Interview with David Holman
DH: I am a Genealogist, albeit an amateur one.
JB: I wonder if you could tell us a little about your background?
DH I have been researching my personal family tree since 1985 and during that time have met thousands of like-minded people all keen to find out about their ancestry.
I have been involved with Cornwall Family History Society for many years and I am a former Committee Member and Chairman.
For the past 8 years I have been a Committee Member of The Federation of Family History Societies, which is the national body that represents family history societies in England & Wales.
For the past 7 years I have been its Chairman and will be standing down at the end of March 2015 as my tenure will be complete.
JB: How has genealogy improved or changed your life?
DH: For the past decade the changes have been due to my involvement in family history organisations more than my own personal research. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with so many knowledgeable and friendly people in this fascinating hobby of ours and would not have changed it for the world.
JB :What do you love most about genealogy?
DH: The mystery of what may just be around the corner and then the joy of finding out what the mystery was.
JB: Have you previously attended Congress?
DH: Yes, I was at the 2012 Congress as a presenter.
JB: What are your key topics for Congress?
DH: I am running a workshop about Breaking Down Your Brickwalls at lunchtime on Friday .
I am also giving two talks on military subjects:
Using British medals to help fill out your family tree on Friday afternnon.
Did your ancestor serve in the British Military during World War One on Saturday morning.
I am giving a talk about UK sources, called Source for Mr GOOSE and Mrs GANDER, that will help you in researching the UK part of your tree on Sunday afternoon.
I am delivering the Keynote Talk on Monday morning called Fascinating Facts & Figures from Five Centuries. This talk is both informative and interesting. It will definitely raise a laugh from the audience but also provoke a few thoughts about your research.
JB: How do you think your topics will help the family historians at Congress 2015?
DH: I know that many family historians have had the chance to visit the UK and I hope that I will be able to help them and others who have yet to visit know what they can find when they visit. Additionally a lot of information is now to be found on-line and my topics mention how to find what you are looking for on the internet.
JB: What do you think are the benefits of attending a large conference like this for you personally and for others attending?
DH: Every conference I have attended around the world is an opportunity to exchange ideas, perhaps meet your extended family and for me be able to pass on some of the knowledge that I have gained over the years to other family historians..
Personally I have family who migrated to Australia in the 19th Century and I hope to be able to make some time to visit their graves and perhaps meet up with some distant cousins.
JB: Do you have a favourite piece of advice or a tip or trick you can share with conference attendees?
DH: Always check the original record – this is much easier now that images are being made available on-line.
JB: Would you please supply an image to enhance your interview.
DH: Two of my talks are about military subjects and I am still serving in the British Army Reserve, I try to enhance my knowledge by visiting battlefields and have led a number of groups on Battlefield Tours.
The attached picture is one of me taken at the Roman Bridge in Salamanca, Spain when I led a group to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the battle there, which took place on the 22nd July 1812.
I am off to take a group to the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in June 2015 and taking another group to The Somme and Flanders in October 2015.