Thursday, August 16, 2012

Potential GRONI Digitization Implications for Scotland

Hello All:

There are some "rumblings" out in the genealogy world about the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) planning to digitize their birth, marriage, and death records by the end of 2013 (source being in Sept. 2012 YFT).  If this comes to pass, which I really hope it does, it will have huge benefits for those in Scotland.  It is a given how great this will be for those in Ireland itself.  The records would be Births 1864-1913, Marriages 1845-1938, and Deaths 1864-1963.  The intention is to have this potential GRONI digital records be similar to the ScotlandsPeople website.  We all know how wonderful a site that is.  It has really shown the way of how to do things - England/Wales should take note.  At this point there has been no announcement about pricing, but I hope that it would be in line with ScotlandsPeople.

What I mean when I say the digitization of the Northern Ireland vital records having implications for Scotland is that many Northern Irish migrated to Scotland throughout its history.  There is no counting how many times during research for clients in the Scottish records that an ancestor was from Ireland (particularly Northern Ireland).  Usually things would have to stop at the point once the Scottish records have been exhausted, and the need for an Irish researcher would have to take over from the point left.  If this project of digitizing goes forward in earnest research can "jump" across to Northern Ireland from Scotland within a blink of an eye, and without leaving your house or office.  This will help bridge the gap in Scottish research as well as for Irish research.

It must to stressed that this potential digitization is for Northern Ireland only.  The Republic of Ireland seems to have digitized its civil registration records, but they have not made them online to the public.  Hopefully they will do so soon.  These records too will be a great benefit to all, especially those in the USA who have numerous Irish immigrants.

Another bit of Irish digitization news is that the Irish Military Pensions are in the works of being digitized too.  The company Eneclann has been awarded the project.  It is expected to be completed in early 2015.  These records are for those veterans and or their dependents who served duty from April and May 1916 to the end of September 1923.

A big congrats to Northern Ireland for wanting to get this done.  I really hope that it isn't just talk, but will go full throttle to get it completed and online to the public.  It isn't just a benefit for those in Ireland, but for the UK and the world.

Until Next Time . . .

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Professional Genealogists Have the Gift of the Gab

Hello All -

I am sure you are wondering what the post title is about.  There is a new group out here in Scotland for those in the genealogy profession (researchers, archivists, etc.) to meet up and have a good ol' natter.  It is called Scottish Genealogy Network.  It has been running since about March of this year.  It got started up by those who were attending the Who Do You Think You Are Live in London this past February.  I didn't attend this time, so I was a bit out of the loop.  I noticed a post regarding it on LinkedIn and jumped at the chance to attend their meeting.  There is nothing currently like this for professional genealogists and family historians in Scotland - it is an idea whose time has finally come.

This past meet up was in Stirling.  This month it will be in Perth.  The group is very informal and I think that those who attend like it that way.  It is a good chance for those of us in the professional to meet each other and "talk shop."  Most of us in the genealogy profession work by ourselves (self employed) without too much contact with others in the field.  However, once a  month those of us working in Scotland can get together.  You know of peoples names and faces, but you don't necessarily get a chance to speak in person to them.  This monthly meeting is a good chance to do that.

Speaking for myself, I had a great time.  There is nothing like meeting up with those who share your profession and being able to talk about all sort of topics associated with working day to day in genealogy and family history.  It was hard to tear myself away from it all, but I had to go in order to get back home in time.  You can easily loose track of time as all the conversations can be interesting and educational as well as a good laugh.  The topics of discussion can range from DNA, genealogy books, client research, and even general non-genealogy topics such as the Olympics.  The meet up is usually the last Saturday of the month and the locations are different each time.  There would be some travel involved, but it isn't too far and it is only once a month.  It is well worth it in my opinion.

If you haven't been to one of the monthly meetups and you are in the genealogy/family history profession in Scotland (you don't have to be a researcher) please join in.  It is very informal and a really good time.  As I mentioned earlier in this post, the next meeting is in Perth on the 25th August.  This time around we are planning on taking a quick tour of the A.K. Bell Library in Perth - it will mainly be the local studies/archives area of the library if able to do so at the time.  We are to meet at the library's main entrance at 1:00 pm, then have a quick tour about, then meet over at the Salutation Hotel for our informal get together.  It sounds like a really good outing. 

If you need any further information and details about this month's get together or about the Scottish Genealogy Network (SGN) in general just contact Chis Paton by email:  christopherpaton  at 

As I mentioned before, these get together's are very informal and friendly.   All are welcome who are in the genealogy/family history profession in anyway shape or form.  If you wish to read other blog posts about our group please view the links below:

Here is Kirsty Wilkinson's blog:

Here is Chis Paton's blog:

Until next time . . .