Secret Lives family history conference 2018


23 February 2018
mia-47468.jpg Amelia at the Titanic museum in Belfast during the Genetic Genealogy Ireland as part of Back to the Past
Amelia Bennett takes a look at some of the talks family history enthusiasts can look forward to at the Secret Lives conference, which runs from 31 August to 2 September 2018.

Amelia Bennett takes a look at the treats family history enthusiasts can look forward to at the Secret Lives conference, which runs from 31 August to 2 September 2018.

I don’t know about you but I get a real buzz when I find the more unusual stories about my ancestors. However it’s often more difficult to discover the interesting stories which are not so readily available as the civil and parish records we use on a regular basis. This summer there is a chance to learn more about discovering the intriguing and unusual aspects of your ancestors’ lives.

The Secret Lives conference, which runs from 31 August to 2 September 2018 in Leicestershire, provides the perfect opportunity to find out more about the Secret Lives of your ancestors as well as hearing fascinating stories discovered by genealogists and historians.

The conference is jointly run by the Society of Genealogists (SoG), Guild of One-Name Studies (GOONs), Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) and the Halsted Trust. Family Tree magazine is involved as one of the sponsors. The organising committee is similar to the team that organised the Exodus conference in 2013 which was the first family history conference I attended.

My memories from that event make me excited to attend Secret Lives. For me the standard of talks was exceptional and I learnt a huge amount over the three days. However it was also where I met many of the genealogists who I now value as friends. The combination of talks and social time is a great way to interact with the friendly community of family historians and genealogists.

Speakers and topics

The Secret Lives conference brings together speakers from all over the UK and the world. Some of the talks I am particularly looking forward to include:

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  • The Rattle of Bones: How to Uncover the Skeletons in Your Family Tree – Angela Buckley talks about discovering your criminal ancestors and the reasons they may have turned to crime
  • ‘Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!’: Marital Disharmony in Scotland 1700-1900 – Kirsty F Wilkinson talks about what happens and what records exist when marriages go wrong
  • Incarceration: Voices of the ‘insane’ in nineteenth century Britain – Kathryn Burtinshaw talks about how even when incarcerated the ‘insane’ continued to have a voice
  • Occupational Hazards: the working lives of our ancestors – Janet Few talks about the working conditions for obviously hazardous and those occupations that initially seem less hazardous and the impact on our ancestors’ lives before the advent of ‘health and safety’

Other equally interesting topics include prostitution, Victorian slums, female inheritance, specific criminal ancestors, the horrors of the Indian Mutiny, Chancery records, slaves, spies and many more.

There will be lots of opportunities to network and meet fellow genealogists and historians between sessions and in the evenings. If you’re coming on your own, let me know at the welcome desk and I’ll make sure you’re introduced to others. On the Saturday night, a dinner will be held with dancing afterwards if you fancy it. The dinner will include a celebration of the 50th anniversary of AGRA and there will be a special after-dinner speaker.

Tickets for Secret Lives

Tickets are available through the Society of Genealogists by clicking on Buy Tickets on the Secret Lives website. Both full conference tickets as well as a limited number of day tickets are available however book soon as this conference is proving popular. The conference takes place at Jury’s Inn, Hinckley, Leicestershire.