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 and work as a professional genealogist, running the Scotland’s Greatest Story research service. I reside in the Scottish coastal town of Largs, North Ayrshire, 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. I have been married from 2000 to mad Claire from Kilkenny, and we have two sons currently training up as Jedi knights…!

clan paton

As well as teaching Scottish based 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 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 (

I previously worked for 12 years in factual television production for both the BBC and STV, on series such as Coast, Meet the Ancestors, Secret History, War Walks, Time Flyers and 999. During my TV 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, 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 (
Member, PRONI stakeholder forum (
Scottish Genealogy Network (
SNP Largs (

Regular article contributor to:
Your Family Tree
Family Tree
Who Do You Think You Are?
Discover Your Ancestors
History Scotland

Social media
Twitter: @chrismpaton


I teach the following 5 week long courses online twice a year through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd. The cost is £49.99 per course.

Scottish Research Online

Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs