The Road to RootsTech

RootsTech London is only a few weeks away, and I’m getting excited, and things got even better when I got the news yesterday that I’ve been chosen to be a RootsTech Ambassador for 2020 in Salt Lake City. There was some happy dancing, that’s for sure.

RootsTech 2020 will be especially exciting because it’s the 10th Anniversary and I’ve been attending since the very beginning. Back when only 3,000 people attended not the 28,000 or so that attend now.

But before I get too far ahead of myself, I promised an article that my friend had sent me when I was lamenting that I wasn’t prepared to go to London. Debby Was came to my rescue with tips that she had gathered for a successful trip to London.

Some of the facilities she suggested that I go to are the following; (each is linked to their website if you’d like to learn more).

The National Archives
Society of Genealogists 
British Library 
London Metropolitan Archives
CAIRD Library 

Here are some of the information she offered that works with most facilities either in London or where ever you may research.

PREPARE before you go: You will save time and frustration if you have prepared for your visit.

  • Check the website: most offer short videos or guides on what to do before your visit.
  • Record the address & contact info and how to get there.
  • What are there opening times? Are any closures scheduled?
  • Do you need to pre-book your visit?
  • Do you require a membership? Is there a user’s fee?
  • Take time to learn what type of records are held in each record office.
  • Prepare a SHORT list of tasks you want to accomplish at each record office. I have found that preparing a brief timeline for the ancestor I am researching helps.
  • Do not waste time looking for records that can easily be accessed.

Many Record Offices require you to apply for a Readers Ticket if you plan to use the reading rooms to look at original documents.

  • You can preregister online for some of the record offices and collect your ticket when you arrive.
  • You will require two pieces of current ID. One with your signature (Passport or driver’s license) and one with your current address (bank statement. Utility bill – dated within the last three months).
  • Some will require you to have your picture taken.
  • Some readers tickets can be “loaded” with cash to be used for photocopies/printouts.

Most reading rooms will require you to store your belongings (coats, purses, bags) in a locker.

  • You can usually bring a tablet or computer, a camera, a notepad, a few research notes, and a bit of cash into the reading room in a clear plastic bag (provided).
  • Wear a sweater. It can get chilly sitting for long periods.
  • No pens, erasers, or sharp objects – pencils without erasers only.
  • Check rules concerning photocopies and photographs. If allowed, there may be charges for this service, or you may be required to sign a form.
  • Food & beverages are NOT allowed.
  • Follow rules on handling documents, some require gloves, special supports, or weights to support the books and documents.
  • Reading rooms are quiet zones – turn the volume off on your phones, and if you need to speak to someone, do it quietly.
  • You may have to go through a security checkpoint. Document theft is a genuine concern.
  • Do NOT load your card with too much money in case of loss.
  • Some record offices allow you to download to a thumb drive.

Thanks go out to my friend; Debby. She’s provided a lot of great information to me, and I hope it helps you in an upcoming research trip.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.