Ancestry’s ‘Journey of Genealogy’ on board Queen Mary 2


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For the past seven days, I’ve been fortunate enough to be on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 westbound transatlantic crossing from Southampton, England to Brooklyn, New York. This particular week was filled with workshops and sessions presented by Ancestry & their ProGenealogists staff.

What better place than the Queen Mary 2 to spend time learning more about how to research your ancestors’ lives? Many of our family members travelled across the Atlantic ocean on board ships. Mine came to North America from Ireland, Germany and Slovakia. Obviously, their journeys were nowhere near as luxurious as the one I just took and I thought of them often last week, especially on the first few days when we were travelling through very rough seas.

Here are the Ancestry sessions I attended:

Monday Nov 5
1918 Through Their Eyes: the Final Year of the Great War – Simon Pearce
Got Results? Now What? (working with Ancestry DNA test results) – Eva Goodwin
Daily Ancestry Reveal (guest Duane Bushway & QM2 dancer Ernesto Olivas)

Tuesday Nov 6
The Victims of Jack the Ripper – Hallie Rubenhold

Wednesday Nov 7
Family History on Screen: Behind-the-Scenes Stories – Jennifer Utley
From Searcher to Researcher; documenting and researching like a professional – Crystal Beutler
Daily Ancestry Reveal (guest Mary Clare Lyon & QM2 staff member Jason Truman)

Thursday Nov 8
Daily Ancestry Reveal (guest John Bradley & QM2 staff member Anna Thomas)
Researching Your British Great War ancestors – Simon Pearce

Friday Nov 9
The Genetic Genealogy Revolution – Eva Goodwin
Daily Ancestry Reveal (guests Genevieve Lubas & Charlotte Bamber)

Saturday Nov 10
Daily Ancestry Reveal (Captain Christopher Wells) – Simon Pearce

Captain Wells reveal

Every single session was packed with genealogical research tips and the Ancestry staff were extremely approachable, not only following their sessions but whenever you ran into them on board during the week! We had some rough seas for two days at the beginning of the journey and a few of the Ancestry staff were feeling a bit queasy, just like lots of the passengers. They soldiered on, however, and did a fabulous job.

There was one small drawback – internet access on board is very expensive and the connection is usually very slow. Cunard is apparently working on this and, if Ancestry decides to sponsor another transatlantic crossing next year, improved internet access will be of great benefit to their presenters and guests.

This was a trip I think I’ll be talking about for quite some time.