Saturday 28 September 2013

Great Craic

Have just finished a very busy round of talks over the past five weeks. I must say that whenever the Scots diaspora or Scots descendants get together, there is always great craic.

Thanks to the following for the wonderful events they have organised and invited me to take part in:

One World One Family:  A very busy day with records crowds at both talks. Some of the attendees will be joining me in Edinburgh in May to do research on site. Already looking forward to next year's talk.

Niagara Celtic:  A beautiful setting for their annual festival where I was able to take part in the Celtic College.

Haliburton Highlands Genealogy Group: What a brilliant group of people. A thoroughly enjoyable evening. I am looking forward to meeting up with some of them again at the Symposium next summer - stay tuned for details as they unfold!

Perth County Branch OGS:  Another terrific group of people. It was so much fun to share with them and hear their stories in return.

Looking forward to the next round of talks. Can't wait to see what enjoyment they bring. Gotta love a gathering of Scots!

Friday 27 September 2013

Last Chance to Book Your Ancestral Trip in Scotland

Following a very busy speaking schedule, there has been an increased interest in the Genealogy Research Trip in Scotland and although it is still 7 months away, it is very nearly full. Only two spaces remain.

If you are at a point in your Scottish research where you are considering a trip to Scotland, why not consider coming along on the May 2014 trip?

Being in an organized tour allows you protected time in the research facilities as well as introductory sessions on each repository and the records they hold.

Because they know we are coming, the research facilities often have extra help available to make our time more fruitful.

Monday 16 September 2013

Paternity Cases From Scottish Borders Sherriff Court

The Maxwells have indices of more records available online. This time it is the paternity cases of the Scottish Borders Sherriff Court, specifically Jedburgh.

If you find your ancestor listed in the index, a link takes you to a shopping cart where you can purchase the full record for £10.

This is another terrific example of the documents genealogists are making available online. Thank you, Graham and Emma!

Saturday 14 September 2013

Niagara Celtic Festival

If  you are in the area of Olcott NY today, come indulge yourself in your Scottish heritage at the Niagara Celtic Festival & Highland Games. I will be speaking at the Celtic College this afternoon at 2:45 so drop by and say "hello"

Thursday 5 September 2013

Using Twitter for Genealogy

The first question might be “just what is Twitter anyway?” Well, simply put, Twitter is a social media venue that allows access to instant information. The information is shared in small bursts of conversation known as tweets. These tweets are limited to 140 characters in length. A message that is Short and Sweet. That’s a tweet.  

Twitter is a great way to get information on newly released genealogy records, connecting with genealogists  all over the world, discovering new resources (who is digitizing records and making them available, who is creating new research facilities, who is holding conferences or workshops.). Twitter can be a valuable resource to genealogists of any calibre.

Here’s how you can get started: 

First, you need to create an account. To do this, go to the Twitter website:  Here you will find the sign up box. You will be required to enter your full name, email address, and to create a password. Once done, hit the “sign up for twitter” button. Next, select a username. Choose something that is unique to you and that will make it easy for others to identify you. Mine is @genealogytours because my business arranges genealogy tours to Scotland. ALL Twitter usernames have the @ symbol at the beginning.
Finally, click the “create my account” button. Once you have done that, Twitter will send you a confirmation email. When you receive that, click on the link in the body of the e-mail to confirm your that you really did want to sign up. You will be re-directed to Twitter.   

From here, you can begin to “follow” tweeters who might be of interest to you as you research your family history. You can do this in the search bar at the top of your homepage. Simply type in the things you are looking for “Scottish genealogy”, “England genealogy”, “Irish Genealogy”, “Welsh genealogy” etc. You can also look for people you think might be able to provide information that will be helpful to you as you research. Type in their names and a list will be generated. You do not need to know their Twitter user name for this part. Twitter will show them via their first names. Once you find who you are looking for, click on their user name, and once on their homepage, you can choose to “follow” them. This means that any tweets they issue will be automatically shown in your stream on your homepage. You can follow as many people as you want. If you are more interested in learning than in communicating, you don’t ever have to tweet. The real benefit of Twitter lies in being able to access real-time information that matters to you.

You can follow conversations by reading through your stream or by clicking on the “view conversation” link at the bottom of a tweet that has been replied to. If “view conversation” does not show, there is no conversation to follow. Like Facebook, you can upload pictures. On Twitter, they will show as a weblink. One picture is usually sufficient and unlike Facebook, pictures are used to punctuate a point, not to share the fun at the party you attended on the weekend. 

One of the buzz words associated with Twitter and that is now starting to show up on Facebook is “hashtag” No, its not an illicit drug, but rather a way of tracking topics. If you use a hashtag (#) in front of an acronym or phrase,  in the search bar, you can then follow all conversations to do with that topic. This is a nice way of weeding out other, less relevant information. This is particularly helpful if you want to follow along on “as it happens” events like the airing of new #WDYTYA episodes. It is also how news reporters are able to give up-to-the-second reports on such issues as the #bostonbomber or the #ohio kidnapping case.

Happy Tweeting!