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Digging Up Your Roots - New Series

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Simone Byrne Simone Byrne | 10:10 UK time, Friday, 7 January 2011

BBC Radio Scotland's genealogy show Digging up Your Roots returns for a new series this Sunday at 0805. Below, producer Rhona Brudenell introduces us to a few of the ancestors who feature in the first episode:

Work on the new series of BBC Radio Scotland's family history programme, Digging Up Your Roots, began back in July. It's completely story led, so appeals for intriguing tales were published in newspapers, genealogy publications and, of course, on BBC Radio Scotland.

We were inundated with stories, which just goes to show that the appetite for family history is still alive and kicking in Scotland. Then it's up to the team to read carefully through all the submissions and start choosing the ones which will make it on air over the next eight weeks.

Strong themes began to emerge from the queries, including military, religion, ancestors on the move and myths and truths. But a particular favourite of the team was Unsung Heroes - ancestors who have done something significant in their communities, and whose efforts have remained unnoticed until now.

Murdoch Paterson, Chief Engineer to the Highland Railway

Murdoch Paterson, Chief Engineer to the Highland Railway

This forms the theme for the first programme on Sunday and stories include the St Andrews' golfer who won the 2nd US Open, the Scot who created a large public park in South Africa and the civil engineer involved in building a railway line now considered to be one of the great rail journeys of the world.

It's a real privilege working on Digging Up Your Roots - every day is different because every story throws up new twists and turns. Our resident genealogist, Dr Bruce Durie, works tirelessly behind the scenes, trying to unearth the truth behind the family histories we receive. It can also be really moving when listeners are prepared to share sensitive family stories with us. But it's also quite sobering to hear of the hardships our ancestors faced, and how they tackled adversity with great spirit.

Digging Up Your Roots presented by Bill Whiteford begins on Sunday at 12.05 on BBC Radio Scotland. It runs until end of February. We still welcome your queries - email diggingupyourroots@bbc.co.uk


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