What a great day yesterday! I was fortunate enough to be part of the Toronto Branch (OGS) Workshop "Scotland & Its People"
The day was very well organized and lots of information was offered and shared.
Dr Kevin James from the University of Guelph's Scottish Studies Program gave a condensed history of Scotland, helping to put our genealogy research into perspective. His second talk was a brilliant overview of reasons for Scots emigrating.
Sheena Tait made her maiden voyage to Canada to speak on Scottish History and it's impact on Genealogy Research (parish records, poor law records, estate records etc). Her second talk gave an overview of the Scottish agricultural labourer and provided some of the social history aspects for our farmer ancestors. And Sheena's final talk provided resources that would allow us to gain a better sense of being able to visualize what our ancestors' lives were like.
James FS Thomson from the Toronto branch gave two workshops. The first was on the website ScotlandsPlaces, the sister site to ScotlandsPeople, where documents other than statutory records are available - tax records, gazeteers, ordnance maps and so much more. His second talk was on conducting Scottish research from the GTA and the resources that are available locally.
Linda Reid, also from the Toronto Branch, gave a wonderful and fascinating talk on using Lair records to break through genealogical brick walls.
Krista Barclay gave us a fascinating look at Scots who had initially settled in Ontario and who subsequently migrated to North Dakota as a response to the Homesteaders Act.
Marian Press gave a very informative talk on resources for local history and social history to assist us in gaining a better understanding of our Scottish ancestors.
And I gave a talk to a very enthusiastic group on preparing for a genealogy research trip to Scotland.
It was a full day. Full of learning. Lots of chances to network and some great craic. Many of us missed out on lunch because we didn't want to have to miss out on any of the talks to go out and grab a sandwich.
Thank You Toronto!