Wednesday, 26 December 2018

2018 IN REVIEW



As 2018 comes to a close and 2019 begins to dawn, it is time to take a look back over the past year. Although it was less busy than 2017, I still managed to pack quite a bit in. 

January  was the first ever Scottish ViC. This was the first virtual conference dedicated to Scottish research and turned out to be an amazing day of learning. The day flew past and attendees were delighted with the amount of information that was shared. 


February  saw me #NotatRootsTech and before it was over, I had my hotel booked for 2019. It is a huge expense and a full week of non stop activity. But boy did I miss the chance to connect with my peeps. 

March was a fairly quiet month as I moved from my home of 24 years into a smaller place with less yard. However, I still managed to present to the Uxbridge Genealogy Group. What a great night with a great group of people. 


April was the start, for me, of the conference circuit as I headed to Washington DC for the Fairfax Genealogical Society's Conference. In addition to presenting 4 talks on Scottish research, I managed to re-connect with previous tour participants. 


May was the annual Genealogy Tour to Scotland, with two back to back tours. The first was in Edinburgh and the second was in Glasgow. I had repeat participants in each tour as well as three people who were in both tours. It was an amazing experience. 

June was the launch of the Virtual Genealogical Association, moderating three webinars a month. 

June and July saw me at home more, which allowed me to get back to my love of creating family memory books and helping others to do the same. 


August was another busy time with conferences. First up was the Celtic Connections Conference in Boston. This one was so much fun. I managed to get to Saugus Iron Works where many of the Scottish Prisoners of War from Dunbar were indentured. 

Immediately after the Celtic Connections Conference, I was off to Philadelphia for a "mini" institute. The ISBGFH partnered with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to provide a week of genealogy learning. Each day saw a different topic: DNA, Scottish, Irish and English. This was my first time in Philly and I was completely taken with the history. 


September saw me off to Denver to deliver a Seminar for the WISE Colorado Group. Another fantastic group of people. 

The fall has been busy with webinars for the ISBGFH as well as helping others to create family memory books. I have enjoyed being home more but definitely missed not going back to Scotland with a fall tour. 

On top of the bigger activities and events, I edited newsletters, held webinars, wrote articles, blogged and planned future tours and webinar series. 

I am already looking forward to all of the amazing opportunities to share my passion for Scottish genealogy and preserving family history in 2019. 



Saturday, 22 December 2018

SEEKING INTEREST IN A GENEALOGY TOUR TO THE SCOTTISH BORDERS


Do You Have BORDERS Roots?


Last month, I sent out a poll asking people about specific localized regions that might be of interest for a future genealogy tour. In addition to the three choices I listed, people were invited to let me know where THEY might like to have a tour.

Based on the results of the poll, I will be seeking interest in three specific areas for a future tour. Like the Highland tour, these will likely be a one-off rather than ongoing.

The second place that came through with strong interest was the Borders. If I get enough interest, I will organize a tour for 2020.

The main archives are in Hawick where there is a ScotlandsPeople Hub. Accommodations in Hawick are somewhat limited so we would likely stay in Melrose as our base. The Borders Family History Society is located in Galashiels.

This research trip is specific to the Borders region – the counties of: Berwickshire, Peebleshire, Selkirkshire and Roxburghshire. It does NOT include Dumfries and Galloway or the Solway Coast.

In addition to research time, I would offer the opportunity to see the major points of interest in the Borders: Sir Walter Scott’s Courtroom and his home, Abbotsford, Melrose, Jedburgh or Dryburgh Abbies, The Textile Towerhouse. There would also be time to spend a day or half day wandering around the towns associated with the Borders – Kelso, Roxburgh, Melrose, Selkirk and Peebles.

The tour would likely be a week in length. Getting to and from Melrose would be the tour participant's responsibility.

If you have an interest in researching, or indeed just touring the Borders, let me know and if I get enough interest, I will begin the planning process. I would need about 12-14 people to make this work.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Seeking Interest in a Genealogy Tour to Orkney

Do you have Orcadian roots?



Last month, I sent out a poll asking people about specific localized regions that might be of interest for a future genealogy tour. In addition to the three choices I listed, people were invited to let me know where THEY might like to have a tour.

Based on the results of the poll, I will be seeking interest in three specific areas for a future tour. Like the Highland tour, these will likely be a one-off rather than ongoing.

The first place that came through with strong interest was Orkney. If I get enough interest, I will organize a tour for May 2020.

The days are 18 hours long in Orkney in May, with several hours of twilight after sundown. The main archives are in Kirkwall, so that would be our base. The Orkney Family History Society is located within the Archives.

In addition to research time, I would offer the opportunity to see the major points of interest on Mainland Orkney: Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones, Stenness Standing Stones and the Italian Chapel. There would also be time to spend a day or half day wandering along the streets of Stromness where the HBC ships recruited men to work at York Factory in Manitoba. And of course, plenty of time to visit Kirkwall where the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral is dominant.

The tour would likely be a week in length. Getting to and from Kirkwall would be the tour participant's responsibility.

If you have an interest in researching, or indeed just touring Orkney, let me know and if I get enough interest, I will begin the planning process. I would need about 10-12 people to make this work.