Researching Abroad: Finding European & British Isles Ancestors

November 7, 2017 at 7:12 pm 2 comments

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On 26 August, I attended my first Unlock the Past Roadshow, with Lyn Diepeveen and Liz Kelly at the State Library of Western Australia. Perth was the final destination in this roadshow for the key note speakers, Chris Paton (Scotland) and Dirk Weissleder (Germany) and ran dual streams. This meant our key note speakers were giving talks in parallel so Lyn & I attended the British Isles Stream to hear Chris and Liz Kelly attended the German/European Stream to hear Dirk.

After being welcomed warmly to the seminar by Alan Phillips in the State Library Theatre, attendees for the German/European Stream relocated to the Geographe Room with Dirk. Chris kicked off with his first power talk on Discovering Scottish Land Records.  It was packed full of information as to why land ownership was so different in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK, resources, records and web links.  As much as what I tried my pen simply could not keep up with the very funny Irish born Scottish based professional family historian, author and tutor. Thank goodness for Chris’ online handout to help get your head around the complicated records concerning land and property based research in Scotland. He also gave reference to his book, Discover Scottish Land Records” for further information.

Chris did three other talks throughout the day: Scottish research resources before 1800, Discover Irish Land Records and Scottish burgh and trade incorporation records. These talks were also jammed packed full of information and resources so I was bursting by the end of the day to put some of this new knowledge into practice.

WAGS President, Ian Simon also gave a talk on the British resources available at Western Australian Genealogical Society, followed by Leonie Hayes on British Resources at SLWA and Rosemary Kopittke did a presentation on using the MyHeritage website which was very informative. The unexpected surprise/bonus of the day was that I won a subscription to MyHeritage delivered in person by the funny man himself.

Thank you to all the speakers, the State Library of Western Australia, the Western Australian Genealogical Society, Unlock the Past Roadshows and the sponsors for a very wonderful day.

Nicole Edwards

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Useful Websites & Resources for Western Australian Research Finding a Family Tree Branch

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hamilton Laughland  |  February 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Good evening. I am trying to contact your former president Bernie Hayes (I know she moved to Canada) or her daughter Trish. They are both old net friends of mine. If you can help please email me at Thanks.


    • 2. gfhssecretary  |  March 12, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      sent previous email.



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