Sunday 25 October 2015

Scottish Genealogy Network CPD session in Edinburgh

Yesterday I spent a hugely enjoyable day with the Scottish Genealogy Network ( at our latest CPD event, this time held via the facilities at Herriott Watt University's Edinburgh Conference Centre.

We had several speakers in attendance today, but for starters, special thanks must go to Anne Slater from the National Records of Scotland, who talked through various proposals and ideas for the evolution of the ScotlandsPeople website and the future development of facilities at the NRS. One of the things that I had not realised was now in operation at the NRS is the fact that materials located off site can in fact now be ordered for an afternoon delivery - something that many of us have been asking for for a very long time. There are still some issues that my colleagues raised that we would like to see addressed at the archive, but it was a very useful session and we were extremely grateful and impressed with Anne's obvious energy and commitment to engaging in a serious dialogue - not just with us as users, but for many other groups that also use the facility on a regular basis.

Special thanks must also go to George Mackenzie, former Keeper of the Records of Scotland and Registrar General, and now actively involved with the Scottish Ancestral Tourism Group, for his contribution on ancestral tourism. In the same way that we as a professional genealogy group in the SGN in Scotland are finding our feet and reaching out for dialogue with others in our sector, a parallel discussion seems to be happening in the ancestral tourism field also, and so a lot of discussion on how the two disciplines might meet further was explored.

There were many other sessions - Judith Russell provided an overview of records on British Home Children in Canada to be found both in Scotland and overseas; Carol McKinven gave a useful introduction to Estonian records (something I found of particular interest having visited Tallin, right, for the first time a few months ago), in particular demonstrating a useful resource at, Andrew Armstrong gave a talk on agricultural labourers in south east Scotland (noting in particular the bondager system at work), and I gave a talk on the records of the Weavers Incorporation of Perth, and the handloom weaving industry. We also had sessions on business related queries, and discussed developments for the evolution of the SGN itself.

A huge thanks to our secretary Emma Maxwell for organising the event, the latest successful training day for the group. All for one, and one for all, and all that!

For details on the SGN, its role and how to get involved, please visit the website.


For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit My Pinterest account is at

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