Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Genealogy Tours of Scotland Fall Newsletter

The Fall edition of the Genealogy Tours of Scotland newsletter is now available on the home page of the website. You can access the newsletter by clicking on the blue button in the middle of the home page.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Join Me in Halifax

If you are in the Halifax area, plan to attend the Scottish Genealogy Symposium. Come and learn about researching your Scottish ancestors. 

Talks include:

In Search of Your Scottish Ancestors
Lesser Known Resources for Scottish Genealogy
Brick Wall Busters for Scottish Genealogy
They Came From Scotland - Historic Events That Led to Mass Emigration

Lunch is included!

There will be door prizes, a 50/50 draw and publication sales. 

To register: http://novascotiaancestors.ca/

Saturday, 1 October 2016

It's Easy to Love Edinburgh

When we are on the research tours, we stay in the Old Town. It is steeped in history and that makes it easy for us to visualize the times that our ancestors lived in. It doesn't take long for us to become familiar with our "neighbourhood" or to feel a sense of comfort one only gets from being "home". 

The buildings are old 

The cemeteries are older

The history is beyond our imagination

Yet there is a vibrancy that is unparalleled anywhere else. You just never know what you are going to come across as you walk through the town. 

Friday, 30 September 2016

How I Spent My Summer

Fellow genealogist, writer and blogger, Cheryl Hudson Passey has written a great post on how she spent her summer. At the end of that post, Cheri challenged other genealogy bloggers to share their summer experiences. That got me to thinking. In looking back, it was incredibly busy!

Summer started a bit early for me as I flew to Fort Lauderdale to exhibit at the NGS Conference. I took my kids and we were able to enjoy some tourist time as well. Ten days later, I was off to Scotland. I had a great time touring the north. I drove from Edinburgh to Orkney, taking in the history of Dornoch and Sutherland County along the way. Sutherland was one of the largest areas to be cleared during the Highland Clearances, and the Factor was particularly ruthless in his handling of the evictions. It was hard to comprehend that the enormous desolate spaces in the eastern highlands had once been thriving crofting communities.

Orkney has long been on my bucket list, and it did not disappoint. It was sheer magic. The history, the brochs, the prehistoric villages and chambered tombs cover the landscape. The sea surrounds the islands and the history is not only remembered, it is honoured. The fact that the weather was a comfortable and sunny 16c every day certainly added to the magic as did the 18 hours of daylight every day.

After Orkney, I drove back down to Edinburgh to meet my spring Genealogy Tour Participants. We had an amazing ten days together. The stories were a daily inspiration. Ancestral homes visited, ancestral churches worshipped in, and hundreds of documents uncovered. I am so blessed to be part of these genealogy journeys every tour.

The first week of July, I headed to Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron to exhibit at the annual Highland Games. There is a rich Scottish history in Kincardine and surrounding areas and they do a fantastic job of honouring their heritage. Two weeks later, I was exhibiting at the Highland Games in Cambridge, Ontario.  This is always a fun day. It is great to hear the stories of others who are in search of their Scottish ancestors.

August saw me at the Highland Games in Fergus, Ontario. This is the largest Scottish festival and clan gathering in Ontario. I remember going to Fergus as a child and going now as an adult helps me to enjoy it from a different perspective. In August I also took part in the annual One World, One Family event near Toronto. Once again I was honoured to be a speaker.

And September has seen the wrap up of my summer shenanigans. I went to the annual conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) and then one week later, I was off to Scotland once again to meet up with the fall tour participants. 

This was another amazing journey. While in Scotland, I had the pleasure of attending a talk on the remains of the Scottish soldiers that were uncovered at Durham Cathedral. I also had the chance to take in the Doors Open events in Edinburgh.

It's now back to a routine. Although October promises to be every bit as busy as the summer, I am looking forward to all of the opportunities that present themselves.

What genealogy adventures did YOU have this summer?

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

New ScotlandsPeople Website

The long anticipated website switch-over at ScotlandsPeople has finally launched!

Here are the added changes:

  • The look and ease of use
  • You now sign in with your email address rather than a username
  • Credits, while still purchased in bundles of 30 are now £7.50 instead of £7. Given that there has not been an increase in several years, this increase is minimal
  • You no longer need to spend credits to view the indexes. Index returns used to be 25 per page and each page was one credit to view. All returns are now simply in a list and the list is free to view. 
  • Images now cost 6 credits instead of 5. But remember that there is no longer a charge to view the indexes so you are still paying the same, and in some cases, less since you might have needed more than one page of the index previously
  • ALL church records are now included, not just the Established Church of Scotland, so those ancestors you might not have been able to find before may well be online now. 

Here's what has stayed the same:

  • Any unused credits are still available
  • All saved images are still on your account
  • All previous searches are still on your account

Here's what's coming: 

No word as to when but hopefully by year's end or when the new year releases happen, the un-indexed Kirk Session Records will be available online. These can be searched by Kirk and you will need to scroll through to find the entry for your ancestors. Bear in mind, the surnames are in the left margin, so this will make the scrolling a bit easier - if you don't stop to read all of the Kirk "gossip" as you scroll. 

There will, over time, be more un-indexed records coming online, with Maps and Plans following the Kirk Session Records, then other records currently held by the NRS will be added over time. 

These NRS records will be under a subscription basis (the fees as yet to be determined) since they will be more difficult to find, being un-indexed.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

A Busy Week of Research

It is amazing how quickly the week passes when the group is immersed in research. We have attended a talk at the Scottish Genealogy Society on the Poor Law Records in East Lothian. We have had two full days at the ScotlandsPeople Centre and two full days at the National Library of Scotland. 

Some of the participants have gone to the Scottish Genealogy Society to do research. Others have gone to local archives, family history societies or libraries in the area where their ancestors lived. 

Most of the participants have gone to visit the streets where their ancestors walked, the churches where their ancestors worshipped and the graveyards where their ancestors are buried. 

We have taken part in historic walking tours of both Greyfriar's Cemetery and of the Old Town of Edinburgh. Many participants have visited the Castle, the National Museum, Edinburgh Cemeteries and the Royal Museum. Others have visited the highlands and islands. We have made connections, gained a deeper understanding of the lives of our ancestors and felt at home in our ancestral homeland of this bonnie, bonnie country. 

We have two full days left. And we plan to pack in as much as we can. 

Edinburgh Museum of Fire

The last complete Victorian Fire Station, the Central Fire Brigade Station at Lauriston Place (Lauriston) which is home to the Museum of Fire. This was also the FIRST fire brigade in Edinburgh. Hundreds of Property Developers have visited the Museum to see how many flats or hotel rooms they can squeeze into the building.

The many requests by Friends of the Museum to the Scottish Government to save Lauriston from the developers, so that it can remain as the home of the Museum of Fire, have been dismissed. Please help to make saving Lauriston from the developers a PRIORITY of the Scottish Government.

Please take the time to ensure that this important piece of Edinburgh's history is preserved. Please lodge, or support, a motion calling on the Scottish Government to halt the sale of the former Central Fire Brigade Station at Lauriston Place, Edinburgh and subsequently develop therein a Scottish National Museum of Fire.

email your concern to FirstMinister@gov.scot and