BIFHSGO Monthly Meeting: Scotland and Cornwall

Anticipating adverse weather, the BIFHSGO meeting on Saturday, 14 January, is online only, free and open to all.

Register HERE

9:00 am – 10:00 am:  Education Talk
Scotland’s Places for Family Historians – Presenter:  Robert Urquhart
The ScotlandsPlaces website ( combines data and historical records from National Records of Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and the National Library of Scotland.  As well as providing key information on specific places and administrative units (like parishes, counties and burghs), it allows free access to 17th and 18th century tax rolls.  Robert will give practical examples of how genealogists can get the best out of the site.

Robert Urquhart first worked as an archivist in the west of Scotland.  He joined the National Archives of Scotland in 1999, where he was part of the project team which created the ScotlandsPlaces website.  Later, he became Head of Digitisation at National Records of Scotland.  Today, he runs a palaeography transcription and teaching business (  His research interests include early modern Scottish-Dutch connections and Scottish parish boundary revisions in the 19th and 20th centuries.

10:00 am – 11:30 am:  Feature Talk
Untangling Family Thickets:  Cornwall to Canada – Presenter:  Wesley Johnston
Families in a locality can be like thickets, full of intermarriages over multiple generations, making for a complex familial landscape.  Wesley will show how putting these families back together yields deep insight into their lives and the choices they made – and doing it successfully requires a solid research method.  He will present case studies of St. Blazey in Cornwall, Columbus in Ontario, and the voyages that connected them.

Wesley Johnston began family history when he inherited the Johnston Family Bible (dating to 1861 in Pickering Township, Canada West).  He is historian and webmaster of the U.S. 7th Armored Division Association and founding president of the American WWII Association Historians Consortium.  His books are available on Amazon.  His website is

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