WITH THE increasing popularity of online genealogy tools and DNA testing kits, and the long-running success of programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are?, there is a growing desire to find out where we come from and to uncover the stories of the ancestors that brought us here. But many of us don’t know where to start – or have become stuck in our research and don’t know where to turn next.
The Migration Museum’s Family History Day, taking place in central London on Saturday November 2 2019, offers an accessible way for audiences of all ages and backgrounds to unlock and explore their family’s story. Visitors will have the chance to find out more about genealogy and archival research, experience interactive installations on British history, hear from experts and social historians, and explore their own history at a series of stalls and workshops – leaving inspired and empowered to continue their research independently.
A selection of activities taking place include an installation illuminating the history of black Britons with the Black Cultural Archives; talks from a range of celebrities and experts, including Robert Rinder, TV presenter and star of a popular recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, and Roger Kershaw of The National Archives; “Ask-the-expert” photograph dating with National Trust; the opportunity to explore the colonial legacies and migration heritage of Britain’s stately homes with Dr Corrinne Fowler of the National Trust.
Visitors will also get the chance to search for relatives who served during WWI and WWII with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, engage with interactive artworks and installations, including a 10-foot migration stories ‘flotilla’.
Explaining the idea behind the event, Robyn Kasozi, head of public engagement at the Migration Museum, said: “Our Family History Day aims to empower people to delve into their past and uncover their family’s migration stories, both within the UK and beyond its borders. “
“Through exploring our family’s journeys, we aim to highlight the central role that migration has played in making us who we are today – as individuals, as communities and as a nation,” Kasozi added.
The Migration Museum is delivering this event with a range of partners and organisations who will be sharing their expertise with visitors on the day, including National Trust, London Metropolitan Archives and The National Archives.
The museum aims to run further family history events and activities with a range of partners in 2020 and beyond. This 500-capacity event will take place at The Workshop in Lambeth, the building in which the Migration Museum is currently located, just 10 minutes’ walk from Vauxhall station and 15 minutes from Westminster and Waterloo.
Tickets cost £5, including admission to all talks and activities, as well as a chance to view the Migration Museum’s current exhibitions Room to Breathe. Visit the museum’s website to book.