If you’re reading this blog for the first time, you might not be aware that our big day is next Saturday, 11th May when we’re holding a family history conference (delegates only - online booking has closed) and a history fair. Admission to the history fair(family history, local history, social history) is free. The conference starts at 9am and the fair at 10am and both events finish at 4pm. Both events take place at the Scottish Borders Campus (and Heriot-Watt University), Nether Rd, Galashiels, Scotland, TD1 3HE. We have an interesting group of 6 speakers for the conference.
From early modern times, people from Scotland were on the move to England and all over Europe, but from the late 17th century they sought new trading and emigration opportunities across the Atlantic in North America. Within a couple of generations, their outreach extended around the world. In his talk ‘Scotland and Migration’, Dr Wotherspoon will explore why people left Scotland, what they achieved and talk about their legacy.
Shepherds and livestock sellers needed to replenish their herds and sell at markets, and move them between summer and winter pastures. Before the advent of metalled roads and trains, the only way to do this was on foot along well-known routes near pasture and with water available. These routes were known as drove roads but many have disappeared over time. Dr Ian Roberts will be talking about droving and drove roads in Northumberland.
Ken Nisbet will be discussing emigration and immigration records on the internet and Andrew Armstrong will be exploring the Buccleuch Archives.
Jenny Bruce is both an accomplished artist and has been doing research into her native county, Caithness. She'll be talking about Border shepherds who went to Caithness, some presumably walking their flocks there over drove roads. She has an exhibition with photographs of the shepherds, their families, maps and photographs of Caithness and Sutherland, famous collie dogs and Thomas Telford and she’ll be promoting her new book, a Genealogy of the Border families.
Sheila Asante will be talking about some of the migration stories at the National Portrait Gallery, discussing interesting objects and what they tell us about Scotland's migration history.
For those of you coming to the fair, there are now 40 exhibitors including Family Search, ScotlandsPeople, ScotlandsDNA, DeceasedOnline, the British Newspaper Archive, local archives and Scottish and English family history societies.
It’s quite common for exhibitors at fairs to have special offers on the day so remember to put a bit extra in your wallet or purse. It’s also a good time to join those family history societies that cover the areas in which your ancestors lived.
There’s an optional talk, 'The Heritage Hub and Developments in Archives', at lunchtime for fair visitors by Paul Brough, the new Archivist at the Hawick Heritage Hub. Paul was previously Family History Archivist for Highland Council. He will outline the changes which are altering the way family history is approached in Scotland, with particular reference to the Hub and the Scottish Borders. Attendance is limited to about 30 and there’s a charge of £2.50 for the talk.
It’s first come, first served, so book for the talk when you come in.
We’ll have 2 prize quizzes; a picture quiz and anagrams of Scottish Castles.
I hope to see you there !
Please note online booking ends on 6 May.