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2020 Scottish Vic Conference

February 6, 2020

 Burns Night

Burns Day which is also known as Burns Night is celebrated in Scotland annually, on 25 January. Commemorating the life of Scottish poet Robbie Burns, born 25 january, 1759, the day also celebrates Burn’s contribution to Scottish culture. Auld Lang Syne is his best known work.

Another event in Scotland on Burns Day is the Scottish Vic Conference, an online virtual conference. This conference can be enjoyed at home with no travel necessary. Being from the other side of the world to Scotland this sounded enticing to me. I have Scottish Ancestry on my maternal side, which I have done scant research on. One of my goals for this year is to concentrate on researching my Morison line from Glenshiel, Ross-Shire in the southern highlands of Scotland.

I quickly realised that the Scottish Vic Conference was exactly what I needed to become more educated in Scottish research. I know the basics but there are many gaps in my knowledge which I was hoping the conference would fill.

The presentations were pre-recorded and played back to back during the day, with Q&A sessions, exactly as would happen with a ‘regular’ conference. The presenters were all very well qualified for the topics they were presenting.

Of course, being from Australia, this conference began at about 11pm and went right through the night. The presentations are kept on the website for one month, so it isn’t really necessary to sit up all night and watch them live. I was very keen to do the conference live, just as an experience. An added bonus with this conference was that I was able to attend in my pyjamas.


Scottish Vic Presentations

Glasgow and the Slave Trade by Stephen Mullens

Death and Burial by Irene O’Brien

BNA by Aoife O’Connor

Wills and Testaments by Margaret Fox

Prisons by Emma Maxwell

Canada: Land and Opportunity by


The first presentation Glasgow and the Slave Trade really did give me a huge amount of information to chase up for my research into my McEwan/McQueen family. My great great grandfather Thomas James Jonathan McEwan/McQueen was born in Jamaica and I was alway curious to know how he came to be there. I had presumed with a name like his, the family would originally be Scottish. I have found reference to a Corporal McEwan who was father to Thomas born in Jamaica. There is every chance that this is the person I’m looking for, but I haven’t yet confirmed. The Scottish Vic gave me historical background information, that ties in with the information that I have.

Each session presented new information and gave links to websites to help with research. My notebook now has pages of information that I need to follow up to enlarge on my research so far.

Attendees of the conference were also given credits for the SCOTLANDSPEOPLE website, which I really do appreciate. This coming weekend, will find me following up my research information and starting to build the story of my Scottish ancestors.

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