Friday, 30 September 2016

How I Spent My Summer

Fellow genealogist, writer and blogger, Cheryl Hudson Passey has written a great post on how she spent her summer. At the end of that post, Cheri challenged other genealogy bloggers to share their summer experiences. That got me to thinking. In looking back, it was incredibly busy!

Summer started a bit early for me as I flew to Fort Lauderdale to exhibit at the NGS Conference. I took my kids and we were able to enjoy some tourist time as well. Ten days later, I was off to Scotland. I had a great time touring the north. I drove from Edinburgh to Orkney, taking in the history of Dornoch and Sutherland County along the way. Sutherland was one of the largest areas to be cleared during the Highland Clearances, and the Factor was particularly ruthless in his handling of the evictions. It was hard to comprehend that the enormous desolate spaces in the eastern highlands had once been thriving crofting communities.

Orkney has long been on my bucket list, and it did not disappoint. It was sheer magic. The history, the brochs, the prehistoric villages and chambered tombs cover the landscape. The sea surrounds the islands and the history is not only remembered, it is honoured. The fact that the weather was a comfortable and sunny 16c every day certainly added to the magic as did the 18 hours of daylight every day.

After Orkney, I drove back down to Edinburgh to meet my spring Genealogy Tour Participants. We had an amazing ten days together. The stories were a daily inspiration. Ancestral homes visited, ancestral churches worshipped in, and hundreds of documents uncovered. I am so blessed to be part of these genealogy journeys every tour.

The first week of July, I headed to Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron to exhibit at the annual Highland Games. There is a rich Scottish history in Kincardine and surrounding areas and they do a fantastic job of honouring their heritage. Two weeks later, I was exhibiting at the Highland Games in Cambridge, Ontario.  This is always a fun day. It is great to hear the stories of others who are in search of their Scottish ancestors.

August saw me at the Highland Games in Fergus, Ontario. This is the largest Scottish festival and clan gathering in Ontario. I remember going to Fergus as a child and going now as an adult helps me to enjoy it from a different perspective. In August I also took part in the annual One World, One Family event near Toronto. Once again I was honoured to be a speaker.

And September has seen the wrap up of my summer shenanigans. I went to the annual conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) and then one week later, I was off to Scotland once again to meet up with the fall tour participants. 

This was another amazing journey. While in Scotland, I had the pleasure of attending a talk on the remains of the Scottish soldiers that were uncovered at Durham Cathedral. I also had the chance to take in the Doors Open events in Edinburgh.

It's now back to a routine. Although October promises to be every bit as busy as the summer, I am looking forward to all of the opportunities that present themselves.

What genealogy adventures did YOU have this summer?

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