Tuesday, 21 July 2009

News from the International Genealogy Festival

I popped along to the first day of the International Genealogy Festival at the University of Strathclyde today, and managed to catch up with some of the vendors there, as well as some university friends helping out (hi to all, and sorry I missed you there Ali!).

The Families in British India Society was there, a quirky bunch wearing hats from the British Raj era (no idea what the type of hat is - answers in the comments section please!). They were quite busy, and have several new databases to add soon to their website, including transcriptions of the Canning Collection - no idea what that is as yet either, but trust me, this shuggy is on the case! :)

The University of Glasgow Archive has a brilliant new database going online in a couple of weeks time, listing all those who have graduated there from the very beginning in the 15th Century. They also have their very own blog up and running now at
http://universityofglasgowlibrary.wordpress.com/ - well worth a visit. The archive has some great records, particularly on the business front, including for Glasgow shipping companies and other firms.

The Recording Angels were there, sort of like Charlie's Angels in graveyards! Actually they are a great bunch, I last saw them in 2007 at the family history fair in Glenrothes, and they have some new monumental inscription publications just out, including new guides for Cockpen and Carrington in Midlothian. they concentrate on 13 parishes in Midlothian so worth checking their project out if you have ancestors from the area.

At one point I bumped into Claire White, who interviewed me last year on BBC Radio Scotland's Digging up Your Roots programme, and managed to say a quick hello, and I also had a chance to have a good chat with BBC1 Scotland presenter and newsreader Sally Magnusson, who was also there for her own Radio 4 show. It's actually the first time I've met Sally, despite having worked at the Beeb in Glasgow in the past for 6 years, and she's a really nice down to Earth person. I recently reviewed her book "Iceland and the Hebrides - My Roots" for Discover my Past Scotland magazine, which was based on a talk that she gave to the Islands Books Trust. She told me she had been surprised when she had been told it was to be published, but I told her I thought it had been a good idea, as it is a good read! It is - and you can get it from the trust at www.theislandsbooktrust.com ! Also on the media front, Gavin Esler briefly passed me at one point, he was there to give a talk on his family history, and STV also had a crew there, one of whom I knew from my days there in the late 1990s.

Ancestry.co.uk was also there, ably represented by Annabel, Simon and the rest of the publicity team. They have lots of goodies coming online soon, but I am certain I will be placed in the Tower of London if I reveal anything in advance - however, I can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that Ancestry is getting in on the genealogical confectionery market. Obviously impressed with the ScotlandsPeople chocolate bar (see further EXCLUSIVE coverage and photo at ScotlandsPeople provides new tool for brick wall research), Ancestry now has Ancestry mints in a nice wee white container. You can't buy them, you have to go to the fair to get your free supply. I managed to sneak away with two packs, but I think they're onto me... If you reach a brick wall and don't know where to turn, one of those wee mints will do the trick. Trust me!

Surprisingly few family history societies were there - Glasgow and West of Scotland FHS was present, and Aberdeen and North East Scotland FHS was still due to arrive, though I am not sure if others will arrive over the next few days. Many other big vendors were there, including S. & N. Genealogy Supplies Ltd. ASGRA, ScotlandsPeople and the NAS were also present, as was the National Archives from Kew in the form of the ever radiant Audrey Collins, and all as busy as ever!

Well worth popping in to have a look - further info on the event, which runs until Friday, can be found at the following link - International Genealogy Festival.

Chris

www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk
Scotland's Greatest Story
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
http://twitter.com/ChrisMPaton

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