Saturday, 18 January 2020

Just a Week to Go!

The Scottish ViC is just one week away! A full day of presentations for people researching their own Scottish ancestry or who are conducting research for clients with Scottish ancestry. 

The day starts at 8:30 with a presentation on Scotland, and in particular, Glasgow's involvement in the Caribbean Slave Trade. This presentation is given by Dr Stephen Mullen of the University of Glasgow who has conducted research in this area. 

Next up is Dr Irene O'Brien, Sr archivist at Glasgow City Archives who will show us the various records available for researching your ancestor's death. Dr O'Brien's presentations are always chock full of detailed information to show you just how much information you can glean from the records available in local archives. 

Irene is followed by Aoife O'Connor. Aoife works with Findmypast and is their expert on the British Newspaper Archives. Aoife will show us how to get the most out of Scottish newspapers for learning more about the rich details of our ancestor's lives. 

The morning closes off with genealogist Emma Maxwell. Emma and her husband run Scottishindexes. Emma will walk us through using Asylum records to learn about some of the sadder stories of our ancestor's lives. 

We then take a break to have lunch, do some research and recharge before starting the afternoon off with archivist Margaret Fox. Margaret is retired but formerly worked at the National Records of Scotland. Margaret will be giving an in-depth presentation on using Scottish Wills and Testaments and how you can get rich details on your ancestor's life by using these documents. 

ScotlandsPeople have generously provided 26 free credits to all registrants. This will allow registrants to download 2 wills and one other record. 

Following Margaret is a return by genealogist Emma Maxwell who, in this presentation, will show us the deep detailed information that can be gleaned from Prison records. 

Wrapping up the day is genealogy educator Christine Woodcock who will look at the reasons that led to Scots leaving Scotland and settling in Canada and the records that they generated as a result of their emigration. 

The recordings of all presentations are available until February 25th, 2020. 

"Door" prizes: 

1 year subscription to MyHeritage
1 year subscription to Findmypast
1 month subscription to Findmypast 
1 year subscription to Legacy Family Tree Webinars
1 Legacy Family Tree Software

All for just $99cad (~75usd)

To register:

Tuesday, 14 January 2020



The Scottish ViC is just 10 days away! This is the ONLY virtual event solely dedicated to Scottish genealogy research. 

For this year's ViC, instead of having a marketplace, I have secured some fun things to be given as prizes during the day of the ViC. 

ScotlandsPeople is providing 26 credits for everyone who is registered for the ViC. This will allow you to retrieve 2 wills and one other document. 

MyHeritage has donated a subscription to be given as a prize

Findmypast has donated TWO subscriptions to be given as prizes. One is for a 12 month subscription and the other is for a 1 month subscription

Legacy Family Tree has also donated TWO prizes. One is for FREE Legacy Family Tree software and the other is for a subscription to Legacy's webinar library. 

ScottishIndexes is offering a discounted rate for their document retrieval services to all registrants of the virtual conference. 

To register:

Wednesday, 8 January 2020


ScotlandsPeople is graciously providing 26 FREE credits for everyone who registers for the Scottish ViC. These can be added to your account and used, if you wish, to retrieve a couple of wills (10 credits each) after you learn from Margaret Fox about the rich details that are contained within these important documents.

To register:

Thursday, 2 January 2020

No Resolutions, Just a List

I don't DO resolutions. I have never done well with goal setting. Goals seem so clinical to me. Maybe because they were such an integral part of my work over 35+ years.

But I do like lists. When I was working I would make a list of things to get done today, this week and this month. And I would work my way through them. In a world of social services where so much of our impact is unseen, these lists were like widgets and I could actually see I was making progress.

My list for 2020 is fairly simple:

Organize my photos. As most of you will know I use Forever storage for my photos, documents and videos. It is a good fit for me as a genealogist. I can organize everything into albums, keep them safe and secure (and not deteriorating) for future generations and share as I choose. I set the privacy and I maintain copyright. That said, I need to work my way through adding descriptors to my photos so that future generations will understand why I saved the photos and why they are important.

I plan to make more photo books. These are a great way to share with others. They evoke memories, which in turn results in stories being shared. They also evoke emotion because of the feelings associated with the photos.
Photo books can also be a way of sharing why we have held onto artifacts. My mother saved nothing. I was over the top when it came to saving things for my kids. My daughter recently purchased a house and so is about to inherit her "treasure box" I have created a photo book to explain some of the things in her treasure box and why they are important enough to have been saved. I have given her permission to rid herself of anything she doesn't want to keep but she will still have a record of those treasures in the photo book.

In 2020 I plan to create books for the things I have in my china cabinets that have been saved for a generation or two.

Also on my list is working to add more information to the "notes" section of my family tree software. I have the notes in hard copy but I want to add that into my tree so that the stories will be carried forward.

What about YOU? What things are on your To-Do list for 2020?

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Gearing Up for 2020!


JANUARY 25th - the third annual Scottish ViC. This is the only virtual conference dedicated to Scottish research.

MARCH 16-19th - the first Virtual Institute - this one covers research in 4 Commonwealth countries - Canada, South Africa, British India and Australia.

APRIL 18th - I will be presenting 4 talks on Scottish research for the Wisconsin Historical Society

APRIL 29 - MAY 2 I will be speaking at the Ohio Genealogical Society's annual conference.

MAY 16-23 I will host a genealogy research tour in EDINBURGH. Because the majority of participants are returning for  a second or third (or fourth) tour, we have built in some extras for this tour. I am looking forward to the learning, the sharing and the "OMG" moments as participants uncover the stories of their ancestors. 

MAY 24-31 I will host an ORKNEY research and history tour. This is a special, one-off and one that I am very excited about. I can't wait to share the history of these magnificent islands with the tour participants. 

AUGUST - I am ticking an item off my bucket list with a genealogy cruise to Alaska. Interested in joining me?

SEPTEMBER 13-20 sees another genealogy research tour in EDINBURGH followed by a one-off research tour in the SCOTTISH BORDERS from Sept 20-27th. I am looking forward to being back on my family's home turf. 

Other events are yet to be confirmed but so far the year is turning out to be a very busy one. 

A Look Back at 2019

As I do every year, I look back on the genealogy events of the year. 2019 was a busy one!

JANUARY was the annual Scottish Virtual Conference with 7 presentations on Scottish genealogy research topics. 

FEBRUARY was RootsTech and all that comes with it. The learning, the networking, the travel and the exhaustion. 

MARCH saw the opportunity of a lifetime as I embarked on a whirlwind tour of the Mayflower400 sites and learned of all that has been planned for the 400th anniversary celebrations. 

MAY was the Glagow Research Tour. A very busy week of discovering as much as we could about our Glasgow ancestors while also taking in events that helped us learn about the history and social history of the city. 

JUNE saw the first (hopefully of many) Caledonia Celtic Festival in Caledonia. It is always so special to immerse in Scottish culture and to catch up with many of the diaspora. 

JULY & AUGUST saw a break from travel and allowed me to set the schedule of webinars for the ISBGFH winter webinar series, organize and plan the presentations for the Scottish ViC 2020, and write an article on the Mayflower400 tour. 

SEPTEMBER offered a short little break when I met with a group of past tour participants to work on scrapbooking our memories.

OCTOBER was a full week of learning and research at the British Institute in Salt Lake City where I taught the Scottish course. Such an incredibly fun week!

As always, the year flew by and provided some incredible opportunities. I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. I have enjoyed the "down time" that comes with late fall. This time allows me to get caught up on webinars, articles, blogs and scrapbooks. I am so looking forward to another very busy year in 2020 and am thankful to have had this time to re-charge. 

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Need a Last Minute Gift for a Genealogist on Your List?

Need a Last Minute Gift for the Genealogist on Your List?

Give them the gift of learning. Give them insight into the records where they might find their Scottish ancestors. Help them to understand the social and historic events during which their ancestors lived. Register them for the Scottish ViC. 

Topics for 2020:
  • Glasgow and the Caribbean Slave Trade
  • Death, Burial and Cemetery Records
  • Prison Registers
  • Asylum Registers
  • Wills and Testaments
  • Scottish Newspapers
  • Scottish Emigration to Canada