Posts Tagged ‘ancestry’

History Fair

Fascinated by the past and wanting to learn more? Looking for something different to do at the weekend? Join us at this year’s South Ayrshire’s History Fair on Saturday 4 June 2016 at the Walker Halls in Troon.

We have a full programme of informative talks featuring respected guest speakers. Tickets start at just £3 per talk up to £10 for the whole day and are available from Carnegie LibraryTroon Library or at the Walker Halls on the day.

Our speakers for the day are

Frances Wilkins, Lecturer and scholar, author of 30 titles on Scottish smuggling and the Scottish slave trade

Tom Barclay, Local Studies Librarian, South Ayrshire Council

Chris Whatley, Emeritus Professor of Scottish History, University of Dundee

Thomas Rees, Rathmell Archaeology Ltd.


9.00am – Registration

9.45am – Councillor Bill Grant

Chairman – Dauvit Broun

10.00am  “The Smuggling Coast from Stranraer to Girvan” Frances Wilkins

11.00am  “Ayrshire before history: a personal view of early sites and their archaeology”  Tom Barclay


2.00pm  “Men at War: securing Burns’ memory in the West of Scotland, c 1859-c1896 (the race between the towns of the region to have a statue of Robert Burns)” Chris Whatley

3.00pm  “A Founder’s Workshop from the Bronze Age? Excavations from the shadow of Hunterston”  Thomas Rees

Booking Forms
Booking forms are available online to print off and post to us.

Download and print our History Fair Leaflet (pdf)


In addition to the talks, between 9am and 4.30pm a number of stalls will also be attending offering advice and guidance on family history, tracing your roots, exploring local and national history as well as a specialist Scottish bookshop. Admission to the stalls is free.

History Fair Enquiries
If you have any enquiries about the History Fair or would like to make a booking, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Jean Inness
South Ayrshire History Fair,
Library HQ, John Pollock Centre, Mainholm Road,
Ayr KA8 0QD
Tel: 01292 559318 or 272231 Fax: 01292 616301
Email: localhistory@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or jean.inness@south-ayrshire.gov.uk


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Who do you think you are?

Explore your family history at the Local and Family History department in Ayr’s Carnegie Library. The department houses a unique collection of books, pamphlets, directories, maps, plans, local newspapers and photographs. Members of the public who wish to conduct their own family history research are welcome to visit the department to use the resources we have available. The most frequently used items are available for readers to browse through and select for themselves, but some of the stock is stored ‘behind the scenes’ and is obtainable on request.

Staff will help identify appropriate sources and give guidance on using the collection. We are happy to help with enquiries anytime, but if you would like to book a ‘Starter Session’ with regards to family history please contact us and we will give you a timeslot and information on what you need to bring along to help get you started with your research.

New for this autumn

We will be holding a number of Beginner’s Family History Classes this coming winter (dates still to be confirmed). If you would like to embark on this fascinating journey to your family’s past keep an eye on our blog posts for details.

Access to the following resources from within the library is free of charge:

Ancestry Library Edition
Discover your family history and build a family tree with the world’s largest genealogy website. Search birth records, census data, obituaries and more free from any South Ayrshire Libraries computer.

The library has taken out a subscription to Find my Past which enables users to have free access to English and Welsh records and the Scottish Census using the PCs in the department.

Births, Marriages and Deaths from the Ayr Advertiser 1803-1885
This online index is a joint project between South Ayrshire Council Libraries Service and Opportunities in Retirement Family History Group Ayr.

Scotsman Historical Newspapers Archive (1817 – 1950)
Find significant moments in the history of Scotland, or discover if your ancestor appears in our births, marriages and deaths notices.

Scotlandspeople Vouchers – Are available to buy in the department and can be used in the library and at home. Starter vouchers £7.00 for 60 credits Top ups £5.60 for 30 credits.

First World War Genealogical books for loan

Tracing your First World War ancestors using local newspapers

The Local and Family History department in Carnegie Library also holds the local newspapers covering the conflict, lists of casualties, deaths and distinctions that were published in increasing numbers as the war progressed.

If you would like more information about any of these resources you can contact us by Email: localhistory@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or  Tel: 01292 272231

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Ancestry Library Edition brings the world’s most popular online genealogy resource to South Ayrshire Libraries.

Discover your family history story with sources like censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps, and more.

This online resource is only available for FREE in our libraries and isn’t available from home.

Expert help available in our Local History Department

For expert advice on how to go about family and local history research it is highly recommended that customers visit our Local and Family History Department based at Ayr’s Carnegie Library.  The department houses unique records and resources that compliment the Ancestry Library Edition and would benefit our customers in their Family History research.


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Arrangements for our 2013 South Ayrshire History & Family History Fair on Saturday 1st June are well underway with three of the four speakers already booked.

They are:

Professor Dauvit Brown of the University of Glasgow, whose talk will feature new information about William Wallace, and a previously unknown letter of Robert the Bruce which he found just before Christmas in the British Library.

Tom Barclay, our local history librarian, who will be speaking about the 1263 war with Norway which culminated in the Battle of Largs, and its significance for Ayrshire and Scottish history. (This year is the 750th anniversary.)

Chris Paton, the well known and respected genealogist, who will be explaining how to research Irish Family History on the Internet. His new book on this matter will be published in March.

As usual, the Fair will be held in the Walker Halls, Troon, from 10am until 4pm. Further details will be appearing on the Blog in due course.

History Fair Enquiries

If you have any enquiries that you have about the History Fair or would like to make a booking please do not hesitate to contact us.

Jean Inness
South Ayrshire History Fair,
Library HQ, John Pollock Centre, Mainholm Road,
Ayr KA8 0QD

Tel: (01292) 294320 or 294303 Fax: (01292) 619019

Email: localhistory@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or jean.inness@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

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Some estimates suggest that up to a third of the current Scottish population may have had Flemish ancestors.  These Flemish émigrés came to Scotland over a 600 year period between the 11th and 17th centuries. Many shed their continental sounding names to take on the name Fleming or its variants.  Others took on different names that give little clue as to their country or region of origin.

John Irvine of the Abertay Historical Society and Alex Fleming are planning a project on the ancestry of Flemish people in Scotland, and are looking for people to share their family history stories with them. So, if your surname is included in the list below, you might like to get in touch with them. Any local historian wishing to take part in the project should contact John and Alex via Email at JohnWIrvine@aol.com and aefleming007@comcast.net respectively.

List of Scottish surnames with Flemish origins

Fleming (Flemyng, Flemeng and Flandrensis)

For the full article that offers an overview of the Flemish in Scotland, and also provides an overview of the project visit: The Flemish People in Scotland – A Family and Local History Project.

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