At the Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, Fife on Saturday 21 April 2018

The 29th SAFHS Conference & Family History Fair

Hosted by
The Fife Family History Society
Charity No: SC025246

Was Your Ancestor a Convict?

SAFHS2018 was held on

Saturday 21 April 2018
10:00 – 16:30 
The Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, Fife, KY7 5NX


Was Your Ancestor a Convict? The 29th Annual SAFHS Conference & Family History Fair 2018 hosted by Fife Family History Society - Scottish Charity No: SC025246.

Posted by Karon McBride on Friday, 29 December 2017

Featuring the launch of
The Fife Kalendar of Convicts, 1790 – 1880
CD/digital download

About the Conference

The 29th Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies was hosted by the Fife Family History Society on the theme of "Was Your Ancestor a Convict?" at The Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, Fife, on Saturday 21st April 2018. The Family History Fair is open to the public from 10:00am.

Programme Highlights

The day of talks, workshops, stalls and exhibits was opened by Mr Robert W Balfour, Lord-Lieutenant of Fife.

The programme featured the launch of ‘The Fife Kalendar of Convicts, 1790-1880CD/digital download.

Elizabeth Gray née Dawson lived in the Kirkton of Burntisland. In June 1872 she drowned her younger son in a tub of water. 

Read Elizabeth’s story…

Our Speakers

Andrew Campbell

The Making of The Fife Kalendar of Convicts

Over 20 years in the making (first begun in 1994), The Fife Kalendar of Convicts (1790-1880) CD, is an indexing to many of the Courts in Fife, as well as the High Court Records (AD14 precognitions and JC26 Trial Records, which have been indexed up to 1900)… Read more about Andrew Campbell’s talk

Emma Maxwell

Finding your Ancestors' Footprints

When tracing our family tree we often long to ‘walk in the footsteps’ of our ancestors. This means not only finding names, places and dates; but visiting their home and understanding their lives. Sometimes it is possible to literally see the footsteps of your ancestors… Read more about Emma Maxwell’s talk

Ken Nisbet

Banishment and Transportation

The talk looks at how both banishment and transportation were used by the crown and government to remove people from Scotland and why… Read more about Ken Nisbet’s talk

Bruce Durie

The Strange Tale of Charles Durie's Trousers

- involving Dunfermline, Norway, Jail in Jersey, Queen Victoria, New Zealand and Texas

Charles Durie (1778-1868), originally from Dunfermline, was in the Londonderry Militia, then British Consul in Norway but sacked by Lord Palmerston.His large family stayed in Norway or migrated to Texas… Read more about Bruce Durie’s talk

James Knox, a quarryman living in North Queensferry, attacked his wife with a coal axe. 

Read James’ story…

Free Workshops

Exploring HES Online Archives

Explore the online archives of Historic Environment Scotland as Andrew James, Learning Manager with HES, shows you how you can research your family and local history from home.

Andrew will explore the maps, documents, census and tax data, pictures, videos and sounds that HES holds for the nation, including Scran, Canmore, Scotland’s Places, Britain from Above and the National Collection of Aerial Photography and show you how you how to access, search and download information for your research projects.

Ask the Expert

Drop in at any time during the day to the ‘Ask the Expert’ stand run by professional genealogists from all over Scotland. They have varied expertise to help point put ways to find that elusive ancestor and hopefully break through your “brick wall.”

Ask the Expert is run by the Scottish Genealogy Network, a group of professional genealogists in Scotland who meet on a monthly basis at various locations across the country.

Ebenezer Millar worked as a shepherd and ploughman at Ballingry Farm, just south of Loch Leven. He was tried at Perth on 29 March 1887 for the murder of his wife.

Read Ebenezer’s story…



 Fair Opens to Stallholders & Delegates for Coffee and Registration


 Fair Opens to General Public


Official Opening of Conference by Mr Robert W Balfour, Lord-Lieutenant of Fife 

Morning Sessions

10:30 – 11:00  TALK: Andrew Campbell “The Making of The Fife Kalendar of Convicts” and the launch of Convict CD/digital download

11:30 – 12:15  TALK: Emma Maxwell “Finding your Ancestors Footprints”

10:30 – 13:30 WORKSHOP: “Ask the Expert” drop-in

11:15 – 12:00 WORKSHOP: “Exploring HES Online Archives”

Afternoon Sessions

13:30 – 14:15  TALK: Ken Nisbet – “Banishment & Transportation”

15:00 – 15:45 TALK: Bruce Durie – “The Strange Tale of Charles Durie’s Trousers – involving Dunfermline, Norway, Jail in Jersey, Queen Victoria, New Zealand and Texas”

13:30 – 16:00 WORKSHOP: “Ask the Expert” drop-in

14:15 – 15:00  WORKSHOP: “Exploring HES Online Archives”


 Fair Closes

Agnes Laing or Paterson was placed on trial in 1872 charged with the murder of her young daughter.

Read Agnes’ story…

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