Posted by on 2 October 2013 in General

Tony Tour

Every year at Who Do You Think You Are? Live, actor, TV presenter, historian and spokesperson Sir Tony Robinson presents his top tips and fascinating thoughts on family history. It’s always a packed out crowd and a sure-fire highlight for thousands of visitors.

But not everyone can make it down to London for the show – so when Tony offered to take this presentation ‘on tour’ we jumped at the chance to make it happen.

Tony will be visiting four locations, starting in Dorchester (Dorset) and Truro (Cornwall) in October and moving on to Norwich (Norfolk) and Manchester in November. The full dates, times and locations are detailed below.

As well as showcasing the amazing historical resources that each area has to offer, the events will provide a fascinating insight into the subject of family history as a whole.

Each evening will begin with an introduction from a representative from one of our partner archives, followed by a brief presentation from an expert. Guests can then look forward to a speech and Q&A session with Sir Tony himself.

There will of course be drinks and nibbles served too.

And did we mention that the events are completely free? Spaces at each venue will be limited, so we’re opening up a ballot for entry – simply drop us an email with the name and contact details of you and up to one friend or family member and we’ll notify our guests by Friday 18th October.

Spaces at these exclusive events will be in demand so get your entry in ASAP.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Event details

Wednesday 30th October – Dorset History Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester. Doors open at 6:00pm for 6:45pm start. Email to be entered into the ballot for places.

Thursday 31st October – Cornwall Record Office, Old County Hall, Truro. Doors open at 6:45pm for 7:30pm start. Email to be entered into the ballot for places.

Thursday 7th November – Norfolk Record Office, The Archive Centre, Martineau Lane, Norwich. Doors open at 6:45pm for 7:30pm start. Email to be entered into the ballot for places.

Friday 8th November – Midland Hotel (Lancaster Suite), Peter Street, Manchester. Doors open at 6pm for 6:30pm start. Email to be entered into the ballot for places.

Authored By Bryony Partridge UK PR Manager.

*Terms and conditions apply: Emails must be received by midnight on Thursday 17th October. Guests are responsible for their own transport to and from the events. Ancestry reserves the right to cancel or change the location of the events and in such cases will endeavour to provide Guests with prior notice. By entering the ballot you consent to Ancestry using the personal information you provide to us for administrative purposes relating to the ballot.


About Emma

Emma Pulman is a Social Media and digital Marketing Executive for Based in Ancestry's London office in Hammersmith, Emma regularly tweets and posts on Ancestry's Facebook page.




4 October 2013 at 4:11 pm
Sally lee 

Again people forget that the world is bigger, what about the North-East or Scotland it would be nice occasionally for us northerns to be remembered.

4 October 2013 at 4:57 pm
Doreen McNally 

A session in the North East would be nice for a change!

4 October 2013 at 5:04 pm
John Wheelton 

Why does Irving Headley think that Leicester would be a superior venue to Manchester? The latter has a larger population & is modern & vibrant. It would be ideal if Sir Tony & co could visit Manchester AND Leicester, along with other cities in the North, Midlands, Scotland, Wales, etc.

I’m just pleased that folk who live outside the London area will have a chance. A very good decision.

4 October 2013 at 7:24 pm
Roy Mathieson 

There’s a fabulous country up here called Scotland which folks seem to forget exists. Seems that Ancestry is included in those absent minded people. Our system may be a wee bit different but we still count. It would be nice to be counted.

4 October 2013 at 7:30 pm

Leicester may have great ale, be modern and vibrant and the rest of the country fabulous but here in Somerset we have everything and SCRUMPY CIDER. Sir Tony knows the West Country well and what it has to offer besides the cider. The first Time Team dig was nearby on the King Alfred Minster site.
Absolutely thrilled to know one of the events will be in nearby Dorchester Event.

4 October 2013 at 8:08 pm
Susan Hill 

What about Birmingham. The city has just opened a brand new library, the finest in Europe, with a massive Archive department, and the best hotel is just across the road.

4 October 2013 at 8:08 pm
Les Cook 

I do not understand the ‘why not here?’ comments.

I now live in Spain but am in the UK for 2 weeks and am hoping to be able to travel to the Cornwall event if I am balloted in.

If you are a serious researcher you will go anywhere.

5 October 2013 at 8:52 am
Christer Blomstrand 

Researching the Swedes in Southwest Africa during the 19th Century. In Otjimbingwe in central Namibia
under a tree, we found the grave of George Letto, dead 30 years old on 20/8 1858, Born in Jersey.
Would be very interesting to know who he was and why he came to SWA that early.

5 October 2013 at 9:14 am
Stephen Robins 

Well said Les Cook of Spain!

If we are not prepared to make a little bit of an effort to broaden our researching and education, we will all become totaly inbedded in our arm chairs.

I’m sure that if we were to ask Sir Tony nicely, he might consider doing some more sessions further afield at a later date.

5 October 2013 at 10:24 pm
A Brisland 

How about hampshire ? Please

6 October 2013 at 5:03 pm
Deborah Stock 

Give them a chance people!
I think this is the first time that Ancestry has organised such visits, and I’m sure that there will be more to come, covering other places.

6 October 2013 at 5:08 pm
carol Pearce 

what about him coming to the Wirral or at least Liverpool as we have the echo arena now.

6 October 2013 at 5:25 pm
Joan Chopping 

How about Lincoln???

6 October 2013 at 6:02 pm
Susan Allan 

Well thank you so much Les and Stephen: you certainly put us northerners/Scots/Irish et al in our places and reminded us we should be prepared to make the effort! And not complain!! After all, if Les can travel from Spain, what on earth are we complaining about?
Just a couple of points – 3 of these events are weekenights so for example travelling from Scotland would mean probably 2 days off work: not everyone could either arrange this or afford it. Travelling around to do research is something most of us expect, enjoy look forward to – but , have to plan for.
I congratulate Ancestry on doing this but hope that in the future, they will extend the research further north because sadly, all these things tend to be focuses on the bottom third of the UK. Okay – moan over!!

6 October 2013 at 6:53 pm
Gillian Barr 

All the locations are down in England & none up here in Scotland – WHY?

6 October 2013 at 7:42 pm
Caroline Barker 

Sadly the one nearest to me is on a Friday at an impossible time thus unable to come, sadly not all of us are part-time!

6 October 2013 at 9:36 pm
Shelley Murray 

Too bad Sir Tony couldn’t make this a world tour, and include Canada, the USA and Australia! BTW< if Scotland would like to be included in the British tour, they should allow "Ancestry" access to all their B,D&Ms!

7 October 2013 at 1:21 am

if you can put on a event like this in East Sussex next year that would be great!

7 October 2013 at 10:28 am
val everson 

well there,s a surprise nothing further North than Manchester!
the great North South divide lives on even it seems in researching your ancestors.
what about all the brilliant societies in the North East don’t they get a look in and host an appearance of Sir Toney et al, or are you all frightened you might catch something coming this far North!

7 October 2013 at 12:57 pm
sarah russell 

it would be great if you could come to sussex

7 October 2013 at 3:18 pm

And what about Wales?????

8 October 2013 at 5:10 pm
Dee Redmond 

A reminder that there is a place called the Isle of Wight would go down well!!!

8 October 2013 at 7:55 pm
David Freeman 

Obviously Tony Robinson can’t be everywhere. Have Ancestry considered perhaps showing one of these events over the internet?

9 October 2013 at 1:21 pm

These events are definitely a move in the right direction. I am assuming that more will be planned in the fullness of time.

I agree with those others who feel marginalised and would like to put in a word for Wales, where earlier family history is complicated by the naming system the existence of records in Welsh.

But thank you for making this move.

10 October 2013 at 4:55 pm