Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A new challenge!

It's that time of life for a new challenge! Having recently become more politically active in my local community over the last few years, both on national and local community issues, I have spent the last few months going through a vetting process through the Scottish National Party ( for the forthcoming local government elections. I am pleased at long last to announce that having been successfully vetted and nominated, I will now be standing as one of two SNP candidates for the Stevenston ward in North Ayrshire.

Famous in the past for being the Scottish town where Nobel's explosives factory was based, and once home to coal mining and stone quarrying industries, Stevenston by many measures today is one of the more deprived areas of Scotland - but as is common in Ayrshire, it is a community with a true heart of gold and some great humour. I am very much looking forward to getting stuck in and working hard in the campaign ahead, and if elected, to representing the community with vigour on North Ayrshire Council.

So where does that leave the family history research side of things, you may ask? Well don't worry, I am not going anywhere on that front! This blog will continue, my research service will continue, as will my writing and speaking commitments, though I may need to re-jig certain priorities if I get elected. With the nature of council work, and the self-employed nature of the life of a genealogist, I should be able to juggle all the relevant commitments however.

On that, you may have noticed that I have not been posting on this blog quite as regularly as I was until a few months back, for which I must apologise. That is because I have already been hard at work for several months canvassing, training and more for the election task ahead. I may continue to post two or three times a week for the foreseeable future, but will endeavour to get all the relevant news out to you as quick as I can!

Onwards and upwards!

Here's the official new release announcing my candidacy - pictured with me is my fellow candidate Davina McTiernan:

Chris Paton

Chris Paton has been selected as an SNP candidate for Stevenston.

Chris works as a historian, writer, and part-time parliamentary researcher for Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson.

Married with two sons, he previously worked in the television industry for twelve years as a documentary maker. During that time he campaigned on a range of issues, including trading standards enforcement, men's health issues, mental health awareness, and the shortage of transplant donor organs.

As a member of the SNP in North Ayrshire, Chris has campaigned locally on issues such as the unfair state pension age rise for women and the retention of Ardrossan as the terminal for the Arran ferry.

Commenting on his selection, Chris said: “Stevenston is an area with a long and proud history as a community, but one with many significant social and economic challenges to be addressed.

“I am looking forward to the campaign. I will fight hard from the Ardeer peninsula to the Hayocks estate for the privilege to serve and represent the community with vigour on North Ayrshire Council.”


My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Feb 21st 2017 - details at For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, 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

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