Monday, 29 October 2012

Book Review

Susan Davis, Communications Director of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa(BIFHSGO) has graciously prepared a review of my new book:

Woodcock, Christine. In Search of Your Scottish Ancestors: Search Your Roots; Discover Your Heritage, Ontario. 2012. 56 pp. ISBN 978-0-9917500-0-9 Paperbound.
When Christine Woodcock told me she was publishing a book on researching in Scotland, I immediately wanted a copy. Still feeling a bit timid about crossing the pond to look for my Angus, Glendinning and Bell ancestors in Scotland, this how-to book is a welcome addition to my bookshelf. 

Packed with useful information, it is organized into a series of chapters that takes you from starting your search to providing advice on ancestral tourism. Written in an informative but friendly manner, the book is based on Christine’s first-hand experience as a researcher and educator. Each year, Scottish-born Christine, leads a group of family history researchers on Genealogy Tours of Scotland. 

In her chapter, Important Things to Remember, Christine reminds us to Beware the Ear of the “Hearer” and shares her challenge of getting past the heavy Scottish brogue to find her gggrandfather Henry Fowler. After years of research and a new strategy, she finds him listed as Henry Fuller. “Once I saw the name, it made perfect sense. I could literally see him standing at the door and the census taker asking, “Surname?” and my great-great-grandpa answering “Fooluhr.”” 

Christine gets you thinking about cluster genealogy research and your ancestors’ social circles in her chapter Who are the People in the Neighbourhood? One of the research examples she shares is her
ancestors and their neighbours who were miners working for the same coal company and living in company housing. Deep family connections were made when three of 10 Crawford children married three of 11 Fowler children. She also devotes a chapter to the Selkirk settlers. 

Very familiar with the various Scottish records, Christine provides insight into how to access the various records online with an extensive list of lesser known online databases and a handy list of the local resources provide by Scottish family history societies. She provides a primer on using ScotlandsPeople.
Printed in a booklet format, In Search of Your Scottish Ancestors is easy—to read, understand and put to use. It is also a convenient size to carry about. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some research on Mary Ann Angus, my gggrandmother who left Aberdeen as a teenager in the 1860s to settle in Canada with her family.
For more information about Christine, her book and her tours, visit her website:



  1. I just read this booklet. It is a terrific resource for beginners. For more experienced researchers trying to break down Scottish brick walls, "In Search of Your Scottish Ancestors" reminds us of steps and resources we may not have considered in a while. Belongs on every Scottish genealogist's book shelf.

  2. Thanks for your kind comments, Gail. Glad you found the book helpful!