21/08/2013
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Tayroots Family History Day launches Angus Heritage Week 2013

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Angus Heritage Week 2013 will launch with Tayroots Family History Day, a free event devoted to family and local history, featuring talks and workshops from genealogy specialists.

The Tayroots Family History Day will be held at the Brechin Mechanics’ Institute on 13 September and one of the highlights is a talk by historian and broadcaster Dr Nick Barratt who, through his involvement with the BBC’s 'Who Do You Think You Ar'e, played a major part in the recent surge of interest in all things genealogical. Nick will be hosting a workshop on researching and writing a family’s history.

He said: 'I can’t wait to come back – it’s always great to talk to an enthusiastic and engaged audience. Tracing your family tree isn’t about seeing how far back in time you can go – it’s about getting to know the people who came before you.

'At my workshop, I’ll be explaining how you can write up your family history – not just researching some of the stories that relate to your ancestors but how to bring them to life and possibly find a publisher for them as well.'

Gravestone carvings

The carvings on many gravestones can provide a wealth of information about the people buried there. During the Tayroots Family History Day, Fiona Scharlau, manager of the Angus Archives, will explain the meanings of the gravestone carvings, including the various trades inscriptions and why there are so many graves marked by a skull and crossbones in the local kirkyards, as well as where to find the best grave carvings in Angus.

Following her talk, Fiona will lead a tour around Brechin Cathedral’s ancient cemetery, where many fine examples of gravestone carvings can be seen.

There will also be a talk about the history of weaving in Angus by Ron Scrimgeour, who worked in the Dundee jute mills while at school and university, as well as demonstrations of weaving and spinning. In addition, throughout the day, expert family and local history groups and businesses will be on hand to offer help and advice.

Places for talks and workshops are free but limited. To book, tel: 01307 473262 or visit the Tay Roots website.

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