Monday, 1 August 2011

Tayroots Genealogy Day - details announced

OK folks, it's now official, and the schedule's all drawn up! Here's the official announcement on the Tayroots day that I will be doing talks at on September 24th:

Dig Up Your Ancestors at Tayroots Genealogy Fair and Workshops

29 July 2011

The Tayroots Genealogy Fair is being held this year on Saturday, 24 September from 10.00am to 4.30pm at Discovery Point, Dundee's award-winning five-star visitor attraction.

An initiative established jointly by Angus Council and Dundee City Council to encourage family history researchers to come and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors, Tayroots holds family and local history events throughout the year in Angus and Dundee, working in partnership with Angus Archives, and Tay Valley Family History Society.

Superb workshops and lectures will be given by three of the top genealogists in the UK today - Dr Bruce Durie of BBC Radio Scotland and Strathclyde University, author, genealogist, and 'Scottish GENES' blogger Chris Paton, and Archivist Andrew Nicoll, Keeper of the Scottish Catholic Archive.

Bruce Durie will be familiar to listeners to BBC Radio Scotland's popular series 'Digging Up Your Roots', and he returns to Dundee this year to tell us about the fascinating Scottish DNA Project, which is based at the University of Strathclyde - in his presentation Genes and Genealogy - Who Are You Really?

Bruce says 'DNA is the ancestral 'barcode' we all carry that connects right back to the origins of life. That means different sorts of tests can be used to determine recent relationships, deeper ethnic background and the migrations our ancestors took to wherever we live now. It's the latest club in the genealogist's bag - but like any club, you have to know how best to use it and when.'

Chris Paton will be offering a workshop on Getting Started with Your Family History for anyone who is keen but needs help to get going or solve problems or get around obstacles'.

Chris says 'I'll be giving a general talk on how to get underway with your Scottish family history, giving a broad description of the kinds of records that can get you started and describing where problems often occur (and offering a few solutions!).'

With a breadth of genealogical knowledge which has taken him lecturing around the world, most recently to Canada, Chris is also giving a talk on the Weavers of Perth and says: 'My second talk will then focus on the records of one specific trade, handloom weaving in Perth before the mid 19th century, to show the sort of material that can often be found to help us understand the working lives of our ancestors.'

Keeper of the Scottish Catholic Archive Andrew Nicoll had to cancel his Tayroots talk last year due to the Papal visit to Scotland - and we had to concede on that one - but he will be coming along this year to cast light in his pleasant and informative way on Catholic family history and to tell us more about what researchers can gain from the Archive he looks after.
Stallholders at the Fair in the Robert Falcon Scott Suite will include representatives from a variety of Scottish family history, local history and heritage societies including those from Aberdeenshire and Fife, who will provide free information, books for sale, and expert advice on your family search.

The Genealogy Fair itself is free, and in addition visitors to the Fair will be offered half-price admission to the Discovery exhibition and ship. Climb aboard Captain Scott's ship RRS Discovery where you will follow in the footsteps of him and his crew - it's a fascinating tale of one of the most heroic voyages of exploration ever undertaken. Discover your own Angus & Dundee ancestry and visit the Antarctic on the same day!


10.00am Doors open

10.15am to 11.30am: Workshop - Getting Started with Your Family History, by Chris Paton, genealogist, author, broadcaster, and blogger

11.45am to 1pm Lecture - Genes and Genealogy - Who Are You Really? The Scottish DNA Project explained, by Dr Bruce Durie, genealogist, author, broadcaster, Genealogy Course Director University of Strathclyde

1.30pm to 2.30pm: Lecture - Scottish Catholic Family History by Andrew Nicoll, Keeper of the Scottish Catholic Archives

2.45pm to 4pm: Lecture - The Weavers of Perth - boom and bust is not a new concept! By Chris Paton

4.30pm: Close

The Fair and the lectures are free to attend, but places may be limited on Chris Paton's beginner's workshop at 10.15am so please book by email to and it would be wise to be there in plenty of time for the other lectures.

To find out more about the Tayroots 2011 Genealogy Fair, visit

For information on Discovery Point go to

Just to add, I will be there for the whole day, and am always happy to answer any questions if I can between sessions. And if you read this blog, do say hi!

See you there!

(With thanks to Sheila Faichney)


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