A new series of Who Do You Think You Are? starts tonight at 9pm on BBC1. The celebrities to be featured are:
- Rory Bremner
- Fiona Bruce
- Rick Stein
- Zoe Wanamaker
- Kevin Whately
and you can see the “teasers” about them on the series’ website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/whodoyouthinkyouare/ Past series have managed to find a celebrity to fit into the English, Scottish, Irish, Afro-Caribbean, Asian, Military, Jewish and aristocratic research categories. Who’s going to fit into each slot this time?
And will this new series lead to a further flush of enthusiastic newcomers starting to research their family trees?
The world of online genealogy has changed dramatically since the first series, broadcast in 2004, caused delays to the GRO’s online ordering service and the amount of media coverage given to the commercial outfits has grown.
But what about the family history societies? In theory the big Who Do You Think You Are? Live show at Olympia at the end of February should help them tap into this new audience, but in practice the number of “traditional” societies attending seems to be declining. Gossip suggests that this is because the costs are too high. How can smaller societies connect with new researchers? What is your society doing? Should they even try?