Chris Paton

Chris Paton BA (Hons), HND, PgDip Genealogical Studies

Originally from Northern Ireland, but with both Scottish and Irish roots, I hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies from the University of Strathclyde, and work as a professional genealogist, running the Scotland’s Greatest Story research service. I have been a resident of Ayrshire for almost two decades, but in the past have also been based in the English cities of Plymouth and Bristol, the Scottish city of Glasgow and town of Helensburgh, and the Northern Irish town of Carrickfergus, from where I originally hail.


As well as teaching Scottish and Irish themed courses for Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd (, I have also tutored for the University of Strathclyde’s Genealogical Studies Postgraduate Programme ( In addition, I am a published author of several book titles (see, a regular monthly and bi-monthly contributor to several genealogy magazines, and to my own daily genealogical news feed, the Scottish GENES blog.

In October 2012 I was invited to join the regular user forum for the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (, and from 2013-2017 I was one of the directors of the Scottish Archive Network Ltd ( trust. I am a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (, and from Jan-Oct 2021 I served on its Board of Directors; I continue to serve on the organisation’s International Committee. I am registered with the ICO as a data handler.

From 2016-19 I have also worked as a researcher and a case worker for two separate Members of the Scottish Parliament, and in 2019 worked for a short time as a caseworker for a Member of the UK Parliament. Much further back, I worked for 12 years in factual television production on series such as Coast, Meet the Ancestors, Secret History, War Walks, Time Flyers and 999. During my career I met and interviewed RAF fighter pilots who fought at the Battle of Britain, liver and kidney transplant surgeons and patients at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, Driving School’s Maureen Rees, archaeologists in Arizona, and many other interesting folk. Filming took me to 30 of the 50 United States, Canada, Britain, Ireland, France, Italy and Sardinia.

Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 2006-2008)
BA (Hons) Time Based Media (University of the West of England, Bristol, 1991-1995)
HND Design & Communication (University of Ulster, Belfast, 1989-1991)

Memberships and positions held:
Association of Professional Genealogists (
PRONI stakeholder forum (
Scottish Genealogy Network (
North of Ireland Family History Society (Larne branch) (

Regular article contributor to
Family Tree
Who Do You Think You Are?
Discover Your Ancestors
Scotland Magazine
British Connections (Canada)

Social media
Twitter: @genesblog


I teach the following 5 week long courses online twice a year through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd. The cost is £58 per course.

Scottish Research Online

Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs

Progressing Your Irish Research Online