Friday, 6 July 2012

BIFHSGO 2012 Conference in Ottawa

I have a busy summer ahead with work on a new Irish book now underway, but a real highlight is going to be attending the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Conference in September as a speaker. This year's conference is themed on Scotland, and invites you to "celebrate your Anglo-Celtic Roots"!

The conference is being held from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September at Library and Archives Canada, although it will be in two parts - Friday is mostly a day of pre-conference workshops, with Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday the main event. There will be nine speakers in total - Tony Bandy, Jane Buck, Dr. Lucille H. Campey, Susan Davis, Shirley-Ann Pyefinch and Victor Suthren, and as well as myself crossing the ocean will be none other than the wonderful Patricia Whatley from the University of Dundee. A leaflet outlining the full conference details and speaker biographies is available online at

On Friday I'll be kicking off proceedings with a marathon three hour session on the fundamental records of Scottish research - civil records, censuses and the other world that is Scottish marriages (a look at the various types, not why we get trapped in them!!). At the main conference I'll then be doing a further four sessions - an overview on Scottish family history research resources; Scottish land and house history research; the history of the Kirk in Scotland and its impact on researching parish records; and a closing session on the Mount Stewart Murder (and how it was researched), the subject of my latest book.  Pat will also be doing a three hour session on Scottish archival and lesser known resources on Friday, and a session in the main conference on the Scottish Poor Law, and there will be many other topics from the local speakers on the War of 1812, the settlement of Scottish Highlanders in Canada, DNA research in regard to the clans, the Scots in Ontario, and much more. It's not all wee Jimmy hats though, with other sessions on FamilySearch, how to get published in the family history press, and more. There will also be a handy marketplace to buy wares from 5pm on Friday, and a genealogy research room (bring your USB stick to save results!).

I was in Ontario last year for an event with the Toronto Branch of the OGS, and am looking forward to returning, as it's a wonderful place. If you fancy popping along, full details on all you need to know, including details for registration, can be found on BIFHSGO's site at

The flights are booked, and it's going to be great fun - chi mi a dh'aithghearr sibh! (see you soon!).


Check out my Scotland's Greatest Story research service
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)