Help at hand for amateur genealogists

This year’s Tayroots Family and Local History Day will provide a host of opportunities for anyone keen to trace family trees and find out more about their ancestors.

Held in Arbroath’s Webster Theatre on Sunday, April 6, the free event is being held as part of the Tartan Day Scotland Festival Homecoming weekend and feature a programme of talks by leading genealogists and historians.

It includes a presentation by geneticist Katie Barnes of ScotlandsDNA who will provide an insight into ancestral DNA testing, while the darker side of Angus and Dundee will be revealed by author Forbes Inglis, with accounts of some of the grisly murders and dastardly misdeeds that have taken place in this corner of Scotland over the centuries.

Alastair Cunningham of Scottish Clans and Castles Ltd will talk about the origins of the clans, Highland Dress and tartans.

He said: “I’ll be dispelling a few myths and bringing the story of Scotland’s clans and tartans up to date,”

Iain Ferguson, manager of the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, will highlight some of the more unusual historical records available on the ScotlandsPeople website and explain how other records of the National Archives of Scotland may help uncover a family’s roots.

He said: “For example, Kirk Session Records sometimes reveal the name of the father of an illegitimate child, adding a previously unknown branch to a family tree.”

The Tayroots Family and Local History Day will conclude with a 6pm screening of vintage local film footage. Tickets for the film evening cost £2.50. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 01241 435800. Details are available at or by calling 01307 473226.