businessmen , to love stories to war dramas. I could unlock some research and advise on research tips and proceedings,I also was commissioned others and had such a great time especially with dream team from Belgium Tourism Office in London! Of course if you couldn’t attend, I’d also be delighted to hear from you and your family history in a near future!

Meeting and exchanging with fellow genies was also great and inspiring!

See you next year!

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Who Do You Think You Are? 2016 is here!

wdytya                                    Who Do You Think You Are? 2016 is here!

This year edition,just like last year’s, will take place at Birmingham’s NEC. The whole genealogical world will be there trying to help in your ancestral quest!

As usual, I’ll be there offering advice and help so do come and say hello!

I’ll be delighted to offer family history support!

Bienvenue! Welcome!

Brussels : The day after

Brussels is my hometown.

It’s the place where I was born and raised, educated and where I have lots of friends and family members. And although my bond with the UK is very very strong, this is the city I live in and where my children are going to school. We take that metro line every day, it could have been us, amongst the casualties it could have been my brother-in-law and his wife who were evacuated at the airport. It’s a fallen friend’s student, a friend’s friend, a face we’ve seen sometimes on the line or a visitor of this beautiful country.  Just like in Paris,Bamako or London : through this attack it’s the mankind in all its diversity that is aimed through this attack. By killing civilians going to work, travelling, having fun at a concert or having a drink,they want to kill life.  They kill and do horrors and they have to pay for their crimes but one thing they can’t do is stop us to love, stop us to live. They can’t take our soul and they certainly can’t take our freedom. Even if we’re still under shock, and I guess it was the same for other countries, we have to go out, raise a glass in honor of the fallen, pay our respect but continue to live as well.  Daech want us to hate? we will love, they want us to cry? when the shock will be gone we will laugh with that  peculiar belgian humour that we have and love to share with newcomers, they want us to stay inside and be depressed, we’ll go back to the movies, the theatres , the restaurants, we will continue to love the city, make it live and show it to our welcomed visitors. Funny to write about the importance to live to the fullest when you consider that I spend my professionnal and private time searching for people dead long time ago but I guess it’s my way to pass on their legacies and stories to the living 😉

I really liked the victims words as they could have been bitter and full of hate but no, they were words full of wisdom and love, as one can see in this french speaking video of a father whose daughter was killed in Maelbeek station. Let’s follow their example and work out the best side of us.

Life will never be the same in Belgium and we all know it. It still has to sink in, metro stations have to fully reopen and attrack visitors, institutions (archives and libraries  included) too.  Tourists have to come back and I’m sure they will for Belgium has a lot of wonders to show (they are must-see but please don’t only stop at the « Grand Place-Bruges-Chocolat shop-Over » station!) but we’ll never forget that day. It’s in us now. Just like 11/9, just like the attacks in Paris, we’ll never forget how we learned or lived the news, how we tried to phone our loved ones in a broken mobile network and how those terrible moments were. In all this chaos, I’m also glad that Brussels Archives decided to stock and preserve all the drawings, notes and poems laid at the spontaneous memorial at the Bourse.

On my part,I think I will appreciate life more than before, I will try not to react to those small daily  frustrations (you know that brickwall? that record’s who’s not in the mailbox yet?) anymore thinking that its a train delay that prevented my family from being at the exact place of the bombing and yes, I’ll continue to do what I know best the best way I know how : family history research, telling people about their past so they can go on having learn interesting personal stories and more and live, yes live, the best normal way possible, because just like the earth we all are on, there’s no plan B.

Keep calm and Love Belgium!