Trace your WW2 family to mark the VE Day 75th anniversary


16 January 2020
In May 2020 millions of people across the globe will mark the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. And at Family Tree Live we'll help you to research and remember your WW2 kin and heroes.
Trace your WW2 family to mark the VE Day 75th anniversary Images

VE Day took place on 8 May 1945 and saw the end of World War II in Europe after the Nazis surrendered to the Allies. For millions, there was dancing, street parties and revelry – and, of course, memories of those who paid the ultimate price, were imprisoned or displaced.

This memorable day marked the end of six long years of war, separation, hardship, death and destruction although, in reality, the conflict was to continue until August 1945, when Japan finally surrendered. 

Research & remember your WW2 family

With the 75th anniversary on the horizon, now is the perfect time to research and remember your WW2 family, whose lives would have undoubtedly be changed forever by the war.

And there’s no better place to start learning about your wartime kin than at Family Tree Live 2020, where you’ll find a host of exhibitors, lectures and workshops to help you piece together your family’s past.

Of course, the Second World War is still just within living memory and tracing your WW2 family to create a family tree or collection of biographies is a wonderful gift for a loved one with close links to that time, such as an elderly relative.

All the family are welcome to Family Tree Live, which will be marking VE Day to kick off this year’s commemorative events and help visitors find out about their WW2 families.

Organised by leading UK family history magazine Family Tree in partnership with experts from the Family History Federation, Family Tree Live takes place at the historic Alexandra Palace in London on 17 and 18 April 2020. 

Learning & entertainment for all

This lively and friendly family history show includes lectures, workshops, one-to-one advice sessions, exhibition stands, living history and family fun – and it’s all included in the price of your ticket (free for children).

Lectures ideal for those tracing relatives during the 1940s include Keith Gregson’s Family records for Second World War service in which the stalwart genealogist and archivist will be looking at the kinds of records that might have been kept by both males and females who served in WW2.

Military historian Graham Bandy will be presenting Identifying your ancestors' Second World War military photos, giving a fascinating look at the clues to spot to help you trace your World War II service personnel, while fellow military researcher Simon Fowler will talk on Sources for World War 2 Army ancestors, looking at the essential paper trail resources to help you trace your family heroes.

Tragically, many with Jewish ancestry will have family members affected by the Holocaust. If you have Jewish ancestors, then Michael Tobias’s Researching your Jewish ancestry on the internet lecture will be a perfect place to start tracing your family.

These lectures are just a few of those taking placing at the show: browse all the lectures and book your places here when you buy your show tickets.

The unique Family Tree Live workshop programme will also appeal to those tracing the stories of WW2 relatives. The varied topics include Why is the 1939 Register invaluable? with Dr Penny Walters, Jewish ancestors with Jeanette Rosenberg and How to use newspapers for family history with Keith Gregson. The workshops are small groups led by a tutor and places go quickly, so book your spot as early as you can.

Military experts, living historians & much more!

Graham Bandy will also be bringing his Second World War-themed stand to the show, where you’ll be able to ask him expert questions about the period and get your military photos dated.

In addition, a team from the Ministry of Defence, which holds WW2 service records and medals, will be exhibiting and answering specific queries. And living historians from Milestones Museum will also be there with treasures and handling boxes from their collections for you to explore.

Exhibitors also include the Royal British Legion, Jersey Heritage, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and a wonderful array of other family history societies

The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives will be running bookable advice sessions while show sponsors FamilySearch and FamilyTreeDNA (look out for our special DNA lectures and workshops if this is your interest area) will have plenty to offer family history researchers of all levels of experience.

Tickets to this exciting family history event cost only £13 a day (children free), including all lectures, workshops, one-to-one advice sessions (visit here), exhibitions and living history re-enactors. It is perfect for all the family interested in their heritage. Head to Family Tree Live this April to learn and cherish your family’s story.

Images from Family Tree Live 2019 © Family Tree.

QUICK LINK: Smash through your family history brick walls at Family Tree Live!