Sunday, 29 August 2010

Call for speakers at Toronto Scottish family history workshop

So after a few months of discussions it is all now well and truly official - I will be travelling to Toronto in June 2011 to give three talks at a Scottish Family History workshop, having been very kindly invited to attend by the Toronto branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadian Department of the North York Central Library. Very much looking forward to it!

If the idea of my droning on in a weird mixed up Northern Irish and Scottish dialect for three hours is too much, there is a healthy option - can you also give a talk?! If so, the society wants to hear from you!! The day is intended to be packed with other talks also, and as such, the society is now issuing a call for local speakers who may also be interested to attend:

Scottish Family History Workshop
June 18, 2011
North York Central Library Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto

The Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library will be co-hosting a one-day workshop on Scottish Family History. The principal speaker will be Chris Paton from Scotland who will give presentations on the Scottish church, Scottish land records/house history and the use of guild records (specifically the handloom weaving industry in Perth). We are looking for other speakers who would like to be part of the workshop.

Workshop attendees will be most interested in presentations emphasizing sources and research techniques that might be useful in their own research. We are looking for both very focused, and more general presentations at the intermediate and advanced levels. Topics and case studies should relate to Scotland, not the Scottish diaspora.

Full-length Presentations

We are seeking presentations on topics related to Scottish genealogy. Some suggestions are:

online resources, poor law records, education records, migration to and within Scotland, Scottish repositories– or a topic of your choice with relevance to Scottish family history.

Each session will be one hour long, including five or ten minutes for questions. Presentations should be illustrated—we can provide a computer and computer projector. Speakers will also be expected to provide a handout of supporting material (up to four pages).

Short Presentations - Case Studies

We are also seeking presentations of case studies. Each case study session will be 20 to 30 minutes long. Speakers will be expected to provide a page or two of supporting material. Speakers giving full-length presentations will be paid an honorarium of $100 per session, plus modest expenses. Those presenting case studies will receive $35. All speakers will be granted free attendance at the workshop.

Please submit your lecture and case study proposals by e-mail. Please keep them brief and informal, at this point. (We may ask for more details later.) Be sure to include your mailing address, phone number, and a brief bio.

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: Monday, November 1, 2010

For more information about the Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch, please see:

To submit proposals or to ask a question about the event, please contact Linda Reid at

The last time I was in Canada was in 1999, where I attended the Halifax 250 celebrations in Nova Scotia for an STV documentary I was working on (I was on board the star attraction of the event, the British man o' war HMR Rose, filming and at one point helping to haul up the anchor!). I managed to get out to Quebec also, but only managed to fly in and out of Toronto on a connection flight from the States, so I'm very much looking forward to the real deal this time, and to see the city properly - and to hopefully help provide some insight into a few of our records here in Scotland!

Professional genealogical problem solving and research
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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