Monday, 6 June 2016

A Week of Research Successes!

After my week in the north I arrived in Edinburgh, ready to meet this year's tour participants. The day of arrival was also a bank holiday, so I was able to meet with colleague Ian Walker of Borders Journeys for a blether and catch-up. Ian and I are continuing to collaborate on projects and there is always lots of excitement in the air when we meet and plan. Ian treated me to a glorious lunch at Contini's in the Scottish National Gallery

Then it was time for our meet and greet. Introductions were made, the research time was reviewed and questions were answered. 

On Tuesday morning, after a wonderful breakfast at the hotel, we piled into taxis and made our way to the ScotlandsPeople Centre where we were met by Iain Ferguson. Iain gave us a wonderful overview of both family history research and of the records we could find while at Register House. 

Lots of successes were realized today with everyone managing to access documents that furthered their research, and gave them ideas for looking at other record sets. At the end of the first day, tour participants were looking forward to finding out as much as they could about their Scottish ancestors.

On Wednesday, we were off to the National Library. Again, the group was given a 90 minute talk by Hazel which gave them a very clear sense of the records withing the NLS which could assist with their family history research. 

One participant was able to access the Rent Rolls and List of Those Cleared from the Sutherland Estate where her ancestors were from. Another participant was able to consult with the Court of the Lord Lyon regarding a heraldry query. Other participants were able to access directories, newspapers and manuscripts to further their research. One participant walked over to the Scottish Genealogy Society and spent a couple of hours over there gaining information about their ancestor. 

In the evening, the group walked over to Greyfriar's Cemetery where they enjoyed a very informative, very entertaining historic tour of the graveyard. The participants raved about Robert's storytelling ability, his knowledge of Edinburgh's history and his passion for his city and the people who shaped it. 

On Day three, we taxied over to the Causeway Side building of the NLS where we were able to access maps. Craig gave us an hour talk on the maps available as well as an overview on using the fantastic website for the NLS maps 

Participants had a terrific day being able to visualize the area where their ancestors came from. They were able to consult estate maps, town plans and one participant was able to not only see the map of Rhodesia where an ancestor went to work, but also the plans for the gold mine in which he worked!

In the evening, we were back to Greyfriar's Cemetery where the group embarked on a walking tour of the Old Town and learned about the history of the city as well as the history that shaped Scotland, with Edinburgh being not only the capital city but also the royal seat. 

On Friday, we were back to the ScotlandsPeople Centre where another full day of research was on the agenda. Participants had an incredibly successful week of research, had learned an amazing amount of information about the records that are available for Scottish research, and where to access those records. After our full, rich and exhausting week of research, it was time to make plans for the weekend. But first, we were treated to a bit of street entertainment outside the ScotlandsPeople Centre:

If traveling to Scotland to research your Scottish ancestors is something you would like to do, there are three spaces left for the 2017 Genealogy Tour to Scotland. You can register on the website:


  1. Thanks for sharing, Christine. Sounds like it was a great trip!

  2. thanks for sharing, Christine. I cant wait to join in September.