Friday, 25 May 2012

Leaving My Paper Trail For My Descendants

It is interesting to me how I view things differently since I have been smitten by the genealogy obsession. What used to be routine and in some ways mundane has become a legacy for future generations. As I was filling out the landing card on my way to Scotland

and again as I was filling out the Canada Customs card en route to Toronto

I was aware that I was leaving my paper trail for future generations to discover. By filling out required government documents, I am helping my descendants trace my story 100 years from now. While they may not know the purpose of my visit, they will be aware that I went home for a period of time. Will they be thrilled to find the document? To see my own handwriting? Will they wonder what the purpose was? Will they check the documents against others to see if perhaps I had gone home for a wedding or funeral? Certainly, the documents will add pieces to their puzzle, but will they also add more unanswered questions? Will the documents pique curiosity? One can only hope.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Day Eleven - Last Day of Research

Today was spent at the National Library. It is hard to believe that the trip is coming to an end. I could easily spend another week in the archives and research centres. But that will now need to wait until next year's trip.
We were shown a presentation of what the holdings of the NLS contain. The NLS is the leading centre for the study of Scotland and the Scots. There are British Directories (1773-1950), Industrial Histories, Publications of Scottish Clubs and Societies (including apprentice records, military records and various ephemera), WWI official photographs, Army, Navy & Airforce Lists (primarily officers or decorated soldiers), Family Histories, Emigration Lists, Matriculation Rolls, Newspapers and Old Maps.
After a brief tour, we were able to conduct some research. I was able to view an original hard copy of the Dalkeith Advertiser for 1955 and found an article in which my grandmother had been interviewed about the size of her family.

Some of the group returned to the Scottish Genealogy Society which is just down the street, or went to the Central Edinburgh Library across the street to finish up their research.

It has been a very productive trip. Lots of documents have been viewed, downloaded or copied. Blanks and spaces have been filled in and foliage has been added to our family trees. I can't wait to get back to Canada (well actually I can......) and start to put the family newsletter together so that I can share what has been found over the past 10 days.

I wish you all continued good luck in your search for your Scottish ancestors.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Day 10 - Scottish Genealogy Society

Today was spent at the Scottish Genealogy Society. It was another very productive day. While most of my ancestors were too poor to be able to afford a headstone, my father's line seemed to manage a bit better. I was able to see the MIs for Mid Calder Cemetery and found the headstone for my great grandparents and three of their daughters. I was also able to find the headstone for another of their daughters. These were particularly heart warming for me since this was the line of the family I worked on during my first day at the Scotlands People Centre, and the ones who lived in Mid Calder, where I enjoyed a drive out in the country last week to get a better sense of the village.

In the Kirk o Shotts MIs I was able to find two ancestors. Interestingly one of the headstones doesn't list two of the people also buried in the same grave.

On my way back to the hotel, I stopped off at the National Library to order the newspaper I want to have a look at tomorrow and to get my card. The newspaper is in hard copy, rather than microfilm, which will be interesting to read.

Now to get ready for tonight's dinner at The Tower.

Happy Researching!

Day Nine - The Rest of Royal Edinburgh

Another very cold and windy day, but thankfully no rain until evening. Our first stop this morning was Edinburgh Castle. The castle sits atop an extinct volcano. It is an imposing fortress which is virtually impenetrable.

The inside of the castle is a series of museums. Perhaps the most telling of all is the Prisoner of War Museum

From the Castle, we took the tour bus over to Holyrood Palace. The palace is only open when no members of the royal family are in residence. It is the older, historic suites that are open to the public, not the private residence. In spite of that, no photography is permitted inside.

 The remains of the old abbey are still on the grounds

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Day Eight - Royal Edinburgh

After a lazy start to the morning, we headed into the City and took the hop-on, hop-off bus tour.

One of the many shops catering to tourists

The guard tower at a city cemetery where the watchmen would guard against the body-snatchers

Edinburgh Castle - the fortress built upon a volcanic plug, making it impenetrable

The lamp standards at Holyrood House. We couldn't get in today. Charles and Camilla are in residence. Surely if they had known we were coming, they'd have left early.

The Salisbury Crags that form Arthurs Seat 


Then it was off one bus and onto a different tour bus to get to Ocean Terminal for our tour of the royal yacht, Britannia.

 Britannia Rock Candy

 Ornate binnacle, carved from a single piece of oak and which houses a compass

 The wheel house
 Welcoming mat
 Onboard garage with the Queen`s Rolls Royce formerly used during state visits to other countries

 Ship`s bell

 Sunroom which looks out onto the very large verandah. It is from the veranda that we see the royals waving to the crowds of onlookers

 The Queen`s bedroom. I was particulary taken with the personal photographs that adorn the room 
 The honeymoon suite. The only room with a double bed. Prince Charles had it brought onboard for his honeymoon with Princess Diana
 The State Dining Room. Every guest was given a souvenir menu to take home with them as a keepsake of thier visit aboard the royal yacht.

 The Queen`s sitting room-office

 The drawing room

Sick Bay. The ship has the capability of becoming a floating hospital in times of war or other disasters

The Mail Room

The Laundry

How's this for a scout badge on knots?


We enjoyed tea in the ship's tea room on the royal deck