Getting to the root of your family

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This year’s Angus Heritage Week will open with the Tayroots Family History Day at Dundee & Angus College in Arbroath on September 5.

This event will provide a wealth of opportunities to find out more about how to trace a family tree, unearth information about ancestors or discover more about Angus’ fascinating local history.

The Tayroots Family History Day will feature a variety of genealogy workshops aimed at all levels of family historian, with experts on hand to offer advice and share their knowledge. There will also be a programme of talks, starting with Bruce Bishop, Chairman of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies, who will be followed by historian Dr Dan Paton, Curator of Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre. Dr Paton will be discussing Montrose during World War One, when the town’s air station played a vital part in training pilots, as well as how Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre can assist with family history research.

Helen Foster of the Scottish Archive Network (SCRAN) will be explaining how to use the resources on the SCRAN website to find out more about family heritage and archivist Caroline Brown from the University of Dundee will be unlocking the secrets hidden away in medical records.

“Dundee University Archives Services hold hundreds of 18th and early 19th century volumes of records for hospitals and asylums that were in the health board area that’s now known as NHS Tayside,” said Caroline. “There are certain facts we cannot divulge, especially with regard to medical information that is less than 100 years old. However, it’s the non-medical notes, which are also found in the admission records and case books, that contain the personal information that can bring someone to life. Hospital and asylum records can be a fascinating, often overlooked, source for family and local history.”

One of the highlights of the Tayroots Family History Day will be the launch of Angus’ participation in Scotland’s War Project, a national initiative which aims to uncover and tell the stories of the Great War and how it affected Scottish families and communities.

“This is a way for the people of Angus to become involved in the World War 1 centenary by sharing documents and photographs from that period and telling the stories they contain,” said Craig Pearson, archivist, Angus Archives, who will talk about the World War One resources held by the archive.

Entrance to the Tayroots Family History Day is free but booking is advised for talks and workshops, or call 01307 473226.