Our top tips for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2017

It’s the Who Do You Think You Are? Live exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC this week and we’re looking forward to what promises to be the biggest and best one yet!

At the show you’ll find over 120 genealogy experts on hand to help with your research and provide FREE access to their billions of records. You can find us on the Findmypast stand – look for our signature red t-shirts!

Whether you’re a seasoned family historian or taking your first steps to uncovering your family’s history, you’re sure to find all the expert advice, tips and guidance you need at the show. There can be a lot to take in though, so here are a few tips:

  • Plan ahead: If you have booked to attend some of the workshops, make sure you know where you need to be and when. Take a look at the Society of Genealogists Workshop Programme here.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! It is a big hall, accommodating a lot of exhibitors! You are going to do a lot of walking.
  • Think about what you want to discover: Our friend Tami at Conference Keeper gave this good advice last year in her guest blog. “Chances are good that you’ve got a genealogy question you’re looking to answer. Or maybe two. Or maybe twenty. Write them down. Be specific. When asking questions in a class, networking with others, or just meeting new people, be considerate of their time by being as succinct and direct as possible. Consider the bare minimum of information needed when asking a question – your family history is absolutely fascinating… to your family. Genealogists do appreciate others’ stories and are generally always eager to help answer questions, but most anyone starts to nod off when your question about locating your grandmother’s birth certificate starts five generations back”.
  • Take advantage of the show offers: There will be plenty!
  • Visit the local family history societies: They cover a lot of the exhibition area and many have travelled a long way to be there. They may just be able to help you break down a brick wall and in our experience we have found them to be amongst the most helpful people in the hall. Their passion is your passion… they love talking about genealogy, so make the most of them.

We’re looking forward to:

 

Celebrity Talk – Behind the Scenes of Danny Dyer’s Episode – Thursday, 10.15am

Making the Most of The British Newspaper Archive, with Aoife O’Connor, Findmypast – Thursday, 3.15pm

How to get your kids interested in Genealogy, with Erin Tilley – Friday 4.15pm

Celebrity Guest Sunetra Sarker – Saturday 10.15

Using Social Media in your Genealogical Research, with Kirsty Gray  – Saturday 12.15pm

If you’re at the event over the next few days, do come and say hello! If you’ve not already created one, we will show you how to turn your family tree into a fun infographic to share with the rest of your family and we can answer any questions that you have about Twile. See you there!

Related links:

Share your family history infographic and win a £100 Amazon gift card

Photo credit: Who Do You Think You Are? Live

Share your family history infographic and win a £100 Amazon gift card

We’re going to be at Who Do You Think You Are? Live at the NEC in Birmingham, UK again this week – to celebrate we’re offering you the chance to win a £100 Amazon gift card.

The exhibition runs from 6th-8th April and we will be joining Findmypast on their booth, where we will show you how to turn your family tree into one of our family history infographics!

Family History InfographicOur infographic gives you a visual snapshot of your research, with statistics like the average age of marriage, number of children per family and most common surnames – fun stuff which will appeal to non-genealogists! We hope this infographic will help you to share a little of your research with other people on your tree.

If you can’t wait until Who Do You Think You Are? Live, you can create your infographic here at  www.twile.com/numbers. It’s quick, easy and free!

Share your infographic and win a £100 Amazon gift card

Create your infographic at www.twile.com/numbers, share it and tag Twile during April to enter the prize draw.  You can tag Twile on Facebook (#Twile or @TwileTimeline) or Twitter (@TwileTweets).

We will be picking a winner on 30th April, so good luck!

If you are going to Who Do You Think You Are? Live, we look forward to seeing you there! Here are a few useful articles to help with the planning…

16 Things You Need to Know Before Attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live

Making the most of a genealogy conference

 

 

 

Changing the time on Britain’s most prestigious clocks

This weekend sees the beginning of British Summer Time (BST), which was first established by the Summer Time Act of 1916 and we move forward to GMT +1. As every British household gets set to change the multitude of clocks around the house, we spare a thought for those tasked with winding forward some of the most prestigious clocks around Britain.

 Big Ben

The world’s most famous clock is the responsibility of the Clockmakers at the Palace of Westminster  – who have 2000 clocks to change throughout the Place and parliamentary buildings! Changing the time on Big Ben is not a simple process. It involves careful precision and split-second timing from the Clockmakers.

Take a look at the process here and watch this fascinating video…

Royal Liver Building Liverpool 

The clocks at the top of the Royal Liver building, Great George, are the largest clock faces in Britain. There are four of them positioned on the 295 feet high clock tower overlooking the River Mersey – with huge dials of 25 feet in diameter and 14-foot long minute hands! They are the world’s 16th largest clockfaces and were put in motion on 22nd June 1911, the precise moment that King George was crowned!

Britains Oldest Clock

The oldest still fully-functioning clock in Britain is the clock on the north transept of Wells Cathedral in Somerset. An astronomical clock, it dates back to between 1386 and 1392.

The Eastgate Tower Clock 

Situated in the Roman walled city of Chester and built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, this impressive clock is built into the walkway along Chester Walls, above the city’s Eastgate entrance.  It is said to be the most photographed clock in Britain, after Big Ben.

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, University of Birmingham 

Otherwise know as “Old Joe”, this is the tallest freestanding clock tower in the World at 100 metres! Built to commemorate Joseph Chamberlain, the first Chancellor of the University, it was completed in 1908.

More famous clocks from around the World…

Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia, US held the title of the tallest building in the world from 1901 to 1908 and has four clocks which are 8 meters in diameter.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the tallest clock tower and largest clock face in the World!

The Prague Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic attracts many tourists, who watch the famous moving figures of the beautiful clock. I watched this myself in a snowy January many years ago and it is lovely to see. Hard to believe that the clock was first installed in the year 1410!

Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Munich, Germany is a famous tourist attraction, built in 1908. It has 48 Bells and 32 life-sized figures who re-enact two stories from the 16th Century.

The Savious Tower, Moscow, Russia in Red Square was designed in 1491 and installed in 1625 and is part of the Kremlin walls.

Back to everyone in the UK… remember to put your clocks forward and enjoy the extra hours of sunshine!

Twile supports Legacy Tale’s Family Storytelling retreat

We are delighted to be supporting Legacy Tale’s Family Storytelling retreat, which takes place in St. George, UT in April 2017.

Legacy Tale work with families to reflect and capture their legacy.  Their storytelling retreat brings together mothers, daughters, sisters and grandmothers to record their life stories whilst having fun!

We like anything that makes recording your family story fun and Legacy Tale will be using Twile throughout the two-day retreat to capture and share stories.

Great that this has been announced on International Women’s Day too! For more information and to book tickets, take a look herecropped-main-logo-with-tagline

 

 

 

Our five highlights from RootsTech 2017

The Twile team were at RootsTech 2017 last week, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, one year after we won 2 awards there in the Innovator Showdown.

Last year there was a huge buzz around Twile, because we were pitching in the competition and because we were introducing Twile for the first time to most people.  And the buzz was still there this time – RootsTech is such an exciting experience for family historians and we love being among such enthusiastic people!

Here are our five highlights from RootsTech 2017:

  1. Twile is now FREE for everyone
    On the first day of RootsTech, we announced we were dropping the subscription fee for Twile and making it completely free for everybody to use.  Needless to say, this was a very popular piece of news and we had a lot of new customers very excited to start using our family history timeline.
  2. Family history infographic
    We showcased our new family history infographic at RootsTech, allowing attendees to sign up and get their free “My Family In Numbers” chart, based on their FamilySearch or GEDCOM tree.  Get yours for free at: https://twile.com/numbers
  3. Innovator Showdown
    Five teams made it through to the final of the Innovator Showdown competition on Friday, 10th February.  Congratulations to Old News USA (1st), Qromatag (2nd), Double Match Triangulator (3rd) and Kindex with the coveted People’s Choice award! As one of last year’s winners, Twile were invited back on stage to give an update on what we’ve been up to since then.
  4. LeVar Burton’s keynote speech
    The keynotes are a big part of the RootsTech conference and the highlight for many was LeVar Burton’s speech on Friday morning.  The actor, best known for his roles as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Kunta Kinte in Roots, gave a truly heartwarming talk about his relationship with his mother, his African heritage and slavery in the United States.
  5. The exhibition hall
    If you’ve never been to RootsTech, you’ll struggle to comprehend how big it is! More than 30,000 people visited the exhibition hall during the 3 days of the show and there was never a quiet moment on the Twile booth. We spoke with so many customers and made some fantastic contacts with exhibiting brands (big and small), forming the seeds of some really promising partnerships.

And Twile appeared on Utah’s KSL News as the exhibition was getting set up:

RootsTech 2018 is on 28 February – 3 March and Twile will most certainly be there!

Did you visit RootsTech this year?  Please add a comment below to tell us what your personal highlights were.

 

 

Twile at RootsTech 2017!

The largest global genealogy conference in the world – RootsTech – is finally here and we are delighted to be in Salt Lake City to be a part of it again.

The Innovator Summit kicked off the event today, reminding us of our experience in the Innovator Showdown in 2016, where we came away with two awards, including the coveted People’s Choice (read our previous article here).

Are you visiting RootsTech this week?Here are 10 reasons you should come and see us on booth #332 & 334.

10 reasons to visit the Twile booth

  1. It’s now completely FREE for everyone!
  2. You can create a FREE personalized infographic of your family history
  3. We can show you how to get the rest of your family interested in your research
  4. You could win a $200 Amazon gift card
  5. We’ll show you how to import your FamilySearch Tree
  6. We have free balloons for your kids!
  7. We’re on the way to the restrooms
  8. We’re from England…we might be related!
  9. We have cute British accents
  10. Our flights have cost a fortune (we’re from the UK)

Twile demonstrations

We are also doing several demostrations of Twile, so come along and find out more:

Thursday 9th February 

  • 2.30pm. Not just about records –  Kelly Marsden, Co-founder of Twile – at the Findmypast booth
  • 4.40pm. How to create your family infographic – Paul Brooks, CEO of Twile – in the Demo Theatre

Friday 10th February 

  • 2.30pm. Not just about records – Kelly Marsden, Co-founder of Twile – at the Findmypast booth

Saturday 11th February

  • 12.40pm. Turn your FamilySearch Tree in to a Twile Timeline – Paul Brooks, CEO of Twile – in the Demo Theatre
  • 2.30pm. Not just about records – Kelly Marsden, Co-founder of Twile – at the Findmypast booth

We look forward to seeing you!

 

 

Now everyone can view Twile timelines of World History

To help in our mission of engaging the wider family in family history, we’ve just opened up our streams of world events to everyone, whether they use Twile or not.  This means that anyone can view a Twile timeline of World War 1 or a timeline of big inventions, for example, even if they don’t yet use Twile to record their family story.

There’s a quote attributed to author James Patterson that will explain how we think these public streams can help:

“There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books.”

Family historians often struggle to engage their family members in their research.  Are they really not interested in where they came from and how their ancestors lived their lives?  Or are they simply reading the wrong book?

We hope that by encouraging people to explore world history events on a timeline we’ll be able to help them take the next step and start recording their own lives and those of their parents, grandparents and children.  Every memory and photo they add to their family timeline will be something preserved that could otherwise be lost forever.

Right now we have the following streams that you can explore:

And we are working on many, many more.

Can you help?
We’re looking for people who can help us put together streams on specific topics that would make good timelines.  Are you an expert on the American War of Independence or the history of London or the life of Ghandi?  Please get in touch by sending us an email to help@twile.com – you could have your own stream on a Twile timeline!

We’re also looking for suggestions on what streams we should add next – please let us have your ideas.

Add streams to your family timeline
If you already have a Twile timeline, you can add any of our streams of world history to help give context to your family story:

  1. Log into Twile: www.twile.com/timeline
  2. Click the ‘In View’ button at the top of the timeline
  3. Move the sliders on the right hand side of the page to activate any of our streams
  4. Click ‘Done’
  5. You should now see your chosen content on the same timeline as your family history

Privacy

By the way – although we’re opening up access to our streams of world history, everything you add to your own Twile timeline is still totally private and secure – nothing you share on Twile will ever be made available to anyone outside of your family.  If you’d like to know more about our approach to privacy at Twile, I’d suggest this article we wrote a while back: Twile Privacy

New timeline of the American Revolutionary War: Boston Tea Party

Today is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, which seems a fitting time to launch our timeline of the American Revolutionary War.  You can now overlay the events of the war onto your own family history timeline.

On this day in 1773, Samuel Adams and the “Sons of Liberty” boarded three ships in Boston Harbour and threw 342 chests of tea overboard. It was a reaction to the Tea Act, passed by the British Parliament earlier in the year, which colonists believe violated their rights.   This event and the British reaction to it were significant in the escalation of the American Revolution (The War of Independence).

The financial cost of the “Tea Party” was significant, with more than £9,000 (present day value around £1 million) of tea dumped into Boston Harbour.

You can see the Boston Tea Party and all other events from the American Revolutionary War on our timeline at: https://twile.com/timeline/americanrevolutionarywar

Add the American Revolutionary War to your Twile timeline: 

  • Click the ‘In View’ button at the top of your Twile timeline
  • Move the slider on the right hand side of the window
  • Click ‘Done’

 

At home in ‘Bronte’ Country

I was pleased to go along to Todmorden Library earlier this week, where members of the Todmorden Family History Group launched an exhibition sharing family history stories from the local area.

one-last-push-5

Todmorden is a market town and civil parish in the Upper Calder Valley in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England. It is firmly nestled in ‘Bronte’ Country –   where the Bronte sisters lived and wrote their classic novels –  around 17 miles from Manchester. I live near here in the village of Hebden Bridge, so it was great to find out a bit more about family stories close to home.

Jan Bridget, pictured second from the right and founder of the Todmorden Family History Group had a great story to tell. She spoke about her link to Emily Bronte’s novel ‘Wuthering Heights’, through her fourth great grandfather, Richard Sutton.  Sutton was a possible role model for Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff.  Jan has just finished writing a book about Richard’s grandson, Willian John Sutton, whose father emigrated to Canada in 1850. Known as Will, he was a lumberman, geologist, assayer, pioneer and promoter of Vancouver Island and, with his brother James, robbed the graves of First Nation people to sell to Franz Boas, the ‘father’ of American Anthropology.

Everyone I saw yesterday had something interesting in their family history. Councillor Tony Greenwood, opened the exhibition and shared stories from his own family history including his three times great uncle, Abraham, who was the librarian of the Rochdale Chartist Library and later became first president of the co-operative wholesale society, which he ran from his terraced house in Rochdale.

Further to the remembrance day celebrations of last weekend, I was also interested to hear about the story of Joseph L. Milthorp, who having fought in the First World War,  tried to enlist for the Second World War but was too old! Instead he joined the Blackshaw Head Home Guard and a photograph on display at the exhibition shows him and fellow members of the Home Guard football team for 1943 including: Sgt Pickles, L/Cpl Simpson, Savage, Crowther, Pte Townend, Coupe, Nesbitt, Marshall, Barker and Hodge in goal.

For more fascinating stories, if you are in the area, I would recommend a visit to the exhibition which will run until November 21st at Todmorden Library.
Pictured: Councillor Tony Greenwood, Mayor of Todmorden, Kelly Marsden, Jan Bridget and members of the Todmorden Family History Group. 

Twile at Huddersfield & District Family History Fair

We are pleased to be going along to the Huddersfield & District Family History Society’s Family & Local History Fair on Saturday 12th November.

The society will have their own researchers, society members and committee members on hand, to help and advise and we will be there showing how to bring your family history to life by creating your Twile family timeline.

Wherever you have done your research, we will be happy to show you how to import your GEDCOM file or import your FamilySearch data. We’ll also show you how you can upload photos, add milestones and share your new timeline with your family members.

If you’re local, come along and see us on Saturday 12th November at Cathedral House, St Thomas’ Road, Huddersfield, HD1 3LG. Admission is £2.50, with accompanied children under 16 free.