Sunday 29 July 2012

The Scottish Genealogy Network

Since February's Who Do You Think You Are? Live event in London, a small group of professional genealogists in Scotland has been meeting informally on a monthly basis at various locations across the country, ostensibly to have a gab, and to discuss interesting research developments in our work as well as within the wider industry. Genealogists who have attended meetings since March of what we are now referring to as the Scottish Genealogy Network have included myself, Marie Dougan, Ali MacDonald, Kirsty Wilkinson, Chris Halliday, Tahitia McCabe, Frances Black, Carolyn McNicholl, members of Lanarkshire FHS and others, with meetings so far having taken place in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Linlithgow and Stirling.

It is important to emphasise that we are not an organisation requiring membership fees etc, but simply a talking shop. 
Our meetings have largely been pub based on the last Saturday of each month, with the point being to try to create a wider genealogical network within Scotland. We want to create an opportunity for colleagues to meet face to face, to share expertise with each other and also with those from other disciplines that impact on our work - family history societies, universities, archives and more. Through discussion with each other we can learn about key developments that affect the work we do and to identify ways to further our professional development. So far we've all found it to be a huge success and of great benefit, and as such, we're now looking to invite others along to join the party. If you are working professionally within the area of Scottish based family history, we would be delighted to see you - our next meeting will be held in Perth on Saturday August 25th.

To give a flavour of proceedings, at yesterday's meeting in Stirling Ali Macdonald explained what the new Geno 2.0 DNA project announced last week is all about, Chris Halliday updated us on a recent case he's been working on involving the Court of the Lord Lyon, I brought along a copy of Bissett-Smith's 1907 guide for Scottish registrars and discussed a 17th century research case from Ayrshire, Kirsty Wilkinson discussed probate research as well as her excellent new poor law records guide, Carolyn McNicholl explained what goes into the Certified Genealogist credential available in the United States, and Frances Black discussed experiences with the University of Strathclyde course. Other topics discussed included the various ways that the UK's various national archives work (or not!) with the private sector, FamilySearch's work just now with some digitisation projects in Scotland - and the opening ceremony of the Olympics!

If you are working professionally within the field of Scottish genealogy, and would be interested in more information, please contact me at christopherpaton @

UPDATE: Our visit on Saturday 25th August will now incorporate a quick visit to Perth and Kinross Archives, as well as the Local Studies Department. A huge thanks to Steven Connelly, Jan Merchant, and in particular, Christine Wood, for helping to arrange and accommodate this.

UPDATE: Read Kirsty's account of the group also at


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

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