Sunday, 24 April 2016

Thanks to Qualicum Beach FHS for two great conferences!

It's been a mad week here in British Columbia, but the last two days have certainly been the busiest so far on Vancouver Island! On Friday I gave four talks in two half day themed seminars on Scottish and Irish research, whilst yesterday I gave two talks at a conference called Unlocking the Past 2016 (with California based Colleen Fitzpatrick the other main speaker at this one), with both events held in Parksville.

The events were absolutely jam packed with attendees, and a huge lot of fun. Major thanks to Donna Fraser, who first suggested the event at a chance encounter in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow some two years ago, but also to Lorraine Butler, Lola Cook, and the rest of the team who put on such an amazing programme, attracting folk from various quarters in BC! Here are some pics from the events:

A great two days with a lot of fun!

One of the highlights for me personally was to get talking to a gentleman called David M Paton. David is not related to me, but he was somewhat astounded to hear me discussing one of my second cousins in a talk yesterday, because it was someone whom he knew very well! Sir William Drummond MacDonald Paton was a well known pharmacologist at Oxford University, a field that David also worked within, and the two gents met on various occasions within their professional work - it's a small world!

Most of my Unlock the Past books also sold out at the conference, but if you attended and were unable to purchase copies, you can find them for sale in Canada at Global Genealogy - my dedicated author's page on that site is available at

With thanks to Qualicum Beach FHS (, and especially to Donna, a true genie hero for all that she has done for the society locally. Now onwards and upwards for the second half of the trip!

And finally, thanks to Pattie Watson and Pat Hocker for great craic last night, sharing an impressive whisky collection in Duncan, BC...!



For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit My Pinterest account is at

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