Sunday, 9 September 2012

BIFHSGO Conference 2012

There may be a bit of disruption in the next week or so with blog posts on British GENES in that I'll be preparing for and then flying to Canada on Wednesday for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa 2012 Conference. This takes place from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September, and will have a strong Scottish theme. I'll do my best to keep you up to date though with what's happening! :)

The conference is in two parts - a pre-conference day on Friday, followed by the main event over the weekend. The following is the schedule for the event:

Friday, 14 September 2012
Pre-conference Workshops
09:00–12:00 Scottish Civil Records, Censuses and Marriages (Chris Paton)
09:30–12:30 Digital Descendants: Where to Find Them and How to Connect (Susan Davis)
13:00–16:00 Scottish Archival and Lesser Known Resources Online (Patricia Whatley)
13:30–16:30 Tablets, Netbooks, e-Readers and Apps for Genealogy (Tony Bandy)

Conference Opening
17:00–21:30 Marketplace Open
19:00–19:30 Official Welcome (BIFHSGO President and LAC Representative)
19:30–20:30 Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture (No charge)— The War of 1812: The Unlikely Struggle That Helped Create a Nation (Victor Suthren - Auditorium)
20:30–21:30 Reception: Dessert and Coffee - Auditorium Foyer

Saturday and Sunday
Genealogy Research Room
Research your family using free access to extensive genealogy databases, both online and on CD. (Bring a USB flash drive to save your findings.)

Saturday, 15 September 2012
08:00 Registration Opens
09:00–17:30 Marketplace Open
09:00–10:15 SESSION 1: (Plenary)
* An Introduction to Researching Scottish Family History (Chris Paton)
10:15–10:45 Break and Browse the Marketplace
10:45–12:00 SESSION 2:
* Lord Selkirk and the Settlement of Scottish Highlanders in Canada (Lucille Campey)
* Dropbox, Evernote and Online Digital Notes (Tony Bandy)
12:00–13:30 Lunch
13:30–14:45 SESSION 3:
* Scottish House and Land History (Chris Paton)
* What’s New at (Shirley-Ann Pyefinch)
14:45–15:15 Break
15:15–16:30 SESSION 4:
* McDNA: Genetic Applications to Scottish Clans (Jane Buck)
* Online Books: Are These Really Good Resources? (Tony Bandy)

Sunday, 16 September 2012
08:00 Registration Opens
08:00–15:30 Marketplace Open
09:00–10:15 SESSION 5:
* The Archives of the Scottish Poor Law: a Resource for Family History Research (Patricia Whatley)
* Seeking a Better Future: The English Pioneers of Ontario and Quebec (Lucille Campey)
10:15–10:45 Break
10:45–12:00 SESSION 6:
* The Godly Commonwealth (Chris Paton)
* Writing for Publication: Pitching Your Family History Story to Editors (Ed Zapletal)
12:00–13:15 Lunch
13:15–14:30 SESSION 7:
* The Scots in Ontario—a New Look at the Data (Lucille Campey)
* New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy (Jane Buck)
14:30–15:00 Break
15:00–16:15 SESSION 8: (Plenary)
* The Mount Stewart Murder (Chris Paton)
16:15–16:30 Conference Closing

I am particularly looking forward to the conference, not just because of the event itself, or because it is a return to Ontario, but because I now have a very close connection to the province myself. Only today I received an email with a photograph depicting my grandmother's cousin Robert Currie who served with both the Canadian 94th and 16th battalions in the First World War, serving heroically and winning the Military Medal, before being killed just two weeks before the end of the war. Robert hailed from Glasgow but had emigrated to Kenora before the war - so I'm hoping I may get a chance to look at his service record at Library and Archive Canada after the conference has ended!

If you would like to attend, there are further details at the BIFHSGO website at - I'll hopefully see some of you there!


Scottish Research Online - 5 weeks online Pharos course, £45.99, taught by Chris Paton from 26 SEP 2012 - see
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)


  1. If you don't get a chance to see the records, Chris, you can order them and LAC will send them through to you either by scan (PDF) or mail. Kenora is quite a jaunt from Ottawa. On the Manitoba border...

  2. Thanks Christine - have managed to look at various online war diaries and other resources, but hope to cram in a bit more when there!