Click on the images to be taken to the respective websites for the following magazines and books:





Writing

The following are selected items from various scribblings I have produced over the years!


Articles – selected items

 

The Ulster Scots – 1999, available at www.scotlandsgreateststory.bravehost.com/ulsterscots.html

Ceann-Suidhe nan Staitean Ceilteach – Cothrom issue 26, 2000 (750 words) {written in Gaelic - "President of the United States" - about Andrew Jackson}

The Rail Disaster that Unleashed Hidden Demons – The Herald, Oct 1st 2000 (900 words)  [The Ladbroke Grove Disaster and the Cold War]

Remembered… John Paton – Your Family Tree 39: The Battle of the Somme 90th anniversary supplement, Jul 2006 (200 words)

Trapped in Brussels – Your Family Tree 40, Aug 2006 (2300 words)

Murdered with an Axe – Your Family Tree 43, Autumn 2006 (2100 words)

Medicine Man – Practical Family History 105, Sep 2006 (600 words)

The Weavers of Perth in 1837Tay Valley FHS Journal, 2007

Opinion: Give Their Mortal Remains Back to Their Families – Your Family Tree 46, Jan 2007 (750 words)

The Ruhleben Story – Practical Family History 109, Jan 2007 (1400 words)

Available at http://www.family-tree.co.uk/ffhsmembers/PFH_APR2007_taster.pdf

My Father, the Russians and the Nuclear Sub Disaster That Never Was – The Herald, Apr 4th 2007 (1400 words)

How to Become a Volunteer Indexer – Your Family Tree 51, Spring 2007 (2200 words)

Stolen Lives – The Scotsman, Sat June 16 2007 (1900 words)

Opinion: Genealogy is Becoming more Relevant than History – Your Family Tree 54, Aug 2007 (700 words)

The Remarkable Dr. Henderson – Your Family Tree 55, Sep 2007 (2200 words)

Sir Sidney Smith – Body Snatcher – Master Detective, Oct 2007 (1900 words)

Absolute Beginners… Trace Your Family’s Genes – Your Family Tree 56, Oct 2007 (2200 words)

Killing Off my Ancestors – Practical Family History 118, Oct 2007 (1700 words)

Which Genealogy Course? Part One: Beginners – Practical Family History 121, Jan 2008 (1500 words)

Find Your Relatives Using Your DNA – Your Family Tree 59, Jan 2008 (3300 words)  Re-edited as Discover Genetic Cousins at Ancestry, available to read online at www.scotlandsgreateststory.bravehost.com/DNA.html

Which Genealogy Course? Part Two: At a Distance – Practical Family History 122, Feb 2008 (1500 words)

Absolute beginners…Build Your Family Tree – Your Family Tree 60, Feb 2008 (2900 words)

Which Genealogy Course? Part Three: Academic Study – Practical Family History 123, Mar 2008 (1500 words)

Census Returns – Your Family Tree 61, Mar 2008 (2600 words)

Opinion: Irish Online Records are too Expensive – Your Family Tree 61, Mar 2008 (700 words)

K9 Kids: Join the Club – Dogs Monthly, Apr 2008 (1500 words)

Get Started with Birth Certificates – Your Family Tree 62, Apr 2008 (2600 words)

Prisoner of the Germans – Your Family Tree 62, Apr 2008 (2300 words)

Scottish wills – Your Family Tree 62, Apr 2008 (200 words)

Get Started with Marriage Certificates – Your Family Tree 63, Spring 2008 (2700 words)

Glimpse Inside New ScotlandsPeople Centre – Practical Family History 125, May 2008 (1400 words)

A Beginners Guide to Genetic Genealogy – Largs and North Ayrshire FHS Journal, Spring 2008

Get Started with Death Certificates – Your Family Tree 64, May 2008 (2700 words)

The Hopetoun Quarry Murders – Practical Family History 126, June 2008 (1600 words)

Get Started with Parish Registers - Your Family Tree 65, June 2008 (2700 words)

Get Started with Gravestone Inscriptions - Your Family Tree 66, July 2008 (2700 words)

Terror on Easter Tuesday - Your Family Tree 66, July 2008 (2300 words - re: the Belfast Blitz of 1941)

Opinion: The Internet is More Use to Genealogy than TV - Your Family Tree 67, August 2008 (700 words on the eventual demise of family history programming on television)

Get Started with Election Records - Your Family Tree 68, Sept 2008 (2700 words)

My Ancestor was a Ghost Hunter! - Family History Monthly issue 162, November 2008 (1400 words)

Get Started with the Latter Day Saints - Your Family Tree 70, Nov 2008 (2300 words)

Book Review: An Unstoppable Force - Family History Monthly 163, Nov 2008 (150 words)

Opinion: Ireland is Finally on Board the Ancestral Bandwagon - Your Family Tree 71, Dec 2008 (700 words)

Looking Online: Finding Irish Ancestors on the Internet - Your Family Tree 71, Dec 2008 (2600 words)

The ScotlandsPeople Centre - Family History Monthly 164, Christmas 2008 (2000 words)

Researching Medical Records - Family History Monthly 164, Christmas 2008 (3100 words)

Why Social History Matters - Practical Family History 133, Dec 2008 (1900 words)

Get Started with Wills - Your Family Tree 72, Jan 2009 (2600 words)

Scottish House History - Practical Family History 134, Feb 2009 (1900 words)

Get Started with Directories - Your Family Tree 74 Mar 2009 (2600 words)

Scottish Civilian Prisoners of War - Discover my Past Scotland 4, Mar 2009 (1300 words)
Search the 1911 Census - Practical Family History 136, Mar 2009 (1600 words)

Lost Villages of Britain - Practical Family History 136, Mar 2009 (1900 words)
Opinion: You Should Always Look for Evidence - Your Family Tree 74 Mar 2009 (700 words)

The Scottish Cemetery in Kolkata - Discover my Past Scotland 5, April 2009 (1250 words)

He Joined the IRA - Family History Monthly 168, April 2009 (1600 words)

Getting to Grips with the 1911 Census - Family History Monthly 168, April 2009 (3500 words)

A New Life in Australia - Your Family Tree 75 April 2009 (2200 words)

The Doomed Rebellion - Your Family Tree 75 April 2009 (2600 words)

Perth's King James VI Hospital - Family Tree Magazine April 2009 (2100 words)

The Irish Fight for Independence - Your Family Tree 76 Spring 2009 (2600 words)

It's Show Time! Who Do You Think You Are? Live - Practical Family History 138 Spring 2009 (1000 words)

Opinion: Newspapers Should be More Accessible - Your Family Tree 77 May 2009 (800 words)

Get Started with Scottish Research (The ScotlandsPeople Centre) - Your Family Tree 77 May 2009 (2600 words)

Trace Your 'Boring' Ancestors - Practical Family History 139 May 2009 (1650 words)

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2009 - Discover my Past Scotland 6, May 2009 (1250 words)

Buried Treasures: Death Records Special - Your Family Tree 78 June 2009 (4700 words)

Looking Online: Use Social Networking Sites - Your Family Tree 78 June 2009 (2200 words)

How Can They Help?: Guild of One-Name Studies - Family History Monthly 170 June 2009 (2800 words)

Researching Your Scottish Ancestors Online - Discover my Past Scotland 7, June 2009 (1300 words)

Guardians of the Woods - Discover my Past Scotland 8, July 2009 (1250 words)

Scottish Family History Societies - Discover my Past Scotland 8, Aug 2009 (1300 words)

On a Mission from God - Your Family Tree 79, July 2009 (2100 words)

The 1911 Census: What's Next? - Practical Family History 141, July 2009 (1900 words) 

Get Started with the Parish Chest - Your Family Tree 80, August 2009 (2500 words)

ScotlandsPeople: Find Your Past - Discover my Past Scotland 9, The Gathering Special (1200 words)

The Mitchell Library - Discover my Past Scotland 10, August 2009 (1360 words)

Trace Fractured Families - Practical Family History 142, August 2009 (1900 words)

Neglected Sources: Gazettes Online - Family History Monthly 173, September 2009 (2100 words)

The Greatest Plague in History - Your Family Tree 81, September 2009 (2650 words)

Scottish Land Records - Your Family Tree 81, September 2009 (3100 words)

Looking Online: Welsh Records - Your Family Tree 81, September 2009 (2500 words)

The Fencibles: Scotland's Home Guard - Discover my Past Scotland 11, September 2009 (1350 words)

Getting Started with Scottish Research - Discover my Past Scotland 11, September 2009 (1250 words)

The Scottish Church from 1560 - Sep 2007 (1500 words) - uploaded Aug 2009 at www.scotlandsgreateststory.bravehost.com/scottishkirk.html

Find Your Family Tree - for Free: Expert Advice - Windows: the Official Magazine 34, September 2009 (300 words)

Choose a Family Tree Programme - Practical Family History 143, September 2009 (1500 words)

 

 

Regular Columns:

 

Scottish Genealogy News and Events - www.ScottishAncestry.blogspot.com from December 2007

Genealogy Today with Chris Paton - Practical Family History, monthly column from issue 131, Oct 2008 (2000 words)

Internet News - Ancestors magazine: monthly column from issue 75, Nov 2008 (1200 words)

Newsround - Discover my Past Scotland magazine, from Feb 09

Your Family Library - Discover my Past Scotland magazine, from Feb 09

Your Family Library - Discover my Past England magazine (from late 2009)

 

 

Books:

 

The Sword and the Cross: Four Turbulent Episodes in the History of the Christian Church – St. Andrews Press 2003 (with Matt Barrett and Ann Muir, all uncredited, copyright BBC)  ISBN 0 7152 0809 8

 

The Family and Local History Handbook 12 (3 articles) - Robert Blatchford Publishing Ltd, 2009 www.genealogical.co.uk

i)   Weave Truth with Trust (The Handloom Weavers of Perth)

ii)  The Mount Stewart Murder

iii) The Ruhleben Prison Camp 1914-1918

 

Researching Scottish Family History - Family History Partnership (to be published Oct/Nov 2009)

 



Academic (University of Strathclyde)

The Weavers of Perth 1770 - 1844: A Genealogical Database, with Introduction

August 2007 (5600 words, plus appendices)

 

The aim of this project was to try to construct a genealogical records database on the weavers of the town of Perth, the main conurbation in the Scottish county of Perthshire, with a view to creating a statistical resource for future research into the social history of this particular group. In addition the results would also make an excellent genealogical resource for those studying their weaver ancestors within the town during this period. It was decided that the project would utilise both publicly and privately held records on the weavers. A successful approach was made through the National Register of Archives in Edinburgh to gain access to the privately held records of the Weaver Incorporation of Perth, which included both apprenticeship records and freemen appointments.

 

At the same time, the Militia Act survey of 1802 and further indenture papers were studied at Perth and Kinross Archives, whilst the old parochial registers for Perth were examined in detail to find the names of all children born to weavers within the target period. This database alone numbers well over 8800 entries. Additional records were found from directories and census records. From the various resources studied, some preliminary findings were made from the records to show the value of their potential worth.

 

 

 

The Role of King James VI Hospital as Feudal Superior in 19th Century Perth

August 2008 (13,500 words, plus appendices)

 

Under a charter granted in 1569, the Scottish king James VI endowed the creation of a hospital within the royal burgh of Perth for the care of the poor. With lands granted to the institution that had previously belonged to the royal burgh’s pre-Reformation holy orders, the Hospital, on behalf of the ‘poor and indigent members of Jesus Christ’, took on the role of a feudal superior over lands which were then further subinfeudated to raise income, a situation which continued until the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act in 2000.

 

With the earlier history of the Hospital having previously been researched by R. Milne up to the end of the Eighteenth Century (1891), this study concerns itself with the role of the body in the following century, one of the most dynamic within Perth’s long history, which saw the ancient burgh radically transformed from a medieval town to a bustling modern city. Drawing from the primary documentation found within the Hospital’s maps, chartularies, feu duty and rent books, and through additional supporting material such as the Valuation Rolls from the burgh, it asks two key questions in particular – just how important, and just how successful, was the Hospital’s role as a feudal superior with regard to the raising of income for its own purposes, and in the development of Perth throughout the Nineteenth Century?

 

The dissertation is unpublished, but some of the research material has been deposited at the CANMORE website, from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, at http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk.

 


Talks

 

Beginners Guide to Ancestry.co.uk - Perth Family History Fair, A. K. Bell Library, Perth 13 AUG 2008

The Ruhleben Story - Ardrossan and Saltcoats Rotary Club 24 NOV 2008

DNA and Genealogy - Largs & North Ayrshire FHS, 27 JAN 2009

Online Irish sources - Lanarkshire FHS, 9 APR 2009

World War 1 Civilian POWs in Germany - Society of Genealogists, London, 27 MAY 2009

My Ancestor was a Weaver - Society of Genealogists, London, 27 MAY 2009

 

 

Forthcoming:

 

DNA and Genealogy - Troon @ Ayrshire FHS, 17 NOV 2009

Scottish House History - Largs and North Ayrshire FHS, 12 JAN 2010

Online Irish sources - Central Scotland FHS, 14 April 2010


Television scripting – selected credits

 

Neither Old Nor Beautiful? – University of the West of England, 1993

Where the Streets Have Two Names – University of the West of England, 1994

Time Flyers: The Missing Castle – BBC2, 2001

Time Flyers: Clash of the Clans – BBC2, 2002

Time Flyers: Villages of the Dammed – BBC2, 2002

The Sword and the Cross: Knox – BBC2 Scotland, 2003  (with Ann Muir)

The Sword and the Cross: The Godly Commonwealth – BBC2 Scotland, 2003

Silver Stories: Children in Need 25th anniversary special – BBC1 Scotland, 2004

Coast (series one): Solway to Skye – BBC1, 2005 (with Jane McWilliams)

ERI – Edinburgh Royal Infirmary: Transplant (liver) – BBC1 Scotland, 2005

ERI – Edinburgh Royal Infirmary: Transplant (kidney) – BBC1 Scotland, 2006

 


Successful Television Programme and Series Developments

 

Picture This: The Chingford Newsreel – BBC Bristol, 1995

Secret History Special: The Few – Channel Four, 2000

Meet the Ancestors Special: Malaria and the Fall of Rome – BBC2, 2001

Time Flyers – BBC2, 2001-2004

The Enforcers – BBC1 Scotland, 2004

 


Main Television Production Credits 1995-2006

2006 (BBC2) History Detectives. Development AP (Lion Television for BBC2)

2006 (BBC3) – Make Me a Baby Series director (Mentorn for BBC3)
2005 (BBC1
Scotland) – ERI : Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (2 programmes, director and self op)

2005 (BBC1) – Coast  (prog 7) AP
2004 (BBC1
Scotland) – Silver Stories: Children in Need 25th anniversary special – assisted with scripting and direction

2004 (BBC1 Scotland) – The Enforcers Developed series & AP
2003 (BBC2/UK History) – Time Flyers (Series 2) Produced & directed 2 x ½ hour films - Villages of the Dammed, and Clash of the Clans
2003 (BBC2 Scotland / BBC4) – The Sword and the Cross. Directed and wrote two of the four films - Prog 2: Knox, and Prog 4: The Godly Commonwealth. (Commendation from the Sandford St Martin Trust)
2002 (BBC2/UK History) – Time Flyers (Series 1) Developed the format, worked as AP on four episodes, and produced & directed last edition The Missing Castle.
2002 (BBC2) – Meet the Ancestors Special: Malaria and the Fall of
Rome. Originated idea and worked as AP

2000 (C4) – Secret History Special - The Few. Originated idea and worked as AP (STV for C4)

2000 (C4) – Football Stories - Man in Black. Worked as AP (Winner of RTS Best Sports Documentary 1998) (STV for C4)
1999 (STV/RTE/S4C) – Celtic
America. Worked as AP, three months filming in the US and Canada
1998 (C4) – Dispatches: Something in the Air. Worked as researcher.

1998 (ITV) – Streakers. Worked as researcher.
1997 (BBC2
Scotland) – Eorpa. Worked as researcher.
1997 (BBC1) – Driving School. Worked as researcher.
1997 (BBC2) – War Walks (Series 2). Worked as researcher on five editions:
Hastings, Bosworth, Naseby, Boyne, and Blitz.
1996 (BBC2) – An Everyday Story of Country Life. Worked as researcher.

1996 (BBC1) – 999 & 999 Lifesavers. Worked as researcher on both series.
1995 (BBC2) – Picture This: Close Friends in Distant Rooms. Worked as AP. (Winner of Mental Health Award 1996)
1995 (BBC2 West Country) – Close Up West: Floods. Researcher