Monday, 20 May 2019

Govan Old Stones

I have been a supporter of the Govan Stones for a number of years now. Last night, there was an open house of sorts including a couple of talks, so we headed over to Govan from the Necropolis. The Govan Old Church is generally open for a couple of hours in the afternoon, so having the opportunity to show the stones to the tour participants was an added bonus. 

Glasgow Necropolis

Yesterday afternoon, the group enjoyed a guided tour of the Glasgow Necropolis. The cemetery was planned and financed by the Merchant's House of Glasgow. Architects David Hamilton and John Bryce designed other parts of the cemetery. 

The Necropolis is to the east of the Cathedral and houses 50,000 bodies. Only about 3500 graves have headstones and there are 32 mausoleums. Architect Alexander Thomson designed many of the tombs.

The Necropolis is a "Who's Who" of Glasgow's elite as well as some of Scotland's elite. Some of the key players in Scottish history have monuments here but are buried elsewhere. 

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Edinburgh Tour 2020 30% THIRD FULL

SEPTEMBER 13-19, 2020

The ever popular Edinburgh research tour is already 30% FULL. This is the second tour that was added for 2020, and takes place Sept 13-19, 2020, just ahead of the Scottish Borders Tour.

The Edinburgh tour allows research in National Records. The ScotlandsPeople Centre, the National Archives, the National Library and the Scottish Genealogy Society all have records for the whole of Scotland, making Edinburgh the ideal location for researching your Scottish ancestors.

As with all of the Genealogy Tours of Scotland, this tour will fill on a first come first serve basis and then will be closed, ending the opportunity for taking part. 

Saturday, 18 May 2019


image courtesy of

How fun and exciting is THIS news? From Mayflower400: 

Mayflower 400 UK have today announced the launch of the Mayflower Self-Guided Tours app, an innovative and informative free app that provides users with easy to follow self-guided tours of the UK towns, cities and villages connected to the Mayflower.

App users will enjoy free, guided walks and driving tours of each of the villages, towns and cities connected to the Mayflower, which include Plymouth, Southampton, Rotherhithe, Dartmouth (Devon), Harwich (Essex), Boston (Lincolnshire), Scooby & Babworth (Nottinghamshire), Austerfield  and Doncaster, Immingham (North East Lincolnshire), Gainsborough (Lincolnshire), Worcestershire and Leiden (Holland).

The app makes use of GPS to notify users of nearby places of interest, allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of the Mayflower Pilgrims and explore all the stops on the Mayflower trail at their own pace, learning about the history of the Pilgrims journey through England and Holland and their final voyage on the Mayflower.

Charles Hackett, Chief Executive Officer - Mayflower 400 comments: “We've launched the app in the build-up to the Mayflower 400 anniversary year to help visitors get the best possible experience from visiting the sites that tell the stories of the Pilgrims' origins. The app has been designed to take people on a Mayflower journey, telling the stories behind the places the Pilgrims were from and where and why they travelled.

“It will help people to discover iconic places on the Mayflower trail - including the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth and the famous Mayflower Pub on the cobbled streets of London as well as sharing the stories of the Separatists including Brewster, Bradford and Clifton in their home towns and villages. There are excellent tour guides across the Mayflower destinations who can provide personal informative and insightful guided tours that really bring the story to life – the app provides visitors with the opportunity to take a tour in their own time.”

The Mayflower Self-Guided Tours app also offers access to each of the walking guides offline, so that users can take the tours in their own time and in any order. To download the free Mayflower self-guided tours app to your device, visit  

What a fabulous way for a family, couple, individual or small group of friends to enjoy the rich history of the Mayflower story as well as the Mayflower400 events!!

East End Walking Tour

This afternoon, we went to the Glasgow Women's Library for a guided walking tour of the East End of Glasgow. The tour was incredibly informative and rich in history, highlighting the role of women in Glasgow's history. The tour also helped us to put the lives of our Glasgow ancestors into perspective and to help us understand the times in which they were living. 

The external walls of the elevator are decorated with book titles

Domestic school for girls

Drying Green at Glasgow Green where women would
take their washing to dry

Old Central Police Station

Glasgow Tardis

Sir Billy

Learning about the Saracen Head
We ended our tour at the Weaver's Cemetery on Abercrombie Street.  

Martyr's Memorial

The Glasgow Women's Library walking tours are wonderful opportunities to learn more about the women who played important roles in the history of not only Glasgow but also of Scotland. The tours are also a great way to support the work of the library. 

Thank you to our incredible tour guides: 

Mary-Alice, Sue, Kristin and Beverly

Lanarkshire Research

Friday was our first full day together and we hit the road running. We headed into Motherwell by train where we went to the North Lanarkshire Archives. Here, the full group were given an overview of the collections and then it was time to "hit the books". 

Half of the group stayed to research in original records and the other half walked over to the Lanarkshire Family History Society. We started our time with tea, then each participant was paired up with a volunteer and the research began in earnest. 

At 1:00, it was switch over time with the two groups trading places. The morning group started their time at the Family History Society not with tea, but with lunch. Then, once again, each participant was paired up with a volunteer and they were off and running. 

Thursday, 16 May 2019


Wednesday, another tour participant and I spent a fabulous day in Dunfermline. We headed off in the rental car and were quickly frustrated by the satnav which kept resetting when recalculating the route. 

We finally made it to Dunfermline and went to visit the Abbey. We visited the old Abbey and Nave 

then went to find the door to the new Abbey. We ran into a gentleman in the kirkyard who gave us a wonderful rendition of William Wallace and his mother, showed us William Wallace's mother's grave and suggested we speak to 'Willie' once we were inside the Abbey. 

When we entered the Abbey, it was morning prayers. Then we found 'Willie' What an absolute delight he turned out to be! Not only did he give us a guided tour, but shared a number of stories that had us in stitches. The tour lasted at least 90 minutes and was worth every second of it. 

After leaving Willie, we wandered over to the Carnegie Museum. We toured the cottage where Andrew Carnegie had been born and raised, and where his father worked as a weaver. 

Then we toured the museum that showcased Carnegie's life in America, his business ventures and his philanthropy. 

After we were finished at the museum, we discovered that both of us are geographically challenged as we wandered aimlessly around the town looking for the car park we had left the car in. In the process we encountered another local who was quite friendly. 

Dunfermline has a deep history, and the most hospitable folk. It made for a fantastic day out and wonderful memories of our time in Scotland.