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Additional Events

19 - 21st June 2009 - ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor…Routes to Your Scottish Roots.’

for full details & booking please contact -
Elma Lindsay, local History Officer, Central Library, Corn Exchange Road, Stirling FK8 2HX.
 visit the Home Coming Stirling website 

(‘Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief’. Generations of Scottish children, especially little girls, have endeavoured to foresee the occupation of their future spouses by carefully counting the stones from fruit such as plums served to them in a pudding. Cunning souls made sure they had five while the finicky or greedy eater fared less well.)

The Conference’s intriguing title reflects the range of occupations followed by our forebears, either by accident or design, and how we can track them down by using the appropriate sources. The 3 day event is takes place at the Albert Halls, Stirling.

 Friday : Local Sources
The Conference gets off to a strong start by examining the types of records usually available to family historians locally, and although the focus is on Stirling’s records they are representative of those held elsewhere in Scotland. The morning sessions deal with local authority material, with the afternoon’s speakers discussing more specialised sources.

Saturday: Tinker, tailor
Today’s speakers discuss the diversity of situations in which our forebears may have found themselves; from rich to poor, from tradesman to traveller; those who fought and fell for their country or who sailed the seven seas; those whose personal circumstances ensured them a comfortable life  - or those who fell foul of the law. The emphasis of each lecture will be the sources we can use to help us find these forebears, and where the sources are held.

Saturday evening:
You’ve heard the speakers, you’ve bought out the bookstalls; it’s time to relax and chat to fellow enthusiasts. Head along to the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum on Saturday evening; enjoy a glass of wine, a buffet supper, then listen ‘Travellers Tales’  - songs and stories from Jess Smith who is making a second appearance in the Conference programme, having given a presentation in the morning. Jess is one of Scotland’s most popular authors and is a member of a well-known travelling family. A truly charismatic speaker with innate storytelling ability, Jess is also a keen family historian herself.

Sunday: A Fine and Private Place: the importance of graveyards to the family historian
Sunday’s lectures examine the value of burial grounds and why they should be high on the list of must-sees for anyone researching their family’s roots. The importance of good maintenance will be discussed as will the history of the garden cemetery movement which swept Europe, and the morning closes with an explanation of the many intriguing headstone symbols, knowledge of which can unlock secrets of your family’s past. Join us for guided walks in the Old Town Cemetery in the afternoon.

Conference Timetable

Day 1 Friday 19th June 09 - Theme: Stirling’s resources

Registration:  9.00 – 9.45

Welcome:  9.45 – 9.50

Morning session:

9.50 Registrars’ Records - Speaker: Jacqueline Taylor, Senior Registrar, Stirling Council

10.20 Final Resting Place - Speaker; Barbara Docherty, Cemeteries Officer, Stirling Council

Questions 10.45 – 11.00

Break: 11.00 – 11.30

11.30 Not just a load of old books: resources in Central Reference Library -
                                                                                                            Speaker: Elma Lindsay, Local History Officer, Stirling Council

12.00  Resources for Family History Research in Stirling Council Archives - Speaker: Pam McNicol, Archivist, Stirling Council

Questions: 12.25 – 12.45

Lunch: 12.45 – 2.15 (Not supplied)


2.15 Special Collections at the University of Stirling -
                                                                        Speaker: Helen Beardsley, Senior Subject Librarian (Arts), University of Stirling

2.45 600 Glengarried Men – and a few more: resources at the Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders -
                                         Speaker: Joyce Steel, Museum Manager, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum

 3.15 People, Places and Pictures of the Past: Family History Resources in the Local Museum. -
                                                                                            Speaker: Dr E King, Director, Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

Questions 3.40 – 3.55

Stalls open until 4.30.

Day 2 Saturday 20th June 09 Theme: Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor…

Registration:  9.00 – 9.45

Welcome:  9.45 – 9.50

Morning session:

9.50 Wanderers of the Mist. - Speaker: Jess Smith, traveller and author

10.20: Tailors – Trades and Crafts from Medieval Guilds to Victorian Shops. - Speaker: John Harrison, historian and writer

Questions 10.45 – 11.00

Break: 11.00 – 11.30

11.30 Researching the Soldier – A Church Perspective - Speaker: David Brown, Local Historian

12.00 The Kincardine Sailors’ Box - Speaker: Sue Mowat, historian and writer

Questions: 12.25 – 12.45

 Lunch: 12.45 – 2.15 (not supplied)


2.15 ‘Fresh Laurels to the old Family Tree’: the papers of the Murray Family of Polmaise -
                                                                                                         Speaker: Elma Lindsay, Local History Officer, Stirling Council

2.45 Providing for Tomorrow: Friendly Societies in an Unfriendly World. - Speaker: Dr Alastair Durie, University of Stirling

Questions: 3.10 – 3.30

Break: 3.30 – 3.50

3.50 The Welfare of Families – records of the Poor Law - Speaker: Pam McNicol, Stirling Council Archivist

4.20 In Search of Thieves, Felons and Other Stirlingshire Folk - Speaker: Dr Tristram Clarke, National Archives of Scotland

Questions: 4.45 – 5.00

Stalls to remain open until 5.30

Evening - Smith Art Gallery, A glass of wine, buffet supper, and songs and stories from acclaimed author Jess Smith.

Day 3 Sunday 21st June - Theme: A Fine and Private Place: the importance of graveyards to the family historian

Registration:  10.00 – 10.30

Welcome: 10. 30 – 10.35

Morning session:

10.35 Stirling’s Old Town Cemeteries Come Alive - Speaker: Barbara Irwin, Senior Project Officer, Turner and Townsend Project Management

11.05 ‘A Pleasure Ground of Graves’ – Landscaping for the Dead. - Speaker: Christopher Dingwall, Garden Historian and Consultant

11.35 Gravestone Symbolism - Speaker: John Harrison

Questions 12.00 – 12.25

Close of Conference 12.30

Stalls open until 12.45


Afternoon - Walks round the Old Town Cemetery


This page was last updated on 9 October 2008 © Central Scotland Family History Society, 1999. 2004