A Snapshot into the Past

Next year the 2011 Census will be taken and the 1911 Census will become available in the Spring for the public to view.

In anticipation of this, we have invited speakers to talk about different aspects of local studies research using the Census.

You might be researching the history of a house, or the social history of a particular parish. The Census can provide unique historical information on the changing patterns of life within a community, and an insight into family life through the decades.

The first Scottish Census was carried out by Alexander Webster in 1755 and Census records have been taken every 10 years since 1801 with the exception of 1941. How does the recording of Census data differ today from how it was done in the past?

The Census is carried out in every household throughout the country whether it be a tenement in a town or city or a remote farmhouse in a small parish. By browsing through Census records, the diversity of the names of places is always evident – how did they originate - what is the history behind our Scottish place names?


CHAIR: Elizabeth Carmichael

10.00amRegistration and coffee


10.40am Davina Williams

ScotlandsPeople Centre

Takingthe Census: then and now

11.20am Dr. Peter Reid


The Census for local studies


12.00 pmLunch (included)


2.00 pm Dr. Bruce Durie

University of Strathclyde

A house with a past

2.40 pm Peter Drummond

Scottish Place-Name Society

The history of Scottish place names

3.00 pmTea

3.20 pm Plenary discussion

4.00 pm Close

Application Form









**remittance (£50 incl. VAT)

enclosed / Please invoice**

**Please delete whichever is inapplicable

Students/ Unwaged/ Senior Citizens (£40 incl VAT)

Cheques should be made payable to LOCSCOT

Closing dates for applications: Friday 26th March.

Provisional applications may be made by telephone or e-mail but a completed application form must be received by the above date. Faxed applications are acceptable.

Please return to:Jo Sherington

Clydebank Library

Dumbarton Road

Clydebank G81 1XH

Telephone no:0141 562 2434

Fax no: 0141 562 2430


Davina Williams is the head of the ScotlandsPeople centre in Edinburgh, opened in 2009. The integrated Scottish family history centre is a one-stop-shop for Scottish genealogy research which co-ordinates services previously provided separately by project partners, namelythe General Register Office for Scotland, National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon.The Centre continues the work already advanced in creating digital images of the Scottish records, and online versions of indexes.


Dr. Peter Reid isHead of the Department of Information Management at RobertGordonUniversity, Aberdeen. His principal research interests are in the fields of library history, local studies collections and the cultural role of libraries. He has written many papers in these areas and a book on the impact of the world wide web on local studies. Although most of his time is now spent in academic management, he is still involved in teaching on MSc Information and Library Studies and MSc Information Management. He is actively involved in various professional groups. He is also a keen local historian himself.

Dr. Bruce Durie is Course Director, Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde, where he devised and runs the world’s only professional postgraduate university qualifications in genealogy up to Masters level. He is also well known for his two BBC Radio Scotland series Digging Up Your Roots and A House with a Past. He is the author of many books, the latest include Scottish Genealogy (The History Press 2009) and Dunfermline (The History Press 2010).

Peter Drummond is a leading member of the Scottish Place-Name Society, a past Convenor, and its treasurer. He’s the author of Placenames of the Monklands (published by Monklands Libraries 1987), and Scottish Hill and Mountain Names (published by the Scottish Mountaineering Trust, 1991, now re-issued as Scottish Hill Names 2007). He has a Sociology degree from Aberdeen, an M.Sc. by research (in hill-names of southern Scotland) from Edinburgh, and is currently doing a Ph.D. part-time at GlasgowUniversity, on the place-names of the Kelvin valley.

The Census:

A Snapshot into the Past

Meeting Room


York Place



31st March