'Who Do You Think You Are?' Scotland bound

Press release   •   Feb 17, 2014 00:00 GMT

Ever wondered how you came to have the poetry skills of Robert Burns or the artistic flair of Charles Rennie Mackintosh?  Or do your roots lie further afield in Australia, Canada or Europe?

2014 is the year to find out - tracing your ancestors and discovering your family history just got easier now that the world’s leading family history event, Who Do You Think You Are? Live is coming to Scotland for the first time as part of the Year of Homecoming celebrations. 

From beginner to experienced researcher, locals and visitors to Scotland will have the perfect opportunity to discover their family ancestry at major show, Who Do You Think You Are? Live, which will take place at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow from Friday 29 to Sunday 31 August, 2014.

Packed with genealogy experts, free workshops, a celebrity theatre and specialist exhibitors, the show’s arrival in Scotland marks the first time the event has been held outside of London.  Exhibitors at the London show, which kicks off for the 8th year running on Thursday 21 February at Olympia, come from all corners of the globe – many are based in the UK but there are also exhibitors from countries such as the USA, Belgium and even Australia.

With over 50 million people across the globe claiming Scottish ancestry, the scope and potential of the ancestral market is huge. Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world choose to visit Scotland, either to explore their ancestry further by accessing more information or simply to get a feel for the place where their ancestors lived.

Tying in with the Homecoming theme of ancestry, the show complements the hundred plus ancestral and clan and family events which are already part of the packed Homecoming programme including Bannockburn Live, Highland Homecoming and the 10th Clan Munro International Gathering.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live builds on the success of the popular BBC series produced by Wall to Wall, in which celebrities trace their ancestry, discovering secrets and surprises from their past.  Previous episodes have included Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox, comedian John Bishop, singer Marianne Faithfull, sports presenter Gary Lineker and actor Alan Cumming.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

"There is tremendous curiosity to uncover family roots, especially in the USA, a country that boasts an estimated 9.4 million Scottish descendants.  The Year of Homecoming 2014 will provide a unique opportunity to encourage more and more visitors, both international and domestic to come and enjoy Scotland and will position Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation. This family history event, Who Do You Think You Are? Live, will help tourism business across Scotland tap into the ancestral tourism market gold mine this year.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

“In the year that Scotland welcomes the world, ancestry is a major attraction for visitors from both home and abroad.  People don’t just want to research their roots on line - they want to come here and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors, experience the sights, sounds and atmosphere and join in the many Homecoming events featuring ancestry at their heart.”

George MacKenzie, Chair of the Ancestral Tourism Group in Scotland said:

“It is great news that Who Do You Think You Are? Live is coming to Glasgow during this Year of Homecoming.  1.5 million people in the UK are interested in finding out more about their ancestry and planning to visit Scotland in the next two years, so it’s fantastic news to hear this show will be coming to Glasgow in 2014.”

Andy Healy, Show Director of Who Do You Think You Are? Live, commented:

“I am extremely excited that our first show outside of London will be held in Scotland, and will form part of this special year of Homecoming celebrations. Who Do You Think You Are? Live helps genealogists, from beginners to experts, to further unravel their family history stories and I am delighted that we will be able to bring our interactive, informative and entertaining live event to a brand new audience later in the year.”

Tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland will be available on the event's dedicated website,, later in the year.  Further details to be announced.


For more information on Homecoming Scotland, please contact: Chelsea Charles, Homecoming Scotland 2014 Communications Manager on 0131 472 2067 or

Notes to Editors:

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to 
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to