Much excitement here at Piece of String HQ. My husband has managed to wangle his work diary to enable me to go to Who Do You Think You Are? Live!
I suspect that I am going to be quite underwhelmed when I actually get there - such events are often quite frustrating due to the crowds. However, I will not let that spoil the anticipation. [He works away and it is usually impossible to pin down a whole day when he can take over dog, children, children's social lives, etc. Trying not to think about the number of times he has changed his plans at the last minute...]
I am highly amused by the use of the term Live for the show, I must say. I mean, it is a show about, mostly, searching for people who are anything but live. However, it appears that this title is justified by the celebrity visits - people who have had their family trees done for the television shows.
And one of my main reasons for going is, in fact, to try to see the interview with Alistair McGowan on the Friday. It was his episode of WDYTYA? back in 2007 which gave me the first real leads into my Anglo Indian ancestors. I had had a lifelong interest in my family tree and as a child, had interviewed grandparents and others. But despite some cursory searches online, I had not got very far with my dad's family. It all felt a bit needle in a haystack and I had abandoned those lines for a quite a while.
The McGowan episode was a real turning point though, as mentioned before on this blog. I had watched so many previous WDYTYA? programmes just out of interest. I watched that one with a pen and paper in my hand. McGowan genuinely had no idea that he had any Anglo Indian blood from his father. It was fascinating. (Look on YouTube and you can see his reactions if you have not seen his show.) As soon as the programme ended, my dad called to ask if I had seen it. He couldn't quite believe it either. I was already online at that point!
Being so inexperienced in genealogy then, that was my first foray into British Library India Office records! (http://indiafamily.bl.uk/ui/home.aspx). I only found one or two mentions of the surname Shaller but it was enough to give my search fresh impetus and spur me on to look for new online resources (Family Search, Families In British India Society, etc) which had not really existed when last I had attempted that particular line. Strangely, my brickwalls on Shaller are now mostly back in the UK as they are pre-1837. The Indian bit is as complete as I could have ever hoped. Always looking though and open to new sources. Plus I obviously have a number of other Anglo Indian surnames to work on and they are proving harder to crack.
I am not really sure what seeing Alistair McGowan Live is going to contribute to my research, come to that, but it feels important to hear what he has to say - if only because he was lucky enough to go to India to see his dad's home and meet some relations. So, a day of mooching around family history exhibits, and hopefully attending the interview and some workshops, awaits me. Well, got to get your genealogy kicks where you find them...