Friday, 29 January 2016

New map viewer compares Scottish land use in 1930s with today

The National Library of Scotland's new Land Use Viewer is a very handy utility which uses a split screen map viewer to compare 1930s land use with 2015 land use.

The viewer is a collaboration with Historic Environment Scotland, and allows 1930s Land Utilisation Survey maps to be compared to the 2015 Historic Land Use Assessment Layer (HLA).

The HLA layer has been deliberately coloured to closely match the six main categories of the 1930s Land Utilisation Survey and shows striking changes in Scotland's land use during the 20th century, including afforestation and expanding urban areas.

Checking the area near where I live the development of housing is very obvious with significant loss of farming land. The Land Use Viewer can be accessed through this link -

Alasdair email: Professional Genealogy Research Service

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Scotland and the Flemish People conference - University of St Andrews, 16 - 17 June 2016

I'm chairing a session on the use of Y-DNA to establish the legacy of Flemish male lineages in Scottish society.  The conference runs for two days between 16 and 17 June 2016 at the University of St Andrews.

Scotland and the Flemish People
This major inter-disciplinary conference will explore the important relationship between Scotland and Flanders in the medieval and early modern periods and the influence of Flemish people and Flemish culture on Scotland through the centuries. Drawing on research by leading scholars in history, art history, archaeology, material culture and genetic genealogy, the conference will investigate such themes as the migration and settlement of Flemings in Scotland, the commercial and diplomatic relations between Flanders and Scotland, and the range of connections, from family origins to the game of golf, that are continuing testimony to their historic links.

The conference is the culmination of an innovative three-year project based at the Institute of Scottish Historical Research at the University of St Andrews under the leadership of Professor Roger Mason. This project has incorporated the research of leading scholars and local historians, as well as new doctoral research by students based in St Andrews, that explores the multi-faceted nature of the relationship between Scotland and Flanders. Some of the project’s findings, and the range of its interests and activities, can be seen on our blog, which has provided a point of contact for engagement with the public throughout the course of the project.

We are delighted to announce that keynote lectures at the conference will be given by Dr David Ditchburn, Trinity College Dublin, Professor Jan Dumolyn, University of Ghent, Professor Richard Oram, University of Stirling and Dr Joseph Morrow QC, the Lord Lyon. They will be joined by a series of expert speakers addressing the major conference themes in parallel panel sessions on a wide range of subjects, from place-names to politics and from material culture to genetic geneaolgy.
The conference will take place over two days – 16-17 June 2016 – and is open to scholars, students, and interested members of the public.

With thanks to Dr Claire Hawes, Conference Secretary.
Scotland and the Flemish People conference

Alasdair email: Professional Genealogy Research Service

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Genetic Genealogy: An introduction (8 week fully online course)

There are still places available on the next 8 week online course, Genetic Genealogy: An introduction which I am helping to run through the University of Strathclyde.  The course is aimed at those who are considering purchasing a test kit or have recently dipped their toes into genetic genealogy to assist their research.

"This class aims to impart a basic knowledge of the scientific and technological aspects of genetic genealogy and teach the skills needed to interpret DNA test results for genealogy.  There has been an increasing interest in genetic genealogy as the technology of DNA testing has developed and the potential for genealogical applications has become clear. The scientific and technological complexities of the subject make it challenging for genealogists and family historians, who are more likely to feel an affinity with the field of arts and humanities, rather than that of science and technology. Many individuals who have a DNA test carried out find it very difficult to fully understand the meaning of the results and what further tests and/or genealogical research might prove worthwhile. This class addresses this issue and illustrates that genetic genealogy is an important tool in the field of genealogical studies. The class is also suitable for those who have not yet taken a test."

The course is fully online and starts on Monday 5 October 2015.
The cost is £155.

You can book onto the course here:

Alasdair's email: Professional Genealogy Research Service