Friday, 3 August 2012

The Scottish Genealogy Network

There are many great things about being a professional genealogist: getting to do something you love every day, helping to solve family mysteries and to give others a greater understanding of their history, constantly learning new things and gaining a better understanding of your country’s past, to name but a few.
However, most of us work alone, rarely meet our clients and spend rather more time amongst the dead than the living.  Friends and family may not necessarily share our passion or appreciate hearing about the really fascinating record we found from 1792.  Genealogy can, therefore, be a rather lonely occupation.
For me, social networking has been a great help in overcoming this feeling of isolation and, through Twitter in particular, I have connected to a great bunch of professionals in the UK and worldwide who are always read to give support and advice and share in an exciting genealogical discovery.
But there’s only so much you can say in 140 characters and nothing beats sitting down face-to-face for a good old chinwag.  As I wrote earlier this year, for me, the best part of attending ‘Who Do You Think You Are Live’ in London was the opportunity to meet with other professional genealogists, many of whom I’d never met in person before.
In fact, a few of us professionals based in Scotland found meeting up together at WDYTYALive to be so useful (and such good fun!) that we decided to try and make it a regular thing, and so the idea for the Scottish Genealogy Network was born.
The basic idea of the Scottish Genealogy Network is that it should be an informal and inclusive group and meet regularly.  As such, it does not replicate nor conflict with any other professional genealogical organisation, of which several attendees (myself included) are members.
Anyone who is involved in genealogy in some way professionally - for example, as a researcher, archivist, librarian, tutor, lecturer, writer, vendor etc. - is very welcome to attend.  Meetings will take place on the last Saturday of each month at a different venue throughout Scotland.
The main meetings take place in a pub (ideally one with interesting historical connections!) giving those who attend a chance to have a few pints, get to know each other a little better, swap the latest news and gossip from the world of genealogy and perhaps even make some useful business contacts.
As getting to some meetings may involve a fair amount of travelling, it was felt to make the most of the different venues we should include something a little educational.  Therefore, where possible, there will also be a short visit to a library, archive, museum etc.  This will be a chance to familiarise ourselves with record repositories that may be new to us.
The next meeting will be held in Perth on Saturday, August 25th 2012.  An archivist at Perth and Kinross Archives had kindly agreed to show the group around the archive (which is normally not open on Saturdays).  We will meet at the main entrance to the A.K. Bell Library, Perth just before 1pm for a tour of the archive, followed by a quick look around the local studies section of the library.  Around 1.45-2pm the group will move on to The Salutation Hotel for a drink and a chat.
Anyone is very welcome to come along to either or both parts of the day.  If you would like to be included on an email mailing list for future events, please email me at or Chris Paton at christopherpaton @  You can also read a little more about the Scottish Genealogy Network on Chris’s blog.

I look forward to meeting some of you at future events!

Kirsty F. Wilkinson
My Ain Folk