Searching for Scottish ancestors

FrankWinkler / Pixabay

Do you love Scottish research or find it difficult? What are your favourite resources: sites, databases, books, speakers etc?

Being a Scot I love it. Agree, ScotlandsPeople is excellent and for more than just BMDs from 1855 onwards. Census returns 1841 to 1911, church registers, valuation rolls, Kirk session records and more. The number of archives available are also invaluable.

Does anyone have any “bibles” or books they refer to? TC Smout’s History of the Scottish People was recommended to me and I have The Scottish Family Tree Detective by Rosemary Bigwood.

As most of my ancestors are Scottish, I spend a lot of time doing Scottish research. Some work is easy, some is hard. I underwent the Tartan Trail on @WikiTreers so was taught how to find many sources.

Had a quick look at WikiTree on this and looks like a good place to learn more about Scottish research. Thanks for pointing it out.

Yes, you do @WikiTreers profiles which are critiqued. There are three levels, the last being well back with few records. I’ve done all three levels. Lots of good sources listed on the Scotland Project page – very helpful people in the team too.

Scotlands People is a must. Lots of good stuff there. And Scotlands Places is another. Clan Histories. Books about Scotland in general. Then the usual places for general sources

Have been researching a family in Glasgow. @ScotlandsPeople has been my go to resource. Ordnance Survey Maps from @natlibscotmaps have been very useful for adding context.

Don’t forget to check Burke’s Landed and Gentry and Burke’s Peerage for Scottish ancestors. You never know!

I should have shares in ScotlandsPeople! Other favourites: ScotlandsPlaces, Nat’l Library of Scotland, Nat Records of Scotland, Scottish Archives Network, Electric Scotland. FindMyPast’s Scottish records are well transcribed and I love the companion maps.

I purchased two wonderful maps from the NLS Maps Online just today Pauleen to overlay on Google Earth over Bothwell near Glasgow and Hawick Roxburghshire

I’m really liking that the FindMyPast census transcripts show you a map of the area you need. Mind you, it’s still necessary to do some sleuthing separately or you’d be lost.

Love researching with Scottish records, and in Scotland! Apart from gaps in parish registers, I haven’t found it too difficult. Fav sites: ScotlandsPeople and Findmypast, and NLS for maps. Chris Paton’s @PharosTutors courses are extremely useful.

thanks for mentioning Pharos Maggie. I have done a few of their courses (Alex here) and found them excellent. Also did some this year through the University of Strathclyde which were good too, particularly the one on working in the factories and mills

I have 42% Scottish ethnicity -my brother has 70% so lots of Scots from all over – Glasgow post office directories helped but Hebrides records are challenging – plus @scottishindexes did some great research finding records of my one female Scottish convict

Scottish research is a mix bag, not as easy as England. Scotland’s people and Scotland’s places are good resources. Ancestry and find my past is good for searching but no images so Scotland’s people to go for the images.

I have a love/hate relationship with researching my Scottish ancestors. I love Scotland but I’m not a very smart researcher I think. I keep coming to dead ends. I use Scotland’s people, the Scottish Indexes, the NLS etc.

I have traced back to the 1700’s on almost all Scottish lines Alex BUT my paternal g g grandfather who said he was born in Aberdeen (married in Northumberland) is a mystery

So much depends on how far back the parish registers survive. I have one that is limited. But I love the Strachur parish register which says “if you don’t find your name here, blame your parents who didn’t pay the fee”

I love Scottish research even though I’m relatively new to it. Their records usually have really detailed info

Mum has 19% and dad 39% and the only one known is on dad’s side.

Did the Scottish ancestor emigrate to Tassie? I haven’t tackled my husband’s Scottish emigrants yet. I expect it will teach me about endogamy. Wilsons, Wilsons, everywhere (and particularly around Rhyndaston, Tunnack, etc)

catherine mcKay came courtesy of the Scottish government in 1848 #ANZAncestryTime Iknow some Wilson family in Oatlands

“Courtesy of the Scottish government” Are you using a euphemism for convict? No need for that, you’re amongst #FamilyHistory friends 🙂

Catherine McKay born Scotland but in 1848 was at Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland according to convict records

Her convict husband was William Dawson tried in Edinburgh but born Berwick on Tweed

@scottishindexes located the pretrial and justiciary papers for my female Scottish convict Jean MacDonald from Paisley – over 30 pages

Chris Paton’s books are useful and I like the ones published about the National Records of Scotland. Also a very useful book from a thesis about Argyll in the 19th century.

I absolutely love researching Scottish #FamilyHistory My grandmother was Scottish and I am about half Scottish across all my lines. Their records are so detailed and the women retain their maiden names. What’s not to love?!

My paternal grandfather was Scottish and my maternal g grandfather so I grew up feeling quite Scottish. Having a very Scottish maiden name helped. And I named my first child Hamish!

And my grandmother taught me to love the pipes and all things Scottish to the chagrin of my mother and her Irish father.

My father took me to hear pipe bands when I was very small. Turns out I have a famous piper as an ancestor. Still go to the displays. I’m a Scottish dancer.

I am such a sook I burst into tears every time I hear them start up. I cannot speak I am so choked up with emotion. I spent my early childhood in Edinburgh and came home with a Scottish accent apparently when I was 4.

it’s fascinating but have not located the ancestors’ whose 15% is in my DNA

I love Scottish Research This week I have been using: 1.ScotlandsPeople (stat. registers, census images) 2.ScotlandsPlaces (Place name books) 3.National Library of Scotland Maps Using 2 & 3 together is a game changer. Late 19thC tenants are named.

…and I was looking at Kirk Session records at Scotlands People too. When using FindMyPast I now filter record sets to the Scottish Parish records.

I was lucky in my kirk session research. I knew exactly the time & place I was looking for – the 9 months before the birth of GGGrandfather John Robb Andrew. Looks like Isabella was able to keep the bump hidden until the 3rd trimester.

Have been researching a family in Glasgow. @ScotlandsPeople has been my go to resource. Ordnance Survey Maps from @natlibscotmaps have been very useful for adding context.

I need information back in the 1700s for my Scottish paternal family. That’s for my gggparents. Not many records then. My ggparents born in the early 1800s. Gparents in the 1850s.

Also deeds can be useful in this time period. #ANZAncestryTime

Have you tried the Kirk Session records on @ScotlandsPeople

Yes, I’ve used some legal documents looking for possible connections for my Dickson family. And muster rolls in Gairloch trying to work out the relationship between family members. Thank you for your help.

All inspired after the latest #ScottishIndexes conference. I’ve been tracing the Robb family of Aberdeenshire. Found double marriage of sisters, married in Ireland, but also recorded in their home parish register. Why did the home parish do that?

Project Scotland from WikiTree:

I’ve got most of the clans. Highland ancestors. I also have a good bunch of Border people, so books on the Borders are useful. And I’ve started looking at the free newspapers on Find My Past, but need more time.

I did mtdna testing with FTDNA as my direct maternal line is from Calligary Isle of Skye – an interesting exercise

Excited as I got notified today that @MyHeritage has added the Scotland Census Index, 1841-1901, with 24 Million Records to its catalogue. Great news for those with Scottish ancestors

my great grandfather was Scottish born at Port Glasgow

jo36240 / Pixabay

Have you used records that are unusual or unique to Scotland and what discoveries have you made? What tips would you offer others about these records or others?

Clan histories are a good guide to where to search – except my families seem always to be missing!


What is Service of Heirs and where do you find it? I’m impressed with the sources 🙂

I’m thinking Family Search – just did a quick google. First I’d heard of it. (Alex)

The original records are held at @NatRecordsScotland. The registers are series C22, which alas was closed for conservation purposes in the Before Times. (My fault for reporting white powdery residue, which after testing I was informed was “probably not anthrax” …)

That’s a reasonable overview, but there are a number of minor errors. After 1847, they’re in English, not Latin (and many of the local-court copies are in English). The decennial indexes run to 1859, not 1959. The index of tutories also includes curatories.

Tessa Spencer, Head of Outreach and Learning at the @NatRecordsScot  showcased some wonderful Scottish records at our conference this month. Watch ‘An introduction to the National Records of Scotland’s archives’ here:

other good resources have been NLS maps and the newspapers at the BNA

Unique find: Saw a History TV program that mentioned my Uncle’s village. Mentioned it to my cousin and she said knew of the “Blackhouse” I saw on the TV. She had contact with some locals and over time has passed on family research details from them tp me.

On @scottishindexes I found that my 3X g grand father was a victim of forgery. Was able to download the entire proceedings and read his witness statement written in his own hand

I’ve only just got the hang of it this week, matching up the OS Maps to the place name books. The books describe the places, eg “Bogside, Mr John Robb, tenant, a small farm steading with dwelling house, out houses & garden in bad repair.”

TIP: Check all records available for your ancestors’ parishes and fully explore the offerings. It can be slow, and the content variable but you might find #genealogygold worth it!

using the Scottish Indexes I did order an entry in the Sheriff Court – Buchan vs Forfar. I”m not sure it was related to my ancestors but it was the first time I had seen this kind of record. It was for maintenance for an illegitimate child.

Scottish Post Office Directories were amazing for details on generations of my Newlands Merchant Tailors of Glasgow Bathgate and Shotts

Not necessarily unique to Scotland but to Church of Scotland (and Presbyterian?): Communion rolls and Kirk Sessions. Latter require slow patient review but can have wonderful detail. Pray for problem/naughty relatives.

rachinmanila / Pixabay

Which part(s) of Scotland are your ancestors from? Any tips for researching “place” including endogamous communities in the Scottish Islands? Have you visited?

My Gairloch families intermarried so there is strong endogamy there. Few records until 1800. The MacKay Pipers are well known which has been a help. I have been to Scotland, but not had much time to look for family.

I have a similar problem with my maternal cousins fathers side from the Hebrides. Plus with Scottish naming patterns they have a very limited variety of names.

A good number of the shires feature in my tree. So Caithness and Ross at the top down to Kirkcudbright and Roxburgh at the bottom. Plus those who skipped over the borders and waters to Ulster and Northumberland.

My Scots ancestors are from Isle of Skye North Uist Rothes Elgin Paisley Glasgow Shotts Bathgate Edinburgh – my husband has some of these and also Angus Dundee Forfarshire Perthshire places we did a Scottish road trip in June 2019 – got it in before covid

James Ireland was born in Edinburgh. Came to NZ pre 1882. Not sure if John McDonald was from Scotland. He came to NZ with his wife Ann Scott and their children arriving Feb 1843.

in planning our 2019 Scottish road trip I contacted a family history consultant on Skye in advance to see if there was more that could be uncovered – however she advised that I & my relatives had already uncovered most of what would be known about my McKenzies

I have visited most of my Scottish ancestral places (not the Isle of Skye) and a planned trip back there last year is still on hold sadly

Most of my Scottish ancestors were from Fife, though moved into Perthshire, and have visited a couple of times. Recently discovered that 3xggg father was from Glasgow, so keen to get back there.

My husband’s family are also from Argyll- islands of Lismore and Mull. we found the relevant documents and spoke to some people as well. I haven’t explored the implications of DNA endogamy.

Main set of ancestors are from Aberdeenshire and Banffshire. Some moved to Edinburgh and Glasgow. DNA shows Top right hand corner of Scotland so fairly spot on.

Robb, Murdoch, Andrew from Aberdeenshire, Banffshire(?) Barclays, miners from Dysart, Fife William Andrew left Stonehaven, Kincardinshire to come to Australia. I visited friends near Glasgow one fabulous weekend (snow, whisky, & roaring fires, but no research)

ScotlandsPlaces is great for learning more about the place your ancestor came from. Also Nat Lib of Scotland maps are gold. Be aware that the spelling of the name may change over time. Gazetteers are invaluable as well.

Place in Scotland I am researching are Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire, ,Aberdeenshire, Stirling, Ayreshire, Isle of Skye, Perth

McCorkindale/McCorquodale in Argyll on Lochs Fyne and Awe; Morrison at Strachur, Loch Fyne; Sim at Bothkennar in Stirling; Melvin in Leith near Edinburgh, and of course Glasgow for mid-19th century migration.

My Scottish ancestors are mostly from Glenshiel, in Ross & Cromarty. I haven’t visited. Yet!

my mob are from Stirling and Inverary. I think joining a local society and blogging have brought me the best results.

My Scottish Surnames: Morison, McCrae, McLeod from Glenshiel. Louden Alexander and Anderson from Lanarkshire. These are the lines I’ve been working on. THere are others

I have MacDonald McKenzie MacLean McIntosh Robertson Highland Clans, plus Tulloch Taylor Anderson Urquhart from Moray plus also Newlands Ure Weatherstone and more – plus my husband has heaps of Lowland Borders ancestry

Nowaja / Pixabay

Do you know their occupations and the industries they worked in? What sources are best or discovering occupations?

Four pipers to the Lairds of Gairloch! Lots of shepherds which is why they came to New Zealand. Stone masons. Weavers. Tailors. Stoker. Shipwright. Carpenter. Crofters and lots of ag. labourers. Smiths and iron forgers. Mariner.

I forgot I have a Scottish architect in my family. Charles Rennie MacIntosh. My husband is related to the English architect Charles Edward Mallows

My ggfather William Murphy was a mason in Urr (1871 Census). His father was a coal miner – fell down a pit, so recorded in the fatalities for mines.

Newlands were Merchant Tailors & Carpenters; others were agricultural labourers, cattle drovers, a Newland relative was Church of Scotland minister in Southwark & another Newlands relative from Bathgate went to West Indies as a carpenter & became a slave owner in Jamaica

a shock to find that the cousin of one of my ancestors was a slave owner – Bathgate had the annual John Newlands procession/festival – however they have just removed his name due to #BlackLivesMatter – they used my blog post on him as part of the petition

Sue has reminded me that my Melvins were cooks as well as merchant seamen. My great-grandfather was an excellent confectioner. I really want to find apprenticeship records for him one day.

My Catherine McKay was a book folder in 1848 according to her convict records

My William Dawson was a bread and biscuit maker on his convict records.

quite a few were Crofters, Quarrymen who travelled the world a lot. Building trade – carpentry etc. Publicans as well. And a couple of nurses.

My Morrisons are a mystery. I can’t find the parents of my g g grandfather John Morrison the Sydney rail carriage builder. Born c 1847 Aberdeenshire

I find occupations in census records, kirk sessions, parish registers, civil registration, wills and even court reports. Merchant seamen are registered with the UK system.

newspaper obituary: James Finlay Stevenson, a native of Scotland, he came to Australia when he almost 19 years of age… he was a blacksmith by trade

My McCorkindale occupations changed with time and seasons: weavers, labourers, sawyer, wright. Descendants were either joiners or gardeners.

My Sim family farmed the land (leased) at Bothkennar for a couple of centuries. The Melvin/Melvill family from Leith were mostly merchant seamen and before that porters.


Scottish Indexes asked how are you all getting on with your Scottish research?

All inspired after the latest #ScottishIndexes conference. I’ve been tracing the Robb family of Aberdeenshire. Found double marriage of sisters, married in Ireland, but also recorded in their home parish register. Why did the home parish do that?

I’m not sure Brooke but there’s a bit of me that thinks it was standard or common practice at the time. Does anyone else know?

I think it tied into banns in both places and ensuring they had a record in both. Ive seen the same in Irish RC and some English records.

Considering that the idea of banns was to consult/inform the community, that makes sense. The couples returned to Scotland & it had to be known that they were validly married.

Just had a look on @ScotlandsPeople and the parish entry does not say where they got married. Have you checked to see if there are any Kirk Session records?

Mostly my own is going well. Your conferences have been an excellent insight into Scottish records and with different speakers too. Thanks so much!

Only thing missing is cemetery information 🙁 Still can’t find my great-grandfather’s burial from 1906.

might need to write personal post about tonight’s twitter chat and what I found afterwards

wow just found William Dawson also accused with others in 1847 for robbery. definitely going to need to do more Scottish research

wow just found Catherine McKay was accused with 6 other people for robbery in 1848, might need to get those papers.

Blogs to read about Scottish ancestors or searching for family in Scotland

Kerri Anne has lots of blogs about different branches of her Scottish ancestors

Kerri Anne’s blogs on her husband’s Scottish ancestry – I use all these blogs as electronic notebooks & #cousinbait

Pauleen: Vaccinations, Family sharing, discovery in kirk sessions, attack on house,

Deb: George Ritchie,

Readers: Do you have any Scottish ancestry? How is your research going finding information on them?

Crowdsourcing and NFHM2021

Fantastic topic for #ANZAncestryTime chat especially with National Family History Month in August.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

What do you think is crowd sourcing in relation to Family History?

Genealogists or family history type groups helping each other and working together for a common cause

Excellent definition Sue – succinct and yet comprehensive 🙂

For me it’s about asking for support for a collaborative project

I put a callout on the blog for guest bloggers to write about our shared family members. Maybe that’s crowdsourching? Btw I didn’t get anyone take up the offer

Some societies use guest bloggers to write posts weekly eg @gsq Yet another type of crowd sourcing.

Curious fox website

I’m a member of a number of FB groups, occasionally I will ask for help when I’m stuck but I usually ask for help on How I can find the info I’m looking for so I can find it rather than ask someone else to find the info for me

There’s nothing like making the discovery yourself, that to me is what #genealogy is about plus you learn on how or where to find what your looking for

help from Ireland Reaching Out is a type of crowdsourcing where locals who know the place help researchers from afar.

Morning! Not sure that I can contribute a lot to the topic today but you’ve just quoted the one example I could think of. #ANZAncestryTime Although @duchas_ie also uses crowdsourcing and this can also be a great assistance to 20thC #FamilyHistory research – just ask

Also digitisation has overtaken some earlier indexing. Of course correcting Trove texts and adding to lists fits this category as well.

In NZ there’s the 1893 suffrage petition database… you are able to contribute a short bio

this event (Twitterchat) is an example of crowd-sourcing n’est-ce-pas?

I would argue that the 2 ancestryhours we participate in are a type of crowdsourcing as well.

There is CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing available to genealogy societies and special interest groups for indexing their records. It is a free, web-based program I saw at #RootsTech a number of years ago.

The new versions of Rootschat email groups that I m a member of are definitely crowdsourcing with lots helping find info for someone with a question – mainly Tasmanian groups

not used crowd sourcing that much. I have a few FB groups for each of my family groups, in asking questions but hit and miss. Used wikitree but find mistakes.

Perhaps something like… where you can not only claim a convict but also contribute information about them

A great result of crowdsourcing is FreeUK Genealogy @FreeUKGen with lots of volunteers

asking and receiving help on social media, platforms that provide input e.g text correction on Trove, transcription sites so many examples. i’ve had folks improve photos just by asking

I suppose that putting cousin bait out there on my blog could be crowdsourcing

I guess @BillionGraves would be another example of crowdsourcing yes?

using social media & message boards to assist both on and offline. Years ago a helpful person on Rootschat looked at some Welsh records for me, long before they were online.

Left a message on Rootschat 4 years after original post. Got a response and person was able to give me information about my Turnbulls Borders area of #Scotland going back to 1700s 😲 ❤️message boards / #Facebook groups / #Twitter threads opportunity to ask questions & #giveback

Another great example of crowdsourcing is @WikiTreers. From the growing well sourced trees to special challenges, the make use of the crowd to advance trees and familyhistory knowledge.

I had to google the definition “enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet”…. So basically getting a group of genealogists together and seeing what unfolds! Hehehe.

Crowdsourcing is when a community helps to research such as on @WikiTreers

Indexing for @FamilySearch is one of the big uses for crowdsourcing in #familyhistory. At the other end of the spectrum is individuals asking for help on social media such as Facebook Groups.

I think it can be a number of things like when I go “Hive mind – what’s a good TV show to watch?” – it can be asking your peeps for help or advice or it can be transcribing a graveyard together.

Devanath / Pixabay

Discuss your crowd sourcing experiences from helping an individual’s research through to large indexing projects. (Or do you avoid crowdsourcing?)

Asking the crowd for help with getting material from paid for genealogical sites or free I think is wrong. There are copyright restrictions and these should be followed.

Yeah that irks me. Like, I’m paying this large sum money because I’m using their website for the research I am doing. And copyright copyright copyright. So many of them have free trials or a month payment if you don’t want to fork out more $$$

Or join a society, go to a library or @FamilySearch centre, etc. There are so many places you can source stuff than elect to break copyright.

I’m a contributor to both @IrelandXO and @duchas_ie The former involves helping individuals with their research and the latter involves transcribing the Irish schools’ folklore project from 1930s. I’ve also assisted individuals on other sites

I was very excited to be able to help with this using my knowledge of the excellent resources of

I’m about to start a crowdsourcing project during the Christchurch Heritage Festival in October, which I can’t tell you the details of yet… But stay tuned…

so far, only recently starting using social media for crowd sourcing, which have pointed me in the direction of new resources, especially with overseas research. Only started blogging which might help others in the future

there are lots of ANZAC sites that crowd source data on specific soldiers and war memorials.

The Online Cenotaph – Auckland War Memorial Museum is an example of that

Years ago I went to the research room. Probably my first exploration into checking out archives. A bit more specialist than the local library. With so much online I am wondering if the research room still exists. Could not see about it with a quick online check.

Kia ora, Pou Maumahara Memorial Discovery Centre replaced the old Armoury on Level 2 in 2016. The public are welcome to use the published resources and contribute to #OnlineCenotaph… We are happy to answer any questions

Another crowdsourcing opportunity is Scottish Indexes which is getting support from indexers .

I have just this week begun to transcribe records for @scottishindexes This is my first time transcribing

I was transcribing Naval records for the TNA there for a second too last year.

Just started my first page @scottishindexes They’ve given me so much in past 18 months – 11 free 8 hour conferences. I felt the need to payback a little

Another site I’ve been able to contribute to collection of digitised glass plate negatives. Identified photos of gg-gparents

a bazillion years ago when I started I helped @GSQPresident with indexing deaths during JAn-June 1916. You can imagine given WWI. I suspect no one has ever looked at them

never underestimate how much you’ve helped dear Pauleen. I think that’s the tragedy is that much of the work is unseen/unrecognized and yet used all the time.

Like some software recognises the developers it would be nice to recognise the workers by adding to digital documents people that helped.

I suspect many people using #ancestry or #findmypast don’t realise the indexes have been created by societies as they don’t read the source info

I have made connections and found people who emigrated using @WikiTreers

I get family info requests on my Irish and Dorfprozelten blogs which helps others

I use FreeUKGen sites @FreeUKGen and have donated to them did start transcribing years ago but did not carry on

and I imagine to a degree that’s what @LostCousins might be all about too, yes?

I suppose a recent/continuing experience is being part of a Facebook group for my Gill ancestors and helping write up a document of all the descendants on my line from my 4x G Gparents down & assisting others with writing their line.

good result from crowdsourcing here 3 different versions of one photo enhanced by Rootschat folks after I asked for advice on FBook – see post below

Not a big crowdsourcing person. Really a lack of time as I work full time. I think it is a great idea although some of the questions I see on social media asking for help could be solve with a google search. Not sure they are lazy or what.

yes someone complained about that on my facebook knitting group today but I think it is just people want to hear from a human not a machine where they can find stuff or what they should be using.

I love transcribing Tassie convict records but usually get the person to type out what they can first, then I help with the unknown bits.

I reckon some of the best crowd sourcing that has happened has been during the UTAS course – by sharing assignments for everyone to read, I got some excellent advice/feedback from other students. (Only shared after assignment had been marked – Ed)

I am very busy on @WikiTreers but have previously transcribed for Family Search

Just today I have a comment on my latest post suggesting I have the age and time period out by a decade – love that input!

I agree I get all sorts of unexpected info and requests from my blog

I love it when people make contact through the blog when if they recognise their ancestor in my post

geralt / Pixabay

Have you any plans or suggestions for celebrating National Family History Month in Australia & NZ?

I attended the opening talk by Zoom with @HicksShauna and plan to attend the closing one with @fiona_memories. Our group is running a talk with Shauna via zoom also.

Where do you find out about all these talks, etc?

good point Brooke. I think we should have some kind of national calendar like the NFHM calendar AFFHO did but for all the time. There is… but I suspect a US focus.

Great idea – another thing we need a volunteer to upkeep? NZSG has an events calendar. Perhaps AFFHO could have n annual calendar.…

Sharn’s talk was so amazing. I really do wonder at the value of having bricks and mortar if we are safer using zoom. It was always so hard to get people to use the library anyway – I think our efforts now need to go into digitizing as much as we can.

Hoping to get to a family history day next Saturday. Wellington Region #FamilyHistory event (combined Wgtn branches of NZSG)

Might see you there, Jane. I’m selling raffle tickets in afternoon.

ah raffle tickets. The funding lynchpin of many a society 😉

Auckland and Christchurch Family History Expos. Launching a new Plan to Publish online course plus some new guides to help with publishing and sharing your research.

When I can get back on the computer, re start my blog!!! Dormant since 2018.

I have joined in with @luvviealex #NFHM2021 Blogging Challenge to blog every week or more often in August

Am doing two talks at Rosny Library – will probably be half hour talk then hour and a half to do practical stuff from the talk

I’m going to a talk at my local Family History Society. This will be my first visit

The opening talk to Family History month in AUS & NZ discussed the future of #familyhistory societies. What role do you see societies playing in the future?

you can now have a speaker in London give a talk to a society in Cheshire watched by someone in America that’s the one good thing to come out of the last two years, but like archives, if we don’t use family history societies they will disappear

I really like locality chats eg run by #DevonFHS for a gp of Parishes, sharing real local knowledge, alongside FB for questions between chats. #RyedaleFHG have informal Zoom chat (how to peel a banana to detailed FH questions/sharing finds informally – is great too.

I have used #familyhistory societies in the past, and can be useful as they have inside knowledge of counties and towns, particular maps. They do need be more involved with social media.

#future very much depends on members/committees keeping up to date w/ #technology, making their resources available #Online / in #Digital format, changing mindset from pull to push ie as much if not more online teaching content & resources as #f2f engagement

Check out Part 1 of podcast from last week between Andy of @AFHpodcast & Margaret from @FHSofCheshire – who discuss the benefits of #FamilyHistory societies. Well worth a listen Link –…

Personally I think local Societies need to be more interactive with all members do combined meetings about local topics

Even still, a lot of online sessions are held during work hours. I usually sign up If it has a watch later option, but I always forget to watch it later.

And more flexible timing. I know I could only go at weekends or evenings when I worked and had a family at home.

very true. And if we got younger presenters that might suit them better anyway.

I (Alex) think more user-generated content is essential and I think that has been part of SAG’s success with Friday afternoon chats. I have been so impressed with members’ contributions.

The issue though is how many societies we can afford to be members of. How do you weigh up which to keep, which to join, which to leave?

I expect value for money especially when your already a subscriber to several other websites, plus other costs involved in buying Certs etc, #genealogy is not a cheap hobby and some people should not expect it to be freely given either

I’ve never been able to get myself into the society thing. Maybe because I’m younger? I’m not sure. Joining a society just hasn’t spoken to me. I love the online fam history groups – Maybe they could have a fb group if they don’t already.

My English ancestors come from 20 English counties but I’ve never really considered joining a Society mostly due to cost of joining so many, I would follow them on Twitter/Facebook so I could keep up to date with news from the Society’s

excellent point which I hadn’t considered before. You just can’t afford to join every society can you ? But Facebook is free 🙂

And don’t forget That is free too

At least with following Society’s on FB/Twitter if I see a post made by the relevant society I can comment or send a message and make enquiries

I would join societies for areas my ancestors are from if I knew joining would be useful. If it’s not going to be helpful, why bother?

Which means that #FamilyHistory societies need to MARKET themselves. What is the value proposition for joining a society? (My idea of becoming a marketing guru for FH societies keeps growing 🙂

Agree, I think the majority of members are retired or have a lot of time. Often only open few hours during the day while others working. They can be useful but again hit and miss

The successful societies will weigh up the costs of going online with the number of members they may attract subs will reflect this

Local Societies know the peculiarities of their area and history useful for researchers from afar they need to promote this

completely agree Hilary. The most successful posts for QFHS Facebook page are about the local projects we have indexed or digitized.

Societies need to adapt to changing social & economic conditions. Change takes time to implement and requires planning. Might be too hard for many organisations when they might not have the skills to succeed at adapting.

In order to survive Societies need to encourage younger people and involve themselves more with social media

Societies need to upgrade websites and start getting younger people into their ranks

Blog posts

Carmel – Using photo enhancement as crowd sourcing,

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