Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2011 - the year ahead...

So here's 2011 - a sort of new and improved 2010 with bells on! Hope you all had a good Christmas and a stonkingly outrageous new year. Here in Largs we were infested with the medieval plague (man flu), so I'm probably one of the few people this holiday to have lost half a stone in weight rather than to have gained a stone. On the bright side, I'm hoping some of the clothes in my wardrobe which now fit again may well come back into fashion this year...

It's a busy year ahead at this end. On the book front my first title with Pen and Sword, Tracing Your Family History on the Internet, will be published on March 24th, though it is already available for pre-order from Amazon at a discounted price of £9.99 (RRP £12.99). I'm hoping it will also be available at Who Do You Think You Are? Live, will let you all know in due course! I then have two further titles on the go, one I am currently working on for Australian based company Unlock the Past, entitled Discover Scottish Church Records, and another for History Press, The Mount Stewart Murder, again pre-order available on Amazon for £14.99 (to be released in December). Elsewhere, the long awaited Family and Local History Handbook 13 will be launched at Who Do You Think You Are? Live, to which I have contributed a couple of articles (previous editions available at www.genealogical.co.uk/index.html); and down under, later this month Unlock the Past is releasing History and Genealogy 2011: Australia and New Zealand, again with a couple of Scottish contributions from yours truly,as well as many others. Don't forget that my first book Researching Scottish Family History is still available from Family History Partnership for £7.95 +p&p, and can also be purchased at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh or the National Archives at Kew.

On the gabbing front, I have several local talks lined up including Irish Resources Online for Glasgow and West of Scotland FHS (17 Jan), a writing workshop here in Largs on 7 Feb for Largs Writing Group, and the Irish Resources Online talk again twice in March, on the 12th for Coatbridge Irish Festival and again on the 23rd for the Ayrshire Federation of Family History Societies. Internationally I will be doing a series of Scottish talks in Toronto on June 18th for the Ontario Genealogical Society, and later in the year may be doing something else equally exciting just a little further afield - more on all of this in due course!

On the Pharos teaching front, it's another busy year on the Scottish courses, the dates of which are as follows:

Scottish Research Online (#102) 7 MAR 2011 and again 29 AUG 2011

Scotland 1750 - 1850: Beyond the OPRs (#302) 17 JAN 2011 and again 17 OCT 2011

Each course is 5 weeks in length and costs just £43.99. Initially written by Canadian genealogist Sherry Irvine, I've been continuing to update both courses since taking responsibility for them to keep them as up to date and topical as possible. Don't forget that Pharos has a range of other courses covering topics such as Irish research, apprenticeship records, military records, Australian research, the National Archives catalogue and many other varied topics of use to Scottish research. All extremely affordable, and catering for various levels of expertise. As Mrs Doyle would say on Craggy Island - go on, go on, go on, GO ON!!!! You know you want to...! More details at www.pharostutors.com.

For the year ahead, there's lots to look forward to! Who Do You Think You Are? Live takes place 25-27 FEB 2011, and I'll be helping Robert Blatchford once again on his stall, where we'll be selling the new edition of the Family and Local History Handbook - very much looking forward to it! If you haven't been to WDYTYA? Live before, it IS absolutely worth going to, if only the once to say you've done it! If you're into celebrities, there's one or two around to keep you busy, but it is really more of a great place to take the pulse of the modern genealogy industry, to meet experts who may be able to solve your brick wall, to locate resources to help preserve your tree, and in some cases, to touch the very face of God himself/herself (yes, Ancestry, FindmyPast and the Genealogist websites are all there!).

More locally, the ScotFamTree discussion forum folk are having a meeting at the People's Palce on Saturday 29th January - for more see http://scotfamtree.11.forumer.com/. Definitely the best online Scots discussion forum around, asort of family history society and forum rolled into one, and with its own dedicated Scots genealogy TV channel!

There's plenty on the records front also, not least of which is the 1911 Scottish census from the ScotlandsPeople folk in April (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), and a little matter of the 2011 census to be recorded on March 27th. Personally I'll be keeping a copy of that - anything to save my great grandchildren a couple of quid in a hundred year's time! The National Library of Scotland has already released a couple of hundred trade directories on its website (and more on the Internet Archive site), but by the middle of the year there will be some 700 odd directories indexed on the NLS site (www.nls.uk/family-history/directories/post-office). ScotlandsPeople will also be releasing valuation rolls from 1855-1915 at some stage soon, and digitised kirk session records access is slowly being released across the country at local archives, and it is hoped will soon make it onto the ScotlandsPeople site also.

On the personal front, my own tree never ceases to amaze me, having just discovered my first ancestor to be born in the East Indies, so after ten years research it is still all to play for - and now more than ever looking forward to the forthcoming book on tracing Indian ancestors from London based gene genie Emma Jolly!

Bliadhna mhath ur, Happy New Year, and here's to a very busy, but hopefully very productive 2011! :)


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


jock tamson said...

Yer a busy Man Chris and I know you wouldn't have it any other way.All the best for the coming year pal.

Chris Paton said...

Cheers Alex, and with you!