Thursday, 27 April 2017

Genealogy Is All About Connecting

One of the wonderful things that happens on a Genealogy Tour is that people connect. They are with their kind of people for a week or ten days and can share their genealogy finds, their stories, their brick walls and wonderful friendships develop as a result. 

The Glasgow Group have taken to dining together and routinely turn a table for 6 in the hotel restaurant into a table for 9. 

Tonight we had a group member who we thought had company coming to join her at the table behind. When we realized she was on her own, we prepared to shift over and make room for her to join us. A man sitting at the table in front of her offered to join her instead! The genealogy chatter was a buzz at both tables as she filled him in on the purpose of her week in Glasgow!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Records Keep on Giving

The Glasgow Research Tour is halfway through their week! How can that be? 

The group have had two full days of research in the Glasgow City Archives, the Family History Centre or in the Mitchell's Special Collections Department. We have been in awe and are so amazed at the remarkable history and memories that the Glasgow City Archives have been able to preserve and share. Ancestor have been found, stories uncovered and life has been breathed into the lives of our ancestors. So much of the understanding comes from understanding their life circumstances as well. 

The Glasgow Group have also visited and consulted the collections of the Glasgow University Archives. Photos have been uncovered, death and burial records consulted and again we have been amazed at the sheer wealth of original records available for genealogy research. 


From here we have time at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society and then a final day at the Mitchell. 

Friendships have been cemented. Research has been shared. Ancestral streets, homes, churches and neighbourhoods have been visited. And best of all, we have all reconnected with our own Scottish roots. 

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Research Begins!

The Glasgow Research Group had their first day at the Glasgow City Archives today. What a treat! Many were amazed at the information that they were able to gather on their Glasgow ancestors and lots of unknowns were answered today. As always, the Poor Relief records provided a wealth of information.

Poor Law records, Kirk Session records, Burial records, School records, and Merchant records were all consulted today. Being able to handle, read and understand the genealogy gems within the original documents made the participants feel like they were experiencing their own Who Do You Think You Are episode!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Glasgow Necropolis

This morning the those who were still with us from the Highland History and Research Tour and new group with the Glasgow Tour had the morning free. Some slept in. Some walked and others went to church. Several of us met up at the breakfast table then we gathered at 1:00 to make our way over to the Glasgow Necropolis for a guided tour of the cemetery. Our tour guide, Jannis, was wonderful and shared some lovely stories about not only those interred but also some of their descendants who have come to pay homage.

The Merchant's House was an influential body in Glasgow in the 1700s. They were responsible for benevolence and as such, they founded the Glasgow Necropolis. A garden cemetery where anyone could be buried regardless of social stature or religion.

These gates were originally built by T Edington & Sons and a few years ago, a descendant of T Edington visited the Necropolis and donated the money to have the gates restored to their original glory.

The Glasgow Crest represents St Mungo's 4 miracles: 

Here is the bird that never flew (Mungo restored life to a Robin that had been killed by some of his classmates
Here is the tree that never grew  (Mungo had been left to tend a fire. He fell asleep and the fire died out. Mungo took a branch of a Hazel tree and restarted the fire)
Here is the bell that never rang (Mungo brought a bell from Rome that was used in services and to mourn the dead)
Here is the fish that never swam (The Queen of Strathclyde lost her ring in the river. Mungo sent a man to fish in the river and upon opening the fish, discovered the Queen's ring)

The Superintendent's Home is just inside the gates of the Cemetery. No longer in use, it has fallen into disrepair

Listening attentively to Jannis

 Crossing the Bridge of Sighs - leaving the World of the Living and Entering the World of the Dead
Bridge of Sighs

The Monteath Mausoleum is the latest restoration project of the Friends of the Glasgow Necropolis

 Inverted lit torches are a symbol of death - lighting the afterlife
 A draped urn - a common symbol. A long drape is meant to mean a long life although that wasn't always the case
Inverted Laurel Leaves another symbol of death

 An hour glass with wings symbolizes that Time Has Run Out

A cracked plinth symbolizes a broken life - a life broken by death

 These incomplete pillars are symbolic of lives that have been cut short

Part of the restoration is the addition of colour on the iron gates to some of the mausoluems. These show that the Victorians did not live in a black and white world, but were actually quite colourful. 

The Jewish Cemetery within the Necropolis

Grave of Corlinda Lee, Queen of the Gypsies

Visitors have left coins on Corlinda's tombstone as a way to show they have paid their respect


Saturday morning we were up bright and early and on the road by 7:30 to get to Fife for the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies. In addition to the talks, the Tour participants were thrilled to be able to connect with the local family history societies to buy books, ask questions and get some guidance about their family history research. 

The conference was opened by the Lord Lyon, Dr Joseph Morrow, who spoke of his family's connection to the Mormons of Clackmannan. 

There were four talks offered as part of the Conference:

  • Crossing the Firth of Forth Before the Bridges
  • Connecting People and Places (all about maps!)
  • Connecting to Life Through Death
  • Scottish Records on Findmypast

As well there were several additional talks offered as part of the Family History Fair. So much was learned and shared with other participants later on that evening over meals or drinks. 

The conference food was amazing - hot bacon rolls, shortbread, chicken tikka, pasta, hot fresh danish. We were truly spoiled! 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Leaving the Highlands

Today, we left the Highlands and headed back to Glasgow. We have had an amazing week together but it isn't over yet! Our first stop, in the chucking rain, was Glenfinnan Monument and Viaduct

Our next stop was in Glencoe - first to the Clachaig Inn where one of the participants' ancestors had worked.

Then we stopped for a spectacular view of the Three Sisters (mountains) of Glencoe

Our final stop was in Luss, home of Clan Calquhoun

We arrived in Glasgow in time for me to check in and then meet up with the Glasgow Tour group. Tomorrow, all 20 of us will be up bright and early to head over to Kinghorn in Fife for the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies.