A big thanks to the Belfast branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society (www.nifhs.org/branches/belfast/) for a great session last night, when I gave a talk from my home in Ayrshire on how to trace Irish folk in Scotland - I'll be doing the talk again on November 16th for the Larne branch, if you missed it (and again early next year for the Causeway Coast and Glens!)! There were some great questions, and it was wonderful to see people attending not only from back home, but also from Canada and England - a real benefit of doing such sessions on Zoom!
In the last few months I have given many talks on Zoom to family history societies in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Australia and the US, and I have a fair few lined up for the rest of this year and next year also for groups in the US, Canada, England and NI. The use of platforms such as Zoom (https://zoom.us) and GoToWebinar (www.gotomeeting.com/en-gb/webinar) are really transforming the reach of such talks, and it is great to see how adaptive societies are becoming with their use - I've had a lot of fun recently talking to folk in Scotland, Devon, Belfast, Sydney, Queensland, and more (and some strange hours at which to give them!). There has also been a bit of a learning curve at my end, and new microphones and cameras purchased for the PC, but it's been wonderful to be able to catch up with so many folk worldwide.
I am currently proofreading my next book, Sharing Your Family History Online, which will be out in January 2021 (see https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Sharing-Your-Family-History-Online-Paperback/p/18718), and within this I discuss the use of platforms such as Zoom and GoToWebinar. They are fast becoming a staple of the family history scene, offering a superb means to go beyond the normal reach at a traditional talk session for local FHSs, and to offer a continued sense of community during the current pandemic. Something I was particularly impressed with last night was the fact that once my talk had finished, the Belfast group, only on their second Zoom session as a society, had also scheduled a time for a good blether afterwards, proving that they aren't just handy for a lecture, there was a full blown family history society meeting going on last night!
If you are a society still thinking about taking the plunge, do consider giving it a go - God loves a trier, and I don't think I have come across a society yet that has regretted doing so! (Heck, I even have my family at it - see below!)
My next 5 week Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers course starts November 2nd - see https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=302. My book Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scottish2 is now out, also available are Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Irish1 and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at http://bit.ly/ChrisPaton-Scotland1. Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.