Scottish Indexes Conferences

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all. With millions of people around the world stuck at home and locked out of their beloved archives, we worked quickly in the spring of 2020 to start a series of free Scottish genealogy conferences. The first was held (nervously) in April 2020, and since then family historians from around the world have been joining us for these great learning opportunities.

The support from the Scottish genealogy community has been amazing, with genealogists and others from around the world volunteering to provide free high-quality presentations. If you would like to submit a proposal, please contact us. Most talks are available only at the live event, but some are now on YouTube and other websites for you to watch if you missed them.

On this page, you will find a list of presentations from past conferences. If the presentation is available online, we have provided a link.

The fifteenth Scottish Indexes Conference will be held on Saturday 15 January 2022. Find out more here on our homepage.

Quick Links

Scottish Indexes Conference I - 9 April 2020

Scottish Indexes Conference II - 1 May 2020

Scottish Indexes Conference III - 8 June 2020

Scottish Indexes Conference IV - 11 July 2020

Scottish Indexes Conference V - 30 August 2020

Scottish Indexes Conference VI - 10 October 2020

Scottish Indexes Conference VII - 6 December 2020

Scottish Indexes Conference VIII - 30 January 2021

Scottish Indexes Conference IX - 20 March 2021

Scottish Indexes Conference X - 22 May 2021

Scottish Indexes Conference XI - 10 July 2021

Scottish Indexes Conference XII - 4 September 2021

Scottish Indexes Conference XIII - 23 October 2021

Scottish Indexes Conference XIV - 5 December 2021

Scottish Indexes Conference XV - 15 January 2022

Scottish Indexes Conference XVI - 12 March 2022

Scottish Indexes Conference XVI - 12 March 2022

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Will? – why Scottish wills and testaments are not that scary and how they can help you with your family history’ by Robert Urquhart, Archivist and Palaeographer at Abbotshall Palaeography. You can access the handout for this presentation here.

‘Your Scottish Archives’ by John Pelan, Director of the Scottish Council on Archives (SCA).

‘Breach of Promise of Marriage Cases’ by Kate Keter, Genealogist at familytreetales.co.uk

‘Reading Old Scottish Handwriting’ by Rachel Hart, Senior Archivist (Keeper of Manuscripts and Muniments) at the University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums.

‘“One wants you at home to think it’s all heroic & splendid” - Part 2 of a journey through the Waring of Lennel papers’ by George MacKenzie, retired archivist and former Keeper of the Records of Scotland.

‘Using Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives’ by Phil Astley, Archivist at Aberdeen City Archives.

‘Records of the Scottish Poor’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

Scottish Indexes Conference XV - 15 January 2022

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘Exploring the Collections of Edinburgh City Archives’ by Ashleigh Thompson, records and archives officer at Edinburgh City Archives.

‘Managing Archives’ by George MacKenzie, retired archivist and former Keeper of the Records of Scotland.

‘Crofters, Cottars and the Napier Commission’ by Lorna Steele-McGinn, Community Engagement Officer for the Highland Archive Service. You can view a video of a presenntation on this subject from the 'Learn With Lorna' series here.

‘Using North Lanarkshire Burgh Records for Family History’ by Wiebke McGhee, Archivist at North Lanarkshire Archives. You can download the handout for this presentation here.

‘Finding Uncle Geordie’ by Audrey Collins, family history specialist at The National Archives. You can download the handout for this presentation here.

‘Visualising Your Family History’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

Scottish Indexes Conference XIV - 5 December 2021

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘Dundee's Tallest Tenement’ by Jennifer Jolly.

‘Tracing Jewish families in Scotland and Central/Eastern Europe’ by Michael Tobias, genealogist and Vice President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain.

‘Scottish Marriage: Instantly Buckled for Life’ by Chris Paton of Scotland's Greatest Story. Chris runs the popular genealogy blog ScottishGENES.

‘Ae fond kiss, and then we sever - Finding Records of Marital Disharmony’ by Kirsty Wilkinson, genealogist and author of ‘Finding Your Scottish Ancestors: Techniques for Solving Genealogy Problems’. You can download the handout for this presentation here.

‘Tips for tracing your 18th century Scottish ancestors online’ by Andrew Armstrong of Relatively Scottish. You can download the handout for this presentation here.

'Business Records for the Family Historian’ by Dr Irene O'Brien, senior archivist at Glasgow City Archives.

'Overcoming Brickwalls' by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

Scottish Indexes Conference XIII - 23 October 2021

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘Hidden in Plain Site’ - a journey through where to find genealogical records that are often not known about or forgotten in preference for the more commonly used websites by Amelia Bennett, genealogist of Mia Genealogy. You can download the handout for this presentation here.

‘Using the NLS maps website for family history research’ by Chris Fleet, Map Curator at the National Library of Scotland.

‘Your Welsh Ancestors’ by Eilir Daniels, genealogist of Your Welsh Ancestors.

'Tracing family history through health’ by Dr Louise Williams, archivist at Lothian Health Services Archive.

‘Stories from the School Log Books’ by Lorna Steele, Community Engagement Officer for the Highland Archive Service.

‘Tracing the Irish in Scotland’ by Chris Paton of Scotland's Greatest Story. Chris runs the popular genealogy blog ScottishGENES. You can download the handout for this presentation here.

'New Features and Records on Scottish Indexes' by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

Scottish Indexes Conference XII - 4 September 2021

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

'Locating Scottish Burial Records' by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

'An introduction to the National Records of Scotland’s archives' by Tessa Spencer, Head of Outreach and Learning at the National Records of Scotland. You can download the handout for this presentation here. Watch here:

‘From Session to Synod - exploring the Kirk's disciplinary process’ by Margaret Fox, archivist at Traquair House and formerly an archivist at the National Records of Scotland.

'A Guide To DNA Painter Tools' by Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy, co-author of ‘Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide for Family Historians’ (available here). You can download the handout for this presentation here.

'Tips on tracing your military and naval ancestors before the First World War’ by Audrey Collins, family history specialist at The National Archives. You can download the handout for this presentation here.

‘Findmypast & Scottish Family History Societies – Working together to discover ancestors’ by Myko Clelland of Findmypast. Although this presentation is not online, Myko often pops up on Findmypast’s videos.

‘Using Deeds to Trace Your Scottish Family History’ by Graham Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes. Find out more about deeds here in our Scottish genealogy Learning Zone.

Scottish Indexes Conference XI - 10 July 2021

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘Tracing Scottish Women’ - by Kirsty Wilkinson, genealogist and author of ‘Finding Your Scottish Ancestors: Techniques for Solving Genealogy Problems’.

‘Merchant and Trades House Records’ by Dr Irene O'Brien, senior archivist at Glasgow City Archives.

‘Tracing Scottish Ancestors before 1855’ by genealogist Alison Spring. Download Alison's handout here

‘Member's Story: Diana Rae’ by Jennifer Jolly.

‘The Stones of Seafield: exploring monumental inscriptions in Edinburgh's Seafield Cemetery’ by Emma Jolly, writer and genealogist at emmajolly.co.uk.

‘DNA Match Lists, Shared Matches & Testing Site Basics’ by genealogist Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy. Michelle is a co-author of the book, ‘Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide for Family Historians’ published by Pen & Sword. Although this presentation is not available online, you can watch more from Michelle here.

Scottish Indexes Conference X - 22 May 2021

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘Mother dead, Father in prison’ by genealogist Kate Keter. Download Kate's handout here.

‘Patterns of Migration in the Scottish Textiles Industries 1750-1950’ by Andrew Armstrong of Relatively Scottish.

‘Family History at the National Library of Scotland’ by Robbie Mitchell. The National Library of Scotland has a dedicated family history section.

‘“A decent looking woman in the early prime of life” - how it all went wrong for Sarah Gregg’ by Margaret Fox.

‘Genealogy Without Borders’ by Chris Paton of ScottishGENES.

‘Aberdeen & North East Scotland Family History Society’ by Ivor Normand.

‘Scots in Canada’ by Diane Rogers.

Scottish Indexes Conference IX - 20 March 2021

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

'Kirk Session Records on ScotlandsPeople' by Tessa Spencer, Head of Outreach and Learning at the National Records of Scotland. Watch here:

'Family History at the Mitchell' by Dr Irene O'Brien, senior archivist at Glasgow City Archives.

‘There's Been a Murder - The Mount Stewart Murder of 1866’ by Chris Paton, genealogist at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk and author of ‘The Mount Stewart Murder’, available from The History Press.

‘Beware the Babbet Bapper and Other Cautionary Tales’ by genealogist Kate Keter - www.familytreetales.co.uk.

Scottish Records in The National Archives’ by Audrey Collins, family history specialist at The National Archives. You can download the handout for this presentation here.

‘Researching Kincardineshire Ancestors’ by genealogist Emma Jolly - www.emmajolly.co.uk

‘DNA Match Lists, Shared Matches & Testing Site Basics’ by genealogist Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy. Michelle is a co-author of the book, ‘Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide for Family Historians’ published by Pen & Sword. Although this presentation is not available online, you can watch more from Michelle here.

Scottish Indexes Conference VIII - 30 January 2021

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society’ by Sheila Duffy. Watch here:

‘In Sickness and in Health - family history and health records’ by Fiona Musk, NHS Grampian Archivist. Watch here:

‘Beginning Scottish Research’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

‘The importance of getting your facts straight (in order to tell your family story)’ by Helen Tovey, editor of Family Tree.

‘Sharing Your Family History Online’ by Chris Paton, genealogist at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk and author of ‘Sharing Your Family History Online’. This presentation is not online, but here is a short video of Chris talking about his book:

‘William Simpson’s Asylum Project’ by Karl Magee, archivist at The University of Stirling.

‘Caithness Family Society & #SAFHS2021’ by Ian Leith, chairman of Caithness Family Society. Watch here:

Scottish Indexes Conference VII - 6 December 2021

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘The Highlands: Jacobites, Clearances and Emigration’ by Lorna Steele, of the Highland Archive Centre.

‘Orkney Family History Society’ by Jackie Harrison, representing Orkney Family History Society. Watch here:

‘Using Kirk Session Records’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

‘Your Burning DNA Questions’ by Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy. Although this presentation is not available online, you can watch more from Michelle here.

‘Using Findmypast to go Beyond Basic Birth, Marriage & Death Records’ by Myko Clelland of Findmypast. Although this presentation is not online, Myko often pops up on Findmypast’s videos.

‘Borders Family History Society’ by Elma Fleming, chair of Borders Family History Society. Watch here:

‘Understanding Scottish Inheritance Records’ by Chris Paton, genealogist at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk and author of ‘Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry through Church and State Records’. Although Chris’ presentation is not online, here is a short video of Chris talking about his very useful book.

‘Researching Scottish Ancestors from a Distance/from away’, genealogy reference specialist at Maine State Library. Watch here:

Scottish Indexes Conference VI - 10 October 2020

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

'Scottish Marriage: Instantly Buckled for Life' by Chris Paton, genealogist at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk and author of ‘Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry through Church and State Records’, available here.

'Genealogy in the Glasgow City Archives' by Dr Irene O'Brien, senior archivist at Glasgow City Archives.

‘Highlights from the Highland Archive Service’ by Lorna Steele, of the Highland Archive Centre.

‘Tracing Scottish Ancestors on Ancestry’ by Kirsty Wilkinson, Genealogist and author of ‘Finding Your Scottish Ancestors: Techniques for Solving Genealogy Problems’.

‘Using Scottish Asylum Records’ by Emma Maxwell, Genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

‘Using DNA To Solve Adoption and Unknown Parentage Mysteries’ Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy. Although this presentation is not available online, you can watch more from Michelle here.

'Fife Family History Society' by Ali Murray, Chair of Fife Family History Society. Watch here:

Scottish Indexes Conference V - 30 August 2020

Download the Conference Handout here as a PDF.

‘Caring for Collections: protecting and preserving the family archive’ by Shona Hunter and Joe Jackson of the National Library of Scotland. We are pleased to say that this presentation is available to watch here:

'The Resources of Scottish Family History Societies' by Jean Dickson, genealogist and volunteer at the Scottish Genealogy Society and Emma Maxwell, Genealogist at Scottish Indexes. Watch here:

'Scottish Prison Records' by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes.

‘Discover Scottish Land Records’ by Chris Paton, genealogist at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk and author of ‘Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry through Church and State Records’, available here.

‘DNA Case Studies: How to Successfully Combine DNA & Traditional Research Methods’ by Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy. Although this presentation is not available online, you can watch more from Michelle here.

‘Genealogy in the Scottish Borders Archives’ by Hannah Bell, from the Scottish Borders Archives.

‘Using the National Library of Scotland’s maps website to aid your local history’ by Craig Statham, Maps Reading Room Manager at the National Library of Scotland.

‘Mapping the Archival Footprints of Scotland’s Ministers’ by Michelle Brock and Chris Langley. Find out more about this amazing project at Mapping the Scottish Reformation

Scottish Indexes Conference IV - 11 July 2020

‘Techniques for Solving Genealogy Problems’ by Kirsty Wilkinson, Genealogist and author of ‘Finding Your Scottish Ancestors: Techniques for Solving Genealogy Problems’.

‘Tips and Tricks for Getting the Best out of www.scottishindexes.com’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist at www.scottishindexes.com.

‘North Lanarkshire Archives - Using and Reading typical Scottish Local Authority Archives Records for Family History’ by Wiebke McGhee, Archivist at North Lanarkshire Archives.

‘Uncovering the Collections of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh’ by Daisy Cunynghame, Archivist at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Watch here:

‘Getting the best out of the NLS maps website’ by Chris Fleet, Map Curator at the National Library of Scotland.

‘Buccleuch Estate Rentals’ by Andrew Armstrong, Genealogist at www.relativelyscottish.com. Andrew’s presentation is available to watch here.

Scottish Indexes Conference III - 8 June 2020

‘Finding your Scottish Ancestors in Australia’ by genealogist Kerry Farmer.

‘Using Deeds to Trace Your Scottish Family History’ by Graham Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes. Find out more about deeds here in our Scottish genealogy Learning Zone.

‘Scottish Burgh and Trade Incorporation Records’ by Chris Paton, genealogist at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk and author of The Scottish GENES Blog (GEnealogy News and EventS).

‘Referencing for Genealogists: or how to show where you found the data’ by Tahitia McCabe, genealogist and educator based at the University of Strathclyde.

‘Sounds like Family - Using Audio Recordings for Research’ by Jeni Park, from the National Library of Scotland.

‘Finding Scottish Origins in U.S. Records’ by B.J. Jamieson, genealogy reference specialist at Maine State Library.

‘Finding Your Scottish Ancestors in Canada’ by Christine Woodcock, organiser of the Scottish Vic (Scottish Virtual Conference).

Scottish Indexes Conference II - 1 May 2020

‘Buccleuch Estate Rentals’ by Andrew Armstrong, genealogist at Relatively Scottish. Andrew’s presentation is available to watch here.

‘Sources in Scotland for Tracing Scottish Emigrants’ by Scottish Genealogist Kirsty Wilkinson. You can watch this presentation here on Facebook.

‘Using Sheriff Court Records for Genealogy Research’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist at Scottish Indexes. This presentation will be shown in the Scottish Indexes Facebook group in the coming weeks. If you missed it, join the group to watch it.

‘Tracing Living People - especially where adoption is involved’ by Jean Dickson of Roots for You - Genealogy & Family History.

‘Tracing the Irish in Scotland’ by Chris Paton, genealogist at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk and author of ‘Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet’, which is available here.

‘Scottish Poor Law and its Records’ by Anne Henry of Warthog Genealogy.

‘...bread & cheese & kisses is not enough…’ by George Mackenzie, retired archivist and former Keeper of the Records of Scotland.

‘DNA Testing for Family History’ by Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy, co-author of ‘Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide for Family Historians’, available here.

‘Introduction to High Court Records’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes. You can watch this tutorial here.

Scottish Indexes Conference I - 9 April 2020

‘Absolute Beginners’ by Anne Henry of Warthog Genealogy. The slides from this presentation can be viewed here on Anne’s Facebook page.

‘Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records’ by Chris Paton, genealogist at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk. Although this presentation is not available online, you may find his book ‘Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry through Church and State Records’ useful, which is available here.

‘Understanding Scottish Census Records’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist at Scottish Indexes. You can read her ‘Learning Zone’ section on census records here.

‘Scottish Family History resources on FindMyPast’ by Myko Clelland, genealogist at FindMyPast.

‘Where is it?’ by Jane Harris of Janealogy. The slides from this presentation can be viewed here on the Janealogy Facebook page.

‘Scottish Mental Health Records’, an introduction by Emma Maxwell. You can watch this tutorial here in our Learning Zone.

‘Records of the Kelso Dispensary’ by Andrew Armstrong of Relatively Scottish. Andrew has worked hard to help us index the records of the Kelso Dispensary which you can search for free here on our website.

‘Using Facebook for Genealogy’ by Clare Wilson of Treehouse Genealogy. Watch here:

‘Scottish Prison Records’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist and co-founder of Scottish Indexes. Although the presentation is not online, you can learn more about Scottish prison records here in our Learning Zone.

‘An Introduction to the Register of Deeds’ by Emma Maxwell, genealogist at Scottish Indexes. This tutorial can be viewed here in our 'Learning Zone'.


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