Fact-filled opening to family history event

Organisers of the first ever Angus Heritage Week have announced that the opening event will be a day devoted to family history research.

On Friday, September 7, Tayroots Genealogy Workshops and Talks will be held at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath, where top genealogy experts will provide advice about how to trace a family tree; explain how to discover more than just the dates of birth, marriage and death of relatives from days gone by; and reveal the astonishing ancestral secrets which have been uncovered by the Scottish DNA Project.

This free event will start at 10am, beginning with a talk by Dr Bruce Durie, professional genealogist and in-house expert of Radio Scotland’s ‘Digging Up Your Roots’.

Dr Durie will be discussing the Scottish DNA Project, which has made some fascinating discoveries about the true origins of the Scottish people.

“This project confirms what we always thought we knew,” said Dr Durie. “Scotland is a mosaic nation with Gaels in the west, Norse in the north, Britons in the south and Picts, like me, in the east.”

Next will be a talk on Heraldry and Old Angus Families by local family historian Jack Blair, who will be using the Coat of Arms of Angus to illustrate his findings.

This will be followed by a workshop for family history novices by ancestral consultant Marie Dougan. “Genealogy is wonderful,” said Marie. “It’s like being a detective!

Marie explained that her workshop will cover the basics of tracing a family tree, including how to get started. “In addition, I’ll cover areas such as the information provided by birth, marriage and death records, Old Parish Records and Census records, as well as tips about recording details and identifying reliable online information sources.”

At the second workshop of the afternoon, genealogist and local historian John W Irvine will share his research expertise with experienced family history researchers.

“Genealogy can be enriched considerably by taking the time to discover the people behind the names on a family tree,” said John.

“Documents in local and national archives, newspaper articles and burial records can bring ancestors to life – and provide a unique insight into the past.”

In addition, there will be a variety of expert groups and organisations on hand to provide family history advice, including Angus Archives, Tay Valley Family History Society, ScotlandsPeople, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives, Deceased Online and the British Newspaper Archive.

“Angus Heritage Week is an exciting way to tell the story of Angus,” said Councillor Mairi Evans, Angus Council tourism spokesperson.

“The Tayroots Genealogy Workshops and Talks provide a wonderful opportunity for people from near and far to find out more about their ancestors and, in particular, their family’s Angus roots and the part their family may have played in the story of Angus.”

As places at the talks and workshops are limited, booking is highly advised. To book a free place, call 01307 473262 or visit www.angusheritage.com/genealogy.

The Angus Heritage Week Event Programme is available at leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries and tourist attractions across Angus, Dundee, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and Fife or download from www.angusheritage.com.

To find out more about Angus Heritage Week, visit www.angusheritage.com, ‘like’ the Angus Heritage Facebook page or follow on Twitter.