Fife Family History & Local History Fair


The Fife Family & Local History Fair, took place on Saturday 8 October in the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. The event included a series of talks and an exhibition area with stalls run by a number of Family History Societies and Local History groups, both from Fife and from further afield.

In addition, the event had an ‘Ask the Expert’ area run by The Scottish Genealogy Network with specialists helping visitors overcome brick walls in their research. This proved a great success and thanks go to Emma Maxwell for organising the SGN stand and all the other stall holders for supporting the event. Scotland’s Urban Past ran two workshops walking visitors through the steps to the Historic Environment Scotland online archive, “Canmore”.

Winner of the Scottish Hamper was Caroline Makein from St Andrews.

Winner of the free membership was Jim Mason of Lochgelly.

We hope you enjoyed the Fair and thank you for supporting us by attending.

Speakers on the day were:

  • Andrew James – “People, Places and Partnerships: local history resources from Historic Environmental Scotland” The resources of Historic Environmental Scotland can assist your research with maps, aerial photographs and other records which show our industrial heritage and which chart changes in towns and villages. Introduction to online tools such as Scran, Canmore, Scotlands Places, NCAP and Britain from above. (Historic Environment Scotland was formed in 2015 and incorporates Historic Scotland, The Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments in Scotland and Scran)
  • Robert Watt   – “Watts and some related families in Dunfermline, records in Scotland and Overseas” – Some recent discoveries concerning the family of William Meikle Watt (1839-1901) who was Burgh Collector of Rates in Dunfermline for the last quarter of the 19th Century. Also a discussion of how really important and interesting documents and photographs leave Scotland with emigrants and then turn up overseas. (A former Chief Herald of Canada, Robert’s family originated in Dunfermline)
  • Simon Taylor: “Fife place names” The origins of Fife place names including the use of personal names in place names and how to understand some of the more obscure place names in Fife. (Simon is a lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Glasgow and joint author of the authorative five-volume publication The Place Names of Fife”)
  • Frank Hay and Len Saunders: “ Forth Bridge Casualties” The Forth Bridge is a universally recognised monument to Scottish engineering but it was built in the 1880s long before the era of Health and Safety. Many fatalities and injuries were suffered by the workforce during its contstruction – as graphically described by the speakers.  (The Briggers Organisation researches & commemorates the men who built the Forth Bridge.)
  • Lloyd Pitcairn – “A Little Gem” The title refers to local history and how every now and again a little gem comes from family archives, which enlightens our perspective on the lives of individuals in our past. (A profession genealogist in Dunfermline, Lloyd’s company specialises in tracing heirs to intestate estates.